It is known that Wiccan 'fluffy bunnies' are the types of people who self-identify as "Wiccans" but really don't go anywhere beyond self-identification and using stereotypical associations of Wicca. They have been criticized for not being true adherents of Wicca, merely treating Wicca as a fad, instead of taking the religion seriously and researching what Wicca actually stands for. In essence, they are people who just don't do their research and wish to remain ignorant, refusing to think and critique their own faith. Is there a Christian equivalent to the Wiccan 'fluffy bunnies'?

..."fluffy bunny" or the "old lady brigade" have been used in the Wiccan and Neo-Pagan community to describe adherents that they view as superficial or faddish. Common descriptions given by people using the term include elements such as the practitioner deliberately choosing to emphasize goodness, light, eclecticism and elements taken from the New Age movement over elements seen as too dark, as well as the practitioner appearing to follow the religion as a fad. The term "fluffy bunny" became more prevalent in the 1990s after it was used to describe a depiction of the Wiccan religion in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show, which featured a Wiccan coven, raised ire from practitioners of Wicca who believe that the coven in the show reinforced stereotypes.

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    You probably could drop the whole Wiccan "fluffy bunnies" reference and stick to the meaning - "Is there a Christian name for those who are not researchers of the religion?" Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 21:43
  • Now this question has dissolved into a polling question - since there is not one correct answer. Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 22:24
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    @TheFreemason It is similar to what happens often on English.SE where word search questions are permitted. I'm still on the fence to cast a close vote or not.
    – user3961
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 23:57
  • There is a similar phrase that some Rabbis have come to use: Ah Tzaddik in Pletz. I learned this from a post on the sister Judaism site.
    – user3961
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 21:48

4 Answers 4


For Catholics, there's the concept of "Sunday Catholics" - people who go to Mass on Sundays but don't do anything else, who don't really think about their religion outside of Mass.

I'm sure I've heard another simple term for this, but Sunday Catholics was the only one I could find right now. Meanwhile, the Wikipedia article "Lapsed Catholic" reminded me of a more specialized term I've heard once or twice: "CEO" referring to someone who attends on C hristmas and E aster O nly.

  • There is also the "A&P" Catholics, where A and P stand for Ashes and Palms, those who just show up for Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. Source: EWTN's Fr. Andrew Apostoli.
    – Chelonian
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 23:05

The Christians in my area (inland NW USA) use a few terms to describe the kind of person you are talking about. I personally favor "Casual Christian". I have also been known to use "Cultural Christian" and have used on occasion "Christian by name but not by faith". Ward already mentioned "Sunday Catholic", but I have also heard "Sunday Christian".

This kind of person is somewhat common in many groups and different names will come and go over the years and vary by place as well. Some will be benign while others will be intended to cast a shadow over the particular person (ie. I have even heard "fake Christian").


The term "Cretin" was a bastardization of the word "Christian" and originally referred to the mentally handicapped who should nonetheless be treated respectfully because they were, at the very least, fellow Christians, by virtue of them being baptized as infants. I am not advocating labeling these people as Cretins but come to demonstrate how low the bar is for not being called a derogatory term.

I would venture that for Catholicism, not seriously researching the religion is not really a detriment worthy of a derogatory term though those sects based on Martin Luther's emphasis on self-bible study would have more of a problem with these people.

  • What time period is this? The etymology dictionary reports 1779. etymonline.com/index.php?term=cretin
    – Double U
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 19:39
  • That is the time when the word was used in English to describe deformed people in general. Before then it was a French word. Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 19:45
  • This is interesting and support a claim I make in my answer: That terms for this kind of person will vary by time and place. Using cretin in this sense is very likely outdated. It seems to be reserved for creepy and possibly deformed persons who have malintent.
    – user3961
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 22:15
  • Titus 1:12 "One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies." Cretin is Cretian with the A missing, not a " bastardization of the word Christian." Also why its something pronounced or written Cretan (Cretian with the I missing). Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 4:19

Your assertion is: Wiccans are presumed researchers and "fluffy bunnies" are those who do not research.

My assertion is: Christians are presumed non-researchers and only a few research.

It has been my experience that many Christians choose to know as little as possible as to not confuse themselves which would lead them to regard the confusion as doubt in faith. It has been my experience that Christians only want to stick to knowing that Jesus is God, the trinity is God, and few actually read the Bible. That is why things like "Jesus wasn't born on Dec. 25th" draw attraction, frustration, and debate. My premise is that few study the Bible - which is the rule and guide to the Christian faith. Most only accept what is read to them from the pulpit in small bites. Some denominations emphasize ritual over the Bible and are considered Christian (in fact, 50% of them are of this denomination). Those who do study either become church leaders, pastors, non-Christian, or mods on Christianity.SE :)

So what is the equivalent to the Wiccan term? Since the religions, practices, and followers are not comparable or as comparable as apples and oranges, there is not a single term/name which would fully encompass the full meaning of "fluffy bunnies".

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    I think you missed the point of the question. I think he is just asking if there is a word that describes the kind of Christian who accepts the label, but doesn't really practice the religion. Wasn't me, btw.
    – user3961
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 22:03
  • @fredsbend maybe you're right, I don't see in the question anywhere, where it says that people accept the label of "fluffy bunny" Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 22:05
  • No, they accept the label Wiccan, but don't really practice the religion. Fluffy bunny is what practicing Wiccans call them. Likewise, there are people that accept the label Christian but don't really practice the religion. He seems to be asking if there is a universal, or near universal, term for this kind of person used by the others who do practice.
    – user3961
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 22:09
  • eh maybe, even if so, it doesn't deserve the drive-by down vote w/o explanation. My final answer w/o the lead up to what brought me to the conclusion, is on par for the question no matter how you read it. Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 22:14
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    You forgot to mention that those who study Christianity participate in Christianity.SE and get high reputation points :)
    – Mawia
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 9:35

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