Religion is, and should always be, a personal issue. What draws us forward through our lives is between us and how we see the world around us. Extremist, from any religion or organization, seek to cap our diversity and replace it with their own limited perspectives. But people must span the full spectrum of possible beliefs, it is central to our nature, to our intelligence. Uniformity allows control, and control allows domination.
Intrinsically we all seek answers. We must. We need answers to explain our lives, and those of the people around us. We need answers to explain the world and why it never matches our expectations. Different people need different answers; no answer, no matter how detailed or how heavily backed by experimental evidence could ever possibly explain everything to everybody.
Without answers we search, and when we search we fail to thrive. Answers quell our inner longings and allow us to concentrate on the world around us. Answers are necessary. They bring inner peace.
There is nothing wrong with people providing answers, so long as they do not abuse their position of power and trust. The answers do not have to be the absolute truth, since we know no absolutes or certainties about anything in this world. We model, we guess, but our knowledge is only ever as strong as the brief instance in which we exist. Truth means nothing; if the answers satisfy then that is all that matters.
So it should never come down to “our beliefs are more likely to be correct than yours”, since it does not matter in one’s life, or in the world around us.
All we need to agree on, is that whatever answers we choose to listen to, to follow, are ours alone. That we don’t need and don’t want to force these upon everyone else. They must find their own way, their own worldview, their own answers. Religion then, is whatever meaning we lack -- that space inside of us -- for which we must find something to fill it. Organized or not, old or new, it is a personal issue. A private struggle. A choice we all have to make. But is should never be confused with the abuse of power or extremism, since they are things that people seek to do to us from the outside, not what we need from the inside. Religion is a personal issue, and should be seen as such.