December 2011 Moms

Anyone not baptizing? Esp. those from religious families...

I grew up pretty strict Catholic, DH grew up w/o religion (baptized Catholic we ended up finding out) then started going to a Catholic church with me on his own free will and went through RCIA. We did a convalidation ceremony in the Catholic church with immediate family since we got married on a cruise ship, just the two of us. Since then, he has turned agnostic/borderline atheist and I have stopped going to church due to some issues I have with the Catholic church, especially with the priests in our area.

We're visiting family this weekend and the mention of baptism came up very briefly at my dad's house (still ultra-Catholic) and I said we weren't doing it. I know this isn't the end of the conversation... my stepmom brought it up, my dad wasn't involved. How did/will you deal with it?

I've already broken the news to my dad's mom, and she was not happy but she was in the "you have to do what's best for your family" camp.

Also, do you plan on doing any sort of religious exposure with your child if you're not baptizing? Like more of a world religion this is what people believe type thing? Any book recommendations?

Thanks :) 

Baby Charchie born 12/22/2011

Re: Anyone not baptizing? Esp. those from religious families...

  • We aren't baptizing (although it is still up in the air with DH) We are doing a "Blessing" though.. mostly to satisfy my Ultra-catholic family. All they do is basically pray for the baby and stuff.. DH knows more about it than me, all i know is that it isnt a baptizim because i believe that is up to the child not the parent. We go to a non-denomiational church because i am Catholic and he is Methodist and it saved us from fighting over which church to choose. Even though we plan to raise them in a christian household we are exteremely open to other religions. DH's aunt is from Thailand and is Buddist and she is sending us a baby buddist book and package. My best friend was raised Muslim and she has muslim gifts for the baby. I think exposure is the best thing for a child because i grew up thinking catholisism is the only religion and i felt very ignorant when i started learning about other ones.


    I do agree with 'you have to do whats best' but ultimately its a battle in your brain.


    Hope you find an answer that is best for you!

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  • We haven't discussed this really, but I doubt we will baptize. I'm sure my family won't care (I don't believe I was ever baptized), however I can see DHs family getting in a tizzy over it.

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  • I feel like Miranda from Sex and the City.  I am against it; but I feel like I will have to do it for my family.  I come from a strongly Lutheran family.  (DH's fam is more open and wouldn't be upset if we decided against it).  But my family the proverbial sh*t would hit the fan.  

    I love my family they are just very closed minded and if having some holy man sprinkle water and say a few words over my baby avoids a massive fight I guess I can suck it up and play along.  


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    We will not be. MH and I are both athiest though and he was never baptized so obviously that will not be an issue with the ILs. I was baptized, but we had a non-religious wedding ceremony so I think my family would be more surprised if we decided to follow religious traditions now.  My mom wasn't a fan of not having a minister at our wedding, but didn't get too upset about it either.  With all that said... I would be surprised if either of our families even ask us this question. Likewise, we will not be having godparents for our LOs. 

    I hadn't thought at all about books or religious exposure. I guess my plan is just to answer questions when asked and if they really want they can take religious studies classes in University like MH did (just because he thought they were interesting).

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  • One thought is check or google "Catholic churches near ___" and do some more checking around for other parishes within driving distance.  Same church different plot...  We have several towns around us and there are some parishes/groupings that we'd never go to because they're - well, let's just say I get where you're coming from when it comes to some priests..  OTOH, there are some parishes in our area that are the right fit, even if we do have to drive 20-30 minutes each way, it's worth it because we're actually gaining something out of mass...  Masstimes is also interesting in that we were able to locate churches that we didn't even know existed within a half-hour of our place. 

    I guess my thought is do some checking in that respect and then make a decision.  Or, you could have the baptism done at your parent's church instead.  That's always another option.  Either of your decisions need to be made while weighted heavily.

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  • We will not baptize, as DH and I are both Atheist.  We are raising our children to understand that some people have religious beliefs and we do not judge them for their personal beliefs, but we do not participate in them.  We are also making sure that our children have an understanding of religions from around the world, so they can make informed decisions as adults regarding religion.  Religion is never something to be forced upon an impressionable child.
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  • My mom is a former nun.  My dad's brother is a priest.  That's how religious my family is!  DH and I are atheists.  This is going to be a big problem for us.  My mom is not one to keep her mouth shut about these matters so I know we're going to have to deal with it.  I think our stance is going to be, "This is our family and we are going to make the decisions."  If my mom wants to have a discussion about it, my logic will be as follows:  If you believe that God created my child, then why would you believe that God would reject my child over a decision I made for him/her?  

    If my uncle, the priest, asks any questions our discussion would be a bit different because he's not going to try to force religion on us...he's very accepting and open-minded.  I will just tell him that we believe it is up to the child to determine his/her religious affiliations.

    We have not "come out" to my family about being atheists.  It helps a lot that we live in Florida and my family lives in New Jersey :).   

