Can We Guess If You Grew Up Religious?

By: Elisabeth Henderson

Can We Guess If You Grew Up Religious?
Image: Jupiterimages / Polka Dot / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Whether or not you keep to the religion you were taught as a child, a religious upbringing will leave a permanent stamp on your life. As children, we learn all the basic principles and values that guide the way we understand everything about the world. How do you tell right from wrong? What happens when we die? How do you approach people who have different values than you? How do you relate to your body and your desires? Religious training from a young age can press a child’s understanding into a very strict mold. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fully break from that mold, even if you decide you don’t agree with it.

If you’ve been raised religious, you know what we’re talking about. You don’t philosophically have any problem with letting your kids believe in Santa, but something nags at your gut whenever they talk about him hopefully. Or maybe you were raised religious, and you held on to your faith as a guiding post for your life. There are elements of being raised religious that you and your similarly religiously raised friends have in common. It’s like a secret code. You take extra pleasure in doing something that was forbidden when you were a child, even when it’s perfectly legal. Having friends over for a glass of wine still feels a little bit rebellious, even at 40. See if you speak the secret religious language by decoding this quiz! 

Q 01 Halloween trick-or-treating Most kids look forward to dressing up for Halloween, going trick-or-treating and eating too much candy. What did your family do?
Turned all the lights off and pretended not to be home
Went out for a fun dinner to celebrate
Dressed up and went trick-or-treating, of course
Dressed up as something scary and tried to scare the other kids

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Q 02 Funeral What is the most normal reason that your family would go to a religious service on a weekday?
To worship and pray
For an important holiday
For a major holiday
For a funeral

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Q 03 Getting from Santa How did you feel when other kids would talk about what they were getting from Santa?
Deeply troubled and worried for their souls
A bit left out
Excitedly waiting my turn to talk
Competitive

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Q 04 Pointed to Have you ever been pointed to as an example of a rare group that follows unusual religious practices?
Regularly
Every now and then
Not really
Never

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Q 05 Fashion choices What kind of conversation would you have with your parents about your fashion choices?
That my clothing choices were not honoring to God
That my clothing might send the wrong message
That my top didn’t really look good with the rest of my outfit
That my outfit looked too conservative

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Q 06 St Patrick's Day When most kids were making a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick’s Day, what were you thinking about?
Memorizing the prayer of St. Patrick
Wondering how this religious holiday became a wild festival
Looking forward to the big party at our church
Weighing whether I could participate in this holiday even though I was against it in principle

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Q 07 Slumber party On what condition were you allowed to go to a slumber party at a friend’s house?
Under no conditions
Only if we knew the family and they went to our church
As long as my parents were sure the parents were home and the kids seemed nice
Almost always, unless one of the kids had a history of troublemaking

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Q 08 Latest hippest album If you got the latest, hippest album, what would you do with it?
Hide it carefully away and cover it with another album cover
Only listen to it when I knew my parents weren’t listening
Blast it in my room
Have a dance party with my family

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Q 09 Sunday morning routine Some families sleep in and go to brunch on Sunday. What was your family’s Sunday morning routine?
Quick breakfast and get dressed up for religious school, then church, then church potluck
Eat breakfast together, then go to church and maybe go out for lunch afterward
Sleep in and have a late breakfast together
Get up early and go out for a hike or some other nature outing

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Q 10 Babies come from How and when did you learn where babies come from?
From a friend, in high school
At school, in middle school
From my parents, in middle school
From my parents, in elementary school

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Q 11 Swimsuit as a kid What kind of swimsuit were you allowed to wear as a kid?
Whatever covered the most skin
A one-piece or long shorts
I could wear what I wanted.
I could wear what I wanted, as long as it didn’t look dorky.

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Q 12 Banning from hanging out What would be grounds for your parents banning you from hanging out with a friend?
If they didn’t go to our church
If my parents heard my friend cussing
If my parents heard that the friend had a bad reputation
If my parents caught my friend and I doing something totally against our house rules

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Q 13 Religious ceremonies By the time you were 5 years old, what did you know about religious ceremonies?
I knew the entire order of the ceremony, when to sit and stand, and had several prayers and songs memorized.
I knew basically what the service was about and when I was going to be released with the rest of the kids.
I knew the general drill and what kind of meal we would probably have after the holiday service.
I knew that some people went to religious services and that it was kind of like believing in magic.

