Mormons, Jews Contend for Souls of Dead

As if there aren’t enough reasons for the living to argue, fuss and fight with each other about religion, now … Continued

As if there aren’t enough reasons for the living to argue, fuss and fight with each other about religion, now the dead are getting involved.

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say they are abiding by a 1995 agreement to limit the baptism of Jews who were killed in Nazi concentration camps. “If our work for the dead is properly understood … it should not be a source of friction to anyone. It’s merely a freewill offering,” LDS leader Lance B. Wickman told the AP.

But some Holocaust survivors held a press conference Monday to say that the Mormon practice continues and they want it to stop. “My mother and father were killed in the Holocaust for no other reason than they were Jews,” Ernest “Ernie” Michel told the Salt Lake Tribune. “How can the Mormons victimize them a second time and falsely claim their souls for eternity?”

Monday’s press conference is the latest accusation in a stranger-than-fiction dispute that dates back to the mid-1990s, when a few Jewish geneologists found the names of thousands of Holocaust victims in the official LDS index of posthumous baptisms.

“Baptism for the dead” is a central tenet of the Mormon faith. Mormons believe that when they die they will be reunited with family members who were faithful Mormons. Thus, church members have a solemn obligation to identify the deceased — especially those who weren’t Mormons — and baptize them by proxy to give them the option of accepting Christ and becoming Mormon in the afterlife.

As a person of faith who also happens to be a journalist, I tend to find the religious beliefs and practices of others intriguing and even enlightening rather than threatening or offensive. But the LDS practice of baptizing the dead, especially long-dead strangers, seems more than presumptuous to me.

To their credit, LDS leaders realize that the practice can be offensive to non-Mormons. In 1995, they reached an agreement with the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. Among other things, LDS agreed to “discontinue any future baptisms of deceased Jews, including all lists of Jewish Holocaust victims who are known Jews, except if they were direct ancestors of living members of the Church or the Church had the written approval of all living members of the deceased’s immediate family.”

Wickman said Monday that the church also has removed the names of more than 300,000 dead Jews. They also are changing the LDS genealogical database to make it more difficult to enter names of Holocaust victims. But Michel said his group’s research shows that the names of Holocaust victims continue to be added to the LDS rolls, without permission, as recently as July. “Baptism of a Jewish Holocaust victim and then merely removing that name from the database is just not acceptable,” said Michel, who believe the practice of baptizing dead Jews should stop entirely.

The Catholic Church also is growing more uncomfortable with the practice. Over the years, even dead popes and saints have been found on LDS lists of the posthumously baptized. In May, the Vatican ordered Catholic dioceses throughout the world to withhold information in parish registers the Mormons’ Genealogical Society of Utah.

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/05/08/catholic-mormon-tension-over-lds-baptism-of-the-dead/

LDS officials say the practice is not meant to offend the living but to respect and honor the dead, who are free to decline the offer of eternal salvation. They also argue that LDS beliefs are their own and should also be respected. “We don’t think any faith group has the right to ask another to change its doctrines,” Wickman said.

They do have a right to ask, although everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs. But this isn’t just about beliefs. It’s also about a religious practice that not only offends others but directly and personally involves the deceased relatives of others who have a right to rest in peace.

About

  • CCNL

    Mormonism will slowly fade from society as will contemporary Christianity and Islam because of the obvious problems with the founders of these religions especially their angelic/satanic hallucinations and related prophecies. “Pretty and ugly wingie thingies” simply do/did not exist. Associating the Singularity with these mythical assistants and opponents mocks the concept of God the Almighty. The Good Words were articulated via reason and common sense by the ancients. These Words of Wisdom were simply repeated with each major race and religion. Unfortunately the Words were attributed to embellished men in most cases as a means of profiteering as noted by the contemporary billions of dollars owned and controlled by the Mormon, Christian, Jewish and Moslem religions. It is time to get our money back!!!!!

  • DrRock

    I find it very interesting that KJohnson and CCNL are lecturing Mormons when they don’t know what awaits beyond death.How does your position of ignorance raise your opinion and criticism to the level of intelligent dialog?

  • kjohnson3

    Drrock,I’m not concerned with the hereafter. I’m concerned with the here-and-now presumption of this sect and what it says about their utter lack of respect for other traditions and beliefs.It’s the living Mormons who are basically giving everyone else’s spirituality the raspberry, and they need to know — and to hear us say — that such behavior is offensive in the extreme.You seem to be suggesting that we should accept the wholesale gathering of dead humans as a hedge against the eternal “what if?” Well, that’s your personal demon to fight. My concerns are more temporal and immediate.

  • RaoTayi

    This Mormon practice is the dumbest load of crock I have ever heard. To think that a significant % of republicans were willing to vote for someone like Mitt Romney (a mormon, who believes in this crap) speaks volumes about our society. These morons (oops i mean mormons should check in to the nearest mental hospitals immediately.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    And another thing…The Mormon practice of aggressive proseltysing is a hostile political act, directed against the cultures and religions which they seek to penetrate. Why should they be suprised when there is a hostile “push-back?”Utah is a hotbed of Mormon homophobia, and that is fine, as long as they keep it confined to their little mountain kingdom. But when they seek to export their malevolent bigotry to neighboring states, as I said, why be shocked when there is hostility, in return?

  • CCNL

    The position of Reality and Common Sense:Mormonism will slowly fade from society as will contemporary Christianity and Islam because of the obvious problems with the founders of these religions especially their angelic/satanic hallucinations and related prophecies. “Pretty and ugly wingie thingies” simply do/did not exist. Associating the Singularity with these mythical assistants and opponents mocks the concept of God the Almighty.

  • ScottFitz

    It is important to recognize that the practice of baptizing on behalf of the dead is not new–it was practiced by early Christians, and the Mormons have simply brought it back. In 1 Corinthians 1:15, Paul defends the doctrine of the resurrection by (correctly) pointing out that if there is no resurrection, there would be no point to do baptisms for the dead: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?”

  • DrRock

    Mr. Walters:You said:“As a person of faith who also happens to be a journalist, I tend to find the religious beliefs and practices of others intriguing and even enlightening rather than threatening or offensive. But the LDS practice of baptizing the dead, especially long-dead strangers, seems more than presumptuous to me.”Perhaps it seems more than presumptuous because you either don’t believe in the concept of salvation (Judaism) or you haven’t processed all of the necessary gospel concepts in order to understand it?Why does the LDS Church teach that baptism for the dead is essential anyway? It begins with what to do with all of those souls, created by God, who lived at a time, or in a place where they did not have an opportunity to hear and live the commandants give to Adam, and handed down through the generations, that determine whether one inherits one type of existence beyond death or another one altogether.If you haven’t asked that question, you may still yet be in the dark when trying to understand LDS baptisms for the dead. For LDS, and for those who believe that God’s laws are immutable, the laws of justice will claim all of those who did not 1) enter a covenant with Jesus Christ, and 2) did not receive the opportunity to live it, during their lifetimes.After death, LDS believe that the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ continues in the world of spirits, where the souls created by God, await the resurrection and the final judgment. Because Jesus Christ conquered death, death cannot separate those souls from God’s mercy. God offers the dead an opportunity to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, if they did not receive a personal witness of it, while in life.Because of the laws of justice, no one can enter heaven unless he/she has received the covenant of baptism. Therefore, just as Jesus’ atonement was a vicarious or proxi work for the dead, the living, and future souls, he authorized his servants to perform a proxi work for those dead who did not receive authorized baptism while living. Therefore, LDS baptism for the dead is performed to provide the saving ordinances for those who accept it in the world of spirits. LDS do not presume that the dead accept it. The ordinance is not a guarantee that they will accept it, just because it is performed. The dead have to ratify that ordinance, with their own free will and choice. After these ordinances are performed, persons do not become “Mormon”, and we don’t count them on the rolls of current membership, but their names are recorded to avoid duplication.Since LDS members or the LDS Church does not claim that the baptism automatically makes them “Mormon.” Most importantly, the memory of a person’s life as a good Jew, or as good Catholic, or as a good atheist, is not diminished by LDS baptism. Why? Because the validation of ordinance comes directly from the person – not the LDS Church. If a person wants to continue to be the good Jew, the good Catholic or the good atheist, in the after life, they have every right to do so. The LDS proxi baptism doesn’t force anything on anyone, not even on those who are living.Because of this truth, the only complaint that one could have about LDS proxi baptism is that he/she doesn’t believe in it or an after life. I can respect this position, but it is an irrational reason why I should change my belief, simply because that person objects to it.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    DrrockIn reply, after all of your explanation, I notice that Mormons are fascianted and pre-occupied with little, meaningless rituals. And I also notice that Mormons have an almost child-like theolgoical vision of the world and man’s place in it. This does not appeal to everyone. If a person has no interest in all of these little rituals and if a person has a more advanced and sophistocated spiritual attitude, Mormonism will not be very appealing. Mormon theology is intricate and complex, and imposed from the top down. But, in my opinion, it almost all made up, written by men, for men. I know you will find all of these comments insulting; yet, how can I, having discovered something that you do not know, stop knowing it? How do I suppress my superior knowledge of things, to suit your inferior knowledge? I cannot. The Mormon practice of baptizing non-LDS “spirits” is disrespectful and intolerant. In fact, almost everything about Mormonism is intolerant and even politically hostile to non-Mormon “outsiders.”I know that you will not comprehend this idea of tolerance and intolerance; it is somthing on which all Mormons whom I have ever met are blank.

  • kjohnson3

    Drrock wrote: “Why does the LDS Church teach that baptism for the dead is essential anyway? It begins with what to do with all of those souls, created by God, who lived at a time, or in a place where they did not have an opportunity to hear and live the commandants give to Adam, and handed down through the generations, that determine whether one inherits one type of existence beyond death or another one altogether.”It never ceases to astonish me, the extent to which the religious doctrines of so many faiths seek to micromanage God’s affairs. The practitioners of these religions — particularly the strictest, most rule-bound ones and, as is the case of Mormons, the wackier ones — seem to believe that God can’t handle things all by Itself. Desite the fact that they believe that God was able to create heaven and earth in six days, they just don’t trust It to deal with the folks who reject — or never “had the opportunity to hear and live” — the commandments.If God’s power is unlimited, then you can bet it’s retroactive, as well. God doesn’t need busybody Mormons or evangelicals of any stripe running around straightening people out and giving them “opportunities” they never had.If God is all-powerful, then God can deal with all of these poor dead folks without the help of the Mormon Saints.

  • sparrow4

    And people wonder why other religions are upset with Christians? Thisi s the most offensive piece of claptrap- who are these people? AntiChrists? Or just plain a**holes? How dare they? I don’t give a flying you-know-what about their version of “freedom of religion” but this must stop. It’s offensive to say the least. If my dead Jewish relatives wanted to be baptized, they would have done it before they died. The LDS are disgusting. Just disgusting.

  • fgiles

    Baptism for the dead allows church members participate in extending the mercy of God to those who have passed on without an opportunity to hear and decide on the gospel of Jesus Christ. This doctrine answers an important question that can be raised about the justice of the requirement for saving ordinances, like baptism, when only a small portion of the world’s population, both now and in history, would have had the opportunity to consider taking that step for themselves while alive. I recognize the the unfamiliar can be uncomfortable, even when, as ScottFitz points out, it is not new. I invite anyone who feels terrified to learn a more about it.

  • sparrow4

    “Most importantly, the memory of a person’s life as a good Jew, or as good Catholic, or as a good atheist, is not diminished by LDS baptism.”Wrong- it is complete disrespect for other religions and for the dead. Especially the Holocaust dead who died because of their religion.LDS is a church that has decided to impose its beliefs on everyone else- from bans on gay marriage to this. I suggest you stop mistaking Mein Kampf for the bible. And I suggest the IRS rescind your tax exempt status. Like butting into other people’s business and religion? Wait til we return the favor.

  • DrRock

    KJohnson:You said:God’s affair is law – eternal laws. By your comments, you have lumped Mormonism into the Orthodox view of God which relies primarily on the primacy of consciousness.However, Mormonism is not founded on the primacy of consciousness but existence. Your argument borrows from the primacy-of-consciousness-religious view and you ask me to abide by it. Sorry, can’t do that.For Mormons there is no such thing as “outside matter.”So, the idea that God is going to wave his hand and destroy his own laws, in the end, betrays the laws of existence in a reality where there is no such thing as immaterial matter.I really don’t think you’re qualified to comment matters of faith or God, since, in reality, you don’t know anything about him/her/it, by your own admission.

  • sparrow4

    “This doctrine answers an important question that can be raised about the justice of the requirement for saving ordinances, like baptism, when only a small portion of the world’s population, both now and in history, would have had the opportunity to consider taking that step for themselves while alive.”This is total BS. If a Jew wanted to accept Jesus, they would have done so asap if it were that important. This is beside the point. It’s just another indication of the truly ridiculous idea you have that you have rights over everyone else. You don’t. And you’re obviously incapable of even recognizing how offensive and painful it is to those you are extending your “largess” to. That’s because you think its all about you.That’s the problem with small-minded religo-fascists. Can’t see beyond their own selfish, piggish noses. Always good for an insult to other faiths. You are disgusting. Yes- I repeat myself. I know animals who are better christians than you are.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:You said:If it is BS, then why does it matter so much to you? You act like the Mormons are right about the afterlife and their practicing it makes you feel guilty somehow.How else can we explain your irrational behavior toward a practice that you say is BS?If it is BS, then you should laugh it off and move on, but instead there is this irrational reaction to it.You need to be honest with yourself about this – you might actually believe that Mormons are right and you’re made about it, because we’re pro-traditional marriage.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:You said:Your insults don’t support your arguments, they just make you look irrational and silly.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:You said:We do not impose the acceptance of Baptism for the Dead on everyone else.In regard to Gay marriage, 25 states have constitutional bans against it, 23 states have laws which prohibit it. Are you trying to say that the LDS Church has so much influence over 48 states as to “impose” its beliefs on everyone else?Once again, yet another untenable position claimed by yet another irrational person. (I am talking about you Sparrow.)

  • sparrow4

    DRock- You have no concept of what respect is. It’s not about you doing what you think is best for another person- its about respecting their beliefs and wishes- which, I’m sure will shock you to know, are as important to us and as strongly believed in by us as you seem to believe in your faith. You are respecting no one by imposing a fake baptism on the dead- you are simply dishonoring them by ignoring who they were and what they wanted. You don’t even know these people, you weren’t related to them. G-d did not speak to you and say go baptize them in death. He did not. If you wish to persist in your delusions of religious grandeur, fine. Just confine it to your dead. My position as Jew, with relatives who perished in the camps is far more valid than yours. Your position is one of overweening arrogance and misplaced ideas of religious responsibility. Get over yourselves.

  • marcedward1

    Since when has disgusting behavior by mormons been a new thing? Mark Twain had no use for the mormons and his writings about the mormons ought to be read by all. Trying to ‘steal’ souls from other religions is just another mormon hoax, and it’s rather pathetic. Mormonism has about as much foundation as Jim Jones people’s temple or David Koresh’s whatever-religion.

  • sparrow4

    Oh? As irrational and silly as your baptizing the dead? Right. LOL.As for gay marriage- let’s just say your irresponsible support of the ban on gay marriage in addition to the baptism of the dead illustrates how morally and ethically bankrupt your church really is. But what can I say? Take the i out of Moroni and what do you get?

  • sparrow4

    Hi marcedward- haven’t seen you posting in awhile. And yes- I so agree.

  • kjohnson3

    Ddrock,You guys have an answer for everything. And yet, you contradict yourselves continually.For example, if what you say is true — that I’m not “qualified to comment [on] matters of faith or God, since, in reality, [I] don’t know anything about him/her/it, by [my] own admission” — then I don’t really see how I can be “borrowing from the primacy-of-consciousness-religious view” and asking you “to abide by it.” After all, I “don’t know anything about him/her/it.” What would I know of the “primacy-of-consciousness-religious view”?But, let’s pretend, just for a moment, that I am qualified to have an opinion here. You refute my argument (which “borrows” from something I know nothing about) by throwing out the claim that “God’s affair is law – eternal laws.”This is the classic circular reasoning used by all religionists who can’t accept that other people don’t have the same views as they do. They always come back to some form of “It’s in the Bible.” This is their definitive argument.And then, they go on to say what you did: “You have the same obligation to be tolerant of my beliefs, as I do of yours.”Well, no. I am not obliged to be tolerant of your beliefs if I find them operating in the public domain. While I wouldn’t think of trying to interfere with the super-secret rituals performed inside your temples, I am not obliged to be tolerant of your faith’s antipathy toward homosexuals. Not when Mormons use their money and numbers to defeat basic human rights legislation in states they don’t even live in.I am not obliged to accept or tolerate your baptism of dead non-Mormons, which marches roughshod over the deeply held spiritual beliefs of millions of people.I am not obliged to tolerate — or, worse, to respect — your beliefs regarding women and minorities simply because your doctrines hold that any decision made by a dozen really old white guys is infallible.I AM, however, obliged to respond only in a legal manner to those beliefs I find offensive in the public domain.In other words, I’m within my rights, both legally and morally, to write letters to Congress if your beliefs are put on display in public places. I’m within my rights to boycott any and all products and services with origins in Utah or those that are produced or endorsed by the Mormon church, and to urge others to join in any such protest. I’m within my rights to begin right now, this very day, to organize against any national candidacy being considered by any Mormon politician. And these are only a few examples of what, legally, I’m allowed to do in response to your beliefs when they invade the public sphere.Don’t kid yourself, Drrock, that intelligent people will confuse tolerance with acceptance or, worse, resignation.

  • marcedward1

    1) Hey Sparrow – I’ve been taking it easy since the election, plus my kids have been home sick a lot.Here Dr. Rock, I’ll type this real slow so maybe you can keep up.

  • ParkerD1

    Interesting discussion. I suppose that it would be a pretty big stretch for people not to be confused by this article and the comments. If each person who ever lived is going to live forever, then one would hope they get every possible chance to gather the knowledge that will help them live happily, lovingly, with people around them they love and are glad to be spending time with. Ah, but how to gather that knowledge, and then apply it? Those are essential questions. It’s such a long process, this gathering of knowledge. We might wish that there were short-cuts, but perhaps we are better served by realizing that there aren’t. We ought to all be patient with each other. Peace, all.

  • DrRock

    Marced:Yes. I get it. The LDS Church and its members are protected under the constitution and have the right to exercise their religion how they see fit, within the law. I have respect for other religions but that respect does not mean that I accept other religions doctrines or beliefs. Yes Marced, your father will always be your father and the moment he died, he will always be who he was to you, and no one can take that away. However, if you believe in an afterlife, your father is still alive – living and learning. If you don’t believe in an afterlife, the memory of your father remains intact and isn’t affected by anything the LDS Church claims or believes about the afterlife.I understand that you “think” the LDS Church doesn’t have respect for other religions, but you haven’t shown that we in fact disrespect them. Unless you believe that “our belief” is acting disrespectfully towards them. But this defeats the purpose of being a different religion, doesn’t it? It is unreasonable and unrealistic to ask a religion to stop teaching a certain doctrine, because it “offends” them. As for the golden rule, go ahead and proxi baptize every Momron that has ever lived into whichever religion you see fit. I really don’t care. You can baptize my ancestors first if you’d like. It doesn’t change in my mind who they were or who they are. Because the baptism would only be “effective” in your head. You see, that is what this is so silly. The LDS proxi baptisms only have potential validity in LDS minds – not the minds of the people whose relatives are baptized. For the majority of baptisms for the dead, they are completely unaware of the baptisms.As for the LDS practice of proxi baptism, we’ll continue to do as we please. The highest law of the land, the Constitution of the United States ensures OUR religious freedom, whether you approve or not.Perhaps the problem lies with you being able to adequately process the concepts here so you can see that you’re just a bigot against Mormonism and you really don’t have a valid argument. As far as a contribution to the world, Joseph Smith was the greatest religious philosopher since Jesus Christ. As far as the political contributions of Mormons recently, the biggest one was the victory in California to keep marriage between a man and woman. To a country, whose majority supports that view, that’s a great contribution.

  • DrRock

    Kjohnson:What exactly are you addressing? Gay marriage or LDS proxi baptism? The primacy of consciousness comment was in regard to your answer for “how do we save souls who haven’t accepted Jesus Christ before death.” You said God just wave’s his hand, which is an appeal to the primacy of consciousness of God, in that he would ignore laws of existence to give someone a pass, just “because.” You’re right that the primacy of consciousness appeals to the classic view of God, which is a philosophical error, and is another discussion.Your definition of religious tolerance is an untenable position. What you need an education in is religious discrimination. Everything in your post smacks of it.For example, organizing against the national candidacy of Romney or other Mormons, solely based on their religious views is religious discrimination, and you have become no better than the people who you say discriminate against others. What it sounds like is that you’re trying to use hate and fear from one of the Jewish groups towards Mormon’s as your own bully pulpit for your gay agenda. Mormons can organize and mobilize their people quickly and efficiently because of the way Joseph Smith set up the organization – he was a religious genius. Because Mormons practice the same faith everywhere in the world, and because we covenant to uphold eternal principles, we can respond honestly and with fervor to moral causes at the drop of a hat.You can sue all you want. You can write as many emails and test messages to the IRS as you want. But none of your actions will stop Mormons from heavily investing to keep marriage between a man and a woman, and it won’t stop the 1000s of baptisms for the dead performed in temples across the world. Why? Because we have our freedoms to speech and religion.We could even start claiming that the people we baptize for the dead are accepting those baptism – and there is one thing you can do about it, accept complain. Like I said, you have asked us to stop, and we respectfully say no. Why? Because we have the freedom to exercise our religion as we please.About gay marriage, Mormons oppose it because homosexuals are incapable of fulfilling the function of marriage. Marriage is an institution that involves husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and children.Homosexual men cannot be wives or mothers.Homosexual women cannot be husbands or fathers.Homosexuals are incapable by nature of fulfilling the natural roles that function within the institution of marriage – because the institution of marriage IS, husband-wife-mother-father by design. Homosexuals already posses access to the civil contract of marriage, they just choose not to engage in it. Ultimately, the gay marriage debate will turn to the children. And the next public campaign will be to show that gay marriage will do away with childrens’ rights. Even the liberally moral country of France said no to legal gay marriage. It conducted a two year study of countries with gay marriage and found that the rights of Children were more important to society and the State, than the sexual preferences of adults. Intelligent people respond to really great arguments rooted in scientific and provable facts. The gay movement is rooted and bathed in emotion – not facts.25 states have constitutional bans against gay marriage (the Mormons helped out in a big way, donating dollars to the cause, in just one of those states.) 23 states have laws that prohibit gay marriage.

