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FireMadeFlesh's avatar

For those no longer practising the religion of their childhood, do you still have some residual habits from that religion?

Asked by FireMadeFlesh (16563points) August 21st, 2010

For example, even though I am now an atheist I still tend to avoid pig meat and seafood. I also struggled for some time to form views on sexuality that are based on critical thinking rather than tradition or a mere lack of understanding. A friend of mine who is a non-religious Muslim always covers her mirror at night, because she was brought up to believe that a mirror shows the dead when the lights are off.

What habits and ideas, if any, do you still have for the sole reason that you were brought up that way? Does it bother you, or are you quite happy to go on in the same way?

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21 Answers

Your_Majesty's avatar

No. I dump them all as soon as I found that they’re all fake and irrational.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Hmmm, I can’t think of any that I genuinely cling to for my own reasons.
I mean, some things that I do are out of respect for the religious members of my family. For example, on Easter I will say hristos voskres and voyiestinoh voskres (which means Christ is risen/indeed he is risen, and it is the standard greeting for a Ukrainian Easter.)
I am an atheist – but I don’t see any harm in maintaining certain traditions for family.

Mephistopheles's avatar

My parents are essentially secular (though not athiests) but keep many Jewish traditions – no pork, attending synagogue for big festivals etc.

I’m not necessarily athiestic, but I don’t believe in organised religion in the slightest. I can see why my parents do what they do – they don’t feel comfortable breaking traditions that their families have kept for thousands of years – and I sympathise with that, but I simply can’t keep rules that have absolutely no rational basis. It feels cowardly to not have the confidence to practice religion according to your personal beliefs. Plus pork tastes too damn good.

Odysseus's avatar

Ha, good question.
Raised catholic through childhood then tried a couple of others until I realised that its all one.
I still find myself making the sign of the cross when I witness a serious accident/avoid one etc. I even do it sometimes when I hear an ambulance drive by. Also on the rare occasions that I encounter particularity nasty/evil individuals I feel my old faith taking a defensive role in my psyche. (strangely I also have a taught aversion to pork, not sure if that’s orthodox Catholicism teaching or just the fact that it smells)

How do I feel about these idiosyncrasies? Fine!
sometimes I feel hypocritical but I understand why I do them so I feel no guilt. heehee

Austinlad's avatar

You can take Austinlad out of Judaism but you can’t take Judaism out of Austinlad. I don’t observe Jewish holidays and customs very much anymore, but I never forget what I was taught and what it was like spending religious time with my family.

perspicacious's avatar

I grew up in a Protestant religion and learned a great deal. That particular religion was too fundamental and when I left home and married my husband and I became members of a more liberal Protestant denomination. So, yes, I retained that which I accepted into my own philosophy.

Jude's avatar

Raised Catholic. I don’t eat meat on Good Friday.

Fyrius's avatar

I was raised as a Catholic, and I still enjoy talking to imaginary friends.

Oh snap.

muppetish's avatar

The short answer is no, but I could offer a bit more information on my particular case. My parents are from separate religions. My dad was born and raised Catholic, though he is essentially non-practicing (doesn’t attend church, observe tradition on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, etc.) and my mother is a Southern Christian Baptist… who also doesn’t attend church (but her faith is very near and dear to heart.)

My parents decided not to raise us with a particular religion in my mind. They told us about Christ and God and had us pray every night before going to bed. But we didn’t go to church, never read the Bible, and were welcome to form our own beliefs. Both my brothers and I are non-religious. I can’t speak for them, but I no longer pray and I grew out of my belief in God the way I child stops believing in Santa Claus.

So I have no remnants of religion leftover from my childhood, but I think the question you posed is incredibly interesting and I have enjoyed reading the comments left by others.

Seek's avatar


Well, I still feel a kind of giddy rebelliousness whenever I cut my hair.

It’s fading quickly, though.

TexasDude's avatar

I had weird sexual issues for a while.

I also find myself spontaneously and almost subconsciously praying when I’m falling asleep sometimes. When I was going through my Christian upbringing, I was told to pray every single night before sleeping. It became such a habit that I almost do it on autopilot sometimes in the haze of pre-sleep.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

None whatsoever.
@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I’ll solve any residual issues you’ve got

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Yep, plenty of guilt and shame that pops up at the strangest times.

TexasDude's avatar

@hawaii_jake, I’m familiar with the feeling. It sucks.

cookieman's avatar

raised: Catholic | now: Agnostic

I’ve caught myself looking skyward and saying “Are you fucking serious?!” when something goes terribly wrong. So I’m basically acknowledging the presence of something I’m fairly certain doesn’t exist.

Nially_Bob's avatar

Not even mildly which I assumed for years was the norm. I was raised catholic, attended catholic schools and so such yet was astoundingly oblivious to the entire concept of religion for a good proportion of my life, and so when I reached the age at which I may question such things I had little issue in doing so. It’s only in recent years that i’ve realised that many people I attended school with experience the infamous “catholic guilt” and still, if slightly, want to believe in God.

Ron_C's avatar

I was raised Catholic and take special delight in eating a steak on Friday, especially on “Good Friday”. We do celebrate Christmas and have a tradition on Thanksgiving where we go around the table and everyone says why they are grateful. By the way no one seems to mention being grateful to god, but my kids are actually grateful for the way we (mostly my wife) brought them up.

Zyx's avatar

I take all the fun stuff from religions I encounter and ignore the rest.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Raised catholic. And uhhh nope, cant think of anything I still follow of the religion, except for the holidays, but they were never really about the religion anyway.They were/are still just days off from school/work and excuses to give/receive presents or candy.

MaryW's avatar

Also Catholic and very open to all ideas and religions.
I believe that we are all a product in some way of our upbringing, and am very comfortable with God, and with others and their beliefs. It is all an ongoing journey. I believe we make choices on what and how we take ideas into our hearts and also on what and how we don’t.

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