Baptism Battle: Grandfather’s Offer Leads to Explosive Clash Over Baby’s Name and Cultural Heritage

By Emma Williams

A new grandfather has recently taken to an online forum to ask if he is in the wrong after being called racist by his in-laws. By in-laws, he is referring to his daughter-in-law’s parents after she recently married his son.

Religious Ties

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The grandfather is a highly religious man and part of a family that is Bulgarian Orthodox. Because of this, the grandfather wanted a hand in how the baby would be named and raised religiously. The first thing he wanted for his grandson was a baptism.

The Agreement

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The grandfather made a deal with the son and daughter-in-law. He offered to pay for all baptismal expenses and the first year of all childcare expenses if they gave the child an orthodoxy name. The parents agreed with seemingly no hesitation and the deal was struck.

The Name

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After the deal, it was decided that the baby would be named David Antoine. David covered the orthodox part of the name while Antoine was a name given in honor of the parents’ beloved mentor who passed away. They agreed on this name as it made the parents and the grandfather happy.

The In-Laws Intentions

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Before the deal was struck, the in-laws decided they wanted the grandchild to have a connection back to their roots. The in-laws are originally from the Ivory Coast of Africa and they wanted the child’s name to reflect their heritage. The in-laws were not consulted about the naming decision, however.

The In-Laws Find Out

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The in-laws do not find out about the baby’s intended name until after the baby is born. When they discover the name, they are confused until the grandfather tells them about the deal he made with the parents. They are outraged and immediately curse out the grandfather and call him racist among other things.

Grandfather Is Not Having It

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Outraged at the accusations, the grandfather calls the in-laws out. He calls them insensitive and insulting to his religion of Bulgarian Orthodoxy. He also calls them out on the fact that their daughter, his daughter-in-law, had converted to the same religion and had agreed to the decision for the name. The parents of the child agreed so they have no reason to be so angry.

Uninvited

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The grandfather goes on to officially uninvite the in-laws from the grandchild’s baptism because of their behavior. To be reinvited, they have to apologize to the son and daughter-in-law. The son and daughter-in-law both agree with this decision.

Outrage and Disagreement

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The grandfather has had no contact with the in-laws since, not wanting to interact with them after the fallout. The grandfather’s son has been keeping him updated, however. According to the son, the in-laws are still furious.

Unyielding Grandparents

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They are completely unwilling to apologize and are threatening to show up for the baptism whether the grandfather likes it or not. They are determined to be there for their grandson.

Who Is In the Right?

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The grandfather’s sister has called him out, saying he is being mean and they should be allowed to join in honor of their grandson. However, he is stuck on this fact and is determined not to allow them to attend until they apologize.

Just Barely In the Wrong

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By a small fraction, the online forum has decided that the grandfather is in the wrong. Their argument links back to the fact that the grandfather ‘bribed’ the parents to name their baby an orthodoxy name by offering to pay their expenses only if they did so.

Racism Claims Fuel Baptism

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They also say that the racism claims are valid because they believe he only wanted to do this out of hatred for the daughter-in-law’s African origins as well as her parents being self-proclaimed atheists.

The Baptism Punishment

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The other factor people bring into the argument is baptism. The fact that the grandfather uninvited them to the baptism is seen as completely wrong and an awful thing to do as punishment for disagreeing with a name.

Whispers of Bribery

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People on the forum also had a theory the daughter only converted to Bulgarian Orthodoxy because the grandfather may have bribed her in the form of paying for her wedding or some other thing.

An Update

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After the overwhelming amount of claims and assumptions people were making about the grandfather and his past, he made an edit to his post to clear up a few things. He cleared up five different issues that were prevalent in the comments.

Misunderstandings

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He did not mean he was stopping the in-laws from attending the baptism, but rather just the after-party. The grandfather did not pay for his son and daughter-in-law’s wedding and the girl converted of her own free will.

Grandfather’s Plea for Apology

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The grandfather only wanted an orthodoxy name to protect the child under his faith and the parents could fully afford to take care of the child without his help. The last thing is that he does not care what the in-laws think, he just wants an apology for their behavior.

Opinions Shift

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After the update, many commenters shifted their opinion more toward the side of the grandfather. The new consensus is that the parents are fully grown and made their own decisions. It is their child and ultimately their choice about the name of the child and what deals they make, especially because they are financially stable.

Finding a Balance

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Another thing people point out is that converting to orthodoxy is quite difficult and not something that can be done on a whim.

Naming the Future

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The daughter-in-law would have to go through a long process, so this is likely what she wanted. The parents picked which orthodoxy name they wanted while still adding in the name they had originally picked for the baby, it was a win-win.