Religion is a cultural universal. ALL cultures have forms of religion. That is alot of differnt religions, beliefs and ways of looking at the world! From the Hopi Indians, to the Jews, to a small tribe of native people living in the deep rainforest, to western people's Chrisianity or New Age, to the East, and all stops in between. If you are going to argue against ALL RELIGION, you really to have to make sure you are arguing ALL RELIGION. Otherwise, we must call it what it is: an argument against Christianity.
Alcoholism is a cultural universal. So is poverty and injustice. These are the failures of human reason. The prevalence of ignorance is pretty much a cultural universal as well. My point? Being cultural and universal is no argument in support of any of these feckless conditions. So too with religion.
Religion can only do two things: represent an answer to a question of behavior and attitude which, when followed precisely, improves your lot in life. OR....represent a state of being which requires compliance in order to avoid some disaster. Otherwise there would be no reason for allowing it into a society in the first place.
Religions almost always have professional representatives who will instruct you in exchange for something valuable. These representatives are called by many and various titles; but, suffice it to say you must deal with at least one of them to get to the next stage of "development" or "enlightenment". This is invariably a racket. But, I know you'll be shocked and apalled I would say such a cynical thing. Shaman, witchdoctors, priests, rabbis, gurus, sensei--they all will trade their mystical treasure for your gold.
Religious experts (self-styled) whether they be a Deepak Chopra or a Dali Lama all live the good life by telling people colorful lies dressed up as transcendant truths. They smile a lot and promise all manner of goodness and benevolence and live off the coin of the realm tossed their way by grateful disciples. All they really provide are unsupported claims!
I work in a bookstore where people come in and buy these books by the fistful parting eagerly with their hard-earned money to gain heaven-knows-what. The list is endless and it takes many forms: Yoga, mythology, self-help, trance-channeling, e.s.p., remote-viewing, telekinesis, wikka, Tarot, I Ching and and a whole host of crackpot diets and procedures all designed to do one thing: REMOVE YOU FROM YOUR MONEY. The people who buy in to this nonsense fool themselves first and then turn around and exclaim inordinate wonders to their friends and neighbors. It is pathetic hogwash and self-deception.
All religion offers something bigger than life with a mystical hook hidden inside the bait.
I haven't heard you say one word of justification for defending ALL religion against my charges.
I've only heard you trying to pry at least one example away from the smell of fraud and humbuggery.
What does religion do for you that is so wonderful?