Bit of a dilemma - advice appreciated

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bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Bit of a dilemma - advice appreciated

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:04 am

Ygern wrote:The thing that confuses me, and this is to those of you who think that for the sake of being nice you would become godparents, is do you have any idea what the Catholic baptism ceremony requires godparents to do?

As an atheist you are automatically disqualified in the first place, the priest is supposed to refuse you if he knows about it. Let's assume he doesn't know any better, and lets it go ahead. At some part of the service you will be expected to participate in this:
Celebrant: Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: 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?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: 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?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.
It's not a matter of just showing for face and smiling. You are going to have to lie in public and profess to believe in a whole lot of stupid stuff. How is that good for you or your family? Why on earth would you do it?

Why not rather try to find a new way of being there for your friend or family's child, something that has real value and meaning to all parties involved.

I was only 16 when I went through it. Thinking back I did feel a bit violated. It was one way that the church was still able to exercise control over me through my family, despite being a vocal atheist at the time. It was also on a backdrop of my mother refusing to accept I was an atheist. Apparently I was 'legally catholic'. These days I tend to take a much stronger stance. If I am dragged into a church I refuse to participate at any level. It therefore would be hypocritical of me to participate in something like this other than as an extra body sitting at the back fo the church who refuses to put money in the basket.

On the other hand, my god son is now an atheist, I'd like to think, thanks in part to my influence.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
HarryO'Criosna
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Re: Bit of a dilemma - advice appreciated

Post by HarryO'Criosna » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:19 am

Ygern wrote:...what the Catholic baptism ceremony requires godparents to do?
...you will be expected to participate in this:
all the god stuff deleted
You are going to have to lie in public and profess to believe in a whole lot of stupid stuff.
These are the bits I was struggling with. I've no problem being a passive (non)participant at a wedding or whatever, and its always amusing to see how few of the supposed catholics know when to stand/kneel/etc., but the actual standing there telling a big load of lies was the problem.
Lying is a sin you know, especially in a church! :)
Its all been taken out of my hands anyway, which is fine by me...
Also could anyone point me towards the "glamour of evil"? It always sounded worth exploring.
Gar
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Re: Bit of a dilemma - advice appreciated

Post by Gar » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:46 pm

Ygern wrote:The thing that confuses me, and this is to those of you who think that for the sake of being nice you would become godparents, is do you have any idea what the Catholic baptism ceremony requires godparents to do?

As an atheist you are automatically disqualified in the first place, the priest is supposed to refuse you if he knows about it. Let's assume he doesn't know any better, and lets it go ahead. At some part of the service you will be expected to participate in this:
Celebrant: Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: 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?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: 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?
Parents and godparents: I do.
Celebrant: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.
I did it for my brother but didn't realise that I was going to have to say I do to all those "clauses" so I said "I don't" quietly to myself instead. I even felt the need to apologise to my niece afterwards and got a bit emotional as I felt like I'd betrayed her in some way. I was pretty pissed off at my brother over it afterwards because he had given me the impression that I wouldn't have to say anything other than to promise to raise the child catholic if anything happened to them, which I would do because it's not my child and I think I should respect the wishes of my brother in that regard even if he could not be more wrong.

I found the whole experience really disturbing and sickening, I definitely wouldn't do it again.
Ygern
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Re: Bit of a dilemma - advice appreciated

Post by Ygern » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:35 am

I have nothing but sympathy for people who are forced to participate against their will. I was confirmed against my will - I did not want to go through with it, I had already at that young age decided that I disliked the church and was highly sceptical about the existence of god. I didn't really have a choice though, and no-one supported me. I hope I make them proud today :)

I also understand that people want to show support for loved ones even when they don't necessarily share their beliefs.

However I think we all have a great opportunity to point out that godparenting is not the same thing as showing goodwill & your face at a wedding. My sister understood when I refused. I wasn't confrontational or angry about it, I even went with her to the baptism ceremony. Perhaps we could come up with a rough idea of an alternative to being a Catholic godparent - something else to discuss with friends & family. This is a situation that the majority of atheists in this country will be confronted with at some stage in their lives.

We ought to be able to participate in the lives of our dearest friends and family and the lives of their children without resorting to pretend piety. And quite honestly I think that most people are not looking for a holy-joe to indoctrinate their children in the One True Faith when they ask you to be a godparent. They just want someone they love to participate in the lives of their child.

They might be more ready to hear your alternative suggestions than we give them credit for.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
Feardorcha
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Re: Bit of a dilemma - advice appreciated

Post by Feardorcha » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:05 pm

Alternative suggestion: offer to be the child's guardian.
We (herself and meself) asked our friends to be guardians of our children in the event of us dying at the same time (if our private jet crashed on landing at our holiday island in the Caribbean for example).

The phrase in each of our wills is:
"If (herself/himself) does not survive me and should any child or children of mine be under age at the date of my death then I appoint (name) of (address) to be the guardian of such child or children."

The guardian is also appointed a trustee with control of my vast wealth.
Needless to say the guardian is an atheist and we also made the guardian and another atheist friend our executors and trustees.

The effect of this was remarkable: our kids' 'atheist-parents' have taken their responsiblities very seriously and have become the best 'aunts and uncles' the kids could have wished for - never forget birthdays or Christmas (presents are always about Darwin or science or some such educational stuff) and there is a running joke whenever we go out (very seldom) to drive carefully or they (the kids) will be off like a shot to (name of guardian) with the mortgage money. Also, there was a very positive bonding between us and our atheist friends. They were flattered and honoured by being entrusted with the job of rearing our non-religious kids and our few remaining churchgoing relatives were given a firm pointer that any mumbo-jumbo is firmly and legally out of the question.

It is also the source of much dark humour among us. If I am doing something reckless (it happens) with my friend I can say "one slip and you have to rear my kids" or my daughter has decided that when (not if) her parents die, she will easily get around her 'atheist-aunt' for money to go to Australia by saying that she's going to the Galapagos.

C'est la vie
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