Coercing consent from children at a baptism. This made me feel very uncomfortable.
I was at a baptism recently. The vicar asked this 4 year old girl if she wanted to be baptised, and she just looked confused and intimidated. He knelt down close to her and nodded with a big smile, and so she copied him. Everyone else in the congregation was going “awwwwww, how sweet”, and I was thinking, “this is how brainwashing begins.”
I wanted to approach the vicar afterwards and say “do you really think that asking a small, scared girl to make a complex theological decision in front of an audience and then coaxing the answer you want out of her is a valid way of discerning her consent?”
But I didn’t 🙁