We often hear of alcholism and other addiction disorders as being ‘diseases’. Now, personally, I’ve always had a problem with calling such things diseases. A disease is generally something that you can catch – like Hep-B or often just something that happens in our bodies such as cancer. It’s generally not something that is self-inflicted.
The same is true of Depression. It’s labeled a disease, but it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is not contracted from someone or thing. Again, words are used to that really don’t apply.
But, what does that have to do with religious fanaticism? Pretty easy, really. Religious fanticism has all the markings of being a addiction disorder on the level of alcoholism, compulsive gambling and being hooked on painkillers.
While it may be true that some people are boing with a predisposition to addictive behaviour, addiction doesn’t just happen. The beer doesn’t jump out of the cooler, chase you down and force you to drink it, ya know? It takes willful behaviour on the part of the addicted.
Just like the alcoholic can’t get through the day without a fix of Budlight or Jack Daniels, the religious addict can’t get through the day without their god fix.
And like the alcoholic, the religious addict will continue to engage in their addiction until they alienate everyone with their addiction.
And the sad thing – there’s no help for dealing with the religious addicts. Heck – implying that the ‘devout’ might be suffering from an addiction is hostile in and of itself. How dare I say someone’s “crazy” for believing in God?!?! – ya know?
This is what happened with our mother. She became addicted to God and we all suffered for it. If it had been little grey men or men in black suites who were laying down the new laws and demanding so much of her and us through her – we would’ve recieved help in dealing with it.
Here it is some twenty years after her death and still no one will admit that she was an addict. She still remains ‘devout’ despite the destruction she caused with her all consuming faith.
So, yes – religious fanaticism is a ‘disease’ in my book. It consumes the addict and anyone caught standing too close to them.
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