The claim that religion scars children for life is symptomatic of the tendency of New Atheists to express themselves through the language of victim-hood and therapeutic culture. Time and again, they use the idiom of therapy to pathologize religion. Their use of terms such as ‘toxic faith’ and ‘religious virus’ are symptomatic of their medicalization of strong religious commitment….
The New Atheism is very selective about who it targets. So although it claims to challenge irrationalism and anti-scientific prejudice, it tends to confine its anger to the dogma of the three Abrahamic religions. So it criticizes creationism and ‘intelligent design’, yet it rarely challenges the mystifications of deep environmentalist thinking, such as Gaia theory, or the numerous varieties of Eastern mysticism that are so fashionable in Hollywood. Since the New Atheism is culturally wedded to the contemporary therapeutic imagination, it is not surprising that it has adopted a double standard towards spiritualism.