Getting Baptized Is Easy,
But Getting Un-Baptized?
RJ

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "RJ"
Subject: Re: Undoing a Baptism
Date: March 02, 2002 2:50 PM

I've seen several manifestations of this one. Madalyn Murray O'Hair would, for a donation to her organization, send you a "Certificate of Debaptism" (or something along those lines) and would also send a (I think) a hand-written letter to the leadership of the church in question (I assume at both the World and local levels) instructing them to remove your name from their rolls. Can you imagine being a church leader and receiving a hand-written letter from Madalyn Murray O'Hair, informing them that she and her hoard of demons has claimed the soul of one of their own? (Enter the sound of a big, juicy raspberry, much like the one that graces Cliff's answering machine's routine aimed against telemarketers!)

I also have heard several stories depicting the woes of those who have tried to be removed from the rolls of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). Their idea of proving the correctness of their dogma appears to involve counting the number of humans who have "joined" their organization. However, it is well-known that one need not even be aware of their group's existence to end up on their roster. In fact, people who had died long before Mormonism founder Joseph Smith was born are listed as having converted to that faith! A group that would go to those extremes (who is so obsessive about counting every member to the point of counting nonmembers as members) is not likely to be responsive to any requests (or pleas) to be removed from their list! Then again, correspondent James Call says that this was not true for him, that they're quite civil when it comes to losing members. Really, you want to be careful when an group with an agenda describes its ideological opponents; thus, I can only go by what I am told.

Here's how bad it is: It has been reported that the Mormons have, by a post-mortem church ritual, baptized Adolf Hitler into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Adolf Hitler! Chandellor Hitler was baptized at the London, L.D.S. Temple on December 10, 1993, and was then "sealed" to Eva Braun at the Los Angeles L.D.S. Temple on June 19, 1994. This means that Mr. Hitler and Miss Braun will be united in one of the Mormon heavens for eternity -- like it or not!

But you happen to be dealing with the most reasonable Trinitarian denomonation going: the Episcopalians. Just write them a letter asking what is the proceedure for removing your name from the roll of the church as a member. Explain that it's a matter of principle, pertaining to your concept of truthfulness, that you not be counted among the Episcopalians, and that there's nothing else going on, such as superstition and the like. Agree to allow them to keep records such as your birth, etc., as churches are wont to do, because these can come in handy in the future for sociologists, anthropologists, and even the government for the most unlikely of reasons. How many times have the government records been destroyed, lost, or challenged and the church's records came in to settle the problem and give us a clearer picture of the truth. Because of my interest in having the truth in all matters available to the widest range of people, I would never go along with asking a church to erase or eradicate the records they keep. All you need to do is remove your "soul" from their tally, and thus that's all that I recommend you request.

As with the Mormons, you might look forward to a contact or two from the missions society under the auspices of "making sure" this is really you (and not a prank) and then of "making sure" this is really your decision. ("Yes, it is my real decision: that's why I wrote you regarding this matter. But I do appreciate your concern nonetheless. In the event that I do decide to change my mind, I promise you you'll be the second one to find about it.") They'll appreciate that remark about being the second to find out, and will enjoy the fact that even as a dispised atheist you still have a sense of humor about the whole thing! We don't want to make enemies or make them upset, we just want to clear up this problem that's caused mainly by your near-reverential respect for truth and accuracy in reporting. Nobody is going to question anyone's respect for truthfulness except a chronic or compulsive liar, that's why the "truthfulness" line is so effective in so many situations.

But then you had my situation: I was literally excommunicated from an independent Calvary Chapel spinoff, so I fought it and prevailed. At that moment, I told them I quit, that I'm no longer a member of their church. They asked me which church I would be joining and I told them "none." They insisted that once you join a church, you are permanently under their care until and unless you find another group that they approve of that will take you (presumably, for this group, the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses wouldn't do). So I walked. I'll bet I'm still on their roll, but I don't want to contact them: the pain of recall would be too much for me, so I'm just leaving it be: I do not feel a need to have the last word on this one.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six-and-a-half years of service
    to people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "RC"
Subject: Re: Undoing a Baptism
Date: March 02, 2002 11:00 PM

No. Had you been Mormon (according to some rumors), they'd be calling on you. But since you're not an ex-Mormon, you're like anybody else: ripe pickings in the "Harvest."

Remember, they're all in competition, and a Mormon would just as soon convert an Episcopalian as an atheist. In fact, the Episcopalian would be easier because he's presumably gotten over the "God part" where an atheist has quite some progress to make in comparison. It's a business, just like anything else: it's all about cost-benefit and overhead costs and stuff like that.
 

I doubt it. Not with the Episcopalians.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six-and-a-half years of service
    to people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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