Being non-religious, a friend of mine asked why I have such different approaches to religious people. Some I seem fine with. Others repel me. I guess most of this is in the Islamic context. So I'm putting some thought into.
I should start and emphasize by saying religion is not the 'cause' of these personalities, but religion is a big hammer by which these personality traits really manifest themselves and find a home. This is about why I find some religious people repel me, while others don't.
EntitlementThis first part is a huge turn off. A lot of religious people are very entitled. It's weird as you might think they should be humble or giving or pious, but this is just not the case. More often than not, they use their religion not to find duties for themselves, but to find duties other owe them religiously. The husband who thinks he is entitled to a virgin wife who cooks and clean and obeys him. The wife who think she is entitled to be supported and driven around. The parents who think they are entitled to be obeyed or taken care of.
If you don't do what they feel they are entitled to regardless of how they fulfill their duties, then you are wrong religiously and bashed with the biggest and holiest of all hammers. Contrast this to say this post I saw on Facebook today by a moderate Muslims. It is the opposite of entitlement. Needless to say, I get along with such people really well.
Often times, as I've come to see, this entitlement is basically a shield. The parent who does not feel liked, will use religion to demand company and care-taking; instead of working on becoming a better person that people want to take care of. I understand where it comes from. Often in the mix of personalities and upbringing, people are prohibited from being who they are or discovering who they really are. All they might have left is this.
And it is twisted with religion, so instead of simply being a spoiled person, they actually validate it by thinking it is their religious right.
Religion is often used as a substitute ego. Especially in the Islamic context, you get some really weird combinations of low worth with massive egos. In a way, I'm sure it is psychologically easy to understand, but it still messes with me. It becomes a sense of pride for people who really have no reason to have such pride. They haven't accomplished much to have that huge ego, but they use the religion as a basis to have such a massive ego. No matter how bad they are or their situation is, at least they have the right religion.
Lies, Deceit, and Conspiracy TheoriesI think something about living in a religious community creates an atmosphere of lying. This is especially true in the Islamic context as you are encouraged to hide your sins. As community religiousness is important, boasting your religion while hiding your sins tends to grow a mind comfortable with lies and hypocrisy. This is directed towards others and even I think towards oneself. Belief in the supernatural and explaining the failure of the Muslim community also tends to breed conspiracy theories and a complete lack of ownership. I just find it hard if not pointless to talk with such people if its pretty much all lies and conspiracy theories.
Eternal VictimsISIS? A Western creation. Al-Queda? A Western creation. Lack of great Muslim countries? It's those European colonialists. Someone offended me? They need to be silenced.
It always amazes me how much some religious people need to imagine themselves living under persecution. I live in Canada. A pretty safe and well off country. Muslims with good jobs and safety still see themselves as persecuted. Someone says something hurtful to them, it must mean the whole system is racist and oppressing them. There is no context to it.
I find it's a very political tie in here. I have the same repulsion here to other political groups who don't really face any persecution, but imagine the all this persecution, while often being some of the most privileged people.
A lot of religious people make their living from religion. This is generally very dangerous.
Sometimes, religious working people do valuable work. Be it counseling, helping the community, and other social activities. There is definitely a certain overlap with charity and politics. Sadly, just like politics, this can be a very corrupt field.
Yes, I do tend to mistrust anyone, religious or not, who does not produce goods and services that rest of us consume. Yes, a certain amount of overhead, bureaucracy, politics, or life guidance is needed, but I do tend to view such people with suspicion.
Again, I know a certain level of these are needed in society, but the suspicion is there and a religious person who does not appear to value earthly work generally causes some repulsion.