  • Farnaz2

    Could be me. I mean I’m no Christian. But I thought that baptism required at the very least a live human being. The next criterion, thought I, would be an expressed desire to be baptized, difficult for a corpse to maneuver.Now are these Mormons properly called LDS, or would LSD be more appropriate?IMHO, what’s good for the gander is good for the goose. I shall raise with the rabbi of the largest congregation in the Northeast the possibility of postmortem circumcisions for dead Mormons along with the appropriate ceremony, followed, of course by bar mitzvahs.Dead mormon gals would be bat mitzvahed. If the rabbi likes the idea, if we can get it off the ground here, it would be westward ho. I should mention that although Judaism unlike Islam and Christianity is not conversionistic, a growing minority of us think we need to have at it. The only way to end all the lunacy, violence perpetrated against us is by increasing our numbers.Personally, I would like to see this process begin with the living, but, hey, I’m easy…

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    drrockBesides being politically threatening, Mormons, as you reprepresent them, are intolerant, haughty, and arrogant, and with regards to gay people, rude and impolite. You keep defending your church’s homophobia by citing the approx 25 states that have banned gay marriage. But it doesn’t even occur to you that 100% of the state banned polygamy while the Mormons defiantly continued to practice it? That is not a very smart argument, is it? You have ZERO credibility on this point.Homophobia is wrong. Persecution of a minority group is wrong. The attitude of the Mormon Church towards gay people is malevolent and atrociaous, seeking to tear families apart and ruin people’s lives. Instead of being so arrogant about the religion of your heritage, I would think you would be a little more respectful of people who do not share your heritage. When someone is offended by your relgion, perhaps a little humility would be better than your haughty and superior dismissiveness. Mormons are just about the most intolerant people that I have ever met. In their upbringing, they do not even get any education about tolerance, and do not even know what it is. Rejection of intolerance in others is not the same as being intolerant. So, keying in on my bad attitude towards Mormons is not really to the point. It is a conundrum, isn’t it? But I am not budging, or backing down a bit.

  • DrRock

    Daniel:You said:Here’s the official statement from the Church:Please point out what is “malevolent and atrocious”.You said:As a people, we are not known for those things. However, individually, I have met some Mormons who act that way. In fact, from every religious persuasion and creed.But my position against gay marriage isn’t about intolerance or hatred – its about not accepting homosexuals as suitable marriage partners for the Institution of marriage. I am very tolerant of the gay life-style. Mormons in general are tolerate of the gay life-style. But we are never going to agree when you think that because we don’t EMBRACE or APPROVE of the gay life-style that we are “homophobic.”You say “tolerance” but what you probably mean is “accepting or approving”.The LDS Church and the majority of the LDS people know the difference between tolerance and acceptance.We tolerate the beliefs of homosexuals but we do not accept them. We do not accept that homosexuals have a right to be included into an Institution wherein they are incapable, by nature of fulfilling the function of that institution.No hate speech. No slurs. No comments about what is a sin or not. My challenge to you is to persuade me to believe through valid facts, why homosexuals are suitable for the institution of marriage when homosexual men cannot be wives or mothers and homosexual women cannot be husbands or fathers. If a homosexual man cannot be a wife or a mother, what business does he have engaging in the Institution of marriage?If a homosexual woman cannot be a husband or father, what business does she have in engaging in the Institution of marriage?The reason, “just because” doesn’t work for me and it didn’t work for millions of voters either.

  • Farnaz2

    DRROCK:I wonder, do the Mormons perform marriage ceremonies on Holodcaust dead people that the LDS baptized post mortem?I ask, because prior to being murdered some were, of course, engaged to be married. I am, of course, referring to heterosexual corpses.

  • DrRock

    Farnaz2:As I understand it, the 1995 agreement between the Church and the Holocaust group was that Holocaust victims would not be posthumously baptized unless they had living descendants who are Mormons.The proxi marriage rite, (eternal marriage) is only performed in behalf of people who were married in life.But once again, the marriage does not necessarily mean that the partners accept it in the afterlife. There, they can accept it or reject it.

  • vavoter

    Any religion that thinks that only it has the monopoly on truth has proven that it has gotten at least one thing wrong. The idea that the dead–especially those killed because of their religion–need or want another religion to swoop in and pretend to convert them in the afterlife is laughable and detestable. How arrogant, and it seems like just a self-serving ploy to keep the flock in line by convincing them that they have something everyone else wants or needs. Brainwashing pure and simple. The very idea that they can butt into everyone else’s business and then act completely surprised when people look into theirs or voice disagreement is just too funny.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    DrRockYou have repeatedly referred to the gay “lifestyle” and the link which you provided repeatedly referred to the gay “lifestyle.” The assumption that sexual orientation is a “lifestyle” is ridiculous, and ignorant. Why not pick on the obese lifestyle? or the religious lifestyle? or even the Mormon lifestyle? That you regard being gay as a “lifestyle” is just one more mean-spirited slander that your church and most churches promote against gay people and it is this ignorant attitude that I call “homophobia.”As Farnaz previously wondered about Mormon baptism of the dead, it is indeed something that is unique only to Mormons. The Catholic Church and many Protestant Churches do not regard Mormons as Christian, because the Mormon Church just appeared at their own starting point, and did not evolve from any previous formal tradiiton.But the Mormons are Christians. The first Mormons were “folk Christians” who had little formal knowledge or training in contemporary trends or traditions in Christianity, but only half-learned stories of their religious heritage from parents and care-givers who were not much interested in passing along their Crhistian traditions. And so these ignorant “folk-Christian” Mormons made up their own theology, from a position of ignorance. This was in the early 19th century in New York state.From there, it has morphed into a truly Byzantine elaboration of rituals and rules, set in legalistic theology, which is worked out in exquisite detail and which his ordained from the top down, with expectations that the theology of belief will be followed and obeyed. At the top is the President, who has a relationship with God similar to the Pope’s, that he receives revelations from God, which are proclaimed as the truth, and which are then integrated into an already very complex religious scheme.I have known many Mormons in my life. Some of them have been very, very kind. But on matters of theology and belief, all I can ever do in their presence is keep quiet and pretend that they are not nutz. Certainly the Mormon “lifestyle” may be a healthy lifestyle for the body, but surely it is extremely unhealthy for the mind and the soul, for it promotes arrogance, intolerance, and political hostility where-ever it encounters “others” who are not Mormon. As I already was aware, DrRock, and the link he provided, explained the purpose of children, that they are to grow up and reproduce, and if for some reason they are unable to do so, then all is lost in failure. That is what I meant by saying that Mormonism which promotes family and family values, also promotes the destruction of families in particular cases, and ruins people’s lives over trivial matters.And another thing, the sanctitiy of marriage is very important to Mormons, yet, Mormons divorce and re-marry freely. In fact the concept of marriage under the Mormon scheme is a little different from more standard Christianity, because they have a whole system of eternal sealing, and a whole system of belief about marital relationships after death, and have mapped out in detail all of the many combinations of plural and polygamous spousal relationships among the dead, whom they regard as having physical bodies, and dwelling in a physical place, another planet, for example.Perhaps I have some of it confused. But I am not interested enough in this fantastic theology to learn all of it; most Mormons do not even understand most of it, but are dependent on the top-down church hiearchy to explain individual details to them.Anyway, as I said before, Mormons are very intolerant, without even being aware of it; DrRock is a PERFECT example of this unconscious type of intolerance. And as I said before, as a general principle, rejection of intolerance is not itself, intolerant.

  • Farnaz2

    DrRock Author Profile Page:Farnaz2:As I understand it, the 1995 agreement between the Church and the Holocaust group was that Holocaust victims would not be posthumously baptized unless they had living descendants who are Mormons.The proxi marriage rite, (eternal marriage) is only performed in behalf of people who were married in life.But once again, the marriage does not necessarily mean that the partners accept it in the afterlife. There, they can accept it or reject it.And what of those who might have been divorced had your baptized peoples without Jewish “blood” not murdered them? I’m guessing that the Jewish bodies have not been consulted on whether or not they wished to renew their vows post mortem. Has some means of divorce been arranged for them in the after life? Are there polygamous posthumous marriages?

  • sparrow4

    Drrock- LDS isn’t being polite or tolerant of anything. Intolerant of other’s faith. Obnoxious because you think you can disreapect theri memories by imposing your own, may I say, rather screwed up version of christianity.you wrote:”But you have failed to show me how the practice of LDS proxi baptism disrespects YOU or your religion.If it just comes down to the point that you and I believe differently, then we employ tolerance.”There is no tolerance. It disrespects my religion aand those who died in the Holocaust because in your little pea-sized brains you think you have the right to use their names and record them as baptized in your faith- something they would not want and would neve do. As for Popes and bishops- yeah- good luck with that.You can come up with any twisted excuse you please- it’s wrong, it’s despicable, it proves yet again how misguided the Mormons truly are, – if Jews didn’t renounce their faith and identity for Hitler, who the hell are you to try to steal it? And you have the nerve to say you are polite and tolerant? Not in this life, buddy.

  • CCNL

    Mormonism???From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml “The Mormons are stewards of a different stripe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodigious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples’ companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial assets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah’s largest department-store chain. (For a more complete list, see chart.) All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church’s nontithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. “”Members of the church celebrate the Lord’s Supper with water rather than wine or grape juice. They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church’s historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God’s sanctioning of polygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church’s President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil. “Bottom line: Mormonism is a business cult using religion as a front and charitable donations and volunteer work to advertise said business.

  • sparrow4

    “Please, everyone, please understand that Mormons do not “posthumously baptize” anyone. Freedom of choice – the moral agency of man — is a fundamental principle of Mormonism, and we believe that the spirits of men retain their moral agency after death.”What a crock. freedom of choice means the freedom to remain a Jew or a catholic in memory and on record. These people did not choose to be posthumously baptized. You are doing it in your cult of death or whatever you “choose” to call it. if you are mormon feel free to to what you want for other mormons. the rest of us don’t need or want what you offer. the fact that you choose to run roughshod over other faiths makes you liars and hypocrites of your so-called tolerance and freedom of choice. Don’t blather – when I want treacle and garbage I’ll let you know.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    “Has some means of divorce been arranged for them in the after life? Are there polygamous posthumous marriages?”Farnaz, you are asking in jest, but actually, you have stumbled on the core of Mormon belief. They do not think of the dead as corpses. They take the idea of spirit or soul, which is somewhat of a standard belief in Christianity, and they have modified it in their originating folk religion to conceive that the dead do not live again merely as spirits, but that they live again as fully formed physical beings. To me, this is a childish type of belief, derived originally from misguided and only partially understood folk Christianity.When the Angel Moroni supposedly appeared to Joseph Smith to reveal to him the location of the Golden Plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon (hence, Mormons) the Angel was a physical person with a real body, and not a spirit or ghost such as tradition might indicate. Joseph Smith described Moroni as a real and true physical presence, and not a ghost or a dream.And so believing in the reality of a physically existing God, Jesus, and angels who dwell in a physical place as real as the earth, with bodies as real as our own, they were then forced to question and then to answer the nature of the lives of these beings.Where might they dwell? On some other world like the earth perhaps, on another planet perhaps. So Mormons believe that God dwells on a “Heavenly” planet, and that there are perhaps many such planets, on celestial levels superior to Earth. And they wonder, if, in life someone is widowed and remarries at least once, or several times, what is the nature of their spousal relationships when, upon death, they re-emerge, renewed and alive again, in physical bodies, in a physical land, and married to more than one person? They dwell on these things, and of course have experimented with the answer through plural marriage in the past, and in eternal sealing marriage ceremonies. They freely wonder, worry, and write complex theology to settle these questions which no other sect or group, to my knowledge, has ever worried or puzzled over.It is in this context that you might try to understand Mormon baptism of the dead. It is essentially a little ritual that helps them feel better, that helps them close up their loose ends, that helps then put answers to their naive “folk Christian” questions about the implications of physical resurection and continuation of life in Heaven which is another Earth-like planet, and not a traditional “Paradise” or “Elysium.” They do it because they are told to do it by the top-down hierarchy, but basically, I believe, it is meaninglss to most Mormons who participate in it. On top of all this, they do not even dream that this kind of thinking would be offensive to anyone. They cannot conceive of people who think or believe differently.

  • sparrow4

    “Perhaps the problem lies with you being able to adequately process the concepts here so you can see that you’re just a bigot against Mormonism and you really don’t have a valid argument. As far as a contribution to the world, Joseph Smith was the greatest religious philosopher since Jesus Christ.”MWAH ha ha ha ha ha ha- Joseph Smith???? Ha ha ha ha ha. You’re comparing a guy who was led by an angel named Moroni (how apt!) to Jesus Christ? that has got to be the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. Marc- be proud to be a bigot against Mormons. I am- but I’m proud to be a bigot against Nazis, the KKK, and other various and sundry fringe groups.”As far as the political contributions of Mormons recently, the biggest one was the victory in California to keep marriage between a man and woman. To a country, whose majority supports that view, that’s a great contribution.”well, personally I find nothing wrong with gay marriage. Two people who have a strong , loving relationship AND pay taxes (that LDS doesn’t) shouldn’t have to fight bigots like the LDS and their ilk for the same rights as the rest of us. In fact I think polygamy is a truly disgusting habit. I guess you LDS men love to be the only bull in a barn with a bunch of cows. why am I not surprised? You guys have your own set of issues- I suggest you tend to yours first.

  • kjohnson3

    I’m amazed that, since 3:00 p.m. yesterday, no one has been moved to comment on this column.The astounding arrogance of the Mormons in appropriating new members from the death rolls of other faiths is exceeded only by their self-righteous indignation over the “offense” others might have taken.Not only is this act presumptuous; it clearly reflects the vast superiority Mormons feel over all other mortals. Of course we should be able to do this, they claim; we’re offering all these sad, miserable, unenlightened people a better, newer, shinier religion. Everyone can — and should — be like us. Because we’re perfect.This whole baptizing the dead gig reminds me of Gogol’s “Dead Souls.” The schmuck Sobakevich goes around buying up the deeds to dead serfs so that he can show the father of his beloved that he’s a rich man and worthy of her regard.Of course, what he was trying to do was to buy legitimacy — the more dead serfs he could acquire, the more legitimacy he would have.If Mormons think that they can gain credibility for their half-baked religion by baptizing the names of dead people, then their “doctrines” are even more whacked out than we already knew. And it doesn’t stop at sacred underwear, secret handshakes, and jumping through holes in bedsheets. It’s pretty likely that one of their Stepford favorite sons will be running again in the 2012 presidential election.These people are truly terrifying.

  • sparrow4

    oops- “ridicuoous” = ridiculousness.spelling suffers when I get po’d.

  • DrRock

    Daniel:It sounds like we can agree that both of us share different views of the purpose of life. In all fairness to Mormons, it’s not that they don’t understand that gays and lesbians have strong feelings to be married. Mormons see the decision differently. Gays and lesbians are in a rush to create a new social structure. They call it a “family” because humans are involved, but, socially speaking, they are missing either fathers or mothers who are not heterosexuals.Successful heterosexual unions are the foundation of human civilization – its not just the reproduction is the social unit itself that makes human society work.I am personally not opposed to civil unions or partnerships, where an invidual as the right to bestow property, pass on health benefits, etc.but to call that marriage, the SAME SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF HETEROSEXUALS, is not to be taken lightly or hastily. In fact, it should never be taken at all.For Mormons, who are criticized for believing in a “fantasy”, are very perplexed by our critics.We are asking everyone to return to the primacy of existence – wherein we look at the human species objectively and call a spade a spade:Male is male.Male is NOT female.A homosexual male can’t be a wife or a mother.If homosexuals are correct about themselves, that they are very different that heterosexuals, then marriage is not suitable for them – because marriage is the social structure designed for heterosexuals.Mormons wish that gays, lesbians, and gay activists would return to the reality of what marriage IS – the social structure for heterosexual unions and for them to be husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers.What gays and lesbians are after are some of the benefits of marriage. But how could they expect t o fulfill the function of marriage when nature has not given them the means to do so?This is the cruel trick I was talking about – they are ignoring their “natures” that they claim are different from heterosexuals.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr. RockLive and let live. What part of THAT don’t you understand?Hurt feelings DO matter. Emotions DO matter. Your top-down cold-blooded imposition of Mormon dogma destroys families and ruins people’s lives.I commented a great deal here. You have barely replied, but only picked here and there at small, not very important points. But on the main points of belief, I am far, far better off than you are, and I would imagine that just about anyone reading this thread would cite your arguments and beliefs as inferior to mine.You have a sort of mean-spirit and sour-grapes attitude in most of your posts, because you are incapable of putting together a coherent reason why gay people are not as good as you and your brethren. I know that you are here as an agent of the church to put a good spin on a bad situation. But overall, you are the loser here.

  • kjohnson3

    I’m belatedly realizing that we’re only feeding drrock’s grandiose delusions here. He sees himself as some sort of lone crusader out to vanquish the infidels. Every question asked or argument presented gets lobbed back with the glee of a true zealot.The only thing that shuts down a nitwit like this is to disengage with him.Bye.

  • lepidopteryx

    DrRock:If a homosexual woman cannot be a husband or father, what business does she have in engaging in the Institution of marriage?When my husband and I met, he was sterile and had never had any interest in being a parent, and I was in the early stages of menopause, had a daughter from a previous relationship who was almost grown, and had no desire to start over again with diapers and colic. By the time we got married, I was fully menopausal.

  • DrRock

    Daniel:You said:If feelings then become the reasons why we change laws then Conservative Christians should be able to outlaw homosexuality altogether because their FEELINGS ARE OFFENDED by their lifestyle practices, and there are more of them than homosexuals. Do you see how arguements based on emotion are silly?Tell you what, gays will continue to practice what they want regardless of the “feelings” of conservative Christians and Mormons will continue to practice their religion regardless of the “feelings” of a small group of Jews.That’s the equitable thing to do.You said:Based on what standard that is rooted in existence and not solely in your consciousness?You said:Whether or not I “think” (my conscisousness) gay people are good or bad does not matter in terms of the law of identity and existence.Daniel, homosexual men are incapable of being wives and mothers. Nature declared them as unsuitable substitutes because they cannot serve the function within marriage.Homosexual women are incapable of being husbands and fathers. Nature declared them as unsuitable substitutes because they cannot serve the function withing marriage.These are the best reasons, INSIDE existence (and outside consciousness) why the institution of Marriage is, by nature, for heterosexuals and not homosexuals.Homosexuals are unable to function normally within the Institution of Marriage without mimicking heterosexuals, in substance, form, or function.According to this natural, and scientific standard, gay “marriage” is a fraud.This might hurt your feelings, you might “think” that its mean spirited – but its a natural fact.Try this on one, just try and argue that homosexual men are suitable wives and mothers.Try and argue that homosexual women are suitable husbands and fathers.If you can’t make a case from the natural, scientific, and genetic standard above, then you’ve made my point for me.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    And don’t even get me started on the inferior role of women in the Mormon church.Many if not most Mormon women are fine with it. But not all. And for these few, there is no recourse, but misery and unhappiness, or else exile from the mountain Kingdom of Utah.This is not a perfect society nor a utopia. It is a Stepford society filled with the Stepfor pious, and if you are not one of them, then you are cast out and ostracized. This is an inflexible and intolerant society, and not a good model at all for the rest of us.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    DrRock, you said:”Male is male.Male is NOT female.A homosexual male can’t be a wife or a mother.So? Your statements are obvious and no one anywhere is contesting them.But, to be honest, gender and sexual orientation are basically not very important. These are merely your excuses and justifications for your bigotry. You have yours; now how can obstruct the progress of others, so they cannot have theirs?What if your own son were gay? Or what if your daughter married a closetted gay man, to the ruiniation of both their lives? When you are promkoting your anti-gay agenda, how do you know who, in your presence, you may be offending? Gay people are everywhere, you know. You are very smug about this whole issue, and deal very lightly with other people’s lives.

  • lepidopteryx

    Try to baptize me after I die, and I’ll come back and haunt you.

