Bring Out Your Dead … To Be Baptized

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Posthumous proxy baptism is a religious practice where a living person, acting as proxy, is baptized on behalf on a dead person. It is currently practiced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church), who submit names for the ordinance. The vicarious ordinance for the deceased have included Holocaust victims, prominent Nazis, and well known Jews such as Albert Einstein.

It has been discovered that the name of Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, had been entered into the database but not submitted for baptism. Wiesel said, “I object fervently. It’s an outrage.” Wiesel wants Romney to speak out on the subject of the baptisms. Wiesel claims he’s still alive.

Those who practice this rite view baptism as an indispensable requirement to enter the Kingdom of God and believe that baptizing the dead will satisfy this requirement. The justification for this belief comes from 1 Corinthians 15:29, though Biblical scholars question the verse’s translation and  meaning.

The outrage is that anyone would take this practice seriously. Either the practice works and the dead person enters the Kingdom of God, apparently a desirable outcome, or it doesn’t work and nothing happens. Those who object to the rite seem to be fearing the former outcome for there is no reason to object to the latter.

None of this brouhaha is about the dead.

H/T: Howard Friedman, HuffPo, Jesus and Mo.

104 thoughts on “Bring Out Your Dead … To Be Baptized

  1. There is another reason to object that you missed. Some people are concerned that people are messing with their deeply held beliefs. It is extremely disrespectful and actually pretty creepy.

    I’d just point and laugh at stupidity like baptizing the dead against their own wishes. Thats all this foolishness deserves, derision.

  2. I agree:

    ” Wiesel said, “I object fervently. It’s an outrage.” Wiesel wants Romney to speak out on the subject of the baptisms. Wiesel claims he’s still alive.”

    The problem is Romney won’t dare address an issue like this.Can you imagine ?

  3. Wiesel has every right to be outraged. I can’t imagine what a living person being placed on this list mayt interpret by that action….especially in the case of Elie Wiesal who has already survived the debasement of lower thinking ‘humans’ once already. It is a huge affront but in the end I think most understand that it says more about the cretins that would put him on such a list in the first place.

    It is a good time for politicians to draw the line between church, state, and what belongs to the confines of what is personal and not meant for the workings of others.

  4. ….especially in the case of Elie Wiesal who has already survived the debasement of lower thinking ‘humans’ once already.
    ———————————————————————
    make that ‘….especially in the case of Elie Wiesal who has already survived the debasement of lower thinking ‘humans’ beyond reason, already.

  5. I know, it’s ridiculous, laughable…..
    But it we allow a theo-state to arise, resistance will quickly disappear.
    Churdes are cheaper to finance than campaigns.
    Religion is admirable, from a vvvvvveeeerrrryyyyy long distance.
    But think of the quaint cultural enrichment we wil gain.
    Surely resulting in more profits for Amuhcan industry.
    Not to mention the blessed increases in usury.
    Etc. etc.

  6. I’ve been doing research on ancestors, some of it thru the LDS database. I wondered about the comments that come with some of the records. Now I know. They’re folks who have been baptized w/o their consent.

    I’ve never been baptized and don’t want to be, especially after I’m dead and can’t object. Guess I have to let extended family members who are LDS know. Or will that just encourage them? Maybe it’s time for a discussion.

    Frankly’s right. It’s disrespectful and creepy.

  7. As a Jew this practice has enraged me since I first learned of it in the 90’s. We are a people persecuted for our beliefs for thousands of years, only to have it come to a climax with the Shoah, where Jews were slaughtered with a methodical factory-like program of murder. For the LDS to have done this is a sign of ultimate disrespect and hubris. Sadly, I am positive that they have no notion of why Jews would feel this way. The fact that this program also includes many, many no-Jews is proof I think of an ultimate religious program that threatens this country. To get more insight read the excellent book “The Mormon Murders” by Y Times reporter Steven Naifeh. It gives a good reporter’s take on what he found when he investigated convicted forger and murderer Mark Hoffman. In the process he laid bare the workings of the LDS.

  8. They are at least of the opinion that they are doing those folks a favor posthumously.

    That isn’t the questionable part.

    The questionable part is that it is imaginary.

    Why not just imagine that either the coroner’s or the funeral director’s washing of the body is sufficient?

  9. I understand Mike’s comments too.

    How would a person feel if someone walked up to them and “laid hands on” them to cast out a demon?

    It would presuppose we have a demon, a conclusion we would not necessarily agree with, thus the insult.

