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Religion
finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:26 PM

I do not want little one baptized...husband does for culrural reasons more than religious reasons.

I feel that if we do baptize her that religion is going to be shoveddown her tthroat and that she will get trapped thinking that is her only choice.

I would rather her learn about it... go to mass with her father (I won't go unless someone is dead or getting married) and when she is old enough she can make that choice.

He is afraid that she isn't going to go to heaven if something happened (a belief that I don't share).

He keeps saying to me well what if Christianity is right.. well dear last I checked Catholicism wasn't the only form of Christianity.

So how do we find a middle ground. I'm not going to go running into the arms of the church anytime soon and he isn't going to budge either.

32 Replies to finding a middle ground

re: finding a middle ground
By cthompson1474member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 306, member since Sat May 19, 2012
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:37 PM
Would you be willing to baptize her for your husband's peace of mind and both of you agree to not tell her she was baptized until she is old enough to make her own mind up about religion?
re: finding a middle ground
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:44 PM
I really think that you and your husband need to just sit down, battle it out and come up with one concrete, specific conclusion as to what you should do. Clearly, this is a continuing and intense source of strife in your relationship.

Have you looked at other branches of Christianity? I grew up Lutheran, and even though I'm a staunch atheist now, I respect the Lutheran church and have fond memories. It's similar to Catholicism in that it is the first denomination to branch off, so your husband might be willing to give it a try. If I recall, your problem with the Catholic Church is how conservative and restrictive it is, with Lutheranism definitely isn't.

Is it that you're not comfortable in a Christian church? Unitarian Universalism may be a good fit. You'll get everyone from Catholics to atheists to Jewish people.

Is it that you just are not comfortable with the idea of religion at this point? Listen to your husband's side, and if you still feel so strongly, put your foot down.

Half my family is Catholic, and you and your husband REALLY need to get this together before T is old enough to be pressured into it by family.
re: finding a middle ground
By cthompson1474member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 306, member since Sat May 19, 2012
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:56 PM
Kekoa wrote:

Listen to your husband's side, and if you still feel so strongly, put your foot down.


I have to disagree with putting your foot down on such a serious matter. I think you have to find a compromise that works for both of you. If you put your foot down and dismiss your husbands real fears in regards to his child you could be setting him up to resent you down the line.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 03:01 PM
Honestly the minute she is baptized I feel that she has had the choice taken away from her. I know this isn't totally the case... but still.

I would baptize her anything but catholic... but I know that wouldn't work for anyone else but me.

I have told him my side and he feels its because I've had bad experiences with a few priests over the years... but truthfully haven't considered myself Catholic in years.

I have said if he wants to baptize her that he would have to arrange it all. I think that is fair. I just would want immediate family there... no big deal of it. Just get it done ans over with. I would be honest with any priest who would ask questions though. I don't think I should have to hide my feelings totally either.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 03:17 PM
Honestly the minute she is baptized I feel that she has had the choice taken away from her. I know this isn't totally the case... but still.

I would baptize her anything but catholic... but I know that wouldn't work for anyone else but me.

I have told him my side and he feels its because I've had bad experiences with a few priests over the years... but truthfully haven't considered myself Catholic in years.

I have said if he wants to baptize her that he would have to arrange it all. I think that is fair. I just would want immediate family there... no big deal of it. Just get it done ans over with. I would be honest with any priest who would ask questions though. I don't think I should have to hide my feelings totally either.
re: finding a middle ground
By Tansey Comments: 2367, member since Fri Mar 27, 2009
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 03:21 PM
I'm a lifelong Catholic, but at one point (before kids) I was questioning whether I would remain one. I'd married a man who was not Catholic and we were looking for something that felt comfortable to both of us. I spent time reading about various other religions and we attended services at their churches. For me, it clarified things. We agreed that I would remain Catholic and that our kids would be raised as Catholics, and they have been. As Kekoa suggested, you might find you're comfortable at a Unitarian Universalist, Lutheran, Episcopalian or some other kind of church. It would be great if you could get hubby to join you in this exploration. I know things vary from diocese to diocese, but I'm not sure any Catholic church is going to baptise T if you make clear that you are not comfortable with this. I've lived in 4 different parishes and in all of them the parents and the Godparents had to take preparation classes before the baby could be baptised Catholic. The parents also had to belong to the parish.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 03:25 PM
And I refuse to go to any prep classes. Im still a little bitter on the cash grab marriage prep classes.

