To lie to the church about our godparents?

(341 Posts)
bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 15:25:51

We're having our child christened, mostly at the insistence of our parents, but also because it's a nice day and (I suspect) it means more to DH than he is letting on.

I got the paperwork to fill in today and 'godparents' have to be christened with at least one being confirmed.

Even though I'm not sure what I believe, choosing godparents is still important to me as people who will be there for our children should anything happen to us... But out of our two best couple friends (one being my sibling and his wife, and the other being best friends of ours for 20 years) only one is christened. (and confirmed)

I don't want to have to choose other people just because they are christened. I want to choose the very best people for my child in the future. (plus I know that they all really want to do it and would be amazing.)

So AIBU to just tick 'christened' even though they aren't? And what are the chances of being caught out?

superbagpuss Fri 03-May-13 15:28:05

I'm also wondering about this, don't have an answer I'm afraid

Tick the box. If you know that they're the right choice for your child then that's all that matters, IMHO. Why should the fact that they haven't been christened themselves make them somehow 'unsuitable'?

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Fri 03-May-13 15:28:52

YABU to lie but you're unlikely to be found out, so if you can square it with your conscience that you have lied to your priest then that's fine.

My DN was baptised in our church and we lied to the priest about one of the GM being baptised (she's non-practising Jewish). For entirely unrelated reasons there was a huge falling out around 9 months later and nobody sees this GM anymore. I still see my priest weekly and it upsets me to think that we told a lie to him for no reason at all as the GM has abandoned any contact with my DN. I wish we hadn't done it.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 03-May-13 15:29:15

Godparents are not there should anything happen to you, they are there to ensure that your your dc receives a religious upbringing. Are your potential godparents regular church-goers, even if not christened themselves?

I suppose it's possible they'd ask you to bring in certificates - my DH's very fussy priest made me bring in mine when we got married.

Or you could just make your case to the vicar and hope? After all if one is christened and confirmed it's obvious your child will have someone religious in their life, and you've got strong reasons for choosing the other person, so it's not as if you've just not bothered to think it through.

Trill Fri 03-May-13 15:29:31


If you don't really want your child christened, and you want to pick "special people" who are not themselves Christians, then it seems rather silly to have a christening.

I would have thought chances of being caught out are very small. Perhaps they can't remember whether they were christened as they would have been so young at the time ?

valiumredhead Fri 03-May-13 15:31:35

I am Godmother to my friend's baby despite them being Catholic and me being C of E, the Godfather was catholic and the Priest said as long as one of us was Catholic then that was fine.

I would talk to the Vicar.

MaxPepsi Fri 03-May-13 15:32:11

They don't check.

My Niece's and Nephews all have god parents - all had the box ticked for being christened. Some weren't, some were, one is a muslim another is an atheist.

I have 3 godchildren, I am christened into CofE and even the very strict catholic priest who wanted other catholics only didn't check!!

JeanPaget Fri 03-May-13 15:33:03

Yes, YABU.

Christening your child isn't a nice party, it's welcoming your child into the church. Godparents are meant to provide religious guidance, not just to 'be there for your child'.

I'm not at all religious (and therefore haven't had my children christened), but I'm still quite hmm at the idea of lying to a church. If you're not faithful enough that lying to the minister and congregation bothers you then why are you having you child christened into the church at all?

Pootles2010 Fri 03-May-13 15:33:54

oldlady is right, Godparents aren't automatically guardians if you pop your clogs, if you want them to be, get it put in a will! Unrelated I know but still important wink

lightfairy Fri 03-May-13 15:34:35

Talk to your vicar/priest because in special circumstances you can have people there who are called something else but aren't God parents.

Anyway, if you want those people to be responsible for your children if anything should happen to you then it should be in your will. Just because they're God parents, it doesn't give them any legal powers of guardianship over your children after you're gone.

God parents are supposed to help your children understand their faith so you could have any one from the parish to do that bit and have it explicitly written down that these other people have parental responsibility.

BigBongTheory Fri 03-May-13 15:35:07

The vicar who baptised DC1basically said she didn't care as long as they would fulfil th role correctly.

NoWayPedro Fri 03-May-13 15:35:13

What oldlady said - its not in case anything happens to you.

Why are you having your DD christened again? 'Nice day....?' [Confused]

Sorry but YABU

Anyway I was christened but I wouldn't be able to find a piece of paper to prove it - it was a long time ago !
(Though think I did come across something about my confirmation recently in stuff my parents were sorting through, had a quick look at it, and then lost it again !)

AnythingNotEverything Fri 03-May-13 15:36:06

It doesn't sound like you want a christening, it sounds like you want a naming ceremony and a nice day out.

As a pp said, godparents are meant to take responsibility for a specific part of your child's upbringing, if for any reason you can't do it.

BornInACrossFireHurricane Fri 03-May-13 15:36:14

My friend lied about me being christened so I could be Godmother (vicar didn't ask me personally, I just had to turn up on the day)

I personally feel that being christened as a baby wouldn't have any bearing on how I am as a godparent BUT I do have faith, although not a regular church goer

FreckledLeopard Fri 03-May-13 15:37:23

YABU. Not a great way to set out on a Christian upbringing by lying at the Baptism.

Why are you getting your child baptised if you don't go to church or believe in God? You can have people being important in your DC's life without a baptism.

ImAlpharius Fri 03-May-13 15:37:40

They don't normally check, but a lot of churches will baptise adults before a childs baptism for them to be godparents.

It's your decision if you want promises made on behalf of and for your child to be based on a lie

Kaekae Fri 03-May-13 15:38:29

One of my DS1 godparents had not been christened, I spoke to the church about it and they were fine with it. When I had my DD1 christened, again one of godparents hadn't been christened but did attend her own church weekly. We were not asked about whether our godparents had been christened. But our vicar was aware that we had a godparent who had been christened because she was only 15 and I did ask if this would be acceptable and the reasons behind why we wanted her. If the church has a website sometimes they put details on there.

FairPhyllis Fri 03-May-13 15:39:20

Godparents are not people who look after your children if anything happens to you. They are specifically people who are chosen to take an interest in your DC's religious upbringing and education.

It's possible you may be asked to show their baptismal certificates.

IMHO The church are foolish to ask as it only encourages dishonesty, and why can't anyone be a godparent that the parent's choose ?
However we didn't have ours christened but had other types of welcoming parties for them which were just as fun !

Cloverer Fri 03-May-13 15:42:02

I also think a non-religious naming ceremony would be the way to go - or even a compromise of a naming ceremony with a religious blessing?

If you're not really interested in the churchy/religious bit but want the family celebration and choosing godparents, then just do the bits you want!

EuroShaggleton Fri 03-May-13 15:42:39

Most of my friends have chosen godparents who would not otherwise have been godparents becuase of the "qualifications". Two particularly close friends have mentioned apologetically to me that they could not have me (athiest) even though they know I will play a big role in their child's life.

It seems to me that you are mixing up the role of god parents with other things.

thepig Fri 03-May-13 15:42:53

You could do the best thing for your child by letting them choose their own beliefs when they grow up.

If you want a nice party maybe have a naming ceremony or start your own tradition.

Thanksgiving services can be quite nice so I've heard.

Snowflakepie Fri 03-May-13 15:43:39

I don't think there is any standing in law on who cares for your children or makes decisions on their behalf, based on godparents. My DD is not christened as we don't believe, it is all written in our wills instead. YABU for having a religious ceremony if you don't hold with it, and all the more so if you have to lie to the priest. I may not believe in it all but I do think there is something wrong about that, sorry.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 15:44:47

I see the obvious ethical question... and if you're very religious then it must seem an awful question to ask...

But for me (though not my in laws or my DH) it isn't about entering a church or being guided in religion, it's about making people happy, which I'm more than willing to do, I'd just like to have the godparents I want as well.


K8Middleton Fri 03-May-13 15:45:09

You will be struck by lightening and be damned for all eternity. Or nothing will happen wink

Your morals are your own business but I wouldn't be having a sham religious ceremony in the first place. Not even if the church is really pretty, the grandparents will be pleased, it will get them into a better school and the vicar is amazingly photogenic or whatever other reason. But if you do, well... I can't quite work up the energy to care and I have tried. A tiny bit.

Snowflakepie Fri 03-May-13 15:45:23

Oh and my SIL had a naming ceremony for her oldest DC, it was the most cringeworthy event I think I have ever attended. Have a family party to welcome the newborn, but please, give it a rest with the faux ceremonies.

catsrus Fri 03-May-13 15:45:33

my children were not christened because we do not belong to a church - they are supposed to be GOD-parents!!! they are the people who PROMISE to support your child in being brought up a CHRISTIAN and as a member of that particular church. You are asking them to also lie during the ceremony - what will they say when they have to make the promises? will they say the words they don't believe or mean and not think twice? nice honest people then? shock. Basically you want your child to start their life surrounded by liars hmm

We did appoint people to be our DCs guardians should we die - that is a totally separate issue.

If you want a lovely special naming ceremony day then there are lots of secular non-religious celebrants who can do a lovely ceremony for you (like this one). A friend of mine did her own for her ds and it was lovely.

Be honest!

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 15:46:11

And I know it's not law or anything, and we will make a will.. It just seems silly to me to choose people I wouldn't choose just because they're christened.

Hey, Just Do It OP !
Don't ask us first !

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 15:47:49

I think it's a bit risky. What if He smites you/one of the godparents?!

JeanPaget Fri 03-May-13 15:48:36

Will it really please your, presumably religious, parents if you lie, and go though a ceremony which ultimately means nothing to you? hmm

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 15:48:38

I'm not having a naming ceremony or anything else...she is being christened. I'm just questioning myself on the godparents issue as I'm worried about being caught wink

Jesus will know and I suspect he won't be happy but I guess he will forgive you?

I think this is balls ^ and that's why neither my kids or I are christened.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 15:49:31

Outragedfromleeds - surely He has bigger fish to fry? :p

catsrus Fri 03-May-13 15:49:39

CHRISTened - as in joining the CHRISTian church! why would you make your dcs members of a group you didn't agree with??????

Its not a naming ceremony its a JOINING ceremony!

K8Middleton Fri 03-May-13 15:50:04

I think the key question here is... WWJD?


Floggingmolly Fri 03-May-13 15:50:33

You're confusing Godparents with guardians. If you want a nice day out, why not just have a party? There's a hell of a lot more to a Christening than a nice day out. hmm

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 15:51:18

I don't know bumble, His record for smiting the right people is somewhat dubious......

I'm fairly certain telling lies makes the baby Jesus cry.

Honestly if there is a God do you think she cares about tick boxes on a CofE christening form ? No, she has bigger things to worry about !

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 15:51:23

My friend had chosen Godparents but because neither were Catholic, the priest told her she had to choose another as well. They really didn't want to, but picked a Catholic acquaintance, who now rarely sees the DC anyway. For some people it's an honour, for others it's just a title. I'd rather have a naming ceremony myself (not religious) but this is not the norm where I live and family pressure could be a problem. I don't have DC yet but I do think about this possibility.

I know some people who happen to be Christened but would be terrible role models, and non-religious people who'd be wonderful and attentive to children. This is one of the reasons I abandoned religion, it's so subjective. Would still feel a bit weird about lying to the Church, but if it's not a moral issue for you then do it. Do whatever suits your own family.

orangepudding Fri 03-May-13 15:51:50


Your child shouldn't join the church based on a lie.

