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« What Does a Clerical Collar Say? | Main | Christianity Heads South »

December 08, 2003


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I have a daughter, 28 years old that gave up everything in her life for religion. She says that God is coming soon and she is dying so everything else in life is meaningless. She is planning on moving out cause we are Catholics and not born again Christians. She also states that she is being attacked by demons on a daily basis. Can anyone give me any suggestions on how to help her. She is also planning on evangelizing to help save more people before she dies.

Religious addiction is surprisingly common (in greater or lesser degrees). I've recently come to realize just how much I used religion growing up to avoid facing and dealing with deeper, difficult issues. It took an emotional crisis along with help from friends and counselors to get me to a point where I'm healthier and where I can honestly look back at where I was and at the negative role religion had played in my life. By the best I can figure, my dad fits the image of the religious addict to the T as well (his negative/angry presence in our home growing up is a large reason I believe I carried/took on a negative/damaging religious system). So, this problem carries across generations. I think there will come a day when massive amounts of emotional, physical, sexual and intellectual abuse is revealed from conservative, fundamentalist Christian families (not all of them of course, but I know several people from similar homeschooled, sheltered, conservative Christian families growing up who are now having terrible troubles and to whom really dark stuff happened which was always covered up, often under the guise of religiosity). I have however also seen the positive role of religion in many people's lives, so I'm reluctant to completely write off Christianity or religious faith. Nonetheless, I am now very cautious and wary of any form of religion, particularly more conservative, doctrine/authority-based versions. It is so often damaging, negative, growth-stunting and detrimental in countless ways to human well-being. I've needed to take a break from religion as much as I can as well for the time being. Also, I posted my lengthier, detailed, self-reflective 'spiritual autobiography' on my blog as well if you want to hear more of my story. It's available at '' I hope this helps!

Why does everyone assume that religious addiction is only present in right-wing evangelicals? Most of the religious addicts I have met personally are in liberal circles. They are also addicted to activism. They are just as intolerant and angry toward those who question their liberal views, which are just as absolute and black and white. They are just as angry and determined to convert everyone or else drive them into silence through bullying tactics. It ain't just the fundies! It's the Quakers....the Buddhists....the Wiccans...

I was married to an addict with narcissitic tendancies who was also emotionally and verbally abusive. I can only describe it as a living hell. Of his four children, only one speaks to him, and two of them are drug addicts. Of five siblings, only one speaks with him. All three wives left him. He has been asked to leave two churches and put on probation at another. He constantly "starts" debates, but HAS to be right on all accounts. I am now beginning my own recovery - I feel as though I must "detox." I still hear his voice as I read the scriptures. Lord knows he quoted them to me enough! Is there any good literature out there for the "undoing" of what I heard and was exposed to for over seven years?

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