I'm trying to get him to explore other churches. I am willing to do a dedication.

Again religion is so integrated with culture for them that its hard. But the more people that get on my case the more I'm going to snap.
re: finding a middle ground (karma: 2)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 09:34 AM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2013-03-14 10:26:47
I feel that she has had the choice taken away from her. I know this isn't totally the case... but still.


The crux of the matter seems to lie with this: the 'but still' part. Why are you holding on to this? Are you digging in because you wish to have control in the matter? Does the thought of acquiescing to his wish make you mad? If you really feel that you are doing her a true disservice then that is one thing, but if you are just holding on because you want your way or because it is not perfect, then you will not reach compromise.

When it comes to choice you can always say to her when she is older: As your parents we chose Catholicism for your childhood. As parents, it was our job to make many choices for you: medical ones, educational ones, spiritual ones. But now that you are older it is time for you to start to make these decisions for yourself. I believe that your daughter will appreciate that you took such good care of her in all areas as she was growing up and that also you will give her the freedom to live her own life. It is the perfect balance of love, care and trust. So I really don't see the conflict here except the one that you are creating.
re: finding a middle ground
By cthompson1474member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 306, member since Sat May 19, 2012
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 09:36 AM
Edited by cthompson1474 (249884) on 2013-03-14 09:38:14
Nevermind
re: finding a middle ground
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 03:43 PM
Unfortunately, getting baptized in the Catholic church is very different than other Christian denominations. You, in their eyes, are Catholic forever. You're included in their numbers. Getting them to excommunicate you is a huge ordeal. I have many friends who are no longer Catholic, either because they moved on to another denomination or left religion forever, and it is upsetting to them. I'm not saying that something like that should make or break a decision, but it's something to consider. I was baptized Lutheran and decided as a teen not to get confirmed, so I'm not counted among them.

I personally think LLD is more than generous in saying that her DH can take T to mass and can make all the arrangements to get her baptized by himself, but she won't participate.

cthompson1474 wrote:

Kekoa wrote:

Listen to your husband's side, and if you still feel so strongly, put your foot down.


I have to disagree with putting your foot down on such a serious matter. I think you have to find a compromise that works for both of you. If you put your foot down and dismiss your husbands real fears in regards to his child you could be setting him up to resent you down the line.


At the end of the day, compromise can't always be reached. With baptism, there is no compromise, it's done or it isn't. I feel that in cases like this, whoever has put the most time into forming their view and feels the strongest should "win."
re: finding a middle ground
By cthompson1474member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 306, member since Sat May 19, 2012
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 09:46 AM
Edited by cthompson1474 (249884) on 2013-03-14 09:50:09
d4j wrote:



When it comes to choice you can always say to her when she is older: As your parents we chose Catholicism for your childhood. As parents, it was our job to make many choices for you: medical ones, educational ones, spiritual ones. But now that you are older it is time for you to start to make these decisions for yourself.


Yes this! As long as you communicate constantly that there are different ways of doing things and living life she will know she has parental support to change her mind, and change it back even. I am catholic technically but growing up went to many different church activities. Mainly because I had friends at other churches and wanted to go to their youth activities. I grew up to believe that there is a higher power and that higher power wants us to live life in a good way and respect others. Even though I'm baptized my parents never shoved religion down my throat or insisted I believe a certain thing. I have never felt confined to Catholicism.

