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Dibs on the dead guy!

As I've said before, I'm not overly religious. And one of the reasons is that I get seriously annoyed at evangelicals, those who do everything they can to bring others to "the one true faith."

But the Mormons are taking that to new and outrageous levels. They have taken to baptizing dead people. By their rather odd rules, though, permission can only be given by a relative of the deceased.

That was a bit inconvenient until someone pointed out that, according to the Mormon faith (among others), everyone is descended from Adam. Therefore, we're all one big family, so everyone is related to everyone else.

By that reasoning, anyone can stand in for any deceased person and "volunteer" them for baptizing into the Mormon faith. And they've been busy as the dickens, bringing in new converts by the graveyard-ful.

Until word got out to some Jewish people that their ancestors who were killed in Nazi concentration camps were, in the eyes of the Mormons, no longer Jewish. They were now Mormons, and "saved" in the eyes of God.

To many of those Jews, this was an unforgivable insult. Those ancestors had died solely because of their Jewish identity, and now these Mormon whackos were stealing them of even that. They protested loudly, and the Mormons agreed to stop doing it.

But apparently they didn't. The Jewish leaders who raised such a fuss the first time around say they have evidence that the Mormons broke their word and have been continuing the "baptisms by proxy" ever since.

I'm a huge believer in freedom of religion, but I've always thought that a key element of that concept was the right to be free FROM religion. Christians have gotten over the "convert or die" crap, the Jews never had an evangelical streak (in fact, converting to Judaism is a huge effort), and even among Muslims it's less common than before.

But the Mormons are taking it even further. It's now "die, and then we'll convert you." Whether you ever wanted it or not. No matter what your family might say. We're gonna save your soul over your dead body -- most literally.

There's a part of me that's slightly intrigued by the prospect of a post-mortem conversion. I can see myself suddenly yanked out of my current apres-vie existence and suddenly showing up in Mormon Heaven. And I can see myself getting so ripshit, I get sent to Mormon Hell. And from all the things that the Mormons consider sinful, I'm willing to bet that Mormon Hell is a real swinging place.

With all the caffeine I could ever drink.

J.

(Update: Comments are now closed. If you want to continue this discussion, take it here.)


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» MangledCat linked with Post-Mortem Baptismal

Comments (97)

Organized religion only lea... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Organized religion only leads to posts like yours or different lifestyles to deal with our human dilema.
Its about a person. Only one has Died and now lives. Guess who. Not Muhammmed. Not Joseph Smith. Not Ellen White.
Not Thomas Paine. Not Ghandi. Not Elvis. Not John Paul.
Not .....

Also What will you have to say about your life when you meet him face to face?

As an ex-Mormon, I can tell... (Below threshold)

As an ex-Mormon, I can tell you that Mormons have been baptising the dead pretty much ever since they've been around.

However, I think you've got the timeline a bit messed up. See, after you die you're going to "spirit prison" where Mormons will show up to evangalize to you. (Yes, according to Mormon theology, they will be wearing suits and nametages and riding bicycles.) Then you will see the light, but you won't be able to go to heaven yet until you're baptised, so you'll sit around in spirit prison for a while waiting for some kind earthly person to be baptised for you.

Also, there is no Mormon hell. There are three levels of heaven, the highest of which is reserved for really good Mormons. Now there is outer darkness, but that's mostly reserved for apostates like me. I'll tell Satan "hi" for you.

Seriously, though. I'm now a Christian and I couldn't give a crap where Mormons think I'm going. If they want to baptise me (again), they're welcome to, so long as they quit sending me mail. I don't know that freedom from religion includes the right to not have people pray for you, or baptise you by proxy. Of course it would be nice if Mormons would stop when kindly asked to, but hey...whatever.

(Er, ever since the Mormons... (Below threshold)

(Er, ever since the Mormons have been around, not ever since the dead have been around.)

The Mormons also remarry de... (Below threshold)
TomT:

The Mormons also remarry dead people to each other (the original Earthly cermony being insufficient.

From a practical point of view, these beliefs are great for genealogists, as the LDS church is probably the biggest repository of family history and genealogical information, not to mention old public records used to research genealogy. I've used their microfilms of 200 year old land records that they filmed in the '60s, long before anyone else cared about these kinds of records.

From a personal point of view, a lot worse things have been done in the name of religion. If the LDS wants to dig up 200 year old marriage and birth records and hold mass proxy baptisms and sealing ceremonies, that's fine by me. I'm pretty sure God won't get confused.

I have had a number of Morm... (Below threshold)
julie:

I have had a number of Morman friends over the years. I like 'em. They never tried to convert me. They always were very generous people. And they were a lot of fun. And yeah, they've been converting the dead forever.

Taking the Bible literally,... (Below threshold)

Taking the Bible literally, I would think that the idea that everyone was decended from Noah would be more accurate.

I don't understand what the... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

I don't understand what the big deal is. I agree with TomT and Raina here.

Someone who gets upset about what these guys do to "spirits of the dead" in their temple makes me think they actually believe it. It's like a Christian going nuts over statues of Greek gods in front of government buildings.

Come to think of it, I've never heard of that happening. It's always the rabid theophobes raising a hue and cry about the Ten Commandments being displayed. Wonder why that is?

It's going to be pretty har... (Below threshold)

It's going to be pretty hard to stop people from doing something their religion says they must do (as we've learned from the jihadists). While I sympathize with the Jews who object (and for the reasons they object), I hope, for their own peace of mind, they'll be able to brush this (baptizing) off as a meaningless activity from their own religion's point of view.

I guess as a Mormon fan of ... (Below threshold)
Mo:

I guess as a Mormon fan of your website I guess I ought to weigh in. Pretty insulting and misinformed post. Baptisms for the dead were performed in the early christian church. Read 1 Corinthians 15:29. If you don't buy into Mormon theology, what's to get upset about if, after you die, someone is baptized in your name? Its just a joke, right? Why so touchy, seriously. There are all kinds of religious doctrines I think are crazy. Live and let live I say. Also, the doctrine is not that all nonmormons go to "hell." Spirit prison is not punishment. Missionaries don't come around on bikes with nametags. The idea is that Christ said everyone was required to be baptized, and many people never have that opportunity in this life. So there is a means by which they can accept baptism in the next life. IF THEY CHOOSE IT. The doctrine is not that anyone is compelled to accept any ordinance performed on their behalf. Only that they can accept it if they choose to. Anyway, if, for whatever reason, you feel compelled to mock other people's deeply held beliefs, you might as well get informed first. I don't get offended easily though, I had worse insults, and beer bottles, tossed at me for my beliefs on my mission. I'll still be a regular at Wizbang, but a bit less enthusiastic.

I spent most of the 1980's ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

I spent most of the 1980's in Utah. I agree with Julie, they're good people, but they do indeed have some really goofy beliefs. Fortunately, none of it involves suicide bombing and flying planes into buildings. There's lots worse things than being posthumously converted -- Jews should know this better than anybody.

Missionaries don't ... (Below threshold)

Missionaries don't come around on bikes with nametags.

Er, that was sarcasm.

Being Jewish I can tell you... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Being Jewish I can tell you it's extremely insulting. They have declared their very young religion to be the only way into heaven, but claim to be Christian at the same time. They worship a Jew but tell everyone and have convinced themselves that Jews can't go to heaven unless they become Mormon. I can't seem to find any record of Jesus becoming a Mormon so I guess by their rules he won't be there. There will be Pepsi in heaven though, but no Coke, Coke has caffeine. Wait a minute! Pepsi does too, but Pepsi is ok because the Mormon church inherited all that Pepsi stock. Ok, I'm no longer offended by this, any religion that goofy isn't capable of bothering me too much. They just need to go have a Coke and a smile and quit dunking people that didn't ask for it.

