It is understandable that some would seek hope in religion. After all, this has been religion's game for a long time. As an institution, the church is quite skilled at providing false hope to those willing to pledge their monetary support and/or obedience. This is a big part of how they've survived.
That increasing numbers of people would seek the solace of religion in times of turbulence also happens to tell us something about religion itself. Freud was right to label religious belief as wish fulfillment. Through faith, all things are possible (and those that aren't can be dismissed as the master plan of an incomprehensible god who "works in mysterious ways." Faith is a remarkably immature defense against reality through which the believer shapes a fantasy world in which to inhabit.
If this collective self-delusion did not come with such a high price tag, it might be a viable albeit unproductive coping strategy. I suspect most readers will be able to generate countless examples of why the short-term relief religion provides is simply not worth the cost.
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