When atheists are form filling, how do they answer the question "what is your religion?"? For most of my life I have written “No religion” or “Atheist”. But when I was a 17-year old schoolboy in the 1950s applying to get into St Peter’s College at Oxford University I encountered this question and I answered carefully by writing “C of E”. All the undergraduate colleges were nominally Christian with heads called Masters.
My response proved to be a useful device because everyone in England knows that C of E stands for the established Church of England---yet it was not what it meant to me.
For me it stood for Critic of the Establishment.
Phew. I can only add that by good fortune at the interviews I was never asked questions about religion. I had been so sheltered from religious practice that, as I recall, I was 15 before I saw the inside of a church, and only then because out of curiosity one day I went inside one just to see what the interior looked like.
"Orthodox," eh? Not a Conservative Heathen or maybe a Reformed Heathen??? [chuckle!] Wouldn't you just love to see a radio button on a form for ANY of those choices!
"None" unless Atheist is an option.
If there were some secularist organizations in my community that stand to get funds if I answer 'secular humanist', then I'd answer that. But that's not my religion, it's my ethical / philosophical value system.
Like most here, I'd answer "None". That is generally because there is a list given to choose from and Atheist is not on that list..I guess because it is not a religion. If there is the ability to write in an answer, I generally say "None" or "Not Applicable"..I have also used the ever-popular "Nunya"..as in "Nunya Business".
Its a problem because I hate writing "Atheist" because atheism is not a religion, but in certain cases I want to make my position clear. Some write none just because they do not belong to a certain church but they are believers. When I am admitted to a hospital I want it to be known that me writing "none" doesn't mean that I'll accept any religious man to pray by my bed side.. So I have started writing "none, non believer" I feel that makes it clear without implying atheism is a religion.
Thoughtful response. Atheism is not a religion, so "none" is an honest and accurate answer to the question "what is your religion".
Order of preference if choices given: atheist, agnostic, freethinker, none, no preference. My favourite non answer is Jedi.
All the forms that I have had to fill out so far in my life have just had a checklist that said "none" or "no religion"
If I had to fill out a form and one of the choices were atheist, I would choose that one.
Thank you for telling us this story Beth.