Many people are baptized or christened as babies or very young children; of these, many have no choice in the matter; it is the decision left to the parent(s). So what happens when a child that was baptized without his/her consent decides as an adult that he/she does not believe baptisms - its beliefs or processes, or maybe they do not believe in the religion of their parent(s)? The BBC is reporting that there is growing demand for "debaptism" or the revoking of one's baptism on the grounds that it is imposed upon babies without their consent. http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2009/03/debaptism-and-bbcs-anti-anglicanism.html.
People have many different reasons for joining religions or religious groups, being baptized, even being initiated in various religions, and these reasons are almost always personal. Some of these reasons could be:
- Saving one's soul from damnation
- Having problems issues that seem beyond what a person can handle himself.
- The belief that when you die your soul will go to heaven or hell
- Family religious tradition
Religion and faith can be a totally different concepts to some people. What was once "religious" is now sometimes referred to as "spiritual". Some Spiritualist define spirituality as an innate ability to connect with God and what is "godly". It is something that does not need a ceremony, baptism, initiation, or the approval of parents, leaders, or institutions.
We live in a global society where people from all different beliefs and customs have come in contact with others and now the option is open for anyone to be attracted to, and be able to join many more world religions. There are as many Buddhist temples, synagogues, Iles, mediation centers, mosques, etc. as there are churches all throughout the world, finding the religion or spirituality for you is no longer the choice of your parents. As a result, there is a sweeping trend of people who are petitioning their church for their right to be able to "de-baptize" themselves. What this means is, a person signs a certificate declaring: ?I, (insert name), having been subjected to the rite of Christian baptism in infancy... hereby publicly revoke any implications of that rite. I reject all its creeds and other such superstitions in particular the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed of original sin...? (ibid)
Just as circumcision in the beginning was a mark distinguishing Jews from all others, so baptism was the initial rite for distinguishing Christians from non-Christians. What I find funny about circumcision and baptism is, I'm sure Jews did not walk around with their pants down so that a person would see his, um, affiliation.
Religious affiliations are not physical traits, nor do we put them on applications, or have discussions with random people in public - so why is it important then to have something so formal as a "certificate" denouncing it all? Why not just simply leave your status as it is and just forget it ever happened? Or why not join as many religions as you want, while still being baptized, as if they each belong to you?