anyone else not doing baptism? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-17-2004, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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our daughter hasnt been baptised and its been over a year now. both our parents seem to have calmed down. the only thing against it is me. i find it a waste of time and money to do that. i find it also is forcing her into a religion. why not wait until shes older and will have more information of different religions? why does she have to be catholic?
anyway i could keep ranting and so forth but i just wanted to state that, and wanted to hear if anyone else hasnt done it and would like to hear their story. most of the catholics i know arent true to their religion. they can do all the bad things they want and just say" god forgives all". now if there IS a god wouldnt it know that people are thinking of that ahead of when they do something or say something bad? and if jesus DID die for our sins why do we have to baptise? if according to the catholic church homosexuals are doing the human race an injustice because in the bible it comments that humans are ment to
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Old 02-17-2004, 01:38 AM
 
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Hi, thats us here, the do-nothing-to keep-your -child-safe-under-God people!
We decided when we had our first that it kinda seemed ludicrous since, although we believe in a god and a lot of other naturally occuring powers above and beyond us, since we arent affiliated with any denomination and arent practicing anything but humanism, well, it seemed like just one of those things that sometimes people/parents do because they think they're supposed to and thats that.
no-one ever questioned it though in our family. so, i really cant relate if it's the family that might raise concern. but really i think that as a natural parent it's a great way for you to personally make a statedment FOR YOURSELF that you wont be pulled into the stream.
I say kudos!
Laura
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Old 02-17-2004, 02:35 AM
 
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my mom was all gung-ho about getting my son baptised when he was born. my ex and i weren't really for it, but it meant SOOO much to her, and we didn't see any harm in it, that we arranged a meeting with her pastor to discuss it (she's Lutheran).

but when he figured that we were just going along with her to make her happy, he said he wouldn't do it (which actually raised my level of respect for him significantly). he said it wasn't so much saving the baby's soul, as a promise by the parents to raise the child in the faith.

which, obviously, we were not going to do. so, if you have no intention of doing that, then don't do it.

however, i am not a catholic and have no history with that faith, so perhaps you should consult with a member of that clergy and see what he has to say.

good luck,

katje
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Old 02-17-2004, 02:39 AM
 
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Good Question.

We were a little slow on the draw and ended up with one baptism celebration for both our (at the time) 3yo daughter and sub-year son. We both believe in baptism (me Catholic, wife Lutheran (sounds like Tarzan, eh?)), anyway, and since my Catholicness is more me while DW's Lutheranism is more family and tradition, we chose the Catholic direction (although the differences are rather few).

I believe that parents are free to make the choices they see fit for their children based upon their beliefs. Our path is rather zig-zagy, but essentially in the same direction as the Church. In fact during our Catholic-based pre-marrage course and 'test', DW and I scored a perfect in our child rearing beliefs-that's 100 percent in agreement with each other and with the Catholic Church. However we were in the toilet on some other areas (but that's another story).

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Old 02-17-2004, 02:44 AM
 
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We didn't really want to do a baptism, but both of our mom's REALLY wanted it.

To make a long story short, we decided, that it wouldn't do much harm to have a baptism. We though, well, it's nice to recognize the baby and this is the way our families have done it for centuries.

BAD idea. Let's just say, the night before the baptism, with all the godparents present, I freaked. I decided it was wrong to commit a child before they had an idea. I was so stress about it. It was bad.

We ended doing it the next day (people had flown from all over for this), but I still don't feel good about it.

I say stick to your feelings. I sure wish I had.
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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WOW haha i cant imagine how you must have felt freakin out around them. i wonder how many godparents actually do their job in helping raise their godchildren in the faith.
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Old 02-18-2004, 04:17 AM
 
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Good question Scorpio.
Not to open a huge religious debate....just to answer your original question.
I am of the belief that children are innocent before God until they reach an age where they can be more accountable for their choices. Also, when they are being baptized, they are a joining a church, a decision that some feel they should be able to make themselves.

