Religion is one of those topics everyone should really discuss and figure out early on in a relationship.
Many a family has been torn apart when people are coming from different and passionate faith based viewpoints.
How to raise children in certain faiths that differ, can be a problematic experience. But it doesn’t have to be.
With the right amount of communication it isn’t… if communication is possible.
Case in point…
Redditor throwaway106609 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for not letting my kid be baptized?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“To start, I grew up as the eldest daughter in a Quiverfull cult family, so when I say that I’m done with overbearing Christianity, I am suuuuuper done.”
“I’m Agnostic and am not that fussed about religion as long as people leave me alone.”
“My husband and I bonded over that because his parents are Very Catholic and we had the shared experience of growing up in large families and deconstructing religious upbringings.”
“So we’ve always had the understanding that religion was not going to be part of our life together other than very occasional family functions.”
“I set boundaries with his parents about what I will and won’t tolerate and we had a stable detente until earlier this year.”
“While I was still pregnant with our son, I was in a really bad car accident. They almost lost both of us and our son was born very premature.”
“He’s healthy and fine now and I will eventually recover fully, but it was hell on my husband sitting in a hospital for days wondering if we were going to pull through.”
“He claims he had a religious experience while he was waiting and that he promised to return to the Church if God would save both of us.”
“Since we survived, has become a practicing Catholic again.”
“I can’t blame him for falling prey to religious thinking at a time like that, but I do not want that energy in my life at all, so for me it was like waking up to a different man on top of a premie and serious injuries.”
“There’s been a string of arguments and problems since.”
“I don’t really care what he does in private, but I won’t participate or discuss his beliefs.”
“The real battle has been over baptizing our son, though.”
“I’m adamantly against it or involving any children we have in religious practices until they’re old enough to make an informed choice.”
“We agreed before we were married that we wouldn’t let his parent’s guilt us into having our kids baptized.”
“He says he has a duty now to at least try and raise his kids Catholic and this is the least thing I can let him have.”
“I think it would just turn into more pressure later, so I’ve said no and our son can get baptized and go through conversion as a teen if he wants it and I’ll support his choice as long as it’s his choice.”
“My husband had planned to take our son over to his parents for an afternoon so I could rest, but his mother spilled the beans on a family group chat (she opened the wrong messenger convo by accident) about it actually being a planned baptism.”
“I hit the roof. He acknowledges now that hiding it was wrong, but he thinks he should be allowed to raise his kid however he wants.”
“I reminded him that we married with the understanding that we were on the same page and he’s going back on that, so this is a dealbreaker if he keeps it up.”
“He’s not a bad husband or father but this is trigger city for me and I’m not sure how rational my feelings are.”
Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.
It’s a tricky situation.
Let’s hear some thoughts…
“And when he manages to create a child entirely on his own without the involvement of another human being, he’s welcome to do so. This child, however, has two parents. NTA.” ~ PrettyFly4AYaoGuai
“This! I was raised in the church (and eventually got baptized) although I’m also pretty Agnostic now.”
“When I was a little kid and would ask about being baptized, my mom always told me that there was an age of accountability, at which I would be responsible for choosing right from wrong and accounting for my sins and then I should be baptized.”
“There’s more than one verse that backs this thought process.”
“It’s not like baptism immediately gives a person entrance to heaven within christianity, so he might as well make his own choice rather than your husband making a unilateral choice for you all.” ~ whiskeygonegirl
“So I 100% agree with NTA and all points. I DO NOT condone his actions at all.”
“The only reason I’m adding is because this literally just came up yesterday and a family friend who used to be a minister answered a few of my questions about baptism and confirmation.”
“I was always confused why baptism exists for Christians if christ had died for our sins. This is how it was explained to me.”
“I fully expect other religions may view it differently.”
“So a lot of churches believe that infant baptism is to cleanse a child, prior to the age of reasoning of the original sin.”
“The original sin of breaking a promise not to eat from the tree of knowledge and being kicked from paradise.”
“This was to ensure that if a child died prior to confirmation they would still be allowed into heaven and not subjected to purgatory or other.”
“In order to benefit from Christ’s sacrifice you would have to consciously choose to believe in him, but you can’t expect that of a child thus baptism.”
“It’s like a back up plan until they are old enough to make that decision.”
“I feel like the husband is acting from a state of fear and wants to make sure his child is safe from what he perceives as a horrible fate were they to die before confirmation(if a confirmation ever happens at all).”
“It doesn’t justify his actions at all and in fact I am horrified by them, but it may explain it a bit.”
“He may need therapy to work through his trauma of almost losing the 2 most important people in his life.” ~ callmenoodles
“NTA. Time to drag hubs to therapy because you are gonna need professional help for back up. In the meantime? ‘You said YOU would return to Church. Not me and not our son.'”
“There’s also the fact no priest worth their vestments would have actually agreed to this, which mean he and his family actually lied to the Father.”
“And yes you should beat him over the head with that fact, hell call his parent’s church if that is where this was going to happen and let the Father know what is up because they will try it again.”
“His trauma doesn’t give him the right to make decisions beyond himself.”
“Your son belongs to both of you and things like this are a 2 yes situation.”
“Your feelings are valid OP. You’re are his wife and partner, you have equal say and when you both can’t agree, the answer is no.” ~ PommeDeSang
“NTA. You had an understanding prior to getting pregnant and he can’t unilaterally decide to baptise your child now.”
“And he certainly CANNOT ‘raise his kid however he wants.’ There’s two parents so both of you need to agree.”
“All of that plus secretly plotting to baptise your child is a huge dealbreaker. If he can’t see that, he is in dire need of a second epiphany.” ~ Cruccagna
“NTA. Him and his family going behind your back is so manipulative and awful. I agree, there’s no long term cons to waiting for the child to decide their own religious views.”
“If the draw to God is really that powerful, then they’ll see how much their dad likes it, mom respects religion, and follow it.”
“If he never wants to then at least he has two parents not pressuring him with a religion.”
“Communicate how strong of a boundary this is for you, and honestly i wouldn’t trust him and his family alone w the kid cause they might try it again.” ~ ViridianBella
Our OP swung back around to articulate her thoughts.
“That it’s just water so it doesn’t matter that much, I wanted to clarify how I think of it.”
“If it was just a ‘magic water’ situation and he baptized our son on his own in the bathroom informally to avoid limbo or whatever, fine. I can’t stop that and it doesn’t make a difference anyway.”
“Wanting it to be formalized and public is different to me, it opens the door to a slippery slope of expectations that could have a life-altering impact on how my son is raised and by extension my life, too.”
“I work in a different part of the legal field, but I know that letting there be an uncontested precedent for my son being raised Catholic can turn into a bigger deal in family court than either of us deserve to deal with.”
“That my husband is so set on formalizing it to the point of lying to get that part done instead of settling for the purely spiritual part makes me super uneasy.”
“There’s a history in his family for using the court to bully exes into continuing religious education and that hits way close to home for me.”
“I’ve already talked briefly with the priest at their parish, who assured me there will be no more baptism attempts on his watch under the circumstances unless we both agree and we’re supposed to meet with him later this week to discuss that all together.”
“I was hoping some of this fervor would die down as we got past the accident, I guess, but if it doesn’t.”
“This is kind of my one ironclad hill to die on.”
“He doesn’t want to get divorced so it might be enough to at least get him to go to marriage counseling if I can find someone we can both agree on.”
Well that is quite the story.
This is a heavy topic. It’s not surprising to see so many people so passionate.
Parenting is never an easy road and situations like this only make it more complex.
Let’s hope this family can find some middle ground.