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← My quest to get de-baptised

My quest to get de-baptised - Comments

Andre Weststrate's Avatar Comment 1 by Andre Weststrate

I was planning to get myself de-baptised.... Doesn't look to hopeful.

Sun, 30 Mar 2008 23:09:00 UTC | #144680

Dr Doctor's Avatar Comment 2 by Dr Doctor

A great endeavour, which we could symbolise by the logo of a towel or a hairdryer.

Sun, 30 Mar 2008 23:18:00 UTC | #144681

sarah95's Avatar Comment 3 by sarah95

On the face of it the idea seems rather silly: de-baptising? It's not as though you need to physically un-do something. However, the fact that they could use your name to fluff up the statistics is a bit annoying. I may look into that with my old church. They're all rather nice people, and I'd hate to hassle them, but I think I might like to have my name removed IF it's used as a statistic for covering up their empty-pew syndrome. I don't want to hassle them, but I don't want them taking advantage of my sympathy to inflate their reputation either.

Sun, 30 Mar 2008 23:19:00 UTC | #144682

mmurray's Avatar Comment 4 by mmurray

More info here

http://www.secularism.org.uk/debaptism.html?CPID=f15cef8de0721f7ab3794095272ed352

Getting out of the Catholic Church seems fairly straightforward although it is not exactly the same thing as getting debaptized. Maybe the CofE's could convert to RC first ? I wonder if this is Tony Blair's master plan ?

Michael

Sun, 30 Mar 2008 23:29:00 UTC | #144684

YssiBoo's Avatar Comment 5 by YssiBoo

Are they really this difficult in the CoE? Here in Norway it is a straight-forward process to have ones name removed from the church records. (Although it has happened that people who were removed have been included again without consent.)

I think you should do your best to have your name removed from their records. It should be a basic freedom in any society to be able to choose which organisations one is a member of!

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 00:06:00 UTC | #144686

hmcook87's Avatar Comment 6 by hmcook87

I'm so glad my parents had the sense to let me make the decision on baptism. I can scarcely think of a more stupid idea than dunking a baby in water then simply declaring it a christian.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 00:21:00 UTC | #144691

dobiemum's Avatar Comment 7 by dobiemum

"why should my name be placed on the church's record and be used as a statistic to claim political and social influence?"

Why bother with the churches? It would be more effective to set up a separate list in the UK of those wishing to de-baptise themselves. The information would be in the public domain and could be used constructively to refute some of the statistics the church(es) spew out.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 00:56:00 UTC | #144701

fides_et_ratio's Avatar Comment 8 by fides_et_ratio

I blame the parents.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 01:10:00 UTC | #144703

SharrieG's Avatar Comment 9 by SharrieG

For those who are panicking about being included in official stats - I'm not sure that most churches use baptism figures in the stats (maybe CofE and RC do, I'm not sure). I know my own church conducts a census every few years which tots up the number of people who attend and wish to be considered as members of the church, and as far as I know, this is passed to the headquarters for official use.

Babies who were baptised might have their names on a list somewhere, but that's just kept as a record, it's not used for anything.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 01:16:00 UTC | #144705

mmurray's Avatar Comment 10 by mmurray

I blame the parents.


Except that the churches used to say children needed to be baptized, first communioned, confirmed etc or they wouldn't get to heaven if they died. And in the past children died a lot.

But don't worry I didn't baptize mine :-)

Michael

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 01:18:00 UTC | #144706

Wosret's Avatar Comment 11 by Wosret

I was never baptized. Yay me. I was never officially a member of any church or religion. My parents were baptized in "The world wide church of god" but they only baptized adults that consented to it, and was willing to go through with it. As they consider being baptized and then leaving their church to be a super big no-no.

I think I was like "blessed" or something when I was a baby, (which is creepy enough) but I was never baptized.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 01:39:00 UTC | #144714

LeeC's Avatar Comment 12 by LeeC

I've not baptized my son (2 1/2 years old) but the mother-in-law wants it done (however, being the other side of the globe works wonders in causing a delay)

The problem is, she is planning to get it done at her local church (CoE) the next time we are back to England. Since it isn't costing me any money I have not said no but if it helps in the stats on the religious I may have to put my foot down.

