Infant Baptism

Plans for Daniel’s baptism in the Catholic Church are in the works.

And it’s *amazing* the comments found on parent discussion boards when a parent asks — in all innocence — for some information in this sacrament.  The comments tend to fall into two extremes: 1) Precious-Moments-like syrupy sentimentalism from die-hard Catholics, who praise the parents for initiating their children into the Catholic community, and 2) vitriolic ranting from die-hard agnostics/athiests, who condemn the parents for brainwashing their children into a religion that is tantamount to child abuse.

After reading a handful of discussion boards filled with these black-and-white comments, a reasonable human being can only shake his/ her head and go, “Okaaaayyyy….” before hitting the browser’s “Back” button.

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8 Responses to Infant Baptism

  1. Austin says:

    It was so weird…

  2. lizardqueen says:

    A: How, um… odd?

    C & E: I’m right with you there. Especially the community part, as being “Filipino” and being “Catholic” are almost synonymous in my family. 🙂

    On a related note, I hope ya’ll’s Easter was a good one!

  3. Austin says:

    My sister just got baptized today, which was news to me, as I thought we were just gonna have easter at my (evil) grandmothers house. All of the sudden, after Dirk got injured, she started whispering that “Ashley wants to get baptized” to everyone, like it’s some big secret.

    Had I known beforehand, I would have tried to get out of it. But no! Just an impromptu baptism!

  4. celogo says:

    Very beautiful, eowyn!

  5. Zathras says:

    We’re looking at the baptism thing now too. Our church only does during-Mass baptisms, and I am not happy about that. Mostly because I am not really a community person, so maybe I need to get over it.

  6. eowyn says:

    My two cents… I’m no theologian, I’m not a Catholic, and I’ve dallied with apostasy, heresy, and new-age tomfoolery… but I am a mother, and these are the criteria I used in making this decision.

    There are two issues at work here.

    The first is one of belief: do you baptize because you truly believe your child is in danger of winding up in Limbo if you don’t? Probably not (unless you once consumed hallucinogenics while reading Dante, and it left a nasty scar). Do you baptize out of a sense of duty or obligation? Or do you baptize because you take your faith seriously enough to tell your child, “This is what I believe, and I am baptizing you because I want you to grow up believing as I do.”

    The second is one of religious community. To simply believe in God is one thing, and requires neither church nor ritual. To baptize a child into a community of faith, on the other hand, means that, if only on Sunday mornings, you are raising your children together, as a village. In the rite of baptism, the community is asked if they will promise to nurture this child’s spiritual growth. You are saying, “I trust this group of people with my child’s soul, with how he is shaped. I believe he will become a better man and a better Christian as a result of being raised in this community.” And baptizing your child into this community implies your taking responsibility for the other children in it as well.

    No pressure…

  7. celogo says:

    My phone is on… 🙂

  8. Austin says:

    Baptism always freaked me out, because Murphy’s law always seems to apply directly to anything I do.

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