celebrity worship syndrome
I guess people have to worship something.
I certainly have seen people idolize people before. Sometimes, to my amazement, when my parents managed to get me in the newspaper as a child for some alleged academic achievement, it was even me. Religion is something I generally avoid with patients. I sometimes will admit that I say things like “God love you.” As a matter of fact, I remember that my mother-in-law, Carolyn of blessed memory, said that sometimes, and I liked the feeling, and I suspect that is when I integrated it into my conversation, at least with patients who had limited time with me and wanted to discuss religion.