  10. Ritual, emotionally appealing and supportive of your creed, gives the “believers” support. Activity is also addictive in this case. They, who knows, might even get an hormonal or pleasure center kick.
    The ways of the holistic person are mysterious.
    In the meanwhile they’re not fornicating, etc. Maybe it even makes money for LDS. Do they send bills to the deceased baptized’s estate?

  11. It’s even weirder and more offensive than all that’s been said. Entering the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven is a Christian faith-based concept; other religions employ a work-based model to get to the same place. Some folks use a model where the believer becomes God, or a God. Like LDS.

    From the book “The Godmakers” which I read a really long time ago and remember very imperfectly, LDS has this belief: “As Jesus was, man is; as Jesus is, man may become”. By perfectly keeping a bunch of commandments before he (sorry, ladies excluded) dies and a bunch more after he dies, a Mormon becomes God of his own planet. His earthly wife (wives) are perpetually pregnant with spirit-babies who become people on the new planet. Where do spirit babies come from? Proxy baptisms.

    These beliefs help to explain a few odd facts. LDS has one of the highest rates of suicide among the faithful — who can keep all those commandments perfectly? And one of the highest rates of divorces — er, annulments — who wants to married to a guy who isn’t going to become a God?

  12. I dont know. Oh heck. Little prayer here and there for dead folks. We dogs in the dog pack call it hedging bets. Kinda like having two dog tags–one has the guy Pals number and the other the gal Pals phone number. There is not a single Mormon in our pack. Actually dogs dont buy into religion per se. We know about reincarnation and recall our past lives. If we were a good human we can choose to come back as a dog in a civilized part of the world where the humanoids dont eat dogs. If we are a bad dog we usually come back as a human. So, you might wonder, if we dont believe in religion then who decides all these matters? We are dyslexic as well. You got it. Dog–the big guy in the sky.

    Just a dog talkin, dont bear no mind
    but do mind the bears

  13. Oro Lee,

    Now enters the poorly ínformed.
    The concept of heaven is not part of Judaism, I believe.
    The rewards of an “pure” life is found only here and now, not later.

    Did Jesus really promise life after death? I thought he “only” promised to return, to lead them (most would still be living then) in a victory of righteousness, etc.

    And I’ve had always a problem with the resurrection in heaven.
    What carnal form (it was the body to be resurrected I believe) shall I be in?
    And what “pleasure” shall I receive.

    The own planet and many wives and spirit babies sounds like fun.
    No diapers to change. Apparently no periods, no need for Viagra, etc.

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll be friendlier on their next visit.

  14. If you don’t really believe in baptism, how is this harmful to you–wouldn’t this be just a crazy meaningless ritual, no different than someone praying for you without your permission? Let Mormons waste their time and money.

  15. cogrannnie
    read oro lee again.
    Seems they want to steal your spirit to make spirit babies of on their own planets. Seems like many believers would feel threatened by that.
    Never know, they might have some contract with……
    And that’s another reason, the believers say, why they don’t like the religious freedom for others than themselves.

  16. This is highly offensive because it’s saying, pretty much literally, that “I know better than you and I don’t need your consent to act.” It doesn’t matter that that person doesn’t agree with you or even that they’re dead and you believe it can have no negative effect – what matters is that it infantizes the other person.

    As a somewhat contrived analogy imagine going to bed and waking up to discover that somebody had shaved your beard, cut your hair, whatever. There’s “‘no harm’ since it will just grow back” right? They think you look better and that’s all that matters, right?

  17. What it all comes down to is that the process says to the non-Mormon, “You’re beliefs are wrong.” There is no rational reason to be bothered by it. As the original piece pointed out, why should anyone be insulted if they think it has no effect on them? Because the two things that will infuriate people more than anything are to tell them that their parenting is incorrect or that their religion is wrong. They are upset because they don’t want their beliefs challenged, not because it harms them.

  18. A man made it to heaven and met Saint Peter at the pearly gates. SP took the man on a tour pointing to each door while explaining which religious group was inside. As they approached another door, SP told the man to tip toe and whisper. “Why?” the newly deceased asked. “Because that’s where the Mormons are and they think they’re the only ones up here.”

  19. but if you don’t believe in mormonism how could you think they could steal your spirit?

    now if they could do this ritual while juggling poisonous snakes then eating a 2000 y/o dead guy’s flesh and blood. that might be worth watching.

