Our knowledge of the historical worth of certain religious doctrines increases our respect for them, but does not invalidate our proposal that they should cease to be put forward as the reasons for the precepts of civilization. On the contrary! Those historical residues have helped us to view religious teachings, as it were, as neurotic relics, and we may now argue that the time has probably come, as it does in an analytic treatment, for replacing the effects of repression by the results of the rational operation of the intellect.
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), Austrian psychiatrist. repr. in Complete Works, vol. 21, eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud (1961). The Future of an Illusion, ch. 8 (1927).
Two paragraphs earlier, Freud called religion "the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity," arising, "like the obsessional neuroses of children ... out of the Oedipus complex," though he never actually used the words—often quoted in anthologies—"Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis."