My cynicism stems from the idea that "intolerance" is produced by religious beliefs per se, and that elevating "religions" to a legitimate "field of study" merely reifies their ascribed status in the minds of believers.
I think the logic of your argument is confused. Granted, if there is no god, that makes theology
pointless as a field of study. But religions
, by contrast, are a near-universal feature of human societies. Nobody doubts they
exist. So why wouldn't we study their similarities and differences just as any other field within anthropology studies any other near-universal feature of human societies—like comparative linguistics, comparative law, comparative anything
? Why on Earth wouldn't comparative religions be a legitimate field of study?