My sis and I have always been very close and she's been my confidante for years and years. She knows all too well how much of a nonbeliever I am and how religion (theism) makes me go ballistic. As young children both she and I and our brothers as well had been baptized Catholic. We all attended Catholic schools. While our two other siblings are pretty much church goers, she isn't a practising Catholic. The only time she and I ever find ourselves sitting on the pews is during weddings. To top it off her husband is even less of a Catholic. I doubt he even knows what that gobbledygook docrtine of the Trinity is supposed to be (not that he'd be better off cluttering brain space with all that theological nonsense).
So why in Kuan Yin's name are the parents having their child baptized? I haven't asked her directly and even if I do I don't think she'll be up front about it. One trivial reason is that it's traditional in this country to baptize children. Having been a colony of Spain for 400 years, Catholic Church tradition is deeply rooted, just as it is in Mexico. But given what I know about the couple I think the primary reason they're going through all the trouble is her husband thinks having their children baptized confers upon them some supernatural protection of sorts. He's quite a superstitious fellow and observes Chinese superstitions and rituals to ward off evil and court good fortune. He's into feng shui and auspicious dates for this and that. So it isn't far fetched to extrapolate that for him the rite of baptism has an important payoff--perhaps it's like some invisible talisman for life, a force field if you like, that protects his progeny from harm (real physical harm, not the intangible spiritual kind).
When my sis reminded me of the upcoming seminar I kind of got annoyed. I wanted to tell her, "Are you deaf?! I said no!" But then the other day I had a "change of heart." I don't know if you can call it a gestalt shift, but I suddenly saw it from the other side, so to speak, and realized that the one hour catechism course is going to be a perfect opportunity for me to find out what drivel the Catholic Church is currently dumping on its members. So, in a 180-degree turnabout, I'm now pretty enthusiastic to be there to hear the facilitator say her piece, and be entertained. It's going to be on Tuesday night. I'm so very tempted to let it drop that I'm an atheist. I just want to find out how the lady who's going to be leading the seminar and the priest(s) will react. Will it be a show stopper? Will they turn to the parents and say I can't possibly be permitted to be a godparent? It ought to be interesting. Of course, if it comes to that, I'll be breaking my sister's heart. So I'll have to mull over whether I'm going to let it slip or bite my lip and just be keep those faith-heads in the dark. Decisions, decisions.
As to why my sis and brother-in-law are so hellbent on getting me--the most strident atheist in town--as one of the godparents, I think it's because I'm so fond of their two kids. I just love them so much. But that precisely has been my point. Why do I need to be a godfather when I'm already their most visible uncle, when I can't help but shower those adorable nephews of mine with affection (and presents and chow every now and then)?