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Wedding Woes

Uhhh. Talk to your wife and read your mom the riot act.

Dear Prudence,

I’m Jewish by conversion, having been raised in a conservative Christian environment. My parents are generally good, even mostly liberal these days. However, my mom has directly told my mother-in-law (also a Christian) that she would have any child of mine baptized against my will. My wife is not pregnant, but this offends me deeply, terrifies me, and honestly is making it difficult to even be sexually intimate with my wife for fear of this. What do I do?

—Religious Kidnapping

Re: Uhhh. Talk to your wife and read your mom the riot act.

  • I can't say more than what everyone has said .... just adding this is ridiculous of the mother .... 
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I can’t believe LW is withholding sex over this. I would have a serious conversation with mom and tell her in no uncertain terms that if she was to baptize their children it would mean she was forfeiting all contact with her family. 


    image
  • I have to admit, this one is hard for me to relate to because I think of a baptism as being more a symbolic thing.  And really doesn't matter for all practical purposes.  But I know.  It's not like that for many people.  And I'm a bad Christian for saying that about baptism, lol.

    Not that I'm saying it's NBD if his mom secretly does it!  That would be an absolutely outrageous act and breech of trust.  However, it is hard for me to understand the part where the LW is "terrified", to the point where he doesn't even want to have sex with his wife.

    He needs to talk to his mother.  He also needs to stop this fear from, not only having sex with his wife, but also potentially interrupting their procreation plans.  And if they need to lay the hammer down that their future babies are not allowed to be alone with his mother if they can't trust her, than so be it.
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  • mrsconn23 said:
    Yeah.  I think I'd be like, "So I heard the wildest thing!  If I have a baby you're going to secretly baptize your grandchild?!  I mean, that's crazy!" If I were LW, I'd still probably not let mom have my kid alone ever...until the kid can talk and you can tell them that they need to tell you if anyone takes them to church and lets the pastor give them a sprinkle on the head.  

    Also, dear god man...don't withhold sex from your wife because of your mother's BS.  It's not fair to her and will cause a ridiculous amount of unintended consequences if you start pulling away from your wife physically or rejecting sex.  
    Definitely the bolded.   I'd even add, "Well Mom, as much as I wish you'd have some alone time with Zachariah you've already asserted that you have plans to completely disregard me and the faith in which I'm raising my children.    We will have a group get together next Saturday.   Would you like to come over at 4?"


    Casadena
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 10
    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Yeah.  I think I'd be like, "So I heard the wildest thing!  If I have a baby you're going to secretly baptize your grandchild?!  I mean, that's crazy!" If I were LW, I'd still probably not let mom have my kid alone ever...until the kid can talk and you can tell them that they need to tell you if anyone takes them to church and lets the pastor give them a sprinkle on the head.  

    Also, dear god man...don't withhold sex from your wife because of your mother's BS.  It's not fair to her and will cause a ridiculous amount of unintended consequences if you start pulling away from your wife physically or rejecting sex.  
    Definitely the bolded.   I'd even add, "Well Mom, as much as I wish you'd have some alone time with Zachariah you've already asserted that you have plans to completely disregard me and the faith in which I'm raising my children.    We will have a group get together next Saturday.   Would you like to come over at 4?"
    The Catholic Church won't let you baptize kids without their parents' consent. Even if they're like 15 and asking for it for themselves - the parents have to at least okay it. Because they're the parents.

    ETA - and I think we're probably one of the denominations that's most "serious" about baptism and its impact.

    If your mom isn't going to be trustworthy about things relating to your kid, then she doesn't get to do those things.
  • banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Yeah.  I think I'd be like, "So I heard the wildest thing!  If I have a baby you're going to secretly baptize your grandchild?!  I mean, that's crazy!" If I were LW, I'd still probably not let mom have my kid alone ever...until the kid can talk and you can tell them that they need to tell you if anyone takes them to church and lets the pastor give them a sprinkle on the head.  

