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Monday, July 9, 2012

That Pagan Baby Should Be—Gosh—In Her Forties Now, Right?

Posted by on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM

A good friend's sister found this Certificate of Adoption in a box of papers that she'd saved from her Catholic grade school:

paganbaby.jpeg

The pagan baby that was "adopted" by Grade 3 Room 8 in 1962—blessed little Ann Marie—should be in her forties by now, right? And she has to be out there somewhere... I mean, the Catholic church wouldn't lie to a classroom full of impressionable third graders about what they were doing with the money they raised, right? And you gotta wonder if the pagan baby's presumably pagan parents approved of Ann Marie's Catholic baptism or if Ann Marie was 1962's Edgardo Mortara.

 

Comments (33) RSS

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1
more like 50+ than forties.

Having been born in 1962 I would like to thank you for reminding me that I am getting OLD.
Posted by Romial on July 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 3
I can't get over the implied racism in that picture. Oh my fucking God....
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
4
I just love how the shinny little blond white child is baptizing those poor clueless non-whites with Gerbers oatmeal.

Reminds me that my favorite way to piss off my evangelical friend in high school was to tell her Jesus was black. So much fun. The only thing that's funnier is telling a christian Jesus was Jewish (no one's been able to convince me he wasn't yet). Just watch their faces, it's hilarious.
Posted by mygash on July 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
5
Isn't this just an old charity? What's so bad if a bunch of schoolchildren contributed to the health, education and welfare of a child in a poorer part of the world? If so, then the terminology is outdated (and the picture a little racist) but the actions are good. There are lots of things from the fifties and sixties whose names have had to be updated.

It may have been that these kids just paid for Ann Marie's baptismal ceremony. What makes you think her parents weren't pleased?
Posted by DRF on July 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
6
Admire the Archie Bunker-esque kind of racist undertones of the pic. White baby is spoon feeding a black, asian and native american child. WHat in the world did the mean by it back then..
Posted by Alinka on July 9, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
7
This image is meant to soothe. The majority race feels less threatened by the minority race if they are portrayed as helping them. This is because person doing the helping is always the one with the power. Portraying minorities as individuals deserving of (and also in need of) help from whites isn't as bad as portraying them as deserving of oppression and overt domination, but this is not a pro-equality, anti-racism image.

However, this was TYPICAL of stuff from 1962. You can see the white-protags-helping-blacks/Asians/NativeAms as a theme in a lot of TV shows from the period (and later). I doubt the people who drew this picture fully comprehended what they were doing.

Nice to know that some things have gotten better.
Posted by DRF on July 9, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this
8
I'm not Catholic. Someone please explain what that "Souvenir of the Ransom..." means. Did the Catholic Church actually kidnap the kid and hold her ransom?
Posted by Barbara on July 9, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
10
@8 No. "Ransom," in Catholic terms, means that the child was ransomed from Hell and/or Limbo, depending. It means that by paying for her baptismal ceremony, the schoolchildren who "adopted" the baby were told that they had bought her back from her spiritual captor and restored her to Christ.

As to what these schoolchildren did for Ann Marie in a material sense, I'm not sure. From what I've heard, this might have meant that these kids paid for the "pagan" child's baptismal ceremony or it might have meant that they paid for some of her food, clothing and education, just like in a secular charity.
Posted by DRF on July 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
11
@9,10 -- Wow. I never get over being amazed at how crazy Christianity is.
Posted by sarah70 on July 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 12
@10- Most likely it means they paid the salary of a priest who baptized them with his semen. Or he might have been great. The Catholic Church doesn't really care either way.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on July 9, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 13
The pope deletes his browser history.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 9, 2012 at 2:08 PM · Report this
14
I dunno if it was all scam, but if it was it was a well developed one. My dad sponsored kids from the early 70s on, and he got letters, and pictures of an individual child. One continued to correspond with my dad for many years after the sponsorship was over, until he was well into his thirties. He'd been sponsored from about age 11 until he entered the seminary (yeah, I know) but ended up not going into the priesthood and getting married instead.

The particular charity, or branch of the charity, that my dad was involved in worked in Catholic countries, so the kids were already Catholics before the charity got on to them. Nowadays they tend more toward "dig a well for the village" than "save this one kid"
Posted by agony on July 9, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
rob! 15
Huh. Image of kids by artist Charlot Byj, who illustrated Poochy the Christmas Pup and The Shiniest Star.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on July 9, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Fnarf 16
There never was any "Ann Marie", I assure you. And I assume they did the same thing with the money that Mother Teresa did with most of the millions she raised -- sent it on to the vaults of the Vatican Bank.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on July 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
17
@11 By that I meant "They're using 'ransom' as a metaphor." No one was telling these kids that the devil or anyone else was actually holding the children for ransom. It's like "the long arm of the law." No one thinks that the law literally has big arms. It's just colorful language meant to help express an idea.

