The specific axiom I was referring to was "religion is based on faith." This is simply untrue. Faith is an aspect of religious practice, not its basis. The fact that some ill-informed fundamentalists tell you otherwise simply indicates that they have never seriously studied their own religion. The other axiom was that I hadn't read the article.
I base my assertions about fear and not finding meaning on my own experiences and the conversations I've had with people who claim faith in various religious beliefs. If you teach people who have only a shallow understanding of their own religion that a deep analysis of it will damage their faith, it will discourage them from doing any such analysis.
This is bad for two reasons. First, because they often have prejudices based on their indoctrination into a religion that are flat-out wrong, and analysis is the cure for that. Second, because in fact there are depths to religious practice, and if you don't do the analysis, you can't ever experience them.
My point is not that the study is wrong. It is not wrong. It is that the way it is presented is harmful.