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  1. #26
    I think there are different kinds of religious names...
    1. Names that are blatantly and pretty much exclusively religious(Jesus, Christian, Muhammad, that sort of thing)
    2. Names that belong to important religious figures but are commonly used(Mary, Noah, Isaac, Sarah)
    3. Names that come from a religion's history, so they're more obscure(think saint names or names of other important figures in a religion) 4. And virtue names(Faith, Hope, etc).

    I don't ever plan on giving any of my children names from the first or fourth categories. That's just asking too much. I'm religious myself, but what if little Christian converts to Islam as an adult? And there are some names that are important to certain cultures, and I would avoid those out of courtesy. As a Christian(LDS) of Irish heritage, I would not name my son Muhammad, even though I think it's a strong and wonderful name. It's not part of my history or culture, and to those who are from that culture, the name is precious. And naming a little girl Charity, Mercy, or Chastity is just cruel. I would never want my child's name to be used as a weapon against them. If a name from either of those categories became important to me for whatever reason, I'd probably opt to use it as a middle name. Give the child a choice, for crying out loud.

    But the middle two categories? Absolutely. Many of those names are classics because of their origin in religious texts. They work well for babies and grown-ups alike precisely because of their historical use. It's also a good way to find a name that is less-common, but still known well enough to avoid a lifetime of pronunciation woes. And choosing the name of a lesser-known historical figure would be a lovely way to give a nod to my religion, history, and culture, without using my child as an advertisement of my beliefs.

    *Edited for formatting purposes

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    639
    I think it is impossible to tie down a set group of names that are religious. There are varying degrees of association to a religion with each name under contention and it would be a stretch to draw a fine line. I also think there's a difference between names that happen to be associated with a religion/s and whether or not the intent of honoring a religion is involved in the use of such name.

    For example. I will be using the name Maria for my first DD. It may be considered a religious name, but my intent is to name her after my grandmother, therefore I do not consider her name "religious". So I think intent is a major factor in whether a name is "religious".

    I have a scenario I think applies to this topic. So I had been debating for a long time whether or not to use Magdalena as the middle for Maria. Solely because I love it as a middle name. Now the two together, is obviously like the prominent biblical figure Mary Magdalene. I debated on using this for the better part of a year. For context, my faith is in Jesus, but I would not call myself "religious" which I consider a very loaded word with negative connotations. I believe you can have faith in something without being "religious" which seems to have a more "hollow"/ritualistic connotation to it, imo. Anyhow, in one way I was okay with the Mary Magdalene connection b/c I respect her, but I decided in the end, the whole point of my using Maria as the fn (to honor my gma) would be overshadowed by the biblical connection b/c that's what people would see since they wouldn't know the real reasons for the combination unless I told them. My gma's memory is of the utmost importance, therefore I decided against the combo.

    Personally I don't think it matters if their "religious" name is connected to the religion the child chooses or not. Someone named Muhammad might end up being Christian, someone named Christian might end up being athiest. A name is what you are called and known by, it doesn't mean it defines the person's faith at all. If the child grows up and finds their name uncomfortable b/c of a connection to a religion, they can always go by something else or change it, anyone can change their name. I don't think it "forces" them into any kind of belief or not. I knew a Christopher Cain (fn/mn) who rejected Christianity and later preferred to go by Cain. His name didn't force any religion on him.

    P.S. For me personally, even though my faith is in Jesus and it's important to me, I don't feel any desire to name my children with names associated with Christianity because for me, showing their faith through their character and actions is the most important display or demonstration of that faith.
    Last edited by amandaberry; March 11th, 2013 at 03:09 AM.
    DD: Maria Julietta Grace - Dec 2013

    Mona Maeve/Maeva Cordelia nn Dolly Magdalena Adelaide Geneva Fiona Flora Ramona Rose Katerina Juliet Aoife Odessa Sylvie Vera Guinevere Vivienne Marina Claire Eva/Ava Augusta Agatha Evelina Lavinia Alouetta

    Jack Sawyer Owen Seamus Timothy Vaughn Frank Murphy Spencer Guy Conrad Graham Simon Trevor Theodore Maximus Pierce Mark Hank Rex Colm Leif Eamon Grady Grant Forrest North

  3. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    394
    I'm an atheist. Personally, I would give my child a religious name. Not anything like Christian (although I love that name) but I like names like Eve, Johnathan, Samuel, Cain and Eden.
    Girls:
    Brenna, Coraline, Cordelia, Elodie, Francesca, Gianna, Helena, Ingrid, Margaret, Marilyn

    Boys:
    Alaric, Griffon, Ivan, Joesph, Kenneth, Lucian, Nero, Orion, Phillip, Samson

  4. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    547
    I'm an atheist but many of my favourite names are Biblical. That doesn't bother me one bit (although my partner isn't really keen on many of the ultra biblical names I love - sorry Adlai and Ira). I see absolutely nothing wrong with atheists using religious names.
    cassia | vivian | flora
    peregrine | jolyon | arthur

  5. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    9,574
    In a word, YES.

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