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AIBU? not want to be a hypocrite and christen my baby?

71 replies

Moorhen · 12/05/2007 15:18

First child due in ten weeks. DH and I are absolutely non-religious, my family the same.
DH's parents, tho are very devout members of a fairly strict denomination, so much so that although they came to our wedding reception, they did not attend the civil ceremony (no hard feelings about this, BTW; they did what they felt was right and also shared our wedding with us, is the way I see it).
Anyway, with our baby en route, we're facing the christening dilemma. If we don't baptise our child, it will really distress the in-laws. Thing is, I don't just not believe in their religion - I actively disagree with many aspects of it. And I don't want to be a hypocrite and have my child join a club I don't like and won't be bringing him up to know.
Choices, as I see it, are:

  1. Don't christen at all (not nice for in-laws)

2. Ask my grandad (who is a retired vicar of a rather fluffier denomination) to dunk LO in a sink and say the right words.
3. Sneak into a similarly fluffy church after a service, confess to the vicar and ask him to do the honours quickly, with just me and DH present.

Any thoughts? Or preferably, any better ideas?
OP posts:
tissy · 15/05/2007 15:55

what the C of E says

ScottishMummy · 15/05/2007 16:16

Moorhen, i also too have absoluteley no religious affiliationns and no particular beliefs

chose not to christen/baptise baby

this may (in fact) probably has disapointed some people, but it was a decision arrived at by boyfriend and i - our personal decision not to participate in releigious ceremeony. imo, u both need to follow your ideological beliefs - not any one elses. after all u are raising the child

why not have a nice do a wee get together to welocme your much loved baby - few kind words, photos, some champagne to celebrate. so u get to mark the occasion without necessarily compromising your brliefs


littlelapin · 15/05/2007 16:25

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amidaiwish · 15/05/2007 18:38

thank you little lapin
i don't really feel strongly enough to get into an argument about it. i just wanted to put the point across that not christening children doesn't give them the choice, but imo the opposite - it takes away the choice.

but obviously you can't stand there and profess to renounce the devil blah blah if you don't believe in it. i think a naming ceremony where the priest is invited to say a prayer for the child is a wonderful idea.

undercoverdad · 30/08/2009 18:18

I can see where people are coming from when they say that getting your child baptised if you're not religious/a regular churchgoer is hypocritical. However, I don't think it's any more hypocritical than celebrating Christmas and Easter - whether you see these as purely Christian, or as rooted in pagan ceremonies, they're still religious festivals.

LadyOfTheFlowers · 30/08/2009 18:23

I am thinking of getting our kids christened, purely because my mother insists that if they are not christened, they cannot be buried in a graveyard when they die, neither can they be married in a church if they so wish when they are old enough?
Is this true?

LadyOfTheFlowers · 30/08/2009 18:24

Sorry to hijack btw.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat · 30/08/2009 18:28

reading with interest as the family are coming over at christmas and MIL wants them all christened (4 children) at the same church her sons were christened.

But I think hers is more nostalgia than any religious desire, but BIL is religious.

We are not. I do not want to, DH does.

CyradisTheSeer · 30/08/2009 18:36

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nancy75 · 30/08/2009 18:39

the thread is from may 2007, i dont think half these people are even on mn anymore

RealityIsNOTDetoxing · 30/08/2009 18:40

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freyski · 30/08/2009 18:42

Maybe a daily mail bump then

Debs75 · 30/08/2009 18:46

Lady I was wondering that. I know that I can get married at the church I was christened at because I was christened there. Not sure about the burial part but do know my friends son was given last rites before he died so he could be buried, he hadn't been christened.

I almost got our kids christened but the local church said we had to attend an evening about the whole ceremony and reasons to do it. We weren't allowed to take the dc's and we had no babysitters. When I asked if dc's could come or could we miss the evening the church secretary said 'It can't be that important to you if I can't find a sitter' That was 9 years ago

We aren't very religious but I come from a family that was and as a child I was in the choir and enjoyed church.

I don't think people who aren't religious having babies christened is devaluing it for people who do believe, that is just a bit nonsense

LittleSilver · 30/08/2009 19:38

Amidaiwish, our church doesn't massively encourage infant baptism, it encourages parents to let their children choose what they want to do when they are older. Not being christened doesn't "exclude" you in the slightest.

I agree with the majority, yanbu, it's very personal to you and I feel it would be a big imposition to push baptism on your DC. And hypocritical.

LittleSilver · 30/08/2009 19:39

Also, you did know that you can baptise your baby yourself? No need for clergy.

rimmer08 · 30/08/2009 19:52

there is no way that i, as an athiest, would have my children christened.

undercoverdad · 31/08/2009 10:43

Oh dear, it looks like it was me who bumped it. My wife mentioned a more recent thread about baptism/christening (our own ds is being baptised next week), and I thought this was it. That's undercoverdad, not undercover journalist.

WidowWadman · 31/08/2009 11:05

We've decided despite my parents' disappointment to not have the child christened and explained that we made this decision out of respect to their faith.

We'll also ask for a bible as a first Christmas present from them for the daughter, as not being christened and us being atheists doesn't mean that we won't teach the daughter about christianity.

starkadder · 31/08/2009 19:43

Haven't read the whole thread so loads of other people have probably said this - but we had a similar situation with our DS. IN the end we did a Thanksgiving, which is a CoE service in a church but, crucially, does NOT involve you having to make promises you know you won't keep or say things you don't believe in. It is a religious service but you wouldn't be hypocritical having it even though you don't believe in God.

I was nervous asking the vicar about it because I thought he might think I was being fussy and weird (also I have only spoken to vicars VERY few times in my life) but after I explained why we wanted it, he said that he was hugely relieved and supportive because he believed quite strongly that people who weren't planning to bring their children up as Christians shouldn't have baptisms where they say they will - although he admitted he didn't usually say so as he didn't want huge arguments and upsets.

starkadder · 31/08/2009 19:44

oh just realised that this thread is two years old!! gah

mumblecrumble · 31/08/2009 19:58

I am in the spiritual place of not being sure what on earth to think. I was brought up Christian and was what I;d call an active Christian till around 5 years ago. Now I find so much in organised religion a bit .... uncomfortable.

Husband is similar though still more Church inclined. His Dad is a minister so not surpirising.

Neither parents have pressured us into Baptism and I have said as we don't have a regular Church and becasue I feel I can't 'promise to bring her up in the Christian Faith' I would feel it hypocritical.

I wasn't sure till we went to the Baptism of freind whose daughter was a week older than EMily. It was in their parents church and was very plesant day. I asked the Mum if tey had always come to this church etc. She said she didn;t really believe in " all this rubbish' but was doing it cos it was what was expected. I thought about the words she had said int eh service and it sickened me.

You can be married and buried anywhere without baptism.

Also a good friend about my age [26] was recently baptised as an adult. Was amazing as she so beleived, has grat faith and it was a very special day for all there.

I think I'd like that for my children

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