In my church children are blessed as babies, and put on the records of the church as a child of a church member. When they are older, but at least eight, they are invited to join the church by baptism.

As for your question on the necessity of baptism...The Bible teaches that Jesus suffered for sins, but I have never read anywhere where we are absolved of any personal responsibility for our actions. Why would there be a judgement? So we are taught that there are certain things we should do. One is baptism. Similar to getting married, we make promises and commitments that, if kept, will be rewarding to us.

I agree with your frustration about premeditated sinning. Unfortunately I have never met a "finished product" as far as religion goes. Regardless of our beliefs we are all at different stages on our path.

Anyway...no our children aren't baptized, but when they are eight, they will have the opportunity if they choose.

disclaimer: these views are from G-Dawgs DH.
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:17 PM
 
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prouddfofscorpio, it felt great to have those feelings and discussion with the godparents of my ds. They had so many wonderful things to say about the role they wanted to play and how they saw baptism. We had a very intense, intellectual and feeling conversation. I was able to really uncerstand where they were coming from and vice versa. They were already our closest friends so that helped.

They have played a great role in helping me help my son. We have continued the talks about the role of religion for ds. That part of it's been great!

This is an interesting thread!
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:16 PM
 
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... but it was pretty important to my mom. Neither DW nor I are religious, and our beliefs don't jive with most of Christianity. My mother is probably the only religious person in either side of our family and she was interested in using her wedding gown to make a family heirloom baptismal gown. It was also very significant to my elderly grandparents who are the most religious in our family. For their sake and my mom's we figured it was ok. It turned out very nice. Probably the first (maybe the last) time that so much of the extended family was together at one time.

We declined to have sponsors/godparents because they were not required (liberal Lutheran) and because those persons who would be likely candidates (my sister) would take it to mean some kind of custodial arrangement should something happen to us.

The only part I regret is having to lie in a church about holding particular beliefs which I don't personally hold. But on the whole, I think it turned out very well.
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Old 02-25-2004, 07:13 PM
 
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My DH was raised Catholic, but has since moved away from the Church. Of course, his parents don't know this...both are very devout Catholics, and always remind him (or as I see it, "guilt" him!) about going to church, especially his mom (I really can't say anything bad about her, because she's such a sweetie and means well)....."be sure to go to confession, did you go to church on Sunday, such-and-such holy day is coming up, don't forget to fast for Ash Wednesday, etc". It's a source of stress for him, and I've helped make it a little bit better by making him realize that it's okay for him to have his own beliefs, even if it's not what his parents raised him to believe. Now he just says "Yes, mom" every time my MIL calls him about church. This has been a huge breakthrough for him, even though I know he still feels guilty about it!

Mind you, my in-laws do this to all of their children, who range in age from 36 to 42!

I was raised in the Lutheran church, but am now a Pagan. My in-laws will hopefully never know this! I'm "out" to my family and friends, but mostly still in the "broom closet". I'm proud of my beliefs, and am raising my daughters to know the pagan/Earth/nature ways (even thought they were both baptized Lutheran), but if they want to explore other religions, that's fine. I want them to find their own path eventually.

This being said, my DH and I were married in the Catholic church, mainly to make him and my in-laws happy. We're expecting a son in April, and he'll be christened in the Catholic church, mostly to make my in-laws happy. As for me, I wouldn't have any kind of ceremony except maybe a pagan blessing/naming ceremony, but that's something I'll do in private. But if it makes the family happy and my husband less stressed to have a Catholic christening, it's fine with me. I hope that doesn't make me hypocritical!

I did let my husband know that he'd have to do all of the legwork in order to make that happen, because I know the Catholics are strict about the sacraments. I also let him know that if he wanted to take our son to church, etc., he could, but that I wouldn't be going.
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Old 03-08-2004, 09:07 PM
 
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I am hoping that I won't have to be confronted with this one again. Dh's mother asked us about this early in my pregnancy (baby's not quite here yet...due in 2 weeks!). Dh's family lives in Spain and of course are Catholic. Mom in law is not catholic or religious at all and it really surprised me that she asked about it. Dh is not religious but I can see him going for the baptism. I will protest it big time if the subject is brought up again. I find the concept of original sin to not only be rediculous but insulting. Just my opinion. And like a few of you said, I would rather raise my child with good values and then let them pick what path makes the most sense to them.

