In most ancient civilizations gods ‘existed’ and were praised. People followed their rules and biddings. There were even sacrifices made or long pilgrimages dedicated to them. In ancient Greece & Rome they could even own land, farms, buildings or even cities. Today this almost seems preposterous, how could a fictional character have such heavy real world implementations.
The idea is a lot easier to look at when you compare gods with modern companies/brands. Now days if you ask someone to point at Microsoft or Nike you could only point at its products or building. Neither of those brands have a physical presence and only began in the mind of an individual. Though it takes many people and even other companies to belief in its leggedness for it to actually be brought into existence. Even the government could be seen as a type of god now, as it’s extremely hard to point at yet has such control over peoples lives and beliefs.
This is mainly considering western history gods. Eastern traditional gods are more focused at passing on lessons and ideas through stories, as opposed to enforcing control or beliefs. Even the Christian & Jewish god now can be seen as a controlling people’s actions and owning commodities. It’s easy to see when you focus on how much money comes out of some religions. Then some just encourage happiness and self-improvement.
This is to say it’s not bad be apart of these religious gatherings or contribute to them. You should just do it because you want to and it makes you feel good and gives you a purpose. Just as some people would go to a Rugby game or follow poker the choice is yours in what makes you feel better about your life.
Religious practice has saved many lives over time giving some people something to believe, hope for and work towards. A practice like that can never be bad unless its forced upon a being. Groups and clubs can help promote similar practices such as the book clubs or even AA.
The power of a company or brand should never be under valued no matter how big or small it is as it could grow to be a powerful commodity. They all should be given their respect they deserve.