But onto what this post is actually about.
We talked for a while and I asked how her friend S (I am protecting the anynonimity of this person) is doing. S and her husband had a child recently (they don't read the blog). The Mrs. turns to me and said, "They're all doing fine," awkward pause, "and they invited us to the christening."
I was silent.
It may seem that I am at a loss for words sometimes. This would be an understandable, if incorrect, observation. What actually happens is that something has struck me soooo... what are the words?
There is a rush of sentences all jammed up at the bottleneck in my brain that leads to the speach center. It isn't that I having nothing to say. Oh no, I have lots to say. This logjam of language doesn't last long.
"That's great! We are going to have lots of fun!" I laughed the laugh of laughter.
Will looked up from his book, "Where are we going?"
"We're going to church!" My laughter slowed to a low chuckle. My wife gave me the behave look.
This is a good time to review my policy on PDR (Public Displays of Religion). There will be times that I know that I will have to show up in a church or synogogue and play nice. Take funerals for example, I'm not going to throw down with my Atheist smack talk at the priest or rabbi. At least I haven't had to yet. There was one time after a marriage ceremony that was officiated by a Catholic and Orthodox priest where I tried to start trouble. I was standing there with the two and I started up with, "So what's up with the Holy Spirit? Is it really the same substance as God the Father?" There was let's say conflict over this topic back in the day. Unfortunately the two didn't end up in a fist fight.
Meh. You win some, you lose some.
My thoughts about attending a christening (infant baptism for those of you not in the know) are very different than going to a funeral where a Sky Fairyist simply does the blah, blah, blah and here is why.
- I am going to agree with Richard Dawkins that raising a child up religious is abusive. Now, it isn't in the same category as when parents lockup their kids in closets for days, but it's still abuse. The parents are exposing their child to a variety of superstitious and immoral beliefs (anti gay marriage, anti birth control, supporting an institution that supports pedophiles, etc.).
- Infant baptism is an insult to reason. There, I said it. This is what the Catechism (Catholic rules and regs - click here for the mess about baptism) states about it, Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; ... for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one "can enter the kingdom of God. So let me get this straight, babies are baptized so that the original sin is washed away and if they don't they can't enter heaven (there is an ambiguous bit about trusting God with unbaptized babies, but I wouldn't trust that guy with a 5 day old roast beef and Swiss cheese sandwich on rye). Right, nice system you guys have there.
- I am not kneeling. No f*cking way. If you haven't been to a Catholic service there is kneeling involved. Kneeling is a way of showing deference to the Sky Fairy and his pedophile crew.
- I'm not lowering my head in prayer. Not doing it. I'm not preventing others from doing it. I just won't partake.
- None of the money from my household will be going into the Church's hands. They will probably pass the plate around at some point. That's fine. I'll just keep passing it.
- My children will not kneel either. As a parent I am a protector of their rights. I wouldn't be doing my job if I gave them the idea that it's OK to be submissive to an evil institution like the Catholic Church.
- I will not start any smack talk and I will instruct my kids not to either. We will keep silent about the religious ceremony itself.
But you knew that because...
we all live in Purgatory.