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Grandmother Had My Daughter Baptized


Guest ZombieJesusAteMyBrains
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Guest ZombieJesusAteMyBrains

I wrote in my testimonial http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?show...mp;#entry240572 that recently my mother coerced my 13 yr old daughter to be baptized at the Church of Christ, which has caused a lot of family problems to say the least. I thought I’d take this opportunity to expand on that and ask (plead) for your advice.

 

About once every other month, my husband and I allow my mother to take my two daughters (from my first marriage) overnight. I know that if they stay on a Saturday, they will need to pack church clothes because my mother has never (with the exception of illness) missed a Sunday service. At first, I didn’t mind my mother taking my kids to church because it honestly didn’t happen that often and I didn’t think a little exposure would harm them. I used to believe that religion is the only way for people learn morality, and I wanted my kids to learn “right from wrong”. Of course now I realize how silly that concept is.

 

Mind you, my mother has never asked why I stopped going to church or how I would feel about having my children baptized. I never spoke of my beliefs knowing they were contrary to hers because I didn’t want to rock the boat.

 

A few months back, I let my mother keep the kids overnight. My oldest daughter, then 12, called me from church and said she wanted me to come up the church because she was going to be baptized. I was sick and still in my jammies so I said “well hunny, why don’t we hold off on this for a little while so we can talk about it. I’m too sick to make it up there today anyway and I’d really like to be there.” She agreed and my mother dropped them off without even coming inside to talk to me about what happened. I don’t know why I hadn’t prepared for it. 12 seems to be the magical age that my mother likes to think children automatically go to hell if they are not baptized.

 

So I called my ex (father of my 2 daughters) and talked with him about it and we both agreed, she wasn’t ready to make that kind of decision yet. We talked to her about it on a few occasions and asked her to wait until she learned more and let her know that we’d support her decision no matter what but that we both wanted to be there to see her be baptized if that was her choice. In the mean time, I told her there wasn’t any rush. She should take as long as she needed to figure out what she believed. I told her that I wanted her to make an educated decision and that meant finding out all she could about the church and other religions of the world. Luckily, I have plenty of books on world religions, and I gave her a couple, including the Tao. She already had a Bible. I placed a list of “the golden rule” as it is stated in multiple religions on our refrigerator so she could see that most people of the world adhere to the belief that you should treat others the way you would want to be treated yourself. I encouraged her to talk to her aunt who was once an atheist who became a Christian a few years back. As far as I knew she never did, nor did she ever read any of the books, not even the Bible. Why? Because her interests lie in kid things like cartoons, sleepovers, playing outside with her friends and playing video games.

 

Last month she turned 13. By now, I’m sure my mother was sweating bullets, fearing every day that the child would die and be lost forever in eternal damnation. My daughter on the other hand just told me a couple weeks ago that she didn’t know if she believed in God. Sure sounds like a child who eagerly wants to be baptized, right?

 

Last week, my sister asked if she could take the girls for the weekend so my husband and I could have some time together to celebrate our anniversary. I agreed and later she told me that she planned on taking the kids to my mothers for some Christmas baking. I agreed that they could all spend the night there if they wanted. My mom said she would bring them home Sunday after church.

 

My mother and her husband both came in when they dropped off the girls. I noticed my daughter’s hair was damp. My mother cornered me on the opposite end of the house from my husband and said my daughter had something she wanted to tell me. She said “mom, I got baptized at church today.”

 

Well, I felt like crying right then and there but resolved to keep it together. I was so disappointed and hurt but I didn’t want my daughter to think I was mad at her. I gave her a little hug and told her I wished she had not done that without me. My mother started saying “well, I told her all she needed to do was believe that Jesus was God’s son and that she needed to be baptized to go to heaven!” (Guess she failed to mention the rules about not being allowed to attend school dances and the rules about women not being allowed to speak in church and the rules about having to take the Lord’s Supper once a week and the rules about not being able to watch her favorite show on TV or listen to her favorite music, etc.) I felt like screaming “You believe that but I sure as hell don’t! But you wouldn’t know that since you’ve never even bothered to ask!” but I remained calm for my daughter’s sake.

