America's Top Names and Religion

Contrary to what most Indonesian think abut America as a full liberal and secular state where religions have limited influence on public life, the fact is that Americans are more religious than what we think.

In addition to the previous political survey which shows 70% of Americans based their political preference on religious matters, this data on the most popular names in America show another interesting fact about the relation between religions and Americans.

Look at top 5 male names. All are religious names. Jacob (the prophet, or Ya'kub), Michael (the angel), Joshua (the prophet, Yusuf), Matthew, (one of Jesus's student), and Ethan.

This fifth name is less known to us (Muslims), and he is (1.) "The Ezrahite," distinguished for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:31). He is named as the author of the 89th Psalm. He was of the tribe of Levi. (2.) A Levite of the family of Merari, one of the leaders of the temple music (1 Chr. 6:44; 15:17, 19).

Well, I vividly remember when I gave an Arabic/Islamic name to my first daughter, a friend of mine said, "Why should we prefer this Arabic name? Don't we have indigenous names?"

He is a secular and liberal Muslim, and he seemingly want to revolt against the tendency toward religious things.

You see now, even Americans love religious names.

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