Maybe I will just tattoo 666 on the back of his head to scare the vicar.

Lee

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 02:02:00 UTC | #144719

eoinc's Avatar Comment 13 by eoinc

How does De-baptism work? Being baptised - for those of us who have been - is something which has already happened, and cannot be changed. If it happened, it happened. We may no longer be members of the religion into which we were baptised, but that's a seperate matter. Indeed, former Catholics (like me) who no longer attend mass or partake of the sacraments, have secured for ourselves an automatic excommunication, so de-baptism wouldn't be necessary anyway.

This sounds much more like an excuse to annoy some clerics.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 02:03:00 UTC | #144720

Tycho the Dog's Avatar Comment 14 by Tycho the Dog

It wouldn't be appropriate to remove anyone from the record of baptisms simply because it's a record of historical fact and you can't alter that. What you should be able to do is add youself to an 'I've left the church' list.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 02:04:00 UTC | #144721

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 15 by Quetzalcoatl

I wasn't aware that being baptised was something that actually got recorded and used in official stats. Might be wrong though.

I think I was baptised, but I'm not so worried about getting de-baptised, since the whole thing clearly didn't work to begin with!

Lee-

try teaching your son some Latin as well. That should freak the vicar out quite nicely.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 02:20:00 UTC | #144724

Colwyn Abernathy's Avatar Comment 16 by Colwyn Abernathy

My plan for de-baptism started to formulate when travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway.


HA! Reminds me of the time Henry Rollins told of taking the same trip...a week straight with the Angry Woman of the People's Hallway, The Voice, The People's Toilet, and examining his vomit up close and personal. Good times...

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 02:58:00 UTC | #144727

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 17 by hungarianelephant

AFAIK, it is correct that the CofE is obliged to maintain a record of baptisms and therefore can't delete records.

On top of that, there's a decision in Ireland that the (Catholic) church can't be told to delete the record anyway, since it's "essential to the administration of church affairs". In that case the church did offer to add a note that the person no longer wished to be associated with the church. Just rechecked and it is now on www.dataprotection.ie with the snappy title "Case Study 8".

This was probably because of a Spanish case where the court actually ordered the church to add such a note. Sorry, can't find that reference.

Data protection law is pretty much the same througout the EU and you'd expect similar results. So if you really care about this stuff, you should probably write to the church you were baptised in and ask them to update their records.

Bizarrely, the CofE isn't considered a government body under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. So if you want to get information it holds about you, you'll have to pay your £10 under the Data Protection Act.

LeeC's approach sounds more fun, as long as you're confident that there's no male pattern baldness in your family. So I'm screwed.

Edit: Hey, Josh, we might all be a bit backwards over here, but don't you know that RD is British AND still used pounds sterling? How's about a little htmlentities() for us limeys?

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 03:01:00 UTC | #144729

Alrischa's Avatar Comment 18 by Alrischa

Although I wish you luck, I don't really understand the practical need to be 'de-baptised'. It doesn't really matter if I'm still a statistic on the 'Successfully Indoctrinated' list (I was a 'Christian' once, but I never bought it anyhow. I didn't voice my opinions, so who knows?). Besides, if they ever try to use the statistics to their advantage, we can always say 'ad populum'.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 03:33:00 UTC | #144731

old-toy-boy's Avatar Comment 19 by old-toy-boy

Comment #152409 by hmcook87
I can scarcely think of a more stupid idea than dunking a baby in water then simply declaring it a christian.



Er, how about having one's foreskin cut or bitten off by an aids infected Rabbi?

On the other hand why bother de-baptizing? why not simply have a 'dont know, dont care attitude?'

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 03:46:00 UTC | #144734

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 20 by Matt H.

