(Closed) what does "I'm not religious" mean to you?

posted 5 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: What does "non-religious/not religious" mean to you?
    Christian, but doesn't attend church : (12 votes)
    5 %
    Other religion, doesn't actively attend : (21 votes)
    8 %
    Atheist/Agnostic : (192 votes)
    72 %
    Other? : (40 votes)
    15 %
  • Post # 3
    808 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    I’m agnostic as well. I’m not religious to me could mean a million different things. Religious belief is such a deeply personal thing I will never understand why anyone makes it their business what someone else believes

    Post # 4
    1798 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    @vorpalette:  I don’t think much about religion, but usually categorize myself as atheist. When people ask, I tell them I’m “not religious” to avoid the judgement that people often show towards atheism.

    Post # 5
    9082 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Agnostic or Atheist. To me, “Spiritual” means “I identify with a religion, but I am not practicing.” (I am an Atheist, husband is an Agnostic. I was raised by a very Catholic mother and an Agnostic father.)

    Post # 6
    1755 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    When someone says they’re not religious, I tend to assume that they’ve got some sort of beliefs, unsure of their beliefs or don’t believe and that they aren’t comfortable discussing the matter.  I never push for anyone to elaborate or make suggestions, I take it as my cue to change the subject.

    Post # 7
    8392 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    To me it could be a person who is agnostic or atheist, or simply not actively practicing a religion.

    Post # 8
    2163 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I think this co-worker sounds a little dopey 😉 I’d never think someone who describes themselves as not-religious is Christian. I also categorize myself as non-religious when people ask, and I’ve never had anyone assume that meant I was any kind of religion. 

    Post # 9
    4893 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    Typically, I think it means that they believe in spiritual things (agnostic, basically) but don’t follow an organized religion. Though I have also heard it used to describe a couple other scenarios, like believing in the Christian faith but not attending a religious institution or being totally atheist. 

    Post # 10
    5011 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2012

    It’s a really broad sentiment. It could mean “I’m Christian but don’t go to church”, “I’m Jewish but don’t believe in a g-d”, “I’m Muslim and love having a bacon roll when I’m hungover,” or “I’m an atheist/agnostic with no religious background,” (or one of many hundreds of other options).

    Post # 11
    6512 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Sorry to vote for the vague other, but I tend to think about that phrase based on what I know about the person saying it.  For people that have identified as Christian at some point, I think of it as mean non-service attending or associated with any sect (like me).  For people who have talked about being agnostic/atheist, I just think of that.  I try not to assume if I don’t know though. 

    Post # 13
    1685 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I think “I’m not religious” could mean any of those things. 

    I use that phrase to be vague.  I worry that being more specific about any of my beliefs is an invitation to debate them.  To me, “I’m not religious” tends to translate as, “I don’t feel strongly in any way.”

    Post # 15
    1695 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    To me, not religious means not affiliated w/any organized religion.  That doesn’t mean that I assume that the person is Christian or anything at all.  I don’t like to assume at all about someone’s religious beliefs. 

    Post # 16
    611 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Your coworker is a bit obtuse! I think in general, without knowing anything about the person to shade it either way, “I’m not religious” would definitely mean “I don’t ascribe to/practice any particular belief” or “religion is not a part of my life.”

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