Baptism: Why we {will/may} not do it {now?}

Oh boy, the flood gates have been opened for scrutiny, but bring it, I really don’t mind {sort of}. As you can tell by my blog post title, I am very uncertain about this topic, and there are many reasons for my questioning of the entire process of Baptism including my belief structure, feeling like a hypocrite, and just not getting the process all together.

I’m not going to lie, I do feel uncomfortable saying that I do not wish for Wes to be baptized {at this moment}, mostly because “everybody does it” and I’m sure I will hear it from some unwanted individuals. However, I hope you will take the moment to hear me out whether you agree with me or not. It took a lot of consideration, more on my part than John’s. John is more confident in his opinion, where as I tend to flip-flop regularly. {I would be this country’s worst president.}

I was baptized as a child in the Methodist Church and later converted to Catholicism after my brother died to find some sort of connection to answering the question, “Why?” Why was my brother taken from me at 24? This was not fair. No one should have to lose someone so young; death is for the old. Those who have lived life to its fullest and are now ready to pass on to wherever they believe they’re going, right? Well, not in the real world, baby.

You see, at the time of my brother’s death I was a freshman in high school. I was awkward; I didn’t fit in with any crowd since I was nonathletic, my artistic skills were mediocre, I was an average student and I was overweight and had acne. {Oh wait, all that still holds true!} I was also not involved in the church, though my mom and I did test out a few in the area for awhile, but they just didn’t fit. {Don’t even ask me what John is, I have no clue.} So, finding some form of connection was “refreshing” at 17 years old, and it didn’t hurt that I had a huge crush on a boy at that church. {Thinking back, I am pretty sure I went to church more to see that boy than to learn a life lesson.}
However, I had a really awesome priest that I connected to; Father Turi. Father Turi did not judge; he was (or shall I say is – he’s retired) an amazing human being. Though the thought of Jesus being my “savior” didn’t sit well with me, or will it in the foreseeable future, Father Turi did, as well as the tradition of the church. I loved going there and confidently saying the Lord’s Prayer, extending hands to give peace to my neighbor, and taking communion and praying, or as I would like to see it as, giving thanks for all that has been provided me in life. At the time, church gave me the structure that I needed and helped me to recognize that there was more to this world than myself. {BTW, Happy Birthday Father Turi!!}

But now, I no longer feel the need to hold on to that structure of organized religion as I once had. I believe in God, I believe in being a good human being. I believe that if we show love we receive love and if we do good, good will return to us. It’s called good Karma. But, I don’t believe that I need to subscribe to one religion, or any organized religion, to believe in (a) God and (a) Heaven. And just because I may not believe the same as you doesn’t mean that I will judge you. I actually envy those who are steadfast in their religion. It’s great! I’m just not that kind of gal, and I’m still getting used to feeling comfortable with that conviction. {I actually get really peeved if you try to convince me to join your church/ religion, even if it’s in a good nature. I guess I just don’t like being told what to do. My mother’s daughter? Yup!}

Getting back to the topic of tradition; I love it! I love celebrating events in life such as birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, weddings, baptisms (yes!), etc., but lately I just feel like a total hypocrite doing so. I never go to church and I don’t believe in Jesus as our savior {Gasp! call a medic for I have offended the majority of my friends and family!}. So, how do I celebrate those traditions that revolve around Jesus? I do believe in God. I believe in many forms of God. I have a handful of Buddha’s around my house because they bring me peace. I assume that’s how others view the cross? So, why should I be a hypocrite and baptize Wes? To appease my family? That won’t happen, John and I are too stubborn to be bullied into doing so even if one person feels it’s necessary. {Honestly, that would make us dig our feet further into the ground.}

So, as of now, I really want to leave that decision to Wes. I will take Wes to church, absolutely. I will expose him to all things in life that are good and give him the chance to make that decision on his own. I am in no way discouraging him from religion because that would be unfair. I am just {at this point} choosing to let him make that decision for himself. Fair?

XOXO- Adrienne

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12 thoughts on “Baptism: Why we {will/may} not do it {now?}

  1. I think you should definitely follow your heart and your instincts. We felt the same “stubbornness” to not baptize because our families wanted us too–we wanted to do it when it felt right to US. We waited until we found a church that we felt comfortable with and once we did that, we committed to baptizing the boys. My oldest was almost 3 at the time and my youngest (with Ds) was almost 1. Do what YOU want to do and what feels right–you’ll know! 🙂 Good luck!

    • Thank you, Jill. What I am noticing is that the people we care about the most are those who aren’t judging our decision, but supporting it. It just felt good getting it out in the open especially since I’ve been asked the question of Baptism recently. What I find hard is coming to terms with my own personal feelings towards religion, and I am beginning to understand that it is not faith that I question, but the whole idea of organized religion.

      I am not entirely closed minded to organized religion, since it helps a lot of people overcome obstacles in life like it had for me. It’s just hypocritical of me to something that I don’t believe in 100%. Being even 60-70% sure of how I feel isn’t enough at this point. It’s frustrating not knowing how I feel. I do want that connection at times, but then when I am an active participant, I become snide and annoyed by the whole thing and then retreat. I’ve had someone recently invite me to their church and I was honestly offended – like really red-in-the-face peeved. I become defensive when someone tells me that I should be in a building to have faith, and give up 10% of my income no less. No thanks buddy. Then the never ending trail of propaganda and visitors to my home really boils my blood. I am patient, but underneath I am like, “How dare you.”