 

I walked away before an argument errupted in front of the kids. She lagged behind, taking the opportunity to dote more on my daughter, I’m sure. I imagine she said something like “I’m proud of you no matter what so don’t worry about how your mom feels.” I went to the kitchen where my stepfather and husband were talking and asked if they would like a piece of pie. I was dishing it out when my mother entered the room alone. I was literally shaking with anger and couldn’t even scoop the pie onto the dishes. I calmly said to her “I am really disappointed that you did that without my knowing. Her father and I wanted to be there.”

 

I had hardly got the words out when she started having a hysterical fit, “this was her decision! She wanted to be baptized!” she said. I replied, “she isn’t old enough, she doesn’t even know what she’s agreed to! She doesn’t know enough about the world to know what she believes!” This is where my mother started crying and screaming.

 

My husband spoke up for me by saying “You shouldn’t have done this behind her back…” and my mother yelled “Shut up! Shut Up! You have no say in this!”

 

We all gasped, even her husband, and stared at her. I said she didn’t have the right to talk to my husband like that. She continued to wail “You know in your heart there is only one God blah blah blah” (oh do I now?) I heard my daughter sobbing in her room and she slammed her door. That’s when both my husband and I told my mother she needed to leave before things got ugly and words were spoken in anger. She kept wailing “I have the right to say what I want to my daughter!!” Her husband tried talking her down out of her hysterics but ended up having to drag her out.

 

But that’s not the end of it. She works in the same building (different department) as my husband so the next day, she went to work and started telling everyone she knew how evil he is, he is the anti-christ and he’s got a grip on her daughter and yadda yadda yadda. Of course this got back to him but he said it doesn’t bother him much. Still, I totally didn’t expect that kind of behavior from her.

 

Next day, I got an email from her husband who tried to play peacemaker but is Catholic and was baptized as a baby so he admits he has no idea why this is a big deal at all. It never dawned on my mother to ask me why I had reservations. She just decided it didn’t matter how I felt, she would just do it any way. I have a slew of family that go to that church and not a single one of them said “hold on a second here, where is her mother? How do her parent’s feel about this?”

 

To add insult to injury, someone (probably my mother) gave the church our address and now every day we are getting cards and postcards, sometimes with gifts inside addressed to my daughter. They are full of reconfirming Bible verses and congratulations. I’m conflicted as to whether or not I should give them to her.

 

What’s more, my mother has called my sister and grandparents, and who knows who all else, whining and complaining about how we threw her out. She says my husband is building a wall around me and my kids and won’t allow me to be with my family. Of course she’s shifting the blame. That’s what she does. With Xmas around the corner, we’ve yet to decide if we should risk going to our family get-together for fear that she will cause a scene and bring other family members into it. I’m still so furious with her that I don’t know if I can be in the same room with her.

 

She admits to doing nothing wrong. When my sister took my side my mother said “I just kept thinking what if she dies next week and wasn’t baptized? I could never live with myself.” Yeah… because we all know that pubescent girls are evil and will go straight to hell otherwise.

 

The good thing is that this has led to many deep conversations between my husband, daughters and myself. We’ve talked about the Church of Christ, about my childhood growing up in the CoC, some of the history of religion, different translations of the Bible, etc. They both ask very good questions and luckily my husband and I are both well-learned in this subject. My daughter confided in me that she feels like it was a mistake. She said my mother told her “maybe if you get baptized, your mom will start coming back to church again.” OUTRAGEOUS! I am just fit to be tied!

 

I’m sure I’m leaving out a ton of detail, but I have rambled on long enough. Please, if any of you have ever gone through something similar, I’d love to hear your advice. Is it normal practice for churches to baptize minors without the expressed consent of at least one parent?

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The people who most trample all over the boundries of others are family members, especially mothers. It seems to me that she doesn't view you as an adult capable of making your own decisions or raising your own children. She seems to think that if you don't agree with her, you are not thinking for yourself, someone else is influencing you. I would suspect that the baptism event has more of a root in how she views you as still being a child and not a responsible adult. Basically, she has no respect for you.

