On being a None

When I tell people I’m a “None,” they think I’ve said “I’m a nun,” as in a habited lady who lives in a convent, which I find both funny and a little ironic because I’m actually sort of the opposite of that kind of nun.

The number of religious services I attended growing up could fit on the fingers of one hand with enough left over for a peace sign. I never officially learned about the Bible, did not study religion, and was not baptized. I did not marry my husband in a church. My parents never tried to teach me anything biblical—save, perhaps, for a very secular version of the “Golden Rule.” I managed to go through life almost completely ignorant of the specifics of religion besides what I picked up on in popular culture or by schoolyard gossip. I hardly know a Catholic from a Protestant, let alone the belief systems of other world religions. They are, after all, legally required to NOT teach us this stuff in most schools.

Granted, not all Nones are as ignorant about religion as me. Some grew up attending church but distanced themselves from their faiths as adults, others may still attend religious services occasionally but do not identify as members of any one religion. Then there are those, like me, whose lack of religion was handed down to them by the previous generation. Both my parents grew up with a religious affiliation but were Nones by the time I entered the picture.

I guess it should come as no surprise that my husband is a fellow None, though you could say we are a “mixed-faith” None couple: my broken affiliation is with Christianity, and Phil’s is with Judaism. Phil’s parents were both raised attending synagogue, his father even participated in the Jewish coming-of-age ritual of the Bar Mitzvah, but both his mom and dad were leaning toward Noneness by the time Phil was born—though, officially, his parents would have still identified as being Jews. Like a lot of None couples today, Phil and I feel a greater affinity with Noneness than our seemingly divergent religious backgrounds.

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2 thoughts on “On being a None

  1. Eastern mystic Krishnamurti used to say: “How can I teach you to know the unknowable.” The Jewish Kaballa speaks about God as Nothingness. So, your “noneness” is not to far off. (smile)

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