In the last few days, I've been exposed to more and more evidence that religion kills people.
I watched a TV show last night about the Roman Catholic Church. Apparently the RCC is against the use of condoms under any circumstances, even when one of the sex partners is known to have an STD including AIDS. Needless to say this is contributing to the AIDS epidemic, particularly in Africa - where Catholicism is the fastest-growing Christian denomination.
Then the web page athttp://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/08/shame_on_washington_state.php discusses how the state of Washington allows faith healing "by a duly accredited Christian Science praticioner in lieu of medical care" without fear of legal issues. That web page also talks about a young man, Zachery Swezey, who died a slow, painful, completely preventable death from a ruptured appendix, with his parents looking on. The parents, who were Christian Scientists, never called an ambulance though they asked the church elders to assist.
Also this morning's Today show had a segment about the doctor who initiated the idea that the MMR vaccine contributes to autism. That vaccine prevents whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella. Other scientific tests, involving literally millions of children, have shown that there is no link between the vaccine and autism. Nonetheless parents are opting out of such vaccininations. Quite predictably we are seeing a rise in the rate of completely preventable diseases such as whooping cough which has caused unneeded deaths in children.
Moreover there are some people who can't get the vaccinations for legitimate reasons, such as being allergic to the vaccine. Some of those people are becoming innocent victims because the risks of exposure to those diseases is increasing.
This is not directly related to religion. It is not a stated tenet of creationism, for example, to avoid such vaccinations.
But there is an indirect relationship. Creationism teaches people that it is OK to pick and choose which scientific facts you believe and which you don't.That sort of thought process can be passed on to vaccine deniers. Obviously doing so can be very dangerous indeed.