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)

Tags: name, naming

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What's in a name? To me, nothing. My wife, a theist, named daughters # 2 & 3, Ruth & Esther. So what. It turns out both Ruth & Esther are Agnostic Deists.
I found this thread kind of late but I had to share this tidbit.

My middle name is "Christian". Oh, the irony.

I've considered having it changed but it just didn't seem worth the hassle. If I did, I'd probably pick something like "Darwin" or "Hussein" or....?
Angélica here...at some point I wanted to change my name but now I actually like it. It is interesting that based on it most people assume that I am devoutly religious. One day at an interview I was asked if I was as religious as my name and when I responded that I am atheist the man got furious. Afterward he sent me a long e-mail telling me what a 'heathen' I was, and how he would never hire a person who denied the existence of god as that in itself meant that I wasn't very smart. If anything what most upset me about it was the fact that an architect, a creative person who is supposedly open minded could have reacted that way.

I would never name my kid Darwin...a bit too pretentious. I would much rather make up a name or name them after one of my favorite characters.
Depending on where you live, this should be completely unacceptable. In the UK I believe employers are not allowed to refuse to hire you because of your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) unless it would threaten the essential religious character of the organisation (a church or Christian charity for example), although even that is pretty tenuous thanks to EU human rights laws.

Seriously, if this guy refused to hire you because you weren't religious and then was stupid enough to actually send you a big list of evidence of that in an email, you're pretty much obliged to take him to court! :-)
I could have sued but besides money I wouldn't have gained anything from it, if anything he made me a favor as I would have never wanted to work for someone so fanatical and intolerant ;-)

My best revenge is to tell you his name: Al Brothers.
My original name, Matthew, means "Gift from God". I enjoy the irony considering how much of an active atheist I am now. A few years ago I adopted my middle name as my first - for reasons unrelated to my lack of faith - and am quite happy with Alexander which is absolutely not religious as far as I know. Better a defender of men than a gift from God!
I'm all in favor of people changing their name(s) as often as they like, for whatever reasons... as long as they aren't trying to get out of paying child support, or something similar. One of my favorite legal name change stories is of Vermin Supreme, who runs for US president every erection election.
My passport states my name(s) is(are) Michael John.
I'm known by all who know me as Jack after my Father and Grandfather.
However, even though we all think that many of our "official" names may have their origins in religion, they probably existed long before religions, as we know them, came to be formed.
Another thought, if xtianty (the religion I'm most familiar with) could appropriate existing festivals (Xmas Easter Samhain etc,) why would they not swipe and claim fist names as their own?
How many forms have you had to fill in lately where you were asked to provide your "Christian" name, even in so-called secular situations.

A final note, even recently, a friend here in Ireland presented her child for baptism (I know) and was told that at least one of the childs "Christian" names had to be that of a saint.
Did she go through with the baptism?

In the US, I have never encountered anyone asking for my "Christian" name on any secular forms. I did have someone ask for it when I volunteered for some organization, so I assured her that "Méabh" is far from a Christian name.
My first name is Heather, one letter away from something I've been for most of my life.
My second name's Ismael (Ishmael "God has hearkened"), I hate it and yes, I'm thinking of getting rid of it. I'd like it to be just Eduardo.
"Call me Ishmael" - The most famous opening lines, in one of the most important books in the English language. Moby Dick. Maybe you should try going by it for a while, and see how people react to you! It's a cool sounding name, to me.

I did not used to like my middle name, Edwin. For about, say, 30 years. Now I like it, partly because I have never known someone personally with the name. It's not the same as Eduardo (Edward) but is close. Neither name is Biblical.


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