I am NOT a parent yet, I hope most of you know, and don't plan to become one in the very very near future. Here's the problem. Mark and I are not religious. We have beliefs about different aspects of life, and are not so much religious as "spiritual" I guess? We believe in being good people mostly, I suppose. What we want for our children, ideally, would be to introduce them to many religions. Teach them about Judaism, Jainism, Paganism, Christianity, Hinduism... whatever they're curious about. We'll tell them parables or stories about each of them while they're children and then as they grow up and come to understand where the stories come from and about religion in general, we'll answer any questions they may have, and if we can't we'll look them up ourselves. We want our children to CHOOSE to be religious or not. And if they choose TO be religious, then to let them decide on their own beliefs. I've always felt it's wrong to be "obligated" into a religion. I grew up Christian and always felt that if I decided NOT to be one day my mother would disown me forever. (Which she wouldn't, but that's beside the point.) My problem in all this IS my mother. Here's where the advice comes in: My mother has this notion that baptism does not BIND YOU to a religion. Fine. But she's been BEGGING me to just baptize my children for her sake so she feels that they are under God's protection. Now, I'm agnostic. To me, it'll make her happy and she doesn't even care whether or not I go. Which I would not want to. Because it's more for her than the child (in my opinion, anyway. She believes it's for the child's sake) or for me. If my child had CHOSEN to be a religion, I'd be there all the way for them. But in this scenario their CHOICE wasn't brought into the equation. Mark was not baptized. And he's ticked off that my mother is so vehemently shoving this idea on us. But at the same time, we are both totally aware of my mother's dedication to this. She begs me every chance she gets, and I do take her thoughts into consideration, because I love my mother. But her only justification doesn't make sense to me. I always say "Mark's not baptized. He's lasted to 21 and he's healthier than anyone I know. He's not "protected"?" She gets so upset and says "I know, but for me it's about protection and it's a personal belief and I know that's not in the bible and it makes no sense but that's how I feel and I'm just so upset about it, Katie." And I just see her getting anxious and visibly scared for my future children that may not get baptized at a young age. Mark is unsure about what to do, and I'm a bit unsure myself. I want to wait until they understand and are old enough. But there's no pleasing my mother that way. At this point, however, I feel like baptism doesn't mean that much to me. It's a formality. I've read up on it and baptism isn't NECESSARY for "salvation". Or whatever so if God is really who we're going to meet up with in the end, my kid'll be just fine if they don't get baptized young. So at this point I almost feel like it doesn't matter if my mom wants to babysit one day and just happen to stop by the church and say "baptize this kid real quick", she can be my guest. But it's not just about me. It's got to be about what Mark wants too. But we both were curious about what everyone else thought. We'll make our own decision in the end, but outside thoughts can usually bring in a new perspective we hadn't thought of. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THIS ABOUT RELIGIOUS DEBATE. We simply want your personal opinions. If someone says something you don't agree with? Please just ignore them. This is about what YOU might do in this situation, or what you think would be a good compromise. So.... thoughts?