I was not baptised and I don't feel hell-bound!

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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My family is catholic and dh and I are not. When we first adopted our oldest, my father was foaming at the mouth when he found out that we weren't rushing to get her baptized. My mother has passed away, but with my brother's kids (he's also not catholic), she actually was caught pouring water on his dd's forehead and doing a home baptism. That's how fanatical they are. We watched my dad like a hawk to make sure he didn't do anything like that with our child.

My feelings are that dh and I would never do anything like that for our parents' sake. They had their kids and got to make religious decisions for them. They do not get to make those decisions for my kids, period.

We did eventually get the kids baptized, when the oldest was five. She was baptized in our Methodist church, which freaked my father out a bit, but he managed to sit through it OK.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:33 AM
 
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when our daughter was born my mother-in-law asked me "when" she was going to be baptized, not "if'. I thought that was so strange--isn't it a personal decision? We decided no. I believe she was born with pure innocence and it will be our job to introduce her to god and the universe and to help her find her way. I asked my mom-in-law why it was important to her and she said it assures that the child will be raised in a church with godparents who teach her about god. My hubby and i chuckled because we were both baptized did not attend church regularly and our godparents got us b-day gifts but never said a word to us about god. if the tradition isn't going to be carried out, why go through the motions? we will teach her about god--no need for water on the head for us.
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Old 03-12-2004, 03:32 PM
 
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we did not baptize. When I told my father he wasn't thrilled. I calmly explained to him that when DS is old enough and makes a decision I will stand behind him 100%.


He's calmed down about it since, hasn't brought it up since ds's birth.
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:49 PM
 
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We didn't even really consider baptizing. Basically a baptism is a promise to God, your family, and the community that you're going to raise your child with certain religious values.

How can I promise that for my dd if hubby and I don't even know where we are spiritually yet?

We are more humanists, than anything. And we didn't feel comfortable making a promise we probably wouldn't keep by baptizing, especially when that promise is about something so complicated and ever-changing as our spirituality.

Kate
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:35 AM
 
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We did not baptize DS, although both sides of our family pressured us to do so.. knowing full well I am a wiccan..and completely disregarding this fact. finally I told them all very calmly and completely respectful..that if they felt DS should be baptized and planned on taking full responsibility for his "catholic" upbringing and getting up every weekend and taking him to church and everything else that went along with this charge then they were more then welcome to do so. (knowing full well they would never do this so I wasn't even risking the possibility a bit)
I was raised catholic even went to parachial school .then after parents divorced was "converted" to protestant..and then I became wiccan after I turned 18,and I am still not sure what I want spiritually..so I think it is completely and totally up to my son to make his own choice, so in short ..no we didn't baptize and in retrospect I am very proud of my decision.
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:45 AM
 
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didnt read all the responses, and i am not a dad...but my dd's dad is here and he says he agrees with me

we wouldnt ever baptize our kiddo. not our place to do it. my inlaws are big on it, my family couldnt care less. it sucks all those extra savings bonds we are missing out on (of course, as long as the government doesnt fall before we can cash in)

we got through the initial pregnancy and baby stage without much whining from inlaws, but i do check her head when i go over there to get her to be sure it isnt damp:LOL
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Old 03-25-2004, 12:50 AM
 
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I was raised Catholic; my husband was raised traditionally, if not religiously Christian. I moved away from Catholicism, and Christianity in general quite a few years ago, and shared my reasons with my very devout father - it's never been discussed since. We absolutely did not even consider baptising our son, although if and when he's interested in exploring religion, I will support him in his search 100%.