  • DrRock

    Lepid:If you do, pass me the next lottery numbers….:-)

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Gay marriage is a grass roots movement involving hundreds of thousands, perhaps, millions of people. Immediatley, where ever gay marriage has been recognized, the local municipal offices are deluged with hundreds of applications for gay marriage, until some politcal authority pulls the plug. This dysfunction needs to be addressed. If a constitutional amendment is passed to ban gay marriage, that will not be the end of it. It will create even more turmoil and distress untill the amendment is repealed, like the fool-hearty eighteenth amendment. We are seeing this now in the gathering demonstrations in California.There are millions of gay people in America. In the past they have been mute. Now, more and more of them are finding a voice. Merely speaking up for oneself is the “problem.” And it is a “problem” that will not go away.

  • DrRock

    Daniel:You said:Another smoke screen? Instead… focus on these questions and issues ….”Try this one on, just try and argue that homosexual men are suitable wives and mothers.If you can’t make a case from the natural, scientific, and genetic standard above, then you’ve made my point for me.”

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    For kjohnson3: Dr. Rock is not a zealot; he is an agent of the Mormon Church sent here to do a little damage control, and a not very good job, I mgiht add.There are no Mormon zealots; it is a weirdly regimented church, with a top-down dogma that people are expected to comply with in the outward expressions of their beliefs and in the way they lead their lives. The complexity of this dogma does not give any room for zealotry of any kind, nor even of true belief, but rather of submission to rules and commands from above. And the theology imposed from above is not decreed by zealots either, but is cool and calculated.At the top, is the President of the Mormon Church, who does quite literally and unashamedly speak for God. I think that Dr Rock has said a number of things about his personal belief and theology of the Mormon Church that I did not previously know, and which frankly, I have found to be shocking.Anyone who wants to know about this church, read my many comments, which Dr. Rock did not contradict, but also read his own shocking comments and judge for yourself.

  • lepidopteryx

    DrRock:Heterosexual men make lousy mothers as well. However, I have known many gay men who were excellent fathers.Hetero women don’t make good daddies. But I have known plenty of lesbians who were very good mommies. As a woman who raised a child mostly by myself, i can tell you that it does NOT require two adults of opposite sexes under the same roof to effectively raise a child. It takes love, patience, and hard work, but that isn’t determined by chromosomal make-up.

  • sparrow4

    drrock wrote:”Daniel:You said:If feelings then become the reasons why we change laws then Conservative Christians should be able to outlaw homosexuality altogether because their FEELINGS ARE OFFENDED by their lifestyle practices, and there are more of them than homosexuals.Do you see how arguements based on emotion are silly?”sp4- Yes, but you are the one making the argument, not daniel. And no they shouldn’t be allowed to outlaw anything, first of all because other than offending their delicate sensibilities, mormons and other anti-gay people cannot show in real terms how gays or gay marriage personally affects them. They are giving up nothing, their taxes won’t go up, the churches will still stand and your freedom to attend that church does not change.No- the argument for gay rights is firmly in the law and the constitution- a document I notice you avoid mentioning at any cost.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr. Rock”Try this one on, just try and argue that homosexual men are suitable wives and mothers.Men cannot be wives and mothers and women cannot be husbands and fathers. So? What is your point? You have none. You do not have the slightest concept of sexual orientation nor of gay people, and I think that you should not be commenting so self-assuredly on things that you are so ignorant about.Homosexuality means same sex attraction. Gay men do not want to be women and gay women do not want to be men. This is just you ignorant and stupid concept that you have dreamed up all on your own.You cannot argue sensibly from such a postiion of ignorance.

  • lepidopteryx

    DrRock : If you do, pass me the next lottery numbers….:-)I’ll be passing those on to my daughter, along with a suggestion that she donate some of the cash to a local UU church and some to HRC…

  • kjohnson3

    Daniel,My point holds. Even the coldest, most calculating salesman will go away if there’s no audience.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr RockThe fact is that atraight people pick on and beat up on gay people or a regular basis. You are trying to make it seem like it is straight people who are victimized by gay people.That simply is not true. It is a big lie. It is your big lie. A very BIG LIE.Does Jesus support you in your lying? Is it good to lie in the Mormon Church? My advice to you: stop picking on gay people and go do something worthwhile with your life.Try being a REAL Christian for a change, instead of scapegoating a minority that you personally do not like.

  • sparrow4

    “Daniel, homosexual men are incapable of being wives and mothers. Nature declared them as unsuitable substitutes because they cannot serve the function within marriage.”sp4- Nature has declared them? Did Mother nature speak to you and tell you that? And furthermore, wife and mother is a role, ask any women who has to stay home to care for the kids and provide nurturing (which is not related to biological function, but to actions and the role she plays within a family unit.)Homosexuals are unable to function normally within the Institution of Marriage without mimicking heterosexuals, in substance, form, or function.According to this natural, and scientific standard, gay “marriage” is a fraud.”sp4- Wha? This is the primo example of how religious cults make mush out of brains. Marriage is a manmade social institution, not Nature. as you say, marriage IS an institution and institutions are filled by people who fulfill ROLES.Roles encompass many actions and you can fulfill a role overall without necessarily fulfilling each and every dictate. ergo- Single parent households have one parent filling the role of mother and father. there are parents who cannot have children biologically so they adopt- they are still mothers and fathers.Homosexuals do not mimic anyone. They are not fake humans, and a real scientist understands their genetic code puts them squarely in the genus Homo sapiens.

  • Agathodemon

    My Goddess,What a lot of blather about almost nothing. I am reminded of Sam Harris’ comment about bookish men parsing a collective delusion. The Mormons are delusional, I could not care less what they think they are doing about the dead. What an utter waste of time and energy. I think the proper response is to ignore them on this issue. It’s something of a red herring. On the other hand, the issue of excercising political influence in the “real” world is important. Drrock is correct that they have a constitutionally protected right – look at the Catholic Bishop’s manifesto to the President Elect that was reported today. The problem is that they try to actualize their delusions into law and society. Society – despite anything the religious say – is a human endeavor and is ultimately defined by humans. Sometimes the deus ex machina is trotted out to cow the populous, but humans have alway been the actual authors of their societies. Rights are granted by societies not by gods, the advocates of same sex marriage have a responsibility to reeducate and help redefine society at its base in order to achieve their goal of equality. I think this has not been done in a manner that gets a majority agreement. Until the society [or at least a majority] agrees that same sex marriage is legitimate – it will be an uphill battle. I realize that modifying the law to allow such marriages despite majority opposition can eventually work – for instance racial issues, but it does do violence to the preceived rights of the majority and they are going to feel offended and hostile. It is important to look at the source of the hostility and work to make it clear that same sex marriage is not a threat to them.

  • DrRock

    The world according to gay activists:In the future, a daughter cries and longs for her mother, and the two gay men who have custody of her tell her to stop offending their sensibilities and they declare to her that her right to a mother is less important than their sexual preferences that are unnecessary to marriage. They try to indoctrinate her saying that either one of them is a suitable mother.A son yearns and longs for his father, but his adoptive guardians, two homosexual women, tell him to buck up and embrace that THEIR sexual preferences override his right to a father. They tell him that either one of them is a suitable father, although neither one is male.Gays will teach their children that its more important that Government remove mothers and fathers from certain marriages and families so that they can feel better about their adult sexual preferences.Such is the philosophy and world view of gays and lesbians – appealing to their urges rather than the natural structure of the human family.

  • kayak23225

    David Waters: Your opening paragraph was insufferably fatuous. No, the dead are not involved in this; it’s living Jews arguing with living Mormons about a free speech issue and about allegedly broken promises made by the Mormons to the Jews.”It’s also about a religious practice that not only offends others but directly and personally involves the deceased relatives of others who have a right to rest in peace.”So religious practices must not offend others? FAIL. There is no First Amendment right to not be offended.The muttering and the dunking have absolutely no effect on anyone other than the (living) participants.

  • Agathodemon

    Drrock,thanks for the example of just what I was talking about – a delusional scenario created in your head. Do you have specific “real” documented examples of your fantasy? You totally ignore single parents – they too would be unable to provide the gender role model that you are imagining – are they not legitimate? Would you prohibit single parent adoption? I can find some genuine real life examples in today’s news of sexual child abuse in heterosexual marriages, but I didn’t see any for same sex couples, it fact, I can’t remember ever having seen one – it’s not the number or gender of the parents, it is the love that have for each other and their children that matter. Your straw man argument is worthless.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr Rock’s world of gay activists is pure garbage, lies from beginning to end, designed to slander gay people and belittle them.As I said before, it is the straight people like Dr. Rock who pick on and persecute gay people and not the other way around.This is pure homophobia; just brute mean bigotry. Blame eveything on the gays. Scapegoat everything on the gays. I am starting to think that your religion has no purpose at all, but to justify sticking it to the gays, any way that you can.Dr. Rock, you speak from a position of ignorance. You should shut up about things that you do not and cannot understand.

  • CCNL

    There is still that “yucky” factor in homosexuality. Not necessarily sinful or even adulterous but definitely “yucky” and on par with the “yuckiness” of the womanizing, “internizing”, oralizing, “adultering” Bill Clinton in the Oral Office and the conduct of pedophiliac priests and other pedophiles.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Yes CCNL, sex can be pretty yucky, can’t it? Childbirth, too.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    I made the point several times, that this guy, Dr. Rock, is an agent of the Mormon Church, sent here to do some damage control in the Mormon Church’s promotion of Prop 8. I have said it directly at least three times, and he has not replied to refute me.

  • lepidopteryx

    CCNL:If you think gay sex is “yucky,” then don’t engage in it, and don’t peep through your gay neighbors’ bedroom window. Problem solved.

  • fgiles

    Since the discussion has diverged somewhat, I‘d like to add my thoughts on gay marriage.A number of years age I attended a protestant wedding. At one point in the ceremony, the pastor presented the coupe to the audience and spoke at some length about the need for us, the community to support and approve of the newly created family. Also, old-fashioned wedding ceremonies included a line something like: “If anyone here knows a reason why these two people should not be joined in matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace.”In the modern times of civil union laws this symbolic aspect of marriage, the recognition and approval of the community, is all that appears to be at stake. In a religious context this approval also includes the blessing of God on the union.While I agree that homosexuals have a civil right to free association, I assert that no one has a civil right to society’s approval. Many have said that the decision by majorities in California and many other states to “speak now” and withhold society’s approval indicates intolerance. On the contrary, tolerance and approval are very different things. If fact, by the plain English meanings, it is not possible to tolerate something unless you also disapprove of it. By asserting disapproval, yet opposing laws criminalizing homosexuality, the citizens of these States demonstrated an admirable degree of tolerance.This thread discussing Baptism of the Dead is an excellent example of the same situation. All or nearly all the non-LDS posters have expressed disapproval of baptism for the dead. However, most have indicated tolerance of this ‘strange Mormon belief’. I conclude that that puts you all in the same position ethically as the Californians who so recently voted in favor of Proposition 8.

  • gogmu012

    DrRock : Your slurs against and mischaracterizations of Mormonism don’t count for valid arguments against their practices or their faith.Please contradict my comment on the temple marriage ceremony, were women must agree to let their husband or church elders gore them with an oxen horn. THIS IS A FACT!!!! Like it or not!And while we’re at it. Please contradict that secret handshakes are taught to get you into the different (Mormon) levels of heaven. ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS A FACT!!!!!Religions are just cults with more members (My opinion).

  • DrRock

    Daniel:You said:I haven’t replied to this silly claim because it doesn’t have anything to do with the discussion.Listen, Daniel, your arguments and your posts aren’t difficult to refute that it requires a Mormon official to step in. But for the record, no. I am just a regular guy who has his own company and who has control over his time. So far, you’ve mostly responded with emotion – not logic.Why should any State change the definition of marriage for a group (homosexuals) who wants to impose and Institution of marriage that, by design, removes either a mother or father from families or from children?Gay marriage leads to 1000s of more families without mothers or fathers – this is an attack on the human family – all in the name of sexual preferences of adults.Daniel, I get it. You don’t care about children’s rights – for you its all about being accepted as a homosexual.For Americans who care more deeply about the rights of children than the sexual preferences of a few adults whose preference are unnecessary to the success of the human family, we’ll do our best to keep families intact.Face it Daniel, homosexual preferences are unnecessary to society – we know that people have them – but they are unnecessary to the family and to the Institution of Marriage.Now, watch, instead of confronting that statement, you’ll just whine, moan and complain that someone is being “hard” on you and not sensitive enough to your feelings.Here’s a tissue… dry the tears, and answer the questions.Why should Americans vote for gay marriage when, by design, it removes mothers and fathers from children in their own homes?Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father; gay marriage tramples on that right.That’s why France, a country that is morally liberal in its views, chose to prohibit gay marriage after going to Spain, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Canada and was not convinced of the gay movement’s arguments or the practice of gay marriage and how it affects children.The French found that the rights of French children are more important than the rights or aspirations of French adults with unnatural sexual preferences.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr. RockHow does gay marriage remove children from their homes? We are not talking about kidnapping here; we are talking about same sex marriage. How do you jump from that to removing children from their homes?Your disdain for gay people is delusional, and so are you.

  • sparrow4

    fgiles wrote:”This thread discussing Baptism of the Dead is an excellent example of the same situation. All or nearly all the non-LDS posters have expressed disapproval of baptism for the dead. However, most have indicated tolerance of this ‘strange Mormon belief’. I conclude that that puts you all in the same position ethically as the Californians who so recently voted in favor of Proposition 8.”No- it isn’t tolerance, it’s acceptance of the fact that even crazy cults have freedom to believe what they want. It’s when they act on it in such a way as to infringe on others that there is a problem and THAT is what’s happening on this thread. The real point being made is that your entitle to believe what you want- but when you force it on others, you don’t. But it’s no surprise you didn’t understand that.As for wanting or deserving the approval of the community- again you misconstrue the question. Number one, most people invite their friends and relatives to witness their marriage , so in that sense it is rhetorical.In practical terms the question is whether or not they can get married, or does the husband for instance, oh I don’t know…have multiple wives?”If fact, by the plain English meanings, it is not possible to tolerate something unless you also disapprove of it. By asserting disapproval, yet opposing laws criminalizing homosexuality, the citizens of these States demonstrated an admirable degree of tolerance.”Now that’s a torturous route to come to a erroneous conclusion. Tolerance means, according to the dictionary- 2 a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own b: the act of allowing something : Note also that you have no legal right to force your disapproval on others in conflict with the Constitution (Yet another concept Mormons avoid even mentioning.) There is nothing admirable or remarkable in the level of “tolerance” US Citizens have shown. It ‘s part of the Bill of Rights, and has nothing to do with what you personally like or dislike. Prop 8 is yet another unconstitutional attempt to make gays into second class citizens and if it goes to the Supreme Court, the Constitution of the United States will override any such stupidity written into the state constitution. Because the overriding contract for being a citizen of the United States is accepting the Constitution of the United States.Your little anti-gay fatwas are religious bigotry masquerading as freedom of religion.You can’t even accept responsibility for being bigots- you try to couch in terms of G-d and theology. Hey- don’t blame G-d for your problems.

  • sparrow4

    “Why should Americans vote for gay marriage when, by design, it removes mothers and fathers from children in their own homes?”I think Danial would be better able to answer a question that wasn’t asking about lies. Prove your point- because this is one of the most imbecilic statements I’ve heard yet form you. And you’ve written quite a few.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    For Dr. Rock, spokesman for the Mormon Church;Why be so afraid of gay marriage? Here is a way to noodle it through:Based on the population of the United States at 300 million, I would guess that if gay marriage were legal in all 50 states, we would see several hundred thousand gay marriages in 5 years, perhaps as many as 500,000. In a place like Utah, I am sure you would encounter such a gay couple rarely, if ever. You will more than likely never see them attending a Mormon Church. They will not be lurking around seeking to “convert” people.So relax; lighten up; you act like every last adult in America is going to go gay, if we allow gay marriage. Any way, as I said before, it is coming; it is unstoppable; when it is banned in a state, then we must work all that much harder to lift the ban.Once these 500,000 gay couples are living among us, you will see that you will hardly notice a difference in anything, but the 500,000 couples will be living more happily.What is so wrong with that? So nature won’t like it? Nature can learn to like it. Nature can get used to it; then it will be natural.Based on the population of the United States at 300 million, I would guess that if same sex marriage were legal in all 50 states, we would see several hundred thousand same sex marriages in 5 years, perhaps as many as 500,000. In a place like Utah, I am sure you would encounter such a same sex couple rarely, if ever. You will more than likely never see them attending a Mormon Church. They will not be lurking around seeking to “convert” people.So relax; lighten up; you act like every last adult in America is going to go gay, if we allow same sex marriage. Any way, as I said before, it is coming; it is unstoppable; when it is banned in a state, then we must work all that much harder to lift the ban.Once these 500,000 same-sex couples are living among us, you will see that you will hardly notice a difference in anything, but the 500,000 couples will be living more happily.What is so wrong with that? So nature won’t like it? Nature can learn to like it. Nature can get used to it; then it will be natural.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    I have actually enjoyed this. I can see that Dr. Rock has wilted quite a bit, to my delight and cheer. I have done this arguement several times before, and am getting better at it.I tried to be nice to him. I started off polite. But he wouldn’t allow it. All I know ab out Mormonism is from the missionaries. And I have met and talked with a number of them. As I said before, Mormons can be quite nice and even charming, when not discussin religion.I have even been to Salt Lake City to check things out. Their Cartesian grid system of street addresses was unusual and impressive.I feel quite good about this discussion, because I know with confidence that I am right, and Dr. Rock is wrong. And I can see from his increasing frustration that he knows he is wrong, too.Gay marriage is coming just as surely as a black President has come. And the sky will not fall in; but things will continue, as they always have.

  • sparrow4

    Oops- sorry Daniel, I misspelled your name.I know what you mean. The Mormons will be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century and hopefully into a greater understanding and empathy with other Americans. Or they can choose to consider Mormonism as the be all and end all- in which case I hope they move to another planet and leave the rest of us in peace.

  • ParkerD1

    I haven’t read all the comments here, but enough to realize that some commenters regarding what the Mormon Church teaches or practices show both a lack of knowledge and a lack of common sense.They illustrate a principle that comes to the fore here: people who feel that they themselves are victims, will respond usually by lashing out (often with falsehoods) at others whom they feel “made” them victims. One of the things followers of the Savior see in his teachings is that they don’t have to view the world as if they are a victim. They see that personal change comes from within, and the Savior helps enable that process because they do not have to “carry” their baggage from life’s mistakes with them.It is probable that the writings of Victor Frankl are read and discussed in places we know not of, where people are learning that change can take place in any human soul, starting with their own.

  • MrE1

    gogmu012; “Please contradict my comment on the temple marriage ceremony, were women must agree to let their husband or church elders gore them with an oxen horn. THIS IS A FACT!!!! Like it or not!And while we’re at it. Please contradict that secret handshakes are taught to get you into the different (Mormon) levels of heaven. ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS A FACT!!!!!”Ok, I’ll contradict it; it’s not true. Neither of those very strange accusations have any basis in fact. If you actually want to learn about the LDS church, as opposed to spewing libel, I suggest you contact a member, the missionaries, or someone else who actually knows something about it. Now, more pertinently; could everyone involved please take a couple of deep breaths? This is an emotional issue, but the fact that everyone is getting wound up about it is not conducive to a constructive argument.Frankly, I’m amazed at the (very low) quality of argument coming from both sides. Drrock; you are largely incoherent, and what can be understood is very, very easy to misinterpret. You also spend a great deal of time responding to irrelevant insults in kind.Everyone else; There is a shocking amount of misinformation about the LDS church being spewed around in this comments page. If you wish to constructively oppose an organization you believe is incorrect in their views, it is helpful to know something about them.

  • DrRock

    Daniel:You’ve enjoyed having being shown that gay marriage is unnecessary for creation, formation and shaping of the human family, huh?Well, good Daniel, maybe you’ve learned a couple of things about nature, science and genetics.You might just have to confess that there are only two genders in reality – male and female.Let’s test your knowledge further. A simple and necessary question about children’s rights.Do children have birth rights? Such as the right to have a mother and a father?Yes or no?

  • TheProFromDover

    Why don’t the gays get the names of deceased, unmarried Mormons, and simply declare them homosexual and marry them to others of the same sex? Fight fire with fire, I say.

  • MattValenti

    The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, had at least 27 wives.Read that again, and check out Smith’s page on Wikipedia if you don’t believe me. 27 spouses.All gay people are asking for is just one.

  • DrRock

    Mre1:I welcome your coherent defenses that are superior to my own, in support of the LDS practice of poxi baptism, and the Institution of Marriage: the union between a man and woman. What is your position on childrens’ birth rights?

  • persiflage

    DANIELINTHELIONSDEN – you’re posts are appreciated. If folks would only imagine life a mere 50 years from now (had they the imagination), they would see the groundwork that’s being laid today as a positive thing – rather than as developments that threaten their pre-conceived static and absolutist world…..returning to the past is like trying to walk upstream in a river of maple syrup. Religion unfortunately doesn’t reflect the reality of constant motion and the ever-changing present …. there is no past and no future, outside of the present moment – which can never be captured. Very few see this fundamental truth, much less the implications. I’ve always appreciated your view……

  • biteyou

    I am totally offended that Mormons would baptize the dead of other religions. I was raised in another faith, baptized in it, and choose to stay in it. My husband is Jewish. Stay away from us! We have scads of genealogical information we will never donate because we find the Mormon practice repulsive. I would donate it to their library if they were not so creepy.

  • dmm1

    Wow! Who cares if Mormons baptize your dead auntie? Why should one religion have to not offend another? Anyone who thinks that is simply laughably insecure.I’m a conservative Christian, and we sincerely believe that everyone without Jesus is going to hell, and we spend a lot of money and effort telling people. Now go cry about that. “Boo hoo! He hurt my feelings! He’s not politically correct! Waa waa!”

