You raise some very good points. However, it is those without religion who are using the crutch; although many of them don’t realize it.
First of all, those without religion who use the arguments you present, fail to realize the positive effect religion has had on societies for several millenia. This is truly ironic, because they are so quick to blame just about every bad thing in societies past on the influence of religion. Sure, they are opposed to stealing and killing and in favor of helping others but they fail to give any credit for that to the fact that our socieites were founded by people whose religions promoted and practiced those beliefs. They believe these things because this is what they have learned is right and good from the societies in which they have been raised. If you examine what we have learned about societies, both past and present, is that without some sure moral guide, these values are quickly abandoned. In fact you can see some of these values being abandoned in our own societies today. Not all of them, but as the influence of Christianity in the West has declined, so has adherence to the morals it promotes. Our society is getting more and more violent as we push aside and abandon the influence of religion within it. History has shown that, without a beleif in God, people revert back to being little more than animals.
Secondly, I ask you, which is the greater crutch; the believing that there is a God who has set standards by which you should live or the belief that there is no God so that you can live in any way you want? A crutch is something that makes walking more comfortable. Is it more comfortable to give in to my desires whenever I feel them or to refrain from doing so when, based on my religion, I think it would be wrong. You see, if there really wasn’t a God, no one would ever make up one like that of Judaism and Christianity.
Look at all of the pagan gods. They were all limited. They could be deceived and they could even be defeated. Conspiracy theorists love to say that the Jewish/Christian God was invented in order to subjugate the masses. However, our religions both teach that, while the same teachings apply to the religious leaders and the faithful, the leaders will be held to a higher standard when they are ultimately judged by God because they were charged with leading us in the ways of holiness. You can point, for example to past popes who were notorious but are these popes praised and honored by the Church? No. Only those who are examples of truly living the faith are given such praise.
No, if I were going to invent a religion, the first thing I would do is make sure that I, as the leader, could do basically anything I wanted. I would expand this to those chosen to help me lead (otherwise, why would they agree to join up with me?). No one would ever invent Judaism or Christianity as a means of subjugating the masses to their own advantage. This is especially true of Christianity because during its first 400 years to be a leader meant that you were the most likely to meet with a horrific death.
So be a true philosopher, one who loves wisdom, and understand that while it is true that anyone “could” be moral, they simply won’t be without a reason. A century of behaviorial studies has consistently shown this to be the case. Without religion, the only reason that keeps people from doing bad things is the consequences they will suffer from society. With religion, the reason is that it is what God wants.