I have a moderate degree of tolerance for people who have faith in things which I find incredible. But I draw the line when their faith in the unseen transforms their lives into following these notions as “dug-in” truth.
It is natural to evolve into religious ideologies when you attend church weekly and accept duties with them, which might draw you away from the family, or otherwise normal activities in life. Any inaction at this point challenges the fabric of your faith, so some decide to continue blooming with them.
This is the birthplace of indoctrination and the acceptance of being led (even if subtly) into loosening your standards of truth, while slipping into groupthink.
Any organization, religious or otherwise, have zealots for the cause. Most of them are seen as outliers, but some are praised or even promoted, which makes side-to-side movement limited, in a quest for the acceleration of up-and-down.
The subtle nature in these settings of morphing into what is sometimes expected (though not always spoken), can bring joy, community, purpose, and happiness, even though it was developed by intentional repetition and a willingness to surrender personal freedom in exchange for the group. Science usually offers anything but quick gratification, and even “hope” can be seen as a bleak prospect when compared to the comfort of faith.
This type of locomotion is widespread in all societies. People gradually walk into darkness by being led into a path by ‘enlightened’ peers. From a religious perspective, their choice usually coincides with geography. Buddhists are more numerous in China, and you find more Mormons in Utah. Islam to Egypt, etc…
Healthy, balanced lives require influence and internal arguments about every aspect of growth. Once we are willing to adapt our daily routines into faith-based concepts, we begin a slow trek away from the type of objectivity that drives advances in science and knowledge.
Overall, I would advise against embracing faith. But I also realize there are a majority of people who want to commune with something deeper than reality, and to share those feelings with like-minded friends. Where we part company is when a Raider fan cannot accept the beauty of an incredible play by the Chiefs, because they attended a tail-gate party with their faces painted silver and black, and an image of a pirate stuck to the rear window of their truck. Perhaps they have not gone too far, but it seems they are on the edge of fanaticism.
Zealotry can be fun, but most of the time it is either fiction, or a way to help fill-up our otherwise, boring lives. Do not make the mistake of treating it as if it has life-transformational value by taking it too seriously. If that value really exists, then it should influence your soul in a way that will not require you to adapt every other aspect of life to it.
We need far more feet on the ground than heads in the clouds. It is OK to dream, but it is better to live life unencumbered by speculation, superstition, guilt, or suffering.
One might then ask, “If you can’t rely on God or religion as the ultimate basis for truth, then what good is it?” This is a very good question.