Positively, the church has been a social structure, a facilitator of community, can be charitable. It has also helped people get in touch with spirituality, albeit in an authoritarian structure.
The church, as an organized power structure and bureaucracy has had a lot of power. Science/Knowledge was repressed if it differed from Church Dogma (note this is the case with State and Corporate dogma/propaganda as well). The role of the woman in the church has traditionally been repressive, and still is to varying degrees.
Censorship has been a trademark of the church, and there is still a good deal of power in this area. Not only censorship of opposing religious beliefs, but more importantly attempting to keep everyone adhering to their medieval moral standards.Today the Christian Right is a powerful political force. Their agenda seems obvious, however they always state their short-term goals, which at times appear reasonable, and leave out their 'dream' of what America should become - a Christian State.
Not only has the church censored, but it has also vigorously persecuted any who clash with their primitive moralities. Homosexuality, consentual bigamy, premarital sex, sex education, and contraception are all consensual activities which they condemn and do anything in their power to prevent. Their power is growing. Personally, I think that entering into the political fray is a sign of the last dying gasps of Christianity as we know it. Unfortunately, this last gasp could last our lifetimes. Holy Wars, Crusades, Jihads
No dirty pictures, no lingerie, no "impure thoughts"
No evolution, earth is the center, no science.
The holocaust against "witches" is all but buried in our history books, a footnote...