I'm an agnostic atheist. My immediate family contains no atheists though. They're all pretty much Southern Baptists, save for a couple Lutherans.
For graduation and my 18th birthday, my aunt gave me a beautiful necklace with matching earrings and bracelets. They're covered in my favorite color (teal) and peace signs, making it the perfect gift for me! I was so happy and excited to wear them. But there's crosses on there, with that hippie design (larger at top and bottom than middle).
I'm so conflicted! It's exactly like something I'd wear, but I'm worried it sends the message that I agree with the odd laws of the Bible or that I'm not an atheist or don't like them. I could live with people not knowing whether or not I have faith, but after my childhood of being raised to refuse evidence, would I want to advertise for that? For a god who, as Carlin pointed out, seems to agree with rape but forbids any profanity of his name?
On the other hand, maybe it's more of a fashion statement. Crosses were used before Christianity for other reasons without carrying any meaning. The necklace matches my clothes and fashion sense so well, I'd hate to just give it to my mom. It'd make me seem belligerent. And wouldn't that be letting Christianity dominate me like it did in my youth? If I can listen to Christian artists without worshiping, can I not wear a piece of jewelry without proselytizing?
Please keep this discussion kind and nonjudgmental. But I'd really like to hear your thoughts.

Views: 483

Tags: Christian, atheist, cross, family, jewelry, question

Comment by Unseen on June 11, 2012 at 9:31pm

Is it possible to have them refitted so that the crosses are upside down?

If you don't do that, then at least it allows you to operate among theists in stealth mode.

Comment by Mabel on June 12, 2012 at 1:15am

I wouldn't dare be caught wearing a cross, hell I hate to even stop at intersections.

@ Tom - LMAO!

Comment by Kelsey Hayes on June 12, 2012 at 2:26am

If you want to, then go for it. What the cross symbolizes to others isn't as important to what it means - or, in this case, doesn't mean - to you. 

Besides, if anyone comments, you can always clarify.

Comment by Lindsey on June 12, 2012 at 2:49am

I wear an Om necklace even though I'm not Hindu because it's a beautiful piece of jewelry and it was given to me by someone I love a lot (who also isn't Hindu. I don't know why she chose an Om, but whatever). No one who knows me at all would ever mistake me for religious, and I don't really care what strangers assume about my religious beliefs. But then again, a lot of people who aren't Hindu don't really know what an Om is. You wouldn't believe how many people have asked me why I'm wearing a 30 around my neck.

Comment by IEatDinosaurMeat on June 12, 2012 at 3:35am

I mean, if you like forms of capital punishment hanging from you I guess it's alright... A little morbid if you ask me...

Comment by Diane on June 12, 2012 at 6:30am

Do you know any funky artists who could alter it in some way while adding to its beauty?  I thought it was interesting reading people's reactions to this question, and noting my own.  I would not want to dignify the cross with the honor of displaying it, even if I told myself it had nothing to do with Christianity and was simply an artistic element in the design.

Maybe they could be changed into some stylized bacteria with fancy flagella?  Now that I'd proudly wear.  Bacteria are something in which I can believe.

Comment by Emperor Milos on June 12, 2012 at 8:13am
I agree with Mr. DinosaurMreat. If anyone asks, you are a fan of ancient torture methods.
I would also have a toothpick at all times to symbolize impaling.
Comment by SteveInCO on June 12, 2012 at 9:35am

Bacteria are something in which I can believe.

My dad would get these horrid paisley ties from his mother as gifts and would wear them when she was visiting (he thought they were horrid too).  I used to call them paramecium ties.  (And the thing is, in my family everyone got it!)

Comment by archaeopteryx on June 12, 2012 at 10:27am

@Diane - Lindsey (above) is right, it can become a conversation piece, an ice-breaker. If you sense the person is not particularly Christian-based, you can tell them the real story, including or omitting your atheistic leanings, who knows, you might meet a fellow atheist. If you sense a Christian, you can explain you're a Death-Penalty advocate, you think lethal injection is pampering the criminal, and you want to bring back crucifixion - if you get a wild enough look in your eye when you say it through clenched teeth, you probably won't have to worry about further proselytizing.

Comment by archaeopteryx on June 12, 2012 at 10:31am

RE: "impaling" - Is it true that Vlad tried to make that an Olympic sport?

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