I think being ‘forced’ to be raised as a Christian or any other faith is wrong. I like the idea of ‘naming ceremonies’ so the child can choose whether it wants to follow a religion or not. I would respect the child’s wishes.
One of my relatives is a Catholic and already, the baby is going to have a christening because ‘it is tradition’. This totally disrespects his own future beliefs. I would actually say that the Christian faith is so dominant, that even the atheist father has ‘no say’ either. I would add that he is not too happy either, but ‘is going along’ to keep the peace.
The baby has godparents too, but they appear to be Church of England and not Churchgoers, unless, of course, there is a wedding, christening and funeral.I don’t think they could even find Catholics!
I am not attending the Christening as it is a religious ceremony and it goes against my own values, but I am getting them a nice present which has no religious meaning, but is thoughtful. The parents are ok about that, as ‘they know what I am like’. Going would also be ‘feeding this culture’ of forced religion.
I was brought up in an atheist and Christian household. I was lucky to have one atheist in my family rather than two true believer Christians. However, I was very much ‘verbally, physically and spiritually abused’ if I did not go to Sunday School by one parent. I was forced to go to a Christian school, one being a Convent too. I had no say. I was an atheist throughout my whole life and remember saying so in childhood.
When the nuns asked me if I would like to be confirmed, I said ‘No’. This gave me a feeling of triumph. I was well aware they had previously used the cane too and I have seen abuse in the Convent by some teachers. They had lower values to me. I have other experiences of the faith too, mostly negative. However, I thought that was the first time I was heard, and that was actually in a bloody Convent. I did have a lot of respect for some sisters, like Sister Bernadette, but not for the other ones. She used to show us secret war-time tunnels in the Convent Chapel, and I loved that, but not her religion, although I thought some rituals were ‘cool’.
Choosing to be follow a religion, should not be taken lightly, particularly with Catholicism, with its outdated rules, and also as so many priests have abused children. This is now a worry to me as a friend was abused by someone in the Church of England. He hasn’t gone to the police yet though. I will have to keep an eye on the child’s safety, from a distance.
Come on parents, let the child choose whether it wants to follow a religion or not. Give them a Naming Ceremony. Otherwise it is a form of abuse, and the child won’t have respect for you.