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Those Funky Debaptists, and Other Tales

Mar 24, 2009

If I were paid for every case of lunacy I document on this site, I would have enough moolah by now to purchase a small nation. It is a fulltime job just keeping up with all the moonbeam ideas and activities taking place around us every day. What was that saying about ‘whom the gods would destroy, they first make crazy’?

So I offer a few more juicy examples of the upside-down world that we live in. Morality has certainly been turned on its head. Reason is clearly taking a battering. And common sense has long ago been banished from much of the West. Here then are a few more cases of the cultural suicide raging around us.

Here come the Debaptists

We all know about Baptists, and even Anabaptists, but now we have the Debaptists. That’s right. Secularists and atheists are mightily indignant about infant baptism, and are demanding their right to be debaptised. They obviously feel there has been a great travesty of justice, and a profound trampling of their human rights, so they are upping the tempo of their misotheist militancy.

Thus the National Secular Society in the UK is on a new crusade, getting folks to debaptise themselves online. They even have a handy ready-made certificate for such purposes:

“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.”

Of course these are the same chaps who are fond of telling us that belief in God is on a par with belief in Santa and other fables. So will these secular militants now be suing their parents, who forced them against their will to believe in Santa for a few years while children? Will they be returning all the Christmas presents given to them as kids?

Will they be holding protest marches at the North Pole? Will they be barricading themselves in toy stores at Christmas, all in the interests of saving the poor little kiddies from such destructive brainwashing? Will they seek to disrupt those patently malicious photo sessions with Santa and the kids?

Funny, but if both characters are equally mythical, why are they so bent out of shape about the one, while so indifferent to the other? Surely all the Santa propaganda is just as damaging to poor little Johnny’s psyche as any Sunday School class ever was.

Those ardent atheists sure do put a lot of energy into seeking to discredit someone they claim does not even exist. Maybe the Psalmist was right when he said, “the fool has said in his heart there is no God”. They certainly seem to be making fools of themselves.

Another whale versus baby tale

I was flipping through the headlines of a website news service a few moments ago, when this line caught my attention: “A 14-year-old birthday boy has skipped school to join the fight to save the 11 surviving pilot whales stranded at Hamelin Bay, south of Margaret River.”

The news item went on to say that the WA schoolboy, who turned 14 today, was glad he could play a role in whale rescuing. His dad even drove him to the site.

The thought immediately occurred to me that while this boy is being deemed a national hero, if he had done the same thing – except to save unborn babies – the outcome would have been much different.

First, he would not have made it into the headlines. Second, he most likely would have been reprimanded by his school for his truancy. Third, he probably would have been arrested if he were outside an abortion clinic, and charged with various offences.

And I wonder how many parents drive their concerned children to locations where mass baby slaughters are taking place on a daily basis. The moral of the story is simple: if you are worried about whales, you are a morally superior being. If you are worried about unborn babies, you are a miscreant and a trouble maker.

Sense and nonsense in Africa

All hell broke loose recently when the Pope, on a tour of Africa, dared to question the traditional wisdom on condoms and AIDS. He said that condoms might in fact be leading to a worsening of the HIV/AIDS crisis. For this he was viciously and roundly condemned from all the usual suspects.

It was as if he had suggested that Hitler should be canonised, or that Collingwood is the greatest footy team ever. The criticism was nasty and relentless. But a few brave souls did come to the defence of the beleaguered Pope. One of these was Edward C. Green.

Green happens to be “one of the world’s leading field researchers on the spread of HIV and public health interventions. He’s the director of the Harvard AIDS Prevention Research Project, and is a leading advocate for evidence-based interventions.”

In a recent magazine interview he was asked this question: “Is Pope Benedict being criticized unfairly for his comments about HIV and condoms?” Green answered with these words: “This is hard for a liberal like me to admit, but yes, it’s unfair because in fact, the best evidence we have supports his comments — at least his major comments, the ones I have seen.” He continued,

“There’s no evidence at all that condoms have worked as a public health intervention intended to reduce HIV infections at the ‘level of population.’ This is a bit difficult to understand. It may well make sense for an individual to use condoms every time, or as often as possible, and he may well decrease his chances of catching HIV. But we are talking about programs, large efforts that either work or fail at the level of countries, or, as we say in public health, the level of population. Major articles published in Science, The Lancet, British Medical Journal, and even Studies in Family Planning have reported this finding since 2004. I first wrote about putting emphasis on fidelity instead of condoms in Africa in 1988.”

