Al Pacino's speech at the end of The Devil's Advocate well covers a lot of the territory that moJoe describes.

For those who haven't seen it, the gist is simple. God sits on his throne on high never touching world, while Satan works everyday to tempt mankind and to teach him to be free.

After all what is God (as put forth through religion) but a set of rules? What's temptation but thinking of breaking those rules?

BTW "It seems rather strange that people do all of this praying and groveling to the judge when they could just pay off the executioner." is great -- the absolute best. Wisdom baby, yeah.