Let me describe to you a scenario:
A population overthrows the government for corruption. They replace it with a form of democracy. However, they vote in all their 'religious leaders', because they presume they will do the right things - after all, they are their good leaders. Then the same religious leaders, power-hungry as they have always been, use their religion and newly appointed government seats to enact total control over the people, use their power to wage warfare on those other countries or groups that they hate, and send millions of people and children to their deaths to push their own agendas...
Because people are in this religion, they are blind to what is going on. It seems to make sense to them why children would run across a mine-field to clear the way for tanks and in return get a multitude of virgins in heaven. After a while, these people might wake up to what is really going on, and again revolt.
This is a description of the recent history of Iran. It may be a description of many other middle-eastern countries, namely Egypt. The election of the Brotherhood will almost guarantee that same scenario..
Now let me give you another scenario. You have a democracy. Or a republic - who cares about the specifics. They feed rich people's desires in return for money - lots of money. The entire system is corrupt - from the judicial system, to the lawmakers, to the law enforcement and protectors of the people. However, nobody is aware of it, because they all are distracted by their religion and what these groups have to say seem to coincide with religious preaching. Additionally, these people are all content with their lives, even being out on the streets, with the thought that they will somehow be 'rewarded' in the next life in heaven for their plight.. So eventually it all turns to crap, the economy cyclically and structurally collapses repetitively for about 50-100 years before it is finally reversed, if at that point this country hasn't lost everything it has to another nation through war, at a time when they have weakened themselves beyond immediate repair...
This is a description of the united states. Sound shocking? It's what I'm seeing now that I'm not distracted. All of our financial trends are on a path to unsustainability, we are spending more money than we have, another country owns most of our debt which we may very well not be able to pay, and these trends could take a very extended period of time before anything serious is done about it. This is because nobody is acting to stop these trends. All that is needed is to look at current financial problems that face the country, see that nothing serious is being done about it, and give things a little thought to realize what is likely to happen here..
Sad story. I must admit. Religion is largely to blame for blinding both parties. Therefore, we should be waging a war on religion..