...sometimes being nice can be a real pain.
The thing I dislike about many religious people, is that they dont -really- understand their own religion. Meaning, that they either really believe or atleast accept on some level something that "someone else" just says and the religion becomes simply routine and like you said yourself - "social service":
Now if social service and being together is the main point of your faith, you could just as well go to watch ice hockey with a big fan group or go sing in a choir and it wouldnt really make difference.
I dont condemn faith or any religion as such, but I do highly question people who devote their life on something they dont really understand. Suppose i give thumbs up for people who can resolve religious opinions by their own brains, instead of just taking someone elses word and repeating it like some tape recorder.
Many religions do have a lot of good principles and ideas in them, but I wonder why its so damn difficult for them to keep from attacking "non-believers"? If God(s) love all and has plan for everyone - then who stress about your friend or even family member from "leaving the faith"? I mean, if you really are in to the religion then id say its not YOUR business to start turning him one way or another - but just have faith on him and God(s) plan right?
non-paid book advertisement: http://www.amazon.com/World-Without-Islam-Graham-Fuller/dp/B005M4H5SY
Good stuff if youre interested in islam, history, arab countries and geopolitics. Name is provocative, content not.
(ps I am sort of semi-quasi religious myself.)