Is there much God in godparenting?

I remember clearly the day I deeply offended a close friend by refusing to oversee the religious education of her future children.

It was years ago and we were walking through Cashel Mall during an afternoon shopping jaunt and she asked if, when she had children, I would be their godmother. Now, what I think I was supposed to do was grab her excitedly and yelp “yes!” and gush a bit about what an honour it was and how I was definitely suited to this role because of my advanced french plaiting skills and babies really like me and ohmigosh, I can’t WAIT!

But because I am the sort of person who loves to rain on someone else’s parade* I said rather flatly, “But how would that work? Because I’m totally an atheist.” My friend looked incredibly deflated. If I had the opportunity to do it over again I would do the excited and flattered thing first and bring up the glaring flaw LATER.

The problem from my point of view was that even though my friend was that religious, I did know that she believed in God…and that I equally did not. I’ve been to a few christenings, and as I understand it, a godparent is supposed to have some input into the child’s religious upbringing, which for obvious reasons is a role that I am not at all suited to.

I think religion is silly. But then most people in the world think Star Wars is silly, even though clearly it is a Very Serious Matter (as evidenced by this very long but entirely awesome blogpost that outlines the most artistically satisfying order in which to watch the films – it’s not nearly as simple as you would imagine).  Read more

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