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  1. #1
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    Default Baptism Compromise?

    Just wanted to throw this out there for thoughts and/or possible suggestions.

    A friend of mine who is also pregnant was quite surprised recently to find that her husband feels very strongly about having their baby baptized. She was baptized but isn't religious and he isn't practicing. She feels that it's a choice that a person should make when they are old enough. Her husband is pretty insistent that he wants an earlier baptism. She has tried to suggest a non religious naming ceremony, but he's not happy with that.

    Just got me a curious about other people's experiences etc on this sort of thing...

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    I am not at all religious and hubby declares himself an atheist, but was raised Lutheran. We got DS baptised and will do so with DD mostly because it was important to DH's parents and they paid for and organised the whole thing.

    DH sees it as a good thing the kids will be included in the church (will go with his family occasionally) as he loved the sense of community it gave him as a kid.

    I was raised by atheist parents and I would have loved to have been christened or baptised, as I went through a religious phase around 8-10ish and was worried I was going to h3ll (awful thought, I know). And I never learned bible stories, etc - which I would have liked to more for the cultural storytelling aspect (like Greek mythology).

    I don't see that baptising our kids is doing them any harm and if they choose to be believers, atheists or Buddhists when they grow up that is their choice and being baptised wont prevent that.

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    Personally, I'd be asking the husband why its important now. Im assuming he's not religious or she'd already have had this discussion with him? So if he's not practicing a religion, I tend to just see it as one "hedging their bets" so to speak.

    I have a few friends who dont live a Christian life according to the church but still had kids christened, and its hard to take it seriously.

    But at the end of the day she'll probably just have to decide whether its a battle worth having. If she does give in, i hope she makes him justify it.

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    I say whichever parents feels most strongly about their view should 'triumph.' I'm not religious but hubby is. That once a year at Christmas variety. But he wanted bub Baptised because it was a family tradition. As I really didn't care we got bub Baptised.
    If I had an intense hatred of religion/Catholics it might have been a different story.

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    VicPark is right I think.

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    I was baptised and raised a Catholic but haven't been to mass in over a decade. DH is not connected to any religion. DS wasn't baptised and in turn I faced a fair amount of backlash about this from my side of the family (mainly from my grand-mother, not so much my own mother). My response is 'How can DH and I stand up there and promise to raise our son a Catholic with associated beliefs in God, Jesus, Holy Spirit when DH and I just know we won't?' It would be an outright lie and personally I don't fancy making promises I have no intention of keeping. Especially to God (whether I believe in him or not!)

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    Thanks for replies so far

    I think they both feel pretty strongly. She is kind of feeling like because she is the less religious one, her views aren't being treated as equally important...

    Surely there has to be a better compromise than one person having to entirely give in?

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    Oops accidental post
    Sorry

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    What about a non-religious naming ceremony, where a priest also says a blessing? I've been to one like that, where a civil celebrant conducted it, but then a priest did a speech and said a prayer. The child wouldn't be baptised, however.

    I tend to agree with VicPark here.

    I also don't agree with the argument that people should get the child baptised 'in case', and the child won't care if they don't grow up religious. My DH is a strong atheist, and resents the fact that his parents had him baptised as a child. He doesn't believe that it means anything but, given the choice as an adult, he would never have had it done and was adamant that he wouldn't do that to any child of his (which wasn't an issue for us anyway).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToonZie View Post
    Thanks for replies so far

    I think they both feel pretty strongly. She is kind of feeling like because she is the less religious one, her views aren't being treated as equally important...

    Surely there has to be a better compromise than one person having to entirely give in?
    Hmmm... It sounds like it could be that the hubby wants bub Baptised because of family tradition and your friends main concern is that she wont get her own way? In which case I'd be like 'Come up with a good specific reason you don't want bub Baptised... And 'my opinion counts' doesn't cut it".
    - I don't know your friends though I could be totally wrong here.

    When my sister got married they decided to get married in a Catholic Church because her hubby was catholic and actually went to church regularly as a child. My parents weren't religious. I mean we were Christened in some church and went to bible story class about 5 times when we were 5-7, but that's it.
    - now my parents chucked a big tanty because my sister was getting married in a Catholic Church. "Why don't you get married in our church!" They cried. It was funny. My sisters response was "what church? I can only ever remember going to bible class a handful of times?, I can't even remember at what church... ". This was clearly a case of my parents trying to play the 'what about me' control card. My sister was able to see through this. She weighed up what religion meant to her hubby, what it meant to her/my family and got married in the Catholic Church.

    I don't think there is a compromise here. Having a private naming ceremony would be your friend getting her own way (and I think they are a bit knobby too, just my 2 cents). Unless ... Perhaps your friend could agree to the baptism, but they could agree to let bub make up his/her own mind rgarding confirmation at aged 11-12?


 

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