The entire interview is worth reading (see the link below). But of course you will hardly see these words recorded in the Mainstream Media, only the bitter attacks on the Pope. Such is the state of the MSM and political correctness today.

There are plenty more examples which could be cited here. But hopefully you get the drift. The trouble is, as more and more lunacy becomes more and more normalised, the person waving the warning flag appears to be the one who is in fact loopy. As C.S. Lewis once remarked, “When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.”

Yet when the bottom of the cliff is a place of death and destruction, then we desperately need such prophetic voices that will raise the alarm. They may not be well-received by those rushing headlong to the cliff, but they must be heard nonetheless.

www.secularism.org.uk/debaptism.html
www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/birthday-boy-saves-the-whales-20090324-984e.html
www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/marchweb-only/111-53.0.html

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20 Responses to Those Funky Debaptists, and Other Tales

  • Permit me to add another Bill. One would have to think that this is an “April Fools” joke in the making.

    http://www.rightwingnews.com/mt331/2008/05/animal_vegetable_or_stupid.php

    Its a fool that says there is no God

    Keith Lewis, Ballart

  • Thanks for the tip Keith.
    I feel another article coming on.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • In fact, the article is now up and running:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/03/24/the-dandelion-liberation-front/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Bill, Yes, you are quite right about the whales. Such events always get plenty of media attention but protests about abortion hardly any. Only right wing fundamentalists oppose abortion and don’t understand that a woman needs choice!!
    Graham Lawn

  • Hi Bill, I don’t know when you saw the UK debaptists story but I saw a news report on RAI (Italian national broadcaster) about 3 months ago that a municipality in Spain had started a deregistration of baptism and would issue a debaptism certificate. We hear alot about the UK and Canada because of the language access, but Spain has had a most dramatic turnaround in the last decade that probably surparses the UK.

    I spent time with missionaries in central Africa about 15 years ago working in tribal environments. They could see already then that the condom programs were a waste of money. Monogamy was almost non-existent. AIDS is not spread by the lack of condoms, it is spread by promiscuity. Condoms do not address the cause.

    Frank Norros

  • Bill,

    It is a bit of a gab bag of unrelated stuff. I do share your concern over most of it.

    However, as a Christian, I must disagree with your concerns over the de-baptists. Their statement seems to be aimed at the disestablishment of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland within Britain. Because I have adopted a free church position in recent years, if I was in Britain I would support their desire to disestablish any state church. Since I am a Baptist who has sought refuge in the Uniting Church, I object to the any recognition of infant baptism.

    For those reasons alone, I would sign such a statement in some vain (and pointless) attempt to revoke 1963 baptism in St Peters Church of England, East Fremantle. My mother did not believe it. Prior to her marriage, she was an enrolled soldier in the no baptism Salvation Army. My father’s family were ‘nominally’ combination of Congregational and Church of England. Unlike them, at least these atheists are willing to state their beliefs openly.

    Just for your information, I was baptised again as a confessing adult in 1978. I was later confirmed in 1997 because the Uniting Church synod required one to be a confirmed member. That why I am a confirmed Anabaptist. Reformed churches (like the Uniting Church) once drown or burnt such people. So, please, keep it quiet!

    Michael Boswell

  • Dear Bill, today I went to visit a beautiful baby girl Natalie, born yesterday, saved from the Berkeley St abortion mill (jaws of death) July 2008. Her father and I stood toe to toe argueing for 20 minutes …”at 7 weeks your baby’s heart is beating – the procedure is disgusting – your wife is so beautiful – you must protect her” He finally listened and left to return home. Tonight he is sleeping in the hospital on a trundle bed, right next to his wife and baby daughter. He will not leave them. He continually says “sorry”. He just adores both of them! We have not only saved a gorgeous baby girl but a whole family. So Bill like those who protest to ensure the safety of the whales, we, the so called “trouble-makers”, do our very best to save the lives of our tiniest little brothers and sisters, and please we need more “trouble makers” to come and join us!
    Jane Byrne

  • Well done Jane. Keep up the good work.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thankyou Michael for your contribution. I was curious to note that while you object to infant baptism you do not object to being in the Uniting Church which does not object to infant Baptism.

    Also, as it is the Triune God who baptises surely any request to debaptise must go directly to Him? There is no reference in the Bible to debaptism so the church or any member of the human race cannot issue debaptism certificates.

