(Closed) Baptism/Christening for Non-Religious Couples?

posted 6 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
9115 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

@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
3774 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2004

@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 # 6
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@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
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

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
2905 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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 Mother-In-Law 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 Mother-In-Law, 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
4375 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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
4582 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m Agnostic and Darling Husband 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
4272 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Agnostic. I won’t be doing this. If a family member has anything to say about it, whatever…it is my child.

Post # 12
4046 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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
4582 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@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
5009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@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
2162 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Cem0930:  Fiance 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. Fiance 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
182 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

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.

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