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When Religion Is an Addiction Paperback – August 1, 2007


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When Religion Is an Addiction + When God Becomes a Drug: Book 1; Understanding Religious addiction & religious abuse + The Happy Heretic: Seven Spiritual Insights for Healing Religious Codependency
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 157 pages
  • Publisher: HumanityWorks! (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970958129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970958129
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,554,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This is strong and alarming stuff indeed, but Minor makes his case so cogently that it is hard to argue otherwise. Fortunately, he leaves us with some hope.... His thinking is brilliant, and his clear, fluid prose a pleasure to digest. --Fred Schloemer, Ed.D, The Word, June 2008

This is strong and alarming stuff indeed, but Minor makes his case so cogently that it is hard to argue otherwise. Fortunately, he leaves us with some hope.... His thinking is brilliant, and his clear, fluid prose a pleasure to digest. --Fred Schloemer, Ed.D, The Word, June 2008

This is strong and alarming stuff indeed, but Minor makes his case so cogently that it is hard to argue otherwise. Fortunately, he leaves us with some hope.... His thinking is brilliant, and his clear, fluid prose a pleasure to digest. --Fred Schloemer, Ed.D, The Word, June 2008

From the Back Cover

From When RELIGION is an ADDICTION -- The religious right-wing is on a bender, and their current drink is political. *** John Bradshaw describes the "high" someone gets from feeling righteous as similar to the high of cocaine. *** There's a recognizable difference between addictive and non-addictive religion. *** Crucial is the conservative Christian teaching that people are basically so evil and lost that they deserve eternal, unimaginably abusive punishment from someone they are told is really a loving heavenly Father. *** Religious addicts blame God for their beliefs and activities. That eliminates personal responsibility for the addiction and its results. *** Addictive religion is often used to cover sexual addiction. *** The old "nice" liberal response that's been tried again and again hasn't worked. *** Remove the addict and the addiction from the driver's seat in our society and lives, through non-codependent, non-co-addictive strategies.

More About the Author

A national resource for information on gender issues and gay/straight relationships for organizations, businesses, educational institutions, and media outlets such as NBC and USA Today, Robert N. Minor, Ph.D. has been speaking, consulting, and leading workshops for fifteen years.

He is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas where he taught for thirty-three years and was the chair of the Religious Studies Department for six. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he received the Ph.D. in Religion from the University of Iowa in 1975 and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Trinity Divinity School in Chicago.

He is the author of eight books. His first five were scholarly writings on his first specialty, religious thought and practice in South Asia and their relationships to culture. His current research is on gender studies and the relationships of religion, gender, and sexuality. At the University of Kansas one of his popular courses is "Religious Perspectives on Selfhood and Sexuality." 

His newest book, When Religion is an Addiction was published by HumanityWorks! in St. Louis. Previously he wrote Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society: The Minor Details published by HumanityWorks! in November, 2003, which was a Finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award in 2004, and was named in national reviews as one of the best gay books of 2003. His Scared Straight: Why It's So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It's So Hard to Be Human, also published by HumanityWorks! in 2002 was named a Finalist for both a Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award. In little more than a month from their publication, Menstuff.org, the premier men's issues website, named each of them "Book of the Week."

Dr. Minor also writes articles including two popular columns -- one a monthly column of analysis and opinion entitled "Minor Details" on issues affecting the progressive and gay communities which is printed nationally in on-line and print publications around the country; the second, "Romance and Dating," a bimonthly column for Baby Boomers on dating, romance, and relationships for the popular website, 50PlusPrime.com.

He is the parent of a thirty-two year old son. In 1994 he was a member of the Values Panel for the Kansas City Star (the daily newspaper for Kansas City) for its award-winning "Raising Kansas City Project."

