And I don't mean religion is control. It's not, and, really, never has been.
It's a stabilizing force: allowing desperate people to be united by generally agreed upon moral and ethical standards enforced by an ultimate, yet distance and indistinct authority.
There's no real coercion, because the god you worship only acts on earth through human intercessors, so there's nothing to rebel against. You accept it because it just is.
It's perhaps the greatest creation humanity has ever seen. Without it, we wouldn't have modern civilization; would never have advanced beyond local strongmen and their hired goons organizing collective use of fields and equitable distribution of communal grain during the winter.
[Edited by Dhampy, 6/3/2011 8:39:15 AM]