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  1. #16
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    Apr 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by dantea View Post
    Speaking as a practicing Pagan of the Greek pantheon, and a Priestess, this is only my community of pagans, but it might be the same for most others. I would find it weird and sort of inappropriate for you to name your child the name of a major deity. You claim to worship one god and that he's the only god and he commanded you not to worship other gods or idols, but isn't naming your daughter Athena or Aphrodite sort of against the things he wants? If I wanted to name my son Jesus (said like the Christians do, not Spanish) how many Christians would tell me how wrong and inappropriate that was?

    I think the lesser mythological names are better -- Penelope, Callisto, Clio etc -- because they aren't major deities that large groups of Pagans still worship and respect. I find it a bit disrespectful considering we aren't using Jesus and it's the same thing.

    Now, the ones that are also Saint names, there's nothing to be done there. You feel free to use the god/goddess names that are also the names of saints.
    I am a practicing, devout Christian and I feel dantea said it perfectly. I think there are a lot of Greek names not associated with the gods/goddesses that would work without naming your child Athena. Just my two cents.
    Zoe Milena
    9/12/14

  2. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Canada
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    15,700
    Quote Originally Posted by ashthedreamer View Post
    I've always been really leery toward it. When I first really seriously got interested in names, I didn't want to go near them at all. I felt like (and still feel like) it's hypocritical to say that I love and follow the one God of the Universe, but that I would name my child after (what I believe to be) a false god/goddess. I like some names from Greek mythology, as much as the next person. Ariadne, Penelope, Calliope, Maia, Clio, Daphne, Thalia... but I wouldn't use them. I just don't feel that it's right. But obviously some disagree with me. I've made an exception for Arianne (my second pick for a girl!) because it's not Ariadne outright, and it means "very holy one", which I think is a great meaning for a Christian. I've also made an exception for Penelope because, well--she's not a goddess (not that I know of, anyway!), and because she's in Homer's The Odyssey and not just a collection of Greek myths, it feels more literary than just another goddess. Plus, I think she's a great example of commitment to one's spouse/partner, and the way she never gives up on Odysseus is a lot like the verses in the New Testament talk about supporting one's husband.

    Meh, it's probably hypocritical, haha. I try to stay away from Greek mythology names, but I do really love Penelope, Ariadne, and Daphne, and would be most tempted to use those. I seem to keep coming back to Daphne, but it never seems to stick because I feel guilty about using it, when my faith is so obviously forefront in my life! It just doesn't seem right to do, but if I met a little girl named Daphne or Penelope in my church, I wouldn't have a problem with it. One of the little old ladies in my church actually has a granddaughter named Daffeny, and I've never thought less of her parents. I am happy to hear "Daphne" every so often, even though I greatly dislike the spelling!

    When it comes down to it, I think it's mostly just a personal choice (like many things are when you're a Christian!). Christians are so varied on so many subjects that it's hard to judge, especially when the Bible doesn't have anything to say about it. I don't really feel comfortable using a Greek mythology name, but some Christians wouldn't even bat an eye at it. I certainly wouldn't be offended if I came across a Persephone or an Athena or an Adonis or an Apollo within the church (although I would find it quite jarring, as they are such big names in Greek mythology!), not like I'd be offended if I came across a Messiah or a Trinity (which I do find very bothersome).
    @ashthedreamer - There was a MALE saint Arian , a governor of Thebes, who converted to Christianity after witnessing the martyrdom of Sts. Apollonius and Philemon so Arianne would be quite acceptable as the female version of his name. Come to think about it, there was also a martyr in the 2nd century named St. Ariadne so I wouldn't worry about that name either.
    All the best,
    Mischa.

  3. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,202
    Quote Originally Posted by dantea View Post
    Speaking as a practicing Pagan of the Greek pantheon, and a Priestess, this is only my community of pagans, but it might be the same for most others. I would find it weird and sort of inappropriate for you to name your child the name of a major deity. You claim to worship one god and that he's the only god and he commanded you not to worship other gods or idols, but isn't naming your daughter Athena or Aphrodite sort of against the things he wants? If I wanted to name my son Jesus (said like the Christians do, not Spanish) how many Christians would tell me how wrong and inappropriate that was?

    I think the lesser mythological names are better -- Penelope, Callisto, Clio etc -- because they aren't major deities that large groups of Pagans still worship and respect. I find it a bit disrespectful considering we aren't using Jesus and it's the same thing.

