I don't feel one can rationally make general claims about "religions" or "religion". Such attempts by atheists show their emotional agenda has trumped their rational skills. And to do so with a claim of superior rationality reveals a destructive emotional habit. IMHO.
Religion is an abstract notion and too slippery given the varieties of entities out there that can be slipped into various understandings of the word. Thus, generalizations are unsuccessful. Misunderstanding the nature of language, or of this word is thus often the source of this problem.
[this is my first "blog" on this site -- giving it a try!]