I think what bothers me is the winning and losing attitude. That's not a good approach to take in a relationship in my opinion. It should be a discussion and someone is going to have to give in more then the other but I don't think that should make them the "loser". It just turns the discussion into a fight. Hope that makes sense.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 09:52 AM
Edited by LlamaLlamaDuck (113868) on 2013-03-14 09:59:06
That's not always the case though... with the Portuguese religion is so integrated into culture its almost hard to make a separation.

All their festivals are religious in nature... I will attend but not the parades. They leave me feeling very uncomfortable.

I am not saying she can't be raised catholic... I would actually prefer her to go through the rcia because than she will be making her own educates decision.

I feel the choice was taken from me and I know I would have little to no support in choosing a religion for myself and I don't want that for my daughter.

I am by no means saying that religion cannot be a part of her life... but I am saying that I wouldlike her to be in control of what religion it is... not having that decision made for her.
re: finding a middle ground
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:23 AM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2013-03-14 10:24:48
Try to look at it this way: If your parents chose to place you in public school, even if you didn't learn anything there and did most of your learning on your own at home, all of your records would still permanently say that your were educated in such and such a school. You can't change that. You could say that choice was taken away from you. You didn't get to choose how you were educated. But you still know the truth.

It's the same with having the records in the church. Yes, I know that it irks you that you didn't choose for yourself. And someone somewhere still thinks you are Catholic because of it. But you know the truth. You get to decide who you are today.

I'm not trying to minimize your feelings about it but you did ask for help in finding a middle way. Telling your husband to go ahead and have her baptized if he does all the arrangements himself does not address at all your concerns about baptism. If anything it could extend the conflict. You need to address the root of the problem within yourself first before you can move forward.

So: If this is an issue that you won't change your mind over, then there is no compromise. And you have to face that and whatever that means for your relationship. But if you can find a way to live with knowing that decisions are made for children and yet they can still forge their own path (and you have yourself are proof of that), then you have a possibility to come to some kind of an agreement with your husband.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 04:35 PM
I'm bitter because I was sent to a catholic school. But anyways.

I'm not saying that he would have to do everything for the baptism himself... but at least initiate it.

Im almost at a point where if it would shut everyone up... and I don't have to hear about it anymore... I'll do it.

It won't leave me happy and will leave me resentful... but hey what does my opinion ever seem to matter anyways.

I just don't see why her getting baptized as a teen would be the end of the world.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:06 PM
I'm bitter because I was sent to a catholic school. But anyways.

I'm not saying that he would have to do everything for the baptism himself... but at least initiate it.

Im almost at a point where if it would shut everyone up... and I don't have to hear about it anymore... I'll do it.

It won't leave me happy and will leave me resentful... but hey what does my opinion ever seem to matter anyways.

I just don't see why her getting baptized as a teen would be the end of the world.
re: finding a middle ground
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:07 PM
I know they're very much about Catholicism, but have you checked out an Episcopalian church? They're, as I'm sure you know, "Catholic-Lite" or lapsed Catholics, as I call them. They seem to be a lot more chill than the run in the mill Roman Catholics. My best friend was born/baptized/raised Southern Baptist and is in the process of making the switch to the Episcopalian church, and based on what she's told me, they're very accepting, very laid back. I asked what the conversion process was like and she said there really isn't one. They accept her and her husband's baptisms through the SB church, even to the point of being allowed to take communion and all that jazz, whereas in the Catholic church, they wouldn't be allowed.

Regardless of what your husband's family says, Teresa is still your child and therefore you and husband make the rules. It's always sounded like his parents are the pushy ones and while husband cares, he doens't care nearly as much as his parents. As non-religious as I am, I can understand why baptisms are so important to some people. If you can appreciate that, get her baptized, but in a church that you're comfortable with. Even if it's not a Catholc baptism, it's still a baptism, and hopefully then your in-laws will take it down a couple of notches.

