I am, let's be clear, in favor of both. As long as it's the right kind of religion with the right kind of power. Pope Evita's fraudulent mirage of "a poor, dirty, servant Church" is dishonest crap. And every call he makes for this kind of humility is a way for him to inflate his own ego. Typical.
One of the contemptible contradictions within liberals --women especially-- that I noticed many years ago, even before my conversion, was their simultaneous depreciation of power as an evel and their ravenous hunger for it. When White Males had it, it was oppression or "power over", as they liked to say. Especially if it made them feel "less than." But if Official Sacred Victim Groups gained it, it was "empowering." The whole thing was BS. Still is.
Anyway, most people and most peoples, I suspect, embraced their religions precisely as sources of power in the world. Maybe not the original believers, but once a movement got going and you could smell its future, yes.
Why did all those barbarian kings in Europe convert to Christianity? Surely not out of entrancement with the Sermon on the Mount? For the same reason that Constantine had the ChiRho painted on his soldiers' shields: power. They could see that this was the religion of the strong.
When Europe was Christian, even though the very same requirements of love and mercy and forgiveness and blah blah blah were in place, it would never have entered their minds to let Muslims flood into their lands. They didn't even like it when Jews showed up.
Why? Because more important than the actual moral content of The Faith was the moral status they had as the possessors of The Faith. That was the nexus between religion and power. They were God's special people. In real terms, belonging to the One True Church was more important than living out the mendicant lifestyle of the Gospels. And it was right and natural and even theologically correct.
Once Europeans jettisoned the Old Faith for the New One --Enlightened Liberalism-- all that remained was the (impossible) moral content without the protection afforded by the Church and its (quite rational) self-aggrandizing dogmas of exclusive access to truth and God.
And now we are being swamped by the Jihad and the Reconquista and the consummate moron on the throne of St Peter abandons his own people, the tottering children of a spectral Christendom, because for him, as for all liberals, his public moral performance and pathological altruism means more to them than the survival of his own kin.
To hell with them all.