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Old 01-18-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
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To baptize or not to baptize

Long story short:

My son is 12 and not baptized (nor my 2 lo's). We grew up catholic and I was baptized and did my first communion. I haven't been to mass since I was little. I asked my aunt to me my sons godmother when he was little. She's now pressuring me to baptize him. I'm not jumping at the idea because I don't feel like I'm catholic, or am I? I believe in god but don't go to church. Should I baptize my son out of tradition or because my family expects it? I don't know how I'll feel about this later in life. So I guess my question do you consider yourself to be part of a specific religion if you were raised that way but don't go to church or anything?

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Old 01-18-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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I was raised very traditional Episcopalian (I describe it as "Catholic Lite) where you do the whole baptism - first communion - confirmation thing. DH was raised Southern Baptist and he was head to toe dunked at age 12, when he was old enough to ask for it and understand it. We attend services regularly at a large nondenominational church which is our compromise. We both feel it is important to us to raise our family as part if a church family. I was okay with not baptizing DD as a baby bc I do see the logic in letting her make her own choice. It's not like we're saying she CAN'T be baptized! I definitely felt some pressure/disappointment from my family but I think it wasn't too bad bc We are just following a different "method" if you will.
Also our church, and probably many others, will not dedicate your baby / baptize if you are not a regular attendee. I have no idea how they would check that, but it's meant to deter casual non-attendees from dedicating their babies "just because."
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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Re: To baptize or not to baptize

I was baptized as a baby because my dad's family expected it. I've never been to a church since except for weddings and funerals! I don't really care. Actually, I don't care at all. It doesn't mean anything to me one way or the other.

For a 12yr old though... a bit more complicated.. You really have to consult him on this.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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Re: To baptize or not to baptize

I was baptized in a Catholic church as an infant. It meant and continues to mean nothing to me now. I am not Catholic. We raise and teach our children our religious beliefs. When the kids are old enough and ready they will decide if they wish to dedicate themselves to God. We of course hope they will but the decision must be theirs or it means nothing.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
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Re: To baptize or not to baptize

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Old 01-18-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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Re: To baptize or not to baptize

Technically, since you asked your aunt to be a godmother, if I am not mistaken it is her duty to watch out for the spiritual well being of the child (if she is Catholic and takes being a godparent seriously). That is probably why she is asking about baptism. You may need to clarify to her if you don't want her to actually be a traditional Catholic godparent, just a favorite aunt (or whatever definition you have in mind for "godparent").

ETA: If I was not practicing a religion, I wouldn't baptize my children in that religion...
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Re: To baptize or not to baptize

I wouldn't baptize into a religion that I have no intentions of practicing.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskamum
Technically, since you asked your aunt to be a godmother, if I am not mistaken it is her duty to watch out for the spiritual well being of the child (if she is Catholic and takes being a godparent seriously). That is probably why she is asking about baptism. You may need to clarify to her if you don't want her to actually be a traditional Catholic godparent, just a favorite aunt (or whatever definition you have in mind for "godparent").

ETA: If I was not practicing a religion, I wouldn't baptize my children in that religion...
Exactly. I guess I don't understand how it wasn't brought up when you asked her? Isn't a godparent the person that stands at the baptism and then is your child's spiritual mentor so to speak? What did you ask her for?
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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Re: To baptize or not to baptize

It may be that a Catholic priest will not baptize your son if you do not intend to raise him in that faith. You have not been confirmed.

I'd ask a priest, but when we looked into joining the Catholic church, they would have made my son (who is nine, and already baptized) a school year or RICA just to take communion. RICA is (here at least) mandatory for anyone over 7 who desires to join the Catholic church.. And from what I understood, you can not be baptized in the Catholic church without joining.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:09 PM   #10
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Re: To baptize or not to baptize

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