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

posted 8 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: What does "non-religious/not religious" mean to you?

    Christian, but doesn't attend church

    Other religion, doesn't actively attend



  • Post # 17
    806 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    To me it means I’m spiritual but I do not attend church or subscribe to any religious beliefs. 

    Post # 18
    7899 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    Generally, I’d expect a person who says “I’m not religious” to be disinterested in the idea of organized religion and possibly (though no necessarily) atheist. I would, however, anticipate though not expect that such people probably celebrates some secular version of Christmas or Hanakkah or other major holiday appropriate for the culture they were raised in or is common among their friends and family. I would not think that such a person is simply in need of or looking for the right church.

    ETA: to give a longterm cultural and linguistic perspective: “Religion” comes from the Latin word religio which refers to the practice of rites for (the) god(s) and is separate from belief/spirituality. The cornerstone of ancient Mediterranean “religions” was religiopractive, not belief. Christianity turned this on its head. in Christianity, important is placed on belief and the practices and rites reinforce that belief but are not tantamount to faith. You can be Christian and NEVER go to church, but you could not be a proper devotee of polytheistic ancient religion unless you participated in sacrifice (primarily… though other rites were involved as well). So anyway… technically, being not-religious should mean that a person practices no faith–does not go through the motions, regardless of actual belief.

    Post # 19
    873 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I’m antireligion, but I usually just tell people that “I’m not religious”. One thing that I have found is that people often take that as meaning that I’m atheist, which is not the case at all. It’s really annoying. I usually steer clear of such conversations especially around extended family and religious people because ironically enough, religious people can be so damn judgemental.

    Post # 20
    2638 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2006

    I assume it means that they don’t practice or believe in any kind of organized religion. If someone has Christian beliefs but doesn’t attend church or whatever, I’d just consider them a non-practicing Christian but would still expect themselves to identify as Christian, I guess.

    Post # 21
    2214 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Well, I’m agnostic/atheist (I keep going back and forth), but usually I just say “I’m not religious” to avoid the stigma that comes along with being agnostic/atheist in the bible belt, so I went with that answer. I think not being religious and not attending church are two totally different things. If you just don’t attend church but still believe, then you are still religious.  I’m not spirtual at all, so I wouldn’t assume that someone is spirtual either if they told me they weren’t religious.

    Post # 22
    1416 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    As an atheist, I usually think when someone says “not religious” that they probably are spiritual and believe in a god, but not necessarily the rules of any institutionalized religion. I also would consider that they may be atheist/agnostic, but since I’m personally vocal about my non-belief, I would admittedly initially assume they believed in god just not religion since I’d expect somebody agnostic/atheist to outright say so. But maybe that’s just because all of my atheist/agnostic friends happen to be open about it…

    Post # 23
    3245 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    @vorpalette:  Hm, I would say that if someone said that to me, I’d assume they were atheist/agnostic. Agnostic is how I would describe myself if someone not close to me asked, though that doesn’t describe me especially accurately either. . . but I am not into any religion, etc.

    Ugh that someone at your work brought up religion. I don’t think it’s super polite to talk about things like that at work because it can be such a touchy subject. :/

    Post # 24
    3245 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    View original reply
    @HeMadeMeWantTo:  “I usually steer clear of such conversations especially around extended family and religious people because ironically enough, religious people can be so damn judgemental.” Ha, I entirely agree.

    Post # 25
    8036 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2013

    @vorpalette:  I think not religious means that you don’t belong to any particular religion. Not that you’re Christian… your coworker makes no sense to me.

    I consider myself agnostic too and I do not belong to any particular religion so I would say I am not religious.

    Post # 26
    5 posts
    Post # 27
    401 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I think it could be either the second or third option, but if someone is non-practicing i feel like they will specify that.

    Post # 28
    2959 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I am a gnostic, which is NOT the same as agnostic. I believe that all great religions are equally valid. I favor the Pagan religion myself, but I find beauty in the rituals and symbolism of many religions. I am especially fond of the Catholic saints, especially St. Francis and St. Anthony. However, I do not attend any particular church regularly so I guess you could say I am non-religious.

    Post # 29
    6401 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Hmm, I think it can mean anything from atheist or agnostic, to spiritual but not following organised religion/attending Church.

    I’m an atheist, and when asked what my religious beliefs are, I always say that I’m atheist, as for me, ‘not religious’ is a little vague and open to interpretation. I see no reason to be ‘polite’ or to beat around the bush so I’m pretty direct.

    Post # 30
    5398 posts
    Bee Keeper

    that’s a good question! It could mean a lot of things. I say that I’m not religious, but I am Christian and I just don’t really care for organized religion and the hypocrisy and bs that generally goes along with it. I’m a spiritual/faithful person, but not religious in the sense that I don’t regularly attend a church. I also take this to mean a person is agnostic or atheist if I know that about them. If I don’t know, I won’t assume. I don’t care to talk about religion with other people much anyway–too personal. 

    Post # 31
    10713 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I usually take that to mean they are athiest or agnostic but that might be because I am agnostic. When people ask me I tell them I am agnostic so there is no confusion lol.

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