He was a member of the Communities Against Hate Crimes Task Force of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas and the Diversity Advisory Committee of KCPT, the public television station for Kansas City, MO. He serves on other boards and task forces, such as the Advisory Board of the nationally acclaimed Center for Religious Experience and Study of Kansas City, the LGBT Task Force of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, and the Organizing Committee of Kansas City Jobs with Justice as its Co-Chair.

He is past president of the Board of Directors of the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Greater Kansas City, and currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Men's Studies Association and President of the Board of Directors of Ecumenical Christian Ministries of the University of Kansas.

"Bob" leads workshops on gender roles, homophobia, and racism for universities, colleges, churches, businesses, government organizations, and community and religious groups throughout the US as well as workshops for non-heterosexuals on personal growth beyond "coming out" and how to be a healthy activist. He is a regular conference presenter for the NGLTF's "Creating Change " Conference, and for PFLAG, locally, regionally, and nationally. He worked closely with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in its Kansas City "Communities of Faith" projects. In 1999 GLAAD awarded him its Leadership Award for Education.

Customer Reviews

This book is an eye opener.
Rita Cotterly
So if you disagree with the premise (that religion can be an addiction), this book might change your mind.
Mad Max
I just finished this book and I have to say that it puts my own thoughts and suspicions into words.
S. Mezger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Craddock on April 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
Religious beliefs can serve as an important function in our lives and many people have an intense faith that inspires them to serve their individual beliefs with an expression of fervor. But, ever since I've personally experienced some very shocking and depraved religious "mob " type behavior, in my own family and community, that I've also observed taking place so prominently across the country, I've been searching for answers to understand this troubling conduct and how to deal with it.

Not only does Dr Minor give tips on how to manage around this disorder, but he very clearly explains how so many churches have actually inspired this atmosphere by turning from the traditional gathering places, that used to inspire the parishioners into moral behavior that would honor God, into places that now inspire the parishioners to honor and satisfy their own self absorbed ambitions and to serve themselves with prestige, position, power and money. Dr Minor describes these churches as "Opium Dens" that are using flashy technology to spew out audio and visual messages to heighten an "addictive high" experience because a "high"of righteousness can deliver a feeling of superiority and safety.

Performing and communicating religiously can be a very admirable thing because religion is mostly viewed as representing goodness, love, kindness, joy, peace, and love - with a promise of an elevated afterlife. That's why it is so easy, for emotionally wounded people, to hijack and then use religion as a convenient and attractive charade. It's a proven fact that nothing can anesthetize and cover up toxic shame and fear better than religion. Not only have we seen countless examples of religious and political leaders....
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mad Max TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
First, I'd like to note that I've talked to many, many people who judge this topic before reading about it.

Not in a bad way necessarily - folks might giggle at the thought of their sister/brother/cousin, etc., who is a religious fanatic. Or, folks might scoff at the concept of religion as addiction, thinking that the author is being hyperbolic, or exaggerating a metaphor.

But this is not at all the case. In this book, the author quotes a variety of experts & demonstrates that brain physiology, social function, etc., of some religious activities can parallel other addictions such as drugs and alcohol. This is the "high" of self-righteousness.

If you're unfamiliar with this concept (called "process" addictions), you might want to take a look at some of his sources. The most accessable readings include: When Society Becomes an Addict, The Addictive Organization: Why We Overwork, Cover Up, Pick Up the Pieces, Please the Boss, and Perpetuate S, Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the ``Love'' Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships, & Incest and Sexual Addiction.

But the main point of this book is not really to explain the addiction - it's to point out how many of us *enable* the addiction. We might excuse it, deny it, scoff at it, overlook it, defend it... and maybe the most popular response, we try to be nice & get along with them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charlton B. Hall on May 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my Family Therapy practice here in the Bible Belt, every day I see people who are addicted to religion, This book is a great resource for helping them to overcome this addiction.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rita Cotterly on September 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
So often, I just don't understand my colleagues and friends. This book is an eye opener. Hopefully, I will be able to communicate better because of it.
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