I'm not religious but I do feel that what you are doing is wrong.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 15:52:17

Floggingmolly - I'm not. I know what godparents do, and I know what guardians do. One of them is confirmed... I'd like them all to be one in the same.

And for ME, it's a nice day. But for others it means more.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 15:52:37

Can you join your children up to a number of different religions so that they have a choice when they're older? Like how you put down their name for a number of schools, just in case.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 15:53:59

You can put their name down for a number of schools??! wink

Nothing makes the baby Jesus cry according to what I learnt as a child "No crying he makes" - the only non-crying baby ever - wonder how Mary knew when he was hungry !

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 03-May-13 15:54:32

YAB so U! You are prepared to lie at a christening? Why have one at all? I know you said it's to be nice to others, but doing this is something I'm sure that the people you are doing it to be "nice" to, wouldn't like it.

Don't you so how totally hypocritical you are being. I'm Catholic, DH is C of E. Only criterion from our priest was that one godparent had to be Catholic. The others could be what we wanted. Godparents are to help your DC in their spiritual life - ie their morals among other things. So you are going to start your DC's moral life by lying. Don't do it. Find another way around it. Have a naming ceremony instead.

momb Fri 03-May-13 15:56:12

YABVU. I think it would be wrong and unfair of you to take the p**s out of a community of people because you don't share their faith, which you would be doing if you had your child christened and lied on the forms. It might be for show for you and your OH, but for your in-laws, the congregation and particularly the priest it isn't actually just a joke. If you want a party just have one.

That said, the friend I asked to be YD's godmother wasn't christened so the vicar christened her the week before YD. An adult baptism is the same as a confirmation (you don't need to confirm something you've already promised as an adult). So if your chosen Godparents want to be christened, they could be.

TobyLerone Fri 03-May-13 15:56:52


If you don't really want your child christened, and you want to pick "special people" who are not themselves Christians, then it seems rather silly to have a christening.


IsItMeOr Fri 03-May-13 15:57:36

Snowflakepie wow, nice judgement there.

There's nothing faux about a non-religious naming ceremony, except in your head.

The religiously active members of our families, who know about our atheist viewsm were also the most vocal in saying how much more personal DS's ceremony was than a church baptism.

K8Middleton Fri 03-May-13 15:57:38

My idea of a nice day is lots of delicious food and drink and some good friends to share it with. Pledging allegiance for me and my child to a deity and organisation I don't believe in, telling a few lies and pretending to talk to a god I don't believe in... well it's not really up there on my Nice Things To Do list.

If you're going to do it, just do it. You think it's bollocks, I agree it's bollocks and you're ok with being a hypocrite so don't sweat it any more.

zzzzz Fri 03-May-13 15:58:22

shock YAB utterly U

How can you think this is ok?

Cloverer Fri 03-May-13 15:58:43

It's not against the law, you're unlikely to get caught, and you don't believe in god - so why worry about it?

I reckon they're just trying to get more of the adults to sign up for a christening with the carrot of becoming godparents. Cynical, yes I know hmm

hiddenhome Fri 03-May-13 16:00:08

What you are planning is totally hypocritical sad

You should just have a naming ceremony. You have absolutely no intention of raising your child as a Christian. People who do things like this make me sick.

Soupa Fri 03-May-13 16:00:39

My dad lives and breathes church. I am atheist. I don't like to rub it in, it will be a source of great sadness that I don't practice faith.

In an absence of belief I can't take a baptism seriously but I do take seriously the hurt choosing not to baptism would cause my dad. Thus we baptism, we have 'fake' godparents and no intention of bring our children up in faith.

Most priests, and I know plenty, would be happy to have started your child out on a faith journey that they may choose to complete later.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 16:01:59

Isn't this a humanist type service? Not Christian?

Neither of u appears to have much belief. Your prepared to lie to ur guests, dcs, vicar as to the religious background of your prospective gps. Your asking ur GPS to lie to, keep quiet.

The point of a christening is to be brought up in that faith. If there's bugger all chance of that, save ur pennies!

Seriously. You wouldn't hear a Jewish, Muslim or other faith ask such questions. Why do u feel its ok to ask this of Christians?

SacreBlue Fri 03-May-13 16:02:12

I am not a follower of religion and took the (whatever line it is about) point of looking after their religious welfare seriously in so much as I would encourage them to think for themselves when I was made godmother

As for looking after them in the event of something <touches wood 'ironic'> awful happening, I would do that because they are family.

For my own DS <not christened as per my beliefs but happy for him to change his mind> I have made clear my expectations - with agreement of those involved - as to his upbringing should anything happen to me.

<not sure it that helped>

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:02:20

'People who do things like this make me sick.'

You must be ill a lot of the time!

thepig Fri 03-May-13 16:04:32

Why not do what's best for your child, rather than what's best for your parents/inlaws?

Starting your child's life with a lie and a sham ceremony seems a little bizarre imo.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:06:23

' You wouldn't hear a Jewish, Muslim or other faith ask such questions. Why do u feel its ok to ask this of Christians?'

I don't think that's true. I have Muslim, Hindu and Sikh friends who although not religious themeselves had their wedding/are bringing up their children etc a certain way to please their parents/grandparents.

MrsBungle Fri 03-May-13 16:07:28

My SIL lied to her vicar that I was christened when I was godmother to my DN. I was uncomfortable and was worried in case anyone asked me as I was not going to lie.

It was very important to SIL that DN was christened although she has only set foot in church in the last 5 years to get married and get her boys christened

Szeli Fri 03-May-13 16:07:45

Why oh why would you do this. It takes the mick really.

By the by... Forms? Is this just a Catholic thing? All my vicar asked for was my godparents names but I'm c of e...

Maxium12 Fri 03-May-13 16:07:53

YABU to have your child christened if you are not religious. If you are prepared to do that why worry about lying on a form?

If you suspect it means a lot to your DH then that's fine, but don't do it just because it's a 'nice day'.

As suggested as naming day could be the way to go.

FairPhyllis Fri 03-May-13 16:08:09

Do you know what a godparent promises in the ceremony, OP? They make the baptismal promises on behalf of the child. That's why it's inappropriate for them not to be baptised. They will have to say that they reject the devil and evil, and that they turn, come and submit to Christ. They will also have to promise to pray for the children and help them play a part in the life of the Church. They are meant to be able to commit to giving them spiritual guidance that is specifically Christian.

You could have a service of Thanksgiving instead - perhaps that would placate the GPs?

It's just a form.
How many forms do you ever get through without lying at some point ... for example "I have read the terms and conditions" Oh yeh ?

The GPs will probably be lying more during the service too ...

"promising to fight manfully against sin, the world, and the devil"
Do you believe in the devil ?
I expect over half of godparents don't in the 21st century.

And I'd be more interested in integrity at this point rather than on the form regarding whether they were christened as babies.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:12:49

Szeli - it's c of e. They emailed me forms when they booked the date.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Fri 03-May-13 16:12:52

Yanbu. I'm not religious but will have to get both dc christened because of school and will have this issue, ill also be telling a little white lie about the gps

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:14:22

Toys - are you worried they'll ask for proof?

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 16:16:09

The christening is usually part of the main church service as you are joining the church. You are welcomed into the arms of the congregation.

This is wider than your own prospective group. So, I'm not bu to ask why the op feels its ok to lie to people who do take this faith seriously. People treat other faiths with more respect but treat Christianity as if its of no relevance. That's just rude.

hiddenhome Fri 03-May-13 16:16:19

Disgusting attitudes some of you have hmm

I bet you're the sort of people who pour scorn on people who do take their faith seriously.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 16:16:56

Go to a different school?

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:17:51

Wishiwasanheiress - it's got nothing to do with school. At all.

hiddenhome Fri 03-May-13 16:17:54

You would not dare to go into a mosque or a synagogue and do this. You'd have more respect for those organisations.

CSIJanner Fri 03-May-13 16:18:39

YABU to lie.

A long as at least one is christened and confirmed then there should be no problem with any of your Godparents. Tell the truth - the vicar/priest won't care as long as one fulfills the criteria and will trust your judgement on the characters of the others.

However, you are making a mockery of faith by just treating as a nice day. Did the priest/vicar warn you that you will need to attend baptismal classes? It's just the one so that you can reflect on the meaning of being christened as the day is a blur. If you don't believe and just want a day of celebration, then have one. If its important to your DH and it has meaning for him, send him to the classes. But don't have your child christened to keep face and appearances. If it has no meaning for you, have you looked at the humanist society? I went to a fab celebration and naming ceremony where it was clearly stated that the child could make their own mind later in life with their godparents equivalent guidence.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:18:57

It's actually not a question of the christening at all by the way, just of the godparents being able to be who I choose rather than who I'm forced to have.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Fri 03-May-13 16:19:53

Op, not really. I wasn't asked to provide proof and I've been a gp many times. How would one prove it anyway? I think I'm the only person I know who actually still has my christening certificate.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:20:17

Hiddenhome - why wouldn't I?? If she was being welcomed into one of those religions instead I'd be asking the same question but with slightly different words. How is it different??

thepig Fri 03-May-13 16:20:59

hidden...there are lots of attitudes in this thread. Which people are you making your big generalisation about?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:21:05

hidden there are Muslims and Jews who go along with religious ceremonies to please their parents. It's not just a Christian thing.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 03-May-13 16:21:48

it's about making people happy, which I'm more than willing to do, I'd just like to have the godparents I want as well.

The church is not there to give you and your mates a nice day and nice photos. The Christening is about promising to raise your child as a Christian with Christian Godparents who also pledge to do the same.

If you're not Christian, you don't want to raise your child as a Christian, you don't want the Godparents to be Christians, and have little intention of ever setting foot in the church again, then why on earth are you doing it?

You just want to choose your favourite mates! It's not like choosing bridesmaids you know!

Well maybe the church could be a bit more generous and less demanding too hey hiddenhome? I think the parents should be able to choose whichever godparents they like

hiddenhome Fri 03-May-13 16:23:04

Don't try to dress this up as anything other that what it is - a pathetic, hypocritical stunt and an excuse to have a party and placate some grandparents hmm

I expect you'll all be wearing your best frocks and some silly headgear just to complete the picture. I've seen it all before.

I think having a Christening to please other people is ridiculous. What if your child grows up and eshews religion or that religion and resents you for making the choice for them? (as has happened with people I know).

YABU to do this and not do it properly, too.

Have a naming or thanksgiving ceremony where you can be honest and be done with it. But don't lie to have something done to appease other people.

Maxium12 Fri 03-May-13 16:23:42

Really what the OP wants to know is:

'what are the chances of me being found out if I lie to the vicar'?

Leafmould Fri 03-May-13 16:23:54


I think that this ceremony is not for you. It is other members of the family who Want and need it. Therefore they are the ones who should be making these decisions, not you.

What do your family members think about lying about the religious status of your proposed godparents?

Have you discussed this aspect with them?

hiddenhome Fri 03-May-13 16:24:04

Less demanding?

Do you even realise that a godparent is supposed to be a baptised Christian?


bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:24:27

Chocsaway - it is to me.

hiddenhome Fri 03-May-13 16:25:14

Oh, yes, and don't forget the awful silver plated picture frames and little boxes wink

WWJD? Knock your bloody heads together I would think.

