"De-baptism" certificate?

Jim Downey's picture

So, saw this over on MetaFilter:

Certificate of Debaptism

The certificate declares:
I ________ having been subjected to the Rite of Christian Baptism in infancy (before reaching an age of consent), hereby publicly revoke any implications of that Rite and renounce the Church that carried it out. In the name of human reason, I reject all its Creeds and all other such superstition in particular, the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed by Baptism of alleged ORIGINAL SIN, and the evil power of supposed demons. I wish to be excluded henceforth from enhanced claims of church membership numbers based on past baptismal statistics used, for example, for the purpose of securing legislative privilege.”

It's a UK-based group, which explains the final sentence in the document.

Anyway, it's an interesting discussion on MeFi, which you might enjoy looking through (and contains this snark gem: "When I gaze upon a newborn baby all I see is a filthy sinner who is going straight to hell if something isn't done right quick."). And I thought I'd see if folks here had an opinion on the matter.

Personally, I never give any thought to such things as my own baptism. Though I suppose I wouldn't mind having my foreskin back. Ah well. Anyway, while it isn't for me, I can see why some people might feel it empowering to have some such document - a small ritual that terminated any claim that a church might have over them.


Jim Downey

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Anonymous User's picture

I am praying for your soul!

I am praying for your soul!

Jim Downey's picture

Nice symmetry.

An anonymous person performing an ineffectual act for a nonexistent artifact. There's a nice symmetry to that.

Jim Downey

Like Science Fiction? Read *or listen to* my novel, Communion of Dreams, for free.

Anonymous User's picture

Heh kind of interesting that

Heh kind of interesting that people feel the need to get these. Something I would get, frame and put on the wall for a good laugh. I was never baptised so either way it doesn't matter to me. I feel if you want to be baptized it should only be done if you have asked. Such as a bar mitzvah or something like that.

Cobwebs's picture

I Had a Mormon De-Baptism

It was the only way I could get them to leave me alone.

My mother was Mormon, she had my sister and I baptized when we were young, and since our names were on the church rolls we were constantly pestered by missionaries and "home teachers" trying to get us back to the fold.

I asked them several times to leave me alone, but they gave me a "we're just following orders" spiel. I had to write a formal letter requesting excommunication, but it was definitely worth the trouble.

ditto's picture

I need to do that too... I

I need to do that too... I think my dad periodically sends them after me, so they keep managing to find me despite the fact that I've moved around a lot these past few years....

vjack's picture

I like it

I like it, and if I thought for a second that I was somehow being counted by the church where I was baptized, I would likely pursue it. I suppose I could ask my parents where I was baptized. Man, would that ever lead to some fun! Seriously though, I'm not sure how doing such a thing would affect my life but I'm all for people having the option.

Nemo's picture

It doesn't much matter

here in the U.S., but in a country with an established or quasi-established church, it's a big deal. I'd want my name off of any such rolls. But of course the church's ceremonies have no power over me, if I don't give them any. So I don't need a de-baptism; all I need is to disbelieve. The church may think my only exit is excommunication, but I don't care what they think, except when they get civil authority to go along with them.

cognitive dissident's picture

how to get excommunicated


[ ] start World War II and slaughter millions of people in concentration camps

[ ] rape and impregnate your 9-year-old stepdaughter, and assault other young girls

[X] get raped by your stepfather and have an abortion to save your life

Their morality is different from ours, and sometimes I don't understand it. I don't personally care about getting de-baptized, but it would be nice to see some of those inflated membership numbers cut down to size...

PapalBull's picture

Like the concept but would

Like the concept but would go one further. In my case, the vatican claims to represent a billion or more individuals (baptisms) and thus claims to speak on my behalf irrespective of my grown-up sensibilities. Given the vatican houses a fairly respectable website it should be no effort for them to have an opt-out webpage where specific details can be provided and ... voila you are officially excommunicated from the faith. Sure would be nice if they would go to the trouble of issuing an official certificate, like the baptismal thing, though! Except in this case a little note about eternal condemnation to fire and brimstone would be touching. Imagine if you will a reverse counter spinning backwards to fair representation. Until then I freely argue against christian nonsense ... and to add insult ... tell them they are not a real christian. Undermine the faith from within their own ranks. It really pisses them off.

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