A friend of mine defines religion as the place people go to be respected when they've lost the courage to be real.
It has lots and lots of rules. That's how you gain respect - by following those lots and lots of rules.
When the religious leaders of the day gave Him grief about not washing hands before dinner, He turned the tables and quoted Isaiah's prophetic beatdown: you honor God with lips but hearts remain in a whole different zip code, you teach like you know something but you're really dishonoring God completely.
The scary part about that for me is how tempting it is to run to religion because it looks so clean. Relationships (certainly the one with God) are not clean. They're messy. There is some ambiguity in places you want certainty and some certainty in places you're tempted to place ambiguity.
Religion offers a one-stop panacea to a problem it can't really cure.
So be careful. Don't trade respect among others for a real relationship with God. Only the latter satisfies.