A huge number of people take great comfort in the ideas of religion. These ideas help them deal with the death of love ones, illness and many other uncomfortable aspects of life. The power of being able to share a bond with others through cultural and emotional experiences that don’t directly require conscious consideration of the material world is helpful for the mind. And many people learn a lot of ethical lessons through their religious organizations often through the telling and analysis of ancient stories.
Many people band together under the umbrella of their shared cultural grouping / religious organization to do good things to help those with less or in need.
But there are very clear limits that need to be observed.
When any religion teaches that it’s absolutely right and every other way is wrong the line has been crossed. And every single religion teaches this.
No religion or group should be exempt from the law, including paying taxes.
No religion has the right to “force” their views on anyone, ever!
Religions lost their right to be the arbiters of ethics the first time a priest abused a child and was not punished. The first time a Hasidic Jew stoned a car on a Saturday. The first time a Muslim denied the holocaust and was not punished. The first time a TV evangelist collected money for a new swimming pool for his house or car. The first time the inquisition used pain as tool. The first time a religious zealot was not held to account.
That horse bolted out of the stable thousands of years ago and there is absolutely no way back. Religion can only be decent with humility and with no ability to impose its ideas, ever!
If anyone wants to be part of a religious group they are free to do so, of course, but we all have an absolute responsibility to ensure that every religion and every religious person is peaceful and keeps their ideas inside their own group.
If your religion teaches that people who don’t follow your rules will be punished in the next life, leave that punishment to the next life. If you don’t like how people act, then don’t let them join your religion! That is the absolute extent of any religious groups power.