It's a lot like prison.
Interesting analogy. I do agree that it's often misused for other terms, like politeness and decency. So, should a parent automatically be respected since they gave birth to you? or do they still have to earn it like anyone else in life through their parenting? I think George Carlin sums it up best..
As for religion, you often hear we should respect other peoples religion? which makes no sense to me? why would you respect something you don't agree with? Now, that doesn't mean you can't be polite and decent to that person in conversing, but, do you have to show respect for their faith? why is respect constantly referred to other peoples faith/religion? Again, shouldn't that be earned, if you want respect?