In the past I have posted many things regarding religion. I am a Roman Catholic by Baptism at birth. Meaning I didn't choose it, but I have no reason to change it. I must point out that the word "religion" is only mentioned four times in the KJV Bible, and refers mostly to its higher hierarchy/clergy.
Religion was invented by man [and I DO mean this in a gender-specific way] primarily to keep their culture together. Moses used [created?] it to keep the Twelve Tribes from separating. Although religion should not be confused with Law, all governments past and present have tolerated it's local religion to its ends. Constantine put together a religion to justify his Roman Empire. The then Pope kissed up to Charlemagne for rescuing him and gain protection for future generations of Popes. Even religions have tolerated each other. Jews were not persecuted by the Vatican because they could lend money to kings and nobles, whereas the Church forbids the holding another to repay a debt, creating what will be the banking system as it is today. Groups have called themselves religions to exempt themselves from certain laws, past and present, ie, Freemasons to Scientologists. The State is not innocent of interference either. Marriage was generally performed by ANY religion’s ordained minister [except at sea]. But the government(s) wanted a piece of the action, even recognizing who was considered married by deciding differences in rights, financially or otherwise.
Religions in Europe led to war, the suppression of peoples and intellect, secret societies, and the separation of peoples. It supported Hitler to maintain “neutrality” and should have apologized to the world instead of just recently the Jews. And he was the most prominent advocate of ethnic cleansing. Not the only one. Every religion, not faith, has its own atrocities in history AND in the present. Proselytizing to “keep us in check” and to say anyone else will “burn in hell” is to me an insult to my superior intellect. I have only pointed out the Roman Catholic Church because that is the one I am most familiar with. As to the actual faith and practice of the Church, well I have posted that else when here. I see a political cartoon where the personifications of War, Famine, and Pestilence say "Thank You" to Jesus labeled as Religion.
Sorry if I sound harsh. I am not bitter, but see it as an observation.