Adult How Insane are Christians? This Fucking Crazy!

The following quote is from: The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins.

Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Unweaving the Rainbow, and The Ancestor’s Tale.

 

Edgardo Mortara

In 1858 Edgardo Mortara, a six-year-old child of Jewish parents living in Bologna, was legally seized by the papal police acting under orders from the Inquisition. Edgardo was forcibly dragged away from his weeping mother and distraught father to the Catechumens (house for the conversion of Jews and Muslims) in Rome, and thereafter brought up as a Roman Catholic. Aside from occasional brief visits under close priestly supervision, his parents never saw him again. The story is told by David I Kertzer in his remarkable book, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.

Edgardo’s story was by no means unusual in Italy at the time, and the reason for these priestly abductions was always the same. In every case, the child had been secretly baptized at some earlier date, usually by a Catholic nursemaid, and the Inquisition later came to hear of the baptism. It was a central part of the Roman Catholic belief system that, once a child had been baptized, however informally and clandestinely, that child was irrevocably transformed into a Christian. In their mental world, to allow a Christian child to stay with his Jewish parents was not an option, and they maintained this bizarre and cruel stance steadfastly, and with the utmost sincerity, in the face of worldwide outrage. That widespread outrage, by the way, was dismissed by the Catholic newspaper Civilta Cattolica as due to the international power of rich Jews.

Apart from the publicity it aroused, Edgardo Mortara’s history was entirely typical of many others. He had once been looked after by Anna Morisi, an illiterate Catholic girl who was then 14. He fell ill and she panicked lest he might die. Brought up in a stupor of belief that a child who died unbaptized would suffer forever in hell, she asked advice from a Catholic neighbor who told her how to do a baptism. She went back into the house, threw some water from a bucket on little Edgardo’s head and said, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And that was it. From that moment on, Edgardo was legally a Christian. When the priests of the Inquisition learned of the incident years later, they acted promptly and decisively, giving no thought to the sorrowful consequences of their action.

Amazingly for a rite that could have such monumental significance for a whole extended family, the Catholic Church allowed (and still allows) anybody to baptize anybody else. The baptizer doesn’t have to be a priest. Neither the child, nor the parents, nor anybody else has to consent to the baptism. Nothing need be signed. Nothing need be officially witnessed. All that is necessary is a splash of water, a few words, a helpless child, and a superstitious and catechistically brainwashed babysitter. Actually, only the last of these is needed because, assuming the child is too young to be a witness, who is even to know? An American colleague who was brought up Catholic writes to me as follows:

We used to baptize our dolls. I don’t remember any of us baptizing our little Protestant friends but no doubt that has happened and happens today. We made little Catholics of our dolls, taking them to church, giving them Holy Communion etc. We were brainwashed to be good Catholic mothers early on.

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Comments (4)

  1. magnocrat

    When you live as if you are not Christian you have to cling to something that can’t possibly get in the way of your lifestyle. Baptism is the perfect answer it assures you of life after death no matter how you live.

    May 23, 2017
    1. stevehayes13

      Theologically that is incorrect. Baptism does not ensure one will go to Heaven no matter how one lives.

      May 23, 2017
  2. stevehayes13

    Christians in the New World baptised infants and promptly smashed their brains out in order to ensure they went to Heaven.

    May 23, 2017
    1. den_of_iniquity2

      That’s how much Jesus loves the little children.

      May 23, 2017