I think there are at least two problems attached to the use of the word "religion".

1. In many people's minds, it is associated with bigotry, insularity and even hatred. It is easy to forget the good, and remember the bad, especially when, almost every day, the news carries stories that re-enforce the idea that even in the 21st century religions and evil are closely associated, and not necessarily because they are locked together in combat.

2. The concepts of God and religion are so closely associated that it is easy for atheists, for example, to attack religious practices and believe they are attacking God.
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There never was nothing.