Saw this quote on a listserv… it neatly sums up my feelings about the perception some people have of religion these days. Religion is not the same thing as imitation or superstition.
Imitation destroys the foundation of religion, extinguishes the spirituality of the human world, transforms heavenly illumination into darkness and deprives man of the knowledge of God. It is the cause of the victory of materialism and infidelity over religion; it is the denial of Divinity and the law of revelation; it refuses Prophethood and rejects the Kingdom of God. When materialists subject imitations to the intellectual analysis of reason, they find them to be mere superstitions; therefore, they deny religion.
‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 161