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#1 of 15 Old 04-23-2011, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So there it is :)

 

DH and I were both born and raised in the church.  Married in the church and had our first 2 kids baptized.  DH has more issues with it than I do but we are not active in the church and haven't been for some time (like ever really since we were married).

 

I assumed I would "go back" to the church eventually but now I just don't see that happening.  I have a lot of issues with the church and have no desire (as of now) to go back to it.

 

So here we are with #3 on the way. Both our families are VERY involved in the church still and I am so not sure what to do about a baptism.  I know in my heart it's a lie.  I know it isn't what I want to choose for my child.  I know we won't carry through with the "promises" we are asked to make at the baptism.

 

I also know it'll upset a BUNCH of people.  I will never hear the end of it.  I will be balled out on many levels.  I so don't want that.

 

 

DH says "It's just one day."  That isn't how I see it though.  This is really weighing on me.


Any input would be appreciated!  

 

TIA

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#2 of 15 Old 04-23-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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Are you following through with the vows you've already taken? That's a responsibility you've already taken on. Would you raise this one differently than your other two? From what you are saying, it sounds like you are used to or have always attended one particular church tradition. Have you thought of exploring other churches (ie. different traditions, styles of worship, denominations)?

 

I've spent time both inside and outside the church. I've lived in areas where there just weren't any churches that I felt lead to go to at a given time.  I've been to churches that have severely burned me and church where I found a welcoming family of people (not family, but a group of people that feels like family in a good way). Finding a church that fits with what you believe and raising your child into a faith that you can honestly say, this is what I believe, this is what my relationships are about, is important.

 

It's a decision you are going to have to make for yourself. It's not really something that someone else can decide for you. I don't want to push you in one direction or another, but maybe present some things you may not previously considered. Faith is about more than a child's baptism or dedication, it's about your own spiritual journey.


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#3 of 15 Old 04-23-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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I think 'church' is not necessarily as important as your personal faith and applying that to your lives and teaching it to your children.  I personally don't believe in infant baptism, but our church does a baby dedication.  With that, you pledge to raise your child in the faith and to dedicate yourself to teaching them about Christ.  

 

Not every church is created equal.  We've been to many different kinds and neither my husband nor I go to the same kind of church we were raised in.  My beliefs are not what my parents were, and same for my husbands.  We've each found our own personal beliefs and relationships with Christ that look very different from anyone else in our family.  Everything about how we live our lives is different than the norm of our families, yet our faith is much stronger than any of theirs.  

 

I'm getting pretty used to being the odd duck.  It seems it all started with becoming a parent and choosing a different way of doing things there until it's now so broad it encompasses my whole life.  :)  I'm ok with that.  I'd rather swim upstream than get lost in the crowd.  :)


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#4 of 15 Old 04-23-2011, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I plan on one day finding a church I am happy with and I hope to be able to expose my kids to many the options out there.  We are raising the kids with morals and all but not within a church.  I am not against any church but just am not into the one we were raised in.  So no, we have nor kept our vow.  No, we won't raise this one any differently.  It is basically the politics of it I guess.  

 

We do not uphold the promises we made for our other two kids.  We don't go to Mass.  We don't say prayers.  We don't do anything church like.  We do Christmas and Easter and all but the kids aren't old enough to get it so I haven't really crossed that yet.  

 

I know it isn't anything anyone else can decide for us but I was just hoping to hear what other people might think.  Things I may bot have considered.  Things they have gone through.  It seems that DH and I are not in agreement, so maybe I'll put up a poll and see what MDC thinks and go with that ;)  

 

(I AM kidding about that!!)

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#5 of 15 Old 04-23-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Earthylady View Post

I think 'church' is not necessarily as important as your personal faith and applying that to your lives and teaching it to your children.  I personally don't believe in infant baptism, but our church does a baby dedication.  With that, you pledge to raise your child in the faith and to dedicate yourself to teaching them about Christ.

 

Not every church is created equal.  We've been to many different kinds and neither my husband nor I go to the same kind of church we were raised in.  My beliefs are not what my parents were, and same for my husbands.  We've each found our own personal beliefs and relationships with Christ that look very different from anyone else in our family.  Everything about how we live our lives is different than the norm of our families, yet our faith is much stronger than any of theirs.  

