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to not want to go to christenings?

(27 Posts)
GreenGoth89 Sat 23-Apr-16 23:42:31

On several grounds - firstly because I feel in this day and age if you want a naming/welcoming to the world ceremony it doesn't need to be in religious context. I feel it's hypocritical when the parents aren't religious and have no plans to become so, and not allowing a child to have free choice in later life about their spiritual choices - you can't be unbaptised! It's one thing bringing a child up in a culturally religious context or with the teachings of religion or spirituality but I feel especially if you don't actually believe in God baptism of a child without them knowing what it means and agreeing with it isn't right.

DP thinks I'm being highly unreasonable even suggesting I won't go to a (not even remotely close) friend's new born and 5 y/o daughter's joint christening ceremony because I feel it's not right, in the same way that people that don't have religious families or are religious themselves shouldn't have a wedding in a church just because they like the venue. It makes it a meaningless practice! (I'm not religious btw, but I am spiritual) I'm aware I'll most likely be hounded out of town but I just wondered if anyone felt the same?

tinymeteor Sat 23-Apr-16 23:46:11

YANBU. Christening are like weddings without the fun bit. Go to the ones where you are actually close to the people involved. For the others it's "sorry we have plans that weekend".

chickenowner Sat 23-Apr-16 23:48:54


I completely agree with you about this and the wedding of non-religious people! However I would just go along and enjoy the day as a 'welcome to the world' event. The child in question may value your presence there in the future. :-)

wheresthel1ght Sat 23-Apr-16 23:52:20

How exactly do you know the religious beliefs of all your friends and acquaintances? It is not something I ever discuss with anyone. It is my business and no one else's.

Yabvu to judge other people's choice based on your assumptions of their beliefs.

FuckSanta Sat 23-Apr-16 23:58:07

I don't attend christenings. YANBU.

LuluJakey1 Sat 23-Apr-16 23:59:30

I don't go if I can possibly avoid them.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 24-Apr-16 00:08:30

I get what you are saying,but think you should take each situation as it comes.

I don't agree with everything my friends choose to do, and they certainly don't agree with everything I choose to do, but I would still support a good friend as long as they weren't causing anyone any harm.

It would be a very boring life if we all thought the same. I'm sure your friends aren't sitting round judging you for NOT baptising your babies - and if they are, you have a heavy judgy friendship group.

Don't bother with baptisms of people you aren't that fond of if you really dislike it. I think you should support anyone you consider and important or real friend.

Meow75 Sun 24-Apr-16 00:15:41

The furore created by my non church attending FiL when DH refused the invitation to be godfather to elder sister's DS was a sight to behold.

An affront to the family, apparently. No, just an honest decision by an atheist son who respects other people's faith enough to not lie or pretend.

We couldn't get out of the event itself though. Shame.

NNalreadyinuse Sun 24-Apr-16 00:35:45

Until the church ceases to be involved in the running of the country, I continue to view it as a resource available for my convenience (my wedding, for example). I feel no guilt about this, particularly considering how much it costs to get married in a church.

You are invited to a christening and have every right to politely decline. I wouldn't get into the reasons why, you will offend the parents and it isn't necessary. That said, I think your reasoning is a bit flawed. Parents constantly make choices for their kids that they might not have chosen for themselves as adults. Also, many people see a christening as just a nice way to welcome a child into the world, or they do it to please the grandparents. It's not a big deal really if the parent isn't religious because it is about welcoming the child to the church, not the mum and dad.

Herewegoagainfolks Sun 24-Apr-16 00:43:08

If you don't want to go just politely decline.

BillSykesDog Sun 24-Apr-16 00:54:46

YABU to be so judgemental over the choices other people make, particularly when it sounds like you probably don't know them well enough to make that judgement and are probably just making a whole load of assumptions.

Pinkheart5915 Sun 24-Apr-16 01:11:28

YANBU to not want to go, I understand your reasons and I agree that's why ds had a naming ceremony not a christening.

you are being unreasonable to judge there choice of a christening quite so much.
Please decline in a polite non judge way.

Clandestino Sun 24-Apr-16 03:06:11

YABU, IMHO. I'm not religious at all but I went to my neighbour's removal of the body which was in a church, I've been to church weddings and if invited, I'd go to a christening. My beliefs are my choice and an important part of them is respect to other people's religious beliefs. Why be so judgemental? A judgmental atheist isn't any better than a church-going bigot.
My daughter isn't christened and won't be as long as she can decide for herself what her religious beliefs are because I completely agree that committing a baby to a religion isn't right but I respect it as a tradition for some religions. I was christened as a baby as my GM couldn't cope with the idea of something happening to me (I was a very sickly baby) and having my soul condemned to damnation. It had no lasting effects on me and had no influence on making my spiritual choices in my future life.