  20. It’s not whether YOU believe there’s anything to it. It’s whether THEY think they’re doing something significant without or even against your will. The anger is not over the meaningless ceremony, it’s at the arrogance of thinking that they have the right to perform the ceremony at all.

    It’s a poor analogy but somebody taking pictures at a beach and jerking off to it in the bathroom later doesn’t harm the person who’s picture was taken… but very few people wouldn’t be seriously squeeked out by it if they subsequently learn about it.

  21. it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

    tommy jefferson

  22. No, but it matters when he starts funneling millions of dollars to fund fringe candidates or overturn laws because he “knows better than you”. That’s the same arrogance we’re seeing – no need to look for common ground when you can just force the issue.

  23. AY

    i’m trying to get a law degree by watching “law and order” reruns. Gene said i’ll need about 60-80 thousand hours.

    i’m guessing that doesn’t include commercials.

  24. Pete, you will have to take an additional 23,647 hours of work to unlearn all the stuff that is wrong. Also, if you watch more than four episodes of CSI or NCIS, then there will be another ten thousand hours of unlearning to do.

  25. The issue here is that responders, commenters and bloggers have little idea what the practice is all about. First, this ordinance does not change any deceased person’s religious status. Their names are not carried on any roll identifying them as Christian or Mormon. It is an offering and does not Shanghai anyone.

    Christian theology dictates that for anyone to return to God the Father they must do so through Jesus Christ via baptism. Given this is strictly an earthly ordinance which can only be performed by living people, the dead would seem to be automatically excluded from “heaven” if they had refused or never been offered the opportunity to partake. Essentially the vast majority of all man kind, not being Christian of any sort, would be doomed. So goes traditional Christian thought.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, (Mormons) contend God restored the original Church with its priesthood authority precisely to fix that problem. Mormons say it was done by God the Father and Jesus Christ in the flesh. (That is why Mormons are not Protestants or Trinitarians. They did not arise out of Catholicism or traditional Christianity)

    They say the original first century church doctrines were contravened due to the machinations of men who were charged primarily with designing a third century Christianity that accommodated the politics of the day and that some required doctrines plus priesthood authority were lost.

    Mormon theology says only baptisms performed by men with that authority are efficacious and no one born since the death of the last apostle had legitimate authority until it was restored. They say it is their job to baptize, by proxy or directly, every human being who has ever lived on the earth or ever will.

  26. Another way of looking at this is through a more familiar practice. Catholics believe they can pray someone out of purgatory. Mormons essentially do the same thing only they do it with this ordinance. Catholics will gladly prayer for non-Catholics and do so regulalry as I understand. Is anyone offended by that? Neither should they be offended by the Mormon rite.

  27. JJ Fuller,
    I don’t give a rat’s ass what Mormon Theology is about, or what Mormon’s think their duties are. As a Jew, a people persecuted for two thousand years because we didn’t believe in Jesus, to finally be brutally murdered for our heritage, to be baptised into the LDS shows disrespect and frankly callous stupidity. Believe whatever they will, leave Jews out of it. To be frank Jews pretty much are not interested in an afterlife, but on how humans treat fellow humans. The ritual may be meaningless, but the disrespect it shows is palpable.

  28. Then I take it you wouldn’t object if at My Church Of Choice ™, we decided to end services by saying Mormons aren’t going to Their Heaven for living their lives under a different creed than we choose so we’ll just indoctrinate them symbolically into our church so they can get into Our Heaven ™ anyway?

    Really, it is a better practice to simply leave others who don’t want your religion out of your religion. That’s what’s wrong with the Mormon practice and what’s wrong with proselytism in general. Baptism is a rite of admission or adoption. If people want your Mormon baptism (which is a considerably different ritual than something like praying)? If they have questions or want to join? Go for it. If they don’t have questions or don’t want to join? Leave. Them. Alone. Anything else is an attempt to impose your will over theirs in a matter that is quite simply none of the LDS’ business. If someone of a different belief system than mine wants to pray for me? I don’t care. Prayers amount to well-wishes. However, if they wanted to symbolically make me a member of their church (which is precisely what baptism does)? I’d be pissed. Why? Because if I wanted to be a fucking Mormon, I’d join myself out of my own free will.

    But since you seem to have no problem with that, you won’t mind if we baptize you into the My Church Of Choice ™ this weekend. Just to make sure you get into Our Heaven ™. Because we know what’s best for you.

    Schmuck.

  29. raff,

    I want to, but I can never find it with either “Batman” or “Hello, Kitty!” on it.