    Also, dear god man...don't withhold sex from your wife because of your mother's BS.  It's not fair to her and will cause a ridiculous amount of unintended consequences if you start pulling away from your wife physically or rejecting sex.  
    Definitely the bolded.   I'd even add, "Well Mom, as much as I wish you'd have some alone time with Zachariah you've already asserted that you have plans to completely disregard me and the faith in which I'm raising my children.    We will have a group get together next Saturday.   Would you like to come over at 4?"
    The Catholic Church won't let you baptize kids without their parents' consent. Even if they're like 15 and asking for it for themselves - the parents have to at least okay it. Because they're the parents.

    ETA - and I think we're probably one of the denominations that's most "serious" about baptism and its impact.

    If your mom isn't going to be trustworthy about things relating to your kid, then she doesn't get to do those things.
    Right.   And I'd like to think that a lot of clergy at this point would side eye a non-guardian grandparent showing up to do this.   

    But the other part of this is that even if remains impossible for the mother to accomplish the issue is that she's asserted her intention.   And she's asserted it to others alluding to the concept that she is not trusting her own child how to parent.   And that will still yield the same consequence for mom because she's decided that she will be ignoring the wishes of the child's mother and father. 
    mrsconn23charlotte989875short+sassy
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    banana468 said:
    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Yeah.  I think I'd be like, "So I heard the wildest thing!  If I have a baby you're going to secretly baptize your grandchild?!  I mean, that's crazy!" If I were LW, I'd still probably not let mom have my kid alone ever...until the kid can talk and you can tell them that they need to tell you if anyone takes them to church and lets the pastor give them a sprinkle on the head.  

    Also, dear god man...don't withhold sex from your wife because of your mother's BS.  It's not fair to her and will cause a ridiculous amount of unintended consequences if you start pulling away from your wife physically or rejecting sex.  
    Definitely the bolded.   I'd even add, "Well Mom, as much as I wish you'd have some alone time with Zachariah you've already asserted that you have plans to completely disregard me and the faith in which I'm raising my children.    We will have a group get together next Saturday.   Would you like to come over at 4?"
    The Catholic Church won't let you baptize kids without their parents' consent. Even if they're like 15 and asking for it for themselves - the parents have to at least okay it. Because they're the parents.

    ETA - and I think we're probably one of the denominations that's most "serious" about baptism and its impact.

    If your mom isn't going to be trustworthy about things relating to your kid, then she doesn't get to do those things.
    Right.   And I'd like to think that a lot of clergy at this point would side eye a non-guardian grandparent showing up to do this.   

    But the other part of this is that even if remains impossible for the mother to accomplish the issue is that she's asserted her intention.   And she's asserted it to others alluding to the concept that she is not trusting her own child how to parent.   And that will still yield the same consequence for mom because she's decided that she will be ignoring the wishes of the child's mother and father. 
    Sure. Even if she backs off this particular issue, she's made it clear that she can't be trusted to respect any of their choices.
  • banana468 said:
    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Yeah.  I think I'd be like, "So I heard the wildest thing!  If I have a baby you're going to secretly baptize your grandchild?!  I mean, that's crazy!" If I were LW, I'd still probably not let mom have my kid alone ever...until the kid can talk and you can tell them that they need to tell you if anyone takes them to church and lets the pastor give them a sprinkle on the head.  

    Also, dear god man...don't withhold sex from your wife because of your mother's BS.  It's not fair to her and will cause a ridiculous amount of unintended consequences if you start pulling away from your wife physically or rejecting sex.  
    Definitely the bolded.   I'd even add, "Well Mom, as much as I wish you'd have some alone time with Zachariah you've already asserted that you have plans to completely disregard me and the faith in which I'm raising my children.    We will have a group get together next Saturday.   Would you like to come over at 4?"
    The Catholic Church won't let you baptize kids without their parents' consent. Even if they're like 15 and asking for it for themselves - the parents have to at least okay it. Because they're the parents.

    ETA - and I think we're probably one of the denominations that's most "serious" about baptism and its impact.

    If your mom isn't going to be trustworthy about things relating to your kid, then she doesn't get to do those things.
    Right.   And I'd like to think that a lot of clergy at this point would side eye a non-guardian grandparent showing up to do this.   

