So, I'm getting married in about 2 weeks and, yes, procreation is itinerary. Pretty exciting. Here's the rub, my soon to be in-laws are Filipino immigrants and very catholic. This is relevant because while they are a good 85% fluent, there's still a small communication barrier and superstition isn't exactly frowned upon in their culture.

I'm not only afraid of them finding out that I'm an atheist but also that I have NO PLANS on baptizing my progeny. This will not only be an argument on the day it comes up, but I have a feeling it will remain a point of contention for many years to come.

My friend, over a couple of pints, convinced me that when I get married and have children that becomes "my unit". My family. I shouldn't have to make compromises like this and shouldn't let other people make decisions for my unit.

This was a very persuasive argument for me. Just one thing, I DO care about what people think. These aren't just any people, these are the grandparents of my future eye apple.

Will it be worth the hassle?
Or is it just a silly meaningless ritual that will actually, eventually, be an opportunity for a conversation between us about religion and sometimes having to do things you don't want to do.

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Hey, congratulations on your future marriage! :)

As a lone atheist in a strongly catholic society my personal advice (and this is just my opinion) would be the following: consult with your (future) wife, she knows her family much better than you do. The decision of baptizing your children will largely depend upon her. If she's okay with you being an atheist and accepts the fact that you don't want your children baptized then she'll probably convince her parents of just letting it go.

On the other hand, if she herself is strongly catholic then she will probably heed her parents' advice and get the children baptized (even if you're against it). For catholics it's a very important sacrament you know; it will mean the difference between your children going to heaven or hell may, god forbid, anything happen. Also, there's a benefit which comes with baptizing and that is the assignment of godparents to your children. Catholics who have godchildren take it very seriously and they will take good care of your children if again, god forbid, anything shall happen to you. Besides, they'll give the best presents to the children on every birthday.

At the end Baptism is just a silly ritual and it's not worth fighting for; most catholics take it as an excuse to make a big party in which the newborn child is "presented to the society" so to speak. If by some reason you can't convince your wife not to baptize your children just go with the flow and accept it as a festivity occasion (just like we do with Xmas traditions).

...and hey, look at the bright side, your new family isn't jewish; it's not as if your children are going to be mutilated, I mean "circumcised".
Yeah, we still baptize here too but no one really does it in the name of god if you get what I am saying? It's not to remove our sins, it's just an old tradition like celebrating Christmas.

The family gets a little party going and they eat well and the child gets some nice presents.

However, if your will-be-wife is so strongly catholic, are you sure you should marry her if you feel there is actually a huge barrier between you in terms of religion? You should really talk about that with her, because it might turn out completely different than what you expected... people can even make the smallest things look like the end of the world.

Well, I think it's smart if you tell her your religious stance so she understands. Well, I dunno, if you haven't done it and haven't dared it yet and you are getting married, are you actually sure you should marry just now? Sounds to me you aren't ready if you have issues trusting each other.

I read further down that you said she was indifferent so ignore the other part I said, I just wrote it because it wasn't explicitly clear in your post so the assumption she might also be a catholic sounded pretty logical.

Sorry for doubting :)
My fault for not being clear in the OP.
My wife and I went through the same conversation when my first son was born. I really wasn't in the mood for a fight, so I made this compromise. Both of our children were baptized, but when it came time for discussions about religion and belief the kids were taught to be skeptics. This worked out quite well, the families were mollified and my kids are intelligent and happy atheist young men today.
Jesus mister, I asume you're one for tough love... but that's a sinister panorama you're painting there, c'mon the guy's getting married, this should be an occasion for happiness.
E.V, you're a dick, and I think you know that. I'm sure I'm not the first say.

I did omit some crucial details, mainly my future wife's opinion on the whole thing, but your last paragraph puts you right in line with all the other socially inept comicbook geektards I had to endure at the opening of The Dark Night. (another story all together that I'll be blogging about)

piss off.

I don't think that by not "coming out" to people that wouldn't understand (in more way than one) makes me a liar as you suggest. Should I tell them what kind of porn I jerk off to as well? It might make them like me less when they find out exactly what bukkake is.

Thank you, Rosa. While I do recognize the dickly nature of his post, it hastn't shaken me. After 8 years of dating, I think I know her quite well.
I should've added that she's mostly indifferent. I think she's sort of a "pascal's wager" believer. I don't think she really does, but I think she's afraid not to.

She's more on the side of wanting to get the stupid jesus bath, but only to avoid conflict with her parents.
I think this is an instance where you need to let your wife make the decision with your input of course. Because you say your wife, or rather future wife, is indifferent then it seems like it's really a matter of how much you want to placate your in-laws.

Never have been in that situation. But I suspect that your in-laws are not going to easily let this rest. It might not be worth the hassle to fight over this one, meaningless ritual.

If you do decide to do this, I think that you and your wife should consider making it known to the in-laws that you are doing the baptism because it is important to them but that it's not to you. At some point you will need to draw a line between what you are willing to do in the name of their religion and what you aren't willing to do. If you don't start planting those seeds now it maybe be a much harder fight later on.

Good luck and congratulations!
Your pint-drinking friend is right, this is your and your wife's 'unit.' No one else's opinion really counts. It's good to care what people think, especially when it's family or soon-to-be family. It's good to take their feelings into consideration. If it were me, however, this would be one area where I would have to put my kids above the consideration of all else.

The way I see it is this--you can baptize them and then forget about it, but they (the in-laws) might not. If you give on this, they may press you to give on other things, like taking them to church. Either way, I would think this religious confrontation is going to happen one way or another. Best to nip it in the bud as respectfully and painlessly as possible.

Lots of luck to you both!
@ IsThatLatin - Probably good advice. Get the confrontation over as soon as possible. Applies to most situations in life.




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