The Roman Catholic Church claims that sprinkling water on a baby or an adult while saying, "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" does amazing things. It takes away the sin we are born with, original sin, and any other sins and grafts us on to Jesus making us his servants. It puts Jesus and God inside us to live in us and inspire us. The Church says that baptism heals the inclination towards sin that original sin causes. Baptism is a sacrament. It pictures cleansing from sin and the effects of sin and actually does what it pictures.

Baptism is about a state or condition not an action. Baptism is understood as vaccination against sin infection.  Vaccination involves an injection but is not about an injection. It is about a condition. That is why baptism needs to be seen as a big deal not just a party not a rite or ceremony.

The meaning of baptism is drowning your sinner side or sinner self in the water and rising from the water as a forgiven and renewed and reborn person.  Baptism is drowning the sinner so it implies Christianity really knows what sin is and baptism is serious business.  The sprinkling of water may not look like it intends the drowning meaning but it does.

The drowning and the way baptism is a statement of faith in the violent death and resurrection of Jesus and embracing what that evil has allegedly done for you are sufficient reasons for taking it very seriously.  Take it seriously enough to condemn it vehemently and have nothing to do with it.

Lazy interpretations of baptism - it's just a culture thing or a rite etc - do not wash.  It is not up to you to decide what baptism means.
Baptism, in Catholic teaching, makes one part of the one true Church - the Roman Catholic Church.

A baby if a member can only be considered a passive member.  This implies that passive matters more than active and that raises moral issues.  It is more about headcounting than a person being a true active member.  A passive member of anything is not much of a member if he or she can be called a member at all!  There is something abhorrent about a baby being classed a passive member of the Communist Party so we should be against this even if it is the Catholic Church - a social political entity which is more about those two areas than faith or God.  The core demands of Christianity as laid down by Jesus according to the Bible are willingness even to die for Jesus and the religion (I wrote religion not the people).  Passive membership totally maligns that ethos.

If religious freedom is a right, then it refers chiefly to the right of any person to create a religious identity with doctrines and rules which set up that identity and demark it from other identities.  That is where the trouble lies.   It should be described as a privilege not as a right.  It is such a serious matter that any gimmicks such as baptising babies to give them an identity is a form of spiritual abuse.  In truth the only label that is true is that you are human.
Most Catholics are baptised as babies. Though few become proper Catholics (and many like the Protestants pick out what they like out of the Christian faith the Church) baptism serves the Church well. It leads to people who do not believe but who underwent baptism into the Church being seen as Catholics. Because of them, there is a social structure through which the leaders can gain great prestige, wealth and influence. If more people left the Catholic structure the Church would get less say in the media and in the state. They may have left the faith in their hearts but the religio-political web is still there and they are part of it. The structure is kept up through parishes and Catholic schools. For cultural reasons, many get their babies baptised. Because a parish comprises enough people who are baptised Catholic, it will still keep going even if only one person attends worship every Sunday. The presence of the baptised in the locality is enough to keep the chapel open and the parish in existence.
If you were baptised Catholic, as long as you get your babies baptised and invite them to attend Church when they get older and give it money you are complicit in the wrongdoing and superstition of the Church. And you are making them as bad as yourself.
What if you feel you could get your baby baptised in case baptism is necessary for Heaven? You might not believe but part of you might be scared. You will tell yourself, "Why not? No religion, nobody, knows all the religious answers with 100 per cent certainty anyway." But that is not a reason to get the baby baptised - it is an excuse. If is not clear enough that baptism saves the child, no decent God will make the child suffer if it is not baptised. Smarter people than you say the threat to the unbaptised is merely nonsense. And why aren't you thinking that baptism puts power into a child and it could be some kind of arcane harmful power? The Book of Mormon says infant baptism is an abomination. Islam says it implies opposition to the truth that instead of being baptised we need to work on believing in God and that Muhammad is his prophet.
Baptism is said to remove the divine ban on the child from entering Heaven to enjoy everlasting happiness there with God. It is said to do away with the weakness that inclines us to sin. It puts the Holy Spirit in our hearts. It puts the gift of faith in the baby. The baby will grow up to be a believer - unless he or she resists - and is called to be a saint through baptism. All that is serious stuff.