If the Mormons are wrong, w... (Below threshold)
Justin B:

If the Mormons are wrong, what is the harm and where is the insult? Either there is an afterlife and the Mormons are wrong and the Jews are sitting up there laughing at the Mormons, there is no afterlife, or there is a chance that the Mormons are right. Any way you look at it, I can't see anything insulting about it. And if the Mormons are right, then those Jews are thanking 'em.

Long time listening, first ... (Below threshold)

Long time listening, first time poster. As a card carrying Mormon and a daily reader, I'm taken back by this thread and it makes me sad to read it. I would expect better. I agree 100% with Justin B on this. I know that I try to be the best person I can. Mormons, like most people, try to do good to all people, to have reverence for those who have past before us and those who are still alive. I know that mocking what we truely do not understand maybe the flavor of the day in these parts, but if you would really understand why the practice is in force, I bet you all would be a bit more sensative to its purpose. I know it seems like a Mormon only issue here, But like someone else said, Peter did talk about baptism for the dead in the new testiment.

You know, several other rel... (Below threshold)
Justin B:

You know, several other religions believe that some dude was born from a woman that was a virgin and was the son of God, then died for the world's sins, and then was resurrected. That sums up the beliefs of about a Billion people. That sure sounds even weirder than baptising dead people.

Quite Frankly, the Jews were pretty upset at these people too since the Jews killed that guy.

So Jay, what exactly makes the Mormon belief in baptising dead people any more ridiculous than the belief that some dude named Jesus was the son of God and died for the sins of the world? You say taking it to new and outrageous levels--but for someone that is "not overly religious", how can you be outraged by Mormons but not the entire premise of Christianity? Oh, wait, Christianity is popular and the Mormons are weirdos so anything they do is outrageous.

Come on Jay. The people are dead. And if the Mormons are wrong, then these baptisms for the dead are not insulting--rather they are a big waste of time.

As someone who works for St... (Below threshold)

As someone who works for Starbucks and lives in Utah, I can tell you that only the staunch LDS view caffeine with disdain, and then only within their ward. Business is good and getting better everyday. Can you say hypocracy?

Before we start throwing ar... (Below threshold)

Before we start throwing around "Mormon rumors" lets try and do the very least bit of fact checking. You can find this quote here at www.snopes.com

A variant of this rumor states that the Mormons own the Pepsi-Cola Company. That too is untrue. Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi is far too large for any group to own even a noticeable part of, let alone possess outright.

Underpinning this legend is the notion that Mormons are forbidden caffeinated beverages, thus how deliciously ironic it would be if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints quietly owned a company it raged against from the pulpit.

Though we hate to ruin a good bit of lore with the facts, the truth is that although Mormons have been advised by church leaders to avoid caffeinated beverages, this suggestion has not been passed down as official church doctrine to which all members in good standing must adhere (unlike, say, the admonitions against coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol, which are church doctrine). Mormons can swill Coca-Cola, eschew it and all other caffeinated beverages, or indulge in the occasional Coke and still be considered churchgoers in good standing.

As a fellow member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka the "Mormon" church) I can second Mo's comments. Baptisms for the dead were done in the primitive church. All ordinances performed are done in behalf of the dead. They can choose to accept it or not, just like we choose to accept anything when we are alive. I would be offended by this post if I didn't understand how easy it is to get caught up in religious gossip. A juicy little piece of information about someone's faith can easily turn into a sarcastic little snip--especially on the blogosphere. It would be nice though, if we could try and lay off of people's deeply held convictions. Too often in this world its just too common to kick those around. And to me, that is a real shame.

In regards to the caffeine ... (Below threshold)

In regards to the caffeine issue, there is actually no Mormon doctrine against caffeine. The passage in question reads "hot drinks" which has been interpreted to mean coffee and black tea. It has been speculated that the reason coffee is banned is because of caffeine, and so many mormons don't drink any caffeinated drink, but it's not formal doctrine. Of course this was written in 1832 before caffeinated sodas, un-caffeinated coffee, etc.

Jay, your attitude boils do... (Below threshold)

Jay, your attitude boils down to caring about what Mormons think of you. Yes, theologically, we think you, and Jews, and Catholics, etc. are wrong. Everyone else thinks we are wrong. Now that we've gotten past that, why should you care? We aren't going to interfere with your right to religion, or lack thereof (religious tolerance hardwired into our scriptures). That we believe that all people will be given an opportunity to hear Christ's gospel in its entirety, and that we have been given the task of ensuring that all people have the opportunity for baptism (ie, said individuals can reject it), well, that sounds better than fire and brimstone, IMO.

In any event, I'm much more concerned about what God thinks of me and my beliefs than what Catholics, Jews, atheists, etc. think. And isn't that the way it should be?

Well, I can see why jews ma... (Below threshold)
julie:

Well, I can see why jews may be sensitive to the practise. They've had to put up with a lot over the millenniums. But, I still like mormans.

Not to throw gasoline on th... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Not to throw gasoline on the fire (okay, I lied - why else would I post this?) but one of the long-standing conspiracy theories about the Mormons accuses them of performing proxy baptism and marriage for Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun.

http://ezek27.truepath.com/adolf.html

bullwinkleIf you'r... (Below threshold)

bullwinkle

If you're happy and comfortable being Jewish than the Mormon eccentricity shouldn't be bothering you.

For all I know some of the people behind the hate emails and posts I've received lately may be sticking pins in voodoo dolls of me.

If that floats their boat and keeps THEM physically away from me, hey. I'm quite comfortable in my belief system.

My paternal grandmother was Mormon ... a pretty cool gal whose family made the trek with Brigham Young into Salt Lake (actually, what might be referred to as a Jack Mormon..she hid her cigarettes and booze when the elders came calling). My family is a kind of crossroads of several religions so I'm pretty copacetic with everyone choosing their own way. I don't argue "faith" only behavior and if secretly baptising ghosts is the worst charge we got against Mormons I'd be happy that was the worst of any religion.

As a believing Mormon and r... (Below threshold)
Kim:

As a believing Mormon and regular reader I'm having a most curious reaction to "J's" comments on Mormon proxy baptisms.

Once and a while some author you respect writes about a subject that you actually know something about. And, you see first hand that this author completely butchers the topic with exaggerations, misrepresentations and ignorance.

You wonder to yourself, "Wow...are all of this fellow's writings as ill informed and misleading?"

I can only hope that tonight's blog on Mormons is a one-time failure. I'd hate to think that the other facts an opinions being served up on this blog are as badly butchered as this one was.

It is a lesson that you cannot believe everything you read on a blog.

Clearly, such an innocuous ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Clearly, such an innocuous practice is no stranger than a priest absolving criminals of their sin or literally eating the body of God each Sunday. Why does it continue to be fashionable to pick on religions of the few? Perhaps it is time now to pick on the Quaker's silly practices, or better yet, pick on a religion of your own size.

I think Jay was trying to b... (Below threshold)
julie:

I think Jay was trying to be funny. I don't think he was trying, even though he obviously has, offend anyone here.

And, if that won't placate you, I got the rope and the tree already picked out. :p

I am in the "if you don't b... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I am in the "if you don't believe it, what they do shouldn't really bother you" camp.

Honestly there is really no reason to get worked up over this.

Disliking people knocking on your door, or invading your privacy is one thing, but if you aren't a believer in that sect, if you get baptized, and you don't know it or even if you do, is it really hurting you in some way? Not really.

The pastor of my church (mainline protestant denomination) had a sister who was a mormon, and she had him baptized by proxy (yes mormons also baptize the living by proxy). He thought it was funny, and found the humor in it.

Well, let's see. If the Mor... (Below threshold)
mcg:

Well, let's see. If the Mormons are right, then as pissed off as you may be now that they're baptizing your relatives, you'll thank them when you die.

