Baptism of Children
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14-06-2011, 08:31 PM
Baptism of Children
Just got a call saying from my 9 year old sister saying she would be baptized. So this is largely written from an emotional context. I remember asking my mother some time ago, when she brought this up, if she thought my sister was old enough to understand the implications of the process. I think there must be a fundamental difference in what we skeptics and the religious community define as 'understanding.'

To me, my question carried such themes as : 'Has she been allowed to weigh the pros and cons. Has someone told her she has to do this or she will burn in hell. Isnt she merely being pressured by the fact that everyone around her has already done this. Does she really understand what a commitment to her God means. Does she even understand what sort of being her God is. Does she have any exposure to elements contradictory to Christianity that might allow her to make a more balanced decision?'

To the Christian the question must be completely empty. Children are often disregarded by adults because of their lack of experience and education. Often rightly so. What do most children [ages < 13] know of the mechanisms of world economy or what its like to provide for oneself. When I announced my parting from Christianity, I was told I was going through a phase. That I was rebelling and would come back when I found the love that god had for me. Etc etc.

Yet no one questions when a five or seven or nine year old says they want to follow along with the band wagon. Why should they? A point in their bucket.

totally did't see there was another thread about this. My bad.

I struggle often with the feeling that the indoctrination of children is some sort of abuse.

There is no enlightened point to this post. Mostly merely my own ranting at my inability to save my siblings from their curse. Feel free to share your own stories. Do you have younger siblings you want to show a route besides religion?

I fear pressing the issue with my siblings. I dont want to give them any undue drama. I just hope to be able to persuade them later when they are of more sound mind.

Totally didnt see the other thread about baptism. My bad.
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14-06-2011, 08:47 PM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2011 05:50 AM by ashley.hunt60.)
RE: Baptism of Children
(14-06-2011 08:31 PM)Cube Wrote:  I think there must be a fundamental difference in what we skeptics and the religious community define as 'understanding.'

If I may generalize, the point has been made that very little to no atheist to Christian converts are from TAG, or Pascals Wager, or anything else from the logical argument section. Usually a person's faith is based on emotion, hollow of logic or reason. So, it follows that an understanding of a religion and faith is based more on emotion than anything else. Atheists tend to be the very opposite. Our understanding is based on rather little emotion, and more on reason and logic. That said, emotions come a lot easier to a nine year old than critical thought.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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14-06-2011, 09:17 PM
RE: Baptism of Children
I was baptized as a baby so I didn't really have any strong feelings about it, and of course it didn't consecrate me in any way. I understand the issue of a child who is aware of the world (older than 1) going through a promise with an all powerful being, but if the child doesn't share the belief, then in the end it's all empty words for them. If they do feel it's important, or have been brought up to consider "their word their bond", then it creates a huge issue for a later disbelief. I wasn't brought up that way nor would I have been like that if my parents tried to make me (I was an extremely headstrong child).

I do consider religion to cause child abuse in the fact that we value religious freedom but shackle our children to whatever we believe. They'll decide for themselves when they're older doesn't stop all the conditioning that making the choice for them causes. I feel that it's fine to expose your children to your religion (if you have one), but to go ahead and let them know it's alright to ask questions about it and think for themselves. Religious upbringing is so very dogmatic that it makes little zealots until they become teenagers and fight their parents authority.

My experiences with religion affecting my life (despite the view that life is a lot easier for them, since everyone seems to agree and give special favors to this idea) are mainly about bigotry. The worst was the fact that I lost my extended family for a while (their care not being around them) after being molested. I see most religions as creating a strong us/them mentality (let's leave out animism, buddhism, and a few others =p). After being abused I was made into a criminal for the fear of me doing the same to a relative. I also feel religion helped a lot with the current views on children back in the 80's (if something happens to them before 8 years old they'll get over it, kids don't remember much of their childhood) the belief that a child's capability to block out emotional stress is fixing the problem.

That's the strongest as far as that goes, along with the fact that I am always segregated for not agreeing, which everyone here (almost) knows about first hand.In looking at people when they turn to religion they always create more walls to other people. Children who are taught a religion tend to have the idea of superiority when dealing with other kids. Equality can happen we just have to stop blaming others for our problems. Listen to the popular slogan "shit happens so stop holding it in". =p

Another big reason I can safely call religion child abuse is that it emotionally scars many for life in ways that make life difficult for them, along with being a large contributor to suicide and abortion rates (both very much kid issues [I'll add in the 13-16 year olds since they aren't yet emancipated, technically we should go to 18 as few leave home before they reach this age]). There are plenty of people who have serious issues which are the result of religious upbringing. I think that alone is suffice to say that presupposing your child will agree is not a healthy action. Teach them right and wrong, explain to them anything you can explain. Don't tell them to believe you because you said it, or because god said it. If children can't make sense of the world around them they have to find a way for it to make sense. Don't add pieces to their puzzle.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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