In Catholic teaching, baptism confers the new birth. The Catholic who does not believe this cannot call himself a person of Catholic faith or a true believer. According to Pius XII, he is not a Catholic anymore.

Dignity is seen as a gift from God and dignity is given in baptism too. Baptismal new birth/regeneration is linked to the notion of God making man in his own image. The baby becomes the icon of God in baptism. The unbaptised is an image of God in a sense but there is no qualification in how the baptised person images God. The unbaptised being the image of God is so vague that it is meaningless and as good as saying the unbaptised is nothing to God at all.
Baptism is said to be a big deal because it spiritually changes the baby and is an essential for fitting the baby for Heaven. Babies prior to baptism are thought to be in such a spiritual condition that it is as if they are guilty of sin and this is because they are contaminated as a result of the sin Adam, the first man committed when he ate the forbidden fruit. Though they never actually sinned, they are in the same condition as if they did. This is called original sin. The baby then comes into existence spiritually lifeless and spiritually dead. The baby stays that way until baptism. The central idea and central motive for why Catholics baptise babies is so that the baby may be reborn, regenerated or born again. The terms all refer to the same thing. This new birth is compared to natural birth. With natural birth, you come into the world. With the new birth you have a birth as well. This is birth into a life with God. The Church says this new birth is the most important one. When you think about it, the meaning of baptism is extremely insulting and arrogant. The new birth doctrine outlines the difference between the baptised and the unbaptised as being the same as the difference between day and night.
The difference is not in the life the baptised have to live as in going to Catholic school and living as a Catholic but spiritual. A person mistakenly thought to have been baptised could live as a Catholic but would not be a real one. A person should feel very very uncomfortable about these vicious doctrines of the new birth. Such teaching pretends that something that isn't very important is of extreme importance. Few parents would feel that way. They have baptism performed to imitate everybody else. They will see no difference between their baptised child and the unbaptised Muslim child next door. They have to insult their intelligence to serve the Church and pretend there is a dramatic difference. The Muslim will be slandered as bad and dangerous and the baptised as good.
The Catholic Church considers baptism to be a big step. It is even more important than marriage. The Church says that the sacrament of marriage is only possible if the man and woman have been baptised. The Catholic Church sees baptism as the new birth. It is changing the person so much that it is like they are born again. It uses John 3:5 to prove that. When having a chat with Nicodemus, Jesus claimed that only a person born of water and the Holy Spirit could go to Heaven, “Unless a man is born of water and [even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the Kingdom of God”. If you care for your baby and you feel that baptism is spiritually nothing special and not a radical change and that baptised people and unbaptised are no better or worse than each other then you cannot invite him to pretend that undergoing it did him any unusual spiritual good. And you are affirming that you will invite him to do that when you tell him about his baptism.
As baptism removes sin, it is supposed to unite your soul with God. Thus you belong to him and he to you. There are no rights without responsibilities. Baptism lays religious responsibilities on you. You must obey what God teaches through scripture and the Church. Baptism is based on scripture and Church authority. So to get baptised implies acceptance of their authority and veracity. Baptism is an oath. God and his people have taken an oath based on, "You will be my people and I will be your God". It is a two-way oath. The Church requires an oath of commitment from baptised babies before they know to what they are committing. That is outrageous... but it means that baptism is serious stuff. Atheists and believers alike must recognise that. It would be like perjury to take your baby to get baptised while having no intention of taking the infant's obligations as a result of baptism seriously.
The Church says that some sins are very serious because they are an attempt to break your marriage relationship with God that was enacted at baptism. It points to Ephesians 5:31-32 which speaks of this intimate relationship with God thus indicating that serious sin is as bad as adultery (page 68 Apologia, Catholic Answers to Today's Questions, Holden and Pinsent, Catholic Truth Society, London). The Church holds that baptism is the wedding ceremony and your life after is the marriage.


Baptism is a big thing in its meaning.  The spiritual baggage is high.  The claims are huge.  The label it gives in social terms has blood splattered history and people die over it and kill over it today.  Entry into something bigger than yourself is never a small matter.  It needs to be an informed choice.  A system that does not care about choice is no small matter.  And the bigger it is the bigger the significance.


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