Spinoff-ish:Do you call yourself Christian (Catholic, etc) without believing it?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Do you currently identify yourself as what you were raised/baptized/etc as if you no longer believe?
    Yes : (7 votes)
    14 %
    No : (26 votes)
    51 %
    I sort of still believe it/I believe multiple things including what I was raised/baptized/etc as : (12 votes)
    24 %
    Other (explain below) : (6 votes)
    12 %
  • Post # 3
    4698 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @EmeraldTiger:  I’m not shy about saying I don’t believe, but I think people just do it to provide a clear answer – it’s not always as clear cut as saying “I’m a christian” or “I’m not.” You might have beliefs and morals and values that were instilled by your religious upbringing, for example, that remain even if you don’t worship.

    Or you might identify with some of the cultural and group aspects of your religion because that’s the world you’ve always known, you may even perform certain rituals from force of habit (or follow the greek principle of correct practice as more important than correct thought) even if the feelings/beliefs behind them have decreased or disappeared.

    Sometimes one might find it relevant to say “I was brought up xyz, but I’m not anymore” because that experience tends to create a different person than someone whose family never raised them with a religion. 

    Post # 4
    1590 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Depends. When someone I don’t know well asks, I say I’m Catholic. Close friends know that I’m “not a fan” of religion. FI wants to raise our children Catholic and I have agreed.

    Post # 5
    3077 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2015

    My family thinks I’m christian. I’ve struggled with my faith in the past several years (after realizing I’m bisexual, dating a women, and going through the whole “am I going to hell because of it” perpetuated only by loud mouthed “christians)….Christians like that have driven me away from religion. I still try to be spiritual but it’s a hard road to hoe. I basically don’t know what I am anymore lol

    Post # 6
    6457 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I classify myself as a Lutheran. I am struggling with some of the beliefs of my synod and I don’t go to church as often as I should but I still have the basic beliefs that I believe are the important ones to the religion.

    Post # 7
    1464 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    I classify myself as ex-evangelical. I was a VERY strong believe and very involved, so I can’t deny that some of the values have rubbed off on me, and that I still maintan some of the cultural elements, but I do not consider myself Christian any more.

    Post # 8
    3222 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    I think it depends on cultural values. Most Jews I know are entirely secular/agnostic, but it’s really hard to just say you’re agnostic when there are many cultural practices that you engage in. Saying, “I was raised Jewish but I’m an atheist now” explains why you would have a secular Ketubah at your wedding.

    I suppose it would be similar for christians. My FH went to Catholic school all of his life but is a really pedantic atheist (to the point of sometimes being offensive to religious people). His family celebrates Christmas and he participates in the gift-giving rituals. 

    I wasn’t raised Christian and don’t celebrate Christmas. This is shocking to a lot of agnostics/atheists who were raised in Christisn households and still gather with their family for Xmas. When they say they don’t celebrate the Christian aspects of Xmas, they often forget that there are religious cultural values that they do celebrate. As a non-Christian, atheist, my family does have cultural significant gatherings, but they occur at different times of the year. 

    Post # 9
    10454 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    I voted for the 3rd option, although I don’t know if ‘sorta’ believe the same thing is the right option.  I’m not officially a member of a church in my city now, but I do still belong to the same church.  Over time my beliefs have changed, I would hope that’s true for most people, that they grew spiritually since they were 2 Smile


    Some of the issue is the labels people use for others, usually within a particular faith, but between types.  I’ve never heard a Muslim say that someone isn’t a real Christian, but I’ve heard some Christians say that my specific denomination isn’t really Christian, and neither are Catholics, Mormons, JW’s, etc.

    Post # 10
    1734 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 1998

    Some of the previous answers were excellent. I was raised in a Christian home, identify as an atheist; my brother, however, has admitted that he’s more of an agnostic, but will say that he’s a Christian when asked. He explained it as:

    “We were raised that way…and it tells people about my values and traditions, even if I don’t identify as that any longer.” He’s also admitted that it’s social lubricant – i.e., people respond much more positively to that than, “I don’t believe.”

    Post # 11
    258 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    No. I would find it insulting to pepole if faith if I “pretended” to be part of one. 

    If asked my religion, I say atheist or none. 

    Post # 12
    8282 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I put Other as in I really have no clue anymore. 

    I was brought up & raised Catholic. I got married in a Catholic church. I hadn’t been to mass in AGES. I don’t believe in what the Catholic religion stands by. 

    I consider myself basically “nothing.”

    Post # 13
    2878 posts
    Sugar bee

    Since I study and work in a field (religious studies) where people tend to ask me if I have the faith (and I haven’t), I always say that I am Agnostic, then the next question is often why do you study religion if you’re not a religious person ? I tell them about my background : I was raised Catholic (though my parents were not practicing) and we’re surrounded by Catholic architecture, art, etc., that’s where my curiosity to know more about my culture and our religious history came from, and I’ve always found that to be fascinating whenever I had history classes (and I did all my studies in History before ph.d).

    I’m not ready to ask officially for apostasy and honestly I don’t know what it will bring more to my life because being officially (in the Church registries) ”Catholic” is not a problem for me, it doesn’t bother me to the point I absolutely want to act on that status and retrieve from Church. I abstain from communion when I attend mass (for baptisms, weddings or funerals), and nobody has ever complained about it. I am extremely respectful of other people’s religion and beliefs, and I don’t feel conflicted by my Catholic background even if I don’t consider myself Catholic anymore.

    Post # 14
    2132 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    I was occasionally forced to go to church and get saved as a child, however I NEVER believed in any religion (even as a kid) and never identified myself as a Christian. It is no secret that I’m an Atheist.

    Post # 15
    6697 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I think it’s possible to take meaning from religion, and to identify with a faith, a history or a community  without believing in each and every aspect, ilterally. 

    Post # 16
    1013 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I have a love/hate relationship with the religion in which I  was raised. I am really something more like “agnostic” .


    I grew up in a evangelical christian home. The church I was raised in was borderline fundamentalist. It definitely messed me up, because my parents were such hardcore, sheltered, brainwashed believers who lacked critical thinking skills about the real world, and  were generally unhappy, fearful, and had little compassion or empathy for people outside of their own tiny world.


    However, after taking a long break from church, and essentially being agnostic, I let my DH convince me to attend a more liturgical church with a focus on social justice and community service. This is the part of church that I believe is good and worthwhile, not the judging, fear-spreading, bible-thumping that goes on in a lot of churches in the U.S.


    I attend a local church regularly now, but I don’t necessarily believe in most or all aspects of Christianity as absolute truth, but rather a meaningful way to think about the world and other people. Sometimes it is nice to sit in a place where everyone is hopeful and focused on being the best person they can, and thinking of how we can together improve the community around us.



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