Background: I have already seen this post about the usage of the term religiously. I have also posted a question on another site asking for the impact.

However, I am still interested, that whether, in any context, the term to do/practice something religiously can appear offending or above the line to anybody (in the context of religion)?

I, defending myself, don’t see any problems with the usage; then again, I’m not a native speaker, either. I know, I can and I will use alternate wordings, but I’m just curious: Do I need to and if yes, why?



To provide some background, consider the scenario

  • Geographics where religion plays a crucial and influential role in daily life.
  • Environment is a corporate sector (an office)
  • Target audience is people, of which some have the English as second language, some more as third least of them as first. FWIW, the standard language of communication is primarily English, though, and audience is supposed to have a certain level of educational degree where mostly the medium of education is, English.
  • Targeted usage is to describe some "process" or "method" which needs to be followed, in the corporate / official field to achieve certain standards as required by an organization / working group.

Clarification: "(in the context of religion)"

I was wondering, might I sound like "this is something as great or as required as your religion thus it can be compared to it and you must follow it.." and alike. Some may (?) take offense in this kind of comparison for the same reason mentioned in point (i) of context.

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage. Can you please edit your question to clarify what you mean by “in context of ‘religion’”? – Wrzlprmft Dec 22 '16 at 14:59
  • @Wrzlprmft OK, right now I'm on the wheels, can i have some time to edit and clarify? – Sourav Ghosh Dec 22 '16 at 15:01
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    If religion can ever be offensive, then so can any word relating to it. One might ask the same question about words like politically or bureaucratically, and find the same answer. – John Lawler Dec 22 '16 at 15:41
  • Anyone may find something offensive. Just like anyone may find some concept difficult. Without the context this question is impossible to answer. – ajeh Dec 22 '16 at 20:07
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    This is sounding to me more like a question about localized cultural perception rather than English language sort of thing. If I was given an operations manual at work and told to "treat it as a Bible", I would not have thought much of it other than taking a note that it must be followed. But how some audience might perceive a reference to religion is a topic for a different forum I reckon. – ajeh Dec 22 '16 at 21:25

Oxford Dictionaries:

religiously: With consistent and conscientious regularity:‘he practices religiously for four hours every day’

I suppose someone out there might find it offensive, but there's nothing offensive about it. It's common usage.

  • In this sense I suppose the religiousness is more zealotry. – BladorthinTheGrey Dec 22 '16 at 23:46

If you describe someone as following a practice religiously - i.e. blindly, without exercising necessary judgment - then yes, it can be offensive to the person being described.

I find nothing offensive in prescribing a practice as something that must be followed religiously (e.g. as religiously as the Ten Commandments). You can find many instances of such usage, for example:

Expert tips you must follow religiously to get rid of acne

Below are seven simple steps you must follow religiously to get yourself in the proper process of logo design.

Word-divisions and punctuation must follow religiously those of the original text;

Yes, there are some duties that a consumer must follow religiously.

  • I'm sorry if I was not explicit earlier, I have the usage profile added too, in my question, can ypou please re-visit, if it is not too much to ask for? – Sourav Ghosh Dec 22 '16 at 20:37
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    @SouravGhosh I believe I have answered your question. – michael.hor257k Dec 22 '16 at 20:54
  • If I were trying to say that someone practices something " blindly, without exercising necessary judgment," I would use the word, "slavishly." I don't think there is a negative connotation to saying that something is done religiously. Consider the blurb from the Cambridge Dictionary:"If you do something religiously, you do it regularly: I exercise religiously, I really do." In short, my answer to the "original poster," which would surely get me in trouble, is No. – Airymouse Dec 22 '16 at 21:35

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