Have the words “religion” and “religious” become pejorative?

Have the words “religion” and “religious” become pejorative?
My grandmother used to talk about people who were “religious” and mean it in a good way, implying that these people were being “good Christians”, doing God’s work, being very faithful, whatever.

But I see people nowadays who say they’re “spiritual but not religious”, describing being “religious” as just going through the superficial motions of religion.

And I see Christians saying that their religion is not, in fact, a religion, implying that religion is something superficial, dogmatic, pedantic, whatever.

So…are these words now outmoded? Has the word “religion” and being “religious” ceased to mean something good? And what word is next to go? What are religious/spiritual people going to describe themselves as when “spiritual” goes out of fashion?

Best answer:

Answer by Mezmarelda
I think you are right.

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5 Responses to “Have the words “religion” and “religious” become pejorative?”

  • hugh_waters says:

    Religion is simply a binder to move social feeling into exploitation. No more … no less.

  • Demopublican says:

    People step away from the word “religion” as a way to hide from the stigma that religious people have brought on themselves with the smug superiority complexes and brutal histories that religion has marked the Earth with.But, the fact is, Christians and Muslims and so forth are in fact members of a religion by the very definition of that word no matter how they want to mince words.Naturally, not all religious people are bad or have done those things or do those things that many religious people have done and do that has made being religious a negative in the very form of the label.Yet, they still hide from that word for those reasons.

  • Aritmentor says:

    Unfortunately, yes.

    Religion has become more and more a political tool (in the most important religions), and that has distorted some of its most fundamental values (of love, respect and tolerance)

    But… the problem is not only here.

    Politics has, on the other hand, recurred to religion in order to either gain sympathizers, or manipulate other people.

    But in the end, it’s not religion not politics.

    It’s greedy selfish people who use religion and politics (and society, and anything within their reach) to try and manipulate people in their own interests.

    This practice, sadly, has proliferated at the extent where the word religion (and, yes, politics) has become pejorative (and the word society is on its way…)

    Spiritual will go out of fashion the moment these kind of people (the selfish manipulative ones) find their way in this field.

    …And they are actually starting to do their thing here also.

  • HoneybeeHartley says:

    I am so glad to see someone else think this way.

    I often hear the word ‘religion’ used as a pejorative.

    The Bible speaks of the word religion in a good way: “pure religion undefiled is this; to visit the widow and orphan in their distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

    At our home group we discussed the new way in which the word is bring used and concluded that when people use the word religion in a negative way, what they really mean is a system of control and intimidation. A ‘religious’ system in that context is one in which people “claim to have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof” and use group-think to manage the masses.

    It’s scary to think how people are commandeering the use of a perfectly biblical word for their own purposes.

  • googolullage says:

    “Religious” means a person who has read and believed the “Sacred Book”, and participates in the rites, rituals, ceremonies and outer beliefs that signify a member of that religious sect, denomination, or cut.

    “Spiritual” means a person who has undergone an INNER transformative experience, often a mystical one, resulting in an inner conviction or perception, that there is more to life than meets our five senses.

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