i deserved to be called on that bit of hyperbole.
the plague comment was intended to be aggressive since i was just being dicky about nene and we hadn't embarked on this conversation yet. and the insistence that there are no exceptions is really a statement about organized theisms as a whole, not about individual aspects of each of those theisms.
i do think they are a hinderance to human development, by definition, since they are a limitation of inquiry. and they become a plague when their dogma is given primacy in terms of providing answers.
if you forgive the hyperbole, the sentence should probably have been "theism given primacy in a search for truth is a plague upon human development."