When did Religion become a ‘bad’ word?

I’m hear­ing the word reli­gion being used as though it’s a bad thing and it’s start­ed both­er­ing me great­ly. I under­stand why peo­ple have turned it into a neg­a­tive word, but I think it’s very impor­tant that we fight the urge to go along with talk­ing about reli­gion as though it’s some­thing bad… or even some­thing good… because “reli­gion” is not inher­ent­ly bad or good, and any good­ness or bad­ness is added by what I myself make it.

No mat­ter how we might strive to empha­size the dif­fer­ence between our ortho­praxy and the ortho­praxy of some­one else… i.e., stress­ing that our Chris­tian­i­ty is about “rela­tion­ship” while dis­tanc­ing your­self from, say, the strict litur­gi­cal prac­tice of one denom­i­na­tion or church or oth­er, we are still com­mit­ting reli­gion and always will be.

It’s ok to self-iden­ti­fy as a Chris­t­ian of a par­tic­u­lar mindset/practice, but I’m think­ing we’re doing every­one and the Eng­lish lan­guage a great dis­ser­vice if we aid in the demo­niza­tion of a func­tion­al decent word that is free from the bur­den of the addi­tion­al bag­gage peo­ple are try­ing to incor­rect­ly (fool­ish­ly) hang on it.

Here­in I find irony… I myself have been doing this and doing it for years. My pro­file set­tings on Face­book have read: “Reli­gious Views: Chris­t­ian — Rela­tion­ship not Reli­gion” since I cre­at­ed my account lo these many eons past. That changes today.

My reli­gion is Chris­tian­i­ty, and by that I mean what was meant the two times the word appeared in scrip­ture, “One who is fol­low­ing Christ.” I’m going to strive to fight the com­pul­sion to hang more bag­gage on my answer.

2 thoughts on “When did Religion become a ‘bad’ word?”

  1. I think athe­ists tend to view the “rela­tion­ship not reli­gion” as kind of a sug­ges­tion that the per­son is rely­ing on their own per­son­al feel­ings as opposed to any­thing out­ward­ly objec­tive, so though I know what is gen­er­al­ly meant when a per­son says it (as even I have said it), it gets lost in trans­la­tion. “Chris­tian­i­ty” is a reli­gion by def­i­n­i­tion and is com­prised of a group of peo­ple who believe/have a “rela­tion­ship” with God through Jesus Christ.

    Good arti­cle. ZRZ

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