wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Welcome to Forumosa's corner for moms and dads to talk about the issues involved in parenting in Taiwan.

Moderator: 914

wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby Vay » 08 Jan 2012, 12:58

Hi y'all...

I know this is a strange topic but I couldn't think of a better way to put my problem.

My mother-in-law is a devout Catholic, and I can as much as bet she's going to be pretty insistent about a baptism for our unborn daughter.

I'm a strongly-principled secular humanist and atheist, and while I don't want to rub my disbelief in my mother-in-law's face, I also don't want to have to attend crappy religious classes or promise to raise my child in a belief-system I detest in order to have the magic water sprinkled on her head.

What I'm asking is not how to tell off my MIL, as I flat-out WILL NOT do that. She's elderly and childish and there's simply no point to such a "stand". It will only make her feel bad to no good end.

What I want to know is, has anyone here been through something like this? What are the extent of requirements for the sprinkling of the magic water? Will I be forced to make promises I have no intention of keeping, or can I just stand there and smile? Any information in this regard would be appreciated.

~v
"So given that we all agree that the world is warming, would it be unlikely to have heat waves outpace cold fronts by 3:1? Where's the Gotcha! in that?" - Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
Vay
Mando-pop Singer (Guóyǔ liúxíng gēshǒu)
Mando-pop Singer (Guóyǔ liúxíng gēshǒu)
 
Posts: 2315
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 01 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: still in the Matrix
27 Recommends(s)
54 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby ChewDawg » 08 Jan 2012, 13:05

My advice--to keep her happy and maintain family peace go forward with the baptism. Is your wife supporting it? Your child can confirm later through reconciliation and confirmation whether he/she wants to fully embrace their faith.
So I got an expresso and a hot burrito!
Forumosan avatar
ChewDawg
Gravel Truck Driver (suìshí chē sījī)
Gravel Truck Driver (suìshí chē sījī)
 
Posts: 1381
Joined: 06 Sep 2011, 10:27
112 Recommends(s)
96 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby tommy525 » 08 Jan 2012, 13:41

Imagine if shes Buddhist? Wont be any easier.
Forumosan avatar
tommy525
Guan Yin (Guānyīn)
 
Posts: 18352
Joined: 14 Sep 2006, 17:25
Location: calif baby !
623 Recommends(s)
391 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby Vay » 08 Jan 2012, 13:55

ChewDawg wrote:My advice--to keep her happy and maintain family peace go forward with the baptism. Is your wife supporting it? Your child can confirm later through reconciliation and confirmation whether he/she wants to fully embrace their faith.


Thanks for your input Chewie, but that's pretty much a foregone conclusion (the first part, at least).

My wife isn't the full-blown atheist I am, but she certainly never goes to church. She falls into the 'vaguely believing in something' category that most people do, and I'm fine with that.

My question here is more, given that I'm going to go through with this for the sake of harmony, can it happen with me being honest, or do I have to lie? If I have to lie, how much time and lying is it going to cost me? (Note: I say "lie" because, if I have to promise the child will be raised in the faith, that is totally going to be false, as I intend rather the exact opposite! She is going to be raised in an environment of as much critical thinking and skepticism as I can possibly foster.)
"So given that we all agree that the world is warming, would it be unlikely to have heat waves outpace cold fronts by 3:1? Where's the Gotcha! in that?" - Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
Vay
Mando-pop Singer (Guóyǔ liúxíng gēshǒu)
Mando-pop Singer (Guóyǔ liúxíng gēshǒu)
 
Posts: 2315
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 01 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: still in the Matrix
27 Recommends(s)
54 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby Tempo Gain » 08 Jan 2012, 14:00

ChewDawg wrote: Your child can confirm later through reconciliation and confirmation whether he/she wants to fully embrace their faith.


Reconciliation? What's that, first communion?

Not sure about now but in my day there wasn't much choosing involved on the child's part for either of those. The key word there is "child" of course.

To be clear here, personally, I couldn't go along with any such subterfuge when it came to the raising of my child. However, if I had to: In NYC I'd talk to the priest and explain I wasn't a practicing Catholic anymore and basically would be going along with the motions for the sake of harmony. They're not going to deny the baptism or something over it. Here though, no clue how that would go over. I have a vague feeling not as well.
Image
Forumosan avatar
Tempo Gain
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 11591
Joined: 16 Jul 2004, 22:41
Location: Taipei
337 Recommends(s)
327 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby Gryphon » 08 Jan 2012, 14:03

@ OP, well...I don't know much about Catholic beliefs, but I don't think baptism is about sprinkling magic water. The water itself has no magical properties. It's just tap water. Baptism is a ceremony about publicly professing faith in Jesus -- a little like the wedding ceremony is publicly professing fidelity to another individual for the rest of your life.

