Whenever we are about to spend a lot of money on something I always ask for the twin discount. “We have twins. Do we get a discount?” I say. This has worked very well at places like Baby Depot and Babies-R-Us (We bought four infant/toddler car seats a couple of weeks ago and saved almost $50 off the $480 the seats were gonna run us). It does not work so well at places like Starbucks. (“I’ll have a Venti Extra-hot, raspberry, White Chocolate mocha and a crumble coffee cake please. $5.75? Do you offer a twins discount?” The answer is always no.)
Do you want to know where else they don’t offer a twin discount? The Catholic church. I know, I know. You’re obviously as surprised as I was. You see, we’ve been trying to get the babies baptized for a while. When we called up the local church that we had been attending prior to the babies being born, we were told the following:
In order to baptize our children and save their souls from eternal damnation, we would have to attend church 8 consecutive weeks before the priest would even meet with us. We would then have to attend one evening class but children are not allowed to attend that class. Oh, and the way we tell if you’ve attended 8 consecutive weeks is by the weekly offering. Uh-huh. You heard me. You have to pay up if you want credit for your child’s salvation.
Two things made me angry about this whole scenario. First, obviously the person on the other end of the phone that I spoke to did not have a rat’s clue to what it was like to parent infant twins. We attended church fairly regularly prior to the twins being born but with breastfeeding running our lives, getting out of the house for mass each Sunday was next to impossible. Yet I went on my own. Determined to save my children’s soul, I trekked off each week to mass while Andrea wrestled with the twins. Each week, I’d sit alone in the bleachers of the local high school gymnasium (the church is building it’s facility nearby) and try not to think about how the high school won it’s two Cross Country League Championships and it’s two Track & Field League Championships while simultaneously reciting the profession of faith.
The second issue I had was the way they were making me pay each week as a way of taking roll. One week, I gave a buck. One measly dollar. I wanted to write something nasty on it but didn’t feel like incurring the wrath of God so I left satisfied my one dollar was symbolic of a silent protest. I’m sure no one but the church receptionist noticed. Sadly, I’ll forever be known as the cheap guy – not the brave man who stood up to the mighty Catholic church.
Finally, this church wanted each of the godparents (we have four as the twins will not share godparents) to attend a class at their respective churches (they don’t live near us) and then get a letter signed by the priest of their church stating they attend mass regularly. I’m pretty sure she also wanted an affadavit signed by all parties that made the Godparents promise to send their first-born son into the priesthood. This is when I started realizing why fewer and fewer people are joining the Catholic church. It’s an exclusive club and you’ve gotta pay to get in.
Luckily, we found out about a rebel church in the town next to us that had no such restrictions. All we had to do is show up to a one-hour class on a Saturday (children welcome) and pick a date. We went today and it was crowded. We listened to an elderly Filipino man lecture many of us in the room about how it would be nice if we actually started attending church once we got our children baptized. He went on and on (something about Luke, Matthew, Paul, John and perhaps Yoko but it was hard to hear so I could be wrong) until we finally got the info we needed. Just fill out the form, pick a date and show up with a candle, a white outfit and your camera. Oh, and you have to pay $70, of course. Of course. Per child? Of course.
*Sigh* grumble, grumble, grumble.
I had to ask… “We have twins. Do we get a twin discount?”
No. No we do not. But $140 is a small price to pay for reservations to heaven. Right?
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