Forum: Arts / Religion

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re: finding a middle ground
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3627, member since Fri Oct 10, 2008
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:56 PM
LlamaLlamaDuck wrote:

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

LlamaLlamaDuck wrote:

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.

People approach religion, even the same religion, in different ways. You obviously feel that to get something out of a religion you should practice it personally. Your husband has more the feeling that if a ritual is performed on behalf of his daughter she will be protected and without it she is in danger. Logical or illogical, that's the way he feels.

Personally, I think the baptism would make him happy and would not affect the child one way or another at this age. This is actually an opportunity for negotiation! Since you do not want religion shoved down her throat, think ahead to when she is older. Will your husband and other relatives promote their views relentlessly while you have nothing competing to offer? I suggest that you take her to other churches, synagogues, meeting houses, etc. Let her explore Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. plus secular philosophies. Negotiate an agreement that if this baptism is done now that when she is older there will be no problem having her go with you to gatherings where she will experience competing views.
re: finding a middle ground (karma: 2)
By Niennamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6776, member since Fri Oct 07, 2005
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 05:57 PM
I don't have a comment on the situation beyond to share my own experience, which may or may not be useful to you. My parents, especially my mother, are orthodox Catholics. I was baptized as a baby, took communion, and but managed to worm my way out of confirmation. If I'm home, I go to church with my mom to keep her happy.

For myself, I'm not a Catholic, and the Catholic church and I have no ties. I am going to start going to a Unitarian Universalist church because I do believe in spirituality and deeper connections to the universe, but I don't follow the ideas of any one religion, choosing mostly to lead my spiritual life by what makes sense to me and brings me peace. I have no intention of being married by a Catholic priest.

I often wonder if I would get my own child baptized to keep my family happy, but honestly, it's enough of NOT a big deal to me that I think I would. Symbolism is only worth what faith you put into it. If it makes my mom sleep better to know that her grandchild won't go to the evil place she believes in, and to me, it's just a somewhat irritating morning of having to put my baby in white itchy clothes, keep him/her quiet and poor water on her head, than so be it.

I don't know if that's sacreligious or not. I respect people and their faiths. I don't hold a lot of respect for the Catholic church as an institution, but have met many Catholics including my parents who are open and accepting.

My point is, you have no idea how Theresa might take it. She may just staunchly refuse to go to church once she turns a certain age, she may find a lot of peace in being a devout Catholic her whole life, she may become an athiest, a pagan, a Buddhist, or some mix of all. I was baptized and took communion, and honestly, it doesn't mean very much to me now. I got to wear a pretty dress both times, I choked and coughed for a long time when I took communion, I remember liking the taste of the wine. As I got older, I realized my faith wasn't bringing me any peace and sought out books and classes on other religions. I haven't solidified my spirituality, but I love learning more and applying waht feels good.

When I go to church now, I listen respectively and don't partake in communion or sing certain hymns. It's mostly out of respect to the people of real faith who are there.

This is getting long, but it boils down to, I went through all the ceremony and I respect practicing Catholics who find peace in their faith and don't use it to try and keep certain rights from other people, but I don't consider myself Catholic. I don't feel like I'm irrevocably tied to the Catholic church, and I'm, I think, a pretty spiritually mature person now who enjoys self-educating and taking classes on other religions. My best friends are a Jewish girl and a gay Episcopalian in divinity school, for crying out loud! :P
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 06:14 PM
Here is the compromise that I can come to.

1) He has to go to mass every week for the next 6 months and actually be an active member of the church
2) should Teresa say at any point she doesn't want to make a sacrement or want to go to mass, there is no fight
3) she will be exposed to other religions, meaning that I will take her to other churches... should she decide that one of those churches is more in line with how she believes than so be it.
4) at no point will religion ever be forced on her. If she wants nothing to do with any of it that is fine. Nor will it ever be shoved down my throat.
5)I will not have a huge role in raising her catholic, and I will be under no obligation to attend mass unless someone is dead or getting married, or she choses to make her sacrements.
6) which has already been decided... she attends a public school.
7) he at the very least has to initiate the baptism... meaning he needs to call the church and book something. I will go along for the ride.