If they are wrong, then it doesn't make a hill of beans difference WHAT they do, your relatives' eternal fate will be unchanged.

What's the big friggin' deal about letting them have their fun?

Now, that reminds me of a joke. The Pope calls an emergency meeting of his cardinals, and says, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Jesus Christ has returned, and I just spoke with him on the phone. The bad news is, he was calling from Salt Lake City." (rimshot)

They (at least some) believ... (Below threshold)
Jumbo:

They (at least some) believe in God having used a talking salamander as a messenger, and you find this latest odd?

Just Me:I'm 99.999... (Below threshold)
blackbird4739:

Just Me:

I'm 99.999999999% sure that the living cannot be baptized by proxy, and 100% sure that they cannot be baptized by proxy in the scenario that you describe. I think that his sister was joking around with him, or he was joking around with you.

Jumbo:

No true Mormon believes that God talked to Joseph Smith through a salamander (that is how the myth goes, right?).

And to anyone interested in clearing any misconceptions they have about the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, here are some good starting points:

Mormon.org

Newsroom.LDS.org

Also What will you have ... (Below threshold)
Sultanofsham:

Also What will you have to say about your life when you meet him face to face?

I was framed.

Yeah yeah, St. Francis prea... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Yeah yeah, St. Francis preaches God's Word to birdies, and God talk back through a salamander. Perhaps that was one of the two salamanders God commanded Noah to load on a ark. Get over it people. Religion is GOOD, despite the very human need of some folks to elevate themselves above it.

blackbird you may possibly ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

blackbird you may possibly be correct (I was an preteen when our pastor referred to this, so it is also possible I misunderstood-in that his sister may have intended to do it).

I admit I don't know well enough to say for certain.

Oh Jay Tea, you came up wit... (Below threshold)
epador:

Oh Jay Tea, you came up with a good one to stimulate posts!

I share your general disdain for organized religion. The LDSer's are just about as organized as you can get. They even have their own State. They aren't always so friendly. Past history shows that they didn't come West just because they were looking for a Great Salt Lake. Even in recent history, twangs of arrogance see through. Anyone remember the "Have a nice day - somewhere else!" campaign in the late 80's? I drove through Utah then and felt like definitely like a unwanted foreigner at every interaction with the faithful there.

However I never met a Mormon I didn't like. I even have a hand in one old friend's conversion to the Church (I hope Jehovah forgives me). They stick together and take care of each other, and the folks I've known will even accept you as a non-believer and shelter you too when you accept them. More than I can say for most Baptist-Belt "Christians" I've known and been tolerated by.

If they want to baptise me after I've shuffled off this mortal coil, more power to them.

It just seems to me that a ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

It just seems to me that a religion formed there in the U.S.A., a country based on freedom of religion would have some respect for the beliefs of others. They would have me in court in no time at all if I started bottling Latter Day Saints brand bourbon and be very offended that I was using their name in a way that they didn't approve of. They don't mind downplaying my faith and my religion, one that Christianity and eventually Mormonism were based on. I won't be using their name for whisky, I wish they'd stop using the names of my deceased relatives to do nothing more than make themselves feel better. Every time they do it they are stating that there's no other valid religion and no non-Mormon is worthy of heaven. We share a belief in the same creator, they should do the Jews the favor of showing respect for their religion. And one other thing, I didn't say the church owns Pepsico, I said they have a lot of stock in Pepsico. Saying it's not significant might be true, at least to Pepsi, but I'd be willing to bet it's very significant to church finances. If it isn't a major point for Mormons why do all those sights denying it's significance all say the same thing, "The Church does not own any significant amount of stock in PepsiCo, a publicly traded company."? If I owned 1/10th 1% of Pepsi I'd sure be living a lot better and I think they own more than that. They feel the need to throw in the fact that's it's a publicly traded company just like Bill Clinton has to keep reminding us that he didn't feel like what he was doing with Monica was sex.

As a Calvinist, Postmilleni... (Below threshold)

As a Calvinist, Postmillenialist, Evangelical Charasmatic (try finding a church for that!), I strongly disagree with much of what the Church of LDS teaches. That said, I don't mean this question to be inflammatory, just to clarify a position.

To the Mormons here: I think I'm right in my understanding that one facet of your belief is that it is your duty to God and to your fellow man to ensure that all men have the opportunity to accept baptism, even though they may be dead before the offer is extended. I know that much of this belief is based upon an understanding (flawed, IMO) of a passage in I Corinthians, and that the practice has been a perennial institution of the Mormon church since its inception. My question is twofold: First, is this done for all people who have deceased (for instance, does someone have a list made from the obituary pages of the paper each week), and second, is the practice carried out for the sake of the deceased individual or for the reward of the current church members who perform and sanction the baptism.

I ask the former, because if the Jews are being singled out whilst others are left out of the sacrament, I can understand their discontent, because the practice seems to be making a statement regarding the validity of their beliefs. If they aren't, however, I agree with many of the comments here that indicate that they're making much ado of nothing (at least what they should see as "nothing"). The latter question speaks to motivation, and I think the Bible teaches that the believer is directed to give honor and glory to God alone, and to be more concerned about his fellow man than himself.

I know these questions are "loaded," but I truly don't mean to offend or inflame. I'm simply trying to understand this practice from the standpoint of its practitioners.

BoDiddly:Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
Steve Egbert:

BoDiddly:

Thanks for your thoughtful questions and comments. I appreciate the spirit in which they are raised.

1. Yes, proxy baptisms are performed on behalf of all people who are deceased. Jews are not singled out, nor is any other group.

2. Proxy baptisms are performed for the benefit of the deceased. The only benefits for the church members who perform the baptisms are the same as for any other Christian service, such as caring for the sick or comforting the lonely, i.e., satisfaction in serving others.

(As a side note, you are correct that proxy baptism for the dead has been taught since the earliest days of the church. Joseph Smith taught it in the 1840s and it has been practiced ever since.)

As I understand the process... (Below threshold)
chad:

As I understand the process of vicarious baptism the local papers are not culled for people to be baptized. Usually someone must volunteer to stand for you. I believe one of the reasons that The Church has been aggressive in baptizing Holocaust victims is the belief there is no one to stand for them and if they dont act then those people will be denied the oppurtunity to enter the Celestial sphere. I am a little fuzzy on this since I haven't practiced in years, but that is the way I remember it. While I am not a faithful practicioner I do find it a little insulting that my church is apparently fair game for ridicule. I mean I dont make fun of the Catholics for verifying a church leader is dead by hitting him in the head with a hammer or the Evangelicals by celebrating Christ through theme parks and hookers.

If you want to read some extremely amusing aspects of American religous tolerance I highly recommend reading a history of the Mormon church. I am especially fond of the state of Illinois allowing the slaughter of church leadership in Nauvoo. One reason I dont have a lot of symapthy for other religous groups that are always screaming about persecution.

So I guess the silver linin... (Below threshold)
Rob Roy Fingerhead:

So I guess the silver lining in this is: if the Jews' are the ones with the right religion, then the meddling chauvanistic mormons doing the uninvited, unwanted baptisms are the ones who go straight to tartaros. If push came to shove vis a vis the truth of Judaism versus the truth of Mormonism, I think the cult of Moroni would be the ones clamoring for a nice ice cold Pepsi to "beat the heat".

Insulting and bigoted is what those "baptisms" are, especially if LDS promised to stop the ill-conceived practice. Fricking wingnuts!

Also, if I offended any LDS with this post...

GOOD!

Kindly quit fucking with dead jews.

I mean I dont make fun o... (Below threshold)

I mean I dont make fun of the Catholics for verifying a church leader is dead by hitting him in the head with a hammer or the Evangelicals by celebrating Christ through theme parks and hookers.

Um, you just did. Obviously you do feel that everyone except "your" church should be fair game for ridicule, but exactly what were you talking about when you claim Evangelicals use hookers to celebrate Christ?

