Remember Jonestown? That was a case of blind faith. Seems bad right? Blind faith caused the deaths of 918 people in the largest loss of American life until 9/11. How does this impact religion as a whole? To answer this question we need to understand the principle claim of atheism.
Why am I an atheist? The main reason is the lack of evidence for any deity. This is a common debate topic between atheists and theists. The nonbeliever asks for evidence of the theist's claim. Theists have several interesting but inherently incorrect answers, including (a) There is evidence (existence, beauty, etc.) and (b) The purpose of this life is to test our faith (or some derivation). The first answer is one that I will answer another time, as the topic of this post is blind faith. The second answer IS one of blind faith. So blind faith is a key aspect of all religions.
So exactly how does the Jonestown massacre impact religion? What happened at Jonestown is an example of the danger of religion, when the believers have blind faith in an aspect of nihilism (belief in nothing). The characteristic of nihilism evident in many religions is why terrorists can do what they do. That is why Islam is a major factor in Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. They actually believe that they will be rewarded for going on a suicide mission (crazy, right?). Jonestown happened because the Temple members had blind faith in their leader and their religion. When Jim told them to kill themselves they complied, like sheep about to be butchered.
Jesus is my shepherd.
See the comparison? Religion that requires blind faith (the only one that doesn't is the one from Star Wars) is counterproductive at best and dangerous at worst. So why is blind faith cherished in our community?
P.S. If anyone wants the sheep metaphor to be explained I will be happy to oblige.