I think my generation (at least segments of it, probably concentrated in certain areas) can be too harsh on organized religion. Gandhi has several excellent quotes on religion and what it can and does entail.
Those conservative Pastors may have been meeting in Iowa, but my Mom’s parents were from Iowa and there they were never religious… just pretty conservative.
My Dad’s parents were from England and were very religious, but also very liberal. My paternal grandmother’s family were/are practically socialists.
Catholic Liberation Theology is a good example of the positive role religion can play in the world. At least until the Pope decided it was evil. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is another inspiring religious figure, a member of the church I was baptized into (never mind how absurd it’s origins were).
As it stands, I’m comfortably agnostic. If religious, deist (with Anglican tendencies). If atheist, then even without a deity, there has to be some bigger explanation for existence (probably), Buddhism is definitely intriguing.