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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    2,355
    It depends. I'm nonreligious, and I would not give a child a name that had very obvious religious connotations (Christian, Muhammed, Jesus, etc.) However, I have no problem with names that have a connection to some religion that aren't tied to that religion. For example, names like Isis, Diana, Orion, John, Marco, Freya, Julia, and Noah are all fine. There are a few names that are a bit on the edge. Genesis and Trinity, for example, have obvious religious connotations, but I refuse to believe that a religion can "own" a colloquial word. Luckily I wouldn't consider either of those names anyway, so I guess I don't have to worry about it.

  2. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia/DC metro area
    Posts
    3,086
    Personally, I wouldn't (I'm agnostic.) But I have no problem with other people doing it. There are some names with Christian meanings and some Hebrew names that I really like and would consider using as middles.
    Gwen
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  3. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,208
    We're atheists so we try to avoid names that are biblical. There are some biblical names (Elizabeth for example) that I would still use though. It has enough history and usage beyond the bible that it doesn't feel overly religious.
    Ttc a baby brother or sister for Luther Wolf!

  4. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Slytherin Common Room
    Posts
    4,909
    Very interesting subject!

    As a person who is a theist, but doesn't adhere to a specific religion, but grew up in a very specific involved religion, I've thought about this subject a lot.

    There are certain names I'd be willing to use, but at the same time I factor in the questions "What if my child becomes an atheist?" "What if my child changes religions?" "Would this name place too much of a religious burden on them, and result in resentment of religion or myself?"

    And for that reason, I wouldn't use names like Christian, and I'd never use Cohen because I firmly believe that I have no right to the name, just like I wouldn't use the name Syed or Pope (which is a title but still) as I have no right to the name.
    (I also don't agree with just anyone using Cohen, and find it incredibly pretentious and disrespectful of other people's treasured beliefs.)

    Names like Faith, and Hope I have no issues with because they can be applied to non-Christian settings.
    I love the name Christian, but that's far too religion specific for my liking. Other names for religious human figures are completely fine to me. Such as Peter, Paul, Luke, Ezra, Ali, Jonah etc.
    Jesus I wouldn't even think of using it because I know how controversial an issue it can be, and it's extremely religiously specific.

    I do have some religiously connected names on my list, such as Gabriel for example, which is the name of an Angel. Since this angel is present in more than one religion, and not as religion specific in this day and age, I have no worry of it being overbearing.

    As someone who grew up in one religion, and pretty much left, and as the child of parents who grew up in one religion and switched to another, I would pick a religiously specific name because you never know what set of beliefs your child will have, or how they will feel towards their name. It also can cause them to dislike or even hate their name, and as a name nerd I'd really love to avoid that. :P
    Last edited by east93; March 11th, 2013 at 12:09 AM.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Slytherin Common Room
    Posts
    4,909
    Quote Originally Posted by alzora View Post
    I would give my child a religious name, but not with the intent of forcing my child into a certain belief system. My children, like all humans, will have the freedom to decide what they will believe, but my husband and I are Christians and our faith is very important to us, therefore some faith-related words hold special meaning to us and will likely be name options that we will consider. Names reflect the values of the parents, not the child. A child named Ruby may hate the color red, but it may be her mother's favorite color. My faith is invaluable to me. Hopefully my children will embrace it, but if not, they may still have names that reflect my faith because they are special to me and my husband.
    This is a lovely post. A great reasoning system behind choosing a religious name.

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