So you want to get debaptized?

So you want to get debaptized?

I saw this at BBC News – it seems that an increasing number of adults who were baptized as children want to get the deed undone.

The argument is that since they were baptized as young children, no-one consulted them and it should be their decision whether or not they wanted to take this step.

Read the BBC News report here.

I’m sure this idea is far more common over in the UK than here in the US, where just about everyone claims to be a practicing Christian. When I was growing up in the UK, I don’t every remember having any friends who attended a church (other than one kid who was a Jehovah’s Witness) but without exception we had all been baptized when very young. I think if we were asked if we wanted to be baptized, we would all say no, but I don’t think any of us would want to go through the trouble of getting debaptized.

This has gotten me wondering where the idea of baptizing infants came from. Certainly in the days of the early church a lot of people, including Jesus himself, were baptized as adults when they can make the decision themselves. I can only imagine the practice came into common use during times of much higher infant mortality where it would be considered a kind of insurance policy.

As would be imagined, both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are not too keen on this idea. There is however an organization, The National Secular Society, that suggests a workaround. If your local vicar won’t help out, just make your own Debaptism Certificate. There is a report on this, along with a TV news clip on their site

Me? No problem as far as I’m concerned. I was baptized into the good old Church Of England, but as a wedding photographer I get to attend more churches than any of my old UK friends ever have!

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