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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Debaptism Certificates in the UK

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There's been a bit of buzz lately, even in the mainstream media, in the UK about the National Secular Society debaptism certificates.

The certificate says:

I ________ having been subjected to the Rite of Christian Baptism in infancy (before reaching an age of consent), hereby publicly revoke any implications of that Rite and renounce the Church that carried it out. In the name of human reason, I reject all its Creeds and all other such superstition in particular, the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed by Baptism of alleged ORIGINAL SIN, and the evil power of supposed demons. I wish to be excluded henceforth from enhanced claims of church membership numbers based on past baptismal statistics used, for example, for the purpose of securing legislative privilege.

I'm a bit of two minds about this. First, I kinda like the idea of making the deconversion process "official" and formalized, at least for some people. We humans like ceremony and formality at some level, and this makes a clean break.

On the other hand, it doesn't actually do anything for the deconverted, and it actually lends some sort of credibility to the baptism. Just ignoring the baptism, at least for me, is acknowledging the value and effect of the baptism, which is exactly none. Is it worth the £3? Perhaps, as a novelty item. It seems to mostly be done in fun, and I hope most people take it that way. I hate doing anything that lends legitimacy to religion.