you're talking 50 years ago though. It doesn't go in one direction. It's going to fade and come back. Homosexuality was fine and dandy in Greek/Roman times... Religion was foolish in the Golden Age.... it waxes and wanes. You can raise your kids to have a good idea of reality, but good luck with other people's parents.
They may not have had the kind of organized religion we have, but the greeks and romans were very religious. I don't know if the Greeks believed in their gods as fanatically as the Romans did, but all those gods they wrote about weren't for show. They believed in spirits and gods and forest-fairies and all sorts of crazy stuff.
Ok, it might be true that their religion was more of a genuine attempt to explain the universe, and their societies would not have suppressed scientific discoveries the way, say, the church would. But still... the kind of blatant atheism/agnosticism (I'm an agnostic, not an atheist) that can be expressed today on national TV, books, magazines, radio etc. throughout so many places in the world, is a historical rarity.
No social process grows in a linear fashion; there are always ups and downs.
I'm sure abusive people will still be abusive about their warped realities without needing a header like religion.
I agree, religion is most definitely not the root of all evil, as some extremists might say.
At the same time, I forget how the exact saying goes, it's somewhere along the lines of: good people will do good things, bad people will do bad things, but it takes religion to make good people do bad things (I know this is probably horribly paraphrased).
An extreme example is suicide bombers: these people believe they are doing a good thing. Their mothers feel pride and joy when they send their sons to blow themselves up and kill dozens of people, because they truly, whole-heartedly believe that it is the right thing to do. They are not bad people; they are sacrificing their lives (and their children) for what religion has brainwashed them to believe is a good cause.
Obviously an extreme example, but that's what a society where non-religious thinking is prohibited can breed.
I think that the main thing to remember here is that organized religion is not about faith; it's about power.