StuntGirl Fri 03-May-13 16:25:18

You're mixing up godparents with guardians.

Godparents are their to see to the spiritual and religious upbringing of your child in the Christian faith which you are having your child baptised into.

Have a naming ceremony, pick whoever you like, and don't make a mockery of anyone else's faith.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 03-May-13 16:26:05

Sorry OP, are you saying that choosing Godparents IS like choosing bridesmaids?

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:27:16

Hidden home - I imagine I'll probably wear a hat, yes.

And as to your question 'Do you even realise that a godparent is supposed to be a baptised Christian?' did you even read my OP?? Of course I do! That's what my whole question is based on. resists urge to say 'duh!'

WildlingPrincess Fri 03-May-13 16:27:44

I blagged it. They didn't check! My daughters Godfather is an unbaptised Homosexual grin

Floggingmolly Fri 03-May-13 16:27:48

The church could be less demanding. Why? hmm. It's a Christening, so no, you can't "choose whatever you like". Bloody hell...

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:28:23

Stuntgirl - I'm not mixing them up. I just want them to be the same people for us.

hiddenhome Fri 03-May-13 16:28:28

You are making a complete mockery of my (and others) faith. You are going to lie.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 03-May-13 16:28:38

I think the parents should be able to choose whichever godparents they like

I think if you're using the church for your Christening Day, then you need to understand the ceremony, not just ask your bessie mates who have no intention of even setting foot inside a church after the day is done.

HullMum Fri 03-May-13 16:28:53

why even take part?

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 03-May-13 16:28:57

Our godparents for dd were asked to provide their baptism and confirmation certificates.


nancerama Fri 03-May-13 16:29:18

DS has 3 godparents. Two are Roman Catholics and one was never baptised. I felt uncomfortable lying to the vicar so I told him the truth. He was fine about it. He understood that the people we had picked were important people to me, DH and DS and felt we had picked the best people for the job.

hiddenhome Fri 03-May-13 16:29:34

And you can stick your 'duh' up your arse you hypocrite. You tell your pathetic lie and I hope you get found out.

CSIJanner Fri 03-May-13 16:29:45

My priest went around and asked all the Godparents - will your mates be willing to lie?

I'm with ChocsAway - it's not about honorary aunts or uncles. It's about faith. If the people you choose are as you say, going to be in your child's life and active, then it doesn't matter if you choose them or not as they will always be there.

Well hh, if the church really wanted to promote honesty and integrity then they'd suggest thanksgiving services much more widely I think.
I think the church have just as much to answer for as the families in these issues.

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 16:31:36

It's actually not a question of the christening at all by the way, just of the godparents being able to be who I choose rather than who I'm forced to have.
Shocking isn't it. Imagine a church wanting GODparents to actually be part of that faith. How dare they want people to take things seriously

ConferencePear Fri 03-May-13 16:33:06

How can you have a child baptised into a faith that you don't believe in ? Christians believe in the ten commandments one which is "Do not lie".
For goodness sake have a naming ceremony and don't be a hypocrite.

thepig Fri 03-May-13 16:34:21

You are making a complete mockery of my (and others) faith.

Maybe be a little less over-sensitive and a bit more content in your own beliefs? You seem to have a very big chip on your shoulder about how other faiths wouldn't be "disrespected" like this...even though other posters have pointed out that they are. You're also very judgemental, have you thought about why that is?

I'm sure lots of other Christians would think you're making a mockery of the faith too by the way you practice it. The fragmentation of Christianity means that's unavoidable, whatever your exact beliefs.

Anyway out of interest...what does the bible say about the issue?

Helspopje Fri 03-May-13 16:34:33

Our will has provision for who will look after our daugher in the event of.... They are non churchgoers (although I know that my sister if not also her husband is Christened) and would, if asked, I am sure say that they would find it a bit hmm to make some of the responses in good conscience.

Two other very good friends who do have strong Christian faith (although one is of another denomination to us) are our DDs godparents. They do a marvellous job and I am delighted that they have special status as godparents amongst our friendship group.

I've always been of the mind that godparents should be people of faith rather than the parents' best mates/sibs but I am progressively boxing myself into a corner as the majority of our friendship group are not churchgoers/professors of their faith so a v small number of people to consider asking for the new baby(ies).

On a whole other topic, I do find it a bit flumoxing why people not of faith would choose Christen their child. The cynic in me wonders whether access to faith schools may have something to do with it.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:37:04

Conference Is the grandparents believing not enough? It takes a village and all that...

Of course, definitely does sometimes Hels, where it's one of the criteria.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 03-May-13 16:39:55

thepig- I think that's a very unfair attack on hidden home. She was not being judgmental.

The OP wants her day in Church with none of the annoying religious stuff. This feels very disrespectful to me!

In fact it's the modern liturgy that dictates current baptism form, not the Old or New Testament.

Maxium12 Fri 03-May-13 16:41:04

You imagine you'll wear some sort of hat, maybe you'll need two, one for each face.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 16:41:10

Seriously, repost this in spiritual. See what they think? You (op) appear to think those of us with expressing surprise at this choice or any view other than 'hell yeah go for it," are wrong. Another op is always right thread....

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:41:11

That's the fault of state-funded faith schools though, not the parents. If we didn't have state-funded faith schools people wouldn't need to lie about their religion.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 16:41:48

I think hiddenhomes views have been well expressed also.

SantanaLopez Fri 03-May-13 16:43:10

I don't think Hiddenhome is being U, the OP clearly is.

Outraged it's more the fault of England's bizarre school placing systems. No one christens their child in Scotland just to get into a faith school.

givemeaclue Fri 03-May-13 16:43:21

Yabu, have a naming instead.

Godparents have no role should something happen to you, its a religious commitment only. You can choose whoever you want as per your will to be responsible he something happens to you. Godparents there is a different requirement.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:44:53

How do they place children in Scotland Santana?

<totally derailing the thread, sorry OP>

I'm kinda with Outraged on the schools thing.
IMHO You can't just blame the parents, it's the whole system.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:45:39

Just to clarify... It's got nothing to do with school. We live ten houses down from a non faith school that is amazing and I hope for my children to go there, or to the other non faith school a street away.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:47:09

bumble someone else brought up the school thing.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 03-May-13 16:47:11

Outraged, in Scotland, children just go to their local non-denominational school. Parents can request a different school but mostly don't. Parents can also choose a Catholic school if they want.

thepig Fri 03-May-13 16:47:23

thepig- I think that's a very unfair attack on hidden home. She was not being judgmental.

You don't think this is judgemental? hmm

Disgusting attitudes some of you have

I bet you're the sort of people who pour scorn on people who do take their faith seriously.

SantanaLopez Fri 03-May-13 16:47:35

Just catchment areas up here. You can make a placing request if you want to go to a certain other school, but they are really rare (in our neck of the woods anyway).

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:49:06

Maxium12 - im sorry if this is offending you, but I legitimately wanted to ask a question. I'm getting her christened regardless, but would it make you less insulting if I told you that one of our godparents is confirmed and extremely religious?? Because that's true. Would it make you feel better that my parents and in laws also are? And that my DH wants her christened as its important to him? Just because I don't necessarily believe shouldn't ruin it for everybody else.

I just think the issues are quite similar to the faith school questions, but sorry to derail slightly OP.

catsrus Fri 03-May-13 16:50:17

lol at the logic outraged!

if the faith schools were not faith schools they would just be the same as all other schools - right?

if they were the same as all other schools then there wouldn't be the pressure to get into them.

people might want to consider what are the factors which make FAITH schools more attractive? wink if you take the FAITH out of faith schools you lose some very good schools.

and my dcs didn't go to a faith school, nor were they baptised.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 16:50:34

I know a very religious Christian family who had a blessing ceremony for each of their 2 DC. Not as formal as a baptism either. Their reasoning was that they wanted their children to make their own decisions when they were old enough. Could that be a reasonable compromise? Anyway OP says the Christening will go ahead so that's by the by.

Another friend had their DC Christened and had a very understanding vicar who even said he didn't expect parents to attend church these days, and a lot of Christenings happen because it's tradition, regardless of strength of faith. Very progressive thinking vicar IMO, and clearly knows how difficult it is to attract people to church. I think some people are being a bit harsh to say OP is making a mockery of the faith. I think now you shouldn't lie, but if vicar is not accommodating then that's another issue. I don't know many Godparents who attend church regularly. I was probably brought up more religious that most of them! As long as OP is respectful of the proceedings I see no problem, what bothers me is when some people say "I'm getting them done" and then go have a piss up.

But for those suggesting it must be a solemn occasion or OP is not taking it seriously... eh, of course it's going to be a nice day for a party afterwards. Christenings shouldn't be only about God. They are also a time for family reunions, and celebration, and welcoming a new baby into the community.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:51:27

Santana we just have catchment areas here unless it's a faith school, where you need to be (or pretend to be) the faith of the school.

ConferencePear Fri 03-May-13 16:52:42

Outraged it would be the parents who told the lie not the grandparents.
As for faith school, I would abolish them all. For those who want it religion should be taught at home.

Viviennemary Fri 03-May-13 16:52:44

Choose a different church if you don't like the rules. I can see why a Godparent has to be baptised but can't see why they must be confirmed.

TerrysAllGold Fri 03-May-13 16:53:13

"I see the obvious ethical question... and if you're very religious then it must seem an awful question to ask..."


I'm an Athiest and even so it seems an awful question to ask.

If you want someone to care for your child should the worst befall you, make a will. If you want a party, have a party. If you want to please your parents when you're of an age to be married and have a child, grow a backbone and a bit of independence.

Sorry but those who take the rise out of others' religions and use them just when it suits really rile me. It's hypocritical, insulting and just not nice. And of all the people to tell lies to and take advantage of I'd have thought that decency suggests that a priest would be the last to try it on with.

SantanaLopez Fri 03-May-13 16:53:41

Does it depend on the area? I've been reading a few threads on here where there are 1st and 2nd choices, siblings already at the school, distance and so on.

Sorry for derailing blush

Maxium12 Fri 03-May-13 16:53:44

Bumblebee I said in my frst post that if it was because your DH wanted it that was fine.

You made a comment about hats.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:54:39

Terrysallgold - do you have a Christmas tree? Give presents? (now you'll say you don't and you'll be lying.)

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 16:56:20

All godparents should be Christian. I don't see why you struggle to understand why the church wants that

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:57:20

Maxium - I made a comment about hats in answer to something that was asked to me.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 16:58:12

Sirzy - I don't struggle to understand - in fact, I've made it plain that I completely understand that. That's why I plan to lie about it???

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 16:59:11

So you don't understand it then or you wouldn't be considering lying confused

SantanaLopez Fri 03-May-13 16:59:26

What was the point of this thread if you are going to lie anyway?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 16:59:27

catsrus for some (maybe many) people their nearest school or two schools are faith schools. The third nearest school is over subsrcibed and as they're out of catchment they don't get in. It's not really to do with a faith school being better, just nearer.

I think we all engage with the world around us as we see best Terrys

It's easy to say that people are acting hypocritically in a certain situation but I find it's often a case of take the plank out of your own eye and then you'll be able to see better to take the speck out of someone else's.

Or to put it another way, it's hard to act perfectly in an imperfect world.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:00:01

Sirzy - what exactly don't you get?

Maxium12 Fri 03-May-13 17:01:11

Bumble, the hat comment came across as a rather sarcastic reply to someone who was talking about the party aspect of the day.

