This last weekend was untitledhusband’s younger (adopted) sister’s confirmation. She is 16 and – I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this before – she is mentally challenged. As we were sitting there at the party, satisfied by the fact that we were able to pilfer a corner piece of cake and avoid the Brazil nuts amidst the bowl of cashews, I sensed an awkwardness in the air.
In many aspects, this was like any other party. People came from states away. Cakes were baked. Punch was made. Gifts were given. Yet I wasn’t the only one who noticed that at the center of it all was this girl – a child – who has trouble combing her own hair and still watches Arthur from time to time. Aside from Christmas and Easter, she has very little concept of God. And to her, this whole confirmation thing was more about getting an iPod than anything else (which makes her just like every other 16 year-old, I guess).
But still, I say shame on us for confirming someone who doesn’t really understand what confirmation is. I’ll even go one further – shame on us for baptizing or confirming anyone into any organization before the age of 18. What kind of cult wants you to sign on the dotted line before you can even drink a beer? I believe it’s the Amish who send their 18 year-olds out into the world to live independently before they decide if they’ll spend the rest of their days harvesting wheat with a machete or playing “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” with their homies and smoking hydroponic fatties. I expect as much wisdom from those who carve rocking chairs out of an Oak tree with little more than a pocket knife.
Certainly, it won’t hurt untitledsister-in-law to sit in church every Sunday and recite chants that she and probably half the church members don’t understand. But let’s just say I’m a little skeptical about any organization that would confirm a girl like her, at this point in her life. I’m all for her being part of a church if it brings her joy. But make no mistake – churches are businesses. They want members, because they want to grow. They want to grow, so they can bring in more money. They want more money, so they can keep the Pope in red velvet Armani slippers.
This girl isn’t going anywhere. And I doubt if she’ll be dropping a 20 in the offering plate anytime soon. So how about waiting to confirm her until she is a bit older, people. Like until she’s able to microwave a bean burrito or wash her own underwear.