Valeri Tarico looks at religion and religious faith as addictions.
Looking back on his years as a Christian, non-theist Tony Debono says “While I have no desire to return to religion, I definitely miss the highs of religious worship, as well as the friendship and support of the community. Is that more like missing a substance of addiction, or like missing the delirium and strange dreams of a high fever? I’m not sure.”
Living near a Baptist seminary you meet a lot of seminarians, and many of them are definitely out of touch with reality and too willing to tamper with the lives of others. Living here in the Bible Belt, I’ve often thought over the years that Christianity is a sickness, and ‘Southern Baptist’ an especially virulent and destructive form of the sickness.
Thinking that way is merely a convenient shorthand, though; I don’t think it’s quite right to leave it at that. Probe a bit and get to know something about someone, and it nearly always turns out that toxic religiosity is actually an expression of some other unresolved problem. The kind of fundamentalism you see around here spreads by psychological predation, I think.
Definitely, go read Tarico’s piece.