Parents name their children Pagan because...
1 They like the sound of it (ay and names ending in "n" names are all the rage)
2 They're not Christian
3 They may be Pagans/Druids/Witches/Warlocks themselves
4 They make actually be ignorant of the negative association OR
5 They don't give a damn who they offend with their choice
When I hear Pagan all I can think of is the dangerous, really bad motorcycle gang...no appealing.
Just in case anyone is interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagan's_Motorcycle_Club
I'm from Pennsylvania, and they're very active. That's probably why my mind jumped there immediately.
I've actually heard this name before, on a middle-aged man who worked at the company where I did an undergraduate internship. I think he was Eastern European, or possibly from South America (I am seriously bad with accents), and he pronounced his name Pah-GAHN instead of PAY-gan, though the spelling was the same. This is to say it could very well be a legitimate name with cultural origins distinct from the word pagan as in polytheist.
That aside, I agree with the other commenters. Naming your kid Pagan is no weirder than naming them Christian.
I kind of disagree that it's no weirder than naming your kid Christian. From a naming standpoint, maybe. But from a what's-culturally-normal standpoint, it's pretty weird. I mean, Christian has a pretty solid history as a name as well as a religion, and while I don't know about Pagan, I think it's safe to say that as a name it's unfamiliar to most people. Naming your child Pagan is more like naming them Sikh or Baptist or Pentacostal than Christian.
You're going to have a hard time arguing that Christianity has a more "solid" history as a religion than paganism...or even that it has a solid history at all (the church has schismed more times than a California faultline). Also, as far as I know Sikhism is an entirely different religion, while Baptist and Pentacostal are Christian denominations, so I'm not exactly sure what point you were trying to make with that comparison.
Originally Posted by geeknamezyo