Thursday, October 21, 2010


So, why did we, after 5 years, baptize the kids?


Mr. Long-Suffering had been getting occasional digs from his parents for 5 years. He had finally had enough.

Neither of us is what you might call religious. We've never regularly attended church together, though he went as a child and I went some as an adult (just to learn about the Bible so I would be better at Jeopardy! Oddly, the church doesn't actually teach you about what is in the text of the bible.).

Mr. Long-Suffering is an introvert and rather sensitive to criticism, and the fact that he was disappointing his parents was crushing him. The comments only came up 2-4 times per year, but he internalized their disapproval, and it wore on him. Plus, in his family, a baptism is a custom, a tradition, and he felt like it was something we should do because it is what people do.

This is not a custom or tradition in my family. My sister and I were not baptized nor christened. My niece was not either. We did not regularly attend church as children, though occasionally, my grandmother would drop us off for Sunday school, or we'd go with the neighbors. I am a polite non-believer (of all religions, though I do think Judaism is pretty neat). Agnostic really. I'm culturally Protestant. Some of my family is devoutly religious. My own father is an ordained member of the Presbyterian church (though how that happened was sort of an accident....million-to-one shot doc, million-to-one).

Mr. Long-Suffering and I were married in the Lutheran Church (LC-MS) 9 years ago, and I did agree to raise my kids in that Church (though truthfully, I somehow never thought it would happen).

So, when Mr. Long-Suffering floated the idea of getting Bobo and Chip baptized, I said, "Sure, OK, you plan it, and I'll show up." That was about 2 years ago. The idea surface every few months since then. I always said, "OK, I won't stop you." Though, truthfully, he's not the planner in this relationship so I never thought it would happen.

Now that we have Mrs. Marie, though, we have a lot more mind-space time. I have 3 hours per week to myself now, and I assume Mr. L-S does too. So, he arranged a baptism. I planned a party. I even made sure our family went to church the weekend before the baptism so we'd see the place, get the lay of the land, meet the pastor, etc.

So, it's done. And I feel just awful about it. I really didn't want to baptize them. It sort of goes against everything I believe in. If they decide that they are believers when they're grown, they could get baptized then. On the other hand, I remind myself that as a non-believer, it doesn't really mean anything and nothing has changed, so no big deal, symbolism, blal blah blah, pleasing the elder generation. If they decide they are non-believers when they grow up, it's not like they can un-do it (though really, as a non-believer, it doesn't mean anything any way, so no harm - no foul).

The funny part about it is that Chip has been dumping buckets of water over Bobo's head three times in the bath and saying it's a baptism. Which is really adorable.

1 comment:

  1. We almost baptized E for the exact same reason (it'd be no big deal since we don't believe in organized religion) because my mom kept crying about her grandchild going to hell and then all of a sudden, the pope reversed the law/rule/whatever that said that unbaptized babies go straight to the netherworld and that was that.

    I plan on teaching my two about all of the worlds religions and letting them come to their own conclusions.

    Although after reading about the champagne punch, that alone might be reason enough...