 

I'm getting pretty used to being the odd duck.  It seems it all started with becoming a parent and choosing a different way of doing things there until it's now so broad it encompasses my whole life.  :)  I'm ok with that.  I'd rather swim upstream than get lost in the crowd.  :)



Earthylady - I really like what you have to say here. Especially what I've put in bold.

 

The faith my husband and I have look very different than what either of us were raised in, too. Faith is a personal thing that you have to

own. Our own faith journey has lead us from very charasmatic churches to the very liturgical Anglican. Without going into some lengthy explanation about where we've been .... we had our son baptized in the Epsicopal church even though both of us were raised as baptism being something you did when your faith became your own (for most people that's as a teenager or adult). We are currently in another mainline denomination. Our parents look at us cross eyed sometimes, but have come to understand that our faith in Christ is our own, and that influences how we raise our children.

 

I've heard of there being a lot of stigma attached to leaving Catholism. The truth is, it's your personal faith in Christ and if you and your family choose to explore other traditions to celebrate that with other believers that's your business. I suppose my two cents is really look outside that home church and visit others. You may just find a place where your family feels at home. It's your faith, your family.


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#6 of 15 Old 04-23-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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My first daughter is baptised and my son is not, and this baby will not be either. I used to be Christian and am now Pagan and it doesn't mean anything to me. DH is atheist.        We were thinking about getting DS baptised at MIL's church because it would make her really happy, but the church (Catholic) wanted us to take a 6 month long baptism class!!! I was like are you freakin kidding me lol! So needless to say that didn't happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#7 of 15 Old 04-24-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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I'm going to move this over to the Spirituality forum... it's probably not surprising, but this is a question/topic that comes up a LOT.  :)


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#8 of 15 Old 04-24-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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And now that we're all cozy here in Spirituality (a support only forum for those who haven't explored this section much)...

 

Dh and I were both raised Roman Catholic.  In my case, I was raised VERY Roman Catholic.  However, we were not married in the RC Church and found that as adults, and married adults planning a family, we really didn't find much common ground with the teachings of the RC Church.  When dd1 was born we decided not to have her baptized and OMG, the uproar!  It was more than we could stand, and we eventually gave in to my mother's insistance that dd1 be baptized.  Although DH and I had no intention of raising dd1 in the RC faith as it was at that time we also felt like there was nothing in the ritual that would "hurt" dd1, there was the possibility that certain guidelines/teachings were changing that might encourage our return to the RC Church at a later date, and the ritual was very VERY important to several older relatives who were in very poor health.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  But it didn't stop with the baptism... once she was baptized, the extended family started pushing for us to attend church, participate in other rituals, start planning/saving money for parochial schooling, and so on.  Our attempt to make peace in the family by participating in the baptism ritual turned into a two year long tug-of-war over our dd1.  And honestly, I can see the side of the extended family... DH and I made certain promises during the baptism and the extended family was trying to see those promises carried out.  That they were pushing for the "word" of the promises while we were looking at the "spirit" of them wasn't the issue.

 

In addition, during those 2 years both DH and I found a religion we really resonate with and committed to raising our children in that faith.  When dd2 arrived, the thought of having her batized into the RC Church was just completely impossible for us.  Although it cost us a lot emotionally and even financially (my mother had been providing part time child care for dd1, she informed us that she would not provide care to dd2 unless dd2 was baptized and this loss of affordable/loving/in home care was one reason I became a SAHM, moved to a lower COL area, etc) we just couldn't see ourselves participating in a ritual promising to raise dd2 in a specific manner when we knew we wouldn't.  And although there was that 6 months or so of really tough emotional/spiritual/social backlash, once it was over it was over.

 

With the birth of ds, no one even asked.  It was a complete non-issue (though we do have relatives who have not spoken with us since dd2's birth, so some of the calm surrounding ds might be due to this).  It's as if they got everything out of their system with dd2 and just don't want to know what we have decided.  Which is fine by us!  I'm assuming there will be a similar lack of asking and telling when dd3 is born this fall.