Asking that your church sto... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Asking that your church stop arbitrarily performing an unwanted ceremony on members of a religion that has been around for thousands of years longer is longer is not ridicule. Performing that ceremony is ridiculing the beliefs of every deceased person that it is supposedly performed for, regardless of that person's religion or total lack of. It's nothing more than a feel-good exercise for those doing it and an insult to the alleged benefactors. Like Steve Egbert says, it's for the personal satisfaction of serving others, if it was actually meant to serve others they might consider only doing it when asked and refrain from doing it otherwise. What are they planning next, proxy voting for the candidate they feel should be elected for the betterment of everyone else?

I would like to be in the “... (Below threshold)
JEW:

I would like to be in the “If you don’t believe it, it doesn’t really hurt you, so what’s the big deal” camp.

However I also realize we will not be able to get along because some religions have tenants of belief that require them to impose their selves on others. Even when religion doesn’t reqiure it human nature compels it.

Hey, if they're going to go... (Below threshold)

Hey, if they're going to go around trying to converty relatives of mine that have passd on (including those who are dead only because they held to our faith), and then claim that we shouldn't be offended, how about we give their dead a different kind of baptism - say 150 proof? (Yes, I know, abusing alcohol by pouring it on dead people is such a waste when better use can be put to it.)

If you're offended by my "modest proposal" take a bloody good look at what you're doing yourself.

It is very sad to me that s... (Below threshold)
tongancat:

It is very sad to me that so many people feel free to bash other people's religious beliefs. It is also annoying when a group of nonbelievers tries to 'tell' the members of a group what they 'actually' believe. This is true when nonmormons try to tell mormons what their beliefs entail, and it is true when liberals/MSM try to tell conservative christians what they believe.
When someone is baptized by proxy(and ONLY after death), they are not entered into the record as members of the Mormon chruch. In other words, it doesn't 'convert' them to the LDS faith. This is the policy because we do not believe we have the right to impose anything on anyone. It is an opportunity for them to accept what we consider to be a vital ordinance for salvation. If they reject it, we have no way of knowing, and therefore cannot consider them 'mormons'.
Second, many people on this thread have raged about the mormons baptizing 'their' relatives...the official policy of the church is that you may ONLY SUBMIT NAMES OF YOUR DIRECT ANCESTORS for the temple ordinances. Therefore, the mormons are not just baptizing 'out of the obituaries'.
Lastly, the comment about Hitler and his mistress being 'married by proxy' is ridiculous. The marriage 'sealing' ordinance is only performed for people who were actually married during their lifetime...we do not randomly assign spouses to the dead.

It's not Judaism they don't... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

It's not Judaism they don't approve of, it's every other religon as well. According to CNN and every other news story I can find they did a proxy baptism for Hitler, the only thing is that Hitler was Roman Catholic and baptized as an infant. They don't seem to think that ANY other religion is valid, so if you are one the ones saying that Jews shouldn't be bothered by this do you think it's OK that they may think you need the same treatment after you die too? They've clearly shown that in their eyes that no other religion is valid and the beliefs of everyone else are wrong.

bullwinkle,if the Je... (Below threshold)
tongancat:

bullwinkle,
if the Jews or anyone else want to baptize me after I am dead, I say GO FOR IT. If I don't believe they have the authority of God to perform that ordinance on my behalf, then it won't matter anyway. And if they DO have the authority to baptize me after I die, then I will THANK them for it when I see them in the afterlife. :)

Only one problem with your ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Only one problem with your proposal, Lysander:

Speech and thought is protected under out laws. Acts that amount to desecration of a body are not.

Everybody in this world is going to believe something that personally pisses us off. But be pissed off at those things that really matter. You don't want people messing with dead Jews? Than go direct your anger at the Holocaust revisionists. Go nuts on them. You have my blessing. Oops! I mean an entirely secular blessing, of course.

Lysander: Only one... (Below threshold)
julie:

Lysander:

Only one problem with your proposal, speech and thought is protected under out laws. Acts that amount to desecration of a body are not.

Rob Roy:

Everybody in this world is going to believe something that personally pisses us off. But be pissed off at those things that really matter. You don't want people messing with dead Jews? Than go direct your anger at the Holocaust revisionists. Go nuts on them. You have my blessing. Oops! I mean an entirely secular blessing, of course. ;-)

Bullwinkle:

Most religions think you're going to hell if you don't believe as they do. I'm not sure when the trend switched to PC mode. But, people are entitled to think what they want. If they don't discriminate against me, I'm not going to complain. I wouldn't be asking about religious practises. I think the better question is, Are these the type of people who would have hid Jews? If so, they can baptize my ass all they want.

And when I'm dead, I assure you I won't give a shit about anything. Promise.

Sorry for the double post. ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Sorry for the double post. How embarassing.

Lysander, feel free to bapt... (Below threshold)

Lysander, feel free to baptize my ancestors in your 150 proof style. However, you may have a harder time finding someone who is offended by this. But please, don't let that stop you.

Bullwinkle, there is a brewery in the Wasatch Front (Salt Lake Valley, I believe) that produces lds-theme beers. Polygamy Porter, St. Provo Girl Ale, etc. Yes, people have been offended by this, but I'm of the mind that its a free country and it doesn't directly harm me.

As far as proxy baptisms, I have relatives by marriage who are Mormon Jews (they are jews who converted). I've known other Jews who have joined the LDS church. What should stop them from performing these proxy baptisms?

As far as policy, the LDS church has stated that members should only do this type of work for their own direct ancestors. While it is possible that Jews who joined the LDS church have contributed these names, I'm inclined to believe that it is someone who has decided not to follow the official policy.

As far as believing that we are the only correct religion, so what? We also believe, as part of our cannon of scripture, that everyone should have the right to practice their own religion. When Jews and Catholics came to the Salt Lake Valley, Mormons let them use Mormon buildings for worship services. Mormon choirs sang at Catholic masses in St. George. If you ever find an anti-semite Mormon, you can safely write them off as an idiot who doesn't follow their religion. We may think you are wrong, theologically, but we will protect your right to be wrong. And while you may think we are wrong (and that doesn't offend me), I would hope that you would protect our right to be wrong as well.

Looks like your post is sta... (Below threshold)
Mo:

Looks like your post is starting to draw out the really bitter anti-mormons. Congratulations. I predict these comments will really deteriorate as more of the virulent mormon-haters join in. I also predict they will have little to say about the subject of Jay's post, and will try to move the conversation to other areas. There are two competing interests here: (1) the right to free exercise of religion. Mormons believe that, as in the early christian church (1 Cor. 15:29) those who have died without a chance to accept baptism can CHOOSE to accept it or not in the next world if a proxy baptism is performed for them. They act on that religious belief (not out of hate or spite, but with good intentions and good will), and (2) the right not to be offended by someone else's religious practice. Some people who are offended by the idea that baptisms are being performed on behalf of those who have passed on. You can decide which interest is more important to you.

As an aside, an article on ... (Below threshold)

As an aside, an article on Left2Right covered this very same ground.
http://left2right.typepad.com/main/2005/02/missionaries.html

The author had a similar reaction to Jay's, Bullwinkle's, Lysander, etc. But read the comments and the update.

A couple of clarifications ... (Below threshold)
Marty:

A couple of clarifications from a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-

1. The big problem the jewish leaders had with the holocaust victims was NOT that they were receiving proxy baptisms. It was that their NAMES WERE BEING PUT ON A LIST! After all, it was lists of names of Jewish people that caused most of the people that ended up in death camps to go there in the first place. They are very sensitive to being listed anywhere. If you read the news stories on this, you will see that this is the big issue.