The ritual, however, was important to me. Religion aside, baptisms serve as a means to welcome little ones into the community, recognize them as individuals, and celebrate them. So we invited our closest family and friends, and had a 'Welcoming Ceremony' under the tree in my parents' backyard when Noah was 3 weeks old. We had our parents and our son's godparents (for lack of a better term) read relevant poems (Walt Whitman, Ojibway prayer, Kahlil Gibran) that we found. We asked the guests to all bring a wish for our son on a piece of paper; the wishes were read to him, and then burned so the intentions were symbolically released to the universe/god. We also had everyone bring a unique bead for Noah, and I've since incorporated them into a dream catcher for him which hangs over his crib. Then we all ate, and drank, and talked, and laughed, and cooed over our beautiful guest of honour.

It was a beautiful and appropriate way for us to welcome Noah to the world, and into our circle of family and friends. Even my devoutly Catholic father thought so; and since the ceremony, my parents have found a gorgeous carving of a native mama and her papoose which will sit under that tree with Noah's name on the bottom - and the name of all future additions to the family.
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Old 03-25-2004, 05:00 AM
 
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if you don't mid having your child babptized to appease your parents then I don't see the harm in it.

however I don't believe in infant babptism (I feel it is something done as an outward symbol of inside washing) but my mom was upset that we didn't have it done. Oh well. Our church does dedication. It differes by church but my friends even did a private one and made it all thier own. I think a lot people view it a social thing (sorry, tired, sick, brain fog). I mean everyone is invited, there are gifts, you name godparents (even though I rarely see godparents do anything anymore) you eat, baby is welcomed into a spiritual coimmunity. At dedications generally the parent commit to raise thier children in the fait, people pary for them and the baby and they are welcomed into a spiritual community. Food, rarely presents often guests. And both offer momentoes for the baby book.

Is there some sort of official welcoming ceremony in a neutral place where you could invite the fam, have some chow and bless the wee one? Is there a way you would be comfotable doing that?

just a side note, we have a lot of excatholics at our church and thier families usually have a hard time with the whole baptism thing. Godparents can come up and stand, christening gowns can be worn, whatever makes them happy. The pastor said once "I even spit when I talk and if you need to cal that sprinkeling be my guest" :LOL

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Old 03-25-2004, 09:54 PM
 
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We don't baptize our children either. Granted we're athiests, but I guess it still counts:LOL

My mil wasn't very happy about it at first since she is Catholic and dh was baptized Catholic. She would have been even more unhappy about it if dh wanted to and I didn't, but since dh is the one who doesn't want to, she is handling it fine. It would have seemed wrong to us to baptize them just for tradition's sake when we don't really believe. We would have had to lie to the church, something neither of us was willing to do.
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Old 03-27-2004, 03:14 PM
 
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We had a Wiccanning for our son. This is an introduction to the elements and the God and Goddess. It is not a promise to raise the child in any specific faith. It involved all of the guests offering blessings to the child and the child received gifts from the four directions. These were put away for him. He can use them to start his own altar when he is old enough if he choses. He is exposed to many different religions. We have friends who are Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddist, Native American, Witches, and Atheists. Grandma is Catholic, Aunt Nancy is Jewish, Sister is a witch. We respect all religions and will teach our son about them all. But the choice to practice any one will be his not ours.

Kathi

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Old 03-27-2004, 07:12 PM
 
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You're assuming we're all Christians out here.
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Old 03-27-2004, 11:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by zevulon
You're assuming we're all Christians out here.
yeah, the first thing I thought when I read this thread title was 'why WOULD I do a baptism????' lol

:LOL
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:16 PM
 
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My husband and I knew we did not want a traditional baptism for Lucy, but we wanted to mark her entrance into our family and community and welcome her. We planned out own welcoming cememony for her that included the values that we as a family honored. My husband's family is catholic but they were very open to our ceremony. Look for more in Mothering Magazine as i am querying an article about this for publication. Good luck!
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Old 05-13-2004, 09:23 PM
 
