How It Started

“She’s standing in a weird robe. She is naked underneath which makes her very uncomfortable. Her mom is there holding her hand and telling her it will be okay. She sees people she doesn’t know which continues her discomfort. Then, a man calls to her to come forward, and her mother gives her a little nudge. She carefully walks up three stairs to where a man is standing inside an odd tub of water. Surely she doesn’t have to go in there. She can’t swim and now is afraid. Why isn’t her mother with her anymore? Why is she supposed to get into this water with this man she does not know? He reaches out and holds her under her arms and speaks to her, but she is not listening. She is looking down into the water and worrying that he is going to let go and she will go under. She hates going under. He is still talking, but she is not understanding. He takes her hand and places it over her nose. Then he pushes her backwards under the water and then brings her up again. It happened so fast, and when she comes up she hears clapping and cheering. What is happening? She is handed back to her mother who hugs her and takes her into a room so she can get dried off and puts back on her clothes. Three year old Amanda has no idea what just happened, but it will all make sense when she is much older. She will be told that she had gotten saved and then wanted to be baptized like a good Christian girl would. She will be told that she made a great decision in church that day that would change her whole life. It’s weird though. She doesn’t remember doing any of that. She just remembers the water, the fear. She will remember that fear for a long time to come. Everything else will be called into question.”

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5 thoughts on “How It Started

  1. God, I’m thinking of all the baptisms my ex did and how the kids would cryand we would think it was so adorable. Our denomination does not do head under water…that would freak ME out. But my ex was a huge man, very imposing and the cassock he wore and the hat…and the candles … that must have been so scary. Our baptism service (like an hour and a half long) also includes an exorcism, where you shout at the devil and spit 3 times. No wonder they were freaked. And it’s not some new culty thing. Syrian Orthodox and the liturgy is identical to in the 400s AD. I never topped to think of how it would feel to the baptistee.

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      • What REALLY makes me hopping mad are the EXTREME things, like female genital mutilation (still the norm in 28 countries in Africa, where percentages of girls subjected to this lifetime of torture are up to 98%). Contrary to popular belief, the practice is not Islamic, as it is not part of Islamic law, it’s not done in Islamic nations; and it’s done also among Christians in these countries, such as among Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt. And it’s not religious, it’s tribal, having started thousands of years before Judaism.

        But it IS done for the sake of a collective belief system — which is not unlike a religion. And even “modern” imans and priests in those parts of the world have done little or nothing to discourage it.

        Real morality, true morality, can be practiced in religion, but not for the sake of it. Not as long as the focus is on what you believe and not what you do.

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  2. Pingback: Sweet Relief {How It Continued} | losing my {reli}ginity

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