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  • I am an atheist and my husband is "sort of" Catholic (baptized, but never confirmed).  His family never goes to church outside of weddings and funerals, and will likely not care if we don't baptize (but would be pleased if we did).  My family is fairly religious (Methodist), and will be really upset if we don't.  DH really wants to baptize, and as long as it's a denomination that will allow me to participate as a non-believer parent, I don't have a problem with it - it will make him happy, and it's sort of nod of respect to my parents.  Obviously, our child will not be baptized Catholic, since as a non-Catholic, I can't even participate in communion if I wanted to.  

    I'm not one of those atheists who are hostile toward religion or church (not that anyone on this thread is, but you know they're out there), because my church experience growing was a very prominent and positive part of my life - the people from my childhood church are still a big part of my life.  My life philosophy is a product of my own questioning and self discoveries, not a result of some bad experience.  I have no problem with my husband introducing Christianity to our child, provided that I get equal time to discuss my perspective and do not suffer any hostility from the church DH and I choose.

  • MH and I are both atheist so we will definitely not be having a baptism or religious ceremony for the baby. Our families are both very religious and I think it will bother them but I'm not sure they will say anything about it. If they do I will say that I am allowing the baby to make the decision for themselves when they are old enough.

    I will talk to our child about what we believe throughout our lives and allow them to make an educated decision about religion when they are older. I agree that religion, no matter which one should be forced upon a child. I resented being forced into the Baptist religion during my childhood and would not force my child into being atheist. I think chances are they will follow in my footsteps but if they were wanting to go a different direction I would not punish them for it like my parents did when I was moving away from the Baptist religion towards atheism.

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  • I was raised Catholic, but no longer identify myself as a Catholic -- I disagree with too many of their teachings. My parents, and most of my father's side of the family, are still strict Catholics. 

    S/O was raised "half-assed" Christian (according to him -- never was baptized, never attended a church, but was taught the meanings behind Christmas and Easter), and is now a strict atheist.

    We will not be baptizing.  We won't be "announcing" it to anybody. I think that just opens the door for conflict, or at least comments from other people. We just won't do it. If anyone asks, we'll just tell them we're not doing it. 

  • FI and I are both Christians who go to church every week. I go to a non-denominational church and he goes to a Baptist church. Both of our mothers are, for lack of a better word, borderline extreme Christians, and both of our dad's go to church (mine Methodist, his Baptist I believe). Anyway, neither mine nore FI's church has a "baptism" at this early of an age. They do have dedications where you go in front of the church with the baby and everyone prays for the family and you promise to raise your child up and teach them to love God and love people. I'm sure we will do this, we haven't discussed it. And then when they get older it will be their choice about baptism. (I just got baptized this Easter.) The only one that MIGHT care would be my dad, because Methodists do baptize or sprinkle children, but he knows that I never felt at home in that denomination and haven't been to a Methodist church in probably...10 years, so I'm sure it won't come as a shock. I'm not saying anything, if he asks I will let him know what we have done =]

  • Meaning this as strictly an observation- there are so many atheists on this forum.  I have met very few in person but atheists seem to comprise a sizable percentage  of the people on here.  However, I live in a bible belt state (Louisiana) so I guess my exposure isn't comparable to a more diverse community.  Kids still pray in our schools.

  • image aprillace:

    Meaning this as strictly an observation- there are so many atheists on this forum.  I have met very few in person but atheists seem to comprise a sizable percentage  of the people on here.  However, I live in a bible belt state (Louisiana) so I guess my exposure isn't comparable to a more diverse community.  Kids still pray in our schools.

     I think what we're also seeing is people forgetting that there's a difference between "Athiest" and "Agnostic"...  Agnostic is a belief in God but not practicing or endorsing any religion, but athiest is doesn't believe in God or the possibility even existing...    HUGE difference but often gets forgotten in the mix...

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  • I'm not sure if we will be baptizing our baby or not.  My husband and I are both Christians, raised in fairly traditional churches.  He believes in baptizing a baby, simply because he was raised that baptism was important.  I have developed the belief that baptism is something that should be done once a person has made a conscious decision to follow Christ as their Savior, so I prefer baby dedications rather than baptism (dedications are basically a commitment that the parents make in front of the church to raise the child in the Christian faith).

    That said, I don't believe it is a super critical issue.  We are currently looking for a new church home, and therefore when we find one we will do whatever is customary in that particular church.

    As far as the second question, I do plan to teach my child a little bit about the various religions, but not in an in depth manner.  Our focus will be on teaching him what we believe as Christians.

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  • ""I think what we're also seeing is people forgetting that there's a difference between "Athiest" and "Agnostic"...  Agnostic is a belief in God but not practicing or endorsing any religion, but athiest is doesn't believe in God or the possibility even existing...    HUGE difference but often gets forgotten in the mix...""


    I agree that these are often lumped into the same category although they are VERY different.  I have met many more people that identify themselves as Agnostic as opposed to Atheist.  However, I have seen so many people on TB specifically identify themselves as atheists, which I found surprising.  Again, I am less than shocked that my daily surroundings are not indicative of the national norm BUT, I guess I didn't realize that Atheists are as prevalent as they apparently are. 

