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, AN INEFFECTIVE VACCINE

The Church holds that the man and woman who started the human race sinned and in doing so brought damage into human nature body and soul.  This results in a baby being born without God in it's soul so baptism is necessary to fix the baby.  The baby says it protects from the drive to sin and reasons - oddly - that it is important to have the baby baptised as soon as possible.

These claims are nonsense which is why they should be taken seriously and not be a mere excuse for fitting in your community or a party.

You wouldn't vaccinate a child with a vaccine that is dangerous or whose effectiveness is not based on reliable study. Yet religion says a baby should be entered into religion to vaccinate it against evil and error - error meaning any opinion that differs from the official teaching of the religion. 
 
People say if you are obese and you really want to lose weight you will do it. Others say that you do really want it but don't want it enough if you fail to succeed. With God it would be different. If God exists then if you really want him you will find him and believe all his truth and practice all his ways and obey his religion because he helps you to want him. If you don't want him enough then it is because you are fighting him and sinning.
 
To say you can do anything if you really want to is to burden people. We want to do things but we often fail through weakness or error. But if God exists and provides superhuman power for us if we want it there is no excuse. The atheist wife can understand if her husband forgets her birthday. The religious wife is being inconsistent with her religion if she understands. Her husband turned away from the inspirations and guidance and help of God. Can you see the amount of trouble the doctrine of divine grace can cause? Baptism is an expression and a declaration that the doctrine of grace is true.
 
We are said by believers in God to want God and he alone can fulfil our need. They say then that baptism makes that want stronger for it heals our tendency to go about fulfilling our needs without God - which is sin. But those who are baptised don't feel any different from those who are? They don't find their struggle against temptations suddenly being strengthened. Baptism bases Christianity on lies. 
 
Religion thrives more on people joining it and not taking it seriously than on people joining it and following it properly and being real members who believe all they are supposed to believe. Each religion has few orthodox devotees and any that are orthodox are often orthodox for the wrong reason which makes their orthodoxy count for little or nothing. What is the point of zealously promoting the pope as the head of the Church if you are only doing it in the hope of seeing society controlled by religion better? 
 
Most baptised people feel no inclination to believe and do precisely what their baptismal vows committed them to do. They pick and choose. If you can pick and choose, then why attach importance to baptism? Why is it not optional? To baptise a child is to confess there is an authority that should not be questioned and to attempt to embroil the child into the control of that authority. It is a declaration that there is an infallible religious authority - the Bible for Protestants and the Pope and the Bible and the bishops for Catholics. It is a declaration that that authority must be obeyed without question. And then the religious complain about the Nazis holding that their leaders were virtually infallible!
 
The Church demands that babies be baptised. It claims that baptism has mystical and supernatural power to heal the babies of spiritual harm. Where is the research to back this claim up? The priests are quacks. They claim that spiritual health is the most important health of all for Jesus said that it profits a man nothing to gain the whole world and lose out spiritually. If they can be quacks then why should the medical quacks who look up to them worry? What a lovely example baptism sets for the world!
 
Baptism is supposed to heal the effects of sin and protect a child from error and evil. We see no difference between baptised and unbaptised children. In fact Muslims are often holier than baptised people. The doctrine of baptism's healing potencies is laced with bigotry. 
 
The Catholic Church says that baptism washes away original sin and cures the child of much of the tendency to sin which is why it baptises infants. The Bible itself never says that baptism does that for the baptism it stresses is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. “Unless a man be born again of water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God”, does not imply infant baptism because of the spirit bit and you have to personally respond to the spirit as a person who knows what is happening. The water could be the water in the womb and Jesus is speaking in a passage filled with figurative language and poetry so he could be talking this way to get across that you need the Spirit to be saved as much as you need to exist from water and be born before you can be a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven. Peter said that baptism saves as the appeal to God for a clear conscience which only means that baptism in water is a sign of repentance and true repentance always wipes sin away and wins salvation from it. Babies would be saved in the kingdom of God if God is good even if they are not baptised. To say they need baptism is to imply that God is a right old scrooge with his graces and to imply that children should be entered into a religion with a scary God. That is child abuse. 
 
If you subject your baby to a healing ritual that does nothing instead of looking for one that does, then do you love your child as much as you love the approval of the Church?

BAPTISM DOESN'T REALLY CARE ABOUT THE CHILD'S SPIRITUAL OR RELIGIOUS WELFARE
 
If you are forced by your parents or others to have your child baptised then be firm. Tell them that it is a mockery of the child to put them through something you think is meaningless and that you take baptism seriously. Tell them you will not mock a religion by going through the motions. Tell them it is not good for the child if you commit them to a religion and have no intention of nurturing this commitment. It is bad enough to choose religion for a child if you do believe. But it is terrible if your belief is weak. And it is even worse if you do not believe. And if you know the religion is balderdash - well nothing bad enough can be said about that!
 
Some religious parents think that babies should be baptised to make them children of God so that they will know God loves them. The insinuation is that a child as a person isn't great and needs a God to be good. They urge the child to want to be loved by God and they express that intention during the baptism of the child. But wanting to be loved is loving yourself and putting yourself before God. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is for us to love God totally and above ourselves and people. This tells you that Christianity is not about you needing God to love you. It is not about you needing to love God for that implies that you should love him to satisfy a need in yourself. It is about what God needs. Thus we see that Christian parents should be only worried about the child loving God. If they are not then they are not consenting properly or validly to the baptism. No sane person would be capable of wanting their child to love God and not care about being loved. The religion of the baby baptisers is idolatry and hypocrisy. Atheists who refuse to have their children baptised are avoiding the cruelty of Christian parents. 
 