@16 Because Mother Theresa never used any of that money to continue her ministry of caring for the poor, I suppose. All those soup kitchens, orphanages, schools and hospices for AIDS patients cost money. She might have a rhetoric that you don't like, but she's done a lot of good.
Posted by DRF on July 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 18
I wonder if the artist had any clue just how racist that picture looks to any non-white?

Probably not.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 9, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
19
@18: It looks pretty racist to this whitey, too.
Posted by jeccat on July 9, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
20
I have an aunt name Ann Marie who is in her 50s. I'm pretty sure she would have burst into flames had this been her though.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on July 9, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Fnarf 21
@17, your saintly Mother Teresa did a lot more harm than good. The orphanages and so on she started cost virtually nothing to run, and numerous other organizations serve up hundreds of thousands more meals than her group for a tiny fraction of the cost, but little fanfare. Her philosophy is pretty spectacularly damaging to the well-being of those she "helped" -- she was in particular a hard-core sadist whose pain-management regimen was always "give them more pain, it brings you closer to God". Meanwhile she jetted around the globe raking in more and more dollars, very few of which went to the poor. It all went to the Vatican.

Mother Teresa was one of the biggest con jobs of all time.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on July 9, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
24
@21 Mother Teresa spent her whole life helping the poor. Why do you think most of the money went somewhere else? Just because she didn't do it the same way you would have doesn't mean she did more harm than good. If you think you could do better, please go ahead. I'm sure there will be a few people who can overlook any part of your ideology with which they disagree and say, "But Fnarf sure helped a lot of AIDS patients."

The real person to ask about whether Mother Teresa did more harm than good would be one of the people helped by the Missionaries of Charity. What do they have to say?
Posted by DRF on July 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Simone 25
I want "Pagan Baby" on my birth certificate.
Posted by Simone on July 9, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on July 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
27
@26 Read your Slate article. How could Mother Teresa be a fraud if she was already dead by the time that those claims were made? SHE never said she turned into a beam of light and cured a woman's tumor; the woman did.

This thing even mentions medieval indulgences. What's that got to do with Mother Teresa, the pagan baby fund drives or anything else? This article doesn't present any evidence or logical arguments that Mother Teresa was a fraud. It's just a rant.
Posted by DRF on July 9, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 28
@27, Christopher Hitchens did a wonderful expose several years before her death that called her what she was... a fraud.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 9, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
29
Waughsplaining: "I've got six black Cordelias already. Isn't it lovely?"
Posted by vennominon on July 9, 2012 at 6:01 PM · Report this
30
@ 24 - You are extremely ill-informed. Fnarf is absolutely right. She spent her whole life helping the Vatican, and let the sick die in suffering, but hey, she baptized them and she bathed them (well, her minions did) so they could die a good catholic death. Brilliant. A saint by anyone's definition.

That information is readily available (and already was long before Hitchens got to her) for those who dare look for it instead of believing catholic church propaganda - and who in their right mind would believe that?
Posted by Ricardo on July 9, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
31
Damn. White Man's Burden much, Catholics?

(<-- ex-Catholic, current proud apostate)
Posted by NT on July 9, 2012 at 6:28 PM · Report this
sirkowski 32
In Quebec at least this was a total lie. The Church used the money locally. It was never used to save the souls of little Chinese babies.

My grandmother forbid my mom from giving them money when she was in elementary school.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on July 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM · Report this
33
@5:

What's so bad about this?

It's probably complete fiction. Ann Marie? Why not John Smith? Or Jane Doe?
Posted by gromm on July 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM · Report this
34
@33, so if the kids really did help another child, as in the situation described by @14, then it's good, but if Ann Marie did not really exist, as in the situation described by @32, then it's not good. We're on the same page there.

@30 So I can either believe the Church (and decades worth of reporters and other individuals with no connection to the Church) or I can believe Mr. Hitchens? It seems to me that the most credible judge of Mother Teresa's worth would be someone who'd been in one of those orphanages or hospices. Did THEY feel like good was being done?
Posted by DRF on July 9, 2012 at 9:51 PM · Report this
sissoucat 35
Well, it's the age of internet. A journalist could dig into this story and find out who Mary Ann is, right ? There are names on this certificate.

Not only is it pretty racist, but the white and older child is futhermore clothed as a Church official : white and red.
Posted by sissoucat on July 10, 2012 at 4:11 AM · Report this
36
In fourth grade, I was responsible for bringing in the last dollar or two that allowed our class to baptize a pagan baby. I was, therefore, allowed to choose the name. I chose Davy Thomas, after the singer, Davy Jones. Somewhere today there is a fully adult pagan baby named after a Monkee.
Posted by Clayton on July 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM · Report this
37
Many thanks to all who answered the question about what the ransom was. Sounds like a watered down version of selling indulgences.

Did anyone see Sarah Silverman's idea for feeding everyone in the world? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bObItmxA…
Posted by Barbara on July 10, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this

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