    When it comes to magical drawers, a boy has got to have standards.

  30. Genius:

    “The outrage is that anyone would take this practice seriously. Either the practice works and the dead person enters the Kingdom of God, apparently a desirable outcome, or it doesn’t work and nothing happens. Those who object to the rite seem to be fearing the former outcome for there is no reason to object to the latter.”

    For those tempted to be misled by Mike as some hubristic attempt to conversion, please be informed that the practice – as CNN reported – is nothing more than a VIP invitation. The belief is centered on the individual choosing to, or not to go. For people that find that offensive, they really need to get over themselves. In the end, it’s silly that people take any issue at it for the reasons stated in the OP.

  31. Hehehehe… Mike’s ignorance shines bright:

    “I don’t give a rat’s ass what Mormon Theology is about . . . . As a Jew . . . to be baptised into the LDS shows disrespect and frankly callous stupidity. ”

    The antecedent is the only possible explanation for the consequent. In other words, Mike doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about! The fact that he has been corrected time and time again to no avail shows Mike’s laughably low level of both maturity and intellectual integrity.

  32. How did I miss this gem of Mike’s:

    “The fact that this program also includes many, many no-Jews is proof I think of an ultimate religious program that threatens this country.”

    Are you insane? What’s next? That Mitt Romney was the 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  33. Gene. Your “solution” is a fait accompli. According to some, we Mormons and you Jews are on the fast track to hell because we don’t believe as they do. At least according to Mormon theology belong to the Church of the Lamb of God or those who reject God and cling to worldly pursuits aka the Church of the Whore of Babylon. (There is denomination that fits that appellation. These people are found in every religious tradition but they do not represent the it.)

    The members of the Church of the Lamb of God can be of any denomination or belief system as long as they are sincere and live their religion to the best of their ability and understanding. That means Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Catholics, Baptist, Native American religion, Presbyterians, Mormons and all the others are on the fast track to the pearly gates. The issue is not doctrine but sincere belief in God and a life lived according to the beliefs a person adheres to. We Mormons are just doing the administrative stuff so to speak. For all the other members of the Church of the Lamb of God, the details will be worked out later – on the other side.

  34. Sorry about my poor editing above. This is the edited version.

    Gene. Your “solution” is a fait accompli. According to some, we Mormons and you Jews are on the fast track to hell because we don’t believe as they do. At least according to Mormon theology all people belong either to the Church of the Lamb of God or to the Church of the Whore of Babylon. They are those people who reject God in practice and in their hearts and cling to worldly pursuits. (There is no denomination that fits that appellation. These people are found in every religious tradition but they do not represent it.)

    The members of the Church of the Lamb of God can be of any denomination or belief system as long as they are sincere and live their religion to the best of their ability and understanding. That means Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Catholics, Baptist, adherents to the Native American religion, Presbyterians, Mormons and all the others are on the fast track to the pearly gates.

    The issue is not doctrine but sincere belief in God and a life lived according to the beliefs a person adheres to. We Mormons are just doing the administrative stuff so to speak. For all the other members of the Church of the Lamb of God, the details will be worked out later – on the other side.

  35. Mike Spindell
    It is OK with me. Just be sure you do it like we do. No names on a membership roster and give me the option to disgaree on the other side of the veil. I don’t want to pay tihing to two churches at the same time.:)

  36. mike can be offended at anything he wants. he doesn’t need your permission or approval.

    now, as the guy on my special underwear says
    “forget you guys, i’m goin home”

  37. But you’ve mistaken me for a Jew, JL.

    I’m not. I don’t have a religion. I have a philosophy distilled from many philosophies; some religiously based, some not, some Western, some Eastern. For simplicity, think of it as a form of secular humanism.

    “We Mormons are just doing the administrative stuff so to speak.”

    Baptism? Isn’t just “administrative stuff”. It’s a very specific ritual of admission to or adoption of any one of a number of Christian sects. Ritual has meaning. If Elie Wiesel, or anyone else, doesn’t want it done in their name? That should be the end of it. Period. You don’t get to choose the “administrative stuff” for others any more than you get to choose their other religious practice. You want to pray for them? No objection. But you can’t baptize others, even symbolically, against their will (or permission) and not be in violation of their human rights. To even attempt to do so is the very height of theological arrogance. It’s a stupid and arrogant practice no matter how well intentioned. I know Christians of other sects that would be just as offended by this practice as non-Christians. If Mormons don’t like being criticized for it? Then maybe they should stop it and learn to keep your religion to yourselves. If people feel they need your help as God’s Secretary, they’ll ask for it. However, even by appointing yourselves right to choose who to “bestow” this “honor” upon, you’re showing hubris in the extreme. You clowns are no more the gate keeper of an afterlife than any other charlatan who would claim to be is. God doesn’t need your help any more than non-Mormons do. You don’t get to decide God’s Grace. That’s His to dispense and His alone. Humans don’t get a say in the matter.

