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To Baptise Or Not To Baptise

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posted on May, 19 2014 @ 07:38 PM
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I am starting this thread out of frustration and anger, not to bash religion or religious belief, but to point out the prevailing mentality that permeates the society that I live in with regards to the religious construct of controlling the weak minded, which is by far the majority in my country.

Again I will state, my beef is not with religion, if a person is faithful and sincere then they have my respect, I am not a follower of any religion per se, but I do consider myself a spiritual person in the sense that I believe there is more to this existence than meets the eye(and our other mortal senses). However I am not fond of dogmatic religious people, as I see it a book is a book and no more the word of God than what is written here.

My girlfriend and I had a baby boy nearly 10 months ago, he is the light of our lives, we love him dearly.

We decided not to baptise our son, a decision made before his birth, and even though this would be considered going against the grain in our society it is becoming more common amongst younger people, however it is still rare for people to abandon this practice. I live in Catholic country…..Ireland.

I have always held a persons spiritual existence, or lack of one, with deep respect. I believe it is a fundamental human right to choose one’s own path when one is old enough and mature enough to do so, and that includes choosing not to believe in anything also.
For me baptising a baby is an archaic claim made upon the soul of an individual by an organisation obsessed with amounting wealth, power and sheer human numbers to it’s fold, done at a time in a person’s life when they are as defenceless and sensless as they ever will be. This ritual is bolstered in modern times, theologically anyway, by the teaching that a baby’s soul is “black with sin” and must be cleansed, or that an un-baptised baby’s soul is damned for eternity should the infant die before baptism, although recently the Catholic church has revised the latter.

Our first inkling that there might be problems started before our son was born. My GF’s mother was chatting with her one day and mentioned baptism, my GF offhandedly said that we weren’t going to baptise our baby and her mother reacted very negatively to this. My GF’s mother is the only ‘religious’ person in her family, she attends mass regularly etc, but to be honest I view her as more of a ’superstitious’ person than a spiritual one. We both decided to avoid the topic of baptism and hope that would be the end of it, we were wrong.
Shortly afterwards my GF’s sister called her and demanded to know why we weren’t baptising our baby. My GF’s father also began making comments regarding our decision, as did one of her brothers and another sister(she comes from a big family).

None of these other family members are practicing Catholics. None of them attend mass etc.

This mild harassment continued, and still does. However not one of these people, who I get on with and like, has said a word to me, all comments have been said to my GF alone.

The main argument for baptising our son which have been put to my GF is:
The child will feel left out when his classmates, cousins etc are making their ‘Holy Communion’ and ‘Confirmation’.

A valid point. However, when you consider what these rituals have become in modern times, they are nothing more than a reason for the children to dress up and collect money from their relatives. Parents throw lavish parties for their kids. The kids tally up the amount of money they ‘made’ on the day with pride. I can remember my ‘confirmation’, I received the meagre sum of 20 pounds whilst my classmate Sinead got over 150! It always made me feel poor. The point is that these habits have zero to do with the actual religious ceremony, they are pure materialism plain and simple, and quite an industry revolves around them.
I could go on here, but suffice to say that the amount of people known to me whom openly admit they don’t believe in God and couldn’t give a hoot about the Catholic church, but who still baptise their children, and follow along with all the rest, simply because they don’t “want their kids to stand out” is….well practically everybody I know who has kids. (these people also like to get married in the churches of the same God they don’t believe in too).

It has also been pointed out to us that our son will be bullied and ridiculed in school. As you will see below, the parents of the kids who do the bullying are really the ones responsible.

The message is, basically, “don’t stand out” and here we are.

Today my GF’s sister told her 3 year old son, who attended one of these ‘communion parties’ yesterday, that yes he would be having a party for his communion and so would his other cousin, but no, our son wouldn’t be having one. This confused the little boy and he asked my GF why? When my GF related this to me this evening I felt anger welling inside of me. What her sister is doing is downright low, but I can see now that this is how it works, this is how the system is perpetuated in our society.

Her sister is a hypocrite. The people that I know who follow in step with these traditions, whilst denouncing religion down at the pub are hypocrites. It makes me angry that these people are too cowardly to stand up for themselves, I despise their selfish and substance-less sense of propriety. They instil their shallow and materialistic viewpoints on their own children, they are the majority, they are the mob.

