So I bet you've been wandering around facebook, looking at various things, and thinking to yourself, by golly! I wish there was somebody, somewhere who could analyze it far past the point to which it has meaning! Well, wish no more!
So, I was thinking about this category "religious views". First of all, it reminds me of the distinction my professor drew between religions that focus on theology and those that focus on practice. For Christians, he said, everything is about doctrine- you're Christian if you believe x,y, and z. Maybe a lapsed Christian or a bad Christian, but you're not outside of the faith.
Judaism, according to his theory at least, puts much more emphasis on practice; you ask whether somebody is shomer shabbat and shomer this more than their beliefs. The whole idea of having a list of beliefs didn't come around until the Rambam, and there were plenty of people who have made it into the halachic tradition who disagreed with several of the big 13.
I'm not so sure that we really are more into practice than belief nowadays. We seem to have plenty of fights about doctrine, but usually only when it affects practice. The problem is that it's hard to construct a "would you prefer your daughter to marry" question because it's hard to think of somebody who would have all the beliefs without the practices.
Secondly, I have to wonder about the phrasing "religious views". Which views, exactly, are religious in nature? Only the metaphysical ones? Do views about the nature of truth or whatnot fall into my "religious views" or are they more philosophical in nature? What about my views about my religion?
Or is "religious views" just code for "religion", except that religion seems to demand a sort of conformity, picking your choice off a drop-menu sort of thing, while religious views is open and multi-cultural? And if so, why do those different connotations exist?
I think that one difference between the terms is that religious views invites you to define your own religious views, not fitting into other people's boxes. But religion, for almost all of us, really is boxes. Especially on facebook, where the identification serves to place you in everyone's community. "Religious views" lets everybody who's uncomplicated enough to fit into a box, to pick the box, without thinking or majorly over-analyzing things, the complicated people to have a chance to be witty and deep and open-but-at-the-same-time-
So I suppose it's really a win-win all around.
And I'm not sure what the point of this note was.