You can't read the Bible without using your mind. You don't automatically become less intelligent if you become more religious.
Religion has largely become a bad word in the church and our culture. However, the etymology of the word religion is from the Latin word religio or religare which can mean to study and transmit a text or to fasten or bind.
Given we're all bound to a view of reality transmitted by words (almost always written), we should embrace religion as the study and transmission of the truth about God. In this sense, religion isn't a bad thing.