  38. Gene. Yep, that is correct in most cases but not in the case of proxy baptism. Getting wet is absolutley 100% meaningless with out assent – living or dead. We can’t be held accountable what for others think or practice. We don’t deliberatley set out to offend but neither will be held hostage to other people’s unfounded beliefs concerning how we exercise our religious freedoms. Even among our own we require the closest living relative to give his or her approval if the deceased was born within the last 95 years.

  39. JL Fuller and any other Mormon out there….

    You do NOT have my permission for one of your “baptisms”, not now, not after I am 95, 195, not EVER.

    Do we have that clear, Sport? NOT EVER!

    I need not give a reason, because my reasons are none of your damn business.

  40. What OS said applies to me too.

    “We can’t be held accountable what for others think or practice.”

    Yeah you can. It’s your choice. You’re accountable for your choices. If I choose to worship Huehueteotl or Tlaloc and start the practice of human sacrifice (as dictated by the religions following those gods)? I not only expect that I’ll be arrested for murder by civilian authorities, but that people in general will look at me like I’m a psychotic religiously driven freak even if my motive was to prevent fires from striking the city or to bring much needed rain. Choices, including religious choices, have consequences.

    “We don’t deliberatley set out to offend”

    Intent is irrelevant. You do offend. If you don’t like people taking offense? Stop it.

    “but neither will be held hostage to other people’s unfounded beliefs concerning how we exercise our religious freedoms.”

    You will be as long as you insist on your exercise including the unwillful and/or unwitting being done in the names of others without prior permission. If you really wanted to help improve the relations between Mormonism and other religions including other sects of Christianity, you’d stop this practice as it relates to non-Mormons. What they (we) do in our names is our business, but you make what you do our business when you drag us into it. My solution still stands as a matter of logic. Your right to free exercise ends where the right to free exercise of others begins, including indoctrination rituals done by proxy.

  41. Let me try this for those of you who are offended by this: if you found out that a voodoo priest was putting a curse on you, would you be offended? If you wouldn’t be offended by something that ridiculous (but sincerely believed in by the practitioner) why would baptism by proxy bother you?

    I don’t want to leave the impression that I’m an apologist for LDS. I’m an atheist and when I found out about the practice (there’s a hunk of my family that is Mormon) my knee jerk response was to be offended. And then I remembered that I found their beliefs absurd and as such, they could not have any effect on me. Is it arrogant? What religion isn’t? It doesn’t get much more arrogant than to say that *your* religion is the right one, seeing as how big the stakes are,

    Again, it’s about being told that your religion is wrong in a fairly unique way. It’s bad enough when they do it straight up, “Believe me or you’ll burn in hell,” will piss off most people. The LDS do it a little differently. “Of course your wrong, but don’t worry, our one true religion has you covered.”

  42. Regarding the voodoo priest. There was a case in Mississippi twenty or so years ago. Seems this guy claimed to put a curse on the judge in a case. It was supposed to be either a death curse or that the judge would have terrible misfortune. He was charged with contempt of court and making threats toward the judge. He was convicted.

    My point is that I would be offended, but what makes the current matter so offensive in particular, is the smug self-righteousness of the practitioners.

  43. raff,

    You said “Hah! I am partial to spiderman.”

    I must say that’s very appropriate. Just like power, with great underwear comes great responsibility. Who would know about that more than a guy with great powers swinging about Manhattan in a unitard?

  44. OS,
    Read that article and it only reinforced my disgust.
    The thing is this isn’t a matter of preventing the exercise of Mormon’s religious freedom. They will do as they please. However, I and others will not hesitate to denounce them publicly and to the extent I can I will encourage economic boycotts of products by Mormons. Hubris describes this practice, but moreso a callous insensitivity.

