...what troubles me most about Buddhism is its implication that detachment from ordinary life is the surest route to salvation. Buddha’s first step toward enlightenment was his abandonment of his wife and child, and Buddhism (like Catholicism) still exalts male monasticism as the epitome of spirituality. It seems legitimate to ask whether a path that turns away from aspects of life as essential as sexuality and parenthood is truly spiritual.
From this perspective, the very concept of enlightenment begins to look anti-spiritual: It suggests that life is a problem that can be solved, a cul-de-sac that can be, and should be, escaped.
I won't go into a whole "nonattachment ≠ detachment" thing; but I did want to go into the "It seems legitimate to ask whether a path that turns away from aspects of life as essential as sexuality and parenthood is truly spiritual" bit.
It was a great luxury and sacrifice for people way back when, without running water and electricity to actually be able to afford a clerical class, who more often than not failed to live up to their end of the deal. But the idea that that somehow the establishment of a clerical class was inherently exploitative is actually anachronistic; it assumes that people who had no free time to speak of also had no need of going metaphysical, and one should properly call BS on that.
However the idea that householders couldn't go beyond dukkha was not a Buddhist tradition, and that tradition would not have survived for centuries if there was not some succor achieved by lay adherents of Buddhism. And from this adherent I can say, yes indeed practicing Buddhism helps.
There's lots of other critiques that can be made. But that point had to be made, I think.