Actually, the newbie has a valid point.
Religion has always, always, always turned into a source of power for the people in charge. If it didn't, there would never have been any conflict between the Catholic and Protestant churches when Luther came up with his new concept of Christianity while in the throes of agony brought on by chronic constipation.
Europe in the Middle Ages might as well have been a theocracy. Egyptian pharoahs were considered to be actual
gods and had the ultimate level of power over absolutely everything. It's also been shown that the Sumerian priests had very strict control over their entire civilization.
EDIT: This actually reminds me of a quote some of my friends told me about. I think it's by William Blake:
"Your vision of Christ doth be my vision's greatest enemy."