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

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)

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