Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


BAPTISM CANNOT MAKE A BABY A CATHOLIC

FIRSTLY...

The Roman Catholic Church claims that sprinkling water on a baby or an adult while saying, "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" does amazing things. It takes away the sin we are born with, original sin, and any other sins and grafts us on to Jesus making us his servants. It puts Jesus and God inside us to live in us and inspire us. The Church says that baptism heals the inclination towards sin that original sin causes. Baptism is a sacrament. It pictures cleansing from sin and the effects of sin and actually does what it pictures.

Jesus supposedly implied all that when he told Nicodemus in John 3 that a man must be born of water and the spirit or there will be no salvation with God for all eternity in glory.  But Jesus was clear that the Holy Spirit gives this birth and is like the wind.  You don't know he said where it blows or acts but just see the results.  The text does not make you confident that if baptism is meant that it will work.  God decides that.  So you can be baptised and no better than if you were not.  God will not be channelled or controlled or confined to sacraments.

The Catholic Church counts baptised babies as members of the Catholic Church. Baptism, according to Catholic doctrine, is supposed to make you a Christian and a Catholic. We argue that this is only pretend membership. Church membership conferred by infant baptism is invalid.

Even if baptism could make you a Catholic, it cannot make you Catholic as in believer.  Nobody considers an Anglican a Roman Catholic for believing more Catholic doctrine than a professed Catholic.  Catholic summarises different ways of being Catholic.  It covers living as a Catholic, believing as a Catholic, going through the rites a Catholic needs, confessing the Catholic faith etc.  Though people deserve respect for what they believe sincerely a problem arises: is it really their belief or are they conditioned?  An idea is not truly accepted if you are programmed to accept it.  Conditioning means it is not your belief but somebody else's at best.
 
God could decree that the baptised infant will be treated as a member of the Church if he or she dies. There is no need for membership to be conferred. It would be okay if baptism were understood as only conferring not actual but potential membership. In the light of that, it is unfair to class a baptised baby as a Catholic.

As baptism removes sin, it is supposed to unite your soul with God. Thus you belong to him and he to you. There are no rights without responsibilities. Baptism lays religious responsibilities on you. You must obey what God teaches through scripture and the Church. Baptism is based on scripture and Church authority. So to get baptised implies acceptance of their authority and veracity. Baptism is an oath. God and his people have taken an oath based on, "You will be my people and I will be your God". It is a two-way oath. The Church requires an oath of commitment from baptised babies before they know to what they are committing. That is outrageous...
 
It is hard to label many people who claim to be Catholic. The Unitarians sometimes say, "Its okay for me to say I'm Christian as long as in the next breath I say I am other things too. I'm a Jew and Muslim and an Agnostic." They mean that part of you will fit Christianity and part of you will fit Judaism. The point is that as its hard to put labels on adults that REALLY describe them how can you put labels on babies?
 
The baby is not a Catholic. Whether its baptised once or forty times a week its still not a Catholic. If anything, babies and young children are the best secularists there is. They are not interested in doing what a God or religion wants but what they want as human beings.

A religion is a community. Belief causes real membership of the community for it defines a community. You have to agree with the doctrines in order to belong to the community. If belief does not matter, then somebody who believes in Islam not Catholicism can still be a real Catholic and should have the right to be bishop or pope. The defence of the belief by theologians and apologists is also about defence of the community. What happens is, if you depart far enough from the faith the Church will not regard you as a member. If you believe nearly all what you are supposed to believe, and have some deviations the Church will regard you as a heretic and disciplinarily action may be applied.
 
If baptism marks your baby as belonging to the Church, that does not necessarily mean he is a member of the Church. Belonging only means that you have a duty to be a member not that you are a member. But conferring the duty is unfair. Conferring the membership is worse. And that is what the Catholic Church does with baptism!
 
Becoming a Catholic is said to be more important than becoming a priest or getting married and your consent is needed for the latter. But to say that is to imply it must be needed for the former too. Therefore Church law contradicts itself by saying your consent is not needed to make you a Catholic when you are a baby. The law then is invalid. The consent law conflicts with other canons.
 
