What do you list under religious preference when asked to select from a list?


When registering for a test at the hospital, the woman asked for my religious preference. I asked if there was "atheist" (she was selecting on a list in her computer). The woman said not and laughed like she'd never heard of such a thing. Then trying to be helpful she said, "We do have Pagan." I said that's not the same thing. I asked if she had humanist. She said, "No, but we have Wiccan" (which she mispronounced). I said, "No." She said that she could put "unknown." Just annoying. I realize that atheism isn't a religion, but there must be something better to list under religious preference. If for no other reason, I want to stop people from coming in to try to pray with me (which happened in the hospital when I had my daughter). 

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There probably is a "none." But let us know what you find out.


I am actually not sure what the choices really were on the form. I think the woman completing my form had no idea what an atheist is. I told her that I don't believe in any form of superstition, but I think that just confused her. Because I think it was after that she offered Wiccan (which she pronounced WY-can).


(I am re-posting this because because I realized that the first time I posted it, I was accidentally signed in under my husband's account.)

hello everyone here. you might ask, why do you want to know? do you think the doctor is going to kill me, if so i can tell you my undertaker company. or mebe i shud just leave and find a hospital with a doctor who wont kill me.

Hmmm....I work at a hospital and I happen to be on the forms committee there....I really hadn't thought about forms that may have religious preference information on them, but now I'm going to investigate if there are any such forms and look into getting them revised.
Cool. I'm glad that something good came out of my experience!

there should rightfully so be a 'non' issue option. box etc. check/x done. non. computer says ok
and yeah I hear in hospitals in s. florida people are asked by nurse for registration form purpose xyz...
"what's your religion?" patient: "none" nurse; "yeah we're getting a lot of that these days"
ha look what I found

i really dont see the relevance of any question on belief at all. nor do i understand why  a hospital would have "chaplains"'  seems to me if you want one you shud ask to see one, otherwise they shud stay away. ive been hospitalized a lot, but ive never gone to a hospital to meet a preacher

Chaplins- Hospitals probably make great recruiting grounds. I guess they figure that lying in hospital bed is the most captive audience they can find. And on top of that you have benefit of being in a vulnerable state -- more easily suggestible. And taking hospital drugs may make you more prone to having "religious experiences." 


OK, that might not be how they are thinking about it exactly. But I bet that at least part of it is that they want to try to save our souls before we die. I'm sure they think they are doing a good thing. And I also think that they think they are comforting people. That could be true for some people. But I find it an uncomfortable thing. 

I like "Oh your god! (said with a smirk)  No.  Thank you, but no."  The last part you need to be kind but quite firm. 

Sometimes, one will still have to state that one is an atheist, but this normally does the trick for me.


honestly, when my  kids went to the states, i told them,"if asked, say youre a buddhist"

Sorry this is such a late post, but I wanted to update a posts that were made about the military religious preference. Atheist and Agnostic are now available for selection. My DogTags have said Atheist for about 5 years now, and no religious preference before that. I wish they would do an update to the list and encourage those to correctly state their religion based on what they would like done to their body after they die. I have seen too many protestant memorial services for those with No Religious Preference selected.

I would have asked her to put Secular Humanist or Atheist in her list. Then, there's always Pastafarian.

Legal for drivers license photos in some countries! :)


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