October 25, 2009 is “La Giornata dello Sbattezzo”, or Debaptism Day, in Italy. Of course, if you are happily baptized, you are welcome to remain so. It’s your business. And so is debaptism. It’s your choice, and no one else’s.
This is extraordinary in a country where, as journalist Curzio Maltese wrote in his book Alms: The Cost of the Catholic Church in Italy (La Questua, untranslated), “we export brainpower and import saints and sorcerers.”
4 thoughts on “In the Name of Nobodaddy, I Debaptize You!”
Why art thou silent & invisible
Father of jealousy
Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds
From every searching Eye
Why darkness & obscurity
In all thy words & laws
That none dare eat the fruit but from
The wily serpents jaws
Or is it because Secresy
gains females loud applause
– William Blake
& that Blake was most certainly against the “bricks of religion” but (a) God? Hardly
I can’t see how “darkness and obscurity”, “Secresy”, “silent, invisible and jealous” in any way attest to Blake’s belief in a deity other than that of deists like Spinoza or Jefferson. Certainly Blake is not describing the God of Christianity in this poem, or of any recognizable scripture. What, in essence, is the difference between Blake’s Nobodaddy and Celan’s Niemand?
Unfortunately I do not know enough about Celan to comment. As for Blake, were one to take this poem alone, no, probably not (“in any way attest…”). And to repeat, that he was against the Church with a capital C and its dogma(s) there is no doubt. But that he resided in a world absent of God(s) god(s) etc – that is a much more complex issue and one that has proven notoriously problematic (as you well know)
But that is not the point here. I simply find it fun, & funny, that a term of Blake’s was used in this context
I think old Blake would have liked all this & the “un-baptism” I don’t think would have offended either!
Celan wrote a fairly well-known poem called “Psalm,” in which the biblical God becomes “no one.” Does it really matter whether Blake or Jefferson believed in “something” or “nothing”? Not really. I, too, think Blake would’ve been enthusiastic about my co-opting of his meme Nobodaddy.