I was baptised as a baby into the Church of England. That's just a fact of life. I can't pretend it didn't happen by trying to remove all historical records of it. That would just be silly.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 03:50:00 UTC | #144736

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 21 by rod-the-farmer

This reminds me of the 1858 case of Edgardo Mortara, the jewish boy who was "baptised" by a catholic servant girl, when his parents were away and he took ill. The servant girl was afraid he would die and go to hell, as he had not been baptised. The baptism was reported to the RC authorities, who took the boy away from his parents, as it was illegal in the Papal States for jews to have catholic children, not even their own. We have progressed some in the intervening years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgardo_Mortara

I too did not want our son baptised, and refused to attend, but did not prevent my wife from doing it. Our son is now an atheist.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 04:07:00 UTC | #144739

Valiant's Avatar Comment 22 by Valiant

I'm not sure there is such a record in the protestant church. But probably there is, might be interesting to see if it can be removed. But that doesn't change the fact that I was baptised I suppose.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 04:15:00 UTC | #144741

mmurray's Avatar Comment 23 by mmurray

While we are on the topic a little light hearted poetry:

http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

For background Australian priests were Irish Catholic and not unknown to take the odd drop of alcoholic beverage. They were in short supply when you lived a long way from anywhere and outback Australia was definitely a long way from anywhere when this was written in 1893. I have heard stories of marriage ceremonies held well after cohabitation started due to the difficulties in finding a priest.

Michael

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 04:16:00 UTC | #144742

petengeth's Avatar Comment 24 by petengeth

The person who baptised me was my father, he is now a very out and loud atheist.
I saw the darkness before him, but if religion, god and baptism are all a load of mumbo jumbo, why dignify it with getting unbaptised.
It is totally meaningless, and unlike having bits of you cut off, nothing to really get worked up about.
Gethin

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 04:24:00 UTC | #144744

mmurray's Avatar Comment 25 by mmurray

I was baptised as a baby into the Church of England. That's just a fact of life. I can't pretend it didn't happen by trying to remove all historical records of it. That would just be silly.


But they could offer an Unbaptism and the historical record could show Baptised on date xxx, Unbaptised on date yyy. It would be no different to Married on date xxx and Divorced on date yyy.

And continuing with the marriage example the Catholic Church offers marriage annulment (as they don't allow divorce). An annulled marriage is regarded as having never happened. So why not annul a baptism and it never happened. It's all mumbo-jumbo so they can do anything if they want to.

Michael

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 04:31:00 UTC | #144746

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 26 by Peacebeuponme

Matt7895

I was baptised as a baby into the Church of England. That's just a fact of life. I can't pretend it didn't happen by trying to remove all historical records of it. That would just be silly.
I tend to agree, except that the church would be underhand of they still counted you amongst their statistics as a believer as a result. There is also a data protection issue.

It is only a bit water being splashed on your head, so no need worry about "unbaptising" yourself.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 04:47:00 UTC | #144751

mmurray's Avatar Comment 27 by mmurray

Actually the more I think about this the more I think a campaign for the right to be unbaptised would be a good thing. It would highlight the fact that baptism is being performed mostly on children who cannot give informed consent and link into the `consciousness raising' about `catholic children' etc that Richard is keen on. It could be coupled to a campaign to make an addition to the UN convention of human rights which gives children the right not to be made a member of a religion until they are adult and can make an informed choice. It would be interesting to hear the argument against. There was a recent debate with Richard in it which got onto this topic and I thought the Islamic guy was at his scariest when he talked about his right to raise his children in his religion.

I am sure we would lose the first few times we tried but that doesn't make it a bad idea to try.

Michael

PS: There is a thread in the forums about whether or not you should baptise your children here.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 05:09:00 UTC | #144761

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 28 by Peacebeuponme

mmurray

Actually the more I think about this the more I think a campaign for the right to be unbaptised would be a good thing. It would highlight the fact that baptism is being performed mostly on children who cannot give informed consent and link into the `consciousness raising' about `catholic children' etc that Richard is keen on.
I'm not sure I'd go along with that. Its just a splash of water on the head. There are many things parents do the infants cannot give informed consent to. I think we should limit state intervention to cases where harm can be done.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 05:19:00 UTC | #144763

ACJames's Avatar Comment 29 by ACJames

I'd say you're de-Baptized the moment you realize you dont need to be de-Baptized.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 05:33:00 UTC | #144770

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 30 by al-rawandi

Well he may have a better time than a Jew trying to get de-circumcised.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 05:39:00 UTC | #144772