HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Each and every one of us is too good for baptism and especially when we are babies.
 
Let us consider the wrongs of child religious initiation in terms of Christian baptism. What we learn can apply to most religions. We need to study this to start the healing process and the plan for healing.
 
Why do people get their babies baptised?
 
The answer is because their religion commands it or because everybody else does it. Doing it because everybody else does is not a reason but an excuse. What most people around you do is not necessarily right. It is not right to make a decision for a child based on what other people think. It’s the child’s welfare and rights that are paramount.
 
So why does religion want the babies baptised?
 
Reason One, to make the babies members of a religion and therefore duty bound to believe its tenets - to make them members of the “true faith”.
 
This makes the babies members of a religion without their consent. It suggests that the religion is more important than their rights and what is best for them when their consent is so unimportant. Godparents can't really consent for a child. It is their consent not the child's that is given.
 
Religion will answer that we don’t choose the circumstances we are born in so we are entitled to be baptised without our permission as babies. But we have to be born. We don't have to be baptised. It's different. If we are enrolled into religion by baptism then why draw the line there? Why not initiate children into political parties as well? Politics affects us more than religion ever could.
 
Because a religion is based on beliefs about matters of faith and morals, getting your baby baptised is a promise to have them indoctrinated by this religion as soon as they get old enough to learn. When you are led to believe something without being told the whole truth that is indoctrination. Indoctrination is wrong for children are so defenceless, vulnerable and easily conditioned. This conditioning will be done by people who don’t have the expertise or the honesty to look into religion objectively to see what is best for the baby. And do parents have the right to put their child forward for baptism when they themselves fall into that category? Even the true religion, if there is one, doesn’t have the right to seek an unfair advantage of inducing faith in its beliefs in a child.  It might say that not inducing beliefs is impossible. So if you say nothing the child will believe there is no God or something. But belief in ordinary things is enough for a child. A child cannot find God that important.
 
Reason Two, so that God will forgive the sin the baby had since the first moment of their existence in the waters of baptism - so that God will let them into Heaven if they die. Baptism forgives the sin and also takes away the hold of sin over the baby so that the baby can live a saintly life with the grace of God – that is why babies are said to be born again in baptism.  
 
The doctrine of the Church that children have original sin which needs baptism to be forgiven and to undo the bias it causes towards sin is a sectarian and bigoted thesis. It accuses those who do not have their children baptised of harming them and making them harm others. It is accepted that people who believe people outside their sect are inferior are bigots. This stance is socially opposed these days so let child baptism be opposed as well. And we see no difference between baptised and unbaptised children. We must not imagine that there is a spiritual difference. In fact many Muslims - and Muslims don’t believe in baptism - are often holier than baptised people. The doctrine is laced with bigotry.
 
Another question: why does the Catholic Church say that babies must be baptised without unnecessary delay?
 
The reason is to get them baptised fast in case the parents see sense and don't bother.
 
The Church does not admit that but claims that a baby is entitled to all the spiritual benefits of baptism including forgiveness of original sin and some healing from the tendency to sin as soon as is feasible. We are not talking about the chance that the baby might die unbaptised here. The Church is certainly suggesting that a child is damaged somehow and hated by God until it is baptised so there is a sense of urgency. The longer you wait the longer your child offends God and that offence needs to be addressed.
 
No person who understands baptism would let their child be degraded by the superstitious nonsense of baptism.
 
COMMENTS ON NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
 
Comment in response to the Atheist Parent's Guide in Refusing Baptism
 
http://voices.yahoo.com/atheist-parents-guide-refusing-baptism-4885698.html?cat=25#comments
 
It is not true that infant baptism is harmless.
 
To have a child baptised commits that child to Christianity and to do this lightly or insincerely is a bad example for the child.

The reality is that when I was baptised Catholic I was put under Church law. I am obligated to believe in Catholicism and am considered a grave sinner for not doing so. I am obligated to serve and worship Jesus. As a Bible reader, I know the sweetness and light Jesus is a myth and I find the man and his principles quite disturbing. Eg he was a hellfire fanatic. I felt very bullied growing up for I knew that my baptism gave people the "right" to force Catholic religion and culture on me. It is the principle. And if you believe in the supernatural or suspect that it might exist, some people would say that as my baptism put spiritual forces into me, it is a matter of opinion if those forces were really good or bad. Baptism accuses a baby of needing forgiveness from God. It always intends harm in that sense. Nobody has the right to accuse somebody without solid proof. Also, if baptism makes you a Catholic, you will be a Catholic in the eyes of the state. The state indeed should make laws in line with papal doctrine if enough of its citizens identify as Catholics and obey the pope. You do not want your child to become part of that for it endangers human rights. A religion is a form of politics - it governs, it lays down laws, it hopes to see members of other religions abandon their religions and join it, it claims the right to influence the law and voting. When you identify yourself too closely with your religion, you end up taking its ideas as part of you. But you are not your ideas or beliefs. A strong religious identity is demeaning. Also, it means you will get mad and offended should anybody contradict or criticise or challenge your religion. Baptism is about conferring a religious identity and that is an unacceptable thing to do to a baby or a child.
 