If you were not being sarcastic then apologies.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 17:01:45

But not being baptized doesn't mean that someone would make a bad choice. I am baptized but not religious and no-one's godparent. If I was ever asked, should I refuse on the grounds of my beliefs even though in the church's eyes I am 'qualified' by a certificate made for me when I was too young to understand its implications?

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 17:01:53

It is you that isn't getting it.

You want to lie about the godparents, therefore you don't understand the importance of godparents being Christian.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 17:02:07

'people might want to consider what are the factors which make FAITH schools more attractive? if you take the FAITH out of faith schools you lose some very good schools.'

I don't think the faith aspect makes the school any better. I think parents who are motivated enough to lie about their religious state, are also motivated enough to really support the school thus making it a good school. If you took away the faith aspect the school would be just as good (and slightly more broad minded).

thepig Fri 03-May-13 17:02:23

lol at the logic outraged...if you take the FAITH out of faith schools you lose some very good schools.

I probably wouldn't lol at someone elses logic when yours is confused at best. smile

There are a whole multitude of complex reasons why many faith schools perform well. Just one of which is selection.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 17:02:26

My comment was responding to Sirzy's original one

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:02:35

Someone said something about making a mockery and having something stupid on my head at the same time... It was in answer to that.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:03:36

Sirzy - I know that they would like the godparents to be christened. The ones I want are not... Hence, the question over lying about it.

It's pretty clear.

TerrysAllGold Fri 03-May-13 17:04:09

"Terrysallgold - do you have a Christmas tree? Give presents? (now you'll say you don't and you'll be lying.)"

Bumblebeesue, no, I don't as it happens. I haven't celebrated Christmas for 20 years, Easter for even longer. Don't even dare accuse me of lying about it either.

And btw, the Christmas tree is a Pagan symbol, not a traditionally Christian one but as you don't have any respect for others' faiths I don't suppose you knew that.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 17:04:21

'And of all the people to tell lies to and take advantage of I'd have thought that decency suggests that a priest would be the last to try it on with.'

grin yeah because Priests as a group never lie or cover up any bad also shouldn't lie to estate agents.

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 17:04:33

But being Christened is an indicator that someone has been raised as a christian, asking for someone to be confirmed is even more of a confirmation of their faith.

If someone was a regular church goer but not baptised/confirmed they could easily enough get the vicar to confirm they are practising.

Either way it doesn't make it right for someone to lie!

SantanaLopez Fri 03-May-13 17:05:02

I don't think the faith aspect makes the school any better. I think parents who are motivated enough to lie about their religious state, are also motivated enough to really support the school thus making it a good school. If you took away the faith aspect the school would be just as good (and slightly more broad minded).

I agree with this. Faith school does not equal good school!

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 17:05:08

*Sirzy - I know that they would like the godparents to be christened. The ones I want are not... Hence, the question over lying about it.

It's pretty clear.*

Therefore they can't be GODparents!

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:05:43

Nope. I thought Santa and the Easter bunny were the most famous gods of all hmm

And I can disbelieve you if I like.

The question about a tree was more to do with asking if you celebrate Christmas. But you knew that.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:06:06

Sirzy, I think you need to read the OP again.

bigTillyMint Fri 03-May-13 17:07:13

We were never questioned about our Godparents (high CoE) and we are Godparents to a Catholic god-daughter - I am CoE and DH is Catholic, both not really practising.

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 17:07:29

I have read it and still believe that lying is very wrong.

Godparents should be Christians. Not have boxes ticked to lie and pretend but actually Christians.

mrspaddy Fri 03-May-13 17:09:55

Do whatever makes you feel happy but honestly can't see the point of a religious sacrament with two godparents not of faith. I wouldn't lie in a church of all places. Why not have a naming ceremony. The church is being made a mockery of.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 17:10:47

I know someone who is not Christened who is a Godparent. I doubt she was even asked. She can respect other faiths without practicing herself surely. What's important to me is that the child is brought up loved and respected for who they are by the people closest to them. I've said before I would prefer a non-religious ceremony myself, but if church was important to the father's family, I'd probably do what the OP is doing. Maybe not the lying part. But you're never going to please everyone anyway.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:11:25

Mrspaddy - how is it being made a mockery of when everyone but me (parents, DH, other relatives, at least one godparent) is completely invested in it and believes? Would it are you happier if I didn't go?

TerrysAllGold Fri 03-May-13 17:14:14

"Nope. I thought Santa and the Easter bunny were the most famous gods of all
And I can disbelieve you if I like."

As it happens I have an extremely good reason for not acknowledging Christmas, one which is associated with a very distressing bereavement. You can disbelieve me all you like but it's not me who's the liar here, is it?

Upon reflection, I do think it's a great idea that you take part in a Christian ceremony and mix in those circles. I hope it might rub off - it'll do you good.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 17:15:47

I will hold my hands up and say I've lied in church! I've sang hymns at funerals and listened to reverent speeches at weddings. I don't believe any of it and feel a bit silly doing it, but should I be excluded? I am clearly going to hell!

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 17:16:14

bumble I think two issues are becoming confused.

1. Should you have a Christening when you don't believe, but the wider family does? I think most people on the thread agree this is ok....maybe not hidden.

2. Should you lie about the religious views of your Godparents, thus making the 'pledge' they make on the day pointless? General view is no. If your parents, family, DH etc are really invested in it would they want this anyway?

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 03-May-13 17:18:05

How about you are just honest with the vicar? If it's something your husband wants to do, and he won't be crossing his fingers when saying things like:
"Parents and godparents, the Church receives these children with joy.
Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith.
Will you pray for them,
draw them by your example into the community of faith
and walk with them in the way of Christ?
*With the help of God, we will.*"
Then I imagine the vicar would be happy with it. It's not exactly uncommon to have parents who believe differently these days. What you do during the service I guess depends on what the vicar then says.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:18:42

Terrysallgold - I have no problem with my conscience. I'm a good person, I give to charity, I give blood, I'm kind. None of this changes the fact that I'd rather have the people we are closest to be DD's godparents than people we would be forced to have simply because they have a certificate they can't remember getting.

How many godparents are fully practicing Christians nowadays? None I know. DH doesn't even remember who his are... And my cousins children don't see theirs due to people drifting apart. I would rather chose people who I think have a chance of being in my daughters life forever, than fulfilling a formality.

5madthings Fri 03-May-13 17:18:43

You can explain to the vicar and see what they say?

As an aside i am godparent to my frirnds chikdren; i was christened as a child and then baptised at about 12? But then stopped going to church at all and am totally atheist and was atheist when i became a godparent. My friend knew this and we agreed the role i will have in her childrens life and i am happy to educate and support them follow a christian faith if they choose to follow it.

So 'technically' i could be a godparent because i am christened and baptised but as i now have no faith it seems daft.

Op are your friends religigious? Is your dh or his parents religious?

People get married in church and christen/baptise their children for a variety of reasons. It sounds like it has religious meaning to your dh and inlaws but not to you? In which case you have some godparents who are religious and ithers who are not.

If there is a god i am sure he would be happy that you are choosing people who are important and will make good godparents/guardians and be a good role model to your children.

Surely the rule re godparebts is a 'church' rule. What does it actuallu say in the bible about this type of role and service?

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:21:44

5 mad things - I am. One of our godparents is confirmed and is very religious, the other three are not, though they do believe as far as I know.

hippy1952 Fri 03-May-13 17:22:18

I think you are being very, very unreasonable. As part of the baptism service you will promise to renounce sin. How can you in all honesty do that when you will have told lies to the vicar. If you are only having your child baptised because a grandparent thinks it should be done and so that you can have a party I think you are being unreasonable.

I think it's a bit two-faced to go and have a religious ceremony with people who don't share your faith. Especially given the promises that godparents have to make.

I wouldn't lie.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:24:39

Hippy - the AIBU is about godparents, not about the christening. I'm saving the christening regardless.

Soupa Fri 03-May-13 17:24:44

Hiddenhome I did this because I respect how important the sacrament of baptism is to my dad. And to save him having to do it secretly which he would do but would find stressful. It is entirely without value to me, i would not have any other ceremony and have no interest in fine pictures and a good frock.

Having been brought up within catholicism, having nuns and priests in the family I can say with confidence that they prefer babies to be baptized even by non practising parents. The priest I know best doesn't even mind those who marry in his very pretty church just for the pictures. He hopes a start in faith and a marriage that starts with a sacrament has a good start.

As for your anger, he without sin and all that...

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:24:58

HAVING! Not saving...

TerrysAllGold Fri 03-May-13 17:25:13

" I would rather chose people who I think have a chance of being in my daughters life forever,"

++ bangs head on keyboard ++

Christening is not about choosing people who will be in your child's life forever etc etc, it's about choosing Godparents who will guide the child in the faith.

Dear Lord! ++rolls eyes ++

Good luck with it. I hope the atmosphere and the Church teach you something worthwhile. I'll leave the thread now, before I say something which is rude rather than accurate.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 17:26:44

I think the number of bumble's chosen religious Godparents outweigh the non-religious one, so I think she'll be in good standing when having that discussion with the vicar. I totally get picking people who you believe would be in it for the long haul. My Godmother wouldn't recognise me if I passed her in the street. OP is going to do what she wants anyway, so condemnation from certain MNers is a bit fruitless really, but we're all entitled to our opinion, and debate is good!

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:27:05

TerrysAllGold - good. My reasons don't have to make sense to you. You seem very angry, I think maybe there are deeper issues.

Why ask if you're going to do what you want anyway?


OutragedFromLeeds Fri 03-May-13 17:29:39

Error I think you've made an error on your maths. There are 3 non-religious, 1 religious.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 17:33:19

Okay fair enough. OP just chat to the vicar. They might be more open-minded than you think.

elliejjtiny Fri 03-May-13 17:33:53


Has the vicar talked to you about your (lack of) faith OP? When I was a baby my mum was a christian and my dad wasn't so the vicar refused to christen me.

ghislaine Fri 03-May-13 17:34:18

Just have one godparent then. Or have relatives as godparents, that is totally fine.

The rest of your mates can be spared having to stand in front of the congregation, make an affirmation of faith and promise to support the child and its parents in their Christian journey. You know, it's not just you who'll be lying if you go down the path you're suggesting. You obviously don't have a problem with that, but maybe your friends might.

Then you can choose guardians for your child with a clear conscience.

Problem solved.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:34:39

Then your vicar was overly harsh. Your poor mum.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 17:35:27

Ghislaine - I asked them. They have no problem. They'd be honoured.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 17:37:14

ellie your story is one of the reasons why I have a problem with religion. Don't have a problem with most religious people, but some of the 'rules' are so outdated and unfair. I know a couple who were refused a church wedding because the groom had been divorced. Even though the bride-to-be was practicing Christian and never before married. Very harsh and short sighted.

ghislaine Fri 03-May-13 17:38:19


So you want to have people in your child's life who are happy with publicly lying?

Ok. I give up.

If they'll lie in front of a church and a vicar and make false promises they don't mean, how do you know they're going to be in your child's life for the long haul?

aliasjoey Fri 03-May-13 17:41:52

If your PIL are religious and want her to be christened why not ask them to be godparents?