2. You can't claim a "relationship" with someone just because you both descended from Adam (or Noah), you are not supposed to submit the name of someone unless you are a direct descendant (or close relative) of that person. If my great-great-grandfather's brother had no children, I could submit his name, even though I'm not a direct descendant.

3. "The Church" has NOT knowingly been performing proxy baptisms for holocaust victims, nor have they knowingly been listing them in their vast genealogical records. Well-intentioned church members will sometimes do something inappropriate out of sheer love and kindness. And ignorance of the rules, don't rule that out.

I hope this helps clear things up.

I'm no more bitter or anti-... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I'm no more bitter or anti-Mormon than the Mormons that are doing this are anti-anything-but Mormon. Claiming that I am may make you feel better and justify your religion's own bigotry and biases but it doesn't make it true. Your own church has admitted it was wrong and promised to stop doing it, but hasn't. Doesn't that make them dishonest bigots?

I don't know why so many ge... (Below threshold)
Kelly:

I don't know why so many get so upset about the Mormon religion. It's adherents for the most part try hard to be good citizens.

Mormonism is a fascinating religion, in that it in so many ways is a reflection not of God or the Bible, but of Joseph Smith and of human difficulties with mainstream Christian faith.

For example, this business of baptizing after death. One of the things that many of us have wondered about is "what happens with people born before Jesus, or who never heard about Him?" Mormonism makes it so much simpler... we simply baptize them after their lives are over, and give them a second chance.

What about backsliding adherents? I attended a funeral for two high school classmates many years ago. They were both raised Mormon, and died in a drunk driving accident (nice guys, but they were stoners and heavy partiers in general). At the funeral, the Mormon Bishop said "we know that *** and **** did not live the way we would have liked them to, but now they are in Paradise, and they are witnessing to others there, and will soon be in Heaven". So, we all get a second chance there also (rings familiar to the Catholic concept of purgatory?)

What about mid- 19th century views about race and sex? Well, until recently, the negro race was considered by Mormon doctrine "cursed" and not able to be in the church, let alone in heaven. And polygamy? The church banned that under heavy legal and political pressure from the government... but don't kid yourself. In Montana and Idaho and I am sure Utah, there are many small towns where polygamy is quietly practiced. Women still take a back seat in the Mormon church.

What about the limits of God's forgiveness? Haven't we all at one time had difficulty conceiving that God's grace can cover ANY sin??? No problem in Mormonism, which has the doctrine of blood atonement. Some sins are so bad, that the only way the sinner can get to heaven is by having their own blood shed. Read your history about the early Mormon church and its vigilante squads, which would dole out punishment. Remember Gary Gilmore, who was the first person executed after the US Supreme Court moratorium on capital punishment? Remember where - Utah. So, in mainstream Christianity, Hitler, as evil as he was, had he asked for forgiveness at the end of his life, would be the same heaven as John Paul II.. that is so hard to understand, but in Mormon theology Hitler couldn't be saved.

Mormons are taught that their church is the only true church in touch with God. They have a different Bible. And they have a very interesting history. .... which has been documented in the last twenty years many times, they are working very hard to bury.

An interesting religion, well worth study. But it's not Christian.

Today:<a href="http:... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Today:
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/04/12/build/nation/80-baptism.inc

2002:
http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/West/12/10/baptizing.the.dead.ap/

In the 2002 article they referred to a previous agreement made in 1995 to stop this. Claiming it's not church policy to allow or even encourage this or claiming that they are listing names is untrue. Read the articles, I especially liked the quote from the spokeman for the LDS church that said it's a matter of free will, he just doesn't bother to add that they couldn't care less about the free will of the deceased.

What do you expect from a r... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

What do you expect from a religion that was founded by a guy who found some magic rocks and then stuck them in a hat?

The Book of Mormon is a real trip to read.

A more informative read: Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

Yes, most Mormons are nice people but, the fundamental Mormons can be pretty nuts, the way they treat their female children is criminal -- literally.

If this was supposed to be ... (Below threshold)

If this was supposed to be a humorous post it failed, and if it was supposed to be informative, it failed miserably. I'm assuming that the sole intent of this slam on Mormons was only to try to generate some traffic, at which point it provided moderate success.

Congratulations on being the Jerry Springer of Wizbang, Jay Tea.

I second Mo's comment. </p... (Below threshold)

I second Mo's comment.

My understanding is that the dead always have the option of declining the baptism.

And frankly, by the time it gets to be an issue with any particular dead person, he'll be in a much better position to make the choice....

Sigh...I'm just glad... (Below threshold)

Sigh...I'm just glad I'm not a Mormon.

Mo's comment is one of the ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Mo's comment is one of the ones that bothers me the most. He asks why we would take it so seriously but tells that it's written in the bible that we should do it, even citing chapter and verse. Then tells us that we shouldn't feel compelled to mock the religions of others while he's mocking ours. Pure, unadulterated hypocrisy. He tells us our beliefs are so worthless that any objections we have to his beliefs are mocking him and we shouldn't do that. He doesn't see that his proclamation of the impossibility of any other religion's ability to get it's members into heaven is bashing every non-Mormon on this planet.

I'm missing how this post i... (Below threshold)

I'm missing how this post is insulting to Mormons.

I covered this subject more than once already on my blog. While I agree that Mormon posthumous baptism of Jews is utterly meaningless to said Jews, I also agree that it is offensive and insulting.

I'm missing the reason why Raina sees this as the "worst. rant. ever."

I have seen many, many posts far more worthy of that title.

Jay's making sense to me.

Sorry, that wasn't Raina wh... (Below threshold)

Sorry, that wasn't Raina who said the above. My apologies.

They (at least some) bel... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

They (at least some) believe in God having used a talking salamander as a messenger, and you find this latest odd?

Sort of like God talking through a burning bush?

Oh brother. If you read my... (Below threshold)
Mo:

Oh brother. If you read my posts as "mocking" others religious beliefs and "tell[ing bulwinkle tha his] beliefs are . . . worthless" then we can't communicate. I was explaining the basis for my belief, not mocking anyone else's. One of the Articles of Faith of my church reads "We claim the right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscienc and allow all men the same privilege; let them worship how, where or what they may." I, like all mormon kids, memorized that when I was a kid and still remember it. That article of faith, written by Joseph Smith, makes a lot of sense when you consider the extreme persecution the church was under then. There are lots of mormons. Some are intolerant jerks. But as a whole I think we adhere to this tolerant position. But some people can take offense even when it is not intended. No offense intended Bul, sorry if I hurt your feelings. I don't know what your religious beliefs are, and I probably don't accept all of them, but I respect your right to adopt whatever religious beliefs you choose.

Hey, Geoff, I was going to ... (Below threshold)

Hey, Geoff, I was going to bring up Polygamy Porter beer - slogan "why have just one?" - too, but you beat me to it. :)

chad - You might want to get your history straight. Illinois didn't allow the slaughter of church leadership, they arrested certain church leaders for engaging in illegal acts, destroying a newspaper office, the "Nauvoo Expositor," that was printing stuff about polygamy, which was true by the way. (It was started by men who asserted that Smith tried to seduce their wives. Since Smith did this other documented times, it's probably not too much of a stretch that there was truth to it.) People take that whole freedom of the press thing seriously, you know. Smith called out his militia to protect the town from him getting arrested, which inflamed the local populace more, and then eventually submitted to arrest. Now it is true that when the mob came to kill him, the militia didn't try real hard to defend him, but there's not the slightest amount of evidence that they were acting on orders from anyone higher up.

Now the governor of Missouri did issue an extermination order. This whole thing seemed to start with typical religious and political tension getting out of hand, and then escalated into pretty much out and out war. It was after this that the extermination order was made. However, the Mormons were not just merely trying to defend themselves during this...go read some of Parley P. Pratt's speeches at the time...his language is actually worse than the governor's.