  • sparrow4

    “Well, good Daniel, maybe you’ve learned a couple of things about nature, science and genetics.You might just have to confess that there are only two genders in reality – male and female.”drrock- no one has learned anything about science, nature of genetics from you. All we’ve heard are some very extreme bastardizations of those terms based on your peculiar beliefs.Nor did Daniel express the notion that there aren’t only 2 genders (although technically there are hermaphrodites so take that as you may).While mre1 was stating there is a lot of misunderstanding of what Mormons believe(oxen horns? I wouldn’t know. We don’t ask women to stab themselves in Judaism), but his post was hardly an unadulterated defense of your church. In fact he said you were incoherent. I can only attest to the extremity of your beliefs regarding proxi-baptism, which is abhorrent, and your views on gays- also abhorrent. I can also attest to the fact that both cause pain to innocent others- not that you care- and while some is purely religious or psychological pain, the pain you are trying to inflict on gays goes much further. Frankly I hope gay organizations sue the crap out of your church for libel and damage. You’re affecting them on a personal, and individual level- whereas you’re screaming the Jews who are telling you to desist with proxi-baptisms infringe on your religious rights. Can’t have it both ways.

  • hfisher1

    It’s very important that the Mormons baptize the dead and count them. Lord Xenu needs an exact count of the Thetans that are released, and if the count is wrong then there might not be enough seats on the airplanes that transport the souls. A number of them might get bumped, without as much as a packet of peanuts to tide them over until the next Thetan flight. What? What is that you’re saying? I’m in the wrong religion? Never mind …

  • MrE1

    Here’s my view on gay marriage; I oppose it. I don’t feel the need to justify myself about it. I can quote statistics, I can make logical arguments, but at the end of the day, none of that stuff is proof, and this argument is too emotionally charged for anything short of hard proof to have any effect. So I won’t bother. Neither side is going to convince the other; therefore, the argument is pointless. I oppose gay marriage, you guys don’t. Let’s agree to disagree. The democratic process will validate one side or the other eventually. I’ll be interested to see whether Prop. 8 holds up; I’m betting that it will, but that’s by no means a sure thing.As to baptism for the dead; I’m not quite sure why anyone should be offended, but if you are, I would recommend you send a message to a local temple president, and tell them you don’t want yourself or your relatives to be baptized posthumously. They should be able to help you. The phone numbers for all the temples can be found on LDS.org. In fact, a lot of information about the LDS church can be found there; I would recommend it as a resource for anyone who wants to learn about Mormons.

  • ParkerD1

    Dear Biteyou,No one should have to make that decision, right? “Let everyone keep only the level of knowledge that they have, no growth allowed.” Woops–perhaps they may wish to make such a decision for themselves. Perhaps they won’t thank you after all. You might want to imagine yourself in their position. Eternity is a pretty long time… Is there growth and change in the afterlife? What if the Savior really did establish true ordinances with authorized priesthood and an authorized pattern for people in this earthly sphere to show their willingness to be re-born into a “new life”, a changed life, a life of learning and spiritual growth?Have a nice day.

  • spatula

    I’ve always felt that if someone is against gay marriage they shouldn’t have one.But that is no reason to restrict the rights of any two consenting adults to join together in marriage.I actually wish there were more same-sex marriages as they produce fewer children than mixed-sex marriages, and we have far too many people in the world as it is.

  • sparrow4

    mre1- on that we agree. I don’t feel the need to defend my support of gay marriage and gay people don’t either. Yet we are being put on the defensive by people like you. For no good reason other than you think whatever. How would you feel if there was a movement to shut down Mormon temples for no other reason than we don’t like how you think? I know you are the first groups to whine about freedom of religion. Well, the rest of us are the first to whine about equality and human rights.

  • AIPACiswar

    Religious nuts are frigging insane. Go to hell all of you, and of course I mean that figuratively, as there is no hell but the one you ignorant fools create here on Earth for the rest of us.

  • MrE1

    sparrow4-While I see what you are saying (Evangelical Christians are often intolerant and arrogant), I respectfully disagree. You are not being put on the defensive by “people like me”; I attempt (though I don’t always succeed, especially not in highly emotional arguments) not to put people on the defensive. It is ever so much more difficult to get anything accomplished or reach a consensus when people feel threatened.In fact, back in the 1800s when the LDS church was getting started, there was a widespread movement to wipe us out, which escalated into violence and murder several times. So we know what oppression is like. I simply do not believe that my views constitute oppression, or violation of anyone’s civil rights. If you can prove to me otherwise- that is, prove to me that a “marriage” for homosexuals, as opposed to a “civil union”, is an inalienable right-I would be willing to revise my views.

  • MrE1

    Aipaciswar; Your comments are entirely useless. Spitting out insults does nobody any good. Say something productive, if possible.

  • Uoughtano

    Chromosome test is necessity to stop male-male gay marriage if you know transgender. Baptist say, blood is thicker than water.

  • peck3

    Newsweek started this string of “terrifying” indeed comments with an inflammatory article by Waters. Every organized religion in this world has plenty of targets. Remember the practice of immolation of a widow with her husband’s funeral pyre in India?

  • jennifer8

    My grandmother is 96 and doesn’t want to be posthumously baptized. But one of our relatives (who has recently converted to Mormonism) has stated that this is his intent following her death.I don’t want to be posthumously baptized, either.Is there anything we can do to prevent this from happening?We want to (as politely as possible) decline the LDS offer of eternal salvation. We want privacy. We want our wishes respected. We don’t know what to do and are deeply hurt by this.

  • crazyzen

    Why is it that every time I read the comments from any sort of religious article, there is an argument about gay rights? This is an article about Mormons baptizing dead people, not whether gay couples are the end of civilization.Usually, it is the religious folks who bring it up (this supports my general view that straight people are obsessed with sex).With all the suffering, poverty, starvation and war in the world, why do you all spend so much time obsessing whether my partner has a penis or vagina? Really? Is that more important then all those other things you could be spending time doing? Why aren’t you writing diatribes about how badly we as a society treat poor people? I think Jesus was more concerned about that than my partner’s vagina. But that is just my opinion.

  • MrE1

    Jennifer8; If you don’t want your grandmother to be posthumously baptized, I would advise you (as I have said earlier) to talk to your local temple president and explain your wishes. Arranging a meeting with them, your LDS relative and other family members would probably be best.Butterfly3; Having looked through the source you have linked, I can say with confidence that it is grossly inaccurate in virtually everything it says. What little is true has been so distorted to support the author’s obvious bias as to yield no useful information. There has been a great deal of slander about the LDS church over the years; this site is one more drop in the bucket. I am frankly surprised that an intelligent person could take the scare stories on that site as true. Did it never occur to you to that the people who post on a site entitled “exmormon.org” must be biased?

  • audiemurphy

    Mormons face it: your religion was made up by a guy who said he found some golden plates that no one else ever saw. It gets weirder from there. Your religion is not really Christian. Some of your more fundamentalist sect leaders were arrested today for child abuse and sexual assault for forcing polygamous marriages on 15 year olds. Don’t go messing with Jews ancestors, given who you are and what they have been through its nauseating.

  • audiemurphy

    MRE1-why should a Jewish person have to go to the trouble of contacting a Mormon to stop their baptisms? Why place that burden on them. Jews have asked you to stop. Focus on your own members and leave others alone.

  • robertsrobinson

    Its hard to imagine why Mormons beleiving that they are offering a person’s ancestors their version of exaltation is somehow worse than other faiths believing that a person’s ancestors are literally in hell. Nearly every religion claims an exclusive understanding about the nature of the afterlife, and none of those understandings should offend non-believers. They are, in many cases, as internally consistent as they are puzzling to outsiders.

  • coloradodog

    Please dear Jesus, Angel Moroni, the dead souls of the homophobe Boyd Packer and the racist Spencer Kimbell and/or Whomever Else It May Concern, don’t allow any Mormons to baptize me when I’m dead. I already spent 22 years in purgatory growing up in Utah and couldn’t imagine a hell worse than spending eternity in their intolerant, straight, white, hateful self-righteous and exclusive highest level of heaven.

  • bushidollar

    Man this is rich. I have read all the comments here by the varying religious factions and they all sound like a bunch of Star Trek fanatics arguing over made up stuff. Face folks, no matter how old you religion is or what your religion is, it is all made up. Deal with it.

  • MrE1

    When a relative is a member and wishes to perform a baptism for the dead, then yes, it will be necessary to talk to them and probably the temple president as well to work it out. As “fundamentalist sect leaders” being arrested, A) They are not fundamentalist; Church doctrine has never condoned underage marriage, forced marriage or rape, all of which these disgusting people are guilty of; B) They are, as you say, “sect leaders”, meaning not part of the church; any that were at one time members have been excommunicated. There are sick people in the world; a few like to think of themselves as “Mormon”. They are wrong.I am tired, frankly, of rebutting these false accusations. If you wish to know about the LDS church, as opposed to slinging ill-informed abuse, speak to the missionaries or a member you know; they will be more than happy to talk to you.

  • jennifer8

    “Jennifer8; If you don’t want your grandmother to be posthumously baptized, I would advise you (as I have said earlier) to talk to your local temple president and explain your wishes. Arranging a meeting with them, your LDS relative and other family members would probably be best.”MRE1,I’m very dismayed and disappointed by this response. It’s not that I don’t want my grandmother posthumously baptized. SHE doesn’t want to be posthumously baptized against her expressed wishes. She’s 96 years old and lives in a nursing home. Are you seriously suggesting that the best way to prevent this is an in-person visit to your church? To beg your elders not to do this?We’re not particularly religious people, but we respect those with religious beliefs and have friends of many, many faiths. We are not interested in converting to Mormonism, even though our relative has tried to convert us. We’ve been respectful and supportive of the new “Mormon family values” he professes to us, but this simply crosses the line.If Mormons want to bless the dead somehow – say a prayer or whatever – go ahead. We welcome this! But with all due respect, we don’t want to be in your databases, on any lists, we don’t want to be baptized in absentia, without a voice. Without a choice in the matter.Your suggested remedy, above, is disrespectful, patronizing, and condescending – as are these posthumous Mormon baptisms.

  • MrE1

    I’m sorry if my reply seemed condescending; that was not my intention at all. Allow me to correct myself; if your grandmother does not wish to be baptized, of course no-one should force her, either before or after death. But the fact remains that she will need to work out the conflict with your relative. Since he apparently (according to your statements) intends to perform a baptism even against her express wishes, this seems to be a family conflict, and the best resolution would be between him and her, not involving the church at all. If after she has talked to him he still intends to baptize her, it would be best for her or another family member to inform the church that she does not wish to be baptized. If she does so, I am confident that the church will respect her wishes, rather than those of her over-zealous relative.

  • palmetto5551

    Hey, folks. The Mormons have very right to engage in every bizarre ritual that makes them feel good. And they do. Baptizing dead people is mind numbing but so what. Catholics drink blood and eat flesh during communion. The Pope wears bizarre outfits and claims to be concerned about the poor while dripping with gold. It’s all nonsense, one unfortunate requirement of a free society. Jews, relax. Your dead relatives are not offended. They are quite dead. YOU are offended. Move on to something more important…

  • bnebeker

    There are a bunch of comments here and I haven’t been able to follow them all, but I have seen nobody actually comment that baptism for the dead is a biblical teaching. 1 Corinthian 15:29 KJV. If these were being performed at the time of the apostle Paul, it would seem to me that they are part of Christian tradition. Why does mainstream Christianity not practice this? It’s in the Bible.

  • sparrow4

    Considering the huge numbers of children needing adoption which hypocritical heteros like you seem to care nothing about, there are plenty of homosexuals who want to adopt and are already raising children. research has shown their kids to be “normal” and well adjusted. In some cases more so that the children of hetero marriages who seem to have a high incidence of child abuse. Yes- heteros have really corned the market on natural.Two loving parents and a stable home for children is far more important than whether or not the parents have different sets or equipment or not. Marriage is the legal, social, moral and ethical basis of families. Since gay people are just as moral, ethical and social as heteros, and they have the same constitutional rights as anyone esle, and the are taxpayers- you really have no grounds to withhold marriage. If marriage was the big sanctified deal you think it is, there would be no divorce (and there’s plenty in your church, btw). There would be no incest. there would be no wife beating. but there is.And if you don’t believe in evolution, there is no basis for judging what is or isn’t natural, only factual. Yes- only women (for now) can have babies. Children need parents- and the hetero parents in your so-called sanctified marriages aren’t always so good. As long as you claim that marriage is sacred and only heteros can be parents, you hurt children. But then, the Mormons are much more focused on sex and child brides, not children.

  • jprfrog

    Personally, having spent most of my life as a serious musician, the idea of listening to to Tabernacle Choir for all eternity sounds to me like a perfect Hell (sort of a combination of Lawrence Welk and the Boston Pops, where I spent 20 seasons earning my pension). Most religion, at least as practiced here and now, including Mormonism strikes me as the same combination of childish longing for a Big Daddy and saccharine pop-consolation as the music. Isn’t it time to grow up and face adult reality, with responsibility to each other without the threat of afterlife time-outs or goodies? I’m comfortable with the idea of not existing after my body dies…and could not care less if someone wants to baptize my doubtfully-existent soul…if the mumbo-jumbo keeps ‘em happy, it’s OK with me.However, when a church intervenes in matters political I think it is time to seriously review their tax status. And for whatever God’s sake, leave the Holocaust alone! Have you no respect at all?

  • fgiles

    A basic misunderstanding appears to underlie some of the more distressed-sounding comments posted here.Baptism for the Dead is not a contest or competition. Key to the doctrine of baptism for the dead is that everyone who ever lived will have the opportunity to accept baptism before the judgement, and it is freely acknowledged that many, perhaps a majority, will decline. The main point is that everyone has an equal chance. Another commenter indicated thatt God should be able to arrange for fairness through supernatural means eventually. I’m glad that His plan includes a way for us to help work toward that fairness in a concrete way now.As was correctly pointed out earlier, baptism must be performed by a live person with a physical body. Eventually everyone who ever lived will be identified and a proxy baptism performed. Due to the lack or records for most of history, much of this work will require supernatural assistance. In the meantime, the Lord allows us to help out using the means we have now. Since everyone will have the opportunity eventually, baptisn for the dead not a conflict or a competition in the minds of Church members, it’s an act of service that allows us to reflect on our own baptism and conversion.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:You said:This isn’t MY definition of marriage, it is what marriage IS. You’re trying to argue for what you WANT marriage to be, but I am talking about what the INSTITUTION of Marriage, in fact IS.You’re confusing “union” with marriage. This is where the gay activist side let’s their brain ooze out and asks everyone to completely ignore authentic human history and step into their collective consciousness where marriage is whatever you WANT it to be.But that it not what we are talking about – we are talking about what marriage IS by nature, in human history, in LAW, in the social structure of society.When we account for these realities, the Institution of Marriage is the joining of heterosexuals for the purpose of creating, shaping, and forming the human family.Governments directly rely on heterosexuals for their survival because it is the foundation for human society. That is what Government grants heterosexuals benefits. There is a necessary cause.Homosexuals want to be “recognized” as the same kinds of contributors in marriage, which they are unable to do, by nature. They claim that they are different from heterosexuals, and we agree with them. Like I said, marriage is not for them – but civil unions might be.You make an error in logic when you ask for the argument to be primarily about the “instances” of marriage where due to disability or choice, heterosexuals do not have children.The Institution of marriage allows such a distinction. Whether or not heterosexuals have children, homosexual men still cannot be wives and homosexual women cannot be husbands.Marriage is the union of husband and wife – homosexuals can’t meet these requirements, by nature.

  • dgblues

    “There is no natural purpose or imperative to include homosexuals in marriage.”Nor heterosexuals, for many marriages produce no children whatsoever. Many.As a single straight person, I find extending any special privileges to people just because they’re having sex with each other to be the most bizarre and unjust societal norms ever perpetrated by a majority on a minority.But I know that that and six bucks gets me a coffee at Starbucks.The point being, when you make such a proclamation, you put on display all the self-righteous arrogance of anyone with an ego so overinflated as to believe that an omnipotent patriarch who lives in the sky who created the entire universe has nothing better to do than watch your every move ostensibly to decide whether to torture you for eternity or reward you with the opportunity to supplicate yourself before said omnipotent being for the rest of time itself.Wow. I get it now. Hey, as long as it keeps people from perpetrating maniacal mayhem, I’m down with it. Just try to keep your dogma off everyone else’s yardma, wouldja please? I mean, it’s not all about just you.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    A very short time ago, if the subject of gay marriage were brought up, it would just be a joke. People would laugh. Gay people were automatically rediculous, and made fun of, and mocked, and cast aside, and required to live closeted and lonely lives, or double lives.Now when the subject of gay marriage comes up, straight people, especially homophobic Christian types do not laugh; now they tremble in fear.Good. I am glad. Even without gay marriage, I like it when these wicked people tremble in fear.

  • sparrow4

    “Since everyone will have the opportunity eventually, baptisn for the dead not a conflict or a competition in the minds of Church members, it’s an act of service that allows us to reflect on our own baptism and conversion.”Then I suggest you concentrate on MORMONS- because you still don’t get it. I do not anyone baptizing me now or in the hereafter, in your database or in your mind. You wonder why people think Mormons are whack jobs? this is a perfect example. You respect no one else, you respect no other religions and you think you have th right to impose your really nutty beliefs on everyone else. On top of that you are so blindingly self-righteous you can’t even grasp the concept.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    DrRockYou said:”Daniel, this is the argument you fail to address. You fail to show why homosexuals should be accommodated into marriage when homosexual men cannot be wives and mothers, and homosexual women cannot be husbands and fathers.”They should be allowed to marry because they want to be married. What would you have them do? Stay in the closet? Have sex in the men’s rooms? Marry your daughter? Or worse, would you have them separated from your “normal” Mormon society, which is a freak show to many people, and then would you have them punished, or maybe even put to death?The problem with gay people according to snobs like you, is that they have come out of the closet and found a voice. That is the problem. If only they would go back into the closet and shut up, then there would be no problem. But they are not going back into the closet and they are not going to shut up.All you know is they are some kind of mutated monstrosities, God’s mistakes, that you are too good to acknowlege, and too good to admit into the ordinary society that you otherwise wish to impose on other people.All I know of your church I know from your missionaries. When you send them out into the world, two by two, why don’t they wear lapel buttons that say, “Gays not welcome.” Then when they knock on the door of a gay househould, it would save everyone alot of time and trouble.Your arguments against gay people sound like you took them right out of a page from Archie Bunker. Your arguments against gay people marrying sound EXACTLY like the Jim Crowe arguments of the South that made it illeagal for men and women of different races to marry, because it was “unnatural, bad for the individual, bad for society, against God, against the natural order of things.”If gay people are so “unnatural,” then where did they come from? From a Frankenstein factory? What is “unnatural” about it? You are the one that is unnatural, against God, against society, against the natural order of things. You are the one who has concocted a weirdly rediculous Folk Religion, and then patterned a society after is childish tenets, a little “Gemanic” kingdom in the mountains of Utah that is weirdly out of step with the modern world.But this foolishness simply will not do, when you come down out of that fantasy kingdom and enter into the real world.Your religeous theology that is worked out in such intricate detail is unable to account for the existence of gay people, and it unable to deal with them in a civil and reasonable way. This is a fatal flaw in your religion.

  • marcedward1

    DrRock writes Nope you’re a liar. Baptizing the dead of other religions into your religion is not only a slap in the face to those people, but it underlies the emptiness of your own faith. Baptism is a voluntary joining of a religion, and baptising after death takes away that free choice. It’s a deliberate insult to others, revealing your own bigotry and racism (and we all know Mormonism is a racist religion)So you’re saying that the baptism is meaningless. I agree, it’s only meaning is to insult people of other faiths (or who are free from faith) and swell the appearaance of the number of mormons.”I understand that you “think” the LDS Church doesn’t have respect for other religions”Change ‘think’ to ‘know’.'but you haven’t shown that we in fact disrespect them.’post death baptism of victims of holocaust.”As for the golden rule, go ahead and proxi baptize every Momron that has ever lived into whichever religion you see fit.”Again, you obviously know that this ‘baptism’ is just mumbo-jumbo, having no meaning or power in the real world. But you all do it anyway, just to stick your finger in peoples’ eyes. In that way you all are like the Southern Baptists – you just love getting attention by being obnoxious.’As for the LDS practice of proxi baptism, we’ll continue to do as we please’Of course you will, because you don’t resect the free will of others. It just re-enforces the emptiness of your ‘faith’.'As far as a contribution to the world, Joseph Smith was the greatest religious philosopher since Jesus Christ.’More like religious huckster, but he wasn’t all that great. His kind can be found all over the world in the Internet.

  • DrRock

    jprfrog:You said:”However, when a church intervenes in matters political I think it is time to seriously review their tax status. And for whatever God’s sake, leave the Holocaust alone! Have you no respect at all?”A few important facts you’re overlooking:1. There is no law against Church’s intervening to support moral causes (or political ones.)2. Churches (the legal entity with the tax status) cannot donate substantial means to the cause.3. The LDS Church read a letter in its meetings that lasted 2 minutes and then held a meeting that lasted for 60 minutes a couple of times throughout the campaign – a blip on the screen of “donation of Church time.”4. What LDS members do is a whole separate matter. They can donate MILLIONS of dollars of hundreds of hours. The members don’t have the tax status – the legal entity of the Church does.5. Gay activitists can ask for a review all they want – it doesn’t worry Mormons or other religious intstitutions because they are withing their rights and within the law – we know that this “call to action” is just a hallow political stunt – used as a manipulative tool to stifle free speech from Mormons and other religious conservatives. News flash: it ain’t gonna work.6. As far as the 1995 agreement, the LDS Church has fulfilled and continues to fulfill its agreement by purging the names of holocaust victims who don’t have a Mormon blood-relative, when ever they are found.About your other ponderings about religion and the Mormons, when you’re ready to have a serious philosophical discussion – please engage and leave your religious bigotry at the door.