Either way, I agree with Keoka (jeez, I can't remember your name for the life of me. FAIL!), you need to get to the bottom of this religious debacle ASAP. It's been going on for way too long.
re: finding a middle ground (karma: 1)
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:12 PM
It is difficult for me to understand why you are so adamantly against having her baptized. I understand some of your reasoning.

You can only get baptized once. If you go through RCIA later in life and were baptized in another Christian church, then you don't get baptized again. You just go through the other sacraments.

When child is baptized, you are agreeing to the baptismal promises

DIRECTIONS

V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.
V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

They can choose whether or not to be confirmed later.


As a Catholic who likes being Catholic, I am not comfortable going to other Christian Churches. I don't think your husband would be either, since what you've said about it being more cultural. I believe you said in another thread that he doesn't regularly attend Mass? If he's not going to Mass, don't get her baptized.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:14 PM
I agree but like hell am I the one who is going to back down.

Its not necessarily the baptism thing ad it is specifically baptizing her catholic.... but there is little to chance of anyone else going for that.
re: finding a middle ground
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:20 PM
Well what is the point of asking for help to find middle ground if you aren't going to back down? Backing down doesn't mean losing. Or that your opinion doesn't matter. It's trying to find a way to make this work. ONE of you has to budge a little.
re: finding a middle ground
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3643, member since Sat Sep 20, 2003
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:22 PM
Have your husband pour water on her head next time he bathes her, make sure he says the "I baptize you in the name of the Father..." Spiel and done. It'll be a conditional baptism, but if his only reasoning is because he's worried about her going to hell then there ya go. If he puts up a fuss, then you'll know it's more than that. I'm assuming he feels family pressure to baptize her, and that the conditional baptism won't be good enough, but he might surprise you.

Like I've said before, if it's an issue at all then I would demand he truly demonstrate that he's serious by attending weekly mass consistently. If he doesn't, it just shows you that he's not all that serious about it and you can let it rest easy in your mind. If it comes up, all you have to say is "I'm still waiting on you to act like a Catholic before we baptize our daughter into the catholic Church" then the ball will remain in his court.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:31 PM
I think that is what bothers me is the fact that he isn't an active catholic. He will bring up some excuse about not being able to because of his shift.

If he went to mass every Sunday I might have less of an.issue with it.

I don't believe in the whole original sin thing.
re: finding a middle ground
By webstArmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3639, member since Wed Jan 15, 2003
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:33 PM
As a long-standing member of this site, I can say that I've followed the trials and tribulations of your relationship with your husband and his family and culture. At least those that you've shared with us on this site, which have been numerous.

This has been an issue for years. His family, his culture, his religion. All of it. And it baffles me that you are still just as stubborn now as you were years ago when many of us warned you that this wasn't going to change. You chose to marry him, his family, his culture and his religion and bring a child into it. This is the reality of your situation, and it blows my mind that you are still digging your heels in as much as you are.

If you'd like, I'll say it again: this isn't going to change. This is what the rest of your life is going to be like with your family (because his family is your family), and if you can't compromise (which I can't say I see that happening any time soon, and I'm not exactly sure what this "middle ground" you speak of is), this is going to keep coming up over and over again.

I just.. I just don't know what you want out of this situation.
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:43 PM
What I want is for him to also see.my side... I have done my research both ways.

If he can show that he wants to be an active Catholic I might actually be willing to have her baptized.

Other issues have been resolved... this is just the one that keeps looming.
re: finding a middle ground
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:47 AM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2013-03-14 11:50:07
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2013-03-14 11:50:51
Just because someone is culturally Catholic doesn't mean that they don't believe in at least in the religion's main tenets. I'm from a background that was culturally Catholic. We call it Catholic when hatched-matched-dispatched. Meaning you suddenly get very Catholic over the important big passages in life, birth/marriage/death. You wouldn't find my Dad at Mass ever, but when it came to the biggies there was no question about attendance. It sounds like your husband is like this. It doesn't mean that he is any less believing in the Sacrament of Baptism than if he went to Mass every week and I don't know why you are holding this sort of test of faith over him.
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