1785, from Sanskrit Brahma, nominative of Brahman, chief god of the trinity Brahma-Vishnu-Siva in post-Vedic Hindu religion (see brahmin).
"open to many sorts, not ideologically or theologically narrow," American English, by 1982 with reference to religion, by 1987 with reference to politics.
"one who expresses derision or mocking scorn," late 15c., agent noun from scoff (v.). Formerly often with religion as an object.
"one indifferent to religious creeds, one 'that always make their interest the standard of their religion,'" 1704, originally dismissive, from anything on model of trinitarian, unitarian, etc.
in Hindu religion, "phallic emblem under which Siva is worshipped," 1719, from Sanskrit linga (nominative lingam) "mark, token, sign, emblem," a word of unknown origin.