 

All this is a wordy way to say... I completely understand why you might decide to participate in a baptismal ritual for your child.  But try to see it from the perspective of the people you are hoping to please.  Are they the sort who will hold you to baptismal vows?  Are you ok with relative sending your children religious gifts, or talking with them about a religion you may not agree with?  And in your own heart, it sounds like you're not comfortable with making promises you don't intend to keep... maybe you and your partner could talk about what these promises might mean, what the impact of breaking them might be (you know, in terms of modeling right action to your older kiddos or something along those lines)?  And also... would the Church you're considering even allow the baptism to take place?  I know that many Churches require parents to attend classes or demonstrate that they are regular members of the Church community before they will baptize a child.  It's a lot to think about and a lot to balance, and every family will find a different path through the tangle, but at least in my experience life got simpler after we made it clear to our extended family that we're not comfortable making promised we don't intend to keep.

 

Good luck!


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#9 of 15 Old 04-24-2011, 02:41 PM
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that is precisely why, despite the urgings of my family in particular, we did not batize DD in the RC church (that and we are atheists I suppose)...

I knew (from my own upbringing in the RC church) that it would not stop with the baptism. That was just the beginning and my family would be just as non-understanding (is that a word?) of us not doing any of the other ceremonies/rituals/attending church as they would have been of her not getting baptized in the first place. 

 

We didn't do it. I STILL get asked about it and DD is almost 2. It is hard because I know my grandmother is very hurt by it but I just refused to do it. 

I think it is nice to want to please your family but if you think baptizing kiddo will ease some of the pressure I would guess no. It won't be good enough for the your kiddo to just be baptized.

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#10 of 15 Old 04-24-2011, 03:20 PM
 
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If you aren't feeling it.. don't make promises you won't keep. Better to have a baby naming or baby welcoming thing. The child can always choose baptism later.
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#11 of 15 Old 04-24-2011, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post

I'm going to move this over to the Spirituality forum... it's probably not surprising, but this is a question/topic that comes up a LOT.  :)



I had posted this there (here) first and had 55 people read and no responses :(

Thanks for all the input.  It all sounds SO like what we are trying to decide.  Where it will end and all!  I am sorry but glad I am not the only one out here who has struggled with this.  DH and I have never really gone to far into what we want to teach the kids about religion in general much less picking a church (though UU sounds very interesting to me!)  My Mom watched the kids last weekend for the first time overnight and she was saying prayers with them and DS was all "What was that?"  My Mom asked me if I pray with them.  I kind of just didn't answer.  


As for people holding it "against" me.... Yes and no.  I know my Mother loves me but she STILL (after over 20 years) harps on the fact that I made them pull me out of a Catholic school (which took me YEARS to get them to do!!!)  She'll sigh and say "Well, at least 3 of the 4 went to LC!"  My sister makes wise cracks about us going (or not) to church.  I am really kind of over it.  I figured I was safe till first Communion time came around as this pregnancy was a bit of a "let's see where the wind takes us!" kind of thing.

 

 

Again, thanks for the input.  It is good to hear it from others and how you have handled it!

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#12 of 15 Old 04-25-2011, 06:07 AM
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I had posted this there (here) first and had 55 people read and no responses :(

Thanks for all the input.  It all sounds SO like what we are trying to decide.  Where it will end and all!  I am sorry but glad I am not the only one out here who has struggled with this.  DH and I have never really gone to far into what we want to teach the kids about religion in general much less picking a church (though UU sounds very interesting to me!)  My Mom watched the kids last weekend for the first time overnight and she was saying prayers with them and DS was all "What was that?"  My Mom asked me if I pray with them.  I kind of just didn't answer.  


As for people holding it "against" me.... Yes and no.  I know my Mother loves me but she STILL (after over 20 years) harps on the fact that I made them pull me out of a Catholic school (which took me YEARS to get them to do!!!)  She'll sigh and say "Well, at least 3 of the 4 went to LC!"  My sister makes wise cracks about us going (or not) to church.  I am really kind of over it.  I figured I was safe till first Communion time came around as this pregnancy was a bit of a "let's see where the wind takes us!" kind of thing.

 

 

Again, thanks for the input.  It is good to hear it from others and how you have handled it!

ugh I so know how you feel!

