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Author Topic: De-Baptism Catches On in the U.K. and Elsewhere  (Read 7912 times)
Altair
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« Topic Start: April 15, 2009, 01:25:40 pm »

from Time magazine:

De-Baptism Gains a Following in Britain

'More than 100,000 former Christians have downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" in a bid to publicly renounce the faith, according to the London-based National Secular Society (NSS)....

'But in recent months, as tens of thousands began to download the certificate, organizers realized that they had struck a chord with atheists and once-devout church members who are leaving churches they see as increasingly out-of-tune with modern life. "Churches have become so reactionary, so politically active that people actually want to make a protest against them now," Sanderson says. "They're not just indifferent anymore. They're actively hostile." '

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1891230,00.html

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« Reply #1: April 15, 2009, 01:56:35 pm »

from Time magazine:

De-Baptism Gains a Following in Britain

From the article:

"Back in Britain, Michael Evans, an atheist and former journalist who downloaded the de-baptism certificate in March, believes the Church of England claims more members than it actually has in order to shore up its influence in the secular world. "It claims to speak for the majority of people in Britain," he says. Official estimates are that fewer than one million Britons regularly attend Sunday services, but there are currently 26 Church of England bishops sitting in the House of Lords. "With churches, everybody checks in, but nobody checks out," says Evans, who was baptized as an infant. "There's no exit strategy except the funeral." "



This is interesting, and I have never considered this before. When I was a baby I was baptised into the Church of England, but my family and I stopped going when I was only about 5 or 6. It never bothered me that I had been baptised, as it had no meaning to me.

The idea of religions being allotted power based on the number of followers seems bizarre to me, but in places where this rings true I can begin to understand the need for people to publicly renounce their baptism.
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« Reply #2: April 15, 2009, 02:27:07 pm »

This is interesting, and I have never considered this before. When I was a baby I was baptised into the Church of England, but my family and I stopped going when I was only about 5 or 6. It never bothered me that I had been baptised, as it had no meaning to me.

It used to bother me *a lot* that someone had poured water over my head when I was an infant unable to consent--my nonreligious parents did it to appease my devoutly Catholic grandmother--and therefore, according to some, I had been inducted into a religion I was never raised in, never accepted, and never would accept.

As I've grown older and learned from experience that nobody defines me but me, it's bothered me less and less. Somebody poured water over my head--that's it. It may have had meaning for *them*, but that's their problem.

If anybody (besides pagans, of course) tried to count me as a member, even a "lapsed" anything (how can you lapse from what you never were?), I'd object vociferously, though.
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« Reply #3: April 15, 2009, 05:31:59 pm »

The idea of religions being allotted power based on the number of followers seems bizarre to me, but in places where this rings true I can begin to understand the need for people to publicly renounce their baptism.

The whole "De-Baptism" idea strikes me as silly. However, in countries where churches get political power or tax money based on their membership, I can see where some clear way to force them to remove people who do not wish to be members from their rolls would really be needed.
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« Reply #4: April 15, 2009, 06:09:43 pm »

The whole "De-Baptism" idea strikes me as silly. However, in countries where churches get political power or tax money based on their membership, I can see where some clear way to force them to remove people who do not wish to be members from their rolls would really be needed.

Same, but I agree that it would be different for people living in a country where there is no separation of church and state. I also remember reading on a Hellenic list once someone who made a comment about atheists, and how the majority of "you people have delusions" "the gods don't exist so there is something wrong with you" type deal he had encountered came more from people who came from countries like Britain who had such a formidable Church. Considering I have such a problem with churches who have such a deal of power like that, I wouldn't be surprised if in my agnostic years I had gone to very hard atheist under that.

(NOT that I am saying all people from Britain or similar countries are like this, or that ALL atheists are like this. Just commenting on a comment.)
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« Reply #5: April 15, 2009, 06:09:55 pm »




Some one has now succeeded in getting his  baptism record removed here in the UK.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/5132964/Atheist-wins-right-to-have-baptism-removed-as-he-did-not-consent-as-a-baby.html

I actually don't know where my baptism records are stored now. I was never a member of the Chuch of England and the denomination I was placed in was merged many years ago with another.
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« Reply #6: April 15, 2009, 06:22:19 pm »

The whole "De-Baptism" idea strikes me as silly. However, in countries where churches get political power or tax money based on their membership, I can see where some clear way to force them to remove people who do not wish to be members from their rolls would really be needed.

Well it is thanks to the Church of England that we have the ridiculous and arbitary rules on Sunday shopping here in the UK. Shops over a certain size are only allowed to open for 6 hours on a Sunday  - so some open at 10 and close at 4, others at 11 and close at 5 or maybe halfway between the two. Some circumvent the rules by opening "for browsing" before the allotted time but it is not permitted to actually buy things before the "official" opening hours.... crazy!

The Church lobby has also succeeded in getting those same shops banned from opening at all on Easter Sunday although smaller shops can. 

 
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« Reply #7: April 15, 2009, 07:47:55 pm »

Well it is thanks to the Church of England that we have the ridiculous and arbitary rules on Sunday shopping here in the UK. Shops over a certain size are only allowed to open for 6 hours on a Sunday  - so some open at 10 and close at 4, others at 11 and close at 5 or maybe halfway between the two. Some circumvent the rules by opening "for browsing" before the allotted time but it is not permitted to actually buy things before the "official" opening hours.... crazy!

