Few things evoke so much passion as that word. Not even "sex" or "guns" or "gummit" evokes such passions as "religion."
Largely because people are Stupid.
("Stupid" being a natural force and/or a willful state of mind, while "stupid" is merely a problem of genetics or maybe the result of an injury.)
Religion can be broken down into two components: Faith and Dogma. Most people don't realize this composition, and even if someone explained to them that there is a difference, they'd still muddle it all up, and think that Faith and Dogma are the same thing, which they aren't.
So, [Religion = (Faith + Dogma)] AND [Faith ≠ Dogma].
(No, I'm not trying to use proper Logic symbology, I'm just trying to make clear my argument here by using symbols to differentiate the items.)
Faith is the willingness to believe in that which cannot be proven, nor can it necessarily be sensed. Often it can be experienced, but that remains fuzzy, non-quantifiable, and non-reproducible. (If it can be reproduced, then it can be quantified, and therefore does not require faith, since it can be proven or disproven, even if it cannot also be understood.)
Dogma is the proscription and checklist for how things are to be done; the Code of Conduct, if you will. Dogma is what gets people into trouble. Dogma is what lets elitist bastards control the uneducated and ignorant (or maybe "hopeful" and "trusting") masses.
The greedElitist Opportunistic Pigs of the world have, throughout history, used Faith as the hook to pull people into Dogma. "Your faith is weak unless you do the proper actions!"
So, the important thing is that we all get better educated, and learn to ask the question "Does That Even Make Sense?" so that we can separate the value of belief and hope from the bullshit of being hauled around by the nose and having our emotions and beliefs jerked around by dickwads that want to hurt us (or worse, get us to hurt ourselves).