Sometimes I feel that I should recant my decision not to baptise our son, but when I contemplate how much I love him, how much I want him to be his own person when he grows up I change my mind. I know it’s not going to easy for him sometimes, but I am going to with him every step of the way to offer him guidance as best I can.




posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:10 PM
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My parents never baptised me, and I turned out ok!

Do what your hearts say is right, and it will be right.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:12 PM
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a reply to: seabhac-rua

Sometimes I feel that I should recant my decision not to baptise our son

Good. Better to err on the side of caution.

You said yourself you 'know' there is more to this life than meets the eye. At 10 months, your son will not understand ... nor will he have any memory of the event. So what's the harm? Do it for his future peace of mind. Don't be dumb.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:21 PM
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a reply to: Snarl

Dumb? Does my post sound dumb to you?

Why do you think a person should have no say concerning the path you set them on?

The only reason I sometimes mull over my(and my GF's) decision is to protect him from the boorish attacks of cruel children.

I grew up in a time when the local priest was a man to be feared. I know people who were molested by priests. In the name of conformity these crimes went unpunished or many years.

I will hold to my convictions.

edit on 19-5-2014 by seabhac-rua because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:24 PM
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IF

You're as open minded as you seem to be, then when the child comes of age and is old enough to decide for themselves they will.

Just as you have decided for yourself they, in turn, should decide for themselves as well. In the meantime you as the parent are in the drivers seat.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:28 PM
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OK, buddy. I'm going to tell you a story you probably won't like. I was the same as you, a lifelong atheist since the age of 5 I married at 27 and we finally had a daughter when I was 32. Daughter was about four when my wife began to dress her up for "church." This was unexpected as my wife had never been a church-goer, though she had been raised Anglican. We lived far enough away from Grandma that her threats to send my kid to the church school were idle and I didn't worry about them. But after my wife's father passed away my wife began attending a local church of some sort. It was not Catholic nor Anglican, but some sort of "community" Christian church. Not only did I not go, I also refused to even help my wife get our daughter ready for these Sunday outings.

Like you, I was pissed. I thought our unspoken "agreement" had been violated and I, as a lifelong atheist, was appalled, hurt, and angry. I didn't want anything to do with it even though I knew my daughter was only interested in the cookies (Y'all call them biscuits?) And in truth I must admit the church was very low-key--no fire and brimstone, no snakes, no heavy rituals. It was just a plain vanilla low-key "Christian" -er- something church.

But this started a rift. I was so focused on the "Principle Of The Thing!" that it made me rigid to ANY kind of compromise. I wouldn't hear of it and I accused my wife of reneging on what I thought the deal had been where, on her part, she allowed as to how if she had known I was so adamant then, well, it is unlikely we would have married.

Whoa! Heavy stuff, huh? And things went from bad to worse, and though one could say there was no cause and effect here, ultimately my wife committed suicide and left me with a 13 year old girl to raise. Now I'm not claiming one CAUSED the other, but certainly you CAN say that "IT" started with this argument.

And now that I'm 20 years older I can look back and say, "You know? That was a small issue and really didn't matter." It wouldn't have hurt my kid to have a few cookies. It wouldn't have turned her into a religio-zombie, and my wife wouldn't have become one either. It was just a comfort thing.

It would have been a small thing for me to do to keep the peace to let that go. And for you, it would be a small thing to let your kid be baptized, especially in your cultural context. Because what you are doing is creating a difference which mollifies YOUR beliefs, but puts those "sins" (and you know I don't believe it) onto your kid for him to suffer. So thanks a lot, Dad, he will say, for creating for me a situation of difficulty so you could "stand by your friggin' "principles." It's the same with circumcision. In my era you HAD to circumcise boy kids. It was never NOT done. But if you refused to let that happen "because, by God, it isn't medically necessary!" then you create a freak who will be laughed at in the locker room for a decade or more before he reaches adulthood.

