Defender of the faith is a must for me. Religions all get nabbed? RESTART!~ Crusade would be impressive too but requires early investment. Most of my conquest is done before my religion even gets spread, as all early faith goes to the first 2 apostles for the beliefs. Ignoring religion just loses you too many choices... tithe and church property are good for supplemental income. The extra culture or science from spreading gives you a reason to spread if you are into that. Work ethic is just meh TBH... I havent nabbed that since my first game that I got a religion... for far too long the pop counts stays too low... so a 8-10% bonus just dont do it for me. By end game sure it could be impressive. But without taking it, my last 2 games my capital was at 350+ production per turn even without it (globalism best tech in game yo!). Sure another 25% would be nice, but it wouldnt make much a difference when you crank out every space race mission in 1 turn each anyways because of the engineer (always build the Mausoleum at Halicarnasis!!!! I rage quit if I lose that). There are other ways to do everything that religion can do for you... sure, there is that opportunity cost. Ignore temples and build commercial hubs for the $$, build more ranged troops and the +10 combat dont matter, etc... But I'm always a fan of "more with less", and in that religion helps. Why build 5 crossbows when 2 will suffice with Defender of the faith? Why spam so many commercial hubs when I can just crank out a couple missionaries for zero build time?... etc. Also... theological combat is worth a good giggle when you hit that "no more wars allowed" stage of the game... Gives you something to do if you are trying to avoid that warmonger penalty. Best part is, you can ally whomever it is you want to beat up and see all his units, then hunt them down (and die horribly) for those tasty tasty relics.