Baptism represents the view that the sacrament of baptism is more important to a child than getting the doctor or protecting the child from a murderer or paedophile. It is anti-human. Instead of being on your knees, instead of giving sacraments and baptising, instead of receiving sacraments and being baptised, instead of reading and kissing bibles, instead of trying to believe dogmas about a man who supposedly came back from the dead, go and do good works. Make those your dogmas and prayers. The epistle of James the Apostle in the Bible says that true religion is doing good works - if he proclaimed faith in the resurrection of Jesus it was not that he considered that resurrection important. Most people are decent enough and don't have the sacraments. God didn't need Christianity that badly when the vast majority of the people who have ever lived lived and survived and did good without it and the faith is only a couple of thousand years old when man has been around for millions of years.
 
Considering few people and few religions could have a correct belief the child is just being entered in on a path of what is probably error and based on lies. Is it not manipulative to enter a child into the authority of a religion that most people in the world don't believe in? It is not even worse to enter a child into a religion like Roman Catholicism that few Catholics themselves understand or would willingly join if they knew what it really taught and knew the nasty implications of Catholic doctrine. Most Catholics don't care much for the faith and pick and choose. 
 
It is vile to enter a child to a faith that can't prove it isn't just more manmade "truth". Take the pope. He doesn't know if Catholicism is true. He only believes, assuming he is sincere, that his beliefs came from God through men and aren't simply the inventions of men. He admits he cannot prove that birth-control is so bad that you should prefer to get AIDS than to use it to protect yourself. He admits he cannot prove that we are not obligated to live a basic life so that we can send all we can to the poor. It doesn't even bother him that Jesus would have been horrified at his attitude (I'd say Jesus would be as bad but if Jesus is as gentle and good as the pope pretends then that version of Jesus would be horrified!). He admits that beliefs can be wrong but he refuses to take the safe side and have his beliefs but take care in case he is wrong. He should for example provide for people who listen to him on birth control and give them money to deal with the consequences of this obedience. He should part with all he has for the sake of the poor even if he thinks he is not obligated for he only thinks it and could be wrong. To enter a child into religion is to make the child less moral not more moral. If you want your beliefs you must take on the obligations that come with them. If you don't want your child to have those heavy obligations then don't have her or him baptised unless you want her or him to be a hypocrite and being a hypocrite leads to bigotry. If a child is made a Christian by baptism, that child is to support and represent a strict and frightening code of morality and doctrine. Remember that Jesus said that the Pharisees and scribes were bad for giving burdensome teaching and not living it themselves. If you require the rich to give money to the poor, be harder on yourself and give even more than what you require of others.
 
Jesus promised us that he would give us the truth and the truth would set us free. This freedom was supposed to mean we would enjoy doing his will and find it easier with the help of God. This is the Christian answer to those who wonder how one could be called free if one's marriage breaks up and one is not allowed by Jesus to remarry or if one is forbidden to use contraception to avoid a pregnancy that is likely to be fatal or when the baby is unlikely to survive. But all these rules one would not have if one was not religious or not very religious can hardly be described as freedom. If you feel free in your religion that does not mean you are actually free. The best way to keep people in bondage is to make them feel free. Slaves frequently felt free in the past despite being slaves. The worst bondage is bondage during which you feel free but when you actually are not - ie when you are drunk for then you are not you. A person or God who really loves you will give you freedom. God will not care if you get baptised or not. The Christian God claims to be love but he actually is not.
 
If baptism works we have the right and responsibility to know how it works. There are no sensible or rational reasons. The Church gives dogmatic reasons, "Oh Jesus died to get help from God for us for our sins and that help is given out in baptism". Those really amount to trickery in the form of circular arguments like, "Baptism works for we say it does. And we say it works for it does work." Baptism is a denial of our rights and those of our children. 
 
If somebody grows up and wishes to make his or her baptism ineffectual, he or she is renouncing the power of God and rejecting salvation. Such a one will be damned in Hell forever according to the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The idea of baptism having saving mystical power is an intimidating and bullying one.
 
To entrust your child to a religion that puts religion before people when it accuses the unbaptised of not having God and his protection against evil in them and of not being members of God's Church or community is child abuse. It is putting the religion before the child. If the child embraces that evil, the child should embrace the other religious evils too.
 
Atheists should admit that they are doing wrong by living lives of comfort and relative luxury while the poor need help. We can do that. Religion can't. It builds churches and pays priests and prints Bibles and prayer books and so on. At least as bad as we Atheists are we are hiding nothing and are not saying we approve of what we do.
 
Christian doctrine says that the Church is the mystical body of Christ and are supernaturally united. This follows the teaching of the apostle Paul and Jesus himself which say that if a part of the body is sick the whole body is sick. So Catholics cannot pretend that the sins of the clergy are not their responsibility. If your king declares war, because you are under his authority and associate yourself with it you are responsible. He declares war on your behalf. The sins of the clergy which have included the worst kind of child sexual abuse only happened because the laity gave them the support and power and the position they abused. Do you want to make your child responsible in a sense for clerical sex abuse by enrolling that child in the Catholic Church membership by baptism?

Religion tells your people plenty about baptism so don't be afraid to tell it plenty - tell it the truth!  For your baby you have to.  For your baby's babies you have to.