24th March 2009

“'Debaptism' is not about 'making a statement', narcissism, self-image or the alleged human need for ritual and group membership. It is about controlling the political influence of the Church of England by refusing to let it count its opponents amongst its supporters.”


11 Responses to “24th March 2009”

  1. John Sutton Says:

    I don’t think I have been baptised – I have no evidence or memory of it. Can anyone tell me how I find out.

  2. Admin Says:

    Can anyone tell me how I find out

    Can anyone in your family help? I think you would need to locate the church where it happened because that’s where the records are kept.

    The CoE is currently refusing to do anything about debaptism requests but I believe the Catholic Church will change its records on request.

  3. Larry Huffman Says:

    Despite what the quote says…it is about making a statement at it’s root. It’s not as if this quote does anything to actually explain why it is not…other than to not be counted as a member, which does not require a debaptism, merely a letter. How is this quote even in an Atheist QOTD?

    But…who cares. If you lack a belief in god or do not wish to attend…simply do not. If you lack a belief in god, then all that happened is you were sprinkled or dunked…nothing more. Bptism means nothing once you completely disregard the church’s authority…therefore there is nothing at all to undo. Making a ritual out of undoing nothing is quite intellectually unsound.

    This is about making a statement. Hell, wanting off of the membership roles is a statement, since being on those roles does absolutely nothing for or against you. If you take two people who were COE members…they both find themselves to be atheists…one goes through debaptism and the other does not…how will the one who does not be negatively affected? Not at all…I see. So it is a statement and a sort of half-baked atheist ritual, and going through it does nothing at all…other than make a statement.

    You do not have to call it depbaptism to simply be removed from membership. Call it “writing a letter requesting to be dropped from membership”…not debaptism, which again, is the reversal of a ritual that meant nothing in the first place, and therefore there is nothing to reverse.

    With all of the wonderful topics out there…wonderful quotes…we are dicussing something as moronic as depbaptism.

  4. Admin Says:

    I agree that on the surface the subject seems ridiculous (the NSS debaptism certificate is meant to be joke). However, the issue is serving a useful purpose here in the UK.

    Firstly, it is encouraging people to discuss the appropriateness of inducting children into a religion long before they have any understanding. Maybe not so important with baptism but a significant issue for circumcision.

    Secondly, there is the issue of representation. The CoE has claimed it doesn’t use the number of baptisms in counting its membership. But a well known religious correspondent has recently discovered that this is untrue.

    So it’s proving to be quite a thorn in the side of the religious establishment.

  5. Oxymoronic Christhinker Says:


  6. Larry Huffman Says:

    I can understand the sentiments rising about this…but why not discuss the issue of children being forced into membership and indoctrinated on the basis of the child and not the ordinance? After all, it is far more than the baptism in question here. And…related to this topic…if the baptism meant nothing, than a debaptism means nothing.

    As to the representation issue…who cares? really…how does you being counted as a member have any bearing on your or the church? Does it put you in the pew and cause you to donate? Nope…it does not. But again…if you want to rescind your membership…call it just that. Calling it a debaptism again is giving credence to an ordinance that means nothing at all.

    The bottom line is…how much good is it really doing when a false and contrived ritual…debaptism…is forwarding the discussion and not the actual facts. If people want off the roles, call it that…not some reverse of a meaningless ritual. If the topic is children being forced into the membership before they can give consent…call it that. Plainly. Clearly.

    This is simply former theists wanting to make a statement. I can understand this as well…when I had been removed from my beliefs for a year or so…I would ahve been in favor of such a thing, because my emotions to strike back and somehow show I am no longer that person would have been overwhelming to me. But, having had the chance to sit back and look at religion from the atheist perspective…a debaptism looks just as foolish as a baptism…in fact, you cannot have a de- anything without giving some level of credence to whatever you are de-ing.

    Rather than accept something that is intellectually unsound because it is making inroads…how about determining more honest and sound methods for dissiminating the same information. Maybe it will not be as sensational, but it will make more sense.

    Note…I was discussing this with a group of chrisitans in another forum a few months ago…they all saw right through it. Their stand…if your baptism is something you have to reverse…then it must mean something. Guess what…they are right. But…the baptism means nothing. You being on their roles means nothing. But…if you wish to remove yourself from their roles, write a letter. No need to reverse a meaningless ritual with a meaningless ritual.

    The way it look s to me is that you are happy with the progress it is causing because you are using it to forward certain issues…and yet the very thing you a

  7. Larry Huffman Says:

    Sorry…that last paragraph that just kind of stops was to be deleted. My point ended with the paragraph above. 🙂

  8. Dan the Man, Omaha Says:

    If the CoE keeps you on its rolls until you explicitly remove yourself, that says a lot more about how poorly they choose to manage their “head count.” I can see how using that figure might work to inflate their numbers for PR reasons, but it would be absolutely useless as a tool for managing their organization internally.

  9. Larry Huffman Says:

    Do all of you who debaptize yourselves also deconfirm yourselves…or decommunion yourselves? If you do, do you decommunion yourself once for every time you took communion? After all…the baptism was the initial…the communion was the re-affirmation of said baptism.

    So…a proper course…if you really want to build a subset of stupid ignorant rituals up along side of your atheism (which would clearly show you are a superstition oriented atheist)…you should decommunion yourself once for each time you took it…THEN debaptize yourself.

    I mean…if you are going to go through the efforts as if it actually means something you should do it right.

    As a former mormon, I could spend quite sometime and effort de-ordinancing myself…there are a lot of ordinances mormons undergo. Or I can just write a letter and not look ignorant.

  10. Larry Huffman Says:

    Well…any more ignorant than I already did for joining and believing in the silly religion in the first place…to be clear. 🙂 (no, don’t think I can ever let myself fully off the hook for buying into that mess)

  11. Chris Says:

    “Decommunion” would involve either syrup of ipecac or generous quantities of tequila. I’ll go with tequila to finally get that Jesus flavor out of my mouth.

    They’d retain members better if the Jesus came in bbq flavor. Also, swap the cheap wine for even cheaper beer.