  • orionexpress

    Mormons will eat anything.!

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:You said:Respecting another religion or their beliefs is allow them to practice their religion how they see fit.You’re trying to arguing that respecting another religion is doing what they tell you to do.This is an untenable position – there are no laws in the UNited States that reflect your position.Your ranting and raving and false angry over something that doesn’t affect you in the least, is not convincing. You have made no rational arguments why LDS should discontinue baptizing for the dead, accept that you want it to stop – just because.I disagree with Christian Churches marrying gay men and women in their churches, and believe it is in direct violation with the Bible and is disrespectful to my own and 1000s of other Christians, but I can respectfully ask them to discontinue their practice, and then if they don’t stop, THEN I MUST LOOK AWAY AND NOT HARASS THEM.To do otherwise, is religious bigotry.This works both ways – your high standard also applies to you.So, from now on you’ll just have to look the other way when you hear about Mormons baptizing for the dead – that is your ONLY legal remedy and the only one that agrees with your high standard that you impose on Mormons when it comes to gays and lesbians.

  • sparrow4

    drrock:”This isn’t MY definition of marriage, it is what marriage IS. You’re trying to argue for what you WANT marriage to be, but I am talking about what the INSTITUTION of Marriage, in fact IS.”sp4- You’re assuming the only your idea is correct. Because its how you define marriage, by way of the wacky Mr. Smith.sp4- whoa there big fella. If every gay in this country stopped paying taxes (personally I think they should since they are being denied the rights every other American taxpayer has), stopped joining the military, serving and dying for this country, left their jobs and stopped spending money I’ll warrant you’ll eat those words. And where you even get this idea, I don’t know. Was it on your last visit to the Planet Flomar?sp4- I guess you don’t see the inherent contradiction in your comment? No- probably not. First you say they want to be the same, then you say they want to be different. OK- just another classic example of mud on the brain.Except for biologically bearing children – and in this you are incorrect. Lesbian women can bear children and many opt for artificial insemination. But the bigger point is that the ability to bear a biological child has nothing to do with the sanctity of marriage or how marriage functionally defines a marriage. a family is a basic unit of society- parents and children and relatives. In today’s world families encompass many people, some adopted, some defined by remarrying, others by simple inclusion. Socially, legally marriage confers specific rights and responsibilities on familial relationships. It does not confer biological responsibility, so if it did, you would be ordered to have children as part of a marriage. That is not the case.Your definition is based on your religion. So you follow that, but butt out of the affairs of the rest of us.Frankly you must not really believe in the sanctity of marriage id you are so worried about what other people do. Nothing, not man or G-d, gives you the right to shove your religion in anyone elses face.Marriage is the union of husband and wife – homosexuals can’t meet these requirements, by nature.”sp4- If that is your proof, you are sadly lacking. You’re playing semantics, and semantics doesn’t win your argument. It has so many holes in it, it looks like swiss cheese. Once you define marriage in law, and endow it with rights and benefits under law, endow tax benefits for it, it becomes an entity under the constitution of the United States. Prop 8 is unconstitutional. and the Mormon church is involving itself in politics, and must lose its tax exempt status. You are now a 527, drrock. Enjoy your swiftboating of Americans while you can. Once your tax status is rescinded, you’ll be finding out how painful institutionalized bigotry and imbecility can be.

  • Sempringham

    This is the most preposterous religious tempest in a teapot since the Middle Ages.If the Mormons want to posthumously baptize every person who ever lived, why should anybody else care? Especially people who profess not to share their beliefs!I am neither a Mormon nor Jewish, but I AM a genealogist. And I can tell you that the Mormons have done more to recover and preserve the names of Holocaust victims — beginning LONG before “Schindler’s List” — than ANYONE.There’s a lot about the Mormons that creeps me out, but this is not one of them. Instead of finding ways to pick fights with them, we should be warming thanking them.

  • DGSPAMMAIL

    Why don’t they just baptize everyone?

  • DrRock

    Marced:You said:No. I am not a liar. Proxi baptism is just a ritual that represents a covenant with Christ in the LDS faith – it doesn’t guarantee anything.My own baptism is the same for me – if I don’t live the covenant – then baptism was just a quick dip in the water.For the dead, after they accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, cannot be baptized for themselves because they are not in the body.Just as Christ’s atonement was a vicarious work, he provides baptism for those, who cannot do for themselves.LDS baptism gives the dead a chance at the covenant and meets all of the requirements for the laws of justice.You say that LDS baptism is a slap in the face, but you can’t show that it is.You say that it represents a hallow faith, but you can’t show that it does.I remain unconvinced of your accusations – so far, you have only said, “Stop baptizing for the dead, because 1) I don’t like it, and 2) I don’t believe as you do.”Sorry Marced, those are not valid reasons, and tolerance of religion requires that you be tolerant of my beliefs and my practices.You don’t have to accept them, but insulting me because I believe in them is religious bigotry.

  • sparrow4

    “Respecting another religion or their beliefs is allow them to practice their religion how they see fit.You’re trying to arguing that respecting another religion is doing what they tell you to do.”Nice try, drrock. But wrong- I’m not telling you how to practice or how other Mormons should practice. But respect means accepting me for who I am, and my history and if my religion says I don’t believe in Jesus and will never want to be baptized, it is disrespectful to refuse to honor my beliefs. we’re not talking differing opinions of flavors of popcorn here. You are dishonoring the most basic and important tenets of someone’s faith, while claiming I am disrespecting yours. So not the case. As I said- I don’t care if you believe in Joe Blow or heavenly morons or whatever. You and your fellow Mormons are free to be, well, Mormons. But when you claim the soulds of other religions, especially those who no longer have a voice to tell you no, then you have crossed way over the line and no amount of dancing around is going to make it acceptable to Jews, Catholics or other religions. sp4- You mean discontinue baptizing and adding the names of Jewish dead, and those of any other faith that wants you to stop. I have made a number of valid, very rational arguments but you can’t seem to grasp them. But that’s what happens when the irrationally “faithful” like yourself try to talk logic.Well, guess what. Not every church agrees with you. they aren’t forcing you to perform gay marriages in your churches, they aren’t telling your church to accept them and allow them in the pews. But thats an fight between Christians and I can’t speak for them. However, you live in this country and that means they are entitled to believe what they want so long and they don’t infringe on yours. Now you could supposedly argue that by performing and accepting gay marriages they are offending you- but that’s your choice. However, you don’t have the right to tell another faith what to do, nor do you have the right to kidnap them here or in the afterlife, to fulfill the precepts of your beliefs.You people obviously have a problem understanding what is so offensive about your stand on gay marriages and on posthmous baptism. Yet we all supposed to understand and accept everything your church does? Your right- it does work both ways, but your side is not doing the work.sp4- Oh I dunno- letters complaining to the IRS, protests, lots and lots of bad press, denying government grants, calling for government investigations into the bigotry of the Mormons, public statements by many more organizations regarding the embarrassing practices – and don’t forget, legal costs lots of money. So does loss of tax status. trust me. The Mormons will not emerge unscathed. As if the bad press you’ve been getting already hasn’t already told something. It must have- why would Hamilton have written his defensive letter otherwise? You took responsibility for things that are really none of your business or your right. Be careful what you wish for because karma is areally a b**tch.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    DrRock said:”You say that LDS baptism is a slap in the face, but you can’t show that it is.”If you offend someone, then you have offended them. That is their feeling. You are an insenstive clod to demand proof of offended feelings. If you have no intention of correcting your offensive actions, then apologize and state your intention. Don’t argue with someone about how their feelings of offense are not valid. That just makes it worse. This is a question of being rude and impolite. You need to learn some manners, and some respect for non-Mormon people.You are obviously a church official, sent here to do some damage control over the church’s bad homophobic PR. I see also, that no matter what anyone says, you have an infinitely complex set of rules from which you can pull just about any argument for any occaision. Arguing with a Mormon over religion is pointless; they know every thing there is to know about God. I do not think that the socalled “proxy” baptisms are anything so bad, because these simple-minded rituals are pretty much meaningless; they are what Mormons do because the church hierarchy dictates that they do these things, but I can assure anyone who reads this that Mormons go through this meaningless rote without understanding and without caring what it means.I am sure DrRock will contradict me and speak for all Mormons, about how much they love their rituals, as he also speaks for God, and puts words in God’s mouth, and thoughts in God’s mind; but likewise, he is a babbling fool, who does not know what he is talking about.

  • kjohnson3

    Hi, Drrock.Thanks for your last response. It really put me in my place.Just kidding.Fact is, though, you made a few statements that I just can’t resist answering, even though the rest of your badly written (do learn how to use apostrophes, please) message didn’t inspire me to comment. Just so you don’t think I’m ignoring you, here goes.”You said God just wave’s his hand”I did not say this. Go back and read the post. This is how you paraphrased what you thought I said. But, in fact, the only part of this quotation that I did way was “God.”"[O]rganizing against the national candidacy of Romney or other Mormons, solely based on their religious views is religious discrimination”Not when those religious views will be used in the governing of our country. Mormons are quite clear on their belief that church law supercedes civil law. Consequently, I have no choice but to reject the candidacy of any person who shares those beliefs.The catch-22, of course, is that you folks have gotten yourselves certified as a genuine religion, when in reality you’re about as genuine as the “church” of scientology. This allows you to cry “religious discrimination!” when someone takes exception to the prospect of Mormon law being applied to U.S. citizens.”Intelligent people respond to really great arguments rooted in scientific and provable facts.”Hmmm. I guess you’re saying that intelligent people accept that an angel named Moroni led Old Joe to a buried cache of golden plates and then gave him magic spectacles to use in deciphering them (which apparently was done in a hat).Right. If you call this a “really great argument rooted in scientific and provable facts,” I’m afraid you’ve been duped, pal.

  • kjohnson3

    “I shall raise with the rabbi of the largest congregation in the Northeast the possibility of postmortem circumcisions for dead Mormons along with the appropriate ceremony, followed, of course by bar mitzvahs.”Farnaz2,Lol. That’s a hoot. Thanks for the chuckle.

  • marcedward1

    All you need to know about Mormons.’On Sept. 11, 1857, Mormon militiamen led the slaughter of 120 men, women and children on a wagon train bound for California in an incident known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre.’Mass murder of non-Mormons for profit.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:Your arguments can be summed up as:1. Homosexuals can stop paying taxes if society doesn’t include them in heterosexual marriage.I’ll address 2,3 and 4 as 1 and 5 are meaningless rants.(2) Historically, legally, and socially, the INSTITUTION of Marriage (not all instances of it) is about husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, and children. Based on the interactions of humans within the species, these are IDENTITIES, not definitions. Each identity has a function in the human species. You claim that all we have to do to change the identities, is change the words. But this is an untenable position, scientifically speaking. The IDENTITIES of husband, wife, mother, and father are derived from biology, genetics, social constructs that SERVE the human species to create ITS success.Homosexual women, by nature, cannot become the identity of a husband or father – its biologically impossible.You also admit that the only way homosexuals can imitate or mimic the structure of marriage (parents and children) is through the union of OPPOSITE SEXES – which is inherently a heterosexual union. You admit that homosexuals, by themselves, are incapable of fulfilling one of the most important inherent functions of marriage: children.(3) The IDENTITY of marriage IS something. It’s a union of two people. Historically, legally, and socially, this union is the joining of a male and a female for the inherent expression of creating a family. My religion recognizes this unchangeable human fact. You believe that marriage is a definition – but this is a new approach to a biological necessity of the human species. You want a new social experiment – but you don’t want to take the full responsibility for it – you want to disguise it as heterosexual marriage.(4) Husband, wife, mother, father, represent biological entities in their truest forms. They are not definitions that can be altered to fit a social structure that only intends to MIMIC the original.For homosexuals to engage in marriage is to commit fraud. Homosexual men are incapable of being wives and mothers, and homosexual women are incapable of being husbands and fathers.“Homosexual attraction is unnecessary to the survival of the human race.” I dare you to argue against that point, and NOT appeal to emotion.

  • sparrow4

    “LDS baptism gives the dead a chance at the covenant and meets all of the requirements for the laws of justice.You say that LDS baptism is a slap in the face, but you can’t show that it is.”It doesn’t seem to matter to you in any case. You’re genetically programmed to hear only the words of Joseph Smith. You aren’t reading, you aren’t listening.drrock wrote:”I disagree with Christian Churches marrying gay men and women in their churches, and believe it is in direct violation with the Bible and is disrespectful to my own and 1000s of other Christians, but I can respectfully ask them to discontinue their practice, and then if they don’t stop, THEN I MUST LOOK AWAY AND NOT HARASS THEM.”sp4- Yes, exactly that. They are not going into your church and telling you to accept gay marriages, so by the same token you should not be sticking you head into theirs. This is not what is happening with your faux dead baptisms. You are actively seeking out names and then using them for your little ritual. You are actively seeking the names of those you know did not want to be christian in life, and putting them on your rolls, bring them into your church. Since these people have never attended your church, and their families have not, this is highly offensive to those of my faith. Not offensive by default,. Offensive as in actively acting offensively.the Mormon church operates in a community and a society. Should it be shunned by everyone and reduced to the status of a cult, it would not be in their best interests. You can expect to see many more protest outside your churches and many more reactions to your policies- you claim to not understand why, but you do. It’s a free country- step on my toes, I’ll step on yours.

  • kjohnson3

    “No matter what anyone says, you have an infinitely complex set of rules from which you can pull just about any argument for any occaision. Arguing with a Mormon over religion is pointless; they know every thing there is to know about God.”Danielinthelionsden,You’ve nailed it spot on. They have an answer for everything. Even better, they have this nifty doctrine of living prophecy that allows them to change their own rules as they go.Polygamy not working out with the local citizenry? No problem. God sends a “revelation” that polygamy is no longer a tenet of the church.Racism becoming an issue? No problem. God sends a “revelation” that the church should begin ordaining black men.The list goes on, but the MO is always the same. No admissions of guilt, no apologies. Just the acknowledgment that God has seen fit to make some changes in the law.No big mystery here about why Mormons make such successful politicians. They’re experts at spin.

  • DrRock

    Kjohnson:You said:Civil law is the foundation of the freedom of religion – no, we have no intention of SUPERCEDING it, whatever that means in your head.This is an untenable position. If you chose to reject Romney or other Mormons based on their religious views, it’s religious bigotry.But if you’re so worried about it, you better do something about Harry Reid really quick, he’s the Majority Senate leader and a Mormon. I suspect that since he’s a powerful Democrat, you’ll give him a pass.

  • sparrow4

    “3) The IDENTITY of marriage IS something. It’s a union of two people. Historically, legally, and socially, this union is the joining of a male and a female for the inherent expression of creating a family. My religion recognizes this unchangeable human fact.”And while the idea of male and female are unchangeable, institutions are not. they grow and change with society and a look at the history of Judaism, Catholicism and every other faith distinctly shows this because they understand that change happens and you grow to meet new challenges. Mormons haven’t gotten that memo.For homosexuals to engage in marriage is to commit fraud. Homosexual men are incapable of being wives and mothers, and homosexual women are incapable of being husbands and fathers.“Homosexual attraction is unnecessary to the survival of the human race.” I dare you to argue against that point, and NOT appeal to emotion.”sp4-Biologically, homosexuals can and do donate eggs and sperm for artificial insemination, so yes they do contribute biologically. That’s because in the 21st century the technology exists. See- the world changes.On legal, social, moral and ethical levels, they are fully capable of functioning as family units. You make the mistake of thinking slapping a label on something defines it, whereas it just describes it. research has shown over and over again, children who grow up in loving, stable homes, no matter if their parents are hetero or gay, grow up to be good, productive people. So that blows your argument out of the water. A family is about raising kids to become members of society, not about biologically producing them. You have no real idea of the complexity of roles families fulfill, nor how people function within them because your labels are strictly biological, not anthropological, so your whole argument is limited to very easily refuted points. Not that you’ll accept that. I find the more narrow-minded the individual, the more desperately they cling to their talking points.

  • cletus1

    I don’t see the problem. They’re dead, so it’s not like they’re capable of giving a sh*t. Besides, if the Mormons were right, they’d be doing them a favor.The Mormons are welcome to scan the obits and spiritually baptise my rotting corpse once I go if it’ll help them pad the rolls.

  • DrRock

    Daniel said:Why not just admit that you really don’t know much about these matters and that your appeals to emotion can’t and don’t make a difference in these kinds of discussions about what is legal and what is not legal?In the end, your arguments are just wrong. They don’t work.You ask Mormons do stop practicing their religion because it offends people.Ever heard of the Crusades or the wars because of the Reformation? The OFFENSES and the wars didn’t stop each group from BELIEVING as they saw fit. Offense is a choice – otherwise, Fundamentalist Christians could argue that homosexuals should not be allowed to live together or hold hands or kiss in public because it “OFFENDS” them. They don’t get that luxury and neither do you or the group of Jews who claim offense. Case closed.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Someone here a while back, Sparrow, I believe, said that Mormons believe in an omnisicient Father figure in the sky. That is a simplified summary of many standard Christian belief systems.But that is not what Mormons believe. According to my sources, the Mormon missionsaries, who come unannounced and uninvited, Mormons believe that God is a physical man-like being, with a body of flesh and blood just like our physical bodies, only perfected so that nothing ever goes wrong with it, so God is never sick and never suffers injuries. (Yes, this is what they said, I heard it with my own ears).I believe they call these beings “personages” to indicate their real physical existence.And this God does not live up in the sky, nor in some sort of Heavenly Paradise, or Elysium, such as many people believe, but that God, a physical being, a personage, lives in a physical place much like the earth, only it is a perfected place, where every thing works perfectly, all of the time.This place is a somewhat analogous to Heaven, but Mormons believe that it is another planet. And the believe that there are many such planets that exist, on many levels between the imperfect earth, and the perfect Heaven, and that there are personages living on all these many planets with varying degrees of perfection in their physical bodies.And they believe that at the highest level of perfection is God, and that is the goal of man to achieve this level of perfection, equal to God’s. This implies that anyone can be a God, but they actually do back away from this implication, and do not seem to embrace it. But one would conclude this wouldn’t one?And how does God who is a personage, with a physical body that is localized in space and time and lives on a perfected Heavenly planet, how does God know what is going on on far away Earth? I am not sure. I have never heard this explained. Perhaps they do not yet have this aspect of God worked out enough to write it down and tell it.There are actually two Mormon churches: the official church hierarchy that mangage vast church assets and wealth, and dictate top-down theology, and then there is everybody else. Some few Mormons may be interested in the intricacies of the Mormon theology. But most are not. They go along, and do what they are told. They attend church, and pray, and perform the many and myriad of rituals according to the instructions that they get. In this, they remind me of “Little Catholics;” they whole system reminds me very much of the Catholic Church.In actuality, these people are fairly conservtive family people who seek to live quiet, plain and ordinary lives. Only when a gay person mysteriously appears among their broods of children is there a bump in the road. Only when they go away from the mountain Kingdom to they suspect how out of step and fantastic their religion may seem to others.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    DrRockI have not asked Mormons to stop practicing their religion. Where have I said that? I said people should not be offended by this ritual of proxy baptism because it is simple-minded and meaningless, and most Mormons don’t really care.It is my thesis, based on my conversation with many Mormon missionaries, that most Mormons do not understand the theology of their own church, and the do not understand the underlying theological meaning behind most of their rituals, and they don’t care to find out. Therefore, knowing this and believing this about Mormons, I do not find them to be all that threatening.

