Huge schisms have formed in the Christian church over baptism. Some consider infant baptism an essential sacrament, necessary to ensure that an infant gets a ticket to heaven before s/he is old enough to participate in the other salvation-ensuring sacraments. Some consider infant baptism an important ritual for the family to undergo along with their larger congregational family, committing to raise the child according to Christian teaching, but just a symbolic thing. Some consider it a defiance of the principle that one must personally choose to join the church as an informed, adult statement of faith, and therefore it’s worthy of stoning or some such punishment.

And thing is: it isn’t even a specifically Christian thang. John the Baptist was already baptizing people before there was such a thing as Christianity, before Jesus opened his mouth and started preaching as the Christ. So if someone asks you “Which came first: the Catholics or the Baptists?”… it’s a trick question!

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