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We baptized both our kids. Now real fuss from anyone. We figure when they get older and they want to look into different religions that it will be fine. We felt giving them a start in one would be better then none.
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Old 05-14-2004, 10:12 AM
 
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DH and I discussed this at length because his parents have been pressuring us to get both kids baptized since I was first pregnant w/ dd in 2001. DH's parents forced their faith down his throat, but they never followed it...they'd drop him off at church and go drinking and socializing w/ their friends. Now that they are older and have seen they had done wrong in the past, they are trying to 'save' our kids. I repect them and know they mean well, however they do cross the line many times. Ten years ago, they took 2 of their grandchildren to church and had them baptized. MIL said the boys wanted to do it...they were like 5-6. The worst part was they did not get the mother's permission. THe mother did not seem to care because it really did no harm, but to me they overstepped their role as grandparents. I would have been PISSED and temporarily severed relations w/ them. Needless to say, our kids are never left alone w/ them.

So what I am getting at is DH and I are going to educate our kids on the various faiths and let them decide when they are older what they want to do. In the meantime, we will provide them w/ all the resources to learn about other faiths.
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Old 05-15-2004, 03:45 AM
 
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My in-laws (non-practicing Catholics) have actually told me my children will go to hell for not be baptized. Sheesh, nothing like a man made ritual to prevent sweet, innocent, kids from going to the bad place. But judgemental old people - they get to go. Obviously a sore point for me. Dh and I agreed, we are not at a place in our lives where we want to follow an organized religion, so why be hypocritical and get the kids baptized and not follow through. The real kicker is Dh's brother was married but separated, his girlfriend moves in, they have a child one month after the divorce becomes final and they get married in a civil ceremony because the church won't accept the marriage unless BIL gets, I mean pays for an annullmunt (sp?). Then, they proceed to baptize the baby in the church that doesn't even recognize their marriage. Then, they have 4 more and have them baptized. Just don't quite get it. Someday, we may find a church and we'll handle things then.
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Old 06-11-2004, 04:47 PM
 
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We did not have a baptism.

I am American Baptist and the American Baptist Church believe that infant baptism is unbiblical and should not be done. In our Chruch we have a dedication were the parents dedicate themselves to raise the child in a christian home and the Church membership dedicates itself to helping the parents raise the child in a Christian manor. DH and the inlaws are all Luthrans and Catholics but are ok with the dedication. I did tell DH I would not like it but he could get DS baptisted if it was really important to him but in order to do this he would have to do all the leg work. All he had to do was go to service twice and go to 2 bible studies. Didn't happen, when DH does go to church it is with DS and I at the American Baptist Church. (DS and I go more often then DH.)
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Old 06-18-2004, 03:36 AM
 
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For those still undecided, I thought this might be helpful. The full text is at: http://www.carr.org/~meripper/faith/baptism.htm

Excerpt:

Celebrant: Dear parents and godparents: If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your own baptism. Reject sin; profess your faith in Christ Jesus. This is the faith of the church. This is the faith in which these children are about to be baptized.

(...)

Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Parents and godparents: I do.

Celebrant: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
Parents and godparents: I do.

Celebrant: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Our DD's baptism was one of the greatest days of my life. It wasn't because she wore a beautiful dress, or because we had a party, or because it made my mom happy. It was because our little girl was "born again," cleansed of original sin, forever changed through the power of the sacrament. She became a member of the Catholic Church, which is our spiritual family.

That said, I have a lot of respect for those of you who've chosen not to baptize your DC because you don't agree with the above statements. If you want to welcome your child with a naming ceremony, or a dedication, or just skip the whole business altogether, that's up to you. It's about integrity, being true to what you believe.

I know how tough it can be to go against your parents' wishes. It just really bums me out to think of people saying "I do" with their fingers crossed...in front of family, friends, and their newborn baby...and in a church, of all places.

:

MaryCeleste is offline  
 
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