yea but for the most part , people take advantage of religion, I dont think religion takes advantage of anyone. people believe and have faith in their gods to get through times and to find meaning in things, and then there are people who take advantage of those people.
its not liek they actually had time/freedom to chose, like many american teenagers nowadays, they spend days contemplating trying to decide if religion is for them, people in other countries just dont have that kind of time or freedom. and then white ppl make fun of them, thats fucked up.
i dont know im just thinking.
True. I understand your point that it's annoying when people who don't understand the issue attack others. It's just as bad as religious people attacking non-believers.
In terms of control, though, it happens less nowadays because of the week grasp of religion, but those who speak for the gods gain the privileges of the gods. Sacrifices were traditionally just barbecues for the priests of a religion, for example. And then there's also the immense power over the people that the mouthpiece has. If they want, the speakers can use their following for riches or for wars, whatever they want. I do respect the minimalist 'religions' (like Buddhism or Taoism) more, since they don't really want that power.
It's not a religious thing as much as it is a societal thing. There are always people who want power. In terms of religion, the power of a god is the greatest one can achieve, so it's an easy target for exploitation. People do find their ways, though, outside of it (like Oprah's control over her fanbase, which frankly scares me a bit).