9 Weird Situations Kids Who Grew Up In A *Non Religious* Household Experience

Now, before people start jumping down my throat about how much I need Jesus, or how offensive this might be — please understand someone not being religious does NOT mean they are against religion. I grew up culturally Jewish, but fairly agnostic. My relationship with religion is totally separate from anyone else. Okay? Okay.
hannahmcswain
hannahmcswain

1. The undeniable awkwardness of praying with your friend’s family at dinner.

So, you finally went over to Jessica’s house for dinner. Your mouth is practically salivating just thinking about her mom’s famous Chicken Cordon Bleu. Mmmmmmm. But right as you get ready to dig your fork in and GO TO TOWN, everyone starts holding hands. What. What..What is this? You immediately join, a little unsure if you’re supposed to close your eyes or look up at the sky. And then, as if God himself is laughing at your cluelessness, someone graciously asks, “As our guest, would you like to do the honors?” So, you do your damned best and fumble through your idea of prayer. “Yes, yes…I would like to thank God and The Academy for this really dope looking meal! Seriously, smells heavenly. Oh, wait. Can I say *heavenly*???”

2. Bible references went straight over your head.

Nope, you don’t know that psalm. You don’t even really know what a psalm is, really.

3. Not knowing how to easily explain your beliefs.

There is something I envy about people who are heavily involved with the institution of religion because they just KNOW. They KNOW what they believe with such a certainty, it can be a little…overwhelming. (And also sometimes, means to invalidate what other people think. And if that’s you — Hey, stop that.) But when you are raised in a questioning, or just completely non-religious household, you come to a lot of conclusions on your own. And that means a lot of, “Uh, idk right now. I’m still figuring it out. I’m only 10.”

4. When people asked what church you went to.

You just…don’t?

*cue confused look*

5. Super religious kids weren’t allowed to hang out with you.

It didn’t matter your strength of character or kindness, you were just seen as “Godless.” And as soon as those extreme parents found out you weren’t raised to be God-fearing, that automatically translated into them being afraid of you…and the TERRIBLE INFLUENCE you might have on their kids.

6. Talking about death was…bleak.

Your conversations about what happens when you die sort of went as follows: “Um, none of us really know. But when you die, you die. That’s kind of it.”

7. You were always Team “Happy Holidays.”

The outrage some people feel at using “Happy Holidays” vs. the more traditional “Merry Christmas” always kind of shocked you. Why..? Why would anyone be mad at that? Someone might not be celebrating the holiday you celebrate, soooo why make a universal claim that they are? IDK, MAYBE THAT’S JUST ME. #TeamHappyHolidays

8. Going to church/other religious services with your friend.

Nothing will make you feel more like a fish out of water than accompanying your friend to a religious service. And while they can be really interesting experiences and I’m all for people trying new things, cultures, mindsets, etc. — it’s still weird. It’s still awkward. You’ll still feel like the kid who showed up to the wrong math class and nothing makes sense.

9. You had no idea what to say to those “Door-To-Door-Jesus” dudes.

“Do you have a minute to learn about our Lord and Savior?”

I mean, no, not really. Boy Meets World is on in the other room and you’re a complete stranger at my house. And all of this is weird. Please don’t do this. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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