    Now, the ones that are also Saint names, there's nothing to be done there. You feel free to use the god/goddess names that are also the names of saints.
    I had hoped you'd post on this thread, dantea, because I knew you'd bring a great perspective to it.

    On the worshipping other gods or idols point, I think it's inoffensive to most Christians on this thread because we view these names as they would literary character names. In fact, Greek myths are often taught in American schools as part of literature classes, so many American Christians may come to view these deities as characters that they like, admire, and/or become fascinated with, so they might want to honor a deity like Athena in that way, just like you mentioned you wanted to honor Samwise Gamgee in your Tolkien thread. Christian theology isn't really taught this way to people of all faiths, so that may be why non-Christians using Jesus might seem odd or offensive to some, while Greek mythology names don't necessarily carry that stigma because they are taught as stories and become familiar to a wide range of people from many different religions.

  4. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    283
    I think it comes down to your own personal belief on this matter. Not very helpful, but very true. If you feel that naming your child after a Greek God or Goddess somehow goes against your religious beliefs - then don't do it. However, I am not aware of any "rule" saying that Christian people can not name their children with a name that was once used for a Greek God or Goddess. It is similar to naming your child Mara, the meaning of the name is "bitter", does that mean you think your child is bitter? Or you are bitter about you child? No, of course not!

    It all goes back to you. If you were actually pregnant, I would say ponder it on your own for a bit. Consult your SO. Talk about your concerns. And then come to a conclusion together. Just because you choose not to name your child Athena, it does not mean you feel it is wrong to do so, it just means you have decided against it for you own child. Since you are not actually pregnant, I would still say ponder it. What would you say if a person came up to you and asked about your child's name? What would you say? What if someone asked you why you chose a name, as you are Christian (though that would be INCREDIBLY rude)? What would your response to that be?

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    FL, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashthedreamer View Post
    I've always been really leery toward it. When I first really seriously got interested in names, I didn't want to go near them at all. I felt like (and still feel like) it's hypocritical to say that I love and follow the one God of the Universe, but that I would name my child after (what I believe to be) a false god/goddess. I like some names from Greek mythology, as much as the next person. Ariadne, Penelope, Calliope, Maia, Clio, Daphne, Thalia... but I wouldn't use them. I just don't feel that it's right. But obviously some disagree with me. I've made an exception for Arianne (my second pick for a girl!) because it's not Ariadne outright, and it means "very holy one", which I think is a great meaning for a Christian. I've also made an exception for Penelope because, well--she's not a goddess (not that I know of, anyway!), and because she's in Homer's The Odyssey and not just a collection of Greek myths, it feels more literary than just another goddess. Plus, I think she's a great example of commitment to one's spouse/partner, and the way she never gives up on Odysseus is a lot like the verses in the New Testament talk about supporting one's husband.

    Meh, it's probably hypocritical, haha. I try to stay away from Greek mythology names, but I do really love Penelope, Ariadne, and Daphne, and would be most tempted to use those. I seem to keep coming back to Daphne, but it never seems to stick because I feel guilty about using it, when my faith is so obviously forefront in my life! It just doesn't seem right to do, but if I met a little girl named Daphne or Penelope in my church, I wouldn't have a problem with it. One of the little old ladies in my church actually has a granddaughter named Daffeny, and I've never thought less of her parents. I am happy to hear "Daphne" every so often, even though I greatly dislike the spelling!

    When it comes down to it, I think it's mostly just a personal choice (like many things are when you're a Christian!). Christians are so varied on so many subjects that it's hard to judge, especially when the Bible doesn't have anything to say about it. I don't really feel comfortable using a Greek mythology name, but some Christians wouldn't even bat an eye at it. I certainly wouldn't be offended if I came across a Persephone or an Athena or an Adonis or an Apollo within the church (although I would find it quite jarring, as they are such big names in Greek mythology!), not like I'd be offended if I came across a Messiah or a Trinity (which I do find very bothersome).
    These are exactly my thoughts, I just couldn't get them into words!

    My faith in Christ is very very prominent in my life, so although I like the names, it just wouldn't be right in my soul to name a child something like that.

    Thanks so much, Ash! I've been trying to vocalize my opinion on this for the longest time, and I couldn't have said it better myself!!
    ~Emily

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