"They still send their kids to
schools where evolution is taught. (eg. ME)"
I think you're missing my opinion. I'll stop beating around the bush and say it straight out. I don't mean to come here and say "Religious people are bad, atheists are good." I grew up in a religious Catholic family and still love them, believe it or not. I know that almost everyone relies on science for their day to day needs. I'm just pointing out that religious beliefs (now, I'm not talking spirituality here, I'm talking specific concrete beliefs ala Noah, Moses, etc) are almost certainly highly innaccurate if not totally wrong. Again, I'm not questioning religion's usefulness, just its RELIABILITY.
"Whether or not they believe in heaven
or Adam and Eve means SQUAT the next time they visit their doctor."
Exactly. Belief takes a back door to life in all things except belief itself. So it's really just there as a safety net. Even religious people live most of their lives as atheists, just taking maybe five minutes a day or an hour a week to keep their faith on "life support," so to speak.
warned against just that"
I don't remember that. If you can find the verses I'd be much obliged. :)
"Of course you do have small
minorities that keep their children from the doctor using the " it's God's will " excuse."
You'd be surprised how often people use the "It's God's Will" excuse. How often have you heard "It was just his time to go" when someone dies? How often have you heard people say "God was with her" when someone miraculously survives some disaster while hundreds of others die? The "It's God's Will" excuse is quite prevalent in our society, I assure you. Just last week, I mentioned to my great aunt that her lack of a basement in her house put her at risk in the event of a tornado (we get lots of storms where we live.) She said "If it's my time to go, it's my time to go. If God wants me, a basement won't help." So I advised her when the next big storm hits to stand on top of her roof with a large metal rod. After all, if it's your time to go, it's your time to go...
Again, religion is just a psychological safety net that some people truly need to bring a sense of order to a seemingly pointless existence. BUT that need does not make their opinions correct.