  45. That neither Jack nor Fuller understand the offence just indicates to me their lack of sensitivity. Mock me all you will though Jack it only proves how insensitive. to others you are. As for you Fuller, your bland smugness of attitude only exemplifies LDS insensitivity. As for life beyond death it is not a tenet of mainstream Jewish belief. One can follow a moral path quite easily w/o the threat of misery beyond death. The point is that the Shoah killed innocents and the LDS uses their names dishonorably. They agreed to stop the practice on two occasions and lied both times. That fact says little for LDS integrity.

  46. Gene H.

    “You want to pray for them? No objection. But you can’t baptize others, even symbolically, against their will (or permission) and not be in violation of their human rights.”

    Apart from one of the silliest hyperboles I’ve ever heard, your comment shows that you don’t understand anything you are talking about (really…are the self-proclaimed law on human rights?). Frankly, praying for people is more invasive than a vicarious baptism. In the latter, you’re not asking deity to infringe on them in any sort of way…just handing the person a ticket that they can use or toss. In other words, it’s really a step down from prayer on the scale of “involuntary intercession.” Now the problem might be that you are shoving your own ideas of what a vicarious baptism should be, or what it should stand for. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your tirade.

    “Intent is irrelevant. You do offend. If you don’t like people taking offense? Stop it.”

    Frankly, offense is something that’s taken – not given. So a better line than “Stop it” is “Get over it.” Seriously, if you get offended over something done with good intent and that has absolutely no effect, at what age will you see that you need to grow up and move on? Remember what your mother said – if you ignore it, it can’t hurt you. But in the meantime, watch out for the Boogey men. They might get you. And worse yet, they might offend you.

    P.S. Your life must be awful, and I am sorry. It can’t be easy for people raised to stomp at every phantom offense, or taught to harbor some insatiable need to blame the world for every little mental inconvenience. Pity.

    Mike,

    The problem isn’t insensitivity, but your complete dishonesty. You refuse like an obstinate toddler to actually accept facts as they are given by people that know what they’re talking about, and in its place you press complete nonsense that you have crafted in your old-warped mind for your own embittered purposes. I have corrected your “facts” time and time again, and you stubbornly refuse to realize that the premise of your notions are fundamentally incorrect. A further mark of this is this allegation of a “lie.” What part of the real story do you actually understand? Even though the church has no obligation to do so, it said it would change the policy and it did. It made the concerted effort to stop (how many breaches in how many years?) but someone went against the policy which they have condemned, and you have the gall to pass judgment on mens rea? Really? The notion that the Mormons’ desire to “help” people (and force them to do nothing in the process) can tenably offend you is a blatant contrast to your malicious and poisoned vitriol that you cancerously nurture just so you can perpetuate your ignorant craze through a fantasy of facts. You may point fingers of offense, but what you are doing is outright evil.

    And if you want to boycott Mormon stuff, start with you TV. Genius.

  47. Mike,

    Out of curiosity – when we as a country give a medal of valor (in name only, obviously) to a deceased soldier that happens to be Jewish without his permission, does that offend you? If not, you’re going to have a hard time justifying that with other acts of honor, done in the individual’s name after they are done that likewise have no real effect on anything. Unless of course you base your sensibilities on intolerance and bigotry. Then its easy.

  48. Gene:

    “What they (we) do in our names is our business, but you make what you do our business when you drag us into it. My solution still stands as a matter of logic.”

    No it doesn’t. According to your logic, you should have a say before anyone ever discards a phone book with your name in it. That’s complete nonsense. You only have say where there is an injury. And as the OP noted with vicarious baptisms, it’s either a good result or inefficacious. That means the only harm then, is in your mind – which isn’t actionable. So get over it.

  49. Jack, your argument is so full of moral and logical holes I don’t even know where to start. Awarding a medal posthumously for individual valor under fire is nowhere close to being equivalent to insulting the millions of Jews and others who died in the Shoah. False equivalence fallacy.

    The insistence on “baptizing” hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people who do not share your religion is hubris of he highest order. People who actually find your religious practices abhorrent and diametrically opposed to yours.

    Do Mormons get the names of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists and baptize them too. If not, why not? I am sure the millions of Muslims around the world would be thrilled to discover their ancestors are now Mormons. Not!

  50. “The problem isn’t insensitivity, but your complete dishonesty. You refuse like an obstinate toddler to actually accept facts as they are given by people that know what they’re talking about, and in its place you press complete nonsense that you have crafted in your old-warped mind for your own embittered purposes.”