  • sparrow4

    sempringham wrote:”I am neither a Mormon nor Jewish, but I AM a genealogist. And I can tell you that the Mormons have done more to recover and preserve the names of Holocaust victims — beginning LONG before “Schindler’s List” — than ANYONE.There’s a lot about the Mormons that creeps me out, but this is not one of them. Instead of finding ways to pick fights with them, we should be warming thanking them.”sp4- Oh yes. And while we’re at it, lets thank all those white guys from bring black people to the US free of charge and putting them to work in the cotton fields. Or thank the doctors at the concentration camps for doing all that medical research. A genealogist should recognize the important of the historical record. for some its all they have left for generations to learn about them. they are entitled to the accuracy, as much as possible of that record, and their name. By incorporating Jews, catholics and any others without their consent, into a baptismal database of a church they never attended and were never interested in, you destroy the truth, and the historical record.As for your comment regarding Schindler- the mormons had nothing to do with it and it seems obvious from the comment you don’t even know what it is.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:You said:No such objective research exists. But here’s a direct application for you on this topic of homosexuals , the family, and the rights of children.In 2006, the French Parliament did research into whether allow gay marriage was in the best interest for its people.They wrote what is the called the Parliamentary Report on The Family and the Rights of Children. (January 26, 2006) They formed 14 round tables and traveled to Spain, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Canada to asses their reforms.They recognized that the Family is the first locus for the development of social relationships, rearing children, and transmitting values. As a result of their research, and first hand look at the reforms in those countries, they recognized that the rights of the children come first. They found that these rights (of the children) were more important to society, INCLUDING when the child’s rights conflict with the parents’ lifestyle choices.The recommendations and outcomes of their findings:· France prohibited same-sex couples from marriage.· France prohibited same-sex couples from adopting children.· France prohibited same-sex couples fro using surrogate mothers.· France prohibited same-sex couples from medical practices that would cause the birth of fatherless children.· They found that the rights of French children were more important than the rights or aspirations of French adults.As progressive as France is when it comes to relativistic morality and equal rights, their reaction to gay marriage is a big feather in the cap of anti-gay marriage campaigns.If the French can’t be persuaded, how can gay marriage advocates expect conservative Christians to be convinced of their equal rights arguments?Sparrow, France went into the countries where gay marriage was practiced, and found little evidence to support your theory about the equivalence of heterosexual marriage and gay marriage when it comes to creating, forming, and shaping the human family for the good of society.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr RockYou asked me what I believe. I know that you mental conformity to Mormon dogma will block your understanding, but here goes:”We are born in a tiny neighborhood of earth, in a brief moment of time. The extent of all that we may become, derives from this origin, over which we have no choice, and from which we cannot escape.A person’s view of God, my view of God, does not come from my free choice, but is colored by all the human interpretations of God that I encounter, together with my own conscious thinking and wondering, and then analyzed by some mysteriously autonomic analyzing process that operates in my head.I am aware that my total being, personality, and beliefs are merely contingent on virtual “accidents” of the flow of events; and where I may have been on any certain day; and who may have spoken to me; whom I may have listened to; what book, movie, or television show I might have read or watched; if I glanced into the sky and saw a shape in the clouds that cheered me up or made me think of some specific thing…that the world impresses itself upon me, and forms me into all that I become, with only a very little bit of my own destiny and outcome, that I can determine by my own free will or choice.”

  • kjohnson3

    Marcedward1 said, “Baptizing the dead of other religions into your religion is not only a slap in the face to those people, but it underlies the emptiness of your own faith.”This got me thinking, and I’ve got a question. Perhaps Drrock can answer.Does the world census of Mormons include the dead ones, too? And the non-Mormon dead ones who got posthumously baptized?What a way to pad your membership numbers for use in recruitment!

  • coloradodog

    sparrow4 wrote:Hey coloradodog- I’ll ask my long dead rabbi if he will take care of you. You realize that if you posthumously convert to Judaism, you will be asked to eat mummified gefilte fish and herring in the afterlife, but we will protect you from the Angel Moron (whom I’ve heard is actually gay and now wishes he had never met Joe Smith.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    When I try to explain Mormon beliefs to non-Mormons, it somes out sounding a little like the ancient Egyptian religion. They really do have a strange idea of death and of the after-life, which is creatively different from all other Christian tradition. I know that the Catholic Church has an especially deep hostility towards Mormons, perhaps because Mormons steal many Catholics away from the “flock.” And I am also aware of much Protestant hostility against Mormons, but I think that is just garden variety ill-will that all the many Protestant sects feel towards each other.The Mormon appeal to converts today as in the past, is for people who have only a partial and fragmented knowledge of their Christian tradition, and who are themselves, like the early church fathers, naive “folk-Christians” who do not really understand their own heritage, and for whom the extremely complex and complete Mormon theology is appealing.

  • sparrow4

    “Offense is a choice – otherwise, Fundamentalist Christians could argue that homosexuals should not be allowed to live together or hold hands or kiss in public because it “OFFENDS” them. They don’t get that luxury and neither do you or the group of Jews who claim offense. Case closed.”Not so fast. Mormons and plenty of other religious groups hold beliefs I find offensive in intent but since they believe, I would never think of asking them to give up their faith. So long as they don’t try to inflict it on those who don’t believe the same way, I don’t care. they can worship gerbils for all I care. But when a church actively goes out of its way to inflict its beliefs on the public arena- I expect them to be held accountable and made to stop. Gay people are not pounding down the doors of the mormon temples. they are not invading your homes. they are not kidnapping your children and other than your self-appointed “we are the guardians of society” what is it to you if people live good productive law abiding lives?As far as we Jews go- the memories of our dead are sacred to us and those of the Holocaust especially so. I won’t waste my time explaining to you the importance of this, but I will reiterate- proxi-baptism is offensive to their memories and a despicable, disgusting practice that only makes the Mormons look even more flakey than they already are. It is typical of the insensitivity and lack of self-awareness they display so aggressively. Telling you to stop an offensive practice that causes pain to others is not a luxury = it is a necessity. It directly impacts everyone’s faith, because it deals with the spirit and the afterlife. On one hand you blather about the afterlife and allowing souls to accept Christ, on the other you pooh pooh it here by claiming it’s not guaranteed, and its about the dead. that is a contradiction in terms. And if the afterlife wasn’t so important to the Judeo-Christian tradition, why are you doing this? Or did you think only Mormonism has rights and free will?You don’t practice freedom of religion, you practice a veritable nazism of the afterlife. And that same fascism you want to extend here to the gay community (and fyi- I am not gay, I just find bigotry like yours contemptible).

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Many religious people are cloistered and sheltered and can think only in the extremely narrow confines of their own personal religious heritage, be it from their own families, or from the culture in which they are raised. The Muslim and the Christian, stand up to each other as if peering into a mirror, and hold up their sacred scriptures, and pray to a god which appears in the mirror image of each, and bow down to their prophet or savior, which appears as the mirror image of each, and go to their houses of worship, and pay respect to their clergy, each an image of the other, yet neither comprehending their own reflections.Religious heritage is provided by the previous generation, and what people may inherit at any given time in history, and at any given location upon the earth, is merely a setting, where the formation of an inner will comes into being, and operates to motivate their personalities, and that this setting is very different from place to place and from epoch to epoch, and is based on many, many things that have only a virtual existence, or said another way, have no existence at all, other than as markers, and interpretive categorizations within our own minds.If you believe in God, and if you are a Christian, you cannot believe that any person “set” on this earth, within the “setting” of their birth can be any more or less favored by God, merely by the “accident” of their birth. And therefore, to assert and assume the superiority of one religious truth over another is absurd and silly; Such beliefs can be quickly dismissed. I do not believe that all religious truths are the same, and I do not believe that “many paths lead to the summit of the mountain.” I believe that all of the “operational” or “proximate” experiences of human beings are coarse and unreliable when it comes to knowledge and knowing, and that there is an aesthetic of knowledge which some people seek, but which they may only occasionally glimpse but never fully realize, and that there is the contrasting hum-drum surface experience of everyday things, which we all come to know not very well, but “well enough,” which includes church, and Bible-study, and different kinds of religious rituals and practices, and yes, even praying to an unknowable God which is, yet somehow, imagined, in order to regard as the object of thought and contemplation, this hum-drum world of ours which we do not know well, with its multiplication of reflected images, through the eyes of millions, that make such complicated and cacophonous variations to everything that we perceive.

  • sparrow4

    You realize drrock, that France is a very catholic country. their conclusions are hardly surprising in view of that. As for this country, there has been research, and it has shown children in gay families do fine. I happen to know several such families and their kids seem far more well-adjusted than I am sure yours are.

  • djmolter

    I seems as if the Mormons and the Jews here each think that there’ll be some collosal lineup on Judgment Day when God tallies up souls and then hands out the classy parts of heaven to who was the best recruiter. But the real question is, if the Jews don’t believe that the Messiah has come, why bother getting yourself all bent out of shape over this? I’ve seen this “soul tallying” thing too often in some churches. One evangelical church I used to attend had as its motto: “One more for Jesus.” They were more worried about dragging in new people each week through a series of secular events at which they could attempt conversions than in actually putting the money they had to better use by applying it to social service projects. If we’re all equal in the eyes of God, who’s counting?

  • DrRock

    Daniel:You said:LDS long to participate in the blessings of the temple. Why? Because at the center is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ conquered death – meaning death no longer, by itself, can separate souls from the blessings of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. These blessings are accepted by choice and are received by covenant – either in life or after death.Mormons do not believe in the traditional view of the transcendent world of “outside space and time” – such appeals to the primacy of consciousness, which is a philosophical error.Everything in Mormonism is rooted in reality and occurs inside the realm of matter and energy.The Biblical witness of Jesus Christ is that his soul or spirit energy re-entered his animated flesh and bone body and became a complete living soul – his body becoming perfected to exist materially anywhere in the universe free from the decay and influences therein.The Book of Mormon is also another witness that Jesus Christ was LITERALLY and MATERIALLY resurrected.The blessings of the temple are covenants that preserve relationships beyond death. We only can take our knowledge and our relationships with us beyond death.With the Temple, there is no marriage beyond death. Without eternal marriage, there is no formal organization of the family beyond death. Without the family, souls do not experience a fullness of joy beyond death.Participating in Temple ordinances is being a part of bring the blessings of the atonement of Jesus Christ to millions who did not receive the opportunity while living – THAT one of the sweetest joys of all.

  • DrRock

    Daniel:You are wholly incompetent to try and explain anything about Mormonism. So far, you’ve gotten everything wrong.But out of curiosity, if Mormonism isn’t the way back to God, what is? Which faith is the way?

  • sparrow4

    coloradodog- rest assured, the Mormons won’t be anywhere near. We are confining them to a small area of the afterlife- I hope they won’t find it too hot.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    For Dr. RockMore of what I believe:The God of the Bible and the God of my Christian upbringing does not seem plausible. I doubt. I doubt the proof of God, that “he” must simply “be.” And I doubt the simple-minded concept of God, as a superior, human-like being. Yet I can see how many people might fall into this habit of viewing God. We only have our experiences of this world in which we dwell to characterize any conceivable phenomenon; so, when we think of God, it is by way or our very small and limited conceptual abilities. Yet, in my mind, I have a wordless conception of God.We have our five senses: our senses soak up information from the physical world which cradles us, and in which we dwell. This information flows from our senses into a vast and complex processing center in our brains, and it undergoes automatic and autonomic analysis in a sort of “common sense” information processor of which we have no awareness and over which we have no control. It all just “happens.” This information processor produces our consciousness of a seamless and complete world, the world in which we dwell. I am a thing in the world; I am a manufactured product complete and ready made; I am a sensual animal; I am a thinking and intelligent being; these characterizations describe what I am; this is what we all are.Perhaps there is some kind of Providence operating in the world, that is the conveyor of perceived phenomena, and of sensory perception, and of conscious impressions of the world. I feel comfortable with this Providence, to which I can attribute few characteristics, except that it may be some sort of motivating influence that operates in the world. I cannot describe it any more than that.Providence is what makes “up” up and “down” down. By Providence, we feel joy and sadness, each together, in contrast, and cannot know either without the other. We are aware of pain and pleasure, repose and struggle, light and darkness only because of their contrasting natures. By this Providence and the way it works and operates, and by our simple existence as part of it, we must suffer; suffering is a part of Providence. I do not believe that God has made a world of suffering. Rather, by Providence, we dwell in a world of contrasting experience, and only by this contrasting nature of experience can we experience anything at all.Providence has brought us forth into a ready-made world. Suffering is a part of this Providential package. We must take it, or leave it. Only we do not even have that choice; we must take it. Part of this Providence we may enjoy; part of it we must endure with grit and existential nerve.What of all the many manifestations of religion on a human scale? I call all of this the “setting,” or perhaps, the “stage.” We are free to work out the details of belief, or not, in each setting, on each stage, according to the contingencies of our lives, which Providence delivers to us. We are all bound to reach different conclusions.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:France is a very Catholic country? The commission was comprised of sociologists who studied the effects of the reforms on children and found that children’s rights are more important to the family than the sexual preferences of adults.You said:“So long as they don’t try to inflict it on those who don’t believe the same way, I don’t care. they can worship gerbils for all I care. But when a church actively goes out of its way to inflict its beliefs on the public arena- I expect them to be held accountable and made to stop.”Fundamental Christians can argue then that homosexuals are inflicting their beliefs on them when they see them holding hands or kissing in public. So, in your own words and by your own standards, fundamental Christians can “expect the government to stop them from inflicting their beliefs on others (holding hands and kissing in public) and that it can hold homosexuals accountable and make them stop.”

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr RockI do not believe your story about France. I looked it up. This report that you mentioned was a “recommendation” the the French National Assembly to maintain bans on gay marriage. In fact, there is a gigantic uproar in France just as there is here, and everywhere, over the emergeing rights of gay people. It is definitely not settled in France anymore than it is settled here. Your reporting on this matter was disingenuous and for all practical purposes, false. Are you a Republican, by any chance?And also, by the way, gay marraige conducted in another country is recognized in France as a legal marriage.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow:The LDS practice of polygamy was discontinued over 100 years ago. But, I suppose you’d also criticize father Abraham and Jacob, prophets from the Bible, too? Jacob had 4 wives, and 12 sons, who became the 12 tribes of Israel. The House of Israel was a polygamous house. About Joseph Smith, obviously the only thing you know about him was that he was a polygamist – but know nothing about this writings or the philosophical dilemmas he solved in Christianity, through the revelations he received from God the Father and Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Ghost.About gay marriage – I think it’s a cruel trick. Today, there is a popular notion that homosexuals should be paired in marriage but it serves no natural purpose in the human species – in this life or the next.Sure, I am tolerant of the idea, I understand that homosexuals want to “celebrate” their love for each other, but marriage cannot guarantee love will last. They are trying to mimic the union that exists between a man and a woman.They say they are different than heterosexuals. but then they claim they want to be “joined” like them. This makes no natural sense at all when we consider the natural identities of a male and a female.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr RockAs a rule, gay people do not hold hands or kiss in public. Where do you hang out? You are becoming ruder and meaner as we go.You act like it is gay people who pick on straight people, when, it is the other way around.Straight people kiss and hold hands in public. You will never see gay people do that, unless you are in a gay bar, or a gay neighborhood. Tell me, where have you observed this offensive behavior? It is starting to look, more and more, like you have an unhealthy osbseseive interest in homosexulity, the mystique of gay sex, and the gay “lifestyle.”

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    When the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, as a real and physical presence, he showed Joseph Smith the place on a hill in Western New York state, I believe. I believe the spot was called “Kamora.” And when Joseph Smith dug up the golden plates, he found that they were inscribed in some sort of strange writing which he did not understand. But through a series of meetings with the Angel Morni, Joseph Smith came into the possesion of “magic” translation stones, which some how translated the writing, or by some mechanism which Smith did not understand, made the writing understandable to Joseph Smith. And so, he undertook to translate the golden plates, and wrote out a draft of the Book of Mormon. When he had completed his translation of the golden plates, the Angel Moroni appeared one last time, and took the plates back to Heaven with him. So, there went the evidence. I had always asked my Mormon friends about these golden plates, and might I go to the museum where they were kept, so I could see them. But then, they finally admitted, the Angel took them away, and they no longer exist on Earth.The Book of Mormon is patterned on the King James version of what Christians call the Old Testament. There is nothing in it particularly innovative or necesssary for anyone’s spiritual well-being.It is the story of one of the tribes of Israel that made their way to America. They are the progenitors of the aboriginal Americans, that we call Indians. It is a saga of these people and how they split into contending warring nations, and how Jesus Christ came to these people like he came to Palestine, and so it goes on and on, in this way.I never liked to discuss religion or belief with a Mormon because it is a bottomless pit of this stuff, on and on, without end; it is immensely complex and expansive in scope and ambition to describe every minutia of existence. And whenever you have a criticism or complaint, they always, always reply by saying that you are not qualified to comment on things that you do not understand. This religion has nothing to do with anything that I would ever believe. So it is galling that these people look down on non-Mormons and would dictate about morality in a world that they could not possibly understand in a million years.

  • sparrow4

    “Participating in Temple ordinances is being a part of bring the blessings of the atonement of Jesus Christ to millions who did not receive the opportunity while living – THAT one of the sweetest joys of all.”Yes- that’s your faith, you’re entitled to it, keep it. I don’t believe in Jesus and don’t need or want you to decide I need another shot at being turned even after I’m dead. How presumptuous of you. How conceited. How asinine. For my part I believe Joseph Smith suffered from several psychological and social diseases that led him to believe in polygamy and Moroni. Although I really do think the problem was he just couldn’t keep it in his pants.I believe that his followers should be dug up and reburied in special internment camps for the dead, where they can decide if they would like to be burned on their relatives’ front lawns. That would be a kind of Viking warrior burial rite. If they want to sail off to join Odin, at least they now have that “choice.”Think I’m being rude and intolerant of the Mormons? No! I am practicing my freedom of religion and speech. How about that.

  • DrRock

    Daniel:The findings of the commissions sent to the countries with gay marriage, are published and you can read the report.The prohibitions that I listed are the LAW in France, uproar aside.There is an uproar in California, but gay marriage is illegal.About gays kissing or holding hands in public, go back to my post TO SPARROW, as I said that people taking offense at it, doesn’t mean that they get to stop it.Hurt feelings isn’t the basis for changing laws – an appeal to emotion.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    DrRockI am not trying to change your beliefs. I know that you cannot comprehend how you appear to others, how your religion offends others and how your beliefs appear intolerant to others. When people say that your religion insults them, your reply is that you don’t care. So, what else is there to say? Go aheaed and excercise your freedom of religion. Why should I tell you what I believe? I know you would not understand, and I know you would not care. My only purpose here is go delivier a little “push-back.” When Mormons push so hard, why be shocked or suprised that there would be a push-back?

  • gogmu012

    As a recovering Mormon, a non believer from the age of twelve when I realized it was a bunch of hogwash, here’s my two cents.I always viewed the Baptism for the Dead as well, Gross. I remember indoctrination films to the contrary, how it was a duty to bring all relatives together in the after life. What BS!My mother went through the temple marriage ceremony and had to promise to let my father or church elders gut her with an Oxen horn if she strayed from “The Church”. Luckily, it was my dad who came to his senses first and left (only to get sucked back in after twenty years). I remember going to his re-baptism ceremony. He looked like a convict going to the electric chair. I wanted to shout out “dad don’t do it”. But alas, it was too late.Mormonism is a cult. The presidency is stirring up a big ol’ batch of Kool-Aid for ya all. All I have left to say is DRINK UP.

  • sparrow4

    “Fundamental Christians can argue then that homosexuals are inflicting their beliefs on them when they see them holding hands or kissing in public.”that is the height of ridicuoous. Homosexuals have as much right to hold hands in PUBLIC (ther’s are son it called “public”) or kiss as heteros. If you’re offending you can close your eyes. If they go into a fundamentalist church and do so, then fundamentalists have every right to complain. But in the public square- no leg to stand on. There’s a difference between what you are allowe to do in public and in private. In public everyone has the same rights. If you don’t like seeing men holding hands, go home and lock your door. In brooklyn the orthodox Jews want to prevent women wearing shorts from riding through their neighborhoods. No leg to stand on. My taxes pay for those streets, and last I heard it is still a free country. However, if a woman so dressed went into a synagogue, they have every right to make her leave. Hopefuly you understand the difference. If not, you need to take a course on American history.

  • lrcinv

    If you’ve ever spent any time in and around a Mormon dominated community you’d understand. They are all allready dead, the living dead, it’s like the sci-fi movies, zombie clones created from cupcake pans with no room or tolerence for individuality. The energy in places occupied primarily by Mormons is so oppressive and dense that it can cause depression within minutes of entering the bubble protected world they live in. A very important point to remember is this! More than 90% of Mormons voted for w. bush in both elections. Mormon is their religion, intolerance is their creed!Always be aware that taking you soul, if that is possible, is right down their alley. Also be careful, if they do take your soul, they will be tithing you no matter where you end up. Sleep Tight and hope that it’s only the bed bugs that bite!

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    To Jennifer8I would suggest that you learn to live with it. Mormons are here, they are aggressive, and they are unreasonable. They say they promote family and family values, but their proselytizing often breaks up families, causing estrangement within marriages and other kinds of family rifts, such as you have described. They do not care; your family rift that they have caused is not their problem. I am sure that their solution to any such family rift or estrangement would be for all the rest of the family to become Mormon, too. As a practical matter, you are not going to be able to do anything to resolve this mess they have dumped on you, nor to resolve it to your family’s satisfaction. All you can do is reserve this experience in your heart and repeat it to others as a cautionary tale of Mormon shenanigans and uninvited inerference in other people’s lives. After all, as they have said, “freedom of speech;” use it.

  • rlgrennie1

    I do not expect anyone who is not Jewish to comprehend the severity of what the Mormons do with their “geneological” lists, but suffice it to say it is highly offensive to us. One fourth of my family was murdered because they were practicing Jews which means they died for their religious beliefs and no one has the right to denigrate them or their memory as the Mormons have done. They were asked to stop this practice in 1995, and at that time they said they had done so, and then all of the half million names who they claim to have expunged from their lists have reemerged on that list recently. Time to have the IRS revoke their religion exemption as they have obviously moved from proselytzing which is offensive enough to politics. Whether they are harassing us or gays who want to live together they should be fought. I used to work with a Mormon from Utah. He explained to me that they believe their “holy book” is buried someplace in upstate New York and yet they live in Utah because they were kicked out of every other place due to their former polygamist ways. They are not true Christians they are more like cultists who have seen “visions”. I wish they could see the image of my middle finger whenever I find my deceased relatives’ names on their lists.

