Atheist wins right to have baptism removed as he did not consent as a baby

By | April 14, 2009

Dr John Hunt has won his battle to have his baptism struck from church records.An atheist has won the right to have his baptism removed from Church of England records after claiming he was too young to give his consent to the ceremony.

John Hunt, a newly qualified nurse, was baptised at the age of five months at the parish church of St Jude with St Aidin in Thornton Heath, south London.

As a schoolboy he decided he did not believe in God and stopped going to Sunday school aged 11.

Now 56 and living in Croydon, he said he wanted parish records amended to note he did not consent to the baptism in 1953.

He was told that his baptism cannot be deleted because it is a matter of historical record.

He then secured a “de-baptism” certificate produced by the National Secular Society (NSS), rejecting “superstitions” or the idea of original sin.

It reads: “I reject all its creeds and other such superstitions in particular the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed of original sin.”

This week the church backed down and said the entry would be “corrected”.

A representative of Southwark diocese told him: “I have spoken to the Archdeacon of Croydon and he has undertaken, in this particular case, to have it cross-referenced with the baptismal entry and pasted into the back fly-leaf of the relevant register at St Jude’s Church.” Dr Hunt, a former software engineer, said: “I am delighted that on this occasion the church are going to do what they said they would do.”

He added: “It’s about time that some of us stood up to be counted. I am hoping that others will follow my lead.

“It is important that we send a signal to the church and to the Government that an increasing proportion of the population don’t place any faith in the various churches.

“The fact that we have 26 bishops in the House of Lords is an anachronism.”

The NSS said an estimated 100,000 people had downloaded similar certificates from its website over the past five years, producing mock official versions and has had to order more parchment to meet demand.

via Atheist wins right to have baptism removed as he did not consent as a baby – Telegraph.

2 thoughts on “Atheist wins right to have baptism removed as he did not consent as a baby

  1. James

    I had to ponder why he would do this for a moment, but it says it right at the beginning; he did not consent to the baptism and wants no record of it.

  2. Xeno Post author

    I had it done, or so I’m told. I’m a bit rusty on the purpose of it, however.

    If it is superstition to do it, isn’t it also superstition to have it un-done?

    Here is the wikipedia snip:

    In Christianity, baptism (from Greek baptizo: “immersing”, “performing ablutions”)[1] is the ritual act, with the use of water, by which one is admitted as a full member of the Christian Church and, in the view of some, as a member of the particular Church in which the baptism is administered.

    Some Christians, particularly Quakers and the Salvation Army, do not see baptism as necessary. Among those that do, differences can be found in the manner of baptizing and in the understanding of the significance of the rite. Most baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, but some baptize in Jesus’ name only. Most baptize infants, others do not. Some insist on submersion or at least partial immersion of the person who is baptized, others consider that any form of washing by water is sufficient.

    The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians was for the candidate to be immersed totally or partially.[2][3][4][5][6] While John the Baptist’s use of a deep river for his baptism suggests immersion,[7] pictorial and archaeological evidence of Christian baptism from the 3rd century onwards indicates that the normal form was to have the candidate stand in water while water was poured over the upper body.[8][9][10][11] Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead.

    Baptism was seen as in some sense necessary for salvation, until Huldrych Zwingli in the sixteenth century denied its necessity.[12] Martyrdom was identified early in church history as baptism by blood, enabling martyrs who had not been baptized by water to be saved. Later, the Catholic Church identified a baptism of desire, by which those preparing for baptism who die before actually receiving the sacrament are considered saved.[13]

    The English word “baptism” has been used in reference to any ceremony, trial, or experience by which one is initiated, purified, or given a name.[14]

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