Thursday, March 25, 2010

There's a Reason I Never Talk About Religion..

I was raised catholic, not super-go-to-church-every-Sunday catholic, but I was baptised, had my first communion, went through all my religious education classes, and was confirmed. We did go to church, although not every Sunday. We prayed before dinner on holidays, went to mid night mass on Christmas Eve (and still do), and because of my Italian heritage- your catholic and that's it! Do not pass go, do not collect 200, don't ask any questions, your catholic...

As I grew into my adult hood I still considered myself a catholic because that's the way I was raised, but not the practicing kind. I questioned myself and my religion (all religion for that matter) but still go to church on the 'important' catholic holidays (Christmas and Easter). I baptised Kay catholic, and she even went to a Christian preschool (because she had to 'learn' it from somewhere I thought). So I am almost embarrassed to admit that I think organized religions (including Catholicism) does nothing but bring up un answered questions and cause problems. I'm not sure where I stand at this point but if asked what religion am I, my answer remains the same: "I'm not religious, but was raised catholic". And to be honest the biggest reason why I am still even hanging onto that is because of my dad. My real dad died very suddenly when I was 3 years old. All of my life I was told that my father was in heaven, looking down and watching over me, that I could just close my eyes and pray to talk to him, and that one day when it was my time we would be together again. So I feel like I've had to believe there was a heaven, because that's where my dad is....

My Husband was also raised catholic. Him and his family went to Church every Sunday, he went to catholic grade school, and was even an alter boy! His family was actually more religious than mine. Even as a child (unlike me) he didn't believe, and always questioned his faith, or lack there of. This didn't happen for me until I reached adulthood. Once an adult, my DH abandoned any and all religion from his life. He is a true realist and is completely opposed to ALL religions. He thinks they are a joke and the reason for all the wars in the world. He believes in science, not that women were created from a mans rib....Does anyone actually really believe that?! You have to admit whether religious or not these stories are crazy! Anyways...

So when we met, because I could not bare to tell my family how he really felt about religion- I lied. I told them he was raised catholic but was not religious...which I guess really wasn't a lie. When we got married, my family pushed for us to be married in the church, I used my husbands prior divorce as my defense in that department (even though he wasn't married in the church the first time), so I got out of that one and we had a nice outdoor wedding...

When we go to midnight mass, he never attends. When we pray at holiday dinners he bows his head, but I look over only to discover a smirk on his face knowing he is faking it, and when I take Kay to church, we go alone.

This all brings me to the whole point of this post, which is I want to baptize Miss M. Not just because I feel like I need too, but because I feel like I should. My feelings with the kids is that I will expose them to it, but not push it on them. I want them to make their own decisions and decide for themselves what they want to believe in.

DH is fine with it (mostly because he knows I am not a super church goer and wont raise them that way), but refuses to step foot into a church. Re-fus-es! He does not want to be fake, and/or go and pretend to agree with something he is so strongly opposed to. I understand that and respect that, but how am I supposed to explain to my family why he's not at our daughters BAPTISM? How am I gonna get out of that one?! Will the Church even baptise her without him there? I asked him that very question this morning, and his response was "tell them I don't want to be a part of this, and that I went to Catholic grade school for 9 years (as if that's his get out of jail free card) and to ask them why he wasn't molested, was he not cute enough?" He's defiantly going to hell for that one...

Every week I put off my family when they ask when we are baptising Miss M, and the truth is I still need to work on who her god parents will be and make some final decisions, so that's my excuse for now. But I still will have to figure out how to tell them why he isn't there. This needs to be resolved though. Kay was baptised at 6 weeks old and I feel like I need to get this done sooner rather than later, but I still need to work on how this is all going to happen.

I'm in a religious mess here people!

Anyone been through something similar? Or have any advise?


Amy said...

I don't have any advice to give, but if you feel like you need to get her baptised, then do it, and hopefully he can go along with that.

It's funny but i am italian, and i get the whole catholic thing, and my husband grew up in catholic grade school/hs too! too funny.

We still haven't got brady baptised but we plan on it after lent. Blake didn't care but he kne i wanted to so it's gonna get done , lol

Dana Kozuback said...

