Why the growing audience for notions like these? Religion poses a serious challenge to our cherished idea of personal autonomy. Unlike our forebears, we define freedom as the right to live as we choose -- to "be ourselves" -- unconstrained by social norms or a morally grounded sense of guilt or shame.
It says a lot about the religiously devout that when they speak about morality, it is almost always about constraint and control, about shame, fear and guilt. That's a pretty sad way to live your life. They can't be moral on the grounds of love? Of concern or empathy? They can't do the right thing out of simple kindness?
Why is it that they feel incapable of behaving themselves if they're not constantly beaten over the head with accusations of fault and dire warnings of eternal torment?