Why are only two of Proctor's children baptized?  

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price7781 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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There are a couple of reasons why not all of John and Elizabeth’s children are baptized.   A complaint Reverend Parris has about the Proctors when John and Elizabeth are arrested for witchcraft is that they don’t attend church every Sunday.  John explains that he is too busy working in the fields and providing for his family to attend every Sunday.  For a Puritan, it was required that you attend church.  To John, survival was more important than making sure he practiced his faith every week.  Not all of his children are baptized because the Proctors simply haven’t taken the time to do it.   

Another reason not all his children are baptized is because John is unhappy with Reverend Parris and his sermons.  John says all Reverend Parris asks for are fancy goblets and decorations for the church.  Reverend Parris has also been asking for a raise in salary as the town minister.  The Puritan religion was all about simplicity in the church.  The churches were sparsely furnished and people sat on hard benches for hours on Sundays.  John believes that you don’t need expensive embellishments to pray to God and show your faith.  Parris is being materialistic in his demands, and that shows his greed.  These are values not usually associated with a minister of the Puritan faith.  John’s lack of faith in Reverend Parris’ intentions keeps the Proctors from having their children baptized because John doesn’t see Parris as a religious man.

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