Magic Underwear Helps to Pray the Jewish Away

This seems to come up from time to time, and especially with Romney in the 2012 Presidential race, you just had to assume it would.

The last I heard was that the Mormon Church baptized Barack Obama's grandmother as soon as she died. And I just tried to check to see if they'd baptized MY grandmother who died in 2009.

But I couldn't find the website that I used to use for genealogy: it would list a person and their parents if known and that persons date of birth and death if known. However, almost every individual had a LDS Baptism date.

Via NYT:

Another famous nonbeliever, Christopher Hitchens, wrote in Slate on Monday about “the weird and sinister belief system of the LDS,” the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Aside from Joseph Smith, whom Hitchens calls “a fraud and conjurer well known to the authorities in upstate New York,” the writer also wonders about the Mormon practice of amassing archives of the dead and “praying them in” as a way to “retrospectively ‘baptize’ everybody as a convert.”

Hitchens noted that they “got hold of a list of those put to death by the Nazis’ Final Solution” and “began making these massacred Jews into honorary LDS members as well.” He called it “a crass attempt at mass identity theft from the deceased.”

The Mormons even baptized Anne Frank.

It took Ernest Michel, then chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, three years to get Mormons to agree to stop proxy-baptizing Holocaust victims.

Mormons desisted in 1995 after Michel, as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, “discovered that his own mother, father, grandmother and best childhood friend, all from Mannheim, Germany, had been posthumously baptized.”

Michel told the news agency that “I was hurt that my parents, who were killed as Jews in Auschwitz, were being listed as members of the Mormon faith.”

Richard Bushman, a Mormon who is a professor emeritus of history at Columbia University, said that after “the Jewish dust-up,” Mormons “backed away” from “going to extravagant lengths to collect the names of every last person who ever lived and baptize them — even George Washington.” Now they will do it for Mormons who bring a relative or ancestor’s name into the temple, he said.

Now, to be clear, it's NOT because Romney is a Mormon that I wouldn't support him as President...well to be clear I wouldn't anyway because he's a GOP-business man who'd like us to return to a Gilded Age circa 1899.

But it isn't because he's a Mormon per se. It's that Mormons do this kind of sneaky, underhanded, immoral bullshit that I don't support or like or whathaveyou Mitt Romney. It's that Mormons went out of their way to insure the defeat of Marriage Equality in California. It's that many Mormons can still have upteen wives while I can't even have one husband. And that Mitt Romney CHOOSES to be a part of that.

I didn't CHOOSE to be gay (I just chose to fabulous at it), but Mitt Romney CHOSE to be a Mormon, and yet I'm the one denied rights.


The last time I checked, bigamy was still illegal in America.

To be honest though, I don't see any reason why gay marriage and bigamy shouldn't both be legal.

I can understand why you're sore about the gay marriage thing, but what's wrong with live and let live?
I checked Romney's bio on Wikipedia. He was brought up a Mormon. He didn't choose it.
Writer said…
VoF, "live and let live" would be much easier if the Mormons weren't spending so much money and effort to make sure people couldn't.

As for being brought up, I was brought a Southern Baptist and am happily agnostic now. I made a choice.
DeepBlue said…
Hehe! I was brought up roman catholic... now I'm an apostate!

I made a choice too!

Yet, I believe Jesus was a nice guy! ;)
Tim said…
The Mormon idea of "baptism by proxy" is not new, and not Mormon. The practice arose some time between 100 AD and 400 AD in the early Christian church due to incredibly bad Language skills: Judaism clearly requires ritual washing (for women after menstruation, for priests about to enter the temple, and yes even for those who recently died). St. Paul writes somewhere about how the dead should be "washed" as a sign of Jesus' rule everywhere.

Early Christians misinterpreted the Greek word as "baptize" (a common theological neologism). Paul had earlier talked about those who had never had a chance to be baptized; early Christians began baptizing the living "in the name of the dead" so that these souls could get out of Purgatory (or Limbo, as the case may be) and enter Heaven.

The Roman Catholic Church, which had just finished enforcing orthodoxy by 400 AD, declared baptism of the dead a heresy. It never got a toehold again in Christianity. Heck, even most heretics never practiced it.

Enter Joseph Smith in 1840. This near-illiterate interpreted this passage in the New Testament much as heretics had before. Thus, the LDS Church began practicing it early on. Initially, this was intended to reinforce the LDS belief that when you die, you don't physically cease to exist. Instead, if you've lived a righteous life, you get instantly reincarnated on some planet elsewhere in the universe. You become a new God, your descendants become a new Jesus and Satan, and the souls of your children and generation upon generation of your children's children's children become inhabitants of this new world -- their memories of their life on Earth conveniently wiped clean, where they re-enact the classic struggle of good vs. evil all over again. ("Battlestar Galactica," call your office.)

No, I do not make this up.

Anyway, baptism by proxy/baptism of the dead can clearly be misused, and has been misused. Essentially, you can become an instant God in Mormon theology by researching your past, and baptizing any and all fools, murderers, drug users, and mentally incompetent people you are even marginally related to. (That others might also be "claiming" these same souls seems not to matter very much in LDS theology. I guess you get to fight it out in the afterlife. You get Alpha Centauri, I get Betelgeuse, and I'll send my Cylon attack fleet to wipe out Kobol before you can claim those vast unwashed souls as your own.)

Yes, the LDS Church is engaging in very dubious theology and very dubious religious practices. But then, my belief in their strange and disjointed religion is not required. It exists, and we should let rabid dogs lie. But if they stick their psycho, fascist, quasi-theocratic noses into politics again, I'm going to do something they will really regret.

Anyway -- For all we know, J., you and I have already been baptized by the Mormon Church! We're Mormons now, baby. Let's run off to the Temple in Salt Lake and see if we can get married.
Writer said…
Jon, I believe Jesus was a cool guy too. Emphasis on guy as in HUMAN! He's right up there with Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. for me. :)
Writer said…
Umm, scuse me...if I've already been baptized into the Mormon church, I want my shimmery underwear and my planet. I'll take Betelgeuse please.

(Also you made me literally laugh out loud with "'Battlestar Galactica,' call your office" and I'm at a service point in my library. Ssssshhhhh.)

(Also I want some naked cute Mormon missionaries in the missionary position in my bedroom. Kthxbai!)
The way ahead then surely is encourage them to take a live and let attitude? Then gays and Mormons could join forces. They could get their bigamy and gays could get their gay marriage. In any event, all out war is not in our interests.

@Tim: I'm interested in what you have to say about early Christians baptising the dead and baptising in the name of the dead. Do you have any references for this?
Writer said…
VoF, I don't get bigamy...being in a relationship with ONE person is difficult enough. LOL

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