I am the only one out of 12 grandchildren who did not get confirmed and I still hear about it! There is a lot of presumption in the RCC, just the way it is. 

I am glad you got some good advice...Just be prepared to hear about it no matter what you decide. It will never be good enough for someone!

 

 

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#13 of 15 Old 04-25-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post

Dh and I were both raised Roman Catholic.  In my case, I was raised VERY Roman Catholic.  However, we were not married in the RC Church and found that as adults, and married adults planning a family, we really didn't find much common ground with the teachings of the RC Church.  When dd1 was born we decided not to have her baptized and OMG, the uproar!  It was more than we could stand, and we eventually gave in to my mother's insistance that dd1 be baptized.  Although DH and I had no intention of raising dd1 in the RC faith as it was at that time we also felt like there was nothing in the ritual that would "hurt" dd1, there was the possibility that certain guidelines/teachings were changing that might encourage our return to the RC Church at a later date, and the ritual was very VERY important to several older relatives who were in very poor health.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  But it didn't stop with the baptism... once she was baptized, the extended family started pushing for us to attend church, participate in other rituals, start planning/saving money for parochial schooling, and so on.  Our attempt to make peace in the family by participating in the baptism ritual turned into a two year long tug-of-war over our dd1.  And honestly, I can see the side of the extended family... DH and I made certain promises during the baptism and the extended family was trying to see those promises carried out.  That they were pushing for the "word" of the promises while we were looking at the "spirit" of them wasn't the issue.

 

Regarding the bolded - what is especially sad about this attitude is that so many Catholics are misinformed, poorly educated, or simply ignorant of the significant nuance of ritual vs. Sacrament.  Many Catholics believe that, if you have the ritual, the Sacrament is present.  Though the two are not mutually exclusive, and rituals are an important and beautiful element of Catholic tradition, their purpose is to reflect the Sacraments - and Sacrament is a covenant between God and an individual (or, in the case of marriage and infant baptism, a couple/family).  No ritual can manifest a Sacrament.  Sacramental rituals are the visible sign of God's grace, in return for our faith and conversion of heart.

 

And then, of course, there are the grandmas who fret endlessly over unbaptised babies & the ridiculous concept of limbo ... even now that the Church has pretty much admitted that this idea was never theologically sound.  Again, victims of poor teaching/misinformation.  There are better ways to encourage baptism!


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#14 of 15 Old 04-25-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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I had posted this there (here) first and had 55 people read and no responses :(

 

I think it was the timing... Sprituality isn't the "chattiest" forum on MDC, but it's usually pretty responsive.  Except for those chunks of time where major religions are celebrating some of the bigger holy days.  Then it can be a bit of a ghost town.  Glad to see things are picking up again though!

 

ritual vs sacrament- a conversation in it's own right, but I agree in general... I think that at least in my case (and I'm going to guess in the case of many other families as well), the extended family just wants to see that things "get done right".  "Of course" the baby is baptized, "of course" you will circumcise, "of course" you will do whatever it is that is everyone has always done.  The question of "why are you doing X" or "will you carry through with promises you make while doing X" sometimes takes a back seat to a grandmother's ability to casually mention over coffee with her friends that her grandbaby was just whatevered (that was actually a common theme when we decided not to baptize dd2... grandparents and great grandparents all said "but what will I tell my friends? how can I hold my head up in front of them?").  It's a social thing as well as a religious thing and I think a lot of families would be happier if those two things could be seperated.

 

But then, I spent years finding a religion where the majority of participants seem to feel that way on a daily basis.  Probably because many of them also spent years getting to that point and came to similar decisions about how they wanted to live/worship and why they wanted to live/worship that way.  But that too is another discussion.  LOL


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#15 of 15 Old 04-25-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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I was out of the Church (Salvation Army) before I had a baby, and felt pressure, but not too intensely. It helped that I lived out of state for awhile, I think.  My husband was raised in a Unitarian Church, so no pressure on that end at all.  I did a lot of "hmmm, probably not..." It can be hard, but it helps if you stay calm and nonchalant about it all!

 

I would definitely recommend the following books for support and encouragement! Raising Freethinkers and Parenting Beyond Belief  (On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion)

 

Hope you find some peace with it all :)

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