As far as I know, babies do not have the capacity to reason about what they believe (except the goodness of mommy and daddy). So why do babies get baptized in the Catholic religion? I have no idea. It doesn't make sense to me.
Gryphon
Night Market Cop (yè shì tiáo zi)
Night Market Cop (yè shì tiáo zi)
 
Posts: 872
Joined: 25 Jul 2011, 20:54
31 Recommends(s)
51 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby ChewDawg » 08 Jan 2012, 14:14

I don't think it's a lie. You can promise your child will be raised in the faith and he/she will be by your parent-in-law. You can provide the balance to that by exposing it to other viewpoints. In the end, it will be your child, when given the choice at these later sacrament times, that will decide whether he/she wants to fully embrace the faith

I was raised Catholic, still attend Mass once in a while, and attended Catholic school in my formative years. One parent was totally against religion and the other is lukewarm on it and hasn't attended in years. Their choice for baptism was tradition, better schools for Catholics in the part of the country we lived at that time etc. In later years it was my decision to receive further sacraments and it was my decision to not attend for many, many years as well. The world is full of bad Catholics and mediocre ones :lol:

Tempo, if I remember correctly, one receives three sacraments (I forgot Eucharist in my previous post) while in grade school/junior high. Reconciliation (allows one to go to confession), Eucharist (can eat the bread during Communion), and Confirmation (the decision to be a full member of the church).
So I got an expresso and a hot burrito!
Forumosan avatar
ChewDawg
Gravel Truck Driver (suìshí chē sījī)
Gravel Truck Driver (suìshí chē sījī)
 
Posts: 1381
Joined: 06 Sep 2011, 10:27
112 Recommends(s)
96 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby Vay » 08 Jan 2012, 14:24

Gryphon wrote:@ OP, well...I don't know much about Catholic beliefs, but I don't think baptism is about sprinkling magic water. The water itself has no magical properties. It's just tap water. Baptism is a ceremony about publicly professing faith in Jesus -- a little like the wedding ceremony is publicly professing fidelity to another individual for the rest of your life.

As far as I know, babies do not have the capacity to reason about what they believe (except the goodness of mommy and daddy). So why do babies get baptized in the Catholic religion? I have no idea. It doesn't make sense to me.


Yeah actually Gryphon I think this is basically the progression of religious thought society has gone through: first it really was "magic water", then there was Decartes, physical-spiritual dualism and "symbolic acts", then Hume and full-blown empiricism. But in any case, if anyone has first-hand knowledge of access to sources of knowledge about my primary question, I'd be very grateful.
"So given that we all agree that the world is warming, would it be unlikely to have heat waves outpace cold fronts by 3:1? Where's the Gotcha! in that?" - Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
Vay
Mando-pop Singer (Guóyǔ liúxíng gēshǒu)
Mando-pop Singer (Guóyǔ liúxíng gēshǒu)
 
Posts: 2315
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 01 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: still in the Matrix
27 Recommends(s)
54 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby Vay » 08 Jan 2012, 14:31

ChewDawg wrote:I don't think it's a lie. You can promise your child will be raised in the faith and he/she will be by your parent-in-law. You can provide the balance to that by exposing it to other viewpoints. In the end, it will be your child, when given the choice at these later sacrament times, that will decide whether he/she wants to fully embrace the faith

I was raised Catholic, still attend Mass once in a while, and attended Catholic school in my formative years. One parent was totally against religion and the other is lukewarm on it and hasn't attended in years. Their choice for baptism was tradition, better schools for Catholics in the part of the country we lived at that time etc. In later years it was my decision to receive further sacraments and it was my decision to not attend for many, many years as well. The world is full of bad Catholics and mediocre ones :lol:

Tempo, if I remember correctly, one receives three sacraments (I forgot Eucharist in my previous post) while in grade school/junior high. Reconciliation (allows one to go to confession), Eucharist (can eat the bread during Communion), and Confirmation (the decision to be a full member of the church).


Well that really is what I want to know. Do I have to stand there and make some false profession of faith? Do I have to promise to take her to church every Sunday? Do I have to go to classes? If they only require that someone in the child's family believes in this stuff and will follow through on those things, that's easy - I'll be more than happy to go there and smile while they splash the magic water and chant mumbo-jumbo, and then MIL can do the rest until she's too old or the child gets old enough to rebel.

But I'm guessing they (the Church) won't be satisfied with that.

Personally, I'm leaning towards the above suggestion (from Tempo) of just talking straight with the priest and saying basically, here's the situation, do you want this child's "soul" or not - but I have the feeling there's then going to be some attempted intervention to save my "soul" as well which will definitely cause some disharmony between myself and my MIL.
"So given that we all agree that the world is warming, would it be unlikely to have heat waves outpace cold fronts by 3:1? Where's the Gotcha! in that?" - Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
Vay
Mando-pop Singer (Guóyǔ liúxíng gēshǒu)
Mando-pop Singer (Guóyǔ liúxíng gēshǒu)
 
Posts: 2315
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 01 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: still in the Matrix
27 Recommends(s)
54 Recognized(s)



Re: wife pregnant, mother-in-law is devout Catholic...

Postby Tempo Gain » 08 Jan 2012, 14:34

ChewDawg wrote:
Tempo, if I remember correctly, one receives three sacraments (I forgot Eucharist in my previous post) while in grade school/junior high. Reconciliation (allows one to go to confession), Eucharist (can eat the bread during Communion), and Confirmation (the decision to be a full member of the church).


Ahhh. That name still doesn't ring a bell though. Too long ago maybe :)

ChewDawg wrote:In the end, it will be your child, when given the choice at these later sacrament times, that will decide whether he/she wants to fully embrace the faith


How many kids are going to make that choice though, to not go through with Confirmation in a family that cares. Even if a kid doesn't believe, they'll still go along not to rock the boat. The pressure would be huge. The real choice is independent of any of those ceremonies.
Image
Forumosan avatar
Tempo Gain
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 11591
Joined: 16 Jul 2004, 22:41
Location: Taipei
337 Recommends(s)
327 Recognized(s)



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.
Next




Proceed to Parenting



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: No Forumosans and 2 visitors

Sow a thought, and you reap an act
Sow an act, and you reap a habit
Sow a habit, and you reap a character
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny
-- CHARLES READER