I do not have kids.

...Yet. I take it for granted that in some capacity I probably will someday.

I would obviously raise them without religion and encourage them to think critically about any authoritarian beliefs they come across. However, seeing as kids do not and will not always agree with what their parents think, I see it being entirely possible that at some point, some friend, romantic interest, or close relative may influence them to visit a church they end up getting really attached to. After all, when you become part of a religious community, it's often like getting adopted into a whole new family, which is hard to come by when you live in an area where you don't know any secularists other than yourselves.

So here's the thing - if a child of yours came up to you and said "Mom/Dad, I believe in Jesus now, and Reverend Honeycutt [I don't know] said that he'd baptize me next Sunday if you said it was okay", what would you do?

On one hand I could see myself saying "Fuuuuuuuuuck NO", and I'd tell said child they could join whatever church they wanted when they turned 18, only because by then I wouldn't have a say-so anyway. On the other, if religion or church is treated like it's "forbidden", it could have the opposite intended effect and make them want it more. Added to that there's the issue of wanting to keep religious BS out of the house (or if the ministry they want to join is particularly obnoxious or offensive) versus allowing your child to think for themselves and make their own decision, even if you strongly disagree with it.

Where do you guys stand on this? I honestly don't know what I think about it right now. Would your answer differ depending on age? How would you handle it?

PS, I just realized there's a similar discussion to this from March, so if I need to delete this then that's fine lol.

Tags: baptism, children, church, confirmation, kids

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So here's the thing - if a child of yours came up to you and said "Mom/Dad, I believe in Jesus now, and Reverend Honeycutt [I don't know] said that he'd baptize me next Sunday if you said it was okay", what would you do?

I'd say yes, and I would try to share in the experience as much as I could, both to show support for their right to their own views, and to offer a bit of balance in perspective when they inevitably have questions. I was baptized as a baby, and it never took. Even though my parents were not religious, I had been to church through Scouts and Sunday school with friends. I was always free to be religious, but it's harder to accept when you weren't brought up with it and your family relationships aren't enforcing religious beliefs in any way.

I have had a similar debate in my mind about my hypothetical child and youth groups. Most youth groups, religious or not, don't really concern me, but some are a bit cultish. If my kid's going to a part of a cult, I'd want it to be a cult they started themselves. I'd want to see some creativity with it.

I was baptized also, but I have no memory of the experience. I had considered getting 'baptized', just to have the experience, but I expect 'clothing optional' is reserved for pre-pubescents...;p).

Figured that with a new experience, I might view it in a whole new light. Do you think it might be anything like 'Water boarding?' Tortured for Christ, hum....

If they're in their mid to late teens, I'd let them do it. Younger than that and I'd be afraid to let them be exposed to what may end up harming them or negatively effecting their psychological development. I'd be very active in discussing things with them from a secular viewpoint and I would attend their church with them to make sure it's not a cult/hateful. Yes, I believe a person has to find their own way in this world, but I wouldn't let my child get swallowed up in theism without trying to shine the light on what they are getting into. I do feel it is a parent's responsibility to try to instill certain values.

When I was a child I was drawn to religion and requested a baptism because of what I learned in catholic school about salvation. My home life was not very religious. If I could go back in time and step in for my parents I would never allow that little girl to become involved in catholicism. The effect of catholicism on my life has been tremendous, evil, a perversion of the good and true. I wouldn't allow that to happen to my child without putting up a fight for them.

8men.

I wanted to say the same but decided to read some comments first.

Well said Belle. Well said.

All children are born atheist . If my minor child suddenly wanted to be baptized , I would wish to know who had indoctrinated him or her behind my back , and without my consent . I would then head down to the police station , and file a complaint of child abuse / endangerment against that person . If my child was over the age of eighteen , my reaction would be irrelevant , since I would be powerless to prevent it . That said , I would kick myself long and hard at my failure to teach my child critical thinking and rationality .

"without my consent"....I don't think I've ever met one evangelist who asked parental permission before indoctrinating (or attempting to). The idea sounds ridiculous, but maybe it shouldn't? (I live in the South and people will lecture about Jesus in everyday conversation even. Just last week the dude sitting nearest me at a Popeye's was praying out loud- intentionally loud enough so that everybody else in the joint would KNOW he was doing it. Lol, if that doesn't say something...)

I don't know how things work in the south , but in the NYC metropolitan area , a church person alone with a minor child , WITHOUT parental consent , doesn't fly - EVER . I should think that the norm everywhere .

Yes. I would head twisted off to someone who would inspire my child religion.

I think you should wait to have kids for a while. Lol.

Ask to go to the church... don't be coy about what you think about the service you attend. My wife was baptised by crack-pot tongue speakers.... they ex-communicated her for dating me. Chances are your kid will change their mind when they realise church is full of shit.

what's wrong with it? who cares? if they want to get baptized it's their choice.

RE: "if a child of yours came up to you and said "Mom/Dad, I believe in Jesus now, and Reverend Honeycutt [I don't know] said that he'd baptize me next Sunday if you said it was okay", what would you do?"

I'd offer him a choice between baptism and an all-expense paid trip to a cathouse to get laid - there's little doubt in my mind which he's choose.

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