- Nov 2016
Not necessarily. Think about a theocracy, such as Iran. This is how the people (or at least the majority of them) want their government to function. There are those who want to see more religion and religious practices in government as opposed to our separation of church and state. Not nearly to the lengths of the Renaissance or The Dark Ages, but more so than exists now.
Wherever there is a ruling class that profits from the ´religious´ system of their communitiy it can be said that the purpose of this system is not the welfare of the whole community but mainly of the ruling class,
since the Iranian society is factually divided in a small ruling class (clerical and economical elite) and a large ruled class (normal population). The thing is that the majority has been religiously indoctrinated right from the cradle so that they take it for granted that there are clerical people that teach them the ins and outs and have the right to higher social positions and to greater personal welfare. In Iran, the leading clerics are either plutocrats or intimately fraternized with secular plutocrats.
In sum, the religion of this system can be seen as instrumental for stabilizing and legitimizing the social and economical hierarchies. This doesn´t not necessarily mean that there is a ´fraud´ going on, since the clerics have been indoctrinated themselves right from the cradle, however, from an objective point of view, religion is the lubricator that makes this system work.