    Jack,

    Obfuscate all you want and hurl your silly invective at me, it still will not change the truth of what I stated. I fully understand that you are defending your religious beliefs doctrinally. My point has nothing to do with your doctrine, that is your conscience, nor does it have anything to do with an attempt to limit the LDS religious liberty. It is an attack on a LDS practice that is disrespectful to my religion and certainly disrespectful of those who died in the Shoah. It is a proven case, or else the LDS would not have agreed twice to stop doing it, without any viable threat making them do so. The point is that though they have agreed on two disparate occasions, the process seems to continue and that shows bad faith no matter the excuse that mistakes happen.

  51. The problem with something like this is that it is \insulting to those who hold their religion and take it seriously. Being an atheist, my instinct is not to feel sorry about anybody, including Jews, getting their religious beliefs insulted. Perhaps more substantially, the Mormons are insulting the families of the dead.
    An insult does not need to *affect* you to be an insult. That’s a bizarre standard to apply to insults. They can be a step down from that. Even I can see that Jews can be offended by this without sounding like babies. Of course there are limits to their reactions. But they can reasonably continue their complaints as long as this bizarre crap continues.

  52. There is a certain bizarreness to this latest Ann Frank tale. It is not only the insensitivity, it is the fanaticism inherent in their continuing to do it. It seems that they are urgently trying to create a phony historical record for future generations. Their hope it would seem is that in a future era of Mormon dominance they could create a better pedigree for themselves. If that is the case there is a sick slickness to this whole affair.

  53. I can understand that living relatives of a deceased person might take offense at their departed’s being posthumously baptized, but for myself (agnostic, though raised Jewish) I have to laugh at the illogic required to muster outrage. If the Mormons were right about this, they’d be doing our loved ones a favor by getting them admitted to heaven. Personally, I would thank them for making the attempt, even though as a non-Mormon I think they’re wasting their time.

    The source of the outrage, of course, is that in performing these postmortem baptisms the Mormons are implicitly declaring that the rest of us have a false theology. So? As far as I can tell, almost every religion that’s ever been practiced on this planet believes that it alone knows the will of God (or the gods), and that everyone else is wrong. Members of their sect are going to heaven; everyone else is going to hell. The genius of religious toleration in a pluralistic society is that no one gets to punish other people for wrong belief. But that doesn’t mean the disagreements have gone away; it’s just impolite to point them out. My neighbors will not like it if I tell them outright, “I think your belief system is just plain nuts,” so I don’t. And that, in effect, is what the Mormons are saying when they “baptize” dead Jews and other non-Mormons: “Your beliefs weren’t good enough to get you into heaven; we’re going to fix that.” Sure, it’s arrogant, but it’s harmless. I can choose to laugh, and my dead ancestors are past caring.

    Lighten up, people. If you want to get ticked off at the Mormons, do it over the stuff they do that’s actually harmful to people who are alive today: in particular, the LDS Church’s political activity against gay marriage.

  54. Caution: For Mike and everyone else that wants to make up facts and malicious allegations to suit their own perverted notions of reality, they may not want to read this statement. To wit, there has been no “lying” or dishonesty – except from Mike and his anti-truth militia.

    “It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place,” the statement reads. “While no system is foolproof in preventing the handful of individuals who are determined to falsify submissions, we are committed to taking action against individual abusers by suspending the submitter’s access privileges. We will also consider whether other church disciplinary actions should be taken.”

    Those “other church disciplinary actions” could ultimately include excommunication, or loss of membership in the church.”

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765552916/LDS-Church-toughens-stand-against-improper-proxy-name-submissions.html

    Will holes continue to be exploited? Sure they will. But they’re certainly not tolerated.

  55. Jack,
    One would think that if keeping their word was so important to LDS they would have discovered and announced it on their own. As for not tolerating it in the absense of evidence of a censure. this could well be empty words. As far as truthfullness goes why did the 1995 agreement have to be updated in 2010? Finally, when one talks of integrity, I’ve proven mine in life and online. The LDS and your anonymous self not so much.

  56. Bruce in Jersey,

    For cryin’ out loud Bruce … that’s fine and good for an agnostic but what about all those poor Catholics who are scraping together their pennies to have Masses said for their dead loved ones … how much more is it going to cost them to get their loved ones out of Mormon heaven and into Catholic heaven?!

    And isn’t there some sort of Mormon belief that the father of the family becomes a god … have these newly baptized dead people been assigned a family and father-god? How much is it going to cost to get them out of the family-cult?!

    This Mormon practice could cause very real emotional distress for the living.

    Sue the bastards!

