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My Grandson Baptism...


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Friends,

I was sitting here at my computer listening to a Robert Ingersoll podcast when my daugther-in-law calls to informed me that my 11-year old grandson will be baptized Sunday ,and of course, I am invited. I knew this day was comming. He is to be baptized into a Southern Baptist Church. I know deep down what I am to do, go and play the grandmother role, be nice and keep my mouth shut. I can tell you I am torned in so many ways, one, I am a nonbeliever and on top of that a Quaker, well a nontheist Quaker. And Quakers do not baptized(that is another discussion). Yes, I know, this is humorous in a way..so go ahead and smile, I understand.

OK all you wise nonbelievers, I have thrown this problem out ther for you to discuss and advise me on how you would handle this..

If this is in the wrong section, feel free to move it..

 

lkcollins

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It's a tough one, lk, and you only have four days to decide what to do.

 

I think much depends on what your son and his family already know of your convictions, and how the differences in religion between you have been handled in the past.

 

Obviously, your grandson's baptism isn't a proper event over which to throw something absolutely unexpected at their family, but if they know your views, and if you think your d-i-l gave you the invitation mainly out of respect for you as a grandmother, leaving it up to you to balance your religious views and your grandmotherhood, you have some leeway.

 

I'm assuming you don't want to go, right? Well, can you tell your son and d-i-l something like this -- ?: that you are delighted to be a grandmother to your grandson in every way, manner and instance, except when it would be obvious to everyone (including 11-y-o grandson) that you would be betraying your convictions and misrepresenting your true self -- something at the very least ironic to do at a ceremony celebrating convictions and true self. (If that's how you see it, of course.)

 

Otherwise, if they aren't aware of the difference in the two sets of convictions among you, I think you have to gird your loins and go.

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Go, though it will be uncomfortable. If your reluctance is a matter of principle, as you don't want to condone a practice you see know merit in I can understand but I still recommend going. Seeing as how this is about them and their son you shouldn't worry it's not your beliefs in the spotlight. Just be there in a grandmotherly capacity, it would be a shame to miss out on an event in your grandchild's life, never know when those opportunities will come.

 

I'm assuming they meant the invite benignly? I still go to christenings, baptisms and such for family and if yours is anything like mine they either wnat you there or just don't want to leave anyone out. So long as I'm wanted I don't mind so much. The gulf in belief stings a bit, almost as if I'm visiting foreigners in an alien culture, but it's better than having no family at all.

 

So go.

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I see Doc's point, but who are we fighting for, here? I know which ones are important to me when it comes to demonstrating my integrity.

 

It so happens I'm a grandmother who practices what she preaches (so to speak :) ). I've been entirely absent from my grandchildren's religious life. I'm sure I would have made everybody more "comfortable" if I'd gone along with what I considered abusive indoctrination (S-i-l is an Episcopal evangelical charismatic priest -- the gay-hating stripe of Episcopalian), but my long-term reward is that the oldest, my fourteen-y-o granddaughter, seems to have gained a certain curiosity about me, and has begun emailing me regularly and sending me chapters of her anything-but-Christian novel.

 

I still maintain my cool with her, and in no way try to undermine her parents, but I told her when she was eleven that once she turned eighteen I would be open to answering any and all questions she ever wanted to ask me.

 

I guess she didn't forget that.

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Thanks pitchu and the doctor

I think that the reason this announcment has hit me so hard is that this is the first time I have really been challenge. I have kept quiet and very few have any idea of my views.

My son does know where I stand on religion , but he is between a rock and a hard place. My d-i-l suspects, but my grandson has no idea. Yes I think I was invited out of respect and obligation, and I have no problem with this. I will go that's for sure,and have a pious smile on my face. I guess it comes down to what is more important and that is what I am still struggling with.

pitchu what is really "ironic" is that my grandson is really into religion and I am sure this was his decision. He is a natural performer and can get up in front of a crowd and pray with the best of them. Don't know where he got it from. He has asked me some heavy questiions in the past and I have more or less given him vague answers. You can be sure the answer will become clearer when he gets older.

lk

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Ok here's my 2 cents

 

I understand from what you wrote, you don't really want to go. But your grandson is only 11, he may be in it for now... But unless he is homeschooled or something, he's bound to be facing the hard questions. Just be there as a grandmother, and nothing else, aside from witnessing an important event in the life of your grandson. All I'm saying is just be there for him...

