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.