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What to do if DH and I have DC?

(12 Posts)
SapphireSeptember Fri 03-Jun-16 00:34:04

Okay, this is tricky. I'm Mormon, my DH is agnostic. He has said that if we have kids he wants them the be christened, presumably as CofE like he was when he was a baby. I wasn't, I was allowed to make up my own mind, and I was eventually baptised into the LDS Church when I was 26 after a stint as a Wiccan. His reason for this is family tradition. I wouldn't mind so much if actually went to church but he doesn't. Nor is it something I feel comfortable with, my church has baby blessings, which are lovely. Children get baptised when they're eight and have basic understanding of right and wrong. I've tried explaining why I feel it's wrong, but he doesn't get it. My reasoning is I believe babies are completely innocent, and them being baptised into a church neither parent is an active member of just seems pointless. And then he wants to know who I'd pick as godparents, which is another kettle of fish. This is all a bit preemptive, as we're not even TTC at the moment, but I don't want this to turn into a massive battle. As a side note I didn't like the idea when I was Wiccan, and wanted a naming ceremony.

GasLightShining Fri 03-Jun-16 23:07:41

I totally understand where you re coming from. I am Catholic and although my DH was baptized C of E he only ever went to Church for weddings and funerals. He wasn't fussed if the DC were baptized or not except that if I had them baptized I had to take them to Church regularly.

Years ago it was tradition to get baptized but a lot more people attended Church so there it wasn't so hypocritical.

A Vicar shouldn't go ahead with a baptism if either of the parents objects

EdithSimcox Sat 04-Jun-16 06:30:03

This sounds like a wider question about whether your children are going to brought up to share your religion or not. That could turn into a 'massive battle' quite easily for many couples whether they anticipate or not. Probably a conversation you should have with him before TTC! If family tradition is his stated reason, could it be that the real reason is that his parents would kick up a fuss if their GC were either not baptised, or brought up Mormon?

LuckySantangelo1 Sat 04-Jun-16 06:52:51

If he's agnostic why on earth does he want the child christened? Makes no sense!

SapphireSeptember Sat 04-Jun-16 23:24:58

Thank you for your answers!

Lucky That was my initial reaction!

Edith I don't know how much his parents really care. They don't go to church except for special occasions, and yes I would like to raise any children I have with DH in my faith, with the understanding that they get to make up their own mind when they are old enough, (dunno how that's going to work in practice, as the LDS Church is pretty intense, but it does happen.) I do think we need to discuss this far more before we have kids, and how it's all going to work.

Gas That's useful to know. I don't know why he can't just be happy with the baby blessing and then we could do a little get together afterwards for family. Or even have a non religious naming ceremony to sort of fit in with his family tradition without the religious bit, because that wouldn't clash with my Church stuff.

pearlylum Sun 05-Jun-16 07:24:13

* my DH is agnostic. He has said that if we have kids he wants them the be christened, *

Puzzled by this.

sooperdooper Sun 05-Jun-16 07:30:22

His reasoning makes no sense - a Christian christening isn't just a tradition, it's a religious service & if he's agnostic why do it?

You might well find your local vicar won't even do it if you're not regular church goers - tell him that!

peachpudding Sun 05-Jun-16 20:13:05

For some a christening is an English tradition whether or not you are actually a christian. Some call it being culturally christian, even if you dont believe in a deity and all the supernatural side of religion. My parents still consider me a christian even though I dont believe in a god.

There is also a general feeling amongst the older generation that morality is connected with religion. That good girls save themselves for Mr Right and get married in white before starting a family etc. So even when you dont believe in the headline religion, the underline cultural feeling can be that a christening is what you do to raise moral children.

What happened to to me was that the grandparents insisted on a christening. They didn't care if my children or me believed in anything but "what what would their neighbors think if they found out the grandchildren weren't christened!" Oh the shame of it. And of course DH didn't want his parents to feel shame...

What I did was have a naming ceremony, told the grandparents it was a non denominational christening, or something like that. And everyone was happy. On the day the stuck up ones probably realized it wasn't a 'real' christening but no one said anything so we could all keep up the silly charade.

Dozer Sun 05-Jun-16 20:18:43

It's odd IMO but lots of British people who don't practise a religion and/or who are agnostic do seem to like church stuff for traditional/cultural occasions like christenings, weddings, school hymns and so on.

Get him to have a read of the christening ceremonies - much more hardcore on the religion than most weddings! Or suggest he discusses his reasons with the local vicar who might be hmm

So YANBU to objecting to his proposal for a CofE christening.

Bringing up DC in your faith is not, however, letting them make up their own mind.

HappyNevertheless Sun 05-Jun-16 20:28:22

Our dcs are baptised because yes, it's a tradition (even if, like DH, you are not a church goer by any means) and it was important for my PIL.

I'm not christian.

The way I looked at it was that, it has no bearing on the child himself. If he is to go beleiving in God and being a christian, then he will be happy to have been baptised. If he doesn't, then this is a ceremony that will have no meaning to him at all.

So we did the ceremony, Dh and PIL are happy but none of the dcs have ever been to sunday service or sunday school or any religious teaching apart from what school has done.
Imo, they should decide as an adult and my role as a parent (bith mune and DH) is to teach them values that will be the same whatever the religions.

Re the bringing up a child within your religion, I think that if you ahve siome beliefs, these beliefs will have an impact on how you are dealing with the dcs and what you see important or not. So in that way, they will be brought up within a certain faith, even if the parents have two different faiths (as it is for us).
They will also see the parents doing x and y (eg they see me doing some meditation and they have been to several services with my PIL).
What I don't do is going on and on about my own beliefs, the same way than I wouldn't do that with DH or friends or my PIL and my own parents anyway.

gabsdot Sun 05-Jun-16 21:45:46

I am also LDS and so is my DH so we are raising our children LDS obviously.
I think that if both of you feel strongly about 2 different ceremonies then why not do both.
As happynonthelss said if the child chooses not to follow one or other of the religions then the ceremony will be meaningless to them if they do follow either religion then they will be glad the ceremony happened.

I've been to Cof E Christenings and LDS naming and blessings and both are a lovely way to celebrate the arrival of a new baby and an excuse to have a family get together.

This subject is definitely something to discuss at length before babies arrive. My sister married a man who was a different religion and when their first baby were born it was a surprise to each of them that the other assumed that they would be celebrating the child's birth in their church. In the end they did neither because they couldn't agree.

Good luck

Penfold007 Sun 05-Jun-16 22:04:10

No formal religious background, Wican to LDS is quite a broad sweep. Why not do what your parents did and allow any children to make their own minds up?

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