Sunday, March 15, 2009

Atheism — A New Pagan Cult?

Or why else would any of them consider it necessary to have a special "atheist sacrament" of "debaptism"?
Now Mr Hunt has become the pioneer in a rejuvenated campaign for a way of cancelling baptisms given to children too young to decide for themselves whether they wanted this formal initiation into Christianity.

However, baptism is proving a difficult thing to undo.

The local Anglican diocese, Southwark, refused to amend the baptismal roll as Mr Hunt had wanted, on the grounds that it was a historical record.
What's next? A group of secular Jews having it sewn back on in a special ceremony of "decircumcision"?

Seriously though - if John Hunt truly rejected beliefs and superstitions as he claims - why would he need a special ceremony to decry that in public public or to have that statement written on a piece of paper and signed? Think about it - if you don't believe in Santa - would you bother getting yourself a "non-believer in Santa" certificate? If you believe that there's nothing scary about Friday the 13th; that it's just a calendar date like any other - would you consider writing something like "it's Friday the 13th and I'm feeling lucky" on your T-shirt? Just like one of the commenters said:
I don't get it. Shouldn't atheists regard baptism as nothing more than regular water being poured on someone, symbolizing something they don't believe exists anyway?

If some nutty wiccan, for example, wanted to cast some false spell over me, I wouldn't demand she take it back. I would laugh at her nuttiness and forget about it.
Exactly! If Mr. Hunt & Co were truly atheists, if they truly believed that holy water is merely an H2O which can make one wet but hardly has any spiritual meaning - why would any of them bother trying to wash away the H2O which evaporated decades ago?

Looks like those guys feel somewhat insecure about their conversion to secularism. So they're lashing out at the faith they've renounced, trying to prove it to everyone (but first and foremost - to themselves) that they're through with it, that the days when their parents brought them to church are over, that starting from this day on they have absolutely, categorically, 100% nothing to do with Christianity and here's a special certificate in case you don't believe them and please take their name off the baptismal roll because they don't want anyone to remind them that they were actually baptized...

Looks like, contrary to their own bus slogans (which call upon people of faith to "stop worrying and enjoy life") - those newfound atheists are the ones who worry the most.


Mark Hughes said...

You have completely missed the point of "debaptism": Churches claim the baptised as their property, as sheep in their flock to be sheared.

Free people don't want to be on some church's property roll, and are sick and tired of being sheared.

Oh, and the words you use don't mean what you think. "Pagan" means the rural local spirit worship of the Romans, as opposed to organized religion, but still theist. Obviously if someone is rejecting theism, theist terms no longer apply.

"Cult" means worship of an individual with a strong personality, like David Koresh or Elvis or Jesus. Again, without theism, the term is inapplicable.

Leonard said...

>>You have completely missed the point of "debaptism": Churches claim the baptised as their property, as sheep in their flock to be sheared.<<
I thought I ended up coming to the same conclusion - that it's all about some folks lashing out at the Christian faith they've renounced and that it has a lot more to do with making a public stand than about those guys actually not believing in supernatural being. (Which those folks themselves are not quite sure of.)

>>Free people don't want to be on some church's property roll, and are sick and tired of being sheared.<<
Really? I thought the laws of compulsory church attendance and compulsory tithing have been repealed at least 200 years ago, if not 250. Don't want to belong? Just stop attending, nobody is going to drag you to church by force. But I guess some are just too disturbed with not being able to erase the information of their baptism from public records.

As for the definitions - if the word "cult" means worshiping an individual with strong personality - why do you think it's inapplicable without theism? Soviet Union was officially an atheist country, yet at some point children were forced to line up in front of a big portrait of Stalin and praise Comrade Stalin for their merry childhood.

The key word is worshiping. As long as this involves rites, praises or sacrifices - it's a cult. Just like there can be a cult of Kim Il Sung or a cult of "mother Earth" - there can be a cult of rebellion; instead of worshiping a being, those folks worship an action that's the only difference. As for the "pagan" - that has long become the synonym for idolatry and other godless cults.

Charles Pedley III said...

There is no such thing as an Atheist!