DSD: “At one time, The Bible and religion in general was celebrated as positive forces.”
That’s because the Bible is a positive force for good. Whether one believes all of it or not, I think the Bible offers outstanding guidance, both for a successful culture and life. Most of the negative things people believe about the Bible aren’t generally even in it. If someone can point out the harm of loving God, treating other people how you would like to be treated, drinking and eating in moderation, remaining faithful to one’s spouse, not being envious or greedy for what your neighbor has, not engaging in high risk sexual behaviors, not murdering other people, not idolizing pleasure, wealth, or other things of this world, being humble, etc., I’d love to hear it, because that’s a laundry list for successful life.
BTW, I believe in Christ and His explanation for why He came and did what He did. So in that sense, the Bible is more than just good advice for me. It’s the means to learning about God which leads to salvation, but disregarding that, the Bible is, undoubtedly, a good guide.
You’re right about the Bible’s general applicability for life. That’s exactly why the “all religions are the same” argument is so prevalent, despite its obvious logical absurdities. If the masses can be convinced that Christianity (or for that matter, Judaism) offers nothing unique, it will be that much easier to make it irrelevant. (And FWIW, I don’t think that the “Christianity is not a religion” movement within Evangelicalism is helping matters!)