The Church lobby has also succeeded in getting those same shops banned from opening at all on Easter Sunday although smaller shops can.

Which is bloody hilarious (in that actually not so funny way) given that last I was in England (I've lived there most of my life), the vast majority of folks were atheist/agnostic, or at least not Christian... To be honest it seems these closing early things are more us Brits and our obsession w/ tradition than anything else, but I will admit I haven't looked at the history of this particular issue.
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« Reply #8: April 15, 2009, 08:07:13 pm »

Which is bloody hilarious (in that actually not so funny way) given that last I was in England (I've lived there most of my life), the vast majority of folks were atheist/agnostic, or at least not Christian... To be honest it seems these closing early things are more us Brits and our obsession w/ tradition than anything else, but I will admit I haven't looked at the history of this particular issue.

Yep, it is hilarious, as moving to the US had made me realize just how un-religious Britian is as a nation. But Britain is very much in love with the concept of tradition.
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« Reply #9: April 15, 2009, 10:13:24 pm »

Well it is thanks to the Church of England that we have the ridiculous and arbitary rules on Sunday shopping here in the UK. Shops over a certain size are only allowed to open for 6 hours on a Sunday  - so some open at 10 and close at 4, others at 11 and close at 5 or maybe halfway between the two. Some circumvent the rules by opening "for browsing" before the allotted time but it is not permitted to actually buy things before the "official" opening hours.... crazy!

Texas used to have "Blue Laws" (as Sunday Closing Laws are generally called in the US). However, they were weird as they listed items and classes of items that could not be sold on Sunday. Highly arbitrary. Small shops were hit hardest while huge department stores could be open and still sell over half their merchandise in many cases. The Blue laws were repealed when the courts started taking a harder look at the reason for their existence -- which was often quite hard to convincingly make secular.
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« Reply #10: April 15, 2009, 10:57:46 pm »

The idea of religions being allotted power based on the number of followers seems bizarre to me, but in places where this rings true I can begin to understand the need for people to publicly renounce their baptism.


I can't think of a country that allots power based upon confession and lets people change their confession.  What ever you are born is what you will be until you die. Do you have an example of a country that both allocates power based upon confession And lets them change it?
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« Reply #11: April 15, 2009, 11:07:00 pm »

The whole "De-Baptism" idea strikes me as silly. However, in countries where churches get political power or tax money based on their membership, I can see where some clear way to force them to remove people who do not wish to be members from their rolls would really be needed.

I was going to reply that it was more than just silly, but considering the Church of England does receive money from the government, and hence has more political clout, I can sort of see their point.

For myself I never give it a thought.  I've been baptized and born-again, so what.
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« Reply #12: April 16, 2009, 01:37:55 am »

It really doesn't make a damn except for the Mormons which raises a huge ethical question.  Is it ethical to leave an entity to protect you from the machinations of some sob that would attempt to bind or otherwise alter your status after your crossing, after you cross?   I see it as ethically proper to release all those who exist in my service at the time of my crossing.  Yet, if I do that I will be unprotected from the machanations of those who would scheme to bind my spirit to the service of their fantasies.  What is the ethical response?
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from Time magazine:

De-Baptism Gains a Following in Britain

'More than 100,000 former Christians have downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" in a bid to publicly renounce the faith, according to the London-based National Secular Society (NSS)....

'But in recent months, as tens of thousands began to download the certificate, organizers realized that they had struck a chord with atheists and once-devout church members who are leaving churches they see as increasingly out-of-tune with modern life. "Churches have become so reactionary, so politically active that people actually want to make a protest against them now," Sanderson says. "They're not just indifferent anymore. They're actively hostile." '

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1891230,00.html


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« Reply #13: April 16, 2009, 08:31:28 am »

It really doesn't make a damn except for the Mormons which raises a huge ethical question.  Is it ethical to leave an entity to protect you from the machinations of some sob that would attempt to bind or otherwise alter your status after your crossing, after you cross? 

Welcome to The Cauldron.  As far as I can tell, the Mormons retroactively baptizing people after they are dead does nothing unless their religion is the only true religion. Therefore, Mormons baptizing dead people does nothing accept make living Mormons feel better -- unless their religion is indeed the only correct religion (which strikes me as very unlikely) in which case it actually helps people.
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« Reply #14: April 16, 2009, 08:49:05 am »

It really doesn't make a damn except for the Mormons which raises a huge ethical question.  Is it ethical to leave an entity to protect you from the machinations of some sob that would attempt to bind or otherwise alter your status after your crossing, after you cross?   I see it as ethically proper to release all those who exist in my service at the time of my crossing.  Yet, if I do that I will be unprotected from the machanations of those who would scheme to bind my spirit to the service of their fantasies.  What is the ethical response?
Ogre



I'm a genealogy hobbyist, and through this I have encountered relatives who are working on our family tree for the purpose of baptising our mutual ancestors.  This horrified me and sparked a conversaton with my sweetie who was raised LDS.  According to him, Mormon baptism for the dead is a team effort.  The survivors perform the baptism, but the person who it is done for still has to accept it from beyond the grave.  This makes it relatively harmless, IMO.
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