Of course I don't condone any of the killing that went on during this time, of or by Mormons, but when I was learning "church history" growing up, so much of the stuff the Mormons did was left out, making them out to be these poor abused martyrs just looking for a place to live...and that's not really true. Actually at the time there were all sorts of odd religious sects, and I don't think very many of them had to change locations 4 times. The Mormons in many cases were as culpable as the people they were fighting against.

I didn't say your post was ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I didn't say your post was mocking my beliefs, I said your church was. The policy of your church up until now has been that this is something that should be done, that mocks the beliefs of anyone that isn't a Mormon. Other religion's complaining about something unwanted you are doing supposedly for the benefit of their members is not mocking anything, the actions of your church overriding the beliefs of others is mocking them and their religion. If you can't see the difference something is very wrong. If your and your church's idea of tolerance is telling anyone not a member of your church that our religions are false, which is exactly what this whole thing is about, then you use a far different dictionary than I do. Tolerance would be accepting that we have our own very valid beliefs. You expect that consideration from us as far as your religion is concerned but your religion shows nothing but disdain for ours.

I cannot fathom the arrogan... (Below threshold)
tongancat:

I cannot fathom the arrogance of someone informing another person that they don't 'qualify' as a christian because they don't fit the list of requirements of other christians. My definition of a christian is someone who accepts Christ as the son of God, and believes that it is only through him that we obtain salvation and eternal life. For those of you who don't know what they are talking about, mormons do NOT have 'another bible'. We believe the bible to be the word of God. That is official doctrine. We DO have additional scriptures, which we ALSO believe to be the word of God. You may disagree with our using these additional scriptures, but in our church we believe in continuing revelation (that Christ or God can add additional direction when needed).
I don't understand everything about the Catholic religion, and don't agree with everything they and the Baptists, Methodists, etc. teach. However, I would never presume to tell them they have no right to consider themselves to be christians. That is up to Jesus Christ to decide, not any one person.

Bul, final comment. You ar... (Below threshold)
Mo:

Bul, final comment. You are taking the position that if one religion has a doctrine that is different from other religions it is thereby mocking those religions. That is not a serious argument. When you state that mormons are doing something that "overrides the beliefs of others" you confirm that you have not been paying attention and are confused about the doctrine you are attacking. At bottom, if any religion that claims to be true is thereby mocking all other religions, then every religion is guilty. Christ said "pray for those that hate you." Bul would say, "hey, don't tell them to pray for those that hate them, that is mocking the haters." Christians would then be stuck in a dilemma; should they obey the Lord and fear offending those that hate them, or should they obey those that hate them and fear offending the Lord? This is just an analogy, please understand. I'm not saying everyone who is offended by the thought of someone being baptized on behalf of their dead relative hates mormons. But I am saying they don't have the right to dictate how I practice my religion, or to tell me I cannot exercise my beliefs on behalf of my ancestors. If you are honest and consider the doctrine and caring motivation behind the practice, you cannot reasonably be deeply offended by it. Especially if you think the doctrine is a bunch of hooey.

That's amazing Tongacat, yo... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

That's amazing Tongacat, you have no problem at all telling your fellow Christians that they need to be baptized by the Mormon church if they want to get into heaven and that you're willing to give them a proxy baptism to help them out but are offended by them pointing out the faults they find with your church. Is that more of that famous Mormon tolerance? Your definition of tolerance sounds an awful lot like hypocrisy to me.......

Kelly states that Mormonism... (Below threshold)

Kelly states that Mormonism is "an interesting religion, well worth study. But it's not Christian." Kelly, what part of "Church of Jesus Christ" do you not understand? Some of the shit flying around nowadays on the web concerning Mormonism is downright uninformed (including this Wizbang post).

I currently drink way too much beer to be Mormo-Kosher, but I am still intrigued by the faith. My understanding of the practice is as follows:

Baptism for the dead has gone on for decades. It's not forced baptism. The doctorine goes something like this: you baptize someone by proxy. The dead one is then given the opportunity to hear, embrace, or reject that baptism. No one is forced to do or even hear anything. Hendrix? Baptised. Jerry Garcia? Baptised. Are either one a Mormon? Don't know. It's basically an extension of their missionary program.

Mormons (often reffered to as the American Jews) aren't all that spooky. Check out our blog. Some who post there are devout and are completely lacking dorsal fins or tails.

Bull-First, we don't... (Below threshold)
tongancat:

Bull-
First, we don't believe you need to be baptized a mormon in order to 'get into heaven'. Second, I don't have any problem at all with someone pointing out the things they don't believe we are right on. I don't expect them to believe as I do. (as demonstrated by the fact that I mentioned that people might not agree with our belief of continuing revelation). Finally, I didn't give you a definition of what tolerance should be. I simply stated that it is wrong to tell someone they have no claim to being a christian. If you want an example of 'that famous Mormon tolderance', you should have read where I stated that I would never presume to tell someone else that they are not a christian, no matter how much I may disagree with their religion.

Bullwinkle, You migh... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Bullwinkle,
You might be aware that the Catholic church still "officially" believes that other Christian denomination are gravely deficient and that their practices are an obstacle to salvation. They don't exactly rule you out of heaven, but the official position suggests it requires a hail Mary pass to the endzone. And by the way, this new official position is quite liberal compared with what came before.

I am wondering if you have the same animosity toward the 1 billion Catholics in the world that you have toward Mormons? You are talking a lot about religious intolerance as if that is unique among Mormons. It isn't. So is this really the core of your argument, or are you mostly annoyed that they are baptising Jews?

I'm with bullwinkle. I may ... (Below threshold)

I'm with bullwinkle. I may be Catholic, but if someone did something to me posthumously into their faith that was against my OWN faith...I would posthumously be very offended.

I agree that on the whole, the mormon people are pretty nice, family-oriented and great to hang around with. HOWEVER, when it comes to their faith and evangelicism, they REALLY outdo everyone. You claim that baptising someone is NOT converting them, but yet just about every religion has their own baptism ceremony (remember john the baptist? even jews had it), so odds are likely they WERE baptised, but not in the mormon faith, so they were obviously not going to heaven with the rest of the "saved".

I wonder if someone posthumously baptised Jesus into the mormon faith because he was jewish. If not, then is he not with the rest of the mormons?

I find it odd that Mormons would quote the new testament. Damn near half the mormons i know don't have copies of the bible, but they DO have copies of the book of mormon, THAT is their bible.

sorry if i offend anyone, but mormons (when discussing my faith) sure as hell offend me. Most non-Catholic Christians sure as hell despise the Catholic Church, and the Mormons are no exception. Mormons seem to have an outrageous amount of zeal when it comes to converting Catholics. Yes, Mormons are Christians, but they're a Christian cult.

hey McCain, did you know th... (Below threshold)

hey McCain, did you know that most young Catholics now believe that you don't have to be die-hard Catholic in order to get into heaven? Some really old die-hard Catholics didn't know that...

The Church post-Vatican II is probably closer to the real truth.

tongancat,You demo... (Below threshold)

tongancat,

You demonstrate an attitude I find quite odd among Mormons.

"In my experience many Mormons seem to live with the contradictory opinions that they are really Christians and people who claim that they aren’t don’t really understand that the differences between Mormons and the rest of Christianity are not all that great; but on the other hand believe that they are the only ones who really even come close to understanding the truth. Obviously the latter opinion is not at all unique among religious people, but combined with the former it creates this sort of a “I’m not going to let you into my club, but you’re mean for not letting me into your club” attitude."

And no one is really telling you that you can't call yourself Christians...go ahead and call yourself whatever you want. But to say that someone who is a Christian and has a set of beliefs that he believes makes him a Christian can't say that you're not a Christian because you don't have the same set of beliefs is ridiculous. When someone says "I'm ____ because ____," they are automatically saying that "anyone who doesn't believe _____ isn't _____," whether they come out and say it outright or not.