  • DrRock

    Sparrow & Jennifer:Consider what Krister Stendahl, Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden, and Dean of Divinity Emeritus, Harvard University said:“In a world where we finally have learned what I call the “holy envy”, it’s a beautiful thing; I could think of myself as taking part in such an act [baptism for the dead], extending the blessings that have come to me in and through Jesus Christ. That’s generous, that’s beautiful, and should not be ridiculed or spoken badly of.”A highly educated Harvard professor calls this practice “beautiful”, “generous, and “should not be ridiculed or spoken badly of”.Why is your assessment so different from his view?What does he see that you do not?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    DrRockMy beliefs are superior to yours. Therefore, you ought to abandon your beliefs and your church, so that you would be a better and happier person. I know that you do not like me to say these things, but it is for your own good; it is called “tuff luv.”

  • DrRock

    Daniel:I respect your right to believe that (although, I presume you’re acting facetiously), but I respectfully disagree.We can disagree without resorting to personal attacks, unfounded insults, and manipulative tactics. Wouldn’t you agree?I suppose what this comes down to is “harm.” I still haven’t heard how this practice causes anyone harm. Sure, Jews may be against it, but that feeling lies within the description of “being another religion and believing other religions are wrong.” It doesn’t necessarily indicate that my beliefs are harmful to others.Perhaps Sparrow can explain how the LDS belief of the afterlife causes harm to others.If the LDS Church was baptizing everyone to remain Jewish or Catholic, would the ritual be unethical, harmful or illegal?

  • lepidopteryx

    DITLD:

  • cstation

    Oh come on people. While I’ve never been a fan of the Mormon faith, most of its followers are well meaning people. And quite frankly, I’ll take any help I can get getting into Heaven. And if the practice can’t get you through the pearly gates – which I kind of suspect – there are far more important things in this world to get upset about.

  • thomasberg1

    Christopher Hitchens must have secretly sponsored this column to gather even more empircal evidence for his thesis that religion poisens everything. If so, he suceeded.

  • jennifer8

    DrRock,If you have read all my comments on this blog you would clearly see that I am not “ridiculing” the practice.I’ll say it again. It’s great the the Mormons or any religious group for that matter feel the need to bless the dead. My family welcomes and embraces this! It is indeed, a loving, beautiful thing. However, posthumously baptizing people into your church against their will and entering their names into Mormon genealogical databases without their consent crosses a line in a very profound and disturbing way.This makes me very uncomfortable and has caused friction on our family. The expressed solution from my cousin was, indeed, “you should all just become Mormons and then this won’t be a problem.”This is where I draw the line.Go ahead, say a prayer for me upon my death. Utter a blessing for my soul in the afterlife. Who couldn’t use more blessings, right?But, please. I implore the Mormon/LDS church to do this in a purely SYMBOLIC way.Please. No baptism into your church. No databases. No lists. No family intrusion.Posthumous baptism and the associated LDS genealogical record-keeping accompanying it crosses the moral, legal, and ethical line.It shows the utmost disrespect for the dead, the beliefs of others, and the diversity of humanity in general.

  • Skowronek

    “Baptism for the dead is akin to saying a prayer for the deceased and hoping that they will accept Jesus Christ’s covenant in the afterlife, after they have been invited there.”If that is the case, then there’s no need to write anyone’s name in any sort of list, is there? Unless you write down every prayer uttered, and for whom. If it’s not “that important” to a member of LDS, then when asked by the relatives of a dead person to remove their name, it would be done without any fuss, wouldn’t it?Or to look at it another way, would you be upset if you discovered that the Catholic church, or the local synagogue had your grandparents listed in the roles as posthumously granted membership? If someone had lived their whole life as LDS, what are you willing to bet they’d likely be peeved to be claimed as the property of another faith? It’s rude, regardless of what someone may or may not have professed to believe while alive. It’s also revisionism. Living people get to define who they are, after they are dead certain things are not supposed to change. One’s religion, or lack thereof, for example.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dr RockI’m serious, as serious as your missionaries, whom I have entertained in my home many times.My beliefs are better than yours; they make more sense; they are more plausible; and I am sure that the quality of your life would be ultimately improved if you would abandon Mormonism, and go with someething better.

  • uncldave

    If the Catholic Church is going to get into politics despite the constitutional separation of church and state they should forfeit their tax free status and put their money where their mouth is.

  • towkes

    Religion is nuts.

  • sparrow4

    “Your vitriolic rants are not going to persuade Mormons to stop baptizing Jews after they are dead. They certainly haven’t persuaded me in the least. Ranting and raving about something harmless to others is very suspicious.”but drrock- nothing convinces you, and i have given plenty of reasons why it is not right. But since you put it down to ranting and raving and a pity party for the mormons, I tend to doubt anything would convince you.Claiming the baptism is like a prayer is disingenuous – you and I and everyone else know that’s untrue. a prayer would be fine- what you’re doing, supposedly in their name is basically performing a christian rite which only converts FROM Judaism would ever submit to. Please don’t try throw up a smokescreen. at least have the decency (if you can scare some up) to be honest about it.I think its a hoot for you to claim I’m a religious bigot when your whole intent is to preempt the faith of others and while it may not be unconstitutional, it shows the complete disdain for others that the Mormons have. Now THAT’S real religious bigotry. The fact that you feel you can rewrite the historical record of someone’s life to suit your own purposes? I wouldn’t expect to be able to convince you. You’re far too smug and self-satisfied, your faith is far too arrogant to deign to listen to anyone.I have had many christian friends who have prayed for me in times of need, and have prayed at the funerals of family members. I would never ever be insulted by that. You are doing more than offering a prayer- you are taking names and performing a ritual- baptism-, and associating it with them. That is a big difference than an offering of care or good wishes. You know. I know it. And seeing as I am not the only one upset by this, you would think you have a clue. But you don’t. You think I’m disrespectful of your faith- you are doing something that is offensive to mine. You still insist on continuing, despite knowing this because after all, it’s your faith. How or why should I respect you for that?

  • sparrow4

    ” I still haven’t heard how this practice causes anyone harm. Sure, Jews may be against it, but that feeling lies within the description of “being another religion and believing other religions are wrong.” It doesn’t necessarily indicate that my beliefs are harmful to others.Perhaps Sparrow can explain how the LDS belief of the afterlife causes harm to others.”You have no empathy for other people and you can’t relate to the psychological pain you are inflicting. Other than ignoring others religious beliefs, and rewriting their life stories, it upsets the families. what is it that you don’t get? You made it personal by gathering names. You disrespect other faiths by imposing your own on those names, you blow off their families and put it down to it’s just because we think other religions are wrong. And lets not even mention the harm down to interfaith understanding- you seem not to care much about that either.so it seems it’s not that I haven’t indicated what harm there is, its that you choose to ignore what we are saying. And you wonder why I am angry?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    lepidopteryx When those white shirts, name tags, and bicycles come up my path, I cannot help but feel empathy for them because I feel that they are being exploited by “the system,” meaning “the Church.”Like I said, they are babes in the woods. They don’t know anything, and I mean ANYTHING. (Oh well, I have met one or two who were not totally clueless). Even though they are mostly 19 or 20, when I engage them in conversation, I feel like they are little boys about 12 years old.So, they did not engineer this excellent adventure to come and knock on your door; they are sent by their families, under instruction and orders of the church; many of them are unwilling, but pressured into fulfiliing what their familis perceive to be an important obligation.They are so naive and blank about the world outside of Utah, and yet they have this unbelievably fantastic repetorie of stories about their religion, a synthesis of Greek Gods on Mount Olympus, Egyptian veneration of the dead, and Hindu reincarnation in a succession of higher and higher levels of existence; it is mindblowing; instead of greeting them at the door nude (I shudder at the trauma, remember they are mentally about 12 years old), why don’t you invite them back for dinner, and serve them meatloaf, and get them to regale you with tales of the lost tribes of America. Mormons are definitely very, very strange people.

  • ParkerD1

    Sparrow4,Why does it fly in the face of your powers of reason to hear of a religion that actually answers such a charge reasonably (even though it is against your sensibilities since you appear to think people can’t make different decisions after they die than they made during this life, as though they’re locked into the positions and attitudes they had during this life despite having limited perspectives and experience)?You don’t have to answer. You could think about it, though. Peace to you.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dear SparrowYou just used EXACTLY the right word to describe what Mormons do to other relgiions; they seek to “PREEMPT” them.All of this anti-Mormon sentiment, going all the way back to the murder of Joseph Smith, did not just pop up out of thin air; it is a reaction to the way in which Mormons regard non-Mormon people.Joseph Smith was dragged from a jail cell and murdered by a mob. But what was he doing in jail, and why was there an angry mob? Because Joseph Smith had destroyed a newspaper printing press, in retaliation for anti-Mormon stories that the newspaper had printed.So it continues down to this day. Mormons are very, very pushy, indeed. Why would they be so suprised when there is a push-back?

  • bobsewell

    I’m reasonably certain that someone out there is entering all of our WashPost comment “handles” into a database of those who have been touched by the Noodly Appendage of the FSM. Don’t you feel offended & threatened? I certainly do. Perhaps we should call the police & lawyers, because this must be illegal and/or tortious.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    ParkerD1The answer to your question is one that Mormons have invented, without having any reason at all for believing that baptism of the dead has any meaning for God. Why not just let God take care of this matter? That is also a plausible way to look at it, isn’t it?There are many questions in life that are a mystery and will remain a mystery. That Mormons have answers to all these mysteries does not prove anything to me, nor to anyone. Just inventing a system of belief out of thin air is not proof. Having a leader of your church who speaks directly to God gives Mormons a sense of knowledge and security which is unfounded, but it does not advance humankind one single inch.Because you have a curious and interesting argument does not prove anything. That is a Mormon habit that is a little tiresome.Some of the customs of the Mormon Church are politically hostile and intrusive to other groups. Fine. You are not going to change. Fine. But don’t expect harmony with non-Mormons whom you may be called upon from time to time to interact with, because there will be none.

  • sparrow4

    parkerd1- It doesn’t fly in the face of my powers of reason and I accept the right of Mormons to believe this. I accept their right to make a decision regarding what they choose and how they can best approach G-d. If you re agnostic or atheist, I believe you have the right to approach the world from that standpoint, and there is nothing wrong with it. And because I accept the right for you to choose, I expect the same of you. Without that, nothing works. I would not dream of taking your religion away from you, so how do you presume to speak for me or my family?You can’t seem to accept that not everyone believes as you do, nor do they believe in Jesus. This is the choice they made for themselves. Forced baptism, to Jews is blasphemous- it smacks of hiding in closets during the Inquisitions and attics in Nazi Germany. If you had any idea of Jewish history, you would know why what you are doing is so abhorrent. It has nothing to do with what I believe about the afterlife. It has to do with how religions perceive each other and the extent to which they will try to impose their will on others. It has to do with truth, and honoring the memory of your ancestors. I don’t see where that’s so hard to understand.But then Jews are raised to believe that someone who truly wants to convert will come to us. We don’t go out looking to convince people to become Jews.

  • ParkerD1

    Hi, Daniel,There are hundreds or perhaps thousands of personal stories of people who are just as clear-headed as you are who have seen spirits (some related to them, some not) who have asked them to do their baptism for them. These are independent witnesses.You might read the Book of Daniel about pushing stones up mountains (spiritually speaking). You may push all you like. Enjoy the exercise.’Hope you’re doing well, kind sir.

  • ParkerD1

    Sparrow4,I regard the Jews as still a covenant people. No doubt you have a right to be offended if you think Mormons are forcing their religion on people–but that would be exactly opposite to what is intended. The intent is free exercise of choices with full knowledge and understanding of what those choices are. Many no doubt say, “no thank you.”Daniel ITLD wrote about Deity “working these things out,” but what if Deity has a plan that in essence says He will not do for mankind what mankind can do for themselves–in fact the growth that brings is the very essence of the plan.No one should feel forced, pushed, cooerced, threatened, even cajoled into believing or not believing a certain way about religion or any other topic in life. But we might as well make the choices we make with as much knowledge about it as we can get–and may that be accurate knowledge (which can be hard to get in the blog world).Again, peace to you, sincerely.

  • jennifer8

    DrRock wrote:”I suppose what this comes down to is “harm.” I still haven’t heard how this practice causes anyone harm. Sure, Jews may be against it, but that feeling lies within the description of “being another religion and believing other religions are wrong.” It doesn’t necessarily indicate that my beliefs are harmful to others.”DrRock,I’m not Jewish, but I am with my Jewish friends, neighbors and colleagues 100% on this issue.It’s not the beliefs of the LDS church in the case of posthumous baptisms that are harmful to others. It’s the actions.Here are just a few examples:1) It is wrong to psychologically abuse peopleThe LDS genealogical databases and written public Internet records denude Jewish Holocaust victims of their religious identity and replace it with that of the LDS. These people have already been killed physically because of their religion. Mormon posthumous baptism kills them again – spiritually this time.Survivors of the Holocaust and their families should not have to endure the psychological torture that seeing their family members names in your convert database inflicts.2) It is wrong to deny groups and individuals of their civil and First Amendment rightsMy grandmother and I have the right to be free of your religion, just as you have a right to practice your religion free of influence from me. Now, you might say that posthumous baptism is just a harmless sacred rite that your religion compels you to practice.The supposed harmlessness and mere symbolism of the rite becomes harmful and literal when our names – our posthumous identities – become part and parcel of and intimately tied to the LDS church.The Mormons continue to tie people publicly to their religion without consent. This is a violation of civil and First Amendment rights.3) The LDS church is harming itself by continuing this practiceThe particular controversy over the non-removal of Holocaust victims’ names from the posthumous baptism databases merely enforces the notion that the LDS church is dishonest, intolerant, and continues to behave in a devious manner.If the LDS church was interested in gaining more good will, becoming a more ‘mainstream religion,” in being a good citizen of the world it would recognize that this is doing more harm than good.

  • sparrow4

    Thank you for your answer, parked1.I doubt we will come to an agreement on this issue but it is nice to have a discussion on everyone’s terms, not just those of the Mormons. You wrote:”Daniel ITLD wrote about Deity “working these things out,” but what if Deity has a plan that in essence says He will not do for mankind what mankind can do for themselves–in fact the growth that brings is the very essence of the plan.”And I would ask you, why would you try to second guess G-d? All religions claim to know what G-d wants- I believe that it’s impossible ofr us to know that. If you believe G-d is a vast mystery, how do our brains even encompass Him? The force that is capable of creating the universe is so far beyond us that I find it impossible to understand how anyone even claims to speak the word of G-d. Just as when 100 people look at a tree and give you a 100 different descriptions, why should there be one path to g-d? People are different, their brains process things differently, their life experiences are different, their emotions are different. If one person believes in Buddha, and another in Jesus, what difference if they both lead good lives and come to understand G-d in their respective ways? Understanding is different from one person to another but when you say G-d, the concept is universal. So if there is that universal understanding, why should you care how they got to that? How do we presume to know what G-d wants? How many people have claimed to have G-d personally tell them one thing and then another? Jews don’t claim that only Jews will get to Heaven, or to speak for G-d. We concentrate on how to live good lives in this world, and let G-d sort out where we’ll be in the next. there is no believe as I do or you’ll burn in hell.It is the antithesis of what you believe, and what you’re doing is really a way of saying it doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe, or how you lived your life. we’re making this decision for you. when you come from a people who have spent 2000 years dying to live as Jews, it’s an insult to ignore it. It goes against the truth of our lives and against the grain. I can’t make it plainer than that. Your church claims to be making a decision to save their souls by baptizing them so they can accept Christ if they so wish. we believe by living good lives, they’ve already been saved. what you’re essentially saying is Judaism, Catholicism, and every other religion have no validity. while it may not be unconstitutional, i wouldn’t call it moral or ethical either.

  • bobsewell

    You know, many of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust might well object to having their names listed in museums and memorials, for the entertainment of those who wish to “remember”. But they don’t get to choose, and it isn’t generally thought their their rights are being violated. Just because many people don’t think of THAT use of their names as particularly intrusive because it’s well-intended, doesn’t mean that they would agree, if consulted.

  • ParkerD1

    Sparrow4,You wrote about ethics. Suppose someone discovered the “fountain of youth” and then hoarded it for themselves. Would that be ethical? Suppose someone discovered a diet that absolutely protected against cancer, 100% of the time, and then kept that knowledge to themselves. Would that be ethical and moral? These are complex issues.I think the Mormon Church is doing its very best to abide by the agreement it made about the Holocaust names.By the way, if the shoes were reversed, I would appreciate if some religion that believed in Divine authority as an important element of truth, told me they were going to take down my name because they cared about me, and spend three hours doing something for me after I die, again because they cared about me, saying, “it will be up to you whether you care at all in the hereafter about that act of caring by people who love and respect you and what you did in your life.” I feel that way about it, whether it were a Jewish act or a Catholic or Protestant act out of the goodness of their hearts, however misguided I might think they were in their set of beliefs. I would think, “thanks for caring about me and thinking I deserve the ‘opportunities’ in the hereafter as you.”

  • yishai_613

    Call me a contrarian, but as a religious Jew, I don’t care what the Mormons do. From a Jewish perspective, it means nothing. Maybe the non-religious Jews who aren’t confident in their own identity as Jews feel threatened, but I don’t.If the non-religious Jews would strengthen their own connection to their traditions, their law, their customs, their nation, and their history, then they would also probably worry [email protected]====

  • sparrow4

    Oddly, parkerD1, I agree with that last. and if it were just a matter of offering a prayer for them, it would be a lovely gesture. Its the baptism ritual that ruins it. Baptism is a ritual fraught with religious and historical meaning. it’s a ritual that inducts someone into a church, and makes them part of it. I watched my closest friend, a born-again Christian, get baptized and it was a wonderful, meaningful fulfillment of her journey, one she took upon herself to travel. baptism was a commitment to her church and Christ, as well as a public expression of it. It’s a sacred vow for Christians. To proxi-baptize a Jew, though they are dead, is not a beneficial prayer for their souls to the family. It’s making them something they are not, and never wanted to be. It horrifies us- not for what it is to you, but because of what it means to us. You’ve set aside human compassion for religious compassion – you set aside caring for dogma. I don’t know that you will see the difference and al I can reiterate is that if you really respect my and other faiths, and you understand this is something that offends them deeply, you’ll accept it and as Daniel says, let G-d sort it out. I’ll stand by my choices in front of G-d, that’s free will.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Parker said:”There are hundreds or perhaps thousands of personal stories of people who are just as clear-headed as you are who have seen spirits (some related to them, some not) who have asked them to do their baptism for them. These are independent witnesses.”This statement is simply not true. If this statement were true, these events would be on the headlines of the New York Times, and cover round the clock on Cable news channels. This is simply made up. God’s actions or judegments would hardly be held up or blocked simpley because Mormons had not completed all the paper work on the souls of people unrelated to them and whom they have never meant. This is silly childishness. There is a real world with real problems, and this nonsense does not help.It is a regimented, top-down orthodoxy based on psychological intimidation, and all of the many facets of proselytizing, including baptism of the dead, is a mean spirited show of political hostility towards other groups, and a dare to them to do something about it.

  • jhbyer

    “To their credit, LDS leaders realize their practice can be offensive to non-Mormons.”????Why credit them for knowingly offending? On the contrary, had they NOT realized, that would mitigate.Respectfully, Mr. Waters is placing more value on thoughts than deeds, a problem common to religion.

  • DrS1

    As I read through the responses to this article late last night, I couldn’t help thinking, “these responses are telling me much more about the authors than about the topic. It is telling me about the choices that people make when they are confronted with something they don’t know or can’t control.” Some folks chose to react to a concept they didn’t understand with anger, others with fear, several documented their lack of knowledge on the subject, some were deeply offended, others picked fights, some expressed a version of “I don’t know and I don’t care,” some vented off on other subjects and a few gave a variation of Ok, I don’t unserstand, but I think they are trying to do something good for people they don’t even know. Each person chose their reaction. Each person chose to learn or limit their own experience.

  • coloradodog

    Mormons call all non-Mormons “gentiles” I remember the shock and gossip in my elementary school in Ogden when it was discovered a very handsome, popular and athletic boy was a Jew.Jewish converts to Mormonism are a special prize because of their heritage – maybe that’s why they are off cherry-picking them from the hereafter.

  • Comunista

    From a practical standpoint, I could care less, because they’re doing a silly, after-the-fact action on people who couldn’t possibly be affected by it (whether you’re atheist and don’t believe in that stuff, or if you’re ANY other religion and don’t put an ounce of truth into that Mormon belief). However, I can see how living religious people, who care about deceased loved ones who were religious, or care about how they’ll be documented for the future, could be pretty offended by this. As a Catholic, I don’t really want to be on their registry, even though I don’t believe their registry has any worth outside this life whatsoever. I also find it grossly inaccurate and really self-serving to posthumously add the likes of popes, saints, and other non-Mormon religious honored. OK, so it’s their personally-held belief that they can somehow justifiably do that. It just seems like a wishy-washy belief that it doesn’t really matter what they did or were in life; now that they’re long gone onto the next plane of existence (whatever that may be), somehow this can change at once and ‘save’ them. Another reason I’m not a member of the Church of LDS.

