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I'm not religious, do I baptize my child?

IWishIKnew

New Member
My boyfriend and I are expecting and neither of us are religious. Our family has recently begun asking us questions about whether or not we will be baptizing our child. We were both raised Catholic, however he comes from a much more devout family then I do. Both of his parents want a baptism and my grandmother want's one, my mother thinks its a good idea to do so, however she isn't religious. We would like to raise the child in an open-minded enviroment and allow it to learn about all religions and make an educated decision on it's own. We aren't so much concerned about making our familys happy, as being able to answer questions that may arise at a young age such as; what is God, church, where do we go where we die, and what happens when to our loved ones when/if they pass without lying to them as far as what we, the parents, actually believe. So I guess my question goes beyond just baptism. As both of us are Agnostic, we are at a loss as to what we should do. Any insight about this topic specifically or in general is much appreciated!!

Thanks
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
I see no reason not to. It makes them happy, and doesn't make anybody unhappy.

A baby being baptized has no bearing on whether or not the child will later ask you questions about faith. The baby won't even remember it.

As far as the inevitable questions - just be honest. "I don't know. Some people think X, some people think Y, and lots of people don't have any idea" is a fine answer.


By the way, welcome to GF. Hope you stick around!
 
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Bananas

Endangered Species
Congratulations on the pregnancy.

Do what you and your partner feel is correct by your own conjecture as parents. That is the only correct answer to parenthood. When the child ask the awkward questions or you have to make such decisions as baptism do what you feel is right by the child and not by what is right by others.

Me personally I would not baptise my child just to appease others, it would be a fruitless ceremony and the time and money could be spent on much better things; like a family party to celebrate the newborn.

I see no reason not to. It makes them happy, and doesn't make anybody unhappy.
I cant see why a double negative reason can be seen as a justification to do something.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
First off, what you do with your child is up to you and your partner. Neither of your families should interfere.

Secondly, if you're not religious then baptizing your child is utterly senseless. You don't have to do it just to please your families. It's hypocrisy.
 

Hiei

The Hierophant
I'm with Elly. If you're not religious and you don't believe in baptism, then don't do it. There's absolutely no law anywhere that says that you have to. If you and your partner are both agnostic, then I think that you two need to have a firm belief in what it actually is that you believe in. Put the thought into it and think it the whole way through because those questions are coming, and you can either choose to answer them or not.

No one really knows what's going to happen when we die and if the only thing keeping you believing in God is the fear of going to hell, then I'd recommend a different religion. Just be open and honest with your child and make the best decisions, as parents, for your child until your child can make those decisions him or herself.


Also, one very important thing about religion that people don't seem to understand. Church is wherever you're practicing your faith. It's not a building that you go to on Sunday because you think it's the right thing to do. Just throwing that out there.
 

JaneSmith

Registered Member
I was in the exact same situation with my baby.
The pressure isn't because your in-laws and parents want you to become religious. The pressure isn't because they expect you to raise the child under their religious belief. The reason they want to baptize the child comes from the old days when babies died in infancy. Infant mortality rates were higher in the past and it was a way for people to protect little babies.
Modern practice is for the parents and in-laws to bond with the child in the way they know best, which is spiritually. It's a nice and common practice to have a baptism and small reception where people give you gifts for the child. This helps you grow as parents.
It's not about religion. It is about bonding, compromising, respecting, and showing that you will be good parents so that the in-laws and parents won't be raising your child. The baby will be in God's hands and it relieves much responsibility of man.

I did it. It was a fun day. My child slept through it. My in-laws left me alone afterward. I was spiritually moved and bonded with my baby.
I did not do the whole confirmation thing when my baby was older. It stopped with the baptism. And I do not attend church according to my in-laws. But the gesture of the baptism went a long way and was fairly painless.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
I agree with Wade somewhat and for his reasons given I probably would do it. But Baptism is a sacrament, the very first one actually, and I just don't think you should do it if in your heart you don't believe in it. If your child wants to be baptized when he/she gets older he/she can. If your views change later as your child is growing you can have it done then.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and hope you stick around.
 

JaneSmith

Registered Member
Also, one very important thing about religion that people don't seem to understand. Church is wherever you're practicing your faith. It's not a building that you go to on Sunday because you think it's the right thing to do. Just throwing that out there.
Of course the Hierophant walks with God but also has higher learning of spirituality because of that skill. The Hierophant blesses everyone in their (their) decision. It's an important position but a young card in the Fool's Journey.
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I agree with Wade somewhat and for his reasons given I probably would do it. But Baptism is a sacrament, the very first one actually, and I just don't think you should do it if in your heart you don't believe in it. If your child wants to be baptized when he/she gets older he/she can. If your views change later as your child is growing you can have it done then.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and hope you stick around.
In the Catholic Church that is called Confirmation. When the child decides to continue practicing. Baptism just allows the child to go to heaven until that time. It's like a ticket to the pearly gates if something happens.

Of course the in-laws and parents are setting a precedence for the new parents by making the statement that spirituality is important and the parents must be committed to raising the child together under the values they have learned from their elders.

Baptism doesn't have as much to do with religion as it does with culture and promises and values. It's not as commital as many think, it's only a dip in water to awaken the spirit and to open the eyes of the new parents. It's a ritual in good faith with positive and good intent.

All religions allow you to leave. Or come and go as you please. It's not a prison. (excluding Isslam)
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I agree with Wade somewhat and for his reasons given I probably would do it. But Baptism is a sacrament, the very first one actually, and I just don't think you should do it if in your heart you don't believe in it. If your child wants to be baptized when he/she gets older he/she can. If your views change later as your child is growing you can have it done then.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and hope you stick around.
In the Catholic Church that is called Confirmation. When the child decides to continue practicing. Baptism just allows the child to go to heaven until that time. It's like a ticket to the pearly gates if something happens.

Of course the in-laws and parents are setting a precedence for the new parents by making the statement that spirituality is important and the parents must be committed to raising the child together under the values they have learned from their elders.

Baptism doesn't have as much to do with religion as it does with culture and promises and values. It's not as commital as many think, it's only a dip in water to awaken the spirit and to open the eyes of the new parents. It's a ritual in good faith with positive and good intent.

All religions allow you to leave. Or come and go as you please. It's not a prison. (excluding Isslam where it's law to come back or they chop off your head... just sayin)
 
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Ilus_Unistus

Registered Member
I do not think this should be issue for you to loose sleep over. I understand you and the father not to be religious, but if the family would like a baptism I do not see anything wrong with this and is not worth any family disagreement.

Just because you baptize your child does not mean you MUST bring this child up to be religious, it is a simple ceremony and a very nice reason to have your family all see your beautiful child.

I wish you congratulations on your expected child, and much luck and fortune for you and your families future. :)

P.S. Welcome to GF, we hope you enjoy your stay!
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
In the Catholic Church that is called Confirmation. When the child decides to continue practicing. Baptism just allows the child to go to heaven until that time. It's like a ticket to the pearly gates if something happens.
No it's not. The Catholic Church does not believe that an unbaptized child goes to hell if he dies. It's a sacrament, and can be done at any time. I just attended a baptism for an adult last week. It's an introduction to the faith, not a get out of jail card.
 
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