Just like the Atheist to respond to the religion blog huh!? ;)

From a WIFE point of view I would say he should just suck it up and go to the Baptism if it's important to you. However it doesn't seem like it is that important to you. Maybe you should look into why you feel obligated to do it and who your doing it for.
From an ATHEIST perspective I say don't have her baptized. You say that "I want them to make their own decisions and decide for themselves what they want to believe in." But in my opinion having her baptized IS making the decision for her.
If your don't consider yourself religious and your husband is against it who are you doing the baptism for? If you are honestly doing it for Miss M then by all means go for it. If you do decide to have her baptized and DH won't go then I think honesty is always the best policy. Tell your family that while he was raised Catholic he no longer considers himself so and felt strongly about not participating. If you respect your husbands beliefs(or lack of) you shouldn't worry what anyone else thinks about it, even your extended family. So that is my opinion(prob. not a popular one) but mine nonetheless.

Lisa said...


In some ways I do feel obligated to baptise her, but on the other hand I almost feel like it will protect her in some way- and thats where the "I feel like I need to do it " comes in. But yes, I do feel some obligation- I have a cousin that had a baby a few years ago, and his daughter was never baptised and the whole family still talks about it! He will NEVER hear the end of it. And although she is my child and it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks, there is still the genuine feeling that I should do it.

As far as letting them chose what to beleive in, I see your point, but I also think just by having htem baptised doesnt nessasarily mean I am making that decision for them, just opening the door if you will..and honesly if they grow up not beleiving it wont bother me at all. Because lets face it- I'm not really religious myself. There is jsut something about baptising that brings some sort of comfort to me.

Thanks for your opinion- I do love listening to how others view can open your eyes to things you wouldnt normally see!

Angie said...

I also am Catholic. By baptizing a baby all it means is that you opening the door to teach her and guide her in the Catholic way. She will still have her own opinions and own beliefs. And if later on in life she decides it's not for her, she just never has to be comfirmed. Having your confirmation is deciding all by yourself to continue to follow in the Catholic faith and you confirm it before God. Baptism doesn't mean she is stuck in that religion for the rest of her life, but that you as a parent have chosen to guide her in the teaching of the Catholic faith.

That being said, I too have a husband who grew up Catholic and no longer believes in organized worship. He completely believes in God but that's about it. He doesn't refuse to step foot into a church with me though either. Although he isn't a practicing Catholic and neither am I we still decided to baptize Catholic. I do speak to my child about God but in reality she doesn't know a whole lot. I feel it was important that because I went through the whole process (baptism, first communion, confirmation, and attended many bible study classes until I became an adult) that I still want my child to learn it. He doesn't quite feel the same but knows it's important to me and he attends church very few times a year with us.

One more thing. If my husband was like yours and decided that there was absolutely no way he could suck it up and attend our daughter's baptism then I would still go ahead and do it and explain to my family it's not something he feels comfortable with. And that's that. People will always talk. But I wouldn't force him to be a part of it as much as I would like him to be able to put his feelings aside for the sake of our daughter and attend anyway.

Amanda said...

This happened with my brother and his children. His oldest is baptized, but when they had my nephew I guess they never "got around" to having it done.

My family is Catholic (not super Catholics, but know that Catholic guilt!)and they've never really said much about. I'm getting married next year and we've already made it quite clear that there will be no church wedding. I haven't been to Church in 5 years and I feel worse lying to the priest than I do not being married in a church.

This probably didn't help much, but you're definitely not alone!

Patty said...

I hear ya. DH and I were both raised Catholic. Him way more than me. DH was baptised as a baby but I did not have it done until I was well over 10. My mother, sister and I would go to the Wednesday mass and cut out early to "avoid traffic". So I have even less of a religious tie. But when asked both DH and I said that we were raised Catholic and leave it at that.

We have started considering whether or not we should get the baby baptised after he's born. While we never go to church and don't consider ourselves religious at all, it just feels like something that we should do.

Religion is a very touchy subject on DH's side. I think his family (his grandma in particular) would freak if the baby did not get it done. But then that brings on a whole new line of questions. Are we going to involve him in church? His grandma would jump on the chance to take him every Sunday. But is that what we want? Ugh, I think I may steal this subject for my own blog post one day.

I think in the end it's what you're most comfortable with. I'm just sorry that you and DH don't agree on what that may be.