Insistent Terminology / Myths and Religion
aka: Religion

  • Don't ever say that Jesus performed "magic". He performed miracles.The difference here is kind of like between "hacking" and "releasing a patch", so it's not really a straight example. Same idea with "psychic premonitions" vs. prophesies.
  • Many atheists are quick to point out that it is incorrect to say "they believe there's no God", because it's not a matter of belief... it's a matter of disbelief. (However, if you read UsefulNotes.Atheism, you'll see that there is a small difference in meaning: Those who believe that no gods exist are referred to as strong-positive atheists, those who don't believe there are any gods border the agnostic-atheists side.) Still, this has been known to cause heated arguments about whether babies are atheists, whether rocks are atheists, (technically speaking, babies can be seen as "atheistic", but this is just as meaningful way as saying babies do not like sports, or Rembrandt's Art, subjects which they are clueless about; as for rocks, objects lack any sentience or sapience to possess any form of belief or lack of it to begin with) and whether the etymology of the word is "a-theist" (one who is not a theist, which could include agnostics), or "atheos-ist" (one who believes in no God, which would exclude agnostics). Add in anti-theists (actively opposed the idea of God and religious belief in general) and you're in for a good time.
  • Messianic Jews do not typically identify themselves as "Christians" — insisting, instead, that they are "Jews who found Jesus". "Traditional" Jews will usually fire back with, "Nope, you guys are definitely Christians!" Given that acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah is the point of divergence between Judaism and Christianity... On the flip-side, there are points in the The Bible in which the early Church made clear distinctions between Jewish converts (which were still bound by traditional Jewish law such as circumcision), and non-Jewish converts (who were not). So, the distinction is not baseless.
  • The robes worn by a Catholic priest on the third Sunday of Advent and the fourth Sunday of Lent are rose-colored. They are not pink.
  • Some, though not most, Christians get very offended if you call Christianity a religion. They prefer to be called "spiritual" rather than "religious", and may refer to their beliefs as a "faith" or a "relationship with God", but insist that it's not a religion. There are Christians online who have said things like "as a Christian, I follow no religion", and they sometimes refer to other religions as religion, except their own.
    "It's not a religion, it's a relationship!" (the quote originally started as a dig at Catholicism, as Protestants considered their ritualism to interfere with their relationship with God)
  • Some non-Catholic groups, especially ones more hostile to the Catholic Church, also chafe at calling Catholics "Christians". Even less friendly ones extend this exclusion to anyone not practicing their version of Christianity. There are people on the other end of the spectrum who insist that Catholicism is distinct from Christianity. Note that, semantically, both versions in this case are wrong; Christianity is divided into Catholicsnote  and Protestants, and Protestants are further subdivided into various denominations based on how they think God should be worshiped beyond "not how the Catholics do it".note 
  • But don't refer to Mormons as "Protestants," because they're "restored", not a break-off group that can trace its origins to Catholicism.
  • The Catholic Church has given a couple of words which describe divine miracles a transitivity/intransitivity distinction which differs from how the words are used in normal speech, and expect to be corrected if one uses the colloquial meanings in front of an older or more devout Catholic. Specifically, only Jesus ever "resurrected", because only He could come back from the dead under His own power. Those such as Lazarus, who were mere humans who only were brought back through Jesus' miracles, are "resuscitated". Moreover, only Jesus, being God, could "ascend" to Heaven on His own. The other Biblical figures said to have entered Heaven alive—Marynote , Elijah, and possibly Enoch—were not divine, and thus were only brought to Heaven by God's grace, and so were "assumed". Note though, that these are terms of art that only have these specialized meanings in this specific context, as even in Latin, "ascend" could be used just to mean climbing a staircase or mountain.
  • Taoism teaches that to name something is to define it, and since the Tao is infinite, it has no definition, and therefore no name. So the ethereal force that permeates the universe is called the Tao for the sake of conversation, but it is not named the Tao because it has no name.
    The Tao that can be known
    Is not the true Tao.
    The name that can be named
    Is not the true name.
  • Some polytheists adamantly refute that they are not pagans. Typically, you have a serious reconstructionist groups trying to distance themselves from the label due to the "fluffy" and Wiccan associations.

Alternative Title(s): Religion