Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Atheists Choose 'De-baptism' to Renounce Faith

Some highlights from yesterday’s USA Today article, Atheists Choose 'De-baptism' to Renounce Childhood Faith...

“In a type of mock ceremony that's now been performed in at least four states, a robed ‘priest’ used a hairdryer marked ‘reason’ in an apparent bid to blow away the waters of baptism once and for all. Several dozen participants then fed on a "de-sacrament" (crackers with peanut butter) and received certificates assuring they had ‘freely renounced a previous mistake, and accepted Reason over Superstition.’”

"'It was very therapeutic,’ Gray said in an interview. ‘It was a chance to laugh at the silly things I used to believe as a child. It helped me admit that it was OK to think the way I think and to not have any religious beliefs.’”

“Some of the so-called "de-baptized" have used their certificates to petition churches to remove their names from baptismal rolls.”

“De-baptism efforts have been growing internationally in recent years. More than 100,000 Britons downloaded de-baptism certificates from the National Secular Society (NSS) between 2005 and 2009.”

“Public ceremonies to confer de-baptism, however, seem to be primarily an American phenomenon.

"'I think a de-baptism ceremony (in Europe) would strike a lot of secularists and atheists as kind of pointless,’ Evans said. ‘They would leave the ceremonies to the religious.’"

"'For a long time, non-religious people in the Bible Belt just kept quiet, but they aren't keeping quiet anymore,’ Zuckerman said. ‘I think that's largely a reaction to George W. Bush's presidency.
(Atheists) were saying, 'The government is being taken over by very religious people. We need to stand up and say: 'We're here. We're secular. Deal with it.'"

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