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Baptism dilemma

runner-guy

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Hey fellas. Looking for a little input on something. My wife and I are expecting a baby in a couple weeks and we've been going back and forth on something. My mother has been asking whether or not we are going to baptize our baby. I grew up Catholic, but religion is really not an important part of my life anymore and my wife and I rarely go to church. My wife was baptized Lutheran, but she has never really been religious. I feel it may be hypocritical if we baptize and not be involved with the church. However, I know if we don't baptize my parents (and grandparents) will be extremely disappointed in us. Also, I'm thinking if we baptize our child can be a part of the church in the future if he or she chooses. Any experience or advice?
 

Teacher

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I was in the same boat. I just went ahead and did it. Like you said, it appeases the more religious family members (not that that was a big concern for me) and it gives the child at least that much for the future.
 

ter1413

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Ask you wife. If she wants the child to possibly be a part of the church in the future and you 2 agree, baptize. If you could care less, don't do it. Forget the parents/grandparents! They had their chance with you!
 

HORNS

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Good question.

I have yet to encounter this, since I don't have kids yet. However, I was raised Southern Baptist and my wife was raised in quite the anti-religious household. My thoughts are, at the moment, that you have much more to gain by having the child baptized than what you might gain by not doing so. This thought is based on the baptism not just being a religious ceremony, but a cultural one as well.
 

Geoff Gander

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Ultimately this is a decision between you and your wife, not the grandparents. While it is always a good idea to appease the grandparents, whether or not the child is baptised shouldn't affect their love for their grandchild, and you should not let other people's opinions determine how you will parent (and baptism is a parenting decision).

I'm not religious expert. My parents aren't religious, and I was baptised RC only because my late great-grandfather (a German catholic) was the patriach of my mother's family and wouldn't give his blessing to the marriage unless all children were RC. I never went to confession or did any of that other business, and in fact only set foot in an RC church 2-3 times in 36 years. However, I would think that any church would welcome a new member, regardless of age, and if your child decides later in life to join a church, he/she could be baptised if it came to that.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by ter1413
Ask you wife. If she wants the child to possibly be a part of the church in the future and you 2 agree, baptize. If you could care less, don't do it. Forget the parents/grandparents! They had their chance with you!
I lean toward this.
 

StephenHero

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I would do it in case your kid becomes religious. If he doesn't , it will simply be a symbolic gesture that he can ignore. But if he does, it would probably be good for him to have that status so he isn't forced to go through it formally at some strange age.
 

WaterlooMike

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Originally Posted by StephenHero
I would do it in case your kid becomes religious. If he doesn't , it will simply be a symbolic gesture that he can ignore. But if he does, it would probably be good for him to have that status so he isn't forced to go through it formally at some strange age.

Disagree. It's not like this is something that comes up in conversation very often. "Hey nice to meet you. Were you baptized!?!"

If a person makes a decision to be baptized at "some strange age", it's a demonstration that s/he's truly a person of faith. This would be opposed to you looking some priest in the face, and telling him that you're just going through the motions, and that your child likely won't be a parishiner.

Your child, your decision. Not your parents. I'd personally have a lot more respect for people if they allowed their children to make their own decisions re: faith. Lay out all the points of view, and leave it up to the individual.
 

StephenHero

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Originally Posted by WaterlooMike
Disagree. It's not like this is something that comes up in conversation very often. "Hey nice to meet you. Were you baptized!?!" If a person makes a decision to be baptized at "some strange age", it's a demonstration that s/he's truly a person of faith. This would be opposed to you looking some priest in the face, and telling him that you're just going through the motions, and that your child likely won't be a parishiner. Your child, your decision. Not your parents. I'd personally have a lot more respect for people if they allowed their children to make their own decisions re: faith. Lay out all the points of view, and leave it up to the individual.
If this was about circumcision I'd agree, but the baptism is completely harmless unless his kid does become religious, in which case he would probably appreciate that you had him baptized to cleanse him of original sin, which would be very important for someone that really did have those beliefs. He still has confirmation to formally profess his commitment.
 

boo

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Assuming you or your wife aren't anti-religion, just do it. It's a maybe 30 minute ceremony to keep your parents happy. No one at the church will know if you're active later or not. Heck, probably half the people at Christmas mass needed directions to find the church.
 

WaterlooMike

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Originally Posted by StephenHero
If this was about circumcision I'd agree, but the baptism is completely harmless unless his kid does become religious, in which case he would probably appreciate that you had him baptized to cleanse him of original sin, which would be very important for someone that really did have those beliefs. He still has confirmation to formally profess his commitment.

But again, confirmation is something he'll not (really) be given a choice about. It will happen as a part of a process with his school mates, at an age where he'll just go along without giving it any thought.

And you can be "cleansed" of original sin at any point you choose to be baptized.
 

MrG

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Originally Posted by HORNS
Good question. I have yet to encounter this, since I don't have kids yet. However, I was raised Southern Baptist and my wife was raised in quite the anti-religious household. My thoughts are, at the moment, that you have much more to gain by having the child baptized than what you might gain by not doing so. This thought is based on the baptism not just being a religious ceremony, but a cultural one as well.
I tend to agree with this. OP, if you were actively anti religion I'd say "don't do it," but you sound pretty apathetic. That being the case, it's a harmless practice that would make (great) grandparents happy, which is a nice gesture. Plus, it sounds like it would help keep the peace within the family. Basically, to me it seems that the benefits of baptism far outweigh the costs.
 

runner-guy

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I can't say I'm anti-religion. I don't criticize people at all for their religious beliefs. I just feel a little uncomfortable telling a priest we will make Christ a part of our baby's life, because we most likely will not. My wife said she is fine either way so she is really leaving it up to me, since I will take the brunt of criticism from my family if we don't baptize.
 

dcg

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I'm fairly anti-religion and I'd just go ahead and have him baptized. No real downsides (unless you had better plans for the time spent at the ceremony), and it makes the grandparents happy.

Congratulations, btw!
 

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