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Q 14 Over for drinks What was your family’s reaction to another family inviting them over for drinks?
No way, and we would probably never hang out with them again.
Depending on who the people were, we may go.
That would be perfectly normal, and we’d likely go.
When does the party start?

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Q 15 Got a tattoo What would have happened (or did happen) if you got a tattoo?
I would have had to live with someone else.
I would have been seriously grounded.
Depending on the tattoo, my parents may have been seriously disappointed.
We’d probably compare tattoos.

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Q 16 Day without work Did your family have a day that you didn’t do any work?
Yes, every week we took a day of rest and prayer.
We’d try to observe a day of rest, but we’d often let it slide.
Not really, but we’d take little vacations often.
We all took a step back when we felt like we needed it.

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Q 17 Feeling guilty Do you ever catch yourself feeling guilty about a choice you’ve made, even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong with it?
Almost daily
Every now and then
Once or twice
Nope

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Q 18 Family TV What kind of shows might be on the family TV on a weekday night?
Broadcasting from a religious network
Documentaries or family comedy
Any popular show that was family-friendly
Any popular show

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Q 19 Food restrictions Did you grow up with any food restrictions that weren’t related to allergies?
We abstained from certain foods all the time.
Over certain holidays, we had food we couldn’t eat.
We technically weren’t supposed to eat certain foods, but sometimes we did anyways.
No, we just ate what our family liked.

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Q 20 House with lights for Christmas Did your family decorate the outside of the house with lights for Christmas?
Definitely not, it took attention away from the real holiday.
We did, but it wasn’t a big deal.
We went all out; it helped set apart the season.
No, it was just another corporate scheme.

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Q 21 Nose pierced How would you react to your friend when they got their nose pierced?
I’d confront them with the information that they’re probably going to hell now.
I would worry about whether they were going down the wrong path.
I’d think it looked pretty cool.
I’d wonder if they were just trying to copy me.

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Q 22 Marry as a kid Who did you imagine you were going to marry when you were a kid?
Someone of the opposite gender who went to my church
Someone of the opposite gender
Someone of either gender whom my family approved of
Whoever I loved

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Q 23 Seriously sick When someone was seriously sick, what was your family’s first reaction?
To pray and fast for them
To pray for them
To wonder whether they have a good doctor
To send good vibes

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Q 24 Forbade from listening to a band What is one reason that your parents forbade you from listening to a band?
There were Satanic messages hidden in the music.
The music had a bad influence on my perspective.
It just got too repetitive after a while.
The band was musically not talented.

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Q 25 Book about boy wizard What kind of interaction did you have with a popular series of books about the adventures of a boy wizard?
I never saw a copy, but I heard that they were the work of the devil.
I read them ravenously, and my parents and I talked about the meaning of the books in relation to our faith.
I devoured all the books, and my parents were delighted.
I wasn’t really interested in them because they seemed too superstitious.

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Q 26 Defending religious point Have you ever, in recent years, found yourself defending a religious point of view that you do not personally hold?
Regularly, and I win the argument every time.
Sometimes, I just can’t help myself.
No, I really don’t like to engage in religious discussions.
No, I generally am on the attack.

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Q 27 Sacred scripture Can you name all the books of a sacred scripture to the tune of a repetitive song?
I could do it without missing a beat.
Almost. I used to be able to easily though.
I know a lot of the books, but I don’t know any tune to go with them.
I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that.

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Q 28 Long walk When you are making serious decisions about what you are going to do with your life, what do you consult?
I still go to favorite parts of scripture to see what it says about what I’m going through.
I usually pray and talk to people close to me.
I talk to those closest to me.
I go on a long walk and clear my mind.

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Q 29 Going out on weekday night In high school, if you were going out on a weekday night, where were you likely to be going?
To Bible study
To a youth group
To a friend’s house to study
To practice with my band

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Q 30 Religious symbol If you pass by a familiar religious symbol, what goes through your mind?
I should be in church more.
I say a prayer instinctively.
I remember holidays with family during my childhood.
I scoff to myself about how unnecessary this symbol is in any space outside a church.

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