For several years now there has been a philosophical thought that religion hasn't really left most people. That it has been and is just transitioning to another form of religious ideology called secularism. When people leave the idea of "God" or whatever your version of God is, most instinctively replace it with something. Whether that something is fanatical atheism, radical feminism or perhaps something like environmentalism. I heard a good example of this described as: The Book of Revelation is very similar with Environmentalism in that they both share the belief in the End of Days. The difference between the two is that one has a redemption and the other doesn't. But fervent belief is felt by both groups of ideologues.
Another comparison I've read is that when radical feminists have their primal scream (such as the one that went viral when Trump was elected) it is felt in much the same way as when religious zealouts speak in tongues.
We all often mock the group Westboro Baptist Church and if you subscribe to the horseshoe theory we can easily plop antifa down into the other tip of the shoe. Both wish to shame, seek and destroy the heretic. The difference I suppose is that one uses signs and harassment and the other makes physical attacks destroys others' property.
I can see the argument being made and actually I largely agree with it. I've often used the same analogies myself. Just to note: Many of the people who ponder this idea are atheists themselves. There have been many studies at this point showing data to support their claims. Some even think that to hold an idea of a higher power is instinctive and that in the absence of one thing something else swooshes in the claim the void. Also claims that every atheist isn't just about nihilism like many people think.
So I think it's an interesting concept/idea/philosophy worth talking about.