Most religionists are on the Mega Church bus. This is why today God is on everyones side and years ago God was more strict. Today God is molded to fit your every need. Years ago he wanted more to punish you. This all depends on how families raise children and what they teach them. Education and enlightenment bring more liberal religious beliefs. The gullible are still too dumb to see that it is they themselves who are God, and this is the reasons for the changes. This is also why people want to do something in the name of God, or believe that God told them to kill someone, etc. God becomes personalized to where "the true god" is only found in your ethnic group. Worldwide the Mega Bus is headed for a wreck.
God is imaginary!
I would only disagree with you -- a cavil, really -- that "they themselves...are God," since I believe in the Nietzschean view, that we all have that potential, but although we reach we almost never grasp. Religion -- belief in a god that is "out there" -- stops us from our own self-realization of the God within. I think it was in "The Gay Science" that Nietzsche expounded on that most misunderstood Nietzschean concept, the Superman, who probably has more in common with the Superior Man of Taoism than the teachings of Zoroaster, but that is besides the point. Religion imprisons man in the shackles of all the thou shalt's and shalt not's, thwarting man's potential for learning who he or she is, what his or her capabilities are, and how to go about realizing them. Down with The Priesthood!