  • sparrow4

    DrS1- that was very beautiful but I would like to point out one difference. I’ve pointed it out before but those of you who are Mormon have ignored the points I was making- leading to greater frustration for me, and other, and of course to anger.Offering a prayer to G-d is my way of speaking to Him- I offer a prayer from within my religion and my experience. I certainly can’t offer a catholic prayer or a baptist prayer or a buddhist prayer- I am none of those things. But in no way does a prayer for your well-being involve a ritual or assumes you are not a baptized whatever in my synagogue. In no way does my prayer say that I am “offering you a choice to see things my way or burn in the afterlife.” I am not assoicating you with my religion- I am only asking in my way that G-d give you mercy.This is very different than taking the names of the dead, incorporating them into a Mormon church database and baptizing them. You have now then created a false public record for that person that goes against everything the person was in life. You induct them into your Church without permission. You are stripping the head of all they have left- the memory of who they were in life. None of you seem to understand that this is wrong- it is not an act of loving kindness. the practice has been condemned by the Armenian Church, the RCC, the Russian Orthodox Church- no one wants it. that’s it. I can see it’s useless to get Mormons to understand what they are doing or why it matters. They want understanding of who they are, they claim to be misunderstood. Frankly, the misunderstanding is all on your heads. You started it, you perpetuate it, and then you’re surprised when someone pushes back. DrS1, If you really respected all your friends who offered their prayers, you would also accept what they believe. You can’t expect understanding and respect without offering it too.

  • coloradodog

    Mormons and other hateful fundamentalists are AFRAID of the fact that they have gays among themselves. They want to deny it, oppress it and, in the case of the Mormons, even torture their gays with electro-shock to “cure” them. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting political anti-gay initiatives while deceitfully claiming tax free status as a “religion” . They are so insecure in their own sexuality that they are afraid their gays are a threat to their own marriage vows. Like other homophobes, if they were secure in their own sexuality and vows, gays would not threaten them.A multitude of Reverend Haggards and Larry Craigs lashing out at others because of their own fears and because scapegoating and hating others has always been the most effective religious and political tool to control the mindless masses. Ask Hitler or Karl Rove (except for this election when joe-six-pack finally figured it out)

  • bobsewell

    sparrow4 – I’ve got no horse in this race, but you seem to asserting that you are somehow at fault here, for not making yourself understood. I don’t believe that is the case. I think that you are perfectly well understood, but that others don’t necessarily assign the same importance to your feelings that you do. This is not entirely unexpected, even to you, I suspect.

  • jennifer8

    DRS1 wrote:”I don’t expect everyone who not of my faith to understand our ways. I do understand that when an organization combines symbolism and limits admission to members-only, imaginations are likely to soar…Yes, there are many misunderstandings of the temple, but each of us makes choices.You and your ancestors are given the choice to reciprocate or not. It is your choice.”DRS1, There may be some misunderstandings here about what “choice” means.The LDS church needs to respect our wishes not to be included in your databases and records. This should be our choice. Please don’t baptize me by proxy and then tell the world that I’m now a Mormon upon my death. Placing my name or anyone else’s name in a public records database of Mormon baptisms does not constitute a symbolic gesture. It is a literal gesture grounded in indifference to and outright disrespect for the dead.I say the following in all seriousness, so bear with me here.Yes, I suppose that if I’m dead and my afterlife-soul is at the gates of Heaven or whatever and I’m told that my soul has been saved because of a Mormon baptism – I could technically still choose to go to Hell rather than Heaven.If I choose to go to Hell, and not to accept your “charitable gesture,” who will tell the LDS church back on earth that I want to be removed from the published LDS baptism rolls?I’ll echo Sparrow here.The LDS is actively creating false and intentionally misleading public historical records about the dead. The LDS church is inducting people into their church without their consent.You say that we “just don’t understand” your beliefs. You need to make an effort understand ours.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Mormon prosyletyzing of other reilgions is a premeditated politically hostile policy directed against what the church considers to be “apostates.”And likewise, their ritual of baptism of the dead is a politically hostile policy; it is not religion; when they say it is, they are being disingenuous. It is politically designed to stick it to the apostates. Basically, it is a political statement to other religions, saying that they are not as good as Mormons.Does this hurt anyone? Not really, but it is hypocritical. For if I would say such a thing here, that my beliefs are superior to Mormon beliefs, and that Mormons should cast off their belifs and adopt mine because mine are superior, and actually, I insist that they do, then they would not like that one bit, would they?As I said in a previous post, this is a childish attitude, which can be extremely destructive and ruinous to people who do not go along with the intrusive top-down regimentation that they seek to immpose on everyone. Mormons need to grow up, and stop acting like spoiled brats who can run wild through other people’s homes with impunity.

  • philsusan

    As someone who has not been baptized (and won’t be; a waste of time and a useless, silly ritual), and was not brainwashed while young in the belief of heaven and hell, I find it very amusing that the Mormons prosletize the dead. The concept of baptism of dead bodies that are actually not present during the ceremony (and without the relatives supporting it) is very bizarre and macabre (picture Vincent Price).Wickman is a HYPOCRITE: “We don’t think any faith group has the right to ask another to change its doctrines,” Wickman said. Well, the Mormons are doing just that not only by the irritating prosletizing they do but also this bizarre baptism of the dead.I believe that anyone can believe as they want; I just think many of those beliefs are ridiculous or at worse produce bigotry, hate-mongering, and deaths (good examples are the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Holocaust by Christians and of course, the present day Muslim and tribal extremists of Asia and Africa).

  • nuke41

    The Mormons are an interesting study in when something goes from cult status to being considered a mainstream religion. Cult is still a more accurate description for them.

  • sparrow4

    true, bobsewell. I know perfectly well my feelings have real importance only to me, and it’s not about my personal feelings. we’re supposed to be trying to build a better world, a better country, a better dialogue. I’ve siad many times if this country doesn’t stand toghether, it will hang together. when religions do not respect one another, or respect those who may not believe at all, what’s next? More religious wars? Because I see that happening in this coutry and i only hope and pray Obama and his leadership will be able to make us rethink where we’ve been and where we’re going.that’s means all working harder, giving up a little more, giving in a little more. that means understanding when we’re doing something that hurts someone else we go the extra mile to stop.

  • gogmu012

    MrE1 : And while we’re at it. Please contradict that secret handshakes are taught to get you into the different (Mormon) levels of heaven. ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS A FACT!!!!!”Ok, I’ll contradict it; it’s not true. Neither of those very strange accusations have any basis in fact. If you actually want to learn about the LDS church, as opposed to spewing libel, I suggest you contact a member, the missionaries, or someone else who actually knows something about it!

  • CostPlus

    As a Jewish convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have a somewhat unique perspective on baptism for the dead. When I first began learning of the practice I was very perturbed about the prospect. However, as I sought to understand it I found myself able to accept it. From personal experience I know unless the person is a direct relative (e.g., grandparent, parent, sibling) you must obtain permission from other members of the family who are direct relatives. I have a feeling the names, which are continuously removed from the list, were placed there by converts, such as myself, because they are direct descendants of those deceased. With that said, if for some reason members of The Church are placing names on the lists without the families’ permission they need to stop. I encourage all those who are upset by this practice or who do not fully understand it to seek the knowledge, as I did, directly from the source. I’ve noticed most of the comments posted on this article about “Mormon” beliefs and practices are incorrect stereotypes propagated through the media and rumor. This does nothing but cause more misunderstandings and paranoia about people like me. Relying on this misinformation to increase your knowledge of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is equivocal to asking a Christian Minister about Sukkot.

  • bobsewell

    I’ll reiterate that I think there’s more than a faint whiff of hypocrisy in all these claims that, “You just don’t understand!” Everyone here has made their feelings perfectly clear, and I don’t think that anyone in the opposing camp lacks understanding of the underlying conflicts.As an outsider to the debate, it seems to me that part of the problem lies in the differing paradigms of “community/works”-based religious frameworks like traditional Judaism, Catholicism, and Islam (among many others), and the mystical traditions of Kaballah, LDS, and evangelical Christianity (among many others). Getting past that sort of stuff requires education and goodwill on both sides, and there’s often little evidence of the desire for such hard work in debates like these.Hey, I get that the umbrage is very real. But that doesn’t mean that the most aggrieved party must be correct, ya’ know? If there’s a philosophical outlook which should be criminalized, I’d nominate the distortion and denial of the concept of “evolution”. But if baptism-in-absentia, or evolutionary theory, is valid (or not), it will all come out in the wash. Even if five billion people all swear that one or the other is wrong, and commit themselves to holy war over the issue, it won’t change in the slightest degree the fact that they are, or are not, wrong.

  • sparrow4

    yishai wrote:”Maybe the non-religious Jews who aren’t confident in their own identity as Jews feel threatened, but I don’t.”Funny- I can’t imagine any orthodox Jew associating his email address with budweiser.com. and if it’s your work email, why would you be stupid enough to use a work email on a blog? as for the rest- I’m glad to see you don’t care about your ancestors, and traditions. You’re like no orthodox Jew that I’ve ever known (and I grew up orthodox). In fact you’re probably one of the Mormons trying to sound Jewish and you’re failing miserably.

  • kateg1

    bnebeker said: Actually, the Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant understanding is that I Cor. 15:29 was meant to specifically teach AGAINST baptism of the dead, a practice taught by Marcion, a second century heretic. The practice was also criticized by St. John Chrysotom, an early church father. Marcionites were dualists who thought the OT God was an inferior judgmental God who was replaced by a better, forgiving New Testament God. So when you think about it, this practice of baptizing Jews posthumously seems even more offensive than it does at firs.For the record, I am Protestant, and even though I think a posthumous baptism would have no effect on me, I would still object on symbolic grounds!

  • sparrow4

    costplus wrote:’first of all- gee, I’m just so happy for you that you found the mormons. You betcha.Secondly- you still do not own your direct relatives, and the very fact that they are not converts like you only points up even more that you are disrespectful and dishonorable to place them on these roles.thirdly- how many people spend their time poring over the mormon databases to see who is listed, and I’m positive the mormons count on that. A few years ago an “Opt out” law was passed so that no one could automatically send you spam or flood your inbox with email saying you are automatically subscribed to their service. they cannot claim you by saying you could have “opted out”- you must “opt in.” And this is the same thing. You’ve basically hijacked your relatives into a religion they would find the antithesis of their own and now you tell people they can “opt out.” So interesting to see how the mormons have picked up all those dirty little tricks to manipulate people.It’s disgusting and dishonorable (I’ll say that again). the mormons have no right to add anyone to their lists who was not a member of the Church. NO ONE. Not them, not you.If you don’t understand even something that basic, you were never a Jew.

  • bobsewell

    Sparrow, for what it’s worth (alas, not much, I fear), it makes little sense to me to continue with this particular religious rite when others find it offensive and hurtful. I might well regretfully refrain from the practice, even though I believed that I was thereby doing greater harm.But then, I’m not a believer in a system which has taught me that my personal salvation requires that I make every possible effort to save others’ souls, even over passionate objections.Heck, I can even understand folks who feel that they must kill abortion doctors, if they genuinely feel that these are serial murderers. I’ve got no use for them as players in society, but I can (at least theoretically) understand them.

  • captn_ahab

    When will this Medieval thinking end? Uniting dead family members in an afterlife is Medieval thinking at it height. Stipulating that those who are baptized into the LDS church can decline this baptism in the afterlife is worse than Medieval. It is self deception combined with magical thinking. Would anyone like to reingvigorate the discussion about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? In the real world,this LDS practice is the worst kind of triumphalist religious into the private lives of others who do not share their faith. It is insesnitive, obnoxiious, and uninformed.

  • stracypete

    OK, as an active “Mormon,” or as I prefer to say, “LDS Christian,” I am saddened by both the ignorance and bigotry against our faith as evidenced by most of the nasty comments on this thread. Before I “turn the other cheek,” a couple of points to be made. First, it seems to me that the Church is doing all it can within the bounds of individual privacy and the law to urge members to not do these ordinances for Holocaust Survivors at the family request. But the Church doesn’t have the ability to compel anyone to do anything or not do anything. It has no civil legal authority. And the religious doctrines apply to all of God’s Children for God is “no respecter of persons” and “loves us all.” I say to my Jewish brothers and sisters, please understand that if a decendent of a holocaust survivor joins the LDS church or otherwise wants these vicarious ordinances to be performed, those descendents have every bit as much of a legal and moral right to do so as you do to argue against them. Who actually “owns” the rights of ancestors? Think about it. You may be offended, or opposed to Mormon doctrines, but there’s plenty of that to go around among different faiths. Why stir-up hatred and controversy when you are not impacted?Second, the doctrine of vicarious ordinances for the dead is not new, or a made-up Mormon doctrine, but is actually a part of the “restoration of all things” spoken of in the Old and New Testaments by several prophets. The term baptism for the dead is specifically referred to in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 15:29. And to me, it is a stunning testament to the veracity of the LDS doctrine and restoration that it, alone, understands this verse of scriptures (something that has been lost by Catholics or other Christian denominations over the centuries during the Great Apostasy).

  • ParkerD1

    Dear Costplus,

  • Carstonio

    Stracypete, it doesn’t matter whether baptism of the dead is mentioned in scripture. No religion has any right to baptize people against their will, living or dead. That’s a violation of the principle of individual boundaries.

  • ZenLover

    Weird practices like baptizing the dead makes religions no different than the early worshipers of Nana and Inana. Let me put a plug in for atheism, or at least agnosticism.

  • wolfcastle

    As an atheist I find it utterly hilarious when one groups snake oil and voodoo directly conflicts with another groups snake oil and voodoo. It’s even funnier when people think some people think they have a some sort of right to stop other people from practicing their particular brand of voodoo. Just out of spite, I’ve just formed my own church and as my first act as supreme pontiff I’ve baptized every person who has ever died into my church…don’t worry though, your dear departed will enjoy my afterlife a heck of a lot more than where they were before…haha…

  • Carstonio

    “LDS officials say the practice is not meant to offend the living but to respect and honor the dead, who are free to decline the offer of eternal salvation.”The dead are not free to do so because they cannot speak for themselves.”But this isn’t just about beliefs. It’s also about a religious practice that not only offends others but directly and personally involves the deceased relatives of others who have a right to rest in peace.”I would add that one’s beliefs end where others’ personal boundaries begin.

  • sparrow4

    “I say to my Jewish brothers and sisters, please understand that if a decendent of a holocaust survivor joins the LDS church or otherwise wants these vicarious ordinances to be performed, those descendents have every bit as much of a legal and moral right to do so as you do to argue against them. Who actually “owns” the rights of ancestors? Think about it. You may be offended, or opposed to Mormon doctrines, but there’s plenty of that to go around among different faiths. Why stir-up hatred and controversy when you are not impacted?”No they don’t. they have no right to decide to put someone’s name in a database, calling them baptized in a church those dead would have run screaming from in life. For those who believe so strongly in the afterlife, it is- as Mormons seem to- the practice is a deliberate slap in the face to other religions. for others, it’s the rewriting of history, of what record a life leaves on this earth for descendants. It’s about respect for the memories of your family and friends. It’s about the Mormons simply not recognizing that other religions exist. the religion and the life a person leads is a fundamental aspect of the historical truth and of that person’s life. By hijacking names of other faiths it, the mormons effectively destroy the truth.You may as well rewrite history and now say Hitler was a buddhist and you’ve given him the choice of staying in the afterlife or coming back again (horrors!) But people seeing that will not see the truth about Hitler. Popes and bishops who have spent their lifetimes in service to the church do not want their names associated in any way with the Mormons. The Mormons disrespect truth, they disrespect history and they disrespect memory. It isn’t about the dead- it’s about the living and how they view themselves. And if you think history has nothing to do with your life, you are much mistaken.

  • jurrasic

    “Do unto others….” personally I think the jewish community should come up with a special rite to baptise dead mormons into the jewish faith in order to provide the dead with the maximum choice to pick their means of salvation. it would be only fair. If the mormon community has no objection, then may the most suitable religion for those who are already dead win! I’m willing to bet the Mormon tolerance for such thing would be rather small.

  • bobsewell

    So, is the showdown between the dead Mormons and the dead Jews going to be televised? I’m seeing some great marketing possibilities here.

  • wolfcastle

    In a fight between the dead Jews and the dead Mormons, my money is going to be on the dead Jews. Sure the dead Mormons have those all those cool polygamy powers, but dead Jews can make all those cool golems. Plus, if the dead Jews throw burning oil on the dead Mormons it will continue to burn for like a week.

  • NYC123

    “I invite anyone who feels terrified to learn a more about it.”No one is “terrified.” They’re angry and insulted. Condescension will not help your efforts to ameliorate the insult.Do you really not see how profundly offensive this practice is? The whole REASON Jews were murdered during the Holocaust was for their religion. They quite literally died for their beliefs and culture. Now you’re trying to take even that away from their descendants. You’re essentially saying they died for nothing, that their whole Jewish identity can be erased. Whether or not YOU think you’re saying that is immaterial–that’s the message other people are getting. Do you really not see how people would be offended by this? Stop trying to claim that it’s your belief and therefore people should practice tolerance. That’s a circular and simplistic argument. When it affects people outside your religion, that’s where you need to practice some tolerance of your own. And that applies to your intrusive efforts in California as well.

  • Sempringham

    It is startling how much misunderstanding is being promoted as truth in this dialogue, and how viciously ignorant so many people are about the issue. This is due in part to the anti-Mormon tone of the original article, especially the last paragraph.Please explain to us, Mr. Waters, exactly how the Mormon practice of posthumous baptism interferes with deceased persons’ right to “rest in peace.” Are you in communication with them?Before expressing your opinion of the practice, might be a good idea to go to the LDS folks and ask them:1) What is the basis for your belief?2) Do you alter original records to show that Jewish people were actually Mormons? Or do you preserve the original records as they are found?There needs to be a follow-up article to this, and hopefully one with a better description of what the Mormons are actually doing here.

  • jayeb

    OK, let me get this straight…..the Mormons are baptizing dead people. And the living relatives of the dead are objecting…..to, what, exactly? What are they doing, digging them up and tossing the bodies in the lake? What about people who have been cremated? Do they rinse the ashes in a strainer?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    The constant complaint of Mormons is that people speak about them without understanding who they are or what they believe. I understand; I am just do not agree with them and I not one of them.Mormons send out their missionaires to proselytize the world and to convert anyone and everyone who will listen. In doing that, don’t they invite comment and criticism? It is not like they have been simply “minding their own business;” they have not. If you would explain any of this to a Mormon, they would look at you blankly, and without understanding; how could you not see the superiority of Mormonism? It is simply obvious, isn’t it? Nope, I don’t think so.What I say now, I say from my very own first hand experiences with Mormons. Of course some of my impressions may be wrong; I did not make an intenseive study of the Mormon Church or anything; I only know about them what they, themselves, have tossed my way.I have met any number of Mormon Missionaries. They travel in pairs, usually young men. I have only met young men, although I am told there are also now young women missionaries. They are almost always paired up so that one is polished and the other is geeky. They always wear a white shirt with a black tie and black pants. They wear name tags, and they are EVERYWHERE, if you know how to spot them. Many people do not notice them.They are usually young men just out of highschool maybe 19 years old, or in their early 20′s who have never been away from home before. (Home is usually Utah). They are babes in the woods; they are like little chicks hatching. There is no need to be afraid to invite them into your home; they would not hurt a fly; in fact, they are usually very nice, even charming. They make for good company and interesting guests, if you’re interested to meet them. In fact, it is probably they who are in danger, going around knocking on strangers’s doors.I think they get alot of doors slammed in their faces, so they are always very pleasant and friendly if you invite them in to talk. Once I invited a missionary pair to dinner, because they seemed so lost and pitiful. It worked out nice. Many of them are demoralized and homesick, and do not want to be missionaries, but the system that their family belongs to obligates them to this service. They always like something to eat or drink, and to sit and rest for awhile. All I now of Mormons, I got from these guys, about Joseph Smith and the Angel Moroni, and the golden plates, and the physical personages of Jesus and God, and of the saga of the lost tribes in America, and of the celestial Heavenly planets where God dwells in perfection, and where we should strive also someday to be.I am never direct or blunt in my disapproval of all these Mormon stories. I try to drop hints to them about tolerance and toleration, concepts that they barely know, and I let them know gently that I disapprove of proselytizing, also, something that they can barely comprehend. They cannot help it that their church and their families have placed them in the socially awkward position of knocking on my door to convert me to their religion, so for the most part, I do not give them a hard time, but actually try to help them through, what I am sure, is a difficult obligation.So if my knowledge of the Mormon Church is incomplete or wrong, it is because of the Mormon missionaries. If the Mormon Church is not open to criticism or comment from “outsiders,” then it should leave outsiders alone.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Mormons regard ALL other Christian churchs as apostate. I have heard this from many Mormon missionaries. They speak to you in a heartfelt way about their own beloved religion with their naive, weird grins, and then tell you, cheerfully to your face, that you are an apostate. And they do not even know they are insulting you. I feel sorry for the missionaries and Mormons in general who are so constrained on ignorant in their knowledge of the world. They want approval and respect, but they would not extend respect to others.Their baptism of the dead is one part of their syndrome of disrespect and intolerance towards others. They are rock solid certain that they are right, and EVERYONE eles is wrong, that they MUST conduct this baptism of the dead so that people who were deprived of the Mormon truth in life may acquire it in death.Of course, this does not affect the dead at all. But it does affect the living. It is disrespecful of the living. But Mormons don’t care. Respect and tolerance ane not necessary when you know you are right in all matters and you know everyone else is wrong, and when you position of political dominance such as prevails in Utah.Even more, Mormon homophobia derives from a theology that is patterned in complex ways to vilify and demonize gay people. It is difficult for an otherwise good Mormon to dislodge his psychic bias against gay people without also pullling apart and dismissing much of Mormon theology. That how hard it must be for a young Mormon. He must remains closetted or he will be ostracized by all that he has ever known and held dear, most of all his family.Even though the Mormon Church says it promotes family and family values, its theological doctrines against gay people are designed to destroy families in which but