Religion & Beliefs

Priestly Idea (Did You Know Anyone Can Perform a Baptism?)

I said, “Hey, why don’t we get Tuffi to do our baptism?” “She’s not Catholic,” Victoria said. I said, “I know, but I think of her as totally priestly.”   Tuffi, formerly known as Stephanie, but renamed Tuffi by Tashi when … Read More

By / September 3, 2008

I said, “Hey, why don’t we get Tuffi to do our baptism?” “She’s not Catholic,” Victoria said. I said, “I know, but I think of her as totally priestly.”   Tuffi, formerly known as Stephanie, but renamed Tuffi by Tashi when Tashi was just learning to speak, is one of Tashi’s God-moms.  Tuffi presided over Tashi’s baby-naming and seemed like a total priest to me.   Victoria said, “Someone Jewish can’t do a baptism.” I said, “Why not?  It’s not like we can get a priest to do it.” Victoria said, “Why not?”   And because she is pregnant and probably experiencing a little “mommy-brain,” I gave her the benefit of the doubt.  I trusted that she was probably listening the other eight times we talked about the baptism but just forgot, so I told her again about how I met with Father Steven, in the Castro.  About a month ago, I got this other priestly idea, which was to get the whole family baptized.  I see it like this:  I don’t want half my family to be part of something and the other half not a part of that something, even if it’s total voodoo and I don’t believe in it anyway.  I mean, just in case there’s any power there, I might as well get some of it.  Doesn’t matter to me whose God is providing it.  There’s only one God anyway, we all know that.  And since Tashi and I have not been baptized, I made an appointment with a priest to ask some questions.  I was in San Francisco and thought if there is ever going to be a like-minded priest, a priest in the gayest neighborhood in America is MY priest.  First thing he said to me, “So you want to become Catholic.”  I was like, “No, no, no.  I just want to be baptized.”  Father Steven said that no priest would perform a baptism on somebody if that somebody wasn’t going to take on the teachings of Catholicism.  The priest did say, and I told this to Victoria, that unlike marriage or first communion, anyone can perform a baptism.   (For the full transcript of my conversation with Father Steven see previous post, Let’s Have a Baptism) Since then Victoria and I have had several conversations about making baptism our own thing.  We’re creating our own religion here:  A Judeo-Christian-Latina-Lesbiana religion of our own making.  A religion of peace and harmony and who cares what other people think.  That’s why I suggested that Tuffi be our priest. Victoria said, like this was all new to her, “Well, we at least have to get someone Catholic.” Ten years ago I read Anne Lamott’s book, Operating Instructions, but I still remember this line where Anne’s friend first learned that Adolf Hitler had a tormented childhood and the friend said, “I’ve had it with Hitler.” I’ve had it with religion.

Previously: Let's Have a Baptism/Bris

Andrea Askowitz, author of My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy, is guest blogging for Jewcy, and she'll be here all week.  Lucky you!

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