Floggingmolly Fri 03-May-13 17:45:16

Bumble, you keep posting "read the OP", and "what aren't you getting?"
It's quite clear that you're asking would you be unreasonable to lie to the priest about some aspect of your child's proposed christening.
The side issue of "but one of the godparents is confirmed and is very religious" is completely irrelevant. YABU to lie, full stop.

Yeh, I guess it could be an option to have rellies as Godparents, and ask friends to be guardians ? Or just don't worry about the stupid form, and as I said don't ask us on AIBU .... you might get a baptism of fire on here smile

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 17:48:40

Hey if I was asked to be a Godparent I'd be honoured too. I would happily stand up in church and renounce Satan. I'd respect the church and its values. I wouldn't say I lied. I would say that I was touched that the baby's parents trusted me enough to allow me to be an officially named role-model for their child. That is far from a mockery of the faith. Of course I've been baptised so lying about that is not an issue. It is really frustrating that some churches are not more inclusive. My DM in her youth was exploring a lot of faiths and was told by a priest not to become a 'spiritual gypsy'. Way to put someone off from joining.

StuntGirl Fri 03-May-13 17:57:00

"Stuntgirl - I'm not mixing them up. I just want them to be the same people for us."

You are absolutely mixing them up, and if you do this christening properly you can't have them the same unfortunately.

Show some respect and have a naming ceremony with these super duper special important, but non-religious people.

Or have the christening and choose religious family members to be the godparents and have a naming/welcome to the world ceremony where you choose specific friends to play some important role in your childs life.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 18:00:23

Ok appreciated then that dh has faith as do family so, why ask us? What do they think? If its something u couldn't ask them? Or have u? Did u not like their thoughts?

Yes I do take StuntGirls point that there is room for some more creativity in people's response to the whole situation - might make the church think more carefully about what they can offer families at this important time of life too (and whether they really want to be giving out forms with tick boxes for people to fill in)

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 03-May-13 18:03:01

I think YABU. I'm not religious at all, but irrepespective of how many times I re-read your OP and following points, I feel like you are missing the point spectacularly (I know you will say you are not, but you really, really are).

And if it is really that important to your family and DH - are they not bothered by the lie?

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 03-May-13 18:03:28

Irrespective, even!

jaabaar Fri 03-May-13 18:04:50

I dont know what religion you are, bit of u r catholic the rules are that only one godparent has to be baptised and confrmed.

I had thr same dilema as both my chosen godparents were not christebed as catholics. I wanted to lie abt it but after some soul searching came to conclusion that it would invalidate the christening of my dd.

So i added my mum as third godparent.

I would not have been comfortable lieing in front of god in a church.

ImAlpharius Fri 03-May-13 18:05:58

Why don't you hire a Vicar costume and get a mate to do it in your back garden, your DC will be 'christened' your family will be happy and you can have whoever you want. But you won't be lying to anyone not directly connected with and taking the mick out of other peoples beliefs.

Just make sure you pick some who wont bluster and flush when the priest look them in the eye and ask "have you been baptized in the Christian faith?"

Because that may actually happen.

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 03-May-13 18:08:26

This is my opinion, and I say this as a Catholic who attends every Sunday, it's fine. Don't worry.

In my (personal) opinion, whether the child should be Christened or not should be based on whether the parents want him or her to be (and you do, for whatever reason).

Anyone can Christen or Baptise a child in an emergency. All you need to say is 'I baptise [Name] in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit' and if you really want to, splash some water on them. That's the whole of the ceremony that we're talking about here, and if you believe in it, this is what, in effect 'gives' your child to God. If you believe, then the only question that you need to ask is 'Does God love this child.'

Everything else, the Church, the Godparents, the cake, all of these things are just fripperies.

So, in my personal opinion, your church are being unreasonable. In my (personal) opinion, the most immoral thing you can do is to refuse to allow someone who wants to come to God to do so. I don't think any person should put an obstacle between God and another person. I think it's wrong. I think the same thing about gay people marrying in the church, but like I say, my opinion is my own, and obviously far from universal (did you see what I did there?)

babybarrister Fri 03-May-13 18:09:49

In our society there are lots of faiths and it is virtually impossible to find a way to incorporate everyone important into a child's life. I don't like lying but I and the parents were certainly economical with the truth when I was a GP - no-one ever asked me if I was Christian or baptised but I guess they made assumptions. I said I would bring the children up to respect god and renounce Satan but was silent when asked about their Christian education. I don't feel bad and don't imagine the parents do either

jaabaar Fri 03-May-13 18:12:07

I dont know what religion you are, bit of u r catholic the rules are that only one godparent has to be baptised and confrmed.

I had thr same dilema as both my chosen godparents were not christebed as catholics. I wanted to lie abt it but after some soul searching came to conclusion that it would invalidate the christening of my dd.

So i added my mum as third godparent.

I would not have been comfortable lieing in front of god in a church.

aliasjoey Fri 03-May-13 18:16:46

I don't understand why the OP has posted and keeps posting with details about what to people who are religious must be a thoughtless and insensitive topic. She has said she is going to do it anyway, so why bother asking? It sounds like she is being deliberately provocative and piss-taking.

She could have just gone ahead and done it, without making it a big deal of it, but instead... to come on here and keep saying she doesn't care - it seems a bit mean.

eccentrica Fri 03-May-13 18:18:40

YABU. I'm an atheist Jew and I think you're taking the piss.

Have a naming ceremony and get over yourself.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 18:21:44

I'm not doing that. I'm trying to find out if I can just tick a box about godparents without having to provide proof.

I'm not saying I don't care, not once.

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 18:22:42

Eccentrica - how exactly am I on myself?? Get over yourself would imply....? What exactly?

StuntGirl Fri 03-May-13 18:24:34

"She has said she is going to do it anyway, so why bother asking? It sounds like she is being deliberately provocative and piss-taking."

I agree entirely.

themaltesecat Fri 03-May-13 18:29:38

You don't have to be a Christian to have an ethical code - but it helps, it seems.

If you glibly tell such pointless lies, you really are not a fundamentally good person, OP.

This thread is why Christians marrying non Christians need to be very cautious. The OP doesn't believe. Her presence at the christening will be a lie because she plans to make promises she has no intention of keeping and she wants to drag some of her non-believing mates in to the charade as well. That's pretty despicable.

Op - leave the christening up to your DH. He can pick believing godparents and make promises he intends to keep. I imagine he'll be relieved. Can't be nice knowing you're married to a hypocrite.

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 18:33:13

You obviously don't care, you obviously don't value the christening otherwise you would be respecting the need for godparents to be Christian.

You seem to be ignoring questions asking what your husbands views on your proposed lies are?

IsItMeOr Fri 03-May-13 18:34:41

Quint you're right about the random questions vicars ask at baptisms. It was attending the baptism of a friend's son, where the vicar asking the godparents if they believed in life after death that helped speed up my realisation that I was atheist. I never agreed to be a godparent again after that, much to my DSister's dismay.

Strangely, some vicars do seem to take baptism and godparents seriously. Who would have guessed? wink

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 18:35:34

Calling the OP despicable and a hypocrite is pretty harsh. She just came on here for opinions on whether or not to tick the box, not to have her moral grounding questioned. AIBU was probably not the best place for this question though. I'll re-iterate, though it says on the form Godparents must be christened, I think it would be totally unreasonable of the church to refuse to allow you to discuss the matter respectfully. Can't hurt to ask. If he says no, then maybe you need to find a more inclusive church. confused

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 03-May-13 18:36:15

My word, aren't there an awful lot of religious types lining up to forget 'judge not lest you be judged.'

I'm certain it's very Christian to be lining up to hurl insults at someone who asked a question. Jesus did that all the time, didn't he?

IceNoSlice Fri 03-May-13 18:37:27

To the people saying that the church should be 'more inclusive' and bemoaning the 'strict' criteria of having godparents who have been christened...

I think the church (certainly my CofE church) is very welcoming and inclusive. Almost to the point that, in pursuit of trying to appear modern, inclusive, non judgmental etc, the church knowingly allows many non believers to use it's buildings and priests for aesthetic, non religious reasons. (Pretty wedding pictures, a more grand ceremony etc). The church does this in the hope that some people might one day decide to come to regular services, and will remember how friendly it was at their wedding etc.

The baptism service, as noted above, requires godparents to make promises for the child. In an ideal world the godparents (and parents) would be church goers. But no-one is quizzed about regular church attendance. I see the requirement for godparents to be christened as a nod towards this ideal, and I'm sure many godparents are not christened.

It is very frustrating to a lot of church goers to see people get married in church or christen their children but never step foot in church at other times. Possibly at the Christmas children's carol service but only if it will 'get them feeling all Christmassy'. But we just accept that this is the way it is, feel a bit sad, then quietly carry on with our own faith.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 18:37:39

My thoughts exactly Looking

crypes Fri 03-May-13 18:40:10

Christians arn't without sin, only Jesus is without sin. If you say you are without sin then you are saying you are Jesus and that's sinful.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 03-May-13 18:42:42

I don't think I would lie, it seems wrong somehow......and I am an atheist confused

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 18:43:50

Sirzy - my husband is happy with the 'godparents' we've chosen. And more than happy to tick a box.

Being a Christian doesn't mean you adopt an anything goes attitude. The OP has asked if she should lie and ask her friends to lie. The answer (which she has no interest in hearing) is of course no.

If you want to ask Jesus what he thinks about people using religious institutions for their own craven ends then go ahead - but don't be surprised if you get turned out of the temple grin

ConferencePear Fri 03-May-13 18:46:39

Leaving the religion out of it ......
You are planning to lie so that your child can join a club that you don't really won't be to again just because you like the joining ceremony.
I find that illogical and I'm an atheist.

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 18:47:45

So he is as bad as you then.

I still don't know why you have asked though because you have no interest in peoples responses!

ConferencePear Fri 03-May-13 18:48:25

sorry ... that should say
'a club that you don't really like and won't be going to again'

Whatalotofpiffle Fri 03-May-13 18:48:39

I wish I had lied when I was asked! I accidentally told the vicar that my sister wasn't and he said she couldn't do it


My sister is amazing and went and got christened at 26!!!!

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 03-May-13 18:48:57

She's really not though. She's allowing her child to have a 'joining ceremony' that matters a great deal to a number of important people in the child's life. She has no moral objection to it. She sees it as words in a big building and nothing more. (Sorry for talking about you OP).

Yeh, that's very harsh from you NorthernLurker - I usually love your posts which are often full of wisdom and compassion. I guess you take a hard line on what you view as hypocrisy though ? Personally I'm more flexible ... especially when it comes to a bit of form filling.

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 03-May-13 18:50:38

I'm godparent to 3 children and I would describe myself as agnostic/verging on atheist. I wasn't christened. My friend who had her DD baptised in the catholic church ticked the box to say I'd been christened. It was most important to her that I was in her child's life as a significant person. As far as I know there's been no comeback to that.

Yes I don't feel too flexible when I think somebody is mocking my faith and involving others. Funny that hmm

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 18:52:21

If everyone is happy with lying can u just not forge a document to back up ur lies if asked for one? Not much of a further leap is it?

Nothing so far u have said gets us past the lying in a house of god (I'd be just as miffed if another religion too btw).