    Karen

  • Thanks Karen

    I have let you on, even without your full name (which my rules require), as you – and Michael – raise a few points of interest. The issue of baptism is of course another theological hot potato, with a wide range of views held. Some go in for infant baptism and baptismal regeneration, some see it simply as a symbol of adult commitment, and so on. Perhaps I will have to write an article on the topic some time.

    But I think the issue for the atheists is not a theological discussion, nor a concern about church disestablishment. At the end of the day, this is simply another fist shaken to the heavens, another act of rebellion and autonomy against the creator by his creatures.

    The issue is not really baptism, but the human rejection of God, and the defiance and hatred of mankind which thinks that it can instead be God. It is Romans 1 all over again. All people are intrinsically religious, and when they reject the one true God, they do not become irreligious, they have simply changed their religious allegiance, in this case, from God to self.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Karen – the reason many former Baptist members are in the Uniting Church is what I feel like calling the rising tide of Fundamentalism. Many concepts within Christianity do not have biblical authority. The best example is the Trinity. As for the theology of baptism … volumes have been written!

    Bill – I agree it is a fist shaken at heaven but if we accept the freedom to reject God we have to allow their expression. As Lesslie Newbigin pointed out, Christ’s illustration of a spirit returning to its former haunt (Matt 12:43-45; MK 11:24-26) should save us from using the term secular.

    Michael Boswell

  • Thanks Michael

    The doctrine of the Trinity is not some “Fundamentalist” doctrine, but the very heart of Christian teaching, which all true Christians have united under for the past 2000 years. Just because the actual term does not occur in the New Testament does not mean that it is not everywhere taught there.

    As to compelling belief, no one I know is arguing that atheists cannot be allowed to express their unbelief. They certainly are free to choose it and promote it. But their defiance of God is still what the Bible calls idolatry, and is the fundamental sin.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • They certainly are free to choose it and promote it. But their defiance of God is still what the Bible calls idolatry, and is the fundamental sin.

    And should be denounced as such. They can get their precious certificates, but they will not be any the less baptised for all that! They really are funny little critters.

    Louise Le Mottee, Hobart

  • Bill,

    I feel a little misrepresented.

    I said that some concepts of Christianity do not have Biblical authority. Then I used the example of the Trinity. Actually I would day that doctrine has a 1700 year history in Christianity. It took our fore-fathers in the faith 300 years to sought out what we should do with Christ. The ultimate conclusion explained why they could not think about God without thinking about Christ (take any of Paul’s letters). The reason was that Christ embodied God in some unexplainable way – and, hence, the great Christological heresies.

    My spiritual journey to the Uniting Church was not part of it.

    As an aside, the debates about personhood and artificial intelligence (of computers) reminded me of our forefathers vain attempts to dissect the divine from the human in Christ.

    Michael Boswell

  • The Debaptist rite is remarkably similar to one of the oaths used by black pope Anton La Vey:

    I abjure the Christian faith and hold in contempt all of its works…

    Hardly surprising, as both statements have the same ultimate author.

    Michael Watts

  • Debaptism is an admittedly quite silly idea (the NSS have always said it was intended jokingly) which nonetheless has a serious point behind it.

    No, it’s not, as you imagine, about “shaking our fists” at someone we don’t think exists. It’s about “shaking our fists” at something that certainly does exist – i.e. organised religion and the Church in particular – and which has some social power. Baptism statistics have certainly been used to support the privileges of the Church.

    It’s quite interesting, however, that so many people have become so enraged by the concept of “debaptism”. I wonder if it actually represents hostility at the very idea of apostasy.

    But really, why shouldn’t someone who ceases to be a member of a church be able to have their resignation recorded? Why is this so difficult and why does it arouse such huge and disproportionate anger?

    It’s not much to ask when religionists are increasingly demanding privileged access to our children in schools, being handed public services, enjoy the benefits of bishops in the legislature, and are exempt from certain provisions of anti-discrimination law.

    Dan J Bye, UK

  • Thanks Dan

    Speaking as a Christian, I acknowledge that to reject the institutional church is not identical with rejecting God or Christ. One can have issues with a church, but it is ultimately God that we must give account to. And sadly Christians have not always properly represented Christ, and we have at times shamed our Lord by our actions. For such things, we can only apologise and try to get it right, with God’s help.