Like it or not, you live in a culture, not a vacuum. And basically you have to pick your battles. This may not be one worth fighting because your kid won't know nor care anyway if you do it. It's not for you. It's not for the kid. It's for all your relatives. And even if you did it, you can still have discussions with he kid as you grow up telling him what you think of this religious crap. It's not that Baptism DOES anything. It's the constant indoctrination that does it, which, if you've half a brain, you can avoid, contradict, and subvert.

So think twice about this before you insist on drawing your line in the sand here. Because really, it's not all about you.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:31 PM
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originally posted by: seabhac-rua

For me baptising a baby is an archaic claim made upon the soul of an individual by an organisation obsessed with amounting wealth, power and sheer human numbers to it’s fold, done at a time in a person’s life when they are as defenceless and sensless as they ever will be.


Baptising a baby has nothing to do with the organization, material substance of the Church. You are confusing Christianity with the history and politics of the Church. Religion is a set of beliefs, not the imperfect people that follow religion. Unfortunately, a modern deceitful tactic is to associate Christ and his teachings with horrible things that have been incorrectly done in His name. The followers of Jesus are humans, humans make mistakes. The difference is that true Christians admit those mistakes, and try to do better. That is a very basic explanation, but there is no need to go any further.

At the least, perhaps you can help educate your child on the different viewpoints later on when it is old enough to make it's own decision. In my opinon, God calls out to all of us. If you child is open to listening, that's all that matters. It sounds like you refuse to listen.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:35 PM
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a reply to: SLAYER69
A friend counselled me that we should, for the sake of family harmony(my GF's family), go ahead and baptise the child.

This has been something that I do consider, but my GF does not want to baptise our baby either.

I think that it is a real shame that members of her family do not respect our decision, my family fully support our decision.

I recently attended a baptism ceremony, I was invited and I went out of friendship. I sat there and listened to the priest talking, I found his speech very objectionable, it irritated me no end, add to that the baby's parents whom I knew well were also "just going along with it" and I resolved never to allow this to be done to my son.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:35 PM
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There is nothing wrong with baptizing a child. It is an insurance policy. The child will get accepted by more people. I baptized my kids, they had a choice to choose what they desire to believe when they got older. The morals taught by the church are good, at least some of the churches. The ones that believe they are right and everyone else is going to hell, will meet me in hell. The rules specifically say that there is but one judge.

Think about the area in the middle east long ago when Jesus was around. Baptizing was done in lakes, lakes that could be contaminated by plagues. People did not bathe much those days because they did not want to contaminate the water. Everyone probably smelled pretty rank. I see they needed to give people a bath at least once a year. By breaking a tradition of not bathing, I wonder how many people actually got sick from the water. The plagues could live in fresh warm water and I am sure it did cause some spread of diseases.

We don't have that problem anymore, although the Adenoviruses do get passed along through swimming holes and pools, we have better medicines.

I was confirmed Lutheran, and I did gain a good moral outlook of life from it. I quit the church a year later because of a letter sent to me by the minister. I had not been working at the church after my father died, I had to work and go school to survive but the minister informed me that if I didn't start going to church and helping them take care of the grass and stuff, he would not be getting into heaven. Twenty years later I gave this letter to my uncle who was an elder at that church. He had wondered why I quit going. Talk about a sour look on his face when he read it. He said I should have given that to him when I got it, they would have fired the minister for sending that. They did get rid of that minister four years after I left, but I never returned to active membership. I just went on special occasions.

I have nothing against that church. There were many good members in the congregation.

Now this is your life and also your kids life. There is nothing wrong with having a kid get baptized. There is nothing wrong with a kid learning morals. I wasn't brainwashed in sunday school, kids are more aware than most people think they are. It is when people get older that the conditioning holds. Not when they are small. Adults have closed minds, most kids don't



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:37 PM
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a reply to: lambs to lions

I don't refuse to listen, I have listened all my life and I have made my decision.

If baptism is not as I describe it then why is it done to infants traditionally?



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:41 PM
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a reply to: Snarl

How exactly does a baptism provide future peace of mind? I live in the US, and my children are 16 and 12. Neither has been baptized.

For reference, they have never been sent on a vision quest, offered up to a dragon, or forced to endure some obscure right of passage either.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:47 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Thanks for relating your story.

I'm sorry that things turned out that way for you.