      I think what I am trying to do is come to terms that I can have faith and not feel guilty for not subscribing to 2,000+ year old writings or trust that Jesus is our savior. I am appreciative of history and understand that yes, these things did happened and Jesus existed. I don’t doubt he was a real man that people adored, but I can’t look at him as THE son of God.
      I can’t allow myself to subscribe to one religion. I appreciate them all. I just have faith in God, not necessarily religion, and I want to feel okay saying that without hesitation. Does that make sense? Ugh, that’s where I’m at. Oh, and it doesn’t help that I adore beautiful old churches… you should see the Sistine Chapel and Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in Italy in person or Valley Forge Washington Memorial Chapel where I was married.

      I need to put this topic to bed because to me, religion and faith are confusing! Or, am I just confusing? (Both?)

      D’ah!

  2. Tara says:

    I have a similar story of losing my younger brother…
    Baptized=pouring symbolic water over a newborn baby’s head. Let’s get real and take some symbolism OUT of this.
    What kind of God would exclude a spirit because it hadn’t been baptized?

    One other thing about baptism you do need to address is who takes care of Wes if something happens to you &/or John. Do that, even informally, but make it real. Get the permission of whomever you choose, obviously.
    In my case, my sister was our agreed upon “Godmother” for my kids. Today, since my husband passed away recently, I’ve talked to my oldest daughter, 18, about her taking custody of my youngest, now 11, if something happens to me. So this is very real in my life right now especially.

    I opted to let my girls decide for themselves and that’s worked out just great. They are super tolerant of others and have experimented a little with a few churches.
    My uncle is a retired bishop and he never fussed at me for not baptizing my kids. I suspect that’s because he knows God is not prejudiced.

    • Tara, I am so sorry to hear about your two losses. The loss of a brother is extremely hard, and I don’t wish to know what it’s like to lose a husband anytime soon.

      I am happy to hear that you gave your children the option to do what they felt is right by them regardless of your personal stance. I want to make sure that Wes does what feels right by him as well, and I know that there will be social challenges ahead of us – that I may be creating in my own head regarding his Dx – but, we’re ready to give him support by any means possible. We’re hoping sports, family and social outing will fulfill his needs until the time comes when he makes the decision on what he wants to do regarding organized religion.

      XOXO Adrienne

  3. Rebecca says:

    As I read your blog I realize we are more alike than I ever knew. I completely agree with you! My history teacher in 9th grade said to us “Church was invented as a means to make money, no true God required you to go to a specific place to show you believe” and that stuck with my ever since. That is one of the reasons Ben and I are not getting married in a church or even by someone of religion. He was born catholic and raised Protestant. He is not a regular church goer. I told him that when he have children (very far from now) that I do not want them to be baptized. I want nothing to do with the structure of religion. I also said he is more than welcomed to take them to church if he goes however I will not be apart of it. If my children want to go or become very religious I will support them 100%. It’s just not from me. I think some of this comes from the fact that in little things men and women are not equal witin the Catholic religion I was raised in. As Ben learns more and more each day I am a feminist. P.s. Grandma Joan will surely die when she finds this out. Lol she is still asking me if there are any plans for the wedding because it’s not in a church she refuses to acknowledge it as a wedding. Haha

    • You know I will always be there to support what you do! 🙂 You’re my family and I know it can be hard to go against the grain at times. Just know that I am there to support you, but I will question those crazy piercings, ouch! LOL! Hahaha 😉

      • Mom says:

        Love you gals….especially the fact that you both have a mind of your own. Questioning what we do in life and why, and not just blindly following makes me proud to be your Mother/Aunt. And yes, dear daughter……the apple did not fall far from the tree!! ( Also a happy birthday to Father Turi…….such a positive impact in my life )

  4. tammy updegrove says:

    Agree 100%! Brad and I have discussed this topic in length as well. I was never baptized as my parents took the same approach as you described (they wanted to let it up to us once we were old enough to make that decision on our own). We have rather taken the approach, however, of agreeing to go through with it (if it comes up) to apease (sp?) his mother. I wouldn’t say she would bully us into it, but rather Brad has always been non confrontational and since neither of us believe in organized religion it really doesn’t matter to us…I guess we just see no harm in making his mother happy on this topic bc we don’t feel strongly either way.

    Either way – thanks for sharing, and you guys are going to be great parents! Wes is very lucky.

    • Thank you for responding! I was hoping that I wasn’t alone on this topic. I hear ya with just going with the flow, but John and I don’t like to be told what to do, so that may backfire on some poor soul that tries to convince us otherwise. LOL.

    • While I do believe in baptism, I do not think it is of some form of religious mysticism, but it is more like a sacrament much like marriage. Where the community and the family make a declaration to raise this child to grow in their faith and to support that child in that growth with love. Until the child is old enough to decide for themselves what they believe and weather they will accept or reject religion, God or both.

      However, I also believe in a very important quote by one of our founding fathers….

      “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”
      — Thomas Jefferson

      • Hi politicaljules,

        The response did not show immediately because I have to approve the first comment made by a new commenter. Welcome!

        I do see where you’re coming from regarding the purpose of Baptism and I can definitely attest that it is what most people view Baptism as. I am just not sold on anything I don’t believe in 100%, so it’s so hard for me to honestly and confidently invest myself and my son in Baptism. I would love to see him feel sure about the decision of Baptism on his own, especially since his momma is so wishy washy on the topic, ha!

        Thank you for commenting! Adrienne

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