  57. “If the Mormons were right about this, they’d be doing our loved ones a favor by getting them admitted to heaven.”

    Bruce in NJ,

    To begin with Jews don’t believe in heaven, which you should know if you were raised Jewish. Heaven, as we know it, is a Christian concept. The point of the discomfort of many Jews is not about the ritual and its’ meaning. It is about using murdered Jews (from the Shoah at least) as symbols for the glorification of LDS. This is self-serving on the LDS part, just as Christianity and Islam used the ancientness of the Torah, to add gravitas to their movements. My objection isn’t about the religion, it is about fellow Jews (live or dead) being used to help a religion whose premises are antithetical to Judaism. However, I also feel the same way about their doing it for any non-Mormon, no matter their ethnicity, religion, or lack of same. People who have solid beliefs, whether religious, deist, agnostic or atheist shouldn’t be used in the service of a belief they don’t ascribe to. Please understand this though, I’m not in favor of using law, force or whatever to stop Mormons from doing this, I am in favor of calling them out on it publicly and hoping they develop some sense of shame about this practice.

  58. try checking with a wiccan or a pagan to see if they would consider initiating joseph smith or brigham young into their orders.

  59. pete, the problem with your suggestion, as I see it, is that all the Wiccans and pagans I know have respect for the dignity of others. Therein lies the rub.

  60. Blouise to Bruce in Jersey:

    “For cryin’ out loud Bruce … that’s fine and good for an agnostic but what about all those poor Catholics who are scraping together their pennies to have Masses said for their dead loved ones … how much more is it going to cost them to get their loved ones out of Mormon heaven and into Catholic heaven?!”
    ——–
    ROFLMAO!

    That made my evening. ;-)

  61. “Mormon Baptism Targets Anne Frank — Again”

    Allegedly she was re-baptized this last week for, like, the tenth time.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/mormons-posthumous-baptism-anne-frank_n_1292102.html

    Some late night comedian I was watching last night said to the effect ’10 times, wow, by now she should be Pope of the Mormons after all that.’

    According to the article above, based on their own rules for re-baptism, a descendant has to make the request- she had no descendants to make the request.

    What is it with Mormons and Anne Frank? A status thing? Can they not leave the memory of that poor girl alone? Sheesh, Mormons are nuts.

  62. Eugene Volokh:

    Posthumous Baptisms

    Either the Mormons are right about their theology, or they’re wrong. If they’re right, then the posthumous baptism will do good. If they’re wrong (and, being not a Mormon, I by definition think they are wrong, or else I’d be a Mormon), then the baptism will have no effect whatsoever

  63. lotta,

    I have this picture in my mind based on the words out of the book of John … “in the house of my Father are many mansions”

    I see a street of mansions and there is one of them that’s got a kind of notoriety attached to its address … on one side of the “Notoriety Mansion” is the “Catholic Mansion” where all the inhabitants are forming up in parties to go on raids of the Mansion on the other side of the “Notoriety Mansion” which is the “Mormon Mansion” where Catholics are being held prisoner through the weaponry of baptism. The “Notoriety Mansion” in between the two is, of course, the “Muslim Mansion” with its 72 virgins and constant partying. Across the street Is the Jewish Mansion which is, naturally, vacant ’cause heaven is not part of their theology.

    I need a screen writer.

  64. Mike:

    You said: “One would think that if keeping their word was so important to LDS they would have discovered and announced it on their own.”

    No, just you. The fact that the antecedent and consequent, again, don’t have any logical relation to each other is further evidence of your skewed vision of the world by which you can let your dishonest and ignorant demons go meddling about.

    Mike’s new defamation standard. If “one would think…”

    LOL.

    rafflaw:

    Now worries – you can dump the candles. 1) The baptisms are inefficacious against those that don’t accept them, and 2) They are further inefficacious against oversized men that wear undersized shirts. You are safe.

  65. Jack,

    Your reading comprehension, or perhaps your ability to grasp any perspective but your own, discloses that you can’t comprehend my point, much less refute it. You don’t discuss, or debate, you merely shallowly pontificate.

  66. Blouise

    just around the corner is the baptist mansion. they’re busy denying that the catholics, mormons,or muslims are there.

    and wednesday evenings are mandatory attendance.

  67. pete,

    The only different group are the atheists … camped out on a vacant lot, they keep stealing water from the Baptists and throwing it on the Wicked Witches Of the West coven residing across the street in the Herb Garden.

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