I’ve always liked crosses. I simply find them very beautiful.

I wasn’t raised in a religious home – my father comes from a Catholic family and my mother from a Muslim family. They are both atheist, and I was never baptized or taught about any religion in particular.

I’ve gone to baptisms and celebrated Christmas just as often as I’ve helped my grandmother prepare the Eid meal. I was even invited to a Sabbath celebration recently, and I felt very honored. I have a lot of respect for religion.

So I didn’t think about it too much when I bought this cross. I found it sublime, perfect, and I wore it all the time – I still wear it!

Until the day when I was at a cafe with my friend, and she said to me: “Do you want to come with me to Mass this Sunday?”

I knew she was religious, but actually, I had kind of forgotten. She is nothing like the idea we have in France (the relationship to god and religion is very different in the US) of someone who goes to Mass every Sunday.

Taken aback by her question, I said: “Ummm, I don’t go to church…?”

“Oh, sorry!” she said, “it’s because of your cross, I always thought…”

And there I admit I felt a little stupid.
Because what does it really mean, exactly, to wear a cross?

For a long time, this symbol (more than any other religious symbol, I think) has been used so much in fashion and rock music that it seems like it’s almost lost all meaning.

But I realize that’s not the case for everyone – so I was wondering what you all think…

Is it ok to wear a cross just because you think it’s pretty?