He was definitely a clingy one. Lynx can help me out here, but wasn’t that part of Kes’s reasons for breaking up with him? I know she was known to say he was being too ‘over protective’.
So, now Neelix is going to go off and find a reason for living by ignoring his guilt, pain, and faithlessness. That’s healthy.
Why not have the character have more of a crisis of faith and come out stronger? Why have him abandon it altogether?
I want to be clear that I’m not proposing that he go off on a man crusade for religion. What I am saying is that, given his characterization, it would have been perfectly plausible for him to evaluate what happened to him and see a clear light of why he didn’t see the afterlife that fell into his current belief structure as opposed to shattering his beliefs. He’s a fairly hardheaded charter. That seems more inline with his personality to me… to find a reason why and place it into his beliefs… than to walk away from it all.
Although it was never stated that Kes dumped him because of being over-protective, there were situations in which she did find him too jealous and too over-protective and if the writers had handled their cards right, it would and should have been the reason why she dumped him.
Personally I find Neelix somewhat neurotic. Don't misunderstand me, I love the character but he did seem to have some problems. His exaggerated ways to help and cheer up people and the whole Moral Officer and Briefing With Neelix things may have been his way to hide his insecurity and being haunted by the terrible memories of having his whole family annihilated. That can also be seen in his relationship with Kes where he obviously was so afraid of losing her that he became over-jealous and over-protective and finally did scare her off.
But I agree with Adm_Hawthorne
that it would have been better to have him have more of a crisis of faith and come out stronger than having him abandon his faith altogether, especially since such a re-evaluation of his beliefs could have made him feel even worse than before. And as we could see in the coming episodes, he didn't change to the better or the worse. A story in which he kept his faith and because of that became stronger would have suited the coming storytelling better than the rather cruel and meaningless (from a storytelling point of view) loss of beliefs that he had in the episode.