Post # 1
I am currently 16w5d pregnant and last week my MIL made an offhand comment about how at the very least I will have to baptize my baby. I will? Ok…
DH and I have only talked about it very barely. He says he does not care one way or the other and whatever I want to do is fine. I was raised Catholic and DH was raised in the Greek Orthodox church. Neither of our families are hardcore religious. DH describes himself as agnostic and I don’t know if I would call myself that but I don’t believe in organized religion. I guess I would describe myself as more spiritual than anything.
I know a lot of people who are not religious baptize/Christen their babies anyways. I feel a little funny about doing that and promising to raise my child in a church that we quite frankly, would never attend. I don’t really believe that were my child to god forbid die without being baptized that he/she would not go to a possible afterlife.
Would you/did you baptize/Christen your baby if you were not religious? If you did not, did your families have a difficult time with it?
Post # 3
@Cem0930: Atheist here married to an Agnostic. Both of us were raised in very religious households.
My mother isn’t so much religious anymore, and his mother is selectively religious. Both of our fathers fall more into the “I really don’t care” category.
I don’t have children yet, but if either of the parents were to tell me I had to baptize my baby, I wouldn’t. I have very distasteful views on baptism as a whole, so that may be a part of it, but I also am not going to indulge a religious belief or ceremony that I do not believe in. There are lots of religious traditions, and I wouldn’t follow through with any of them (like circumcision, for example.) just because a family member told me I had to, or it would be better for the baby.
My children will be raised without a faith, and that includes participating in any faith-based activity. I’m not going to dunk my child in a vat of water just because someone told me to.
Post # 4
@Cem0930: If you are not religious at all, I would not under any circumstances baptize my child. For one, it sets the tone for your mother-in-law to think that she has the right to tell you how to raise your children. Secondly, if your child grows up and does want to pursue their own faith as their choice being baptized as baby will bring into play issues as to wheather or not they are believers, if they need baptism after making their own decision, etc.
Post # 5
@Hyperventilate: Don’t get me started on circumcision! I could go on all day! Yesterday at a family party it came up that we better be circumcising our son (if baby is a boy) and DH interjected “actually, we won’t be doing that at all” and there was pretty much a firestorm of basically that we were being idiots to not do it (apparently DH had some UTI problems at age 10 that necessitated him being circ’d so their attitude is do it as early as possible). Yeah, thanks but no thanks.
Post # 6
@MrsFuzzyFace: This. I just don’t feel like babies and children should be baptized, since that’s a very personal decision to make for someone else.
We won’t be baptizing our kids, no matter what anyone in our families thinks/says/wants (and I’m sure we’ll hear about it, and I’m sure we’ll get guilt trips about “doing it for grandma,” just like we did when we brought up not getting married in a church–they’re going to get a shock when they realize our ceremony is secular with some Celtic elements and zero prayer/mention of anyone’s god(s)). The kid came out of my vagina, I get to choose what to do with it.
Post # 7
I’m in the same situation as you. I was married by a non-denominational religious person. Maybe I won’t have the baby baptised per se but will have him or her blessed? I would like to do something, I choose to not define what I believe in terms of a specific religion but I still have the urge to have the baby recognized by something.
Post # 8
I think some Catholics of our parents’ generation were taught that unbaptized babies who pass away will go to “limbo” instead of heaven – basically a purgatory sort of thing. I think the Catholic church, at least, has moved away from that theory in recent years, and now views baptism as not just the cleansing of original sin, but also of welcoming the baby into the church community. It seems pretty silly to welcome a baby into a community that it won’t really be a part of, so I’m guessing that your MIL might be mainly concerned with the idea that s/he would go to “limbo” if (God forbid) something happened to him or her. If you don’t want to baptize your baby – and I don’t blame you for not wanting to, if you’re not religious! – but don’t want to endure the potential guilt trip from MIL, you might suggest that she talk with her priest about the church’s updated stance on limbo. It might ease some of her concerns and get her off your back.
In recent years, I’ve started participating/believing in the Catholic church a lot more, but my mom used to threaten that she’d pull an Archie Bunker and secretly take my future kids to be baptized when I wasn’t around. I was like, “Okay… good luck with that!”
Post # 9
I wouldn’t baptize my baby if I wasn’t planning to raise them in a religion that did infant baptisms.
I was baptized as an infant (2 weeks old!) because my parents are Catholic and I was raised Catholic. I don’t want to baptise my babies when I have kids, but I’d like to do a more inclusive blessing-type ceremony. I may have to build my own ceremony, but I’m okay with that. 🙂
Post # 10
I’m Agnostic and DH is Christian (non-denominational) and we won’t be getting our children baptized. In DH’s church, they don’t really make a habit of baptizing babies, anyway. Baptism is seen more as something that an individual chooses to do on their own. So our children can get baptized when they’re older, if that’s something that they want.
Post # 11
Agnostic. I won’t be doing this. If a family member has anything to say about it, whatever…it is my child.
Post # 12
I used to attend a church that practiced adult baptism. After a certain age, teens and adults who truly believed in the church could be baptised. But only if you were spritially connected and asked for it. I really like this system, as a person has to make a decision for themselves as a statement of faith, rather than being baptised as a baby. The people who chose baptism were also old enough to remember and it was a happy and important memory for them.
Post # 13
@kerensa: Yes, this is exactly what my DH’s church does. I think it’s a much better system than forcing baptism upon an infant who has no choice.
Post # 14
@Cem0930: I absolutely will not baptise/Christen my children; nor will any boys be given a bris (I’m a Jewish atheist).
We might (MIGHT) have a humanist naming ceremony but I’m not entirely sure about that, to be honest.
Post # 15
@Cem0930: FI and I are strongly against any kind of organized religion, so we will not be baptising when we chose to have children. That said, I come from a family who is very traditional, and that’s floored we’re not getting married in a church (like Vorpalette said, wait until they realize there’s no god mentioning/prayer/that it’s secular). My parents have mentioned that we “have to” get our future children baptised and that it’s a disgrace if we don’t…and I’ve flat out said it’s not ever happening, so get the thought out of your brain. FI is very blunt and to the point with his own mother, but she tends to be very easy going and hands-off, so she will probably support whatever we chose to do.
Post # 16
I am a Christian, and was raised in a Christian home, but I was never baptized. At our church we instead have what’s called “dedications,” which is basically a special event similar to a baptism, but we don’t believe that it “saves” the baby if it dies or anything like that. It’s just a little ceremony performed where the parents agree to raise the child to be a loving, good person to the best of their ability, and demonstrate the love of God to their child. Then the pastor does a similar thing where the family and friends agree to support the parents, and then the whole church congregation agrees also. It’s similar to saying “I do” at wedding vows, but they say “we will” after the thing is read.
Sorry for such a long religious explanation, since I know you aren’t religious. Maybe if you wanted to do something a little bit special that wasn’t a baptism, you could do something similar to that? Get family and friends together who will be in the baby’s life, and kind of take “vows” that you raise the child to the best of your ability to be a loving, kind, (add anything else you want here) person, and then have the family/friends agree that they will support you in your journey. You can make a cake and just kind of celebrate the birth of your child, without having the whole “conforming to organized religion” thing. Plus it may appease your religious family somewhat.