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This is a lot easier to deal with than you think. Your first step is to obtain for your daughter something known as a "Certificate of De-Baptism," which can be found here:

 

Link to the site - click here

 

Link to PDF - click here

 

Now, you may wish to create your own custom certificate and remove "In infancy" as well as the brackets around the text regarding the age of consent, but leaving the rest intact. Have your daughter sign it, date it, and witness it. Make a copy of it and send that to Grandma, and have the original framed and hung. Voila...problem solved, and it sends a firm message to grandmother that, even after baptism, her whacked religious beliefs won't have any hold on your daughter.

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I have to agree with Taphophilia. It seems to me like she does not view you as an adult. How any church can baptize a minor without parental consent is beyond me.

 

If that had happened to me in my family, I would not go to my family get-together. I'd do something with friends or stay home instead. IMO that kind of stress isn't worth it.

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Wow, that sucks.

 

The worst thing about this to me is that your daughter probably feels responsible, when its really all the grandmother's fault.

 

If I were you I'd let the grandmother still see and talk to your kids but not overnight anymore and not on church days. But that's just my spur of the moment opinion.

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You'd better make it crystal clear to your daughter that the disagreement and unhappiness between you and "Gramma" is NOT her fault. Remember to a kid everything that happens in a family, from divorce to a parent's suicide is percieved as their fault. Your kids are old enough for more adult discussions, and your daughter needs to understand that what their Grandma did was absolutely wrong.

 

If you don't think churches care about parental consent, you might be surprised. They do. Contact the church where this took place. Be angry. Demand to know why parental consent was not sought, threaten to call a lawyer if they do not declare the non consented baptism null and void.

 

Do not give your daughter those cards and letters. Would you pass along the well wishes of an imprisoned convict who had molested her? Of course not! When you call the church, demand they remove your daughter from their mailing list, and that you will seek legal action if they refuse.

 

I wouldn't permit that Grandmother to have unsupervised access to your kids either. She has lost that perk by disrespecting your wishes. What if she'd gotten your daughter's nose pierced for crying out loud?

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I wrote in my testimonial http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?show...mp;#entry240572 that recently my mother coerced my 13 yr old daughter to be baptized at the Church of Christ, which has caused a lot of family problems to say the least. I thought I’d take this opportunity to expand on that and ask (plead) for your advice.

 

About once every other month, my husband and I allow my mother to take my two daughters (from my first marriage)

 

Mod snipped the middle of a wholly quoted post. Please do not punch the "Quote" button and not take out the huge remains of the post. Address what you wish to, please do not leave the whole story quoted to have to scroll down through.

kFL

 

of at least one parent?

 

It seems pretty simple to me. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but simple.

 

Your mom went and did something that she knew would be against your wishes. You can't allow her to take care of your daughter any more.

 

That sounds a little hard, but the alternative is to try to keep the peace and forgive her, but I think that sets a precedent that you don't want to set.

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If you don't think churches care about parental consent, you might be surprised. They do. Contact the church where this took place. Be angry. Demand to know why parental consent was not sought, threaten to call a lawyer if they do not declare the non consented baptism null and void.

 

Actually, this sounds like a very good idea. Much better than my De-Baptism certificate idea. Raise some Holy Hell, as they say. I'd also be cutting off, or at least severely restricting, grandmother's access. I'd also remind daughter that grandma can't help it; how she's been brainwashed by her religious cult and so ought to be pitied. Remind her that it really wasn't her fault.

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I'm absolutely shaking with rage here. I would disown her and cut off all contact for something like that.

 

At very least, there should be no more unsupervised visits.

 

And definitely raise the parental-consent issue with the church.

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You certainly have a lot of things going on there, but I think I found the key to your problems, and it is something you mentioned here:

 

Mind you, my mother has never asked why I stopped going to church or how I would feel about having my children baptized. I never spoke of my beliefs knowing they were contrary to hers because I didn’t want to rock the boat.

