It's really funny how people who blame religion forget what human beings have always been capable of with or with out faith. Religion doesn't cause wars, people use religious ideas to further their political ideas. Using a powerful lever is a powerful way to energize people to do what you want. No church or human institution is free from evil. Try judging religion by the people who don't get in your face and you may find it much more appealing. After all these are the majority of people in religious institutions. It is the people who don't seek the limelight, and practice their faith as a means of personal growth who truly keep human society on its tracks. Even atheists, who work to improve themselves through prayer, have found that it helps them. And yes I do know of more than one atheist who prays daily and finds the practice helps him change himself.
You feel like people who believe in God are something you should be afraid of. In fact, you are the one who is selling fear, not the people who are honestly praying to do better each day by living according to their best understanding of God's will for them. Are there charlatans out there who use others belief in god to manipulate them? Of course there are. Do you believe that Desmond Tutu, Mahatmas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, or the Dhali Llama are all charlatans who simply used people for their own ends? Could it be that sometimes or even lots of times, people gain wisdom and strength from faith? Maybe you have it backwards. Maybe those who truly live in dangerous places, full of fear and doubt, are unable to live productive lives with out religious ideals and ideas to uplift them and support them. Perhaps religion is not the opiate of the masses, but that atheism is the luxury of the rich, safe, and unburdened.
What about all the benefits that have come from religion. You know like the idea that there is an objective truth. One god and one truth are actually the same idea. Science did not arise in separate from religion or simply against religion. It arose out of religion. If you look back to the Founding Fathers of the American Constitution, you will see that they believed in God, but not naively in religious institutions. Ultimately, your life will always be based upon faith. You may have some passing understanding of the electricity that runs your house. You do not, nor could you test all the equipment, tools or ideas you believe in by yourself. You trust that the power will work without knowing how Quantum Mechanics really works. Having faith that even if your plans fail that something good will come out of your actions, is not a naive or silly idea. It is fully profound and freeing.
Please accept this comment in the spirit in which it was made: not to correct or demand belief, but to honestly question the assurance that all that is religious is merely a lie meant to manipulate you.