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  #1  
March 25th, 2007, 02:09 PM
Acadia's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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First of all, to understand where I'm coming from ... I do not believe in god(s) or any sort of supernatural phenomena (there are things I do see evidence of that perhaps shouldn't be called "supernatural" IMO but that's another subject). Call it strong atheism, positive atheism, explicit atheism, whichever categories you like. I agree with the statement that there is no god and that this fact is knowable.

My DF is a deist. Not a theist, but a deist. He rejects supernatural phenomena, divine revelation, holy books, any sort of "revealed" enlightenment, etc. Like myself he believes that any sort of beliefs (opinions, ideas, whatever) one might hold should be based on and formed in accordance with rational, reasonable, observable features of the natural world. Basically, he has found that those features point to the existence of some sort of supreme being(s) (albeit one/many which isn't/aren't personally involved). I disagree. But it's amazing how much of a foundation the basics give us together.

So while he doesn't believe in the value of prayer, attending church, etc he does believe that the universe has a creator and this creator possibly (he's agnostic about the afterlife issue) rewards and punishes after death. Whether it's heaven/hell, reincarnation, or something else ... he doesn't know. Or maybe we just die. He's not sure. As he says, "I don't know, because I haven't died yet." But just in case ... he says he wants our kids to be baptized.

I know not all atheists have a problem with that, but I do. Doing that, to me, is kind of like silently agreeing with that church's beliefs and saying that they're appropriate for your child. And of course, since he was raised Catholic, he'd want to have a Catholic baptism and he can't seem to get those old catechism lessons out of his head. He was told many times that if an unbaptized baby dies, he/she goes to hell. I personally think that IF there does turn out to be a traditional Judeo-Christian God who judges and sends people to heaven or hell, unbaptized babies would probably go to heaven ... but whatever. We're talking about something from the very earliest days of his childhood and religious indoctrination.

You can't really compromise baptism. You either do it, or you don't.

The only thing CLOSE to a compromise I can come up with is a "child dedication" with a UU group. Some of them offer that in place of baptism. Instead of dedicating a child to God or whatever, it's supposed to acknowledge that the family will encourage the child to explore philosophy/theology and his/her personal beliefs as best they can.

It's structured a lot like a traditional baptism (lots of elements of a "christening" with announcing the name and everything) so maybe he'd agree to that instead. But I'm still not sure if I'm comfortable with it because I know that in his mind it would still be a "get-out-of-hell-free card".

Thoughts about a "child dedication" or baptism in general?
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  #2  
March 27th, 2007, 01:34 AM
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That's a tough one. I sympathize with your hubby because I was also raised Catholic. Let me tell ya, it dies hard. Really, really hard. A lot of recovering Catholics still feel that pull towards baptism. See, as an atheist, in the back of my mind I'm still "covered" because I was baptized. As illogical, improbable, and downright unbelievable as it would be that the ONE set of beliefs that is right would be those of the Catholics... it is still, as you say, a get out of Hell free card. Kind of like hedging your bets. And all you have to do for that one small peace of mind is... totally compromise your convictions that organized religion is a load of human-created BS.

I don't THINK I'm going to baptize, but my family and in-laws aren't exactly understanding of our atheism. I would not put it past them to say, take the baby "out for a stroll" one Sunday and come back with the baby's forehead all wet.

If you do end up going through with it, just think of it as... entertainment. Good luck hon!!
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  #3  
March 28th, 2007, 08:36 PM
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sorry - just lurking and poppin in from the October 06 PR..

It's funny I caught this post because we are getting our daughter baptized on Sunday. With that being said - I don't believe ANY baby that isn't baptized and passes away goes to Hell. I think it's ludacris to even suggest such a thing. I know that it's been a theory for many many years..but come on.. Can you tell me that something so innocent actually does?

I'm baptizing Madelyn because I want her to become part of the community of the church. I'm Anglican, my husband is agnostic.. we NEVER go to church and we are hoping to become involved more and that Maddy will be our reason to do so. I think to have the church community as a support group throughout your life can be beneficial in many ways (if you are into that). I completely respect those that don't believe in any religion and understand your thoughts and views as well. I think the child dedication is a GREAT IDEA!! I understand your concerns with a baptism.. so maybe a dedication would suit your family better?

Hope that helps.. good luck with your decision.
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  #4  
March 30th, 2007, 11:33 PM
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I feel that being baptized 'just in case' would not qualify as a true 'baptism'.. you would actually have to believe in what you are doing for it to matter at all to God.


I don't think ANY such 'just in case' measures would work to get you or anyone else into heaven at all.

Also I don't believe that babies need to be baptized in order to go to heaven.
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  #5  
April 26th, 2007, 12:29 AM
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sorry for bringing up an old post.

But about 11/12 years ago when I had to go to church with my dad and his girlfriend they'd always talk about how unbaptized go to hell, blah blah blah. And that was pretty scarry listening to being only 6,7 years old. I just feel its wrong to put stuff like that into a child's head.
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  #6  
April 26th, 2007, 08:06 AM
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actually it is!
That's one reason why I want to raise my kids in an agnostic way.. to NOT put stuff like that into their head.
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  #7  
May 15th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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I think it's silly. Very silly. Baptised by what religion? If it doesn't matter to you, then you probably shouldn't be doing it. On top of it, it might be considerred to be insulting to members of which ever church you choose (other than UU, they'd probably be ok with whatever). If it is being done to save the soul just in case or whatever, then the UU ceremony won't cut it I'm sure. And the rest all believe that if you aren't baptised by that particular denomination, then you are going to hell. Baptisim isn't a universal currency. A catholic baptism isn't accepted by baptists or methodists for example. So really, the baby would need to be baptised by every denomination just to be sure. And then, while you are at it you should check out some of the hindu and muslim baptism equivalents. Some of them aren't pleasent, but if you just want to be absolutely sure the babies soul doesn't go to hell...