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{{lkcollins}} I have to agree with William. This is something I also dealt with, as a Mom, and will probably be dealing with in a few years as a Grandmother too.

 

When I was a Christian, I was a Baptist, like my husband, and it was in the Baptist church (almost identical in doctrine to the Southern Baptists) that we raised our kids. I had already stopped going to church for a few years, while my husband and kids continued, and during her teens our daughter "was saved" and wanted to be baptized. I didn't know anything about it -- which to this day fills me with sorrow because it just goes to show how our family didn't know how to communicate with each back then (thankfully all that has changed, drastically, and for the better, over time). It wasn't until the morning a few hours before her baptism was scheduled that I learned about it, when a relative called to ask what time to show up at the church! I can't describe the emotions that hit me. I couldn't really think, but I acted on impulse -- I put on some "church clothes" and dashed out the door and drove as fast as I could, just in time to meet my daughter and son and husband and other family members as well as some friends walking across the church parking lot, on their way to the main building for the baptism. My daughter and I started crying the moment we saw each other, and we hugged. She was as conflicted in her emotions as I was. But most of all, she was overjoyed that I was "there for her", that I had set aside my own hostility toward Christianity to show her that I loved her and respected her decision as an individual. She said she didn't think I would want to come, and I said, basically, "Just because I don't agree with church teachings, doesn't mean I don't love you and want to be part of your life."

 

It was a huge turning point for us in our family, especially in how they felt toward me as a Mom who was not a believer, and it seemed to open some sort of door. After that, it was somehow easier for all of us to really talk to each other, about "heart stuff".

 

But this is just my own personal experience and I have no right to tell you that you "should" or "shouldn't" attend your own grandson's baptism. What I will say is that I agree with William, and also that if you "follow your heart" you'll probably arrive at a decision that is right for you, personally. I like the saying, "Love is never wasted."

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I still maintain my cool with her, and in no way try to undermine her parents,

 

 

{{Pitchu}} It's a very fine line we have to walk, as ex-c grandparents, and I would seriously appreciate any tips you might have as to avoiding "undermining her parents". I adore my daughter and son in law, and want to always show respect for them when talking to my granddaughter about religion, while at the same time of course being honest and open. (And hopefully find ways to gently encourage all three of them to think outside the fundie box!)

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Friends,

I was sitting here at my computer listening to a Robert Ingersoll podcast when my daugther-in-law calls to informed me that my 11-year old grandson will be baptized Sunday ,and of course, I am invited. I knew this day was comming. He is to be baptized into a Southern Baptist Church. I know deep down what I am to do, go and play the grandmother role, be nice and keep my mouth shut. I can tell you I am torned in so many ways, one, I am a nonbeliever and on top of that a Quaker, well a nontheist Quaker. And Quakers do not baptized(that is another discussion). Yes, I know, this is humorous in a way..so go ahead and smile, I understand.

OK all you wise nonbelievers, I have thrown this problem out ther for you to discuss and advise me on how you would handle this..

If this is in the wrong section, feel free to move it..

 

lkcollins

 

I'm a non-theist Christian, so I say you go. It's your grandson. You gotta go.

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Phanta, Integrity is the key, that was what ended my involvement with the church and religion all together. I could not continue being something I'm not and trying to believe what I knew was false. But a good friend told me the other night that it would show more integrity for me to be there than not. It all boils down to,this is about my grandson and not me. I will be there, that was never the question, I do have misgivings and probably be a little uncomfortable. Heck, I might learn something, never been to a Baptist baptism. Went to a mason funeral the other day and that was a first.

About my grandson. there was a incident not long ago.I was driving him home from school and I notice that he was very quiet, somber mood. I asked him what was on his mind and he begin telling me this story about a terrible wreck in another community. Apparently his friend's dad was a fireman and was at the scene. He ,my grandson, was telling how the

driver and passenger were burned and how bad it was getting them out of the car. I remarked by saying that was a depressing thing to think about and he answer yes it is, but

"I don't know why God would let such a terrible thing to happen" I was stunned, and could not think of anything to say. I told him that, and I told him to ask his parents, better still, his pastor. I have to say tho, I was delighted that he was thinking about this and questioning.

 

13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood (REASON)as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

I thank all of you on this site for being here and allowing me vent.

lk

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