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My dads entire life he was an Atheist. He battled cancer for several years and upon his death bed when he was not of sound mind, his wife had him baptized and had a minister save his soul.

This angers me bc I know it was more for HER peace of mind. She is no longer a part of mine or my sons lives. Am I wrong to be upset about this or should I be happy in case she was right and we were wrong all along?

SunnySmiles 6 Oct 9
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244 comments

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2

She did a bad thing for what she thought was a good reason. I would forgive her. She must have cared for him.

38

I think you have every right to be upset. I would be upset. But the thing is, since there is no God, it didn't really do anything. Nothing really changed because she did it. So the only thing that's affected if you decide to be upset is you.

I don't think there is anything wrong with being upset, but I would let go of it for your own peace of mind.

I think you are right. If it gave her some peace to do this, ok. Too bad it was at your expense, but it achieved nothing but her peace - and she was upset. I think you are going too far, maybe, not letting her see your child - her grandchild? -. You are punishing her for upsetting you.
Let her see your child, but with conditions. No religious views, information, talks - anything! or Then she will be disconnected for good.
You respected her views, she should respect yours.

Not saying I believe in God or anything because I'm an agnostic, but when you saying there is no God, is very uneducated, and your opinion. There is no proof to say yes or no. As of right now all we can say is who knows, until we have the proof. So saying there is no God just isn't right, just as saying there is a God. We honestly don't know. So how about we just say, we'll find out someday and until then I'll continue being a scientist and using the available data, not assumptions.

By the same criteria saying there is no Santa Claus is uneducated and my opinion. I don't think there is any problem at all moving forward with the belief there is no God. It's not even unscientific.

It is theoretically true that there is a 1:999,999 999 . . . chance there is some sort of supreme being, but there is no evidence at all of such a thing and speculating that there might be is pointless and superstitious. What good can come from debating the very remote possibility?

@Wellnowbub Can't say that leprechauns and unicorns aren't real, either, then. I mean, we just don't know. Right?

@MollyBell I'm not exactly sure what your point is with that? Just because we haven't discovered it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Unicorns and Leprechauns are names we've given things, that actually did exist. They aren't the things we read about in kids books, but they did exist. Again, they weren't magical or whatever but fossils have been found and people just use their imagination to make them more exciting. Elasmotherium sibiricum is the unicorn, and leprechauns are just a different evolutionary variation of us, only smaller. We weren't the only humanoid being to evolve. Without the technology or understanding of science that we have now days, people still found fossils, but were forced to come up with other ideas about their origins. I'm an astronomer/mathematician so I totally understand your point, but there is a lot of stuff we haven't discovered yet and a lot that we don't know. I personally believe there is no god and we are here by chance, but for me to say 100% god doesn't exist is still the same faith someone has by saying god does exist. We know a good amount about the universe, but there is still A LOT we don't know or understand. I just don't like to take such a hard stance on a topic when I can't prove why or how.

@MollyBell As long as something doesn't outright break the laws of physics, why can't it be possible? The universe is a very very big place and a lot of strange things happen out there. To think life must resemble us in any way, just isn't right. But, this is why the whole God argument is tricky. Because he would break the laws of physics, but then religious people claim well he made them so why can't he break them, or the what about before the Big Bang, blah blah..and there is the yup, you're right. I can not say what happened before that. I can say, however, with the current laws of Quantum Mechanics, as we understand them, the universe was bound to eventually happen, including us. Which is enough for me. We can explain how the universe began and how we came to be, but why? Hell I don't know why, lol. I don't really care why. That's for the theologians and philosophers. All I know is I don't need a god to tell me how I got here. And the why isn't important to me, because I think there is no why. We're here just due to a roll of the cosmic die. But if you, or someone, needs to know how and why, it's not my place to interfere with their existential dilemma. Unless they try saying the earth is 6k years old and such. But I don't think just because someone is religious, or what have you, I should get mad. Just don't try to cram god down my throat. You have your beliefs and I have mine. It's the same with my friends and I. I just know some topics not to touch.

My position is, from a scientific standpoint, there absolutely isn't a god, and no reason to begin to hypothesize that there is. So, I don't believe in Zeus. Or Apollo. Or any other gods. I won't be budging from this opinion until there is actually ANY reason to believe they exist aside from "We can't explain how this all came about, therefore, it must be (insert absurd BS and dogma here)."

@Wellnowbub, Leprechauns and unicorns? Oh, my!