Personally I believe that there are some Mormons who are Christians, but the Mormon religion as a whole is not Christian. There's too much of a focus on works and too little focus on humility for it to be. Being a Christian isn't just about saying "I believe Christ is the Son of God and the only path to salvation." It's also about an attitude that goes along with it.

Of course God will work it all out no matter what.

btw jay, fix your link, the... (Below threshold)

btw jay, fix your link, the baptising dead people is linking to the brazilian clip job ;/

Yes Henry, I am actually ci... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Yes Henry, I am actually citing Vatican II changes. Before that, non-Catholics were going to eternal purgatory without question. After that, the official position is that each denomination has an "element" of truth in it, but that the whole truth is ONLY contained in the Roman and Eastern Orthodox religions. And as I said, the position is that these reform churches are gravely deficient and an obstacle to salvation.

Raina-->
"Personally I believe that there are some Mormons who are Christians, but the Mormon religion as a whole is not Christian. There's too much of a focus on works and too little focus on humility for it to be."

Amazing. The Catholic religion, the dominant Christian sect in the world, has just been declared non-Christian by Raina. In case you missed it, the debate about "faith alone" versus "faith plus works" has been going on since Martin Luther.

The more this thread continues, the more it becomes obvious who is tolerant about other religions and who isn't.

Oh, wait, Christianity ... (Below threshold)
Sean:

Oh, wait, Christianity is popular and the Mormons are weirdos so anything they do is outrageous.

Mormons aren't what I'd call "Christian". Why? Because they believe that the God of this universe was once a man. A regular mortal man, from another universe, who faithfully followed his Mormon-god-who-was-once-mortal and was rewarded with his very own universe.

Brigham Young taught that Adam is the God of this world.

Come on, weird and outrageous sum it up quite well, actuall.

<a href="http://www.catholi... (Below threshold)
Sean:
You're right Bo Diddly I di... (Below threshold)
chad:

You're right Bo Diddly I did make fun of those other religions, not because I find them worthy of ridicule, just to show its offensive. I have the same attitude about religion as I have about sex, unless I bought a video tape I don't want to see it or hear about it outside my house.

To all the people who were seriously offended by my comments about the Pope, Jimmy Swaggert ad Jim Baker, Sorry. Now that I think about it though maybe a church dedicated to hookers and theme parks wouldnt be a bad idea.

Raina, I didnt bring up the Missouri issue because I have never seen anything that validates the idea that the Governor of Missouri issued extermination orders. I have read in the past though that state authorities ordered the Militia to stand down in Illinois and thats the family lore, My Great Great Great Grandparents were there. If they passed it down wrong what can I say.

Let's see if I'm getting th... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Let's see if I'm getting this right. You claim:
1. We aren't supposed to be bothered by this practice or even take it seriously.
2. The people committing the act take it very seriously, so seriously they stand up and argue in defense of it by telling us we shouldn't take it seriously.
3. The Mormon church teaches it's members that no non-Mormon can get into the "best part" of heaven.
4. If we complain about a practice that takes a major dump on our religions we are being intolerant and bashing the poor Mormons.
5. The Mormon church has twice promised to stop this from happening but it continues to happen.
6. A 175 year-old church's members feel that they have a long history of suffering and know better than a religion that's been around for 3100 years more.
7. If any other religion states publicly that Mormons can't get into heaven they won't defend their religion or themselves or be offended in the least, because they are that damn tolerant.
8. But they will defend their practice of proxy baptisms because we need to be indulge them in their pratices that the tell us not to take seriously so we won't be intolerant.

Am I the only one that sees more than a few instances of self-contradictory behavior here?

McCain,"Amazing. T... (Below threshold)

McCain,

"Amazing. The Catholic religion, the dominant Christian sect in the world, has just been declared non-Christian by Raina. In case you missed it, the debate about "faith alone" versus "faith plus works" has been going on since Martin Luther.

The more this thread continues, the more it becomes obvious who is tolerant about other religions and who isn't. "

Um, I did no such thing. For the record, I do think that Catholicism is Christian - it's absurd to say anything else.

The faith vs faith and works debate between Protestants and Catholics is very different than the faith vs faith and works debate between Protestants and Mormons. Plus there's a whole lot of other problems with the Mormon religion being considered Christian, only two of which I brought up.

And for Pete's sake, even if I did say Catholics aren't Christians, that is not intolerant. I'm not saying I don't respect the religious views of Catholics/Mormons and don't want them to be able to practice the way they want, I'm saying they (er, one of them) don't fit my definition of Christianity. What's the big whoop here? We can have an argument over what the definition of Christianity is, but because we disagree on that does not mean that either one of us is being intolerant.

Man, the amount of misinfor... (Below threshold)

Man, the amount of misinformation in this thread and comments is astounding, so much so that it would be too difficult for me to address all of it.

It's kinda like a CBS News story on George Bush.

Ya know, if anyone wants accurate information on Mormonism, they can just e-mail me. I'll tell you the straight answer, even if you're insulting. I've heard it all, anyway.

This does remind me of something my former co-worker from Missouri once told me. When he would return home to visit his relatives, he said they were astounded to find out the Salt Lake City metro area was home to over 1.5 million people. They apparently were of the belief that Utah was a little agragarian backwater populated by theocrats in black, Amish-style clothing. They could not accept the idea that Mormons were modern and cosmopolitain.

I used to think that was unusual in this day and age. But having read these comments and the original post, such ignorance is apparently much more widespread than I thought.

Jimi Hendrix is a posthumus... (Below threshold)
Rob Roy Fingerhead:

Jimi Hendrix is a posthumus mormon??

Were the elders aware he was BLACK??

Raina said:Of c... (Below threshold)

Raina said:

Of course I don't condone any of the killing that went on during this time, of or by Mormons, but when I was learning "church history" growing up, so much of the stuff the Mormons did was left out, making them out to be these poor abused martyrs just looking for a place to live...and that's not really true. Actually at the time there were all sorts of odd religious sects, and I don't think very many of them had to change locations 4 times. The Mormons in many cases were as culpable as the people they were fighting against. (emphasis added)

Raina, substitute "Jews" for "Mormons" in that above paragraph.

See how it sounds now.

Are you arguing the Mormons got what they deserved?

Full disclosure: My great-great grandfather survived the Haun's Mill Massacre.

Argh..."Hitler was..." NOT.... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Argh..."Hitler was..." NOT..."a Roman Catholic."

Christians DON'T celebrate Jesus Christ with "hookers"...

Honestly, some of what I've read on this thread is beyond preposterous.

and, bullwinkle, being "Jew... (Below threshold)
-S-:

and, bullwinkle, being "Jewish" is mere racial without any belief and dedication to the religious aspects themselves. That may be why you can allege that "Hitler was Roman Catholic" however horribly inaccurate that is.

As in, the entire phenomenon of humans (that spans ALL forms of religious belief) calling, self labelling, labelling others as being of one religious identity or another, apart from membership, embrace and belief IN that/those religious beliefs, it's specious. People parade labels all the time but unless they're active in some area of religous dedication, they're no more [whatever religious identity here] than is anyone who declares as Atheist.

You have to actually believe in and identify with the religious doctrine (whatever your choice is) to correctly self identify as (name your religion here).

I know many people who are "raised" in one sort or another but haven't and won't and woulnd't consider actually practicing the beliefs in their lives in present, or even attending ceremonies beyond invites as social visits, many of these self identify as (name your religion here) but actually go on to display despisement for (name your religion here) as to beliefs, and that includes "Jewish" people who haven't, won't, will not, whatever, attend Temple or observe instructions and religious requirements, most of whom actually, my experience, declare as 'atheist Jews.' Seems nonsensical to me.

Not a personal thing, just trying to get a point across. That statment about Hitler being "Roman Catholic" was truly offensive, since you raised the idea of offense.

