Room 101 – Christian Names
Following on from the post Room 101 Vegetarian Options I would also banish ‘Christian Names’ to room 101 too. But lets be clear first that I don’t have any issue with Christians, Christianity, people who follow it or purport to be followers of the work of Jesus Christ, (or any other faith come to that). I don’t mind *other people* having Christian Names, Muslim Names, Sikh Names Hindu Names, or any other names associated with any other religion or culture. What I find loathsome is being asked for MY ‘Christian Name’.
Being asked for a ‘Christian Name’ has the explicit expectation of being Christian. Those of us who do not claim to be Christian or follow Christianity might find this a little bit presumptuous. In the same way that it would be a bit odd to ask a non-Muslim for their Muslim Name. The answer is ‘I don’t have one’. But if you give that answer to someone asking for your ‘Christian Name’ they don’t like it, and often don’t understand why you are being so awkward.
So ask for a first-name, forenames, given names, ‘as known as’ names, nicknames but please leave religion out of it. At least, if it is being asked in a non-religious context. If I were signing up to join a Church I might expect to be asked for my Christian Name, but not in a multi-faith and multi-cultural society where people are free to choose whatever faith they wish to follow.