  • DH and I were both baptized Catholic, but are non-practicing. My family, however, is a lot more into Catholicism and started pressuring me early on to get the baby baptized. I was resistant, because I have issues with the church's stance on several hot topics, not to mention the recent scandals/cover-ups. The compromise is that I'm joining our local Episcopal church and probably getting the baby baptized there instead. Nevertheless, I doubt that religion will be a huge part of my baby's life as he or she grows up. I will certainly answer any questions s/he has, and respect whatever choices s/he makes.
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  • We attend a non-denominational church that does not baptize babies or small children.  They believe it should be a decision for the individual to make, not one a family should make for someone else.  I have a lot of respect for that.  

    That said, they do do dedications.  If there is a dedication to be done, the parents and baby go up front at the beginning of a regular service and the pastor introduces the family and then says a short prayer over the baby.   

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  • image MesmrEwe:
    image aprillace:

    Meaning this as strictly an observation- there are so many atheists on this forum.  I have met very few in person but atheists seem to comprise a sizable percentage  of the people on here.  However, I live in a bible belt state (Louisiana) so I guess my exposure isn't comparable to a more diverse community.  Kids still pray in our schools.

     I think what we're also seeing is people forgetting that there's a difference between "Athiest" and "Agnostic"...  Agnostic is a belief in God but not practicing or endorsing any religion, but athiest is doesn't believe in God or the possibility even existing...    HUGE difference but often gets forgotten in the mix...

    A few things:  First, the definitions.  Agnostics do not believe in god- the whole stance (and meaning of the word) is that they don't know whether there is or isn't a god or gods.  Deists are who you're thinking of- do believe in god but not religious followers. Atheists do not deny the possibility of god even existing, it's just not really worth contemplating.  As an atheist, I don't believe in any gods, nor do I really think that their existence is likely, but I'd have no reason not to change my mind if I did see evidence, the same way I would for anything else improbable or implausible.

    As far as there being more atheists and agnostics on the nest- we are probably more prevalent here- people on the nest are from all over the US, the average socioeconomic status is higher, and the average age is lower than who you meet everyday, all which make lack of religion more likely.  But also, lots of atheists aren't "out," esp in more religious areas, or just don't talk about it either way, so you'd never know. 

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  • This exact conversation came up w/ my inlaws extended family the other day. My MIL could care less but my husbands aunt is opinionated about it. Subject was just brought up as an assumption about "when" I baptise the baby and the dress she can wear. I had to break it to them I 100% will not be baptising and i will stick to that no matter what kind of attitude i get.

    I was raised catholic and went as far as being confirmed (by force of parents) and then chose never to go again. I never felt Catholocism spoke to me what so ever.. My husband quit CCD around 8 years old, so his parents weren't really strict about it. Since I was a teen my parents haven't gone to church & my paternal grandparents never go either now. But when my religious beliefs (or lack of) come up (ie my JP wedding) they act all offended  that I dont want to be involved in church cermonies. I find this the typical opinion of many so called "Catholics". They don't follow any of the rules or beliefs of the church but then act all preachy when I don't want to follow a sacrament of the church.

    I personally have serious issues in declaring a newborn baby born w/ original sin and requiring them to be washed away in order to avoid hell or purgatory. Its insulting imo, so i will not subject my baby to that. Ill just deal w/ the backlash. It'll pass eventually, just like w/ my wedding and i will have done what i think is best for us


  • This is really late but I am new and this post speaks to me...

     I come from a strict Christian family and hubby does not. We both currently live a life apart from religion, without religious beliefs of any sort. I am SURE my family will think it is terrible for us to not baptize. My mom said some horrible things to me about not having a Christian wedding ceremony.

     If my family asks me to justify our choice, I will say that our child should choose its own religion (or not) when it is informed and capable of making a major personal decision. I will expose my child to the religions of the world as they can't be separate from culture and one needs to be inclusive, respectful, and open-minded with all people one encounters. 

     It's absolutely not happening for us and I fully expect an abrasive reaction from my family considering how they treated our civil ceremony :o/ 

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  • I have a super Catholic family on my dad's side, not on my mom's.  DH's family is very, very Catholic.  My mom raised me, not baptizing me etc, letting me choose what I wanted to do.  I attended many different churches with friends, studied religion while in Russia, and became a religion major in college.  I have been to religious ceremonies of a good twelve of the world's major religions and have done extensive studying on most.  I was half way through the conversion process to Judaism while a college student and am now a baptized, confirmed, and married Catholic...odd how that works :)

    I loved the experience I had in choosing what I believed, really getting to know what each faith (in regard to Christianity, denomination) believes and really knowing what my faith believes.  I am a super liberal person living in the most conservative Catholic diocese in the country and have formed my own opinions that help me live happily within catholicism.  Now, those might not all be what the Catholic Church thinks but I am ok with that.  I think my upbringing helped me become the person that I am.

    That being said, our kids are all Catholic but I am more than willing to teach them what I know about any other Christian denominations, different religions etc and am interested to see what they choose down the line.


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