Churches were our first franchises.
Like its fast-food cousins, they provide filler material (food or spiritual) while giving their owners a license to collect money.
The splintering of Christianity into different sects had to also be money-motivated. Why should a church have to send money — all the way to the Vatican — when they could splinter off, edit the rules, rename, rebrand, and keep the earnings?
A franchise doesn’t have to be food or business-related but can be an idea, process, or belief as well.
These short posts are random ideas or observations of mine that have not been thoroughly investigated. Any additional information or content is welcome in the comments.