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 18:53:12

Agree with northern

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 03-May-13 18:53:32

And calling the OP a hypocrite, whose actions are despicable is one of the reasons I can't get to grips with the supposed compassionate nature of the church smile

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 18:53:35

Yes YWBU to lie. Its hypocritical. I am not religious, but not lying seems to me to be a basic christian value. You are choosing these people to be Godparents. Their role is to be your childs spiritual mentors. If you want them to be guardians in your absence, do as others have said and make a will. Otherwise, dont make a mockery of a ceremony that people take seriously.

Wonder if there are any nice Muslim parties and ceremonies you could go ahead with for fun?

specialsubject Fri 03-May-13 18:55:47

my concern is; do you think that the godparents will take on your kids if something happens to you? That's not the role. The role is to ensure your kids get a Christian upbringing.

do you want that? Are the godparents going to do it?

I just wouldn't see it that way Northern, and am slightly surprised if you do (knowing you a bit from other posts) But you have different beliefs to me which probably accounts for things.
I get more and more flexible as I get older, apart from when it comes to touching my toes smile

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 03-May-13 18:55:58

NorthernLurker, wouldn't it upset you more if the child was denied the faith because of one member of their family not wanting it?

I'd have been properly gutted if my Atheist husband had refused point blank to let my children be baptised. Fortunately, we'd discussed before hand and knew what was going to happen. My priest was also happy to have him join in the ceremony as a parent and not wait outside the door. He comes to church with us each Sunday and joins in the parts he feels comfortable with. He'll attend his son's Holy Communion later this year.

He feels included and accepted, and I'm pleased about that. It fits well with my conscience. I've never for a second thought that he was a hypocrite or was mocking my faith.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 18:56:50

If its a bureaucratic answer ur looking for why post here? Post in spiritual. They would genuinely know im sure of the admin specifics. Posting in aibu suggests discussion....?

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 19:00:11

Looking, the point in ur story was it was discussed and in the open that dh was athiest. He wasn't a GP u were trying to pass off... I've no problem with op not being Christian. Just at a christening the GPs should be, unless agreed by the vicar surely?

conkercon Fri 03-May-13 19:03:26

In answer to your OP.

So AIBU to just tick 'christened' even though they aren't? Yes you are being unreasonable to lie.

And what are the chances of being caught out? You probably wont get caught out unless the vicar is strict on paperwork.

But just because it is unlikely you will get caught does make it okay to lie.

Personally rather than lie I would speak to the vicar and explain your feelings.

When my husband and I got married in the catholic church we were living together. We (well my husband) decided to tell the truth and the priest was absolutely lovely about it and married us regardless. I am so glad we did not lie.

You have said that you are going to do it anyway so perhaps you should have just asked the And what are the chances of being caught out rather than asking if you are being unreasonable.

ghislaine Fri 03-May-13 19:10:10

Look OP, you, your husband and your friends clearly have no idea what godparenting involves (although it's been explained here a number of times). You don't really want your child baptised. You want a 'nice day' under the misconception that it will somehow bond you to your bessie couple mates for life.

What you really should have entitled your post is "what are my chances of getting away with a lie?". No-one here knows that. The rules are very clear. But flexibility in applying them will depend on the individual priest/vicar/minister and you will only find out if the game is worth the candle once you start playing. Have you been to baptism classes yet? What do you know of this church's approach? What are the clergy like?

FWIW, when my son was christened, the godparents were asked for proof of their own baptism as were we. Does that help? Thought not.

ConferencePear Fri 03-May-13 19:10:13

QuintessentialOhara asked about Islam. I don't know about their joining the faith ceremony, but they have the same ten commandments that Christians and Jews do.

ghislaine Fri 03-May-13 19:10:42

Oops, cross-posted.

I've no issue with people being open about their faith or lack of it. I wouldn't turn a parent away from bringing their child to the church I attend because that parent doesn't believe. I just don't expect people to lie about their belief. With regard to 'denying' a child - faith is a life long journey. The parent's choices are in every sense about them at this point rather than the child. Infant baptism is about promises parents make and intentions they have. It doesn't (in my belief) change the child. It's the knowing confession of an older child or adult that Jesus Christ is their Saviour that is the change.

1944girl Fri 03-May-13 19:14:20

If you want to lie then go ahead and lie.It is your conscience and nobody else's.

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 03-May-13 19:15:55

I suppose the way I look at it is this; the choice might be between a) a baptised and confirmed person, who's parents didn't believe at all, but did what was necessary for school purposes, and who doesn't live a particularly moral life or believe in God or b) someone who has not been baptised or confirmed in the CofE, but lives a moral life, feels a vague kind of spirituality but doesn't follow a given religion and who tries, where possible, to help people.

Personally, I don't think it's mocking anything to choose person B, and I think it's a bit of nonsense bureaucracy for the church to insist on person A when, in order to baptise a child and in effect make that bond between baby and God, you just need to say the words.

But, like all religious debates, there's really no way that all of us will agree, because each of us acts according to what we believe to be right in our hearts.

CSIJanner Fri 03-May-13 19:16:39

Right - a quick google sorted this one out.

CofE - all Godparents have to be christened. One has to be confirmed

Catholic - one must be catholic. All must be christened.

Methodist - all must be of practising faith

Just ask the vicar/priest to see if the christening can go ahead. He/she might be okay about it. Personally, I wouldn't be.

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 03-May-13 19:20:08

Also, thanks for your reply, Northern. I agree that the lie is the issue, but I sort of feel the various people have been pushed into it from inflexibility.

The other point you make, that faith is a journey, is also interesting. There's no guarantee godparents will stay within a certain faith. One of my children's has switched from Catholic to atheist, and another of them has switched to evangelical Christian.

But arguably, this is setting an example for my children anyway. Faith doesn't stay static, and you have to be able to test it.

cathers Fri 03-May-13 19:21:55

I find it upsetting and insulting op that you are considering lying.

Godparents are there to guide your child in the christain faith, to answer questions about the christain faith and support them in their understanding. Obviously, to do this, the godparent is required to be a christain and hence baptised.

It is coming across that you are not taking the role seriously if considering a non baptised godparent, let alone lying about it! shock
We were asked to provide proof of godparents baptism, quite rightly too.

Why not appoint you 'best friend' as your DC's special guardian but not a godparent.

FannyMcNally Fri 03-May-13 19:29:18

Right. Have a christening with baptised Godparents who can be responsible for their religious path in life. Then have a naming ceremony with unbaptised Oddparents who will be the friends who you want to do those duties that you think GPs are supposed to do.

DeskPlanner Fri 03-May-13 19:29:28

I am utterly shocked that you can think It's ok to lie like this. shock I'm also baffled as to why your bothering at all, since you don't belong to the religion. Children should not be christened, because, its the done thing, to please grandparents, to get into a certain school or any other stupid reason. That's just not what its about. sad
Tell the lie if you want, you sound like you will anyway. You probably won't be caught and nothing will happen. But this is totally the wrong way to bring a child into the Christian faith. Well, thinking about it, you won't care about that, will you ?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 19:30:57

If you are going to do it, then do it properly. If you dont want to do it properly, then dont do it.
I also feel that your take on this is insulting. I watched my adult cousin and his GF being christened at the same time as their DC a while ago. Turns out it was an excuse for a party and presents! What a piss take!

Choosing a guardian for your child should be much more where it's at than being a godparent anyway IMHO. Who would look after your children if you were gone, now there's a real question to ponder ? But godparents have tradition behind them don't they ? And I think historically there might have been a link with guardianship, some people certainly seem to make those links .... Anyone know more about that aspect of things ?

SugarplumKate Fri 03-May-13 19:32:01

We had to provide details such as the Parish/Church our GP were Christened at and the date. If they and you would really like them to be Godparents, with the religious role that it implies, then why not suggest they get Christened at the same time? (I've been to a Baptism where this happened). Or you could choose a non-religious naming ceremony and have an equally lovely day?

thermalsinapril Fri 03-May-13 19:34:25

YABU. I can't see the point of arranging something you don't want, and invalidating the requirements for godparents by surreptitiously ignoring them confused Doesn't seem in the spirit of things really.

Well, in all honesty, it is a pretty pathetic excuse for a party!

I assume you will add a "gift list" with the invites? wink

bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 20:22:02

No, no gift list. It's not about that and she already has a money box and my grandparents have a bible for her, so nothing she needs... But thanks for the input.

My conscience is clear. If there is a god, I'm pretty sure he'd be okay with my daughter joining his church despite her mother wink

I'm also quite sure that my 'godparents' will get away with it. If I weed through the self righteousness on here that's pretty much the answer I find.

Cheers, we'll be sure to have a lovely day wink

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 20:22:59

You are obviously reading a different thread from me, the vast majority of people including plenty who aren't christian have said YABU!

TobyLerone Fri 03-May-13 20:32:04

"I'm also quite sure that my 'godparents' will get away with it. If I weed through the vast majority of answers saying you I am being unreasonable at best and downright offensive at worst, and look for the few who agree with me that's pretty much the answer I find."

Fixed your post.

TobyLerone Fri 03-May-13 20:32:26

Apart from the random 'you', which shouldn't be there.

ghislaine Fri 03-May-13 20:44:25

At my son's christening, the priest's sermon was about the point of infant baptism. Why have a christening for a child who doesn't know what is going on and can't consent to it? He said that it was an expression of the parents' values and their hopes for the values their child would grow up with.

What are your values?

As you say, your daughter has a money box and a bible already so perhaps her godparents could chip in for a moral compass?

StuntGirl Fri 03-May-13 20:45:54

Why ask when you don't care about the answers?

Personally I hope the vicar asks for proof, simply because if your husband and his family want to bring your child into the church deception is not the most auspicious beginning. Perhaps a conversation with the vicar would bring a compromise.

I would also look into what you want in terms of guardianship for your children should you die. Being a godparent will not make them guardians, you need to consult a solicitor.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 20:47:08

In fact, maybe we could have a MN whipround for a moral compass!

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 20:49:03

Re godparents carrying the torch, there's absolutely no basis for thinking that it will tie u or carry u along with ur presently bessie mates. It plainly won't.

AngiBolen Fri 03-May-13 20:49:07

I would say YABU.....BUT, I found it very difficult to find a confirmed Catholic to be my DCs Godfather. I ended up with FIL, and a "freind" of DH who has paid no interest in DC since turning up for baptism, and CofE confirmed friends.

The people who would have actually picked up the DC and taken them to mass when we were ill...gone to school mass if we couldn't go, would help DD with her communion dress/cake, will actually turn up for their confirmation and who would have remembered birthdays etc, aren't' even christened / baptised, and so couldn't be considered for Godparents.If I could go back and choose again I would be tempted to lie.

ariane5 Fri 03-May-13 20:53:53

We had this problem when wanted dd1 christened.

Neither dh or I had been so in order for them to allow dd to be christened I had to be done before her and also dsis and db who were godparents as they wanted proof of godparents baptism so we couldn't have lied!

ariane5 Fri 03-May-13 20:58:36

Could you not be honest and just make them honorary godparents instead ? We did this with ds1 as dh brother and sister had not been baptised and di not want to be yet still wanted a role so the church said they could be honorary godparents.

thermalsinapril Fri 03-May-13 21:00:30

> I'm also quite sure that my 'godparents' will get away with it.

Very possibly. But is "we can get away with it" a suitable reason for doing something in church, or anywhere else for that matter? hmm

Sokmonsta Fri 03-May-13 21:08:57

I didn't realise until the day of our christening that one of our godparents was not christened. It would appear the church did not check and relied on honesty - it was after the ceremony when we were talking that we found out so we did not say anything. Whilst this may appear dishonest, this person was chosen with her views in mind and I like the balance the beliefs our godparents bring to our children.

Some churches may check. Ours did not. We were made aware that one of our godparents was not christened prior to the service and the vicar arranged a wonderfully intimate evening ceremony for her to be christened. Maybe this is something your chosen people would consider doing if their beliefs allow them to?

ariane5 Fri 03-May-13 21:15:17

I thought all churches checked. Our 'godparents meeting' was a very formal affair held in the church office where the vicar set out very clearly what was expected and checked about the suitability of our chosen godparents.

It was a bit awkward 3 adults having to be christened before dd1 but it was the only way they would allow it!

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 21:24:40


Karma is a circle. What goes around comes around usually.... Or there's always the pearly gates and a big red book. That covers most faith persuasions I think.

StuntGirl Fri 03-May-13 21:37:36


Can you? Probably

Should you? Probably not.

Permanentlyexhausted Fri 03-May-13 21:55:22

If they care as much as you feel they do, these potential Godparents would surely be willing to sign up to anything they are willing to sign your child up for.

So, if they are happy to be a Godparent, why don't they get Christened at the same ceremony?

What could be nicer than your child and their Godparent learning and growing together in their faith? I mean if it's good enough for your child...

If they really don't want to be Christened, I would be seriously concerned about the mentality of someone willing to sign a child to something they weren't prepared to do themselves.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 03-May-13 22:14:40

Sympathise with angibolen. One of the dd's godmothers is seikh. We told the vicar and agreed she would participate in saying only part of the vows. I felt like I was ostracising her and for dd2 she did the lot. We are least close to the evangelical gps at this point. I don't feel our dcs religious upbringing is compromised. In any case it's up to us to go to church. A good friend is getting a lot of grief over HOW MUCH her dcs gps go to church on a way that feels very invasive. Every vicar is different. Ours worked with us to find a solution to everyone we cared about participating but some won't.

DeskPlanner Fri 03-May-13 22:40:36

Your last post op, is fucking unbelievable. Have a lovely day. I hope your happy about telling lies to the church. Really don't get why you have wasted your and everyone else's time. You ask AIBU, most people say, you are and you don't give a fuck.

Maxium12 Fri 03-May-13 22:44:43


Posters who have disagreed with you are self righteous, why ask AIBU?

It tends to elicit a reply with an opinion.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 03-May-13 23:00:51

I am not self righteous, I am not religeous but I still wouldn't lie in this situation.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 23:07:25

Same here. I dont do religion. had it forced down my throat as a child But I wouldnt belittle other persons beliefs, which is basically what you are doing. There more than one religion in my family. DCs were not christened, but can decide for themselves when they are old enough. I wouldnt have gone through a ceremony just to please people and I wouldnt lie. Its disrespectful.

cumfy Fri 03-May-13 23:17:33

Wouldn't it just be easier to lie and say they'd been Christened when they hadn't ?

Same result and a lot cheaper.wink

cumfy Fri 03-May-13 23:22:32

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.

Groucho Marx

MeSoFunny Fri 03-May-13 23:38:48


MeSoFunny Fri 03-May-13 23:41:37

Speaking as an atheist christened godparent.... :-D believe me, I will be guiding my charge's religious education.

Littlehousesomewhere Fri 03-May-13 23:55:59


Why have a christening? Sounds like you just want a ceremony to welcome your baby formally. Why don't you arrange a secular one yourselves and have a secular ceremony followed by a party

Yab very disrespectful of actual Christians and their ceremonies and traditions by having one and lying about it.

You are also being deceptive and using the church's building, facilities and staff members for free (or very cheap) for your own interests.

I don't understand this at all and I don't understand why others don't think it is unreasonable as well.

Littlehousesomewhere Sat 04-May-13 00:09:11

Just read the rest of the thread and can see that you will go ahead with lying and disrespecting a religious belief.

Have come to the conclusion that you just must be very lazy as well as rude if you won't bother arranging your own secular naming ceremony. I have been to a couple and they have been lovely occasions and I really respect the fact that the parents took so much care and time in arranging them.

I really think that with this attitude churches do need to make it standard to ask for proof and also for proof that all parties (at least one parent and all godparents) are practicing Christians as well.

ShadowStorm Sat 04-May-13 00:21:59

YABU to lie about it. IMO it makes a mockery of the whole christening.

The whole point of a godparent is having someone who will encourage and support your child to develop their faith.

It's not about having someone who will be there for your children should anything happen to you. That role is for whoever you nominate as legal guardians in your will.

If you're confident that the people you want as godparents are the best people to encourage and support your child in developing their religious faith, then I'd suggest that you talk to the vicar, explain the situation, and see if there's a way to work around this. Perhaps the potential godparents could be christened as part of your child's christening ceremony?

But whether you get caught out in your lie will probably depend on the church and vicar involved. Some will be more diligent than others about asking for proof.

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 01:37:53

It depends how fundamentalist you are, if you aren't, as the OPost would suggest, I don't think it matters. If the vicar is a bit full on maybe he/she will care but all bar one of the ministers I know (ok i only know 4 but..) wouldn't care one whit and would be happy that you picked someone who loved you and your DC

I wouldn't want to derail or be flamed but in the great scheme of things picking someone who cares about your DC trumps 'lying' about something as subjective as a religion

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 01:39:09

wrt to religion, not lying about it, I meant

moreyear Sat 04-May-13 02:07:09

We had to provide details of the godparents baptism - but the priest was fine with one of the godparents not being a Catholic. Indeed as he was fine with father not being Catholic.

I think you are being very unreasonable - at the very least you need to discuss this with your Priest. If your godparents are not religious, and hoping they are not completely tone deaf to the occasion, do you not think they are going to get a bit of a shock when they are asked to renounce satan, or if they need to compose the Prayers of the Faithful?

SacreBlue the ministers you know might have no objections at all if a person is upfront about having nonfaith godparents but do you really think they would be fine with having been lied to about it?

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 02:22:29

I don't know more tbh lying about my beliefs never occurred to me esp when others have no problem shoving their beliefs down my throat

And I am sorry if that crossed out bit offends some but am leaving it in because it is true, I live in NI which has an enormous amount of evangelicals who can't abide a different opinion and use that bloody mindedness to batter other people into submission

I do think it's best to talk to the priest/vicar/minister though, lying rarely does anyone any good

Illustrationaddict Sat 04-May-13 02:36:45

It seems a shame that your first choice cannot be considered due to a splash of water and a blessing or two. Makes you wonder if the whole christening business is worth doing at all if those are the required credentials.

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 02:47:23

That's an interesting point addict and blush that I didn't think of it as I never had my DS christened! I don't subscribe to religion so it didn't even occur to me to get it done although DP and family are v religious

That didn't stop me from making arrangements for my DS should something happen to me. I know lots of people who are not v religious at all tho who get it done as a tradition rather than for religious reasons.

Best option so far, to me, is for a chat with the person doing the christening. If they were totally against a non religious person, even if that person was a good moral influence, I would reconsider the whole thing.

Don't most religions promote love and tolerance? even if the practitioners don't follow that

Lie, if that's what you want! Church are that desperate to recruit folk these days I doubt they'll look into the crudentials......<don't believe in anything so awaits to be struck down> however I would question why you would be part of a "christening" that doesn't fit the bill apparently? Well I say that, but religious types do, don't they :-) They make it up as it goes along.....

mathanxiety Sat 04-May-13 03:02:51

I know a couple who have no interest in religious participation who had their DC baptised RC for various reasons, none of them solidly religious. They chose a large number of godparents and for the purposes of the parish one of this group was baptised and confirmed and that person was one of the two who signed the register to make the whole thing ok for official purposes.

Neither of the parents is a practicing Catholic. One is an atheist. The other is spiritual but not religious iykwim, and not spiritual in a Christian tradition either. I think the attitude of the priest was that an interest in and recognition of the spiritual life of the child was enough, and we are all on a separate, individual journey of faith anyway, with faith not always needing a label, plus where we all are on a particular Saturday morning, church-wise, might not be where we are in ten years -- he was inclined to think that God works in mysterious ways and welcomed everyone warmly, maybe in hopes that the sacrament would have a positive effect on all gathered for the occasion.

Could you choose a large crowd of godparents, making sure one of the people who signs the register fits the criteria?

mathanxiety Sat 04-May-13 03:09:15

I don't understand how you could be contemplating christening if you and DH haven't really talked about something you suspect means more to him than he is letting on, and I also think doing it because of grandparent pressure is iffy. The whole lot of you need to sit down and start doing a bit of listening to each other, with respect.

This entire thing sounds like a scenario that is the opposite of what any self respecting church would want as a foundation for baptism.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Sat 04-May-13 03:33:12

I can't imagine your DH and in laws faith is that strong if they're comfortable lying to the church? confused

I think you are being massively unreasonable, but IMO it's your husband who is the hypocrite and who I have serious issues with. To have such a deep faith and mock the church is just... Well, hypocritical.

So I guess I should say I don't think you are being unreasonable as you don't believe, but the rest of your family are the sort of people who make me deeply uncomfortable, and they are BU.

sashh Sat 04-May-13 03:59:54

choosing godparents is still important to me as people who will be there for our children should anything happen to us

Which is completely ridiculous, god parents are supposed to look after the spiritual upbringing of the child, not take them on if you die.


Get friend who is not christened and a glass of water.

I baptise thee in the name of the father (pour a bit of water over their head) and of the son (pour a bit more) and of the holy spirit (pour a bit more)

friend is then baptised, no problem

aurynne Sat 04-May-13 04:00:26

I am not religious and couldn't care less about godparents... However, if you believe in God... shouldn't you be much more worried about lying to God in order to have "a nice day", instead of lying to a priest and not get caught? Talk about hypocrisy!

Kafri Sat 04-May-13 06:11:41

I cant understand why people get their child christened if they have no intention of raising their child in the church community. after all, that's what the baptismal vows are saying you'll do.

anyway, you're gonna be lying in church when you make those vows if you have no intention of taking child to church so why worry about lying on the forms??

you go ahead and book your 'nice day' albeit based on loes and who know - maybe further down the line you could use that lie to get dc into a school of your choice!!

if you dont believe in the religious aspects of a christening, then why bother? (of yeah, I forgot, its a nice day).

Samnella Sat 04-May-13 06:30:27


Is that the motive?

Joiningthegang Sat 04-May-13 06:36:46


tholeon Sat 04-May-13 06:48:22

I think you can be as agnostic as you like and go to church and do church stuff, but you need to show respect. Lying isn't respectful. Have a naming ceremony.

ivanapoo Sat 04-May-13 06:52:16

My idea of a "nice day" is not one involving lies, disrespect and making my child do things I don't believe in personally, but hey. Don't let it spoil your enjoyment. Your poor friend being forced to say they bow to a god they don't believe in too (if they agree to be a godparent) - how hollow they will feel.

