Look at this fellow’s claim. Fill in the “X” with whatever activity, worldview, person or thing you’d like and try to imagine the emotion being conveyed when this sort of sentence is declared. Almost always when “religion” is used this way, the speaker is implying some negative quality such as:
- blind devotion
Most believers want to deny that their faith is a religion. First because they don’t want their faith to be generic (like so many others) but second because of these common negative connotations of “religion” in English.
Questions for readers:
- Can you name other negative connotations of this sentence?
- Can you think of this sentence being used as a compliment? What connotations would they be implying?
- Imagine a woman saying the same thing, instead of a man. Did that bring up different connotations in your mind? Why?
- If are fluent in another language, does your language have a word used for religion which also has these negative connotations?