Why do non Christians want their kids baptised?

(37 Posts)
martinedwards Sun 20-Oct-13 09:58:21

as a Christian, I see the value of baptism, either as an infant or later as a believer making their own decision.

if you aren't a believer, and not a regular attender at church, why would you want to get your children baptised/Christened?

I'm fully for making the church a welcoming place, and hopefully you might like the fellowship and listen to the teaching and eventually decide to explore the faith further, and THEN, baptism makes sense, but can anyone explain a logical reason why a non believer would want to?

MrsWolowitz Sun 20-Oct-13 10:04:08

I think for the party and getting family and friends together.

My MIL who wasn't a Christian was outraged when I told her I was going to get my DC dedicated rather than Christened as she said that they wouldn't go to heaven if they weren't. shock

I am a Christian btw.

I'm an atheist and I chose not to have my kids christened. I also didn't have them welcomed into any other religion without their consent.

curlew Sun 20-Oct-13 10:11:26

Schools.

Clearlymisunderstood Sun 20-Oct-13 10:12:04

The prospect for schools around here is grim unless you can get into one of the church schools. I'm a catholic anyway but I would have no qualms in baptising my child if it meant that they would get a better standard of education however hypocritical that may be

LittleBairn Sun 20-Oct-13 10:12:04

I'm a Christian I getting sick of it being done solely for the party and gifts. I now turn down such invitations, the last one caused Lot of ill will.

I know others who do it to get into certain faith schools.

racmun Sun 20-Oct-13 10:12:11

Round here? to get them into the outstanding primary school!!- it shows active participation in the church apparently

WhoNickedMyName Sun 20-Oct-13 10:13:19

I'm nota regular attendee at church.

My DS was baptised because that gave him the best chance of getting into the best local school, which is a catholic school.

pokesandprodsforthelasttime Sun 20-Oct-13 10:14:07

I was going to say schools too.

Also -
family expectations eg. for the sake of religious grandparents

neolara Sun 20-Oct-13 10:14:44

Err, because in lots of areas church schools are pretty much the only good option and if you're not baptised you cannot attend.

Some people just feel it is traditional, and do it if their family want/expect them to - they tend to be people without a strong feeling either way IME.

I didn't christen/baptise my DCs because I would be a hypocrite, I don't intend to bring them up as Christians.

curlew Sun 20-Oct-13 10:18:02

People foolishly believe that there is something magical about faith schools. They don't realise that an under subscribed faith school is no better or worse than a similar non faith school. It's when over subscription criteria kick in and the school becomes effectively selective that results improve.

Faking religion for school admission is despicable, and teaching your child that unenlightened self interest and hypocrisy are worthy life choices.

MrsBungle Sun 20-Oct-13 10:19:23

I know quite a few people who've christened their kids and got married in church when I've never known them to set foot in church any other time. The first 5 I can think of didn't do it for schools as their kids don't go to church schools.

I assume maybe they do believe but don't practice/attend church or they want a party had presents

martinedwards Sun 20-Oct-13 10:21:28

I thanks the Lord that I live in Northern Ireland where we don't do C of E schools. we may have many problems, but institutional hypocrisy isn't one.... no wait, THAT FORM of institutional hypocrisy isn't one of 'em!

but we still have a load of folk who want thier kids "done" and are never seen again

ginmakesitallok Sun 20-Oct-13 10:25:06

Martinedwards, yes thank god you live in n Ireland where you don't have an issue with faith schools... confused smile

Tradition & the party. I had no intention of baptising my son as I am not a Christian. Seems ridiculous to do so if you are not religious.
I feel the same way about people who are not religious but get married in a church. Seems very hypocritical to me.

There is a very good Catholic school in my town, but I would never want my son to go there because we are heathens not Catholic.

NoComet Sun 20-Oct-13 10:29:26

DH's Vicar got so annoyed about this he published a leaflet asking exactly these sorts of questions.

He reckoned parents just count baptism as a childhood vaccination against sin just something else on the list. Cot, check, pram, check, whooping cough jab, check, christening, check.

Really annoyed him because he knew the christening was the first and last time he'd see that family in church.

He knew I'm a atheist, who would never make baptism promises (he married us) and that DH would happily.

So instead of a baptism he gave DD1 a beautiful blessing thanking God for her safe arrival, but making no commitment to her future faith (which is just as well as she's a church choir singing non believer).

And to make his point he did this on Easter Sunday, with the church full.

And yes we did have a bit of a party complete with cake afterwards at DMILs.

As to my family, they have never been officially told, DDad likes DH very much and has managed to avoid religion for 25years, not bad for an evangelical athiest.

MrsWolowitz Sun 20-Oct-13 10:30:26

I agree Curlew

BikeRunSki Sun 20-Oct-13 10:32:50

They are hedging their bets

bootsycollins Sun 20-Oct-13 10:33:07

To get them into a better school.

meditrina Sun 20-Oct-13 10:37:34

If the parents hold a different faith (and I include atheism in that), then they won't.

If however, like many, they are agnostic then it's probably a 'why not?' hedging-your-bets type choice, especially if there is any Christian tradition that involves infant baptism in their recent family tree.

I think it's a good thing that (most) churches will include anyone who asks, for who is to judge anyone's faith journey?

Polyethyl Sun 20-Oct-13 10:41:24

I once listened to a mother moan about the presents her little one had received at his christening. Along with toys and clothes a couple of guests had given religious gifts - namely one gave a children's bible and another gave a noah's ark. The mother winged that these christian themed presents were an insult. I was Intrigued by her attitude so asked why the children's Bible irritated her. "Well obviously were not church going types - the christening was just a family gathering and party - so why did they give such a useless present? "

After that delightful insight into the mother's thought processes I made my excuses and left her to winge to more like minded people.

RevelsRoulette Sun 20-Oct-13 11:00:41

some sort of 'residual christianity'? grin A feeling of it being The Done Thing without really stopping to think why you feel that way. I've noticed this about people. If something has always been done a certain way, that becomes a reason in itself for it to remain a certain way and the reason why it was done that way in the first place is lost.

Ought to, should do, people do, it's traditional, etc.

I don't think that it's got an awful lot to do with the person's belief in Jesus as the son of God or a desire to be one with god, approved by god, blessed by god or whatever.

Religion became tradition

nosleeptillbedtime Sun 20-Oct-13 12:12:50

I don't go to church but want my son baptised. I don't go to church as dh would never go and realistically going would take up the best part of the day and we get very little time together as it is. I did however go regularly to an evening prayer group until ds came along. A vicar may reach wrong conclusions if he assumes one is not a Christian just because he hasn't seen someone in church.
Having said that, I do think some people want to identify themselves as a certain sort and class of person and see baptism as part of that. I had a friend who got married in church ( and subsequent children baptised) announcing that her faith was very important to her which was a huge surprise to everyone who had ever known her as no one had the slightest inkling she had any faith. I think for her this was part of her associating herself as now being upper middle class. She refers to her occasional childminder as 'our nanny' too.

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