If God reads AIBU I reckon it's going to piss it down for the duration. grin

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 06:57:49

I would re think. The purpose of Godparents is not to be there in case anything happens to you. I would make your will, if not already done, and make them guardians. (Something everyone with children should do).
If you want a 'welcome them into the world' type party then have a naming ceremony. If you Google 'humanist naming ceremony' you can find out all about it.
The Christening ceremony is a very serious commitment and not something to do because your PIL want it. We had to choose our DCs Godparents according to those we knew could make the promises. We didn't ask some people that I would have had as first choice because I didn't want to put them on the spot of having to either say words they didn't mean, or refusing. I dare say you could lie but if it was me it would spoil the day for me, knowing that I had lied. If the lie doesn't bother you then I can't really see why you want a church ceremony.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 06:59:54

Have you actually looked at the wording that you and the godparents will have to say? Can you truthfully make the promises?

RubyGates Sat 04-May-13 07:13:40

If you are happy to lie about it,
and your chosen GPs are happy to lie about it
then you clearly have absolutely no respect for the Church that you are hypocritically having your child accepted into.
The Church will be happy to accept your child into the fold, your child may one day decide to explore his/her baptismal faith one day.
But to surround your child with hypocrites and liers might not be the best start in life. If they and you are prepared to lie about that, what else might you be prepared to lie about?

RubyGates Sat 04-May-13 07:14:08

liars even.

CheerfulYank Sat 04-May-13 07:33:34

Yabu. And yabu for even asking, since you don't care what what others think.

lilystem Sat 04-May-13 07:47:35

If you do go ahead I hope you respond extremely generously to the vicars normal request for a donation for the free services they are rendering to hour family in good faith.

TerrysAllGold Sat 04-May-13 08:44:15

I thought I'd pop back and see whether it's just me who thinks the OP is out of order. Apparently not. It seems that most others on here do too.

This is interesting as the OP thinks I (an Athiest) must have "deeper issues" for being pretty disgusted at her lies and disrespect. I guess you guys must all have "deeper issues" too then. There must be an awful lot of these non existent "deeper issues" about. hmm

Kafri Sat 04-May-13 09:10:45

it made me laugh when I read the one where op said once she'd wheedled through all the posts that said she was BU and found the few that said she wasnt then obviously she knew she wasn't BU.

I've not long since had my ds christened but i think i fancy another 'nice day'. is it too soon to organise his bar mitzvah? grin oh and can anyone think of any other religions i could gatecrash all for the sake of a nice day?

waits patiently for op to accuse me of BU (oh the irony)

NotMostPeople Sat 04-May-13 09:25:08

I am an atheist and DH comes from a Catholic family, he doesn't believe but finds the whole thing hard as his parents very strictly adhere to their faith. When dd1 was born we struggled with what to do about a christening as I really didn't want to, DH wasn't bothered but his parents would have been very upset about it. In the end we spoke to his family Priest who was far more moderate than the PIL's and a really lovely man (sadly no longer with us). He said he'd be very happy to conduct a christening even though he knew our feelings if that was what we wanted and in the end I capitulated for the sake of the PIL's. I figured it was important to them and no skin off my nose.

Both of DD's godparents were christened but one was another atheist now, the Priest didn't even ask us.

So for all those who say you shouldn't do it what would you say to my PIL's who believe very strongly that if she hadn't been baptised then she would go to hell? We did it for them and for their comfort.

Kafri Sat 04-May-13 09:27:13

OP - thought you might like to see the lies promises both you and the GPs will be making.

'Parents and godparents, the Church receives these children with joy.
Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith.
Will you pray for them,
draw them by your example into the community of faith
and walk with them in the way of Christ?

With the help of God,we will.

In baptism these children begin their journey in faith.
You speak for them today.
Will you care for them,
and help them to take their place
within the life and worship of Christ’s Church'?

With the help of God,we will.

In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him.
Therefore I ask:
Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
I reject them.
Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
I renounce them.
Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
I repent of them.
Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
I turn to Christ.
Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
I submit to Christ.
Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
I come to Christ.

RubyGates Sat 04-May-13 09:29:35

So for all those who say you shouldn't do it what would you say to my PIL's who believe very strongly that if she hadn't been baptised then she would go to hell? We did it for them and for their comfort

No but OP could talk to the priest, tell him of her concerns and then tell the Grandparents what he said. Or better still take the Grandparents along to the priest with her.

Lies, deceit and hypocricy are hardly a good start are they?

GoldenGreen Sat 04-May-13 09:33:54

Dn't know if you are still reading this OP, but if so have you thought about having one set of people as official religious godparents and another set to be unofficial guardians? As long as everyone involved understands why, that could be a way of being honest with the church but also having the godparents you have chosen.

I have been in a similiar situation but my culture is different from yours so my experience might not be terribly helpful - do PM me though if you want to chat about it.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 09:39:32

I don't think "to keep grandparents happy" is a good reason to baptise. If grandparents were from 2 different religions would you do ceremonies from both to keep all happy?

Even so that doesn't change the fact that the Op would be very unreasonable to lie to the church (or to anyone) about the faith of godparents

Kafri Sat 04-May-13 09:52:14

So for all those who say you shouldn't do it what would you say to my PIL's who believe very strongly that if she hadn't been baptised then she would go to hell? We did it for them and for their comfort.

I would say

'Im very sorry but this goes against my beliefs. If you would like to take dc to church each week then that is fine and dc can make up their own mind about being baptised when s/he is old enough'.

I had ds baptised in line with my faith and if he wishes, when he's old enough, he can choose to continue that faith and be confirmed or not. I certainly wouldn't be doing it for someone else (apart from DH, if it fell that way)
Your PILS had their say with their own dc.

TerrysAllGold Sat 04-May-13 09:52:32

"So for all those who say you shouldn't do it what would you say to my PIL's who believe very strongly that if she hadn't been baptised then she would go to hell?"

Honestly? I would say "This is my child, not yours. I don't believe so I'm not doing it. I call the shots here, not you".

Alternatively, I'd say:

"Get a grip FFS".

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sat 04-May-13 10:30:27

So for all those who say you shouldn't do it what would you say to my PIL's who believe very strongly that if she hadn't been baptised then she would go to hell? We did it for them and for their comfort

My parents or PIL wouldn't dare say anything like that to me and my DH grin.

tholeon Sat 04-May-13 10:45:46

I would think it was a terribly upsetting and wrong version of Christianity that would send an unbaptised baby to hell, and would have to speak to my in laws about it. Not ideas I would want my dc to grow up with or associate with church.

StuntGirl Sat 04-May-13 11:23:22

My Uncle didn't baptise my cousin so my v. Catholic Granny baptised him in the sink when she was babysitting him one day, precisely because she was scared he'd go to hell grin

tholeon Sat 04-May-13 11:43:35

Tess of the D'urbervilles anyone? Horrible antiquated idea.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Sat 04-May-13 12:00:44

My mum's idea of 'limbo' is flying dead babies! blushshock(mainly)grin

Sorry. Am Catholic, follow the church but the image of flying angry babies still makes me giggle! Thinks of toy dolls in 99 pence shops.... hmm Maybe mum was right....

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Sat 04-May-13 12:01:58

Or maybe shock and if we had: [horror] would be a better descriptor of said toys.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 12:30:57

If they have the silly idea of the unbaptised going to hell I would get the vicar/ priest to speak to them.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 04-May-13 12:56:59
IceNoSlice Sat 04-May-13 13:06:55

Gosh, yet another thing I've learnt from MN when I least expected it. The pope abolished limbo (well, kind of). Thanks OldLady

gymboywalton Sat 04-May-13 13:08:56

you are usually asked for certificates
we were

i know you say you want the best people for your child but the role of a godparent is to help bring the child up in the faith
it's nothing to do with guardianship

i think you would def be unreasonable to lie

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 13:19:53

Gosh a lot of hate coming from the religious! FYI all religions are made up by man and so it actually is alright to pick and choose no longer cares about flaming since supposedly 'caring' religious people are happy to lay waste to anyone not following their chosen fairy tale to the letter

StuntGirl Sat 04-May-13 13:22:23

I'm not religious. I still have morals so can see what she's planning to do is wrong.

gymboywalton Sat 04-May-13 13:29:27

sacre- when a child is baptised, it's a ceremony welcoming that child into the church and making promises to bring them up as a christian.
Godparents are supposed to be responsible for part of ther spiritual and religious upbringing. That is whay they have to be part of the church. By pointing this out i don't think anyone is being hateful, just stating the facts.

the church also does a thanksgiving service for babies so that parents who don't want to make those promises can still have a lovely day for the child and family. perhaps that would be more appropriate?

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Sat 04-May-13 13:29:29

Phew OldLadyKnowsMoreThanMumAndI! Doubt mum will be comforted but shall let her know.grin

SacreBlue I hope I don't fall into the 'hateful' sort of category? I have faith and strongly disagree with the OP but have I come across badly to athiests? I try very hard not to come off as a zealot.

Kafri Sat 04-May-13 14:42:35

Apologies sacre - also have not intended to offend...

I just don't get the whole thing with wanting a religious ceremony if you're not religious. I'm not Jewish so wouldn't even contemplate having a Bar Mitzvah for DS so what's the difference??

OP will be making vows in church at her DC christening which by the sounds of it are unlikely to be kept - I'm sure she'd have something to say if her DH didn't keep his wedding vows... (whether civil or religious ceremony)

eccentrica Sat 04-May-13 20:34:25

sacre as I said above, I'm an atheist Jew, and I also think the OP is being extremely offensive and selfish (to the religious and the secular) so no, not all the "hate [is] coming from the religious!" as you said. I am not the only non-religious person to post on this thread who thinks it's unreasonable to have a christening if you don't believe in it (which you clearly don't if you're prepared to lie). Personally I just dislike hypocrisy and lies.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 04-May-13 21:05:53

So for all those who say you shouldn't do it what would you say to my PIL's who believe very strongly that if she hadn't been baptised then she would go to hell? We did it for them and for their comfort
I would say the same as I said to my father, who is. Jehovah's Witness:
"When my children are old enough to decide for themselves, they can be any religion they choose. Until that time, they will remain unchristened/unbaptised. You might hold those beliefs, but I don't and I won't be imposing those beliefs on a child who is unable to speak for themselves."

aurynne Sat 04-May-13 23:18:22

Let me remind people who are worried about unbaptised babies going to limbo/hell that Jesus Himself was not baptised until His thirties, as was tradition back then. Do you really think everyone who died before their thirties in those years went to limbo/Hell?

mathanxiety Sat 04-May-13 23:19:55

You could ask them if they know what goes on in the mind of God?

RubyGates Sun 05-May-13 07:29:45

I would ask them (the GrPs) to come with me on a visit to the priest/vicar, who I'm sure would be delighted to clarify the Church's position on matters of doctrine and his views on asking for a baptismal service for a child of non-believers with non-believers as God parents.

That way it is no longer the OP's problem, but merely a doctrinal one. Surely good Christian Grandparents wouldn't want to be part of a scheme which called for lies and hypocrisy?

RooneyMara Sun 05-May-13 07:36:49

I'm coming to this rather late but I'd suggest that if you want to go for a church sacrament then lying about something considered relevant by the church is a bit ridiculous...if you don't believe in or subscribe to the sacrament in its official form, why bother with it in the first place?

I'm sure this has already been said.

RooneyMara Sun 05-May-13 07:41:44

I think you need some other kind of ceremony for your requirements but not this.

you're making a mockery of it, this is why I don't like organised religion - it's pretty arbitrary.

But it's hypocritical and passive aggressive to stick your fingers up at the church's requirements while taking part in your own, individualised, bodged version of an important sacrament.

It'll invalidate your insurance you know.

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