Being nonreligious in the South
Start writing a post
Religion

What It's Like Being A Non-Religious Southern Girl, But Explained By Joey Tribbiani

What it's really like when you aren't religious in the Land of God, Family, and Football

1710
joey tribbiani

My brothers and I grew up with a combination of Catholicism, Judaism, and Christianity. As we got older, soccer practices and ballet classes started to conflict with the various services and eventually took precedence. Our parents were less concerned with what we believed in and more concerned with exposing us to the religions that made our family so unique.

I respect religion, and I love learning about it. I love talking to my friends about their beliefs and the discoveries they make about themselves through religion. Religion is capable of amazing things. But it is not something I choose to be a part of my own life. And yes, that is okay. We all make choices in our lives, and this is mine.

Back home, not identifying with a particular religion or any religion at all is perfectly normal. So is Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, etc. The South is a different story. After three years in the land of God, Family, and Football I have noticed some distinct differences between myself and those who grew up south of the Mason Dixon. I'll let Joey Tribbiani explain.

There's no good answer to "So where do you go to church?"

Giphy

You would think "I don't" is a suitable answer. But no matter what variation you use, they always look hurt and offended. It's a little weird apologizing for not going to church when you don't identify with religion at all...

When someone tells you "Bless your soul"

Giphy

When I told my mom I was going to Alabama, the first thing she told me was that this phrase is not a compliment. No matter how sweet they sound when they're saying it to you.

You accidentally say things you shouldn't

Giphy

My sense of humor does not always line up with what religion deems acceptable/polite/etc. It doesn't help that I don't know everything that is and isn't okay to say. Sometimes it can get ugly. I'm grateful I have such forgiving friends who elbow me in the ribs before I get the chance to put my foot in my mouth. Most of the time.

You're the odd one out at Sunday brunch

Giphy

Whenever I roll out of bed and over to brunch, I'm usually the last one there and far from presentable. Do you wear your comfy clothes, or do you pretend you had a reason to look presentable as well? There is no good in between...

Not knowing how to respond to "Pray for me, y'all!"

Giphy

People say this to me more often than I would expect, even if they know that I don't pray. I will send you lots of good thoughts, but it isn't something I do. It's not out of spite, it's just not an activity that I partake in. You make a choice to do so, I make a choice not to. But that doesn't mean I won't keep you in my thoughts and wish for the best for you. I'm just doing it in my own way.

Sometimes the FOMO is real

Giphy

Listening to my friends talk about their Bible study or the last service they went to makes me feel out of the loop. You're sitting there and twiddling your thumbs while your friends discuss a book that has had a huge impact on their lives but you don't relate to. I usually make an effort to try and understand on a basic level, because I really want to show my friends I care about them and what they are passionate about. But again, it's just not for me.

Struggling to keep certain thoughts to yourself

Giphy

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Or, if you don't know what's going on, just hope they change topics soon. Is there really no such thing as a dumb question? We will never know...

"So. What do you celebrate?"

Giphy

I celebrate my family and the people I care about.

Yes, I celebrate Christmas. No, I don't go to church. Christmas is when I drive hundreds of miles to spend quality time with my family and experience winter.

Yes, I celebrate Hanukkah. No, I don't do it for the extra eight nights of gifts. It's something my grandmother was passionate about, and it's another connection I have with my family.

People assume you have no morals

Giphy

I don't have a religion or a book guiding my actions, this is true. That doesn't mean I run around doing whatever I feel like. I had to come up with my own set of morals. No, I don't have Jesus, but I have my own beliefs.

At the end of the day, we're all people

Giphy

Religion is a powerful thing, and at the end of the day I respect it and what it does for the ones I love.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

46124
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

29214
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

953580
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

160889
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments