Institutional religion is a game. It has rules and punishments, but it has NOTHING to do with the human heart.
The human heart doesn't need institutional religion. Jesus wasn't a "cleric" and neither was Mohammed or the Hebrew Prophets. These men didn't have "institutional back up", such as gargantuan buildings and game rules written by men in dress-like institutional uniforms.
These last eight years have put religion under a spiritual microscope and what we have seen is beyond loathsome. Mostly, we have seen religious fanatics who justify murder in the name of God. Indeed, God, for them, is virtually a synonym of murder.
We also shouldn't forget such IQ refuse as those who actually believe the world is going to go boom in next week or two (Armageddon). Such thinking (and similar nonsense’s) is grounded is abyssal stupidity and is more dead weight of institutional religion.
Is the human race ready yet to face the fact that most of what passes for "religion" is moral trash and criminal stupidity? It's time for this meaningless free ride to end. It's time for civilization to transcend religion.
"Religion" is a tricky word because some of us can play the religion game in a tongue in cheek manner, while remaining committed to the transcendence of spirituality and morality. This is probably harmless enough since the individuals who do this know full well the human heart is all, and such religious peripheral game playing can have a certain pragmatic value.
But this is light years away from the Homo sapien morons and cowards who have handed over their lives to cult leaders and Pope types. The first step of spirituality is realizing that TRUTH HAS NO AUTHORITY and when it comes to transcendence or "God" (if that word works for you), you are 100% on your own. Indeed, the more you depend on the cult "leaders" is the more you kill your own soul.
George Bush is an archetypal boot licker of religious masters. So is John McCain. These two spiritual vacuums are the essence of what spirituality ISN'T.