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THE RIGHT TO HAVE BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATES AMENDED

Every religion has teachings that are essential to its nature. For instance, if Christianity stopped considering Jesus to be the Son of God it would cease to be Christianity. If the essential teachings are seriously evil, then if we were entered into this religion as babies, that entry is invalid.

If the essential teachings are seriously evil, the right thing to do is to revoke membership and go.

The seriously evil doctrines of Roman Catholicism, to name a few, are:

Our justly being born in a state of estrangement from God.

Our ability to deserve everlasting punishment in Hell when we commit a mortal sin such as masturbation or trying to say Mass if we are not priests.

The Bible being the word of God despite all the violence God commands in it.

The worship of Jesus as God though as we cannot be as sure that he was God as we are that there is a God. The implication is that we must intend to put Jesus before God even if he is not God.

The doctrine that merely fearing punishment for sin is enough for God to forgive us though it is not repentance.

The doctrine that the saints influence God - it is impossible for mere creatures of God to influence him if he is really all-wise and all-perfect.

The doctrine that we must love God for his sake and not ours at all and condone him refusing to halt all evil and suffering. We do this not to help people but to help God. It is callous to go that far over a belief.

The Universe, Sunday 12 October 2008. It was reported that it had been ruled in court in Spain that Spanish citizens who have been baptised into the Catholic Church and renounce the baptism when they grew up should have their renunciation recorded in their baptismal certificates. The Church was ordered to record their departure from membership.

The Church refused to comply and it appealed the decision and won.

The triumph was based on Catholic claims that the baptismal certificates did not necessarily mean that the persons named on them were still Catholics. The Church argued too that they were confidential records and inviolable for they recorded a baptism ceremony that had in fact taken place. The Church said that though the Information Protection Law gave Spanish citizens the right to change information held about them in public records the baptismal certificates were not public records. The records were also organised in the baptism books by baptism date making it hard to find the names. The fuss was started in 2006 as a result of Manuel Blat Gonzalez affirming his human rights to have his renunciation of baptism recorded by the Church in his Valencia parish. He won this right in a lower court but the Church defeated him in a subsequent court battle.

The Church should have lost for the following reasons.

# Public records or not, Blat Gonzalez is the prime owner of the information held about him.

# He would have settled for a note in the margin of his baptismal record or certificate to the effect that he was not to be numbered as a Catholic.

# The Church uses such records or certificates to count who it considers to be Catholics and the state does it too. If you put it on the census that you are a Catholic and there is no record of you having been baptised into the Church then you break the law of the land. The determination of the Church to fight having to update membership records for defectors shows that it does not want to start doing proper censuses to work out how many real Catholics there are. It just cares about appearances. 

# The Church believes that baptism puts a mark on you that marks you as belonging to Christ forever. Even if you reject membership of the Catholic Church, the Church says that you belong to the Church and ought to come back. So though you can give up Church membership, there is still a link to the Church. But it does not follow that it can still pretend you are a Catholic. The Church should have lost the case if it does follow and if it thinks that Catholics cannot really leave the Church.

# The doctrine of the mark makes baptism an attempt to brand a child against their will. The Church says the reason a child must be baptised is to reverse his inherited hate for God's ways. So baptism is forced conversion.

# The Church recorded a membership of Catholicism forced on him when he was a baby. It refused to record his renunciation of this membership. When a child makes a mature informed rejection of his or her baptism the Church ignores him or her. What a person goes for matters more than what a person is forced to take.

# For the vast majority of Catholics, their religion is about taking a label, Catholic. A label is just a name and so those who are given the label should have the right to give it up - meaning it has to come off the Church records. Most Catholics are really Protestants. They do what they want, they neglect confession and Mass and they think for themselves. The Church says that all people join it through baptism meaning that even Protestant baptism makes you a Catholic until you are led astray to adopt the Protestant faith. Whoever says they do not believe the popes teaching is denying papal authority and not really recognising the pope. That person is a Protestant, if they believe in Christ, and they are deceiving themselves if they call themselves Catholic. To be a Protestant in your belief is to be a proper Protestant. Protestant Churches are not really Churches but collections of individuals. This is because of the doctrine that every person must stand alone before God and judge for themselves what the truth is.