Much of what comprises organized religion has kept humans from progressing as a species. I’ve experienced this in my own life and I’ve seen it as an observer of this place.
The problem is primarily the function of interpretation and bias. These problems are enmeshed with human defects such as greed. Together, the innocent teachings of many religions are interpreted by many individuals, particularly those in a position of power (whether in a family, a community, a company, a nation) with a bias that (temporarily) satisfies their level of greed.
For followers, the satisfaction of believing that they are not ultimately responsible for their position in life, for example, is enough.
For religious figures/leaders, this greed eats away at their very souls… of course. They are only human. Some are stronger in their conviction than others, and it shows in regard to their true integrity. But others… dare I say most… of those in positions that ‘rule over’ others, so to speak, with the holy word, as if some kind of conduit is constructed between them and the divine… is just foolish to believe. Or, at least foolish to believe that you yourself do not contain every bit of pathway to the same thing as they do, no matter your background. There is no hierarchy in the heavens, but for some reason we are all drawn to constructs like that. It helps us reason somehow, I think.
I understand this does not apply to all religious humans. I do understand that true honesty, good will, respect and devotion do exist within many religious folks. But for those in power, in particular, these honorable qualities erode. It’s hard being a celebrity. Even a head-of-household can (and often does in my experience and knowledge of others) manipulate their immediate family on the basis of faith and religion. Power is a hell of a drug, and if not kept in check, it will inevitably become malignant and suffocate the above mentioned qualities; along with its bystanders.
Talking about this all reminds me of the lyrics… “Some of them want to abuse you // Some of them want to be abused”.