They have found both fossils and various animals around today that may have been mistaken, (Keyword); for unicorns. Most of the previous types of humanoids did sometimes co-exist for brief periods, but they weren't that much smaller in size.

I think you might want to go back and read up a little more.

@Angelface which is exactly what I said. They were fossils of things that got mistaken, but people used their imaginations to make them into other things like unicorns (again, not saying unicorns actually existed, but a creature did exist with a horn jutting out of its nose, and people then began thinking up things like unicorns). They are derived from actual animals. And there have been fossils of Humanoids that reached no more than 3 feet tall which could explain the other part. So all I've been trying to say is there is a lot of weird stuff out there and not all of it makes sense, sometimes we understand it later and sometimes not, and people tend to make theories then try to make the evidence fit rather then let the evidence tell the story. Other than that all I'm saying is if it's possible by the laws of physics, its naive to believe it doesn't exist just because we haven't found it yet. My whole stance, which got completely blown up, is I tend to not take a "stance" of 100% yes or no, unless it can be proven. Otherwise it's just mental masterbation on who's right because there always becomes a point in the argument where someone will go, "ya well prove it" and there is our problem lol.. Do I believe in a God? I would say, God probably doesn't exist and I'm completely comfortable with the notion of no God and couldn't really care either way. But do I get upset at someone or think they are dumb for having a belief? Absolutely not. If that is what you need to help with your existential, more power to you. But, I find it just wrong to say, there is no god! and youre a dumbass for thinking there is one!...lol, This whole thread was about someone being upset because their father was baptized on his death bead and he was an atheist. Just don't think I would let that anger me. His wife obviously did it for her personal reason and it was her way of dealing with grief. Did this literally in any way harm anyone? Or did it just bring a little peace to an elder grieving woman? I think the best way for believers and us nonbelievers to get along is for one of our sides to be the adults, and just let some of this shit slide man. I mean, it's not like any of us are going to make it out alive anyways? But hey thank you for your advice. As the great NDT once said "The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you"

This was a really odd direction for this conversation to go. It's all split off from my original comment where I said "since there is no God". But I don't believe nor was I implying that anybody was dumb for believing in God. That would be pretty hypocritical of me since it wasn't that long ago that I believe in God. I don't want to alienate anyone but I thought I was pretty safe on an agnostic site putting forth the claim that there is no God. I don't think you have to be 100% certain to move forward with your life as if that claim is true. And the fact of the matter is there is no good evidence that any God exists.

But I said all of this to support the same conclusion that you came to. At the end of the day no one was listening anyway so it doesn't matter who his wife is praying to. My whole point was that it doesn't matter enough to worry about.

@MollyBell I'm not a 'religionist' but do believe in God (Divine intelligence, Creator, etc.). And from an actual scientific standpoint, there is no evidence available to say otherwise. The issue lays in how could you have proof through the 'scientific method' so to speak. However, I had an NDE (near-death experience) when I was 20, and I clearly realized that there was much more to this 'reality' than I could possibly comprehend. I was a Christian at the time, but already was having doubts about the 'religious' aspects. My experience was teaching me that there was much to question as well as to experience, and i drifted away the church. I've since come to a place of great peace and harmony, which provides a deeper knowing that comes with experience. So, as to you might discover the 'reality' of a great 'Consciousness' than yourself is dependent on what levels of action you choose to take. I'd also as life happens, much will come to you... The ancient gods like Zeus and Apollo were expressions of the 'one' creator and all part of the 'whole' as quantum field theory brings into play. You'll mostly find answers in you engage with other people, be it child or someone on their 'death bed'...as they say, 'the game is on'

@MollyBell, @Mightyjustice I'd first have to say that for someone to declare that "since there is no God", is to be challenged. Simply because of "how do you know?" and what evidence can you provide to support this assertion? The question becomes whose God did you stop believing in, for there are many different perceptions/beliefs about what is God and how does he/she express themselves in ways that make sense. If you're agnostic, then you're just stating, basically, that you don't really know whether or not there is a god.

Then you state, "And the fact of the matter is there is no good evidence that any God exists" and how would you know that as a fact? What has been your experience in testing out that idea? What other beliefs have you linked/associated with what you perceived God to be and how he/she was supposed to act for you to be your 'god'?

What you'll find among the 'seekers' is the desire to make 'connection'. That is found in 'spiritual practices' like meditation and other forms. Ask those who practice as to the nature of their experience. It's hard to come to a bonafide conclusion if you haven't done some serious research/seeking...

