Thomas Hardy is my favorite author. He's a little anti-church, but he doesn't say anything that didn't happen because religion took precedence over the Gospel. I'm reading his biography now and sadly, a lot of the horrible sequences in his books were too close to his real life. The church damaged Thomas Hardy and it lives on in his literature.
As a Christian, I'm shocked what people do in the "name of religion". How we've forgotten that it isn't our place to judge, it's our place to spread His Word. The other day Oprah had this book on called "The Secret". The gist of it is that we are all matters of energy (um, thank you Poppy in Calm, Cool & Adjusted!) and that we attract the type of energy we are.
Let's say your church is a ball of energy. Is it attracting with love and acceptance? Or pushing away with rules and judgment?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not the soft, cushy type. I'm much more Saint Paul than Saint Peter, but Jesus healed on the Sabbath because He cared more about humanity than the rules. I don't think anyone was ever won over to the Gospel by rules, ya think?