BAPTISM ALLEGEDLY MAKES BABY MEMBER OF CHURCH
 
When there is a mixed marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant some ask, "Could the children not be baptised into both Churches?" The Church replies, "Baptism is the great Sacrament common to almost all Christians. When a person is baptised he or she enters into a certain unity with all those who are baptised. Baptism, however, does not simply mean becoming an "unattached" Christian; it marks one's entry into the life, faith and worship of a particular Christian communion which, in turn, takes up the responsibility to initiate the new Christian into its life and traditions. A joint celebration of Baptism, or even the registration of the Baptism in both Churches, would, therefore, be a source of confusion. It would, in any event, simply postpone a problem which must be faced when the questions of schooling, First Communion, and so on, arise. To attempt to have two baptismal ceremonies would be entirely wrong. It would imply a refusal to recognise that Baptism, in whatever denomination it is properly celebrated, is the sacramental bond of unity among all who receive it. It would suggest that Baptism in one Church somehow needed to be "completed" in another" (page 16, Preparing for a Mixed Marriage, Irish Episcopal Conference, Veritas, Dublin, 1984).  This shows that baptism seeks to confer an obligation on the child to be an active part of the religious organisation baptising it, to believe what it believes, to give it money for its upkeep, to promote what it promotes and to worship in accordance to how it worships.
 
You may say a child can be a member of a particular race and so he or she can be a member of a particular religion. But the two are not the same. You can be a member of any race without being a member of any society. You can have a white recluse or a black or whatever one. But you can't become a religionist without joining some society. You can't exist or be human without being of some race. But you can exist and be human without being a member of any religion or group.
 
Religion is divisive. It puts up barriers. No decent parent would want to make their child a part of all that. Baptism when valid according to Catholicism, gives the right to take communion. It is hideous how the Church may invite baptised and unbaptised schoolchildren to Mass and even to Lourdes and distribute communion only to the baptised! What kind of message does that give out? Take a stand for equality and do not get your baby baptised.
 
When parents don't believe or are doubtful about the claims of religion, they must ask themselves what they are having the child baptised for. Even if they don't believe, they are getting the child classed with a religion and that is bad enough. But it is very bad if you live in an area where Protestants and Catholics for example hate each other and engaged in violence against each other. If the child is injured, many secularists would say that you must take some responsibility for that. It certainly was a cause! It is sickening to think of priests baptising babies as Catholics in parts of Northern Ireland.
 
It is complete arrogance to suppose that if you baptise a child that the child will be a Catholic for all eternity whether he or she grows up to believe in Catholicism or not. It is a bigoted supposition and can only lead to bigotry. It implies that being baptised a Catholic is like some kind of default. It implies that being anything else means nothing and is somehow bad.
 
The Church says that Adam was our representative when he said his "No" to God. Why does God let us suffer for Adam's sin? For the same reason that if you declare war on a king, you declare it on his citizens even the babies. Baptism takes away the hostility between God and the baby. It follows then that the baby can be represented by parents and the nation. In baptism, it is represented by the Church. When the Church teaches its foolishness and harmful morals, the baby is made complicit in this by baptism. If God comes first, it follows that the Church is the dominant representative. And its above the state or nation. And above the parents. Baptism then tries to give the baby a form of responsibility when the Vicar of Christ, the pope, goes to Africa and urges women to prefer catching AIDS to using condoms. You could not make your baby an enabler of evil and error and superstition.
 
Our infant baptism did not make us members of the Church though our parents and godparents consented on our behalf that we would be made Catholics by the ritual.
 
If the church and state can annul marriages - that is, decide that no legal marriage took place - that is making it law that people must know what they are doing in order to make a legally binding decision. Children cannot do this.
 
Consent made by a baby to become Catholic is invalid because the baby can't make choices.
 
The claims of Catholicism are so huge that each person needs evidence of exceptional quality to really be able to become a member of the Church.
 
