I don't see how it's a bad thing that religion has helped people out of their dark places in their head, even if you don't believe it's real.
Well, this really was just about the Christian attitude and testimonies.
You are all free to believe that spiritual forces influence your life and you might be right, just accept that if that is the case then they are pretty much completely indistinguishable from your subconscious mind. Conveniently.
I just think that you would expect testimonies to be the one place where Christians actually describe what it is like to feel God, but they never fucking do.
It's almost as if God doesn't want us to believe in him. And I can understand that.
I am an atheist because I see the evidence around me, and I see that there is NO WAY it was created by a higher power that loved me. Perhaps I could believe in God, as long as it was one whose sole purpose was to torture us and vicariously laugh at our failures, but then our sole purpose would be to kill him.
Back on topic. I just want to touch on people who claim to have been 'swept away' by the Holy Spirit. This might offend some people who have been, so watch out.
Convincing someone of your authority as a God by giving them a massive sense of peace and tranquility is a deception, a violation of that person's freedom to choose. That God is no different than the predator who gives a small boy a lolly pop before taking him home for unlubricated sodomy. Which, judging by what usually happens to the mind of the born again believer, is actually quite accurate in metaphor.
If God wants us to know he exists he can come down and fucking tell us face to face.
When Christians describe 'The Holy Spirit' it is so much more probable and obvious that it could actually just be a powerful entity trying to brainwash you. Good or bad, it has no excuse.
I have a friend who says exactly the same thing. She was extremely depressed and suicidal, and then she claimed she had an epiphany and 'knew everything' for a few seconds. Now she is a Swedenborgian Christian.Isn't it funny how they always get you when you are most vulnerable?