Wow, it seems that we are all thinking of the same things but with different definitions. So perhaps personal viewpoints would help lots. I'll say upfront that my definitons have to do with learned knowledge and personal experiences.
Okay, here goes. Religion is the organised, hierarchial societital structure that is seen throughout societies. It's the definate rules and opinons/theroies of a particular group. Other's follow those rules and try to live within them. Going from my experience from growing up Catholic, religion is manmade dogma. It's political and ever changeing and can be interpretted in any of many ways, any of them wrong. But, God is outside of religion. He gave us rules of living, ie the ten commandments. Look into the laws of any society and you see the ten commandments, regardless of relgion practiced. As I've learned, that's doctrine. Doctrine is of God. Dogma is manmade mumbo jumbo that often puts people in their place.
Those who have read my post are now confused, haven't I admitted to attending church? Yes I have, and do. For me the term churchgoer is used as a term to state that I go to a weekly worship service in a church. I find help and rejuvination in worshipping with those of like beliefs. That's just me. That does not mean I support what popular religion has done to those amongst them. So being a person who worships at church is seperate from religion. I worship and share in God's love, I do not tear apart the weak and hurting.
Okay, so why do I write what I write? That comes from my experience of what positive support really is. I've been on the end where support is just agreeing and going along. That's as hurtful as the political zealots of religion!! Positive often requires showing a different viewpoint. One example is one that I don'6t often talk about, but I will. The question, how do you know that the host and wine are the body of christ? I don't believe that. One way is to say I don't know, and they can not believe if they want to. That's not very helpful. The other way gives a personal viewpoint that the questioner can gain from. As an altar server it was my duuty to put out the host and wine just before Mass began. If a host fell on the ground it was to be eatten, It has to do with respect of what it stands for. That host is just bland bread, big deal. Same with the altar wine. But, after the blessing it's different. I've had one sip of blessed wine, Jesus' blood, and had massive asthma attacks immediately stop. I've had asthritis pain ease up and stiffness go away for a day or so. This never happpened with anything other then communion, after the blessing. That gives the positive viewpoint that the other person canponder and take what they will from. The same with here. Allowing the pain caused by injury from so called religious persons does no good! All that does is compound injury. That makes things worse for the hurt poster. I know this from experience also, and will explain if asked. Giving the idea that feeling hurt, being angry and that things may not be as they were taught gives them something else to think on. That is helpful, again personal experiences.
So that is my ideas on these debated things. Anyone else willing to give their thoughts and personal definitions? (Yeah I did mean that as a challenege, sorry to those offended)