If all these stipulations can be made, than I'm less unwilling to have her baptized. I can't say that I will ever be happy about it because that is not going to happen, but I will go along with it.

It bothers me that with the catholic church that once you are baptized you are always considered catholic. I know that sounds silly... but it bothers me that the church still considers me a member even though I don't consider myself one.
re: finding a middle ground
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Thu Mar 14, 2013 07:19 PM
Llama, I have a Aunt and Uncle who have had this same problem (minus the cultural thing)...I would like to share with you, but not out in the open. If you want to hear about it and what happened (or what didn't happen), please PM me.
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 07:21 PM
I was under the impression, at least from my own family, that Catholics were required to go to mass each week unless there was some sort of extenuating circumstance (illness, emergency, etc) in order to remain a member in good standing. I mean, they're not going to kick you out for being a cafeteria catholic or going twice a year, but I thought it was the rule.

Talk to your DH. Find something that works. I don't think your requests are unreasonable (that he actually follow the guidelines of the faith he claims to practice before involving your child), but he might.
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 07:43 PM
Religion is just one of those anomalies. As I said, I am more or less completely non-religious as this point in my life. However, I was raised by a very religious parent in a very religious neighborhood. It really could almost be considered a cult. And as much as my upbringing has completely turned me off to religion, there are still certain things that I see myself doing when I have kids of my own. I don't know if I will do them out of respect for my mother, based on my own value for traditions, or because I grew up with them, and since they're not oppressive values, my offspring should experience them too. I just don't know at this point. But if my future spouse was to question my decisions and call me out on being non-religious as a way to keep me from passing on the few traditions/values I feel strongly about, I'd be pissed off.

I think too many people base religion off of the physical things, like, how many times you go to church per month, when really I think it should be about each person's relationship with God and their quest to become a better (read: humble, moral, ethical, compassionate, giving, etc) person based on religious/biblical teachings. I haven't been to services in about 2 years, which is the longest I've ever gone thus far in my life. But if I had a baby next year and I wanted to have a traditional naming ceremony, gosh dangit I will!

Sometimes you just can't question every aspect of life and you just need to go with the flow.
re: finding a middle ground
By Dancing_EMTmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3466, member since Wed Dec 08, 2004
On Fri Mar 15, 2013 03:51 AM
I'm just curious, what was his opinion on all this before you guys got married and had her? If it was different, why the sudden change? Is he unable to stand up to his parents?

Even though we don't want kids, we still talked about parenting, religion, etc. "just in case".

Also, say she did get baptized Catholic, what would happen if her future partner was Jewish, Wiccan, Buddhist, etc and her partner did not want to convert and they wanted an inter-faith wedding? How would your families take that?

Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer to this. I see both of your points, but at the end of the day YOU BOTH are her parents, so no one else's opinion should matter. If the in-laws want her baptized so bad, why don't THEY do all the leg work?
re: finding a middle ground
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Fri Mar 15, 2013 08:04 PM
He wasn't as pushy with it before we got married. He knew full well my feelings towards it before we had kids and got married.

I think my stipulations are fair and I don't think I'm asking too much... apparently he made a "promise" that he was going to bring her to church... so what is stopping him from going. I'm sure as hell not dealing with a 2 1/2 year old bored out of her mind at church... and none of our catholic churches around here have anything for the kids other than a cry room.

Its hard because with this there is no full on compromise, and basically someone has to give in either way. I'm sick and tired of spending my life being a door mat.

I don't know if I ever can go back to the catholic church. I've never gotten anything out of going to mass except boredom and sore knees. I keep hoping that someday I might have that aha moment... but it has yet to happen.

I'm looking for a nice liberal church with a bit less of a rigid service. Something more casual. More community oriented... and less focused on themselves. but again the minute that I say that there is going to be resistance all around.
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