In the US, you mainly have evil people who are convinced they're good people doing horrifying things, startlingly, in the name of religion and even in the name of doing good, in general. Occasionally, you have good people doing evil things in the name of religion.
In Latin America, the roles are reversed. You mostly have good people doing good things in the name of religion with some bad people doing very evil things in the name of religion.
This is why I'm much more supportive of Christianity in Latin America, in general. However, there is a religious cult in Latin America, spurred on by their nations' existing oligarchies who use religion as a form of social control, of maintaining a collective conformity among poor people so as to keep them passive in the face of massive social and economic injustice. Religion, in the right hands, can be a powerful tool to help the masses while, on the other hand, it can be used to perpetuate massive injustice and prevent progress forward to a better, more just world.
There's a few people who begin to approach getting it right in America, but these are few and far between. Religion in the United States, almost without failure, is a lost cause. The people are sick and horribly disturbed though you could not convince them that anything is wrong with them despite the terrible things they do as a matter of course.
Almost all Americans, with the exception of your top-tier dissidents, are just bat-shit crazy and insanely evil. In fact, the situation is so bad that, instead of taking these words to heart and accepting them as an incentive to do good, they'll take them as an incentive to do just the opposite (evil) and, amazingly, believe, wholeheartedly, they're completely justified in doing so. Nuts.
I would disagree with the last sentence of the following quote in that I believe there are countless things we could be doing, countless way to center our lives in truth, goodness and beauty without resorting to a belief in irrational thought.
Life is not pointless to me at all when there is so much suffering in the world. You don't have to believe in God to find plenty of noble reasons to want to live and to do good in this world. The idea is to turn that word "tragedy" in the following quote into a triumphant victory for humankind and all life on earth.
"The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless."
--Steven Weinberg (American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics)
I Strongly Endorse This Powerful Video by Richard Dawkins
The God Delusion