If an atheist does not attend a christening out of principle, some will say to her or him that it is the baby's day and not yours. This is nonsense. Celebrations are about community, it may be done for the baby but not just for the baby. It is meant to be a joint celebration and participation. Would you really want people at your wedding if you thought they thought the day was about you and not them as well?


New Statesman - Is religion losing its rights or just its special privileges? 2014

Everybody says that religion is okay if not forced on people. But the reality is that it is often forced. For example, a born again Christian who considers the Catholic Mass to be offensive to God and therefore out of bounds may be forced to attend for state functions. 

For example babies are forced into Catholicism by baptism which is unfair because of the nature of Church doctrine. It is stuff you would need to make a decision to sign up to. It is not like being made something harmless like a Quaker or a Buddhist. I am sorry I was baptised into a religion that promotes discrimination, claims the Bible is true against all the evidence, teaches that we can be bad enough to commit a sin that puts us in Hell forever and so on. Baptism in Catholicism imposes religious membership and the obligation to obey Church law on the baby. This is not right in itself. A baby is the best of humankind and does not need religion or religious membership for the alleged forgiveness of original sin in baptism. Also it is not right considering few parents know enough about religion and its controversies to make an informed decision about baptising their child.

Hozier Criticises Baptism of Babies
 
Baptism is said to be about making a person good by putting God’s power in them. That doctrine is an insult to the good people who were never baptised. There were paragons of virtue among the pagans.

Plus I am boiling mad at how the priesthood uses baptism to try and make a defenseless baby a Catholic and it does not help people make an informed choice. Converts to the Church and children who are encouraged to stay Catholic are not told what they have a right to know.

If there is no God, we are telling ourselves that the suffering of others is part of his plan and somehow justified. That is a very serious thing to get wrong. It is not a trivial matter – it is suffering we are talking about.

And if Christ is not God the Catholic is worshiping a false God.

And if the bread and wine at communion are not Jesus then they are idols.

And what about the violent God who Christ gave allegiance to? God commanded that brides who didn't seem to be virgins on the wedding night be stoned to death. And there were many other "sins" that got that fate. Christ never apologised for the murders carried at at God’s behest in the Old Testament and indeed insisted on believing in the Old Testament as having been written by God through men. The fact that most Catholics today do not obey these commands only means the following: that they think they don't apply in current circumstances, that somebody else can put them into action instead - not everybody has the same job to do in life, that they don't have enough faith. None of these reasons are praiseworthy. If their faith is too weak for them to consider killing then it is proof that they refuse to kill in so far as they are not touched by their faith. They are not being very Catholic if they would refuse to kill if God commanded them to. It would be foolish to point to them as proof that people as Catholics are not enablers or doers of violence.
 
And as for parents having to baptise their children to get them into Catholic schools that is a disgrace. Parents could decide they want an unbaptised child learning about Catholicism so that she can make her own decision about being baptised when she is able to decide for herself. And would a decent person want their child baptised in the name of Jesus a man who condoned murder and violent scriptures? Would one really want a child to be spiritually joined to him? That union is what baptism is about. The Bible believer today does not stone homosexuals but he approves of the fact that it was done in the past at God's behest in the Bible. Jesus upheld the Old Testament doctrine that its laws are infallible and from God. Jesus never apologised for the killings. He even said that killing the adulteress by stoning her is fine if you are without sin. If you praise violent scriptures as God's word, you take responsibility for the contents and the consequences. If somebody thinks the rules about stoning are in force today you need to take responsibility for that and the results.
 
If God exists and does not consider babies in need of forgiveness, does not hate sin so much that he declares it worthy of everlasting torment, does not ban unrepentant boys who masturbate from Heaven then how can you face him?

None of this stuff should be trivialised and the Church is encouraging a form of recklessness and manipulates its members.

Facebook 2016 about the Church discriminating against unbaptised children in its schools

Catholic doctrine is that anybody can baptise and it is a real baptism. Church law forbids that except in an emergency but that is only a human rule. Who cares? Why don't people do their own baptisms? Involving priests only gives them power over the child's future and their education and their schools. I would urge people that to tell a child that everybody is innocent until proven guilty does not mean much if you accuse babies of needing God's forgiveness in baptism for original sin! A Catholic baptism can wreck the child's life later on for it puts the child under church law with all its silly and dreadful and bigoted rules about marriage in particular. Eg marrying a divorced person is not marriage in the eyes of the Church. Also is it right to put the child under laws that say that if she fails to attend mass weekly she will be eternally damned unless she gets absolution from a priest? If the Holy Spirit enters your soul at baptism to put you through all that how Holy is he?