Blu Sun 24-Apr-16 03:17:19

Being christened isn't like a tattoo: if you grow up to be an atheist the fact that you were the centre of a ceremony when you were a baby has no impact on you at all.

Up to you whether or not you accept invitations, of course.

LucyBabs Sun 24-Apr-16 03:23:49

I reckon the OP has an idea if the people she's talking about are religious or not. If you have a faith surely you don't hide it from others?!

Italiangreyhound Sun 24-Apr-16 03:49:23

YANBU in that I get why you think people are wrong to have their children or babies baptized when hey are not 'religious; but....

YABU because '...and not allowing a child to have free choice in later life about their spiritual choices - you can't be unbaptised' ... if (as adults) they don't think it's real then it has no significance at all. Blu says " if you grow up to be an atheist the fact that you were the centre of a ceremony when you were a baby has no impact on you at all." I wold say that that ceremony may have an impact on you, but if you grow up to be an atheist you won't believe it has!

What does "I'm not religious btw, but I am spiritual)" mean? Does it mean you have your own beliefs? Do you share these with your friends?

If you do, you should be aware your friends may not wish to share their beliefs with you but may still hold them.

And if you do not share your beliefs, you can't really be surprised your friends don't share their beliefs, or lack of beliefs with you.

And if you know for a fact your friends have no beliefs at all and still want their babies baptized, well, as I say, it's not unreasonable but it is also not unreasonable for people to want to 'hedge their bets'! So to speak! Maybe they want to ensure some sort of 'spiritual safety net' for their baby. Who can blame them.

Italiangreyhound Sun 24-Apr-16 03:50:58

I'm a Christian, have been since I was 18. My family were not Christians but when my parents both died, 12 years apart, we chose Christian services for them both (it is what they would have expected). Our children are not baptized, they were dedicated, and they will chose for themselves when older, but i do sometimes wish we had just had them baptized!

Having a baby can be for some a very spiritual experience and one where people feel a sense of spiritual responsibility for another person that they have not experience before. I am not surprised people choose a religious ceremony instead of some sort of naming ceremony.

funniestWins Sun 24-Apr-16 04:18:26

I was Christened. Happily, my education taught me how ridiculous and unpleasant religion is but I'd still go to a Christening if invited; it's good manners.

Our children are Christened as it's what DH wanted. I have faith that they won't be religious and they only had magic water dropped on them ffs, they weren't branded.

I don't see them as grabby as the presents are shite. Little picture Bibles and birth certificate holders! Not even close to the tab we picked up taking family to a nice meal afterwards.

It's not more hypocritical than getting married in a church when you don't believe in the big man on the cloud either.

I'm far more judgemental of people who talk about 'welcoming to the world' ceremonies or describe themselves as "spiritual" or talk about "spiritual experiences".

AStreetcarNamedBob Sun 24-Apr-16 04:30:00


nooka Sun 24-Apr-16 05:56:12

I'm an ex-Catholic and I don't really like going to church services at all. Personally I think that Christenings are far more religious than weddings, and so while I would go to a wedding in a church with little problem I'd be really very uncomfortable at a Christening regardless as to whether the parents are religious or not. Christenings are supposed to be a really significant religious event, and some services are also quite participatory, with the congregation making renouncing the devil and affirming faith statements. I really couldn't do either any more.

I'd think poorly of them for using a religious ceremony without belief too, but that would be less of an issue to me.

allegretto Sun 24-Apr-16 06:05:39

Well you don't have to go. All my children were christened as part of the main service and we only invited close family and didn't have a party as such. I wouldn't go to a christening unless it was close by, I think they have got a bit out of hand.

Pollyputhtekettleon Sun 24-Apr-16 06:39:04

I'm athiest and have done all the church stuff in life because for me it's normal (I was raised in a religious family) and as I don't believe in it I've no worry I'm pissing off god as I don't believe he exists. But it means a lot to other people in my family so if it makes them happy, then that's enough reason for me. I think you should all just worry about your own relationship with God and stay out of others. If you really do believe in God then you must realise that it's not your role to judge and police other people's faith.

neonrainbow Sun 24-Apr-16 06:55:21

I agree with you op. The only christening I've been to recently was for a baby of a woman who never steps foot in a church. We all had to chant out that we welcomed the baby to the family of god or something. It was all about committing the child to the christian faith and making sure she stayed on the straight and narrow. Im a devout atheist so if i was invited to one again id decline unless a very close friend or relative.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sun 24-Apr-16 06:57:13

I agree with Polly above. Each to their own. When my grandad died he had a religious burial because although he wasn't religious himself and didn't really believe in God, he did believe in each way bets. The religious burial was 'just in case'. Maybe your friends feel a similar sort of thing.

WellErrr Sun 24-Apr-16 06:57:55

YABVU to presume about the religious beliefs of your friends.

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