    But the other part of this is that even if remains impossible for the mother to accomplish the issue is that she's asserted her intention.   And she's asserted it to others alluding to the concept that she is not trusting her own child how to parent.   And that will still yield the same consequence for mom because she's decided that she will be ignoring the wishes of the child's mother and father. 
    This. 

    This lady is a 'light' version of the lady who called CPS because her ex-DIL was following a vegan diet and had the baby eating vegan as well.   It's a gross overreach, disrespectful, and clearly these kids need to be in a controlled environment when it comes to interacting with these grandparents.  This isn't sneaking cookies when it's bedtime, it's showing you fundamentally believe that your way is the correct one and you won't take no for an answer.  
    short+sassy
  • mrsconn23 said:
    banana468 said:
    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Yeah.  I think I'd be like, "So I heard the wildest thing!  If I have a baby you're going to secretly baptize your grandchild?!  I mean, that's crazy!" If I were LW, I'd still probably not let mom have my kid alone ever...until the kid can talk and you can tell them that they need to tell you if anyone takes them to church and lets the pastor give them a sprinkle on the head.  

    Also, dear god man...don't withhold sex from your wife because of your mother's BS.  It's not fair to her and will cause a ridiculous amount of unintended consequences if you start pulling away from your wife physically or rejecting sex.  
    Definitely the bolded.   I'd even add, "Well Mom, as much as I wish you'd have some alone time with Zachariah you've already asserted that you have plans to completely disregard me and the faith in which I'm raising my children.    We will have a group get together next Saturday.   Would you like to come over at 4?"
    The Catholic Church won't let you baptize kids without their parents' consent. Even if they're like 15 and asking for it for themselves - the parents have to at least okay it. Because they're the parents.

    ETA - and I think we're probably one of the denominations that's most "serious" about baptism and its impact.

    If your mom isn't going to be trustworthy about things relating to your kid, then she doesn't get to do those things.
    Right.   And I'd like to think that a lot of clergy at this point would side eye a non-guardian grandparent showing up to do this.   

    But the other part of this is that even if remains impossible for the mother to accomplish the issue is that she's asserted her intention.   And she's asserted it to others alluding to the concept that she is not trusting her own child how to parent.   And that will still yield the same consequence for mom because she's decided that she will be ignoring the wishes of the child's mother and father. 
    This. 

    This lady is a 'light' version of the lady who called CPS because her ex-DIL was following a vegan diet and had the baby eating vegan as well.   It's a gross overreach, disrespectful, and clearly these kids need to be in a controlled environment when it comes to interacting with these grandparents.  This isn't sneaking cookies when it's bedtime, it's showing you fundamentally believe that your way is the correct one and you won't take no for an answer.  
    Totally agree!

    We actually had a slight issue with DH's aunt back when Chiquita was born.   She's a December baby and her Godparents do not live in state.  We moved just before she was born and between a (lack of) unpacking and a rough postpartum phase PLUS a winter of never-ending snow storms we did not move to aggressively schedule her Baptism.   The last thing I wanted to do was schedule something only to find out that it wasn't going to happen or we'd have proxy Godparents standing in because flights were cancelled.   Instead, we waited until she was 5 months (not really all that old) and had her Baptized then.   

    Well, MIL and FIL let me know that DH's aunt (FIL's sister) was VERY worried that the devil was "Going to get his hands on her" and repeatedly asked what we were doing.   A confrontation never happened nor was it needed but I'm still irked years later that we were questioned about it.   
    charlotte989875
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I wouldn't allow my mother to be alone with my future children.  That sentence would cause me to lose all trust.

    I know its in no way the point but I didn't realize churches even allowed children to be baptized at the request of a non-custodial adult.  My own kids it was a few weeks of prep classes, a blessing mass, interviews between the priest and H and me (especially H, since he's not Catholic).  Again, not the point, but could LWs mother even have the baby baptized?
  • banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    banana468 said:
    Right.   And I'd like to think that a lot of clergy at this point would side eye a non-guardian grandparent showing up to do this.   

    But the other part of this is that even if remains impossible for the mother to accomplish the issue is that she's asserted her intention.   And she's asserted it to others alluding to the concept that she is not trusting her own child how to parent.   And that will still yield the same consequence for mom because she's decided that she will be ignoring the wishes of the child's mother and father. 
    This. 

