I was born, raised, and married Catholic, as was my wife. I have since become an out of the closet atheist within the last 3 years.

My youngest daughter-- 7 years old,  (out of 5 kids)  is not baptized.

We have been approached by the church to baptize her.

Wife sez yes, I say no. I have my reasons, she has hers.

I don't want it to happen, but if it does, I don't want to be there at the altar.

(Being in the church wouldnt kill me though.)


Can I ask for opinions/advice for this situation?

Please remember the questions they ask of the parents at the baptism:

1: Do you reject satan and all his works?

2: Do you accept god, his son and the holy ghost?

3: Do you promise to raise your kid in catholicism?


I DO NOT want to stand there and say "NO", but otherwise I think it's a harmless ceremony, and the kid could use a party(money!)

But if I go thru with it, How could I look in the mirror and call myself an atheist?

Others have said for me to LIE, but I will not.


ANY advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.



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Replies to This Discussion

Susan, that may be what it will boil down to. However, I feel I will drop down a notch in my daughter's eyes..and for what? Being rational and not superstituous?
However, I feel I will drop down a notch in my daughter's eyes

She's seven, how long is she even going to remember that? Don't you do other things like birthday parties, Christmas, etc that she can enjoy?
I don't envy your situation, Tooferman. Your family is pulling one way, your convictions are pulling the other way.
Having said that, I would resist my children being raised in the catholic church at all costs. Catholicism messes with children's minds and gives them feelings of guilt for the rest of their lives. They will always be second guessing their decisions. I have met people like that.
Thanks Adrian, but its the "AT ALL COSTS" part that is worrisome.
I have to weigh the outcomes vs the struggle to prevent baptism.
I've even pointed out to my wife my 1st amendment right to freedom FROM religion,
and because I'm American, she couldn't revoke my rights.
But that didn't go over so well. She's determined to have the baptism, and have me there participating, 1st amendment or not.
Now, we're getting into a matter of respect. If you can respect her desire to be a Catholic and even have your daughter baptised in the church, she can meet you halfway by not insisting you be there. Marriage is a compromise and you are willing to go more than halfway, she can make this little concession for you and I would put it that way.

I don't like to hang out in electronics and hardware stores. My husband does. He loves that stuff. I find it boring. I used to go with him and I am sure I was miserable company. Now, he goes alone and has a ball looking at stuff I find incredibly dull. I'm sure some would consider Lowe's and a church not to be on the same level, but to my husband Lowe's and Ace Hardware are holy grounds. I don't go to Lowe's with him and we're both a lot happier.

I'm sure you will be bored and miserable at this event. Wouldn't she rather have a "fun" event without you than have you there being bored, mind wandering and secretly resentful? This is not a funeral or a wedding. And even if it was, you can meet them at the after party which I am sure is a lot more agreeable to you.

Perhaps while they are having their "holy" event, you can have yours by watching a football game. reading a book or even hanging out at Lowe's.
Grace , you sound like a person who has the wonderful wisdom of experience. I am partial to the idea of a 'fun' event for my daughter (and relatives) without dragging along the bummer of an atheist (Daddy).
But if I make this concession now (baptize and I wont be there).. I will be making more compromises in the future with other sacraments and events.
I wont be soley conceding one event, I will have to concede all religious brainwashing with my daughter... But if this baptism doesnt happen, no sacraments will follow.
Shouldn't I take my stand now?
Is there any way to delay this baptism for another 7 years?
Much thanks for your insightful input.

And as far as LOWES, ---what if you're wrong?? --LOL
It is possible. I could be wrong about Lowes. I do know a number of people who consider it a holy place. I don't know how to get your daughter out of this if she is a believer. They will use the same scare tactics on her as they used on us. Of course, I was never a Catholic, so I don't know what all they do. Methodists are more sensible in some ways and I was raised Methodist.
I've even pointed out to my wife my 1st amendment right to freedom FROM religion,
and because I'm American, she couldn't revoke my rights.

That's not a good reply! She's not the government forcing you to practice a religion.
It sounds like you have the following choices:

1. Go and lie (say yes) - which would be inexcusable
2. Go and tell the truth (say no), which would disrupt the ceremony
3. Attend but sit out the questioning part of the ceremony
4. Don't attend at all

It sounds like 3 is the best alternative, in order to be supportive but not disruptive or honest.

Mixed marriages are nothing new, doesn't the church have instructions for dealing with this kind of situation? I'm sure if you were Jewish, they wouldn't ask if you accept the trinity, or force you to answer yes.

I googled children in a catholic mixed marriage, and for what it's worth, found this:

8. When a Catholic marries a non-Catholic, must the non-Catholic promise to raise the children in the Catholic faith?

The non-Catholic spouse does not have to promise to have the children raised Catholic. The Catholic spouse must promise to do all that he or she can to have the children baptized and raised in the Catholic faith.
- Catholic Bishops Marriage FAQ

how about a renowned, traditional, time-honored, legendary; notorious, infamous, heck no!

>: )

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To be perfectly honest. You shouldn't do it because she will see odd ceremonies as something normal when people throwing water and making weird cross gestures shouldn't be something normal(Not to mention the singing). The last time I did was like 2 years ago before that I haven't attended any church for like 3-4 years.  Seeing people with all the weird rituals made me feel like I was in the land of the crazy. I seriously felt very uncomfortable. That something that should be normal if you look at Catholicism(or any religion) from an objective point of view.



Doing for the sake of tradition is stupid. I hate that argument. Its the same argument for banning gay marriage, putting god on money, forcing us to say god in the pledge and for national prayer day. That argument doesn't cut it for me and any self respecting rationalist would agree with me on that.  You don't believe in catholic teachings. No reason to have to put the stamp of approval for a baptism. If your wife becomes even more pushy and goes along with it. I wouldn't attend the ceremony because at least then you are sending a message to your daughter that you don't have to believe in that stuff. 


Really I hate treating people like propriety even little kids. Let her decide when she gets older. At least like 12.  I don't think its alright to force a child into doing that.  Its your child and you don't need my permission to do anything with her. If you want an opinion from someone part of the community you just got it.  Alright I am done with my rant.


I myself was kinda raised in a deist home that was loosely catholic.  I was n


"Why do you need to say 3 variations of prayers 4 times in 2 minutes, or however long it takes.  After 15 minutes of that it was too much."


Indoctrination. If you say it over and over again it just burns in. For a rational thinking person there you acutally feel the burning feeling.


"My son was raised in an atheist and agnostic home,"


I don't know exactly why I have such a problem with this but I rather say my child was raised in a religion free home and they chooses to be atheist. That is just me.


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