    But a few other things can be said. While Christianity is a major world religion, we often say that Christianity is not really a religion, in the sense that religion is man’s attempt to connect to God, while Christianity is ultimately about God’s attempt to connect to us through Christ. The former is based on human endeavour, while the latter is based on God’s initiative and grace.

    Much of institutional church life may or may not represent what Christ and the biblical gospel are really all about. As such, I encourage you to study Christ and his claims. I challenge you to read afresh the gospels and see who this Jesus really was.

    And I still contend that atheism is the ultimate idolatry: seeking to replace the living God with something else – usually self – as the centre of the universe and the highest object of devotion. Thus atheism really is a shaking of the fist in defiance to God, and putting self in his place.

    In the end, it is not the church that you must give an account to, but your creator. So if you are a genuine seeker for truth, one who has an open mind, I would direct you to the person of Jesus, and the information we have about him as found in the four gospel accounts.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dan
    There is a difference of opinion within the church both as to the form of baptism and also what it represents. Some see it as a form of initiation rite into a church, or more especially a denomination, which tends to be the case with infant sprinkling. Clearly, in these cases, the ‘baptismal decision’ is made on behalf of the child by, typically, a parent. However, others see baptism as a conscious decision by an adult to become a Christian (as opposed to a member of some specific denomination), when it normally takes the form of full immersion.

    Your comment isn’t clear whether you are talking about infant sprinkling or adult baptism. If it is just the former, then, as Bill has stated, ‘de-baptism’ can merely be seen as a protest against the institutional church – even though some in those denominations might see it more strongly. However, if you are referring to adult baptism, then you are in fact shaking your fist at the God who you think doesn’t exist. The whole concept of adult baptism is to basically say that you are now under a different banner – that of Christ.

    So, this is not a simple matter of ‘resigning.’ If I move to another denomination, I don’t de-baptise from one denomination and re-baptise into another. I am still under the same banner – even though one sometimes wonders whether individual churches recognize this! Conversely, if I ‘resign’ from Christianity, I am denying God.

    However, whereas I might partially agree with your logic in resigning from some institutional church, I question your spin on the position of so-called ‘religionists’ who you claim are “increasingly demanding privileged access to our children” and the other items in your list. Just which religionists’ views are being promoted in your so-called anti-discrimination laws? These are nothing to do with anti-discrimination but rather are an active discrimination against Christians and their views!

    For centuries, Christians have been at the forefront of social services and education and it is only in very recent times that the ‘tolerance brigade’ has stepped in with their own godless, intolerant, revisionist view which wants to remove anything that smacks of Christianity and deny any historical positives . It is the atheistic religionists who are the ones increasingly demanding privileged access to OUR children (if we’re taking sides) and forcing THEIR way into positions of power.

    Roger Birch

  • Hi Roger,

    I find your explanation of baptism rather biased to say the least. You say “Some see it as a form of initiation rite into a church, or more especially a denomination, which tends to be the case with infant sprinkling.” I suppose you mean that those who accept only adult baptism see it this way.

    The main protestant denominations which do practise infant baptism (e.g. Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist or Uniting) do not see infant baptism as an initiation rite into a specific church. They see it as the one baptism that Christ commanded to be performed:

    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
    Matthew 28:19

    It is fairer to say that some Christians, such as Baptists, see that this baptism is only for adults, whilst the aforementioned denominations see it as the new testament equivalent of circumcision (which explicitly was for both infants and adult converts).

    Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne

  • Hi Mansel
    Point taken – although I did say there was disagreement, and I did add that some denominations see it more strongly than I was trying to say in limited words!

    My intent was not especially to enter into a theological debate over the rights or wrongs of infant baptism or an exegesis of Matthew 28:19 – let alone the issue of circumcision you raised. I was trying to focus on the issue of resigning from Christianity – rather than just ‘the church’ as it had been claimed – through some ‘de-baptism’ process, i.e. whether the de-baptism act is in fact shaking one’s fist at God and not just the church.

    Adults who were baptized as infants, but who were never turned into disciples (Matt 28:19) and possibly never even taken back into church, could be seen as merely rejecting the church should they choose this de-baptism process. However, I would suggest that someone who has chosen adult baptism, or who had been baptized but then become a disciple as per the command in Mat 28:19, is in a far different place should they then elect to be ‘de-baptised.’ In this latter case, they are rejecting God.

    Roger Birch

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