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#1 of 14 Old 04-29-2003, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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HI all!!Before I ask you my question, let me just briefly explain my beliefs: I consider my self a home-made,patchwork spiritualist.I believe in bits and pieces of all religions,and have some self subscribed beliefs as well(but when I need to explain it to some one that doesnt want any explanation,I say Buddhist-because my beliefs fit mostly into Buddhism). Anyways, my grandmother has made it known that she would like to see ALL children baptised. My cousin who recently had a baby was asked by her about this,and she almost made my grandmother cry ,by being offensive and saying"no I'm an atheist".I know that she is going to ask me as well,and I'm thinking of saying that I would like for Athena(baby coming soon) to decide when she is older,and that it would be wrong for me to join a church,simply to have my baby baptised when I know I wont make any sort of spiritual commitment. Does that sound offensive,or is it ok? Any thoughts at all appriciated-Thanks so much!
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#2 of 14 Old 04-30-2003, 09:40 AM
 
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I personally think it is important to acknowledge a new life coming into the world as a spiritual event but I agree that you should not join a church just to have your child baptized.

How would you feel about doing another type of welcoming ceremony, instead of a baptism? I go to a Unitarian Universalist church and we have "child dedications." They are very beautiful and spiritual ceremonies that are non-denominational.

Another idea...

DH and I are Godparents to our best friends' little boy. They had a "naming celebration." It was a really big fun party at their house when their son was about 6 months old. We ate and drank, played drums and sang and then my friend's cousin, who is a minister, did a short blessing.

It was really simple and very beautiful.

~Erin
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#3 of 14 Old 04-30-2003, 09:46 AM
 
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could you just say, grandma, we don't believe in infant baptism, but we are going to do XYZ to welcome her. and we'd like you to be part of it by ______.
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#4 of 14 Old 04-30-2003, 12:27 PM
 
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I had a similar situation about a year ago, my family was pressuring to get ds and dd baptized (she was already 2) and although I call myself a Christian I didn't want to have them baptized as infants. My solution was if it was so important to my family, why not just let them go ahead and have a baptism, they make all the arrangements, I'll show up for it. It didn't make any spiritual difference to me, it's just a ceremony, and I can do something with the kids later that does have significance to me and to them. I didn't need to join the church or make any commitment to them.

I like the naming ceremony ideas though.
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#5 of 14 Old 04-30-2003, 12:27 PM
 
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sorry, posted twice!
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#6 of 14 Old 05-01-2003, 04:45 PM
 
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If you do believe in G-d, it wouldn't hurt to make the point to your g-ma that you believe your babe is offered love and grace, regardless of the ceremony used to acknowledge it...?
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#7 of 14 Old 05-05-2003, 04:36 PM
 
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I guess a big part of the answer has to include why your grammma wants the babies baptized... and if she actually means baptism or if a simple christening will do. In either case if you decide to do it just to please her you will probably find yourself being asked to make promises about your behavior and how you plan to rear your child that will be a lie.

In my opinion you should probably tell Gran as kindly and gently as you can that while you understand it is important to her and you love her very much you simply can't do this for her. Obviously snapping at her and being rude is mean and pointless and maybe you will have a better result than cousin if you skip that part. The thing to keep in mind though is that she IS overstepping... she thought it was important so she did it with her kids. Fine. She may have even bullied her kids into doing it with you and your cousins (and see how much good THAT did!) but this is your babe and it is YOUR decision. The first of many, some of which are bound to be in conflict with someone...
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#8 of 14 Old 05-05-2003, 04:51 PM
 
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Doh! Double post!
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#9 of 14 Old 05-05-2003, 05:04 PM
 
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Doh!

Doh!
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#10 of 14 Old 05-09-2003, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kama'aina mama
The thing to keep in mind though is that she IS overstepping... she thought it was important so she did it with her kids. Fine. She may have even bullied her kids into doing it with you and your cousins (and see how much good THAT did!) but this is your babe and it is YOUR decision. The first of many, some of which are bound to be in conflict with someone...
That is exactly what I was thinking. I know it's difficult sometimes having to do something that will maybe "upset" others but you have got to do it. If not, you will have to constantly deal with other people's expectations for years to come. Your baby has come through you, not through your grandmother or anyone else ;-)
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#11 of 14 Old 05-12-2003, 08:25 AM
 
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My 2 youngests nana baptised them both in the bath tub unbeknownst to me. It made her feel better, I didn't care for it, but by the time she confessed, it was water under the bridge, (so to speak). She is catholic. So is my mom, they have never met, but nana called my mom and told her what she was going to do, and my mom stayed on the phone "to witness it." Their dad and I were on a walk. We were practically pushed out the door, I could not figure out why. I thought nana and grandpa were just being nice by giving us a little alone time....
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#12 of 14 Old 05-15-2003, 03:47 PM
 
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I am an atheist, and this is a very hard call. On one hand, I don't think that dunking or sprinkling your child will do any harm, but on the other, it should be your decision. How old is your g-ma? Maybe you could just tell her that you are going to wait until the baby is a little older? For me, I haven't told my grandparents or Great grandparents that I am an atheist. My parents know, but I know it would greatly upset my older family members, so I just keep mum about it. If I was ever asked point blank, I would tell them the truth.
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#13 of 14 Old 05-16-2003, 11:56 PM
 
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I think your grandma probably wants the kids baptized not just for tradition but b/c she somehow believes it would help them get into heaven. Christian infant baptism is in response to a command in the Bible for believers (now known as Christians) to baptize their families. You would be asked to respond, "We will" when asked if you were going to bring up your child in the Christian faith. Since you are not planning to do so, baptizing your child would not make any sense.

Explain to grandma that you understand that baptism is a sign of a commitment - a commitment you can't make. Then invite her to your naming ceremony.

Meghan, mom to 11yo, 8yo, and 3yo 

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#14 of 14 Old 05-18-2003, 02:23 PM
 
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Hi sunnyRose.
I definitely think you should nOT baptize your kids if it is not your intention to raise them in the Christian faith. I say this as a Christian who is. Don't let anyone pressure you into this! Baptism is a very personal decision that must be made in the right context. I chose not even to baptize my son (this was an intense personal struggle!) because I want him to make that profession of faith himself.

Of course you know family members want the best for your kids; they just might have differing opinions on what that means. You have to do what's in line with your intentions.

Peace,
Vesper
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