A Quest For De-Baptism In France

Baptême Cathédrale de TroyesReports Eleanor Beardsley for NPR:

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He’s taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.

Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier’s parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.

LeBouvier says this rural area is still conservative and very Catholic, but nothing like it used to be. Back then, he says, you couldn’t even get credit at the bakery if you didn’t go to mass every Sunday.

LeBouvier grew up in that world and says his mother once hoped he’d become a priest. But his views began to change in the 1970s, when he was introduced to free thinkers. As he didn’t believe in God anymore, he thought it would be more honest to leave the church. So he wrote to his diocese and asked to be un-baptized …

Read More: NPR

7 Comments on "A Quest For De-Baptism In France"

  1. Chewonthis222 | Apr 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm |

    This is an interesting story and ties in with my own problem. My mother is Jewish but does not practice. My father grew up Christian. I grew up celebrating Christmas and was never Bar Mitzvaed  and I don’t ever recall going to a Synagogue, though I sometimes attended Passover as a child with friends of my family and I think once with my grandparents. My point is I wasn’t raised Jewish, do not approve of organized religion or monotheism in general. However, many people would consider me Jewish based solely on my mother’s status. I think this is unfair. Why should I be forced into an identity I do not want?I have nothing against the Jews or any other ethnic group. Anyone have any opinions on my predicament? Thanks.

    •  Get a foreskin transplant: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081223161536AA6axTM . Or plastic surgery for CHANGEing your nose… What is your predicament, anyway?

      • Chewonthis222 | Apr 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm |

        Yes, a foreskin transplant would indeed make the nut. I will save up for it. My predicament is that I don’t wish to be aligned with a group who claim that God used an invisible loud speaker on a mountain top to tell them he was their favorite band of chimpanzees out of all the bands of chimpanzees he created. 

        • Chewonthis222 | Apr 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm |

          Whoops. That didn’t come out right. I meant that out of all the primates he created in his own image, spewing their seed and squatting to shit, the Jews were his favorites. Any practicing Jew will tell you that not one but several Jews heard, simultaneously, from an ethereal tannoy, this unassailable pronouncement.

    • Because the Jews are more than just a religion, it’s also an ethnic group and culture of it’s own. Your mother was a Jew so you are a Jew, and Bar Mitzvahs or Synagogue attendance have nothing to do with your status (despite popular culture thinking otherwise).

      The implications are much wider than you think. I one saw an interesting short movie (fiction) which had an African American family and one member chose to have his skin made white (using some fancy technology) which had the entire family questioning how he could deny his roots. Quite a few interesting discussions came out of that and a lot of Jewish culture takes the same basic approach. It’s an ethnic group you’re a part of by matter of genetics and heritage.

  2. Natty boy | Apr 5, 2012 at 8:45 am |

    That’s ridiculous. What the hell does a baptism matter? It does nothing either way, so if I were him I wouldn’t even worry about it. It seems to me like he still believes in a “God” and is just looking to piss him off or something. lol!

  3. This looks dangerously close to an attempt at legislating belief.

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