On Religious Addiction…

So last week my counselor told me about something called religious addiction, which honestly I had never even heard of before.  She wasn’t saying that I am a religious addict, it just came up in conversation and she handed me a packet of info about it since I was curious, apparently she’s done a lot of research on it.  I think it’s quite interesting, so I’ll share some of the info with you.  This may be a 2-parter, because I want to write separately about one part of it that I do believe applies to some of my faith struggles.

By definition: “Religious addiction is the unhealthy use of a religious system, often by a dysfunctional family, to avoid emotional pain or to avoid intimacy with others.  It often takes the form of strict obedience to rigid rules.”

Some symptoms of religious addiction:

-inability to think, doubt, or question information or authority

-black and white, simplistic thinking

-shame-based beliefs

-obsessive adherance to rules, codes of ethics, or guidelines

-uncompromising, judgmental attitudes

-compulsive praying, going to church or crusades

-believing that sex is dirty

-excessive fasting

-conflict with science, medicine, and education

-detachment from the real world, isolation

-manipulating scripture or texts, feeling chosen, claming to receive special messages from God

-trancelike state or religious high

On this site you can see another checklist for signs you might be an RA, I think it is taken from the book Toxic Faith.

And I didn’t know this but there’s a group out there called Fundamentalists Anonymous (not sure what their official website is) for people that want to break free from religious addiction. Crazy, huh?  I guess I initially assumed that religious addictions go hand to hand with cults, but I don’t think that’s always the case.  I think anyone in any denomination or faith could become a religious addict, and that it’s not necessarily a biproduct of the church they attend.

So hopefully that was interesting to you too, I’ll follow up soon with a post about the “21 Toxic Beliefs of a Toxic Faith” many of which I have carried as my own for far too long!  Also I think some of them are debateable and really made me sit back and think, you’ll have to chime in and tell me what you think after I post it!

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