Oppression, we believe, is not countered and defeated by a stronger alternative religion. There’s no better regime. In our dystopias, institutions are just bad. I think it would be scary to have one human-based religion, taking over the world. Every religion has its dark, scary parts, and those really come out when a religion becomes a political power. In addition, Three of the world’s religions that have been busy killing one another over the last millennium – Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have the same creation story. 

Rather, our stories are about individual people banding together in hopeless defiance of towering tyrants, whether they’re political or religious. There isn’t a Valhalla or a good government. We’d better find meaning where we can, and where that usually happens is in small, humanizing interactions between individuals, not within institutional structures. In March 2014, Pew released a study that suggested that millennials are far more unmoored from institutions than their predecessors, with 50 percent claiming to be political independents and 29 percent claiming no religious affiliation. Only 19 percent of millennials agreed with the statement that “generally speaking, most people can be trusted.”

And yet that same 2014 study found that 86 percent of millennials were certain or at least amenable to the belief that God exists, nearly 50 percent described themselves as patriotic, and a huge majority of them — 85 percent, far more than preceding generations — are optimistic about the idea that they will have enough to live on in the future. 

However, one may say this: To the extent that in modern times religious intrusions into other cultures have been becoming more blatant, explicit, and better known (with explicit announcement that goal is to paint the world with only one religion) to one and all via the media, yes: intrusive religions have played a role in making our world a difficult and unpleasant place

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