Childrearing

1 In 5 Americans Has No Religious Affiliation So Stop Asking Me When I’ll Baptize My Son

By  | 

With new data from Pew Research Center showing one-fifth of Americans claim no religious affiliation whatsoever – I don’t feel so bad about not baptizing my son.  I just wonder if this new data indicates that people will stop asking me when I plan on doing it.

I wouldn’t call myself an atheist, but I wouldn’t call myself particularly religious either.  I don’t go to church, I don’t pray before meals, and I’ve never really spoken to any of my friends about organized religion.  Which is why I was pretty surprised when many if my friends started asking me if I would baptize my son after he was born.  I was even more surprised to find out that many of these friends had baptized their own children.

I don’t have a lot of religious friends.  I know almost no one who even attends the special occasion church services – like Easter and Christmas.  Still, many of these same people are baptizing their children. I’m not judging anyone for wanting to baptize a child. I just think it is a little odd to go through such an intricate, meaningful ceremony if you aren’t personally invested in the church and what it preaches.

To some extent, I get it.  I gave my son the Varicella vaccine even though I read that you often need boosters and it doesn’t totally guarantee that your child won’t get chicken pox.  I did it just in case.  Maybe that’s where all these questions are coming from.  Just in case there’s hell, are you baptizing your child? We did!

 A few months after he was born, my mother basically planned his baptism, down to choosing his godparents.  It was then that I realized I had a stance on the whole thing.  It was no.  No, I will not be baptizing my child just because it is the norm.  Maybe now that religious affiliation in this country is shifting, there will be a new norm; one that will stop assuming that everyone has to perform intricate religious ceremonies just in case.

(photo: Martin Kucera/ Shutterstock)