Thursday 15 September 2011


We are having Daughter christened. This is something that sits rather uncomfortably with me - not because I am against the idea, but because of the ramifications.

I don't know if I can be eloquent enough to explain my reservations but I will try.

I grew up in the church and used to love going to Sunday School - our church was a simple, white box sort of affair. It felt very homely and humble and honest. But a visit to the Vatican ruined church - and if I'm honest, Christianity - for me. It made me upset and angry that we had spent immeasurable money to build palaces for God's priests while people starved. I still believe in a loving deity, but I don't think said deity would approve of the sheer ... well, I don't know how to describe the Vatican. Ostentatious? Gold and black marble. The word Austere obviously wasn't in the artist's vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, it's glorious. But as far as deadly sins go, Greed springs to mind.

In any case. I think that we, as a species, are not able to comprehend what God is and what God wants. I know I said that I don't think They* would like us to spend money building palaces, but that's just my opinion.If they're omnipotent, how can we begin to imagine that we understand how they think/function?

But I digress. I worry about keeping the promises the Christening services involves. I know I can teach Daughter to love and be kind, but as I recall, you promise to bring the child up within the church, and I'm not sure I believe the church is the community I want to raise my child in. And I know thousands of people have their children Christened without intending to keep the promises they make on the day, but whether I believe in the ideology or not, people have still died for said ideology**. If I go into the service intending to brush aside the gravity of the oath I take, I make a mockery of everything those people died for.

But perhaps I'm over thinking this. Perhaps I can justify the ceremony by thinking of my own idea of God throughout. This throws up problems of its own though - how is my idea of God any better than that of the Christian faith?

This is exactly why I don't read philosophy. You start thinking about something trying to andwer a question, and end up with more questions.

So I make this promise here, because it will offend no one - I worry that I would offend my husband and friends were I to promise this on the day. I swear I will bring my daughter up to love, to believe and to question. I hope she will be able to form her own opinions in a sensible, reasonable way.

*I use 'They' in place of He/She.
**I'm referring to people having been killed for their beliefs, not to the farce that was the Crusades.

No comments:

Post a Comment