@MollyBell, @Mightyjustice, @TWDay It's just theoretically true that there is a 1:2 chance of there being a 'supreme being/consciousness'. There is an infinite amount of anecdotal evidence that has been collected in many ways to form different belief systems; each can be challenged in one sense simply because their perspectives are filtered through culture. I have direct evidence (IMO) because of having a unique NDE that has been corroborated by many others of different and similar experiences. Being a seeker is what draws in both experience and information to make more informed decisions/hypotheses that define your own journey. So, I'm saying that a great deal of good can come and has come from not just debating this possibility but allowing yourself to gain more experience

24

I don't think it's about right or wrong. It's about the woman's desperation when someone she loved was dying. It's not something I'd ever do (I'd still be an atheist in a foxhole) but I've had similar experiences and just think "If it gives them comfort, so be it". Your dad wouldn't mind - he knew the truth just like we do.

18

sprinkle of water only makes you damp , nothing more

14

Unless Richard Dawkins is actually the God then there will be nobody in the mythical afterlife to tease your Dad about it and no harm done by this pointless baptism. There is no non-god deity to take offence of any religious belief.
I imagine his wife was doing what she believed was best for her husband. Don't waste your lives hating her for something, after some thinking, amounts to nothing.

Oh she was a terrible person. We no longer speak for a million reasons.

10

Nope, nope, nope screw her. Damn people just push shit in on a dying human being. And to make that
your last memory of your dad, knowing he was an Athiest. Sorry but I would forever cut her out my family. An have a voodoo priestess bless her on her death bed. Bloody chicken guts an all in her face.

10

If your dad was not of sound mind, then it did not harm him. And if taking that step made his wife feel better, she has to deal with his loss as well, and her actions gave her a little bit of comfort.

Unfortunately for those who have to rely on the crutch of religion, certain things have to happen to get into heaven, and baptism is usually one of them. Don't be angry, feel pity. If this gave her some measure of happiness and it didn't hurt him, then really no harm has been done. It is sad that 21st century minds rely on first century rituals to function in day to day life.

I had an older brother that was atheist, although he was not out, and when he died my other older brothers had him buried in a catholic cemetery with all the catholic rituals. At the time I was very upset; however, in retrospect I'm sure that he would laugh his ass off knowing that he was an atheist in a catholic cemetery.

9

I think I may be autistic because I struggle to understand why people get upset about things like your dads baptism, your dad is dead...... he doesn't care, his wife is deluded but happy, Live your life and be happy in the moment, Desiderata!

8

Does it really matter? I would say no. It is especially not worth getting upset over. They splashed a little water on him and said some meaningless words. Nobody was hurt by it. If it made my loved one(s) feel better, I might even do it under these circumstances; not in consideration of Pascal's wager, but just to make them feel better. Fortunately, I don't have any whackos in my life that I'm that close to that would ask me to do this on my death bed!

8

It is not a matter of being right or wrong. When someone is on their death bed and not of sound mind it really doesn't matter if somebody with a certain religious view uses their view to make themselves feel better. Death is a difficult thing to face, so if someone has particular view why stand in the way of it? However, I do make a distinction here. If a person has stated clearly in the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or some other legal document that they do not want any religious rites of any kind then I think that the person's legal wishes must be maintained. Those who have certain religious views can practice them, but not on, or around, the person who is dead. It is a matter of respecting the person's last legal wish in death.

8

Hello, I just joined this site and was reading the replies here. Sunny, in my opinion she was completely wrong and she used his weak condition to force her will upon your father and your family. Pitiful, but I am sure you have heard the saying ....if you could reason with religious people there wouldn’t be any religious people!

8

SunnySmiles, I'm sorry about our loss. I can understand why you'd feel angry. I think she probably believed, with every fiber of her being, that she was doing the right thing on your dad's behalf.

7

having water poured on your head does no harm nor do the mumblings of the minister, if it brings comfort to his wife, what's the harm. As an atheist I don't see how this is offensive, just a waste of time.

That's a really interesting point of view, that's how i think we should all feel about a thing like this. But i can't help feeling annoyed by her stepmother taking this religious "advantage" in a sick mind.

7

Wow I understand your anger and I probably would keep my distance from her too. Her rabid beliefs can't be healthy for your son so that was good judgement, IMO.
I had a similar experience when my brother died...his wife insisted on an open casket even though his body was absolutely ravaged by cancer then to make it even worse, she took pictures of my poor brother in the casket, then sang a religious country song as everyone was coming in and finding their seats. It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life and I believe my brother would have been horrified as well.
About a year later she was already nine months pregnant and living with her baby daddy. She refuses to let me see my three nephews and I hate her with every fiber of my being.
I'm sorry you had that experience and I hope some day you (and I) can heal.