    This lady is a 'light' version of the lady who called CPS because her ex-DIL was following a vegan diet and had the baby eating vegan as well.   It's a gross overreach, disrespectful, and clearly these kids need to be in a controlled environment when it comes to interacting with these grandparents.  This isn't sneaking cookies when it's bedtime, it's showing you fundamentally believe that your way is the correct one and you won't take no for an answer.  
    Totally agree!

    We actually had a slight issue with DH's aunt back when Chiquita was born.   She's a December baby and her Godparents do not live in state.  We moved just before she was born and between a (lack of) unpacking and a rough postpartum phase PLUS a winter of never-ending snow storms we did not move to aggressively schedule her Baptism.   The last thing I wanted to do was schedule something only to find out that it wasn't going to happen or we'd have proxy Godparents standing in because flights were cancelled.   Instead, we waited until she was 5 months (not really all that old) and had her Baptized then.   

    Well, MIL and FIL let me know that DH's aunt (FIL's sister) was VERY worried that the devil was "Going to get his hands on her" and repeatedly asked what we were doing.   A confrontation never happened nor was it needed but I'm still irked years later that we were questioned about it.   
    Bolded. Good lord .... I would have been like "not the devil but a damn snowstorm could risk everyone's life" {tad dramatic, but necessary}
  • Threatening to baptize a Jewish baby against that baby’s parents wishes is an act of antisemitic hate. Actually doing so is an act of violence erasure of a Jew. I would 100% support him cutting off all contact with his mother over this.  

  • Threatening to baptize a Jewish baby against that baby’s parents wishes is an act of antisemitic hate. Actually doing so is an act of violence erasure of a Jew. I would 100% support him cutting off all contact with his mother over this.  
    THIS. THIS. THIS. If someone in my family made this threat, I would tell them they were never going to see my child or me EVER again. 
    image
    charlotte989875
  • ei34 said:
    I wouldn't allow my mother to be alone with my future children.  That sentence would cause me to lose all trust.

    I know its in no way the point but I didn't realize churches even allowed children to be baptized at the request of a non-custodial adult.  My own kids it was a few weeks of prep classes, a blessing mass, interviews between the priest and H and me (especially H, since he's not Catholic).  Again, not the point, but could LWs mother even have the baby baptized?
    You and @flantastic make a good point about that.  I'll assume this wouldn't fly in a Catholic church.  But the LW doesn't say Catholic specifically, he says Christian.

    And, while one would HOPE that any pastor would not baptize an infant all willy-nilly without verifying the child's guardian, there is sadly not a doubt in my mind that the mother could find a pastor/minister to do this.  Especially with the right sized "donation".  And/or have views as messed up as the mother's that "it's best for the baby, who cares what the parents want".  Not limited to, but possibly for independent and/or non-denominational churches.

    Keep in mind, there are tons of...for lack of a better word..."mom and pop" Christian churches out there.  That aren't necessarily tied to any major denomination or, even if they are, act independently from whatever National organization there is.  The leaders/ministers may not have any formal religious education.  Nothing wrong with all that!  Overall, I think it's great for people to have opportunities to worship God in a less structured way.  But with less oversight can unfortunately sometimes also lead to negative actions or mistakes.  Like buying some made-up sob story from an old lady bringing her grandchild to be baptized, without it's parents.
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    charlotte989875
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think in the past some churches including the Catholic church did baptize at the request of a non-parent adult. I know this doesn't happen (condoned by the Catholic church) any longer (as flan and banana said). It wouldn't happen in my church, but I think there can always be the rogue pastor or priest who would do it like short+sassy said. 
    STARMOON44
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I guarantee there are readily accessible churches out there that would baptize an infant without parental presence or consent. 


    image
    charlotte989875STARMOON44
  • Late to the game here...
    The grandmother is definitely wrong here but a clergy person isn't needed for baptisms in some cases.  In the Lutheran Church, baptism by a clergy person is the preferred norm.  However, in cases of "emergency", baptism is valid when performed by a Christian layperson.  
    image
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