The consent would be invalid even if the child were grown up for the Church manipulates the evidence so that people do not become Catholics by making an informed decision. A person who converts to their perception of Catholicism is not converting to Catholicism. Same with a person who "confirms" their affiliation.
 
Laws are intended to compel people. Nobody wants a religion forced on them so the consent to become Catholic or remain Catholic is invalid. It is true that Canon Law doles out non-punishments and laughable "penalties" so it is a laughing stock not a law. But still, in claiming to be law, it is saying that forcing a person to live as a Catholic and to believe is okay.
 
The Church says that you get baptised into Catholicism. It makes more sense to say a person is baptised into Christianity but not necessarily Catholicism.
 
Infant baptism is exploitation. The Church responds that the sacrament is such a great gift that it is not exploitation. It says you donít ask a child if you can give her all your money should you die. You just give.
 
Catholic parents are encouraged to bring their child for baptism. But the Church keeps many dark and sinister doctrines from them. It is manipulative to have people entering their child into a religion without telling them the whole truth. It is foolish to trust the Church and its clergy.
 
CATHOLIC MARRIAGE LAW PROVES BAPTISMAL INITIATION IS A SHAM
 
Baptism religiously speaking is a more important step than marriage. Yet if a child weds the wedding will be considered to be invalid because the child didn't fully understand what she or he was doing. So how can we recognise a baptism if the child chooses to be baptised without fully understanding it? Religious people will feel uncomfortable at the thought of a child validly choosing baptism so why do they feel okay about a baby being baptised? Christian teaching regards the enforced baptism of a child from seven upwards as invalid. "If an adult lack the intention of receiving the sacrament, he must be rebaptized. But if there be doubt about this, the form to be used should be: "If thou art not baptized, I baptize thee." See Summa, Question 68, Article 7. Whether the intention of receiving the sacrament of Baptism is required on the part of the one baptized?
 
The claim that the baby is not forced into God's kingdom for it cannot care one way or the other is strange in the light of the Christian doctrine of original sin that we all have an innate opposition to God that we must fight all our lives.
 
It is hideous to say that God's grace is needed to get you into Heaven and this grace corrects the moral and spiritual defects in you and that receptivity to grace is administered to babies in baptism. This is clearly forced conversion where the child is anti-God by default and then forced to be receptive by baptism. The implication is that the force is justifiable for the baby is so bad.
 
Religionists often say they get their babies baptised but will not force the religion on the child though they will try and influence the child to live up to the baptism and believe what baptism obligates the child to believe. If they are really concerned about treating the child fairly, if they really believe the child should decide when old enough, then it must be wrong to impose a religion on that child to give that child the bother of perhaps renouncing the religion later on! They claim that baptism confers an obligation on the child to believe and obey the faith that baptises it. They are making out that if a child rejects the baptism or church membership that the child is letting them down and breaking loyalty and has no sense of duty to the faith. They are urging the child to live up to the baptism on pain of sin and everlasting torment in Hell. In other words, they are acting like spiritual bullies. They are bigoted.
 
The law in many countries allows transgender people to legally change the gender stated on their birth certificate to the gender they believe themselves to be. Clearly there is a right to have your baptism to be declared to be a farce. One must be allowed to have it declared invalid and not a true baptism. Transgender people have the right to change birth certificates so we have the right to have baptismal certificates declared useless. We have a right to declare that we were never validly baptised and were never made true Catholics.
 
You can be validly initiated into a political group against your will - but only in a legal sense. This initiation is only a social or legal construct. It is not a true initiation unless your heart is in it. It is just like we have to legally pretend that a marriage still exists when the husband and wife hate each other. When they get a divorce we can stop pretending. We need the pretending to make life smoother. We can't declare a marriage over or at least temporarily non-existent every time the husband and wife fall out - though it is true! Our social and legal constructions involve pretending. It would be mad to say that God needs to pretend that a baby is a Catholic just because we have to pretend that a man and woman are married though they hate each other. It would be insulting him!
 
You might receive a provisional or assumed initiation at baptism as a baby but it doesn't become real until you grow up and accept it. And naturally if you can accept it, you can reverse this acceptance as well. You can undo the initiation.