29 January 2012

On de-baptism

I listened with perked ears as the voice from NPR reported about a case in France where a gentleman has filed suit to have his name removed from the Roman Catholic Church's records, in essence becoming de-baptized.  I listened for the obvious reasons, being a minister and all - but I also couldn't help listening because of the whimsical thoughts swirling in my head concerning the nature of a de-baptismal ritual.

How would one go about becoming de-baptized?  I mean its not like a tattoo that one could have "removed."  It is not like the water one was baptized in could somehow be dried or wiped off.  So what would the ritual look like?  Any ideas?

At the least I suppose the de-baptized would get a certificate stating what happened, dates, witnesses, space for reasons, and where the ritual took place.  Would one wear a special outfit or plainclothes?  Would the de-baptizee lose his/her Christian name?  Would they get an official towel with name and date embroidered on it?  Would/should the de-baptizee give their bible back?  Would there be a chance for an airing of grievances? would anyone listen?

Would the de-baptizee sing this after or before the service?

I am not demeaning this quest, it is a quest of conscience which I honor.  But it seems there should be some thought put into the ritual.  Ought Christianity be a way of life one can easily leave?  Or should it be just as hard or at least 1/2 as hard to leave as it is to enter?

Please share your thoughts and ideas...

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