Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Evil Father Refuses to Have Son Baptized

It has recently come to the attention of the local ward where I reside that my oldest son, who is above and beyond the age of accountability, has never been baptized. How they missed it, I have no idea. So lately he has been meeting with the missionaries. My TBM wife wants him to be baptized, of course, but to her credit, she has not made a big deal out of it. In fact, before she agreed to let the missionaries teach him, she came to me, asking if it was alright. I gave my consent. People might ask me why I agreed to let him meet with the missionaries. Before I can answer that, I have to first state that I will let my son make this decision when a few things have happened:

  • He must be 18 years old

  • He must completely understand, in advance, all the expectations that church membership requires

  • He must be told both sides of the story

  • It is because of the third requirement that I have allowed him to meet with them. He will also understand the reasons why I do not believe it and he will be presented with the evidence. After that, he will be completely free to choose whatever he wants, beit Mormon, atheist, or anything else.

    Now, when I gave my consent for him to meet with the missionaries, it was with the clear understanding that he will not be baptized. I made it very clear from the beginning. Now, the missionaries have been putting pressure on my wife to convince me to change my mind. In fact, I was visiting her one day and we were watching a movie when the door bell rang. She answered it and it was the missionaries dropping by. She did not invite them in and so they didn't know that I was sitting in the front room and could hear what they were saying. It was more pressure about convincing his dad to loosen up.

    I don't think that my wife should have to deal with pressure from the missionaries on top of all the other stuff she deals with. My expectations were made clear from the beginning and they are now disrespecting that. My son enjoys their meetings. But when I gave him a list of all the stuff that Mormons can't do, he was pretty discouraged about joining. For a while there, he wanted to be baptized because all of his friends were.

    In the end, it is their goal to get him baptized. I am the apostate and therefore my word doesn't mean much to them. I am viewed as an obstacle by Satan to prevent as many people as possible from finding the pure and sacred truth. I am hindering my own son's spiritual progression and so they have little respect for me or my wishes.

    That is why it's a cult and that's why I hate it.


    Joyful Sparrow said...

    Good for you making sure he gets both sides, and being decidedly supportive whichever way he goes.

    Heather B said...

    These sound like our expectations as well, if anyone decides to convert my kids. None of them have been baptized, and my oldest is 9, so its just a matter of time.

    Those missionaries should be shot!!! Seriously. Even as a TBM I never would have pressured anyone to commit to something like baptism. But I guess they have to please the Mission Pres with #'s.

    In the end its your son's decision. Thats it...

    MontelloOffGrid said...

    It tore me up to let my daughter be baptized two years ago. However, I did it with my wife's agreement that she never again be pressured to attend church. I still refuse to believe that any eight year old is capable of entering into a contract of any sort. But, using their logic, I reasoned with her that if someone is mature enough to make a decision to join an organization, they should also be mature enough to make a decision about leaving the same organization. And, surely, they should be able to make the much less weighty choice of whether they will attend a meeting on any given week. After failing half of the baptism interview questions (I stayed in the bishops office after it was implied I should leave a 45 year old man alone with my 7 year old daughter), she was baptized. Her attendance dropped off the side of the cliff once it was explained to her the new freedom she had been given. Today, she chooses to relate her spiritual experiences through the mythological greek gods....she came upon the greek gods all on her own....and I couldn't be happier for her. (FWIW, I'm agnostic with a couple toes in atheism)

    It's interesting what happens when you truly give a child free agency....and you can only imagine the knots it puts in the asses of others when you explain the above implementation of free agency to them....it cracks their lens!

    Exhalted Outcast said...

    We had the same issue with our son. He turned 8 and magically the missionaries started showing up at our house asking to meet with our son.

    I consented simply because I refuse to hide anything from him. If he wants to learn about Mormonism, it's fine.

    I have the same rules you do. He can't and won't be baptized into ANY religion until he is 18 and can make that decision on his own.

    It's funny when we informed the Missionaries of that, they stopped coming round, and strangely he stopped getting invited to Cub Scouts too. Which of course would have been problematic anyway since he has decided he is an atheist (Scout oath, faith in 'god' award) all things he couldn't earn in good conscience.

    I think you should have poked your head around the corner and let them know you were there and watch the shock and fear on their faces, it would have been worth it :)

    Love ya bro!

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    Anonymous said...

    Just curious... did your son end up getting baptized?