What's in a name? (If you are atheist BUT your given name has religious meaning)

I am one of those free-thinking individuals christened as "Dominique" -- ah, how godly indeed.

I was baptized and confirmed at the age when I could not protest, hence am stuck with the name (for now).

I wonder if anyone of you share the same experience about having a "religious" name and if so, what do you think about it? Are you considering having it changed?

Come to think of it, there aren't many atheist names apart from the obvious (viz. Darwin)

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Re: Cardinal Sin, would you believe he gave me my first communion? Ha ha ha. I shall find the photo and post that here, should be good for a few laughs. :-P

But really I think even though most people do not care about names, I am convinced that naming is powerful. As adults we now have the choice to rename ourselves, either legally or more conveniently to adopt pseudonyms online as Mr Zedd suggested (although that depends where you are, I suppose. In countries like mine I have yet to hear about petitioning for a given name-change to shed it's religious meaning, besides that legal course requires time, effort and money), but then in places where it matters, we sometimes get asked to explain about the meaning of our name.

A friend of mine went on a trip to Israel and got interrogated by the immigration staff about the meaning of his name. He didn't know what "Ruel" means. So he just shrugged it off and said "Ruel, it's just Ruel, I don't know what my parents were thinking" -- apparently the meaning of one's name is important in that place.
ok, i found my first communion photo.

that's me with my classmates for the group shot... with the then newly ordained Jaime Cardinal Sin, mwahahahaha!


No wonder you're an atheist, Dom, you were touched by Sin at the age of six. ;-)
ah yes, touched by Sin, now a Sinner. ha ha ha! LOL.

i went to an all girl's school where the Belgian nuns got very excited at the prospect of getting Cardinal Sin to commit to give us our first communion. thus they hammered that into our heads, that it was both an "honor and a privilege" to have the new cardinal give us our first communion. never mind too that we were still in kindergarten and under-age for this sacrament.

ah well, this is good for laughs anyway.

"Cardinal Sin" became one of my all-time favorite names the first time I heard it.  We tried to pick names for our four kids that wouldn't embarrass them, or get them beat up, and that would be fitting for any career they were likely to enter.  One changed her spelling (Karen became Caryn?) but the rest seem satisfied, or at least inured to them.

I'm Joshua. My parents picked the name out of the Old Testament because they liked the sound of it (not for explicitly religious reasons). Of course, Joshua is an early incarnation of Yeshua, which is the proper Aramaic translation of Jesus. One of my friends actually calls me Yeshua sometimes in jest.

I have no problem with the religious associations of my name. In fact, I often refer to the Book of Joshua as evidence that the Bible is a barbaric, unscientific, illogical novel about an ancient people that do not deserve our reverence. I mean, Joshua and the Israelites rape and murder women and children ... Joshua couldn't have made the sun stand still because it is never moving ... and so on. People seem to take to the self-deprecation of this kind of criticism, which often helps to discuss the sometimes sensitive issue of religion in a more light-hearted way.

I've had people tell me my name is a nice, Christian name before. That made me laugh.

I think I'll give my kids some nice Irish/Celtic names. They just sound so nice (plus I have Irish ancestry) and, despite the pagan associations, are much less loaded than Judeo-Christian names.
My family is Irish-catholic, Sean Michael (actually named after sean connery so...and Michael is my dads name) but as far as names go, unless you dont like what your name is, I dont think it matters.
I've always liked that Michael is the only name that is a question )that I'm aware of and I'm really into names). When I was pregnant with a girl, I planned to name her Trinity Michael (miscarriage)
My real name's Sylvia, as far as I know it has zero biblical connections, though there has to be a saint of that name somewhere, we all know there's a load of them. :) As far as I can remember it's a Roman name, derived from the word for forest. (Very appropriate, btw, since my last name literally means 'branch' and if I ever immigrate into the US or some other English-speaking country I'll consider changing my name to Branch to spare people the difficulty of pronouncing Gałązka. :P) My parents chose it for no particular reason, I suppose they just liked it. :) So... phew.

If I ever have kids I'll probably give them Roman names as well. Maybe Julian, after my grandfather. It does sound nice, doesn't it?
julian is cool.

speaking of roman names, i always thought aeneas would be a cool name too (from the main character of the latin epic poem "the aeneid")
My name is also "Daniel" -

From the Hebrew name דָנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel) meaning "God is my judge". Daniel was a Hebrew prophet who lived during the Jewish captivity in Babylon, where he served in the court of the king, rising to prominence by interpreting the king's dreams. Daniel refused to defile himself by eating the King's meat or drinking the king's wine. As a vegetarian, I like that, although I do have an occasional glass of wine.

For some reason I always liked my name. Names have a great deal of power, and influence how people judge us without even knowing us.

When I was younger, everyone insisted on calling me "Dan". Dan was a different Bible character, and means "he judged" in Hebrew. Dan was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, and was involved in selling his brother into slavery and defrauding his father. Not a nice guy. Then along came some politicians, Dan Quayle and some not-too-bright midwest politicans such as Dan Coates, then Dan White shot Harvey Milk, so I started to insist that people call me Daniel. I still do.
I'm waiting for someone named Dorcas to sign in ...

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