Not trying to be mean, just trying to point out that maybe his thinking is a little flawed.
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  #8  
November 25th, 2007, 10:50 PM
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A Baptism is a covenant between the parents and God to covet the baby under the parents beliefs until they are old enough to take a voice in their own beliefs. Unless the parents are Christians I don't see what the baptism would do? It is a Christian Ceremony.
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  #9  
November 26th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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Sorry to butt in, but just wanted to add my 2 cents.

I think that the "let's baptize just in case" is downright ridiculous. If that's really what he thinks then why not have a bris, a naming ceremony, do a Pagan ritual, and a Hindu ceremony just to be on the safe side? It doesn't work that way. All these different rituals have the purpose of giving the parents the responsibility of passing on the faith to their children until they're old enough to be responsible for their own faith. If neither you or your DF plan on raising this child a Catholic (I don't know if baptism is done in other sects of Christianity, pardon my ignorance) then what does he think a simple baptism will accomplish? Even if Catholicism is "the right one", it has other aspects you have to follow besides baptism to be on the "safe side".

One thing more, if you're truly an atheist and that's the belief you want to live by, then doing a baptism "just in case" is a way of expressing doubt. There's obviously nothing wrong with doubting, but if you're firm in your belief, then it's an insult to you and that belief to fill in a few blanks in case you're wrong. IMO, it doesn't matter what belief you follow or that you simply don't believe, as long as youu're committed to it once you realize that's the life you want to live. Me, for example, I'm Jewish. By now I'm convinced of my faith and I'm committed to live my life as an observant Jew. I'm also committed in raising my children as Jews. I'm not about to baptise them "just in case" I'm actually wrong. That shows a lack of committment, and a lack of faith that I don't have. If you don't have that doubt then stand by your belief and don't buy free spin cards that may not even work

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  #10  
November 27th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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This is a REALLY OLD thread. I'm not interested in more opinions, and I asked this on "Atheist and Agnostic Parenting" for a reason.

Thanks for your insight, but the issue was already decided MONTHS ago.
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  #11  
November 27th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
This is a REALLY OLD thread. I'm not interested in more opinions, and I asked this on "Atheist and Agnostic Parenting" for a reason.

Thanks for your insight, but the issue was already decided MONTHS ago.[/b]
Sorry.. didn't see the date of the OP.
Pardon me for trying to help.

Sharon
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  #12  
November 28th, 2007, 07:43 AM
Acadia's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Quote:
This is a REALLY OLD thread. I'm not interested in more opinions, and I asked this on "Atheist and Agnostic Parenting" for a reason.

Thanks for your insight, but the issue was already decided MONTHS ago.[/b]
Sorry.. didn't see the date of the OP.
Pardon me for trying to help.

Sharon
[/b]
There is no need to apologize, I just wanted to make sure anyone else replying would realize that this isn't a new thread. It's so quiet in here it's tough to tell. I just didn't want to get dozens more replies.
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  #13  
December 9th, 2007, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
This is a REALLY OLD thread. I'm not interested in more opinions, and I asked this on "Atheist and Agnostic Parenting" for a reason.

Thanks for your insight, but the issue was already decided MONTHS ago.[/b]
Sorry.. didn't see the date of the OP.
Pardon me for trying to help.

Sharon
[/b]
There is no need to apologize, I just wanted to make sure anyone else replying would realize that this isn't a new thread. It's so quiet in here it's tough to tell. I just didn't want to get dozens more replies.
[/b]
So what did you ultimately decide to do?
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  #14  
December 10th, 2007, 07:43 AM
Acadia's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
So what did you ultimately decide to do?[/b]
No one will be baptized at birth. DF has decided he doesn't want to have any association with the Catholic Church anymore, and I have no connection to any church at all. But if any of them decide they would like to be baptized and/or go to church once they are older, we will respect that. It won't be a hard and fast rule that nobody is baptized ... just not until we know their preference.
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  #15  
February 18th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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I came across this and wanted to check it out. I know it is an old post and already decided. I also know that the original poster is not interested in replies, but I though maybe someone else might. I am certainly not trying to start anything since we obviously have different views, but I thought it could help someone in a similar situation.

I am a Christian as is my husband. His parents are Catholic (baptise infants) and we are Baptist (don't baptise infants). I didn't really want to baptise my son when I didn't believe in it. I believe that anyone before the age of reason is not accountable in God's eyes. My DH wanted to baptise him because that was what he was used to being Catholic as a child. Maybe it was a "just in case" thing, I didn't question him about it. Just a little background.

Anywho, my inlaws were really uncomfortable about my son not being baptised so we let them do it themselves in their bathroom, lol. They said a prayer and splashed him with water. It was very special to them and we kinda hung out in the back of the room and let them do their thing. I
didn't want to disrespect it. They put him in the same outfit all of their kids and gradkids were baptised in. We had him dedicated at our church later, which simply means we dedicated ourselves to raising our son to know and love God. It was more our promise.

We found it to be a very nice compromise that I was very comfortable with. Maybe it was easier for me since we were all Christian, just different denominations. But I thought it might help someone out there.

Thanks for your time!
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