At the socal fest I was talking to 4JWY and her hubby, and he made a point about doing something well which got me to think about this. There is such an emphasis on the new system and being no part of the world with the JWs that you effectively have a denial of life, certainly life as it is now today. Even if you believe in the new system, it would be rather like not giving first-aid or CPR because the doctor is the one that will fix it. Or even like not eating now because in a few weeks we're going to enjoy gourmet goodies so why not wait for that. I don't know how it is now, but atleast back when I was in they made an effort to try to sound like you are still concerned with life in this system to an extent. I mean even according to that belief system, isn't there a lot of things here now that is created by God for man's enjoyment? Does 'putting the kingdom first' somehow conflict with the enjoyment of these things? Sure maybe not all JWs go to the same extreme, but we all know that mentality is out there.
But I also don't mean it just in the sense of enjoyment, but frankly on a functional level you simply ignore things so your perception becomes warped. In other words, by simply dismissing the world as evil, not worth the effort because of the new system or whatever, not only are you not enjoying it but you are ignorant to it. You are actually not conscious of what is going on around you because of that preconceived perception.
So I say religion is not necessarily an issue, but when you squeeze out life by all the behavioral restrictions you essentially squeeze out the spirituality. You have in effect replaced reality (life) with a fake mental version fashioned after your belief system. If you look at things in the larger context of life, you would be able to put beliefs into perspective - that they are a small thing in comparison.