Oh huni I am so sorry! What a terrible person she is! I hope you also are able to find peace with all that. Sad emoji

7

If I understand correctly, you don't believe in religion (nor the semantics attached to it?), you believe he just died. Leave well enough alone. But you don't have to like his wife, for the kids sake or your own. I learned to be mindful of my stepmother because it gave me peace of mind. Although I do not have a relationship with her, she had a relationship with my father that I had nothing to do with.

7

Thank you all so much for the awesome comments. You have all been so kind and I am absolutely loving being a part of this group.

Sunny this is laughable. You say your an atheist? Tell me why it would upset you if Grumpy stole Snow White's roller skates. It's all in your mind. Don't be upset.

6

So sad. My whole family gave up religion because of me. That makes me proud. Although my mom was going in and out at the end, she ranted that no religious bastard better come near her. She only wanted her family around.

5

I understand your frustration. Especially because his view on life was not respected. I don't think you need to ask yourself or anyone else what is or isn't correct about your reaction to that situation. Your instinct as your father's daughter and mother to your children is raw and honest. The ending of a life seems like such a huge part of one's existance, but if we just take a step back and remember the person as they lived their life and the impact they made in our own life, it's clear that the end does not define the person at all.

5

I know it's difficult, but when it comes to other people's actions one cannot and should not be attached to outcome. "Any kind of expectation creates a problem. We should accept but not expect. Whatever comes accept it. Whatever goes accept it. The immediate benefit is that your mind is always peaceful." --Sri Swami Satchidenada

5

I don't think there's anything wrong with being angry. At the same time, if you can find it within yourself to let go of the anger, I think that might bring you some peace. I'm sure she did it to make herself feel better, but she is probably sincere in her belief too. It likely seems disrespectful to you, even if there's no chance baptism has any validity, but I think it can be seen humorously too — like if she had a mall Santa bring him gifts on his deathbed or prayed to SpongeBob SquarePants to protect your father's eternal soul. But since she's no longer part of your life, I think with time you'll be able to forget the anger you feel and focus on the man your father was when his mind was sharp. Good luck to you.

5

Very foolish of her but let it go. Did not hurt your Dad and made her feel better.

5

I would let go of it.
Life can be pretty damned difficult, so I let people find peace where they can....

5

Since religion is rubbish, then a Baptism is an empty ritual and meaningless.

You are right to dump her, she did not understand your dad. Your memory of him is still in tact and so is his credibility. Don't waste anymore energy thinking about it.

4

Some thing similar happened in my life also. I was born in Pakistan. The only atheist person I knew was my Father. . Loved his outlook on life and his reasoning for not believing in . So I became an atheist at age 6. Came to America for studies at age 21. Finished studies and married a college sweetheart and decided to stay here. My father stayed in Pakistan. As he grew old and sick , my mother and my siblings pressured the sick man to find and pray so his soul can find heaven. My father died 8 years back.
My children are lucky. Both the parents were atheists. My ex wife’s parents were also atheists. So not pressure on my children. Both are adults. Both are free thinking non believers.

4

A Buddhist monk and novice were walking by a river when they came upon a young woman in distress. "Please help me" she asked. "My mother is sick and needs a doctor but I cannot get across this river to fetch him". The monk put the lady on his back and fords the river. He returns to the novice and they continue on their journey. After a few hours have passed, the novice talks to the monk and says "I am troubled". "What is troubling you?" the monk asks. "Well we are forbidden all contact with women and yet you carried that young lady across the river". "Yes I did" said the monk "but I put her down. You have been carrying her for the past 3 hours".

Whatever differences you have with your stepmom, you both do have one thing in common. You both loved your dad and presumably he loved her, despite of their different beliefs.

We only get one innings and when your out, your out. The anger that you feel is very justified but it only hurts you. If you could bring yourself to forgive her then it might go some way to show that Christians do not have a monopoly on forgiveness. It may also go some way to help you deal with your loss. I ask you to try, for you and your dads sake if not hers.

BTW she had it done out of a place of love I'm sure. Or of deep fear that she would not see him again if he weren't baptized. So realize she has her superstitions and needed to do this so that she wouldn't have to live with guilt.

4

She dishonored him.

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