I understand what you mean completely, and I know it's my beliefs that are the main issue here, but I cannot abandon those beliefs easily. When we talk about whats wrong with this world, for me it's things like this, people refusing to hold to their convictions.

Everybody I know who gets their children baptised don't do it because they believe in God, they do it cause that's whats expected of them, and then when you see how much of a commercial affair it's all become, it's just pathetic. I think these people are cowards, am I willing to risk my sons happiness because of this? Well that's the question.

Again, thank you for your post.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:51 PM
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a reply to: seabhac-rua

It's fine that you've made up your mind. That is your free will.

Some Christian churches do not normally practice baptisms until the child is 'of age.' Meaning they would prefer the kid to be able to make up their own mind. I wasn't baptized and my grandfather was the minister of our church when I was born. Catholics will baptize at any age, because it follows the teachings of Jesus Christ...and the Catholics are very traditional with their beliefs.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:55 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

I don't think there's anything wrong with your experience as you describe it. But if you could see the sham that is the indoctrination of children into the Catholic church as I have seen it over the past 40 years then you might understand my points. I never learned morals from religion when I was a child, I learned fear mostly. Also, I have quite a few Swedish friends, some of the nicest people I have ever known, not one of them "had religion", not one of them baptised or raised with religion of any kind, you don't need religion to teach morals.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 08:58 PM
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a reply to: lambs to lions

The tradition here is to baptise when the baby is less than 1 year old.

I would have zero problem if my son, when he was old enough to understand, wanted to be baptised.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: seabhac-rua

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16

Being "nice" and "having morals" is great, but it won't get you anywhere after you die. If you are 100 percent convinced there is no God, then why do you even care about this whole baptism thing. You should just laugh it off as silly, and move on....shouldn't have to uphold your conviction if it's just a ridiculous archaic superstition. Not worth worrying about.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: seabhac-rua

I was baptized Episcopalian, but I stopped going to church when my dad died when I was 14 yo

I'm 48 now, and haven't been to church since but that is my choice
I am thankful however, for being baptized, it makes me feel complete/whole, if that makes sense...
I believe that there is something greater than us out there, but what, I can't say with any certainty

What would it hurt to baptize the baby, just in case of?
It doesn't mean going to church for the rest of his life
Just a precaution to 'what if' as far as evil goes....if one believes in good, doesn't that mean evil exists as well?
Does being baptized help a person , who knows, but it sure can't hurt

Or is this more to do with bucking against your GF family and their controlling/manipulating ways?
Which I can understand that as well
Can't stand the thought of someone trying to pressure me into something I'm unsure of or not ready for

Regardless, do what is in your heart
You can always baptize him later on if you so choose


Best of luck
Much respect~
snarky


edit on 19-5-2014 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 09:07 PM
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I agree with slayer on this. The spirit has a way of guiding oneself to what is needed when the time is right. If there is truth to religion and the need for it then the child will find a way to let you know. Your job is to present all the different angles you know at the time and support the decided path.



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 09:09 PM
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I believe that if neither of you want to baptize your child you shouldn't feel obligated to do so. Yes it's true that it's a harmless ceremony, for the most part. But why perpetuate bunk traditions. I mean no offense to Catholics. It is my understanding that much of Catholic belief and tradition directly goes against the Bible, hence my comment. In regards to your child perhaps being bullied for being different I ask you this. Will he not be bullied anyway? Bullies will find reasons to pick on other kids. This is just my two cents. I don't live in Ireland so I don't know exactly how it is either.

Perhaps you could baptize your child but raise him to be open minded so that when he is old enough to understand he can make his own decisions. That may be a fair compromise.

Good luck with your decision and cheers!



posted on May, 19 2014 @ 09:18 PM
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originally posted by: seabhac-rua
a reply to: Snarl

Dumb? Does my post sound dumb to you?

Why do you think a person should have no say concerning the path you set them on?

The only reason I sometimes mull over my(and my GF's) decision is to protect him from the boorish attacks of cruel children.

I grew up in a time when the local priest was a man to be feared. I know people who were molested by priests. In the name of conformity these crimes went unpunished or many years.

I will hold to my convictions.



yeah, it is dumb.

it's your fault to let crimes go unreported.

lol, you feared the priest!!! sounds like an elvira scene.






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