 

You didn't want to rock the boat so you kept quiet. I think letting your parents and your sister (and especially your daughter) know *exactly* what you believe or do NOT believe will help a lot. Up to this point your Mom can claim some amount of ignorance. Let her know where you stand - do NOT let her put a wedge between you and your daughter!

 

Just my .02....

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I think that's disgusting. Christians are so bloody arrogant, and they don't care about the wishes of non-Christian parents at all!

 

Stop your children from staying overnight with her and no more church! Also, take it up with the church, as has been suggested here already.

 

And you should tell your daughter that it's not her fault at all - Grandma's just indulging in scaring the beegeezus outta people, which is what fundie Christians are so well known for.

 

Don't do Xmas with this lot either - give them the flick and cut ties for a long time. Your mother has no respect for you, so she doesn't deserve the pleasure of a relationship with you, your husband or your kids.

 

Cheers,

Amelia :)

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If you don't think churches care about parental consent, you might be surprised. They do. Contact the church where this took place. Be angry. Demand to know why parental consent was not sought, threaten to call a lawyer if they do not declare the non consented baptism null and void.

 

I second that; take positive action, and also cut off ties. No more fucking around with people whom you can't trust.

 

And also take the time to explain your beliefs and views to everyone. It will have to happen eventually, and you can't go on hiding. After all, if they don't know where you stand, they may try to "urge" you back into the fold. Make it clear you don't want to be in the fold to begin with.

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I'm going to have to side with Trashy on this and say your complacency contributed a lot to this. You never put your foot down on this issue and set boundaries for your mother. You packed "church clothes" for your kids instead of telling your mom that they weren't going. You never flat out said "No!" to a baptism but "wait and see." Well, you waited and she got baptized. You hoped yourself right into this mess because you don't stand up to your mother because you don't want to "rock the boat." Well, the boat sank and just like your mother passes the blame onto others so do you onto her.

 

Sadly, your daughter is in the middle. She loves you both I'm sure. So now what? Are you going to force her to choose? Are you going to force her to make some decision she might not like to "not rock the boat?" Did she get baptized to "not rock the boat" or did she say she really didn't want to to "not rock the boat?" How can you tell anymore? Isn't this a sorry story? I truly feel for you.

 

What I wouldn't do is cut your daughter off from your mother (even though I'd be tempted because I am the type of person to cut off contact in a heartbeat). That's not fair to her at all. This means that you can't really cut off contact either. You MUST set boundaries though. Your mom will walk all over you doing what she thinks is "best" for you if you don't. Sadly this could mean she might cut you off but then it's HER choice and it shows that she truly wasn't doing what was "best" for YOU but for HERSELF in your name.

 

What this also means is you need to really figure out whether your daughter wants to stay in the church. Your argument basically amounts to "I'm her mother and I know what's best for her." I can't argue with you since this is obviously a true statement and she is only 13. However, I can say, based on what you wrote, that this is the same basic statement that your mother made regarding you (whatever age you are now). To not respect her wishes now seems like it would only be repeating the cycle and perhaps by seeing this you can break this. It seems that your daughter wanted to please your mom and help you at the same time and not "rock the boat." If that's the case then she needs help setting her own boundaries because to be baptized without truly wanting to be baptized isn't something just any teenager would consent to.

 

Sorry for the lecture but I've been angry to the point where you've been (and way beyond) and I've also been angry for some of very things I see you doing. You're angry at them for taking advantage of you and you're angry at yourself for letting them. Put your foot down.

 

Please don't take any of this criticism of yourself as if I am condoning your mother's actions. I am not. She knew what she was doing was wrong. She used your daughter to get to you. She can try to justify it all she wants but you can just tell her that your child will not be a "pawn" in her games. Anything she wants to say to you will be said directly to you or not at all. Period. This is why her "punishment" is to not have unsupervised visits with your kids until she knows her new boundaries and has shown she can adhere to them.

