What I've been walking with for a few days: To be religious is (most of the time) to willingly enter bondage, to surrender freedom. It is to say "I agree to live within this Box that someone else built. It means I cannot extend my arms fully; I cannot stand fully erect; but I will live within these confines." And, often enough, it is a commitment to only associate with others who live in the box. Letting the rest of the world go by.
With Christianity, the isolation is paradoxical; it defies the Golden Rule and the example of Christ's life. Can you only love your neighbor if s/he joins you in the Box? Can you only help the poor and sick and hungry, if they surrender their will to your beliefs and live as you live? This is not what Jesus Christ taught and yet, those who say they follow his example seem not to see the discrepancy.
This is a good analogy. A box is a great place to hide when you are afraid. Those who continue to choose religion are often fearful of their own mortality (and therefore find solace in the idea of an afterlife), or the unknown, or themselves, etc. Others use this fear to build their own boxes for these people to hide in, to contain them at their will and hold them indefinitely in their bond. The Golden Rule, by definition, does not apply in this codependent relationship.