And, most Christians regard... (Below threshold)
-S-:

And, most Christians regard TCLDS as being cultist. It's in their dogma, is why, that insists that they have special messages from Christ that are not contained within Holy Scripture, among a few other things.

I've also known many Mormons, however, in my lifetime and most have been incredibly kind people. I've also known many Scientologists who were, too, even kinder, actually, now that I think about it. I've met many Jewish persons who were, too, some who were Methodists who were very nice, many Baptists who I really enjoy and value, and a lot of fellow Catholics who are beautiful folks, some Buddhists, some Hindus, a number of atheists...

It's impossible to "debate" who is more worthy as to what their beliefs are and most people make these choices and selections and that process declares, therefore, what they believe. But it doesn't indicate any hate or animosity to or about other humans, for the most part, unless some one individual has a problematic psychology.

Many of those religious labels I just mentioned DO contend that their belief process is a solution, that the others are distractions if not wrongful instructions. Nothing new there, but everyone makes their own choice (hopefully, without coercion) and interpersonally, there's no reason to disdain anyone for thier choice. If it includes saying prayers for someone's salvation, I sure have no problem with that. If it includes banging on someone's door inconsiderately and what follows, I do have a problem with that, as I would anyone behaving similarly for whatever their reason was.

Captain Jolly Raina, sub... (Below threshold)
Rob Roy Fingerhead:

Captain Jolly Raina, substitute "Jews" for "Mormons" in that above paragraph.

See how it sounds now.

Sounds like a mormon out of his depth trying to guilt offended jews with a repugnant little bit of moral equivalence. Just stop with the unasked for baptisms, ok? Certainly that must be easier than trying to convince non-mormons that it's no big deal. If it's no big deal, why don't you mormons - the only active participants in this noxious practice, just stop it? That would be a really big thing for LDS to do and may earn them some of the respect you folks are clamoring for. As it stands now, you loons are about half a baptism away from being scientologists.

Captain Holly,"Rai... (Below threshold)

Captain Holly,

"Raina, substitute "Jews" for "Mormons" in that above paragraph.

See how it sounds now."

Yeah, so? What's your point? Mormons and Jews are different groups with different histories who were persecuted for different reasons. Are you suggesting that because Jews were persecuted, we should never point out things that they did wrong in their history?

"Are you arguing the Mormons got what they deserved?

Full disclosure: My great-great grandfather survived the Haun's Mill Massacre."

I don't think anyone really deserves to have violence, hatred, and disrespect for laws visited on them. That includes Mormons and Missourians and Illinoians living near the Mormons in the 1800's. I really wish that no Mormons got killed in that period and there was certainly wrong things done by non-Mormons, but that's no reason to ignore the Mormons' cupability in what happened.

Full disclosure: My great great (some other number of greats) grand-uncle was the kid who got his head blown off by a Missourian while saying "nits breed lice."

Am I to believe that if the... (Below threshold)
Rob Roy Fingerhead:

Am I to believe that if the church of scientology..heck let's make that the church of SATAN decides to post-mortemly 'baptise' Cleon Skousen, Bringham Young, or say John Smith into their 'religion', mormons at large won't and shouldn't find it objectionable?

HA and DOUBLE fucking HA! Gimme a break.

This is the stupidest threa... (Below threshold)

This is the stupidest thread I ever read (morbid fascination?) Its like three raving lunatics taking offense to someone else's religious beliefs and a bunch of people arguing religion. And a lot of stupid things being said. The few half reasonable people constantly get shouted down. Really nice. I wonder how many people complaining about the offensiveness of these folks are big one's for anti-Political Correctness? Is it taking offense or giving offense in this particular case? I'm out of here.

Rob Roy Fingerhead wrote:</... (Below threshold)

Rob Roy Fingerhead wrote:

Am I to believe that if the church of scientology..heck let's make that the church of SATAN decides to post-mortemly 'baptise' Cleon Skousen, Bringham Young, or say John Smith into their 'religion', mormons at large won't and shouldn't find it objectionable?

We probably wouldn't care. Why?

1) We don't recognize the authority of said organization to perform baptisms.
2) Brother Brigham, Cleon or John can make their own descisions in the hereafter.

Now, as I've mentioned before, yes Mormons think everyone else is wrong. Everyone else thinks we are wrong. Getting past that, why does it matter that Mormons think this if we are also willing to let you be wrong? We don't do forced conversions, we don't implement sharia, we don't engage in pogroms. We may implement blue laws, but nothing you haven't seen in Kansas or Kentucky. Heck, when Jews and Catholics first came into the Salt Lake Valley, the Mormons let them use the Tabernacle Building for their worship services. Mormon choirs sang at Catholic masses in St. George (UT). We may think you are wrong, but we are certainly willing to be tolerant about it.

Hey, Rob Roy Fingerpants, o... (Below threshold)

Hey, Rob Roy Fingerpants, or whatever your name is, it's JOE Smith, not John Smith. Thanks for pointing out that Hendrix was black too, we didn't know that. Your grasp of the obvious is giving me gass.

Raina, you are treading on really fucking thin water, suggesting that Mormons were "culpable" in their own slaughter. I am not an active Mormon, but I refuse to accept that Captain Holly's ancestors were "culpable" in getting choped in half in front of their children (Haun's Mill Massacre). Be quiete now while you still have a face.

Would I ever try to justify the Mountain Meadows Massacre no matter how "culpable" the victims? No. No one deserves to be chopped into nifty shapes.

If the Mormons are entitled... (Below threshold)
julie:

If the Mormons are entitled to their beliefs regarding baptism, then bullwinkle is certainly entitled to his belief that he finds the practise offensive.

Raina, substitute "Jews"... (Below threshold)

Raina, substitute "Jews" for "Mormons" in that above paragraph.

Captain Holly, your quandary is a misnomer. To be sure that the Jews and the Mormons may have been both persecuted. However, EVERY religion has been persecuted at some point or other. Besides, the reason the Jewish people were persecuted were slightly different than the mormons. The ONLY reason that the Jewish people were persecuted throughout ancient history (let's ignore modern anti-semetism) was because the persecuters, who were mainly Christian, believed their lord and savior to be killed by the Jewish people. An incident in the past, yet rooted in beliefs.

The Mormons were probably persecuted not for whatever crazy beliefs they had, but probably for ACTUAL EVENTS that they themselves created.

(*note, I'm not condoning persecution by any means, but what some people call justice for crimes committed, others label as persecution.)

Sean the INFDL,Say... (Below threshold)

Sean the INFDL,

Saying the Mormons were culpable is NOT the same as saying that they deserved to be slaughtered in front of their children. No one deserves to be slaughtered in front of their children. I never said the Missourians were justified in what they did.

But the Mormons did do some stupid, illegal, immoral things in Missouri. Even this page which is run by an active believing Mormon says that "LDS leaders sent their own state-authorized militias in Caldwell and Daviess counties to actively resist mob efforts. Unauthorized and improper events took place, possibly under influence of the Danites, inculding crimes of burning homes of settlers in Daviess County" and "Mormon groups marched across county lines from Caldwell County into Daviess County, a place associated with mob attacks against the Saints. Sadly, some of the Mormon troops burned and plundered homes of some Missourians" and "it is probable that burning and plundering occurred under the influence of Sampson Avard's Danite band, who had been taught by Avard that God wanted the Mormons to have the wealth of the Gentiles and to seek vengeance regardless of the law." and "it is clear that offenses were committed by both sides in 1838"

Of course most of the Mormons who got slaughtered were not the same Mormons who were burning their neighbor's homes, but welcome to armed conflict...the people who start and continue the conflict tend to not be the people who get punished.

Also, as I said before, MY ancestors were also slaughtered in Missouri in 1838. Am I allowed to have an opinion on it now, or have I "lost my face."




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