I just had to repost my comment:
It seems to me that once we say “religion” and we understand the word to indicate something other than what the particular “religion” means, then we necessarily are discussing something other than whether the content is true or false, but are talking about how those “objects” to which the term “religion” refers, i.e. Islam, Christianity, Wicca, etc… relate. what might be common of them, different, aspects, etc..
If you think about, say, Judaism. It was not a religion. It was the Truth. It only became a religion when there was another group who didn’t ascribe to those laws and such. And then not even then did it become a religion. There were no religions until like 1000 years after Christ. Christianity wasn’t a religion. It was another Truth that entered the arena of battling over what is True.
there wasn’t even Faith. Faith, in the context of religion, is something that one has to Will for. There is no need to Will for anything or believe anything if you are killing people because they do not think the same as you. It is only when there are many more people who think differently than you than there are apparently people who think like you, that you have to “have faith” the what you understand as true is indeed true.
If it is the truth, there is no need to believe. The truth is the truth. It doesn’t matter what any One else thinks because the truth is the truth, including that fact that they don’t believe it: that fact is true, there is no need to prove to them that their “not true” is true in its being not true.
It is only when a person of faith is overcome with the bare fact that an overwhelming number of people do not see the truth, and that you cannot get rid of them, that now one who has faith must “have compassion” for others to try to convince them or get them to see that their “not truth” is indeed “not true”. Hence this ethical mandate is not some essential kind of commandment or gift from God as much as it is a manner by which consciousness is attempting to deal with the contradiction of knowing something is true that no one else understands as true.
If I know the truth, then it is true. Nothing that can happen can disprove to me the truth. It is not “my” truth. It is simply true. It only becomes “my” truth to the extent that I could be wrong. but then it wouldn’t be the truth, but merely a belief or religious faith.
The distinction thus has nothing to do with what is known as ‘belief’ or ‘opinion’. It is not about any sort of assertion of truth which defect then admits of its inherent ‘untruth’. It has to do with an entirely different manner of coming upon real things, a difference that I indicate through the term orientation.