@indigomoth - Well, that is the way that people use the word now. It's not really because the word is related to religion, but because it means a descriptor of something. So, if you say "those damn neighbors" you are adding what amounts to an epithet to their title.
But, of course, people misuse the word a bit now and the true meaning has been obscured by a lot of people to just mean swear words or slurs in general. From what I understand, linguists aren't very happy about this, but I think the idea of a formal epithet is just unfamiliar to most people these days and it's an evolution of the language for it to begin to mean something else.