This article is junk posing as science. There are many examples, here are a few:
"over time some religious beliefs can create habitual thought patterns that actually alter brain function, making it difficult for people to heal or grow." That is a powerful charge. Any studies or evidence to back that up? No, nothing scientific offered though it is worded to sound authoritative and therefore true. That's not science, it's an argument, and not a very sound one.
One of the essential bait and switch strategies of this article is to describe the conditions of a cult and then apply it to their rather shoddy but all inclusive definitions of Christians. First the authors define Christians. They fall into two categories, those who base their beliefs "on a literal This is actually an old practice. It's called stereotyping. It's the sort of pseudo science that was used to make minorities appear to be genetically inferior. interpretation of the Bible" which includes "Evangelical and fundamentalist churches, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and other conservative sects." The second group are "liberal, progressive Christian churches with a humanistic viewpoint, a focus on the present, and social justice." That definition is hopelessly overbroad and flawed, particularly for an article claiming scientific authority. The authors then equate all the beliefs and practices of the "bad" Christians with a cult. There are millions of Mormons in the US and millions more evangelicals. Are they all part of a cult? The way the article is written, one would be led to believe they were.
Then there's this: "In Bible-believing Christianity, psychological mind-control mechanisms are coupled with beliefs from the Iron Age," Think about that line for a moment. Who are the Christians who do not believe in the Bible? Even "liberal progressive" Christians believe in the Bible. This excerpt highlights significant problems with this article. The authors do not really know much about Christians. They also make oversimplified and loaded descriptions to further their animus rather than present a neutral scientific description.
My real objection to this article is that in the long run, this sort of article undermines the credibility of science. Instead of using science to better understand the natural world, human behavior and other worthwhile endeavors, it is little more than a thinly veiled attack on whole groups of people.