In the final analysis, religion is nothing more than institutionalized ignorance.
The Founding Fathers sought to establish a secular government beyond the inference of religion. The separation of church and state was their goal, a goal we have yet to achieve.
Demagogues have employed religion over the centuries to control the populace or to justify the exercise of power by kings, despots, and dictators.
One of my favorite quotes:
“All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.”
― Titus Lucretius Carus, On the Nature of Things: de Rerum Natura