 

She'll likely keep trying to blame your husband too. If so, just say some guy named mwc from the internet is the one putting all these thoughts in your head. I'll take the heat. :)

 

mwc

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This is a lot easier to deal with than you think. Your first step is to obtain for your daughter something known as a "Certificate of De-Baptism,"....
I want to second that suggestion. Also, have a de-baptism ceremony and invite your mother. Tell her that is the ONLY way she is going to see those kids again until they turn 18 since they are not allowed overnight visits anymore. She went against your wishes and that is not to be allowed. I learned the hard way, once you let an inlaw get her nose under the tent, she'll be all the way in before you can stop her.
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You'd better make it crystal clear to your daughter that the disagreement and unhappiness between you and "Gramma" is NOT her fault. Remember to a kid everything that happens in a family, from divorce to a parent's suicide is percieved as their fault. Your kids are old enough for more adult discussions, and your daughter needs to understand that what their Grandma did was absolutely wrong.

 

If you don't think churches care about parental consent, you might be surprised. They do. Contact the church where this took place. Be angry. Demand to know why parental consent was not sought, threaten to call a lawyer if they do not declare the non consented baptism null and void.

 

Do not give your daughter those cards and letters. Would you pass along the well wishes of an imprisoned convict who had molested her? Of course not! When you call the church, demand they remove your daughter from their mailing list, and that you will seek legal action if they refuse.

 

I wouldn't permit that Grandmother to have unsupervised access to your kids either. She has lost that perk by disrespecting your wishes. What if she'd gotten your daughter's nose pierced for crying out loud?

I completely agree with and support this post. I was about to say almost the exact same thing, so I'm glad I read all the posts first. I couldn't have said it better. I don't think you will hear any better advice than this.

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It seems that baptism is being legitimized here when the ritual has zero power beyond it's power to indoctrinate. I don't think that the ritual has any more indoctrination power than singing songs in church or watching other church members around them become emotionally affected by the ceremony and the sermon. Moreover, as you can see below, your mother has been telling them her version of the gospel, further indoctrinating your kids.

 

My mother started saying “well, I told her all she needed to do was believe that Jesus was God’s son and that she needed to be baptized to go to heaven!”

 

You had to know that this is the mesage they would get when they went to church. Nothing changed when your kids got baptised. They didn't suddenly become christians or have their names written in some heavenly book; they didn't suddenly earn a heavenly aura; they didn't suddenly change in any way. By making a big deal about this though, you run the danger of sending them the message that there is power in baptism. By foolishly making them perform a debaptism ceremony you give credibility to the baptism ceremony where it deserves none.

 

You have been allowing her to indoctrinate your kids by knowingly letting her take them to church. I'm not sure what changed here with the ceremony. If you explicitly told her that you don't want your kids baptised, then she breached your trust and that should be dealt with. I would deal with it privatly though without your kid's knowledge. If you don't want your kids to be indoctrinated, then don't let your mother have them on Saturday night.

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i don't have kids, but if i did, they would NEVER, EVER be allowed around my parents without close supervision. my mother is not quite as crazy as yours, but i KNOW she would brain wash my kids the first chance she got. there would be ZERO sleep overs, or unsupervised visits of any kind.

 

as for the letters. write "return to sender" on all of them, and call the church to tell them you don't want to be harassed with mail. your daughter doesn't need that crap. any religion that believes a child will go to hell because someone didn't drag them into a pool of water is not a religion you want your kid near.

 

as others have said, i think it was a bit ignorant of you to allow her to be over there with your mom in the first place, but now, i hope you know better. NEVER leave them alone with her again. you know she's hellbent on converting your kids, and there is no way you can ever trust her. she believes she's fighting for your daughter's eternal salvation. she will do whatever she has to do, including lie to you if you make the mistake of trusting her again.

 

 

i know someone else said to not make your daughter pick sides, and to not cut grandma out of the picture, but that's exactly what i would do. your mother wants to brainwash your child the way she probably brainwashed you. now, she's trying to ruin your husbands reputation, and make you both look bad to the family. she would probably pull your daughter away from you if she could. this is not a woman you want your child to be around. blood doesn't mean shit when that person displays unacceptable behavior.

 

 

if it was my daughter, i would teach her WHY you disagree with christianity. do everything you can to convince her that there is no reason to fear the concept of the christian god. there are plenty of posts on this site to help someone deconvert or stay unconverted.

 

you mother is trying to scare your daughter into being a christianity, and if you get only one thing out of this post, let it be this: once a person really has the "fear of god" in them, it can be very hard to get it out of them. maybe you experienced the same thing. i think most of us did, and that's why some of us kept coming back to the religion because we were taught to fear hell. despite the compounding evidence and logic that we had picked up over the years, we kept waisting our time just making sure we had no reason to fear hell. teach your kid's that from the start.

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It seems that baptism is being legitimized here when the ritual has zero power beyond it's power to indoctrinate. I don't think that the ritual has any more indoctrination power than singing songs in church or watching other church members around them become emotionally affected by the ceremony and the sermon. Moreover, as you can see below, your mother has been telling them her version of the gospel, further indoctrinating your kids.

 

My mother started saying “well, I told her all she needed to do was believe that Jesus was God’s son and that she needed to be baptized to go to heaven!”

 

You had to know that this is the mesage they would get when they went to church. Nothing changed when your kids got baptised. They didn't suddenly become christians or have their names written in some heavenly book; they didn't suddenly earn a heavenly aura; they didn't suddenly change in any way. By making a big deal about this though, you run the danger of sending them the message that there is power in baptism. By foolishly making them perform a debaptism ceremony you give credibility to the baptism ceremony where it deserves none.

 

You have been allowing her to indoctrinate your kids by knowingly letting her take them to church. I'm not sure what changed here with the ceremony. If you explicitly told her that you don't want your kids baptised, then she breached your trust and that should be dealt with. I would deal with it privatly though without your kid's knowledge. If you don't want your kids to be indoctrinated, then don't let your mother have them on Saturday night.

 

I'm in agreement with Vigile and want to add a couple of thoughts.

 

You have (at least) two very separate issues that need your careful attention.

 

One is the issue between you and your mother. As has been pointed out, you have allowed her too much control as regards your children. And you did so for noble reasons, most likely. You wanted harmony in the family and you wanted 'alone time' with your husband - grandma is a ready and willing babysitter, no doubt. This situation has produced the catalyst you've probably known for a long time that you needed to deal with your relationship with you mom. This is your opportunity to 'cut the apron strings' and let mom know that you are an adult and you are responsible for your child's upbringing. That issue must be dealt with SEPARATE from your daughter - it is your issue, not your daughter's.

 

The second issue is how you deal with this whole situation with your daughter. Paramount is the fact that she has done nothing wrong. As a child, she wants to please you AND her grandmother. Somehow you must help her separate the "baptism" thing and her "relationships" with you and grandma. You need to make sure that in the discussion of "religion", you do not bring in the problem of the "relationships". This will require careful planning on your part as to: What you will say to her and how you will say it. Deal with each issue SEPARATELY and and DIFFERENT times so that there is no question in her mind as to the fact that they are separate and different issues.

 

I whole-heartedly agree with the idea that making too much out of the "baptism" itself will only lend credence to its standing. The fact of the matter is that she merely went swimming and someone dunked her under water... no harm - no foul. When the timing is right, you can gently explain the different views that there are, even within christianity, as to the significance of baptism Use this whole sordid mess as an opportunity to TEACH your daughter and to assure her of your love for her. Also, use it to teach her that she is good and worthy and need not fear death or some invisible man in the sky.

 

As trite as is may seem, you've been handed a bowl of lemons. Go make some lemonade.

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Guest ZombieJesusAteMyBrains
I'm going to have to side with Trashy on this and say your complacency contributed a lot to this. You never put your foot down on this issue and set boundaries for your mother. You packed "church clothes" for your kids instead of telling your mom that they weren't going. You never flat out said "No!" to a baptism but "wait and see." Well, you waited and she got baptized. You hoped yourself right into this mess because you don't stand up to your mother because you don't want to "rock the boat." Well, the boat sank and just like your mother passes the blame onto others so do you onto her.

 

 

You're right about my complacency leading up to this point and I take the hit for that. I should have found a way to make sure my mother knew how I felt about my kids being baptized before it was an issue. I am just as angry with myself for not having prepared as I am with my mother for doing this without asking my opinion. I never had a talk with her before because it wasn't until recently in the past year that I began to deprogram. I really did believe that sending my kids to church occasionally would help them form a sense of morality. Of course now I realize that is so wrong. I've done more to shape their morality than any church service ever could. It was too easy to remain silent in the interest of keeping the peace.

 

My relationship with my mother has been strained for multiple reasons, which makes it hard to have heart to heart discussions with her. The more I look at her past behavior with open eyes, I realize more and more that she is emotionally unstable and it's probably a good thing that I eventually cut ties with her altogether. I've been reluctant to do that because I know she loves the kids and that they love her.

 

I've talked with my daughter and told her I support her decision in whatever kind of life she chooses for herself. I told her if she wants to go to church I will take her or she can still go with her friends if she wants but she is not allowed to go with my mother anymore. Both of my kids now know that I don't care what they chose as their religion even if they choose nothing at all because I love them no matter what. My only request is that they keep their minds open to truth and educate themselves in the areas they have doubt. As it stands this morning she still feels as though she made a mistake because she didn't do enough research. Now that she knows more, she wishes she could undo it. I told her about the debaptism certificate and she asked if I had signed one too. I thought that was a really good and insightful question. I told her I hadn't but that I would now that I know they exist.

 

As for my mother, her childish actions at work and her attempt to turn friends and family members against us will ultimately be the reason we will no longer be involved with her.

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In light of the fact that you allowing your mother to take your daughter to church may constitute consent on your part, I'm going to go back to the de-baptism certificate idea, to demonstrate to your mother your firm stance on this. However, I feel you now have a new responsibility. Since you permitted your daughter to be indoctrinated with and by your mother, you should ensure she is exposed to other religions, as well as atheism. For Christmas, get her "The Demon Haunted world" by the late Carl Sagan; an excellent book by any standard. Get yourself a copy as well, and read it with her and then discuss. Guide her to on-line resources such as this one, losingmyreligion.com, and infidels.org.

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I'm going to have to side with Trashy on this and say your complacency contributed a lot to this. You never put your foot down on this issue and set boundaries for your mother. You packed "church clothes" for your kids instead of telling your mom that they weren't going. You never flat out said "No!" to a baptism but "wait and see." Well, you waited and she got baptized. You hoped yourself right into this mess because you don't stand up to your mother because you don't want to "rock the boat." Well, the boat sank and just like your mother passes the blame onto others so do you onto her.

 

 

You're right about my complacency leading up to this point and I take the hit for that. I should have found a way to make sure my mother knew how I felt about my kids being baptized before it was an issue. I am just as angry with myself for not having prepared as I am with my mother for doing this without asking my opinion. I never had a talk with her before because it wasn't until recently in the past year that I began to deprogram. I really did believe that sending my kids to church occasionally would help them form a sense of morality. Of course now I realize that is so wrong. I've done more to shape their morality than any church service ever could. It was too easy to remain silent in the interest of keeping the peace.

 

My relationship with my mother has been strained for multiple reasons, which makes it hard to have heart to heart discussions with her. The more I look at her past behavior with open eyes, I realize more and more that she is emotionally unstable and it's probably a good thing that I eventually cut ties with her altogether. I've been reluctant to do that because I know she loves the kids and that they love her.

 

I've talked with my daughter and told her I support her decision in whatever kind of life she chooses for herself. I told her if she wants to go to church I will take her or she can still go with her friends if she wants but she is not allowed to go with my mother anymore. Both of my kids now know that I don't care what they chose as their religion even if they choose nothing at all because I love them no matter what. My only request is that they keep their minds open to truth and educate themselves in the areas they have doubt. As it stands this morning she still feels as though she made a mistake because she didn't do enough research. Now that she knows more, she wishes she could undo it. I told her about the debaptism certificate and she asked if I had signed one too. I thought that was a really good and insightful question. I told her I hadn't but that I would now that I know they exist.

 

As for my mother, her childish actions at work and her attempt to turn friends and family members against us will ultimately be the reason we will no longer be involved with her.

 

You sound like one HELL OF A GOOD MOM! You're all gonna be just fine.

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Now that she knows more, she wishes she could undo it. I told her about the debaptism certificate and she asked if I had signed one too. I thought that was a really good and insightful question. I told her I hadn't but that I would now that I know they exist.

That sounds like an excellent idea! Sure, it doesn't have any particular spiritual affect, but I'll bet it goes a long way towards smoothing over the recent issues between you and your daughter. You should take some video!

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As for my mother, her childish actions at work and her attempt to turn friends and family members against us will ultimately be the reason we will no longer be involved with her.

 

You have gotten a lot of wonderful advice. I have just a couple of things to say. Life is much to short to cut your mother completely out of your life. Yes you have every right to be angry, you have every right to be hurt. Why not sit down and write her a letter (or a novel) and express how you felt betrayed, hurt and are angry.

 

Her actions were completely dismissive after she saw you were obviously upset. Tell her how you feel she's trying to divide your family, tell her why you no longer believe. Perhaps she's completely in the dark and her reactions are based upon fear of never being with you in the 'after life'. Because fears may no longer hold you hostage doesn't mean the same holds true for her. Most of us here also know the pressures of the churches 'saving souls'. Perhaps your mother was also guilted into having her baptized (Such as you're this girls only hope and so forth.)

 

I'm sure once you make perfectly clear how you felt and still feel she will be a lot more receptive and understanding, if not what do you have to lose? Vigile is right, the baptism itself means nothing really, it's symbolic to xtains but really means nothing in the realm of reality. Her actions crossed the line no doubt, but I don't think the action is worthy enough of kicking her out of your life for all eternity. I would call the Church and give them an ear full though, and I agree about demanding they remove your home from their mailing list. Church have caused so much harm in families, I can't really express how much I personally despise them. I believe your mother is a victim of them just as your child is.

 

 

My mother was 'witnessing' to my kids behind my back against my direct express wishes, My mother also knows my deep seeded loathing for church and the cult itself. I know my mother has their best interest in mind, she feels I'm prohibiting them from knowing god. She can not look past her own fears to understand where I'm coming from. It use to cause arguments, but not so much anymore, as my kids are growing older. One thing is certain, I have educated my kids to the best of my abilities to view everything with a healthy dose of skepticism. I also answer any and all questions they have regarding faith and god and the need for people to believe in fairytales and happy endings. It helps people cope on some level I guess. If your daughter isn't taught how to say no to cults, she runs a risk of being sucked in by their lies, if not by your mother then by someone else later in life. Churches are pros at capitalizing on peoples deepest fears, anxieties and despair, it's how they are still in business.

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I understand where Vigile is about making a big deal out of baptism lends credence to baptism, and I do agree.....BUT there is also basic legality to consider. This church accepted a Grandmother as the legal authority over this woman's daughter. That is such a massive no-no, I'm not sure it can be stressed enough.

 

And does allowing a grandma to take the kids to church imply consent for their baptism? Hell no. Would consenting to allow grandma to take the kids to a wedding give her implied authority to get the kids betrothed because your consent is implied by allowing the kids to attend the wedding? Uh...no. Does allowing grandma take the kids to a gun show mean that she can buy the kids their own guns without checking with Mom and Dad? Ridiculous.

 

The church should be contacted. By just "letting it go" you imply more consent, and churches don't think about the legal implications for doing this again in the future. She doesn't have to go into her beliefs with the church or anything. Just the pain of not being present or informed prior to such a big decision in the life of her underage daughter is all she needs to say. The Bible even supports it. Nowhere in there does it say dick about 'honoring the will of Grandma' it speaks of honoring the parents.

I still say get it undone. It's NOT for daughter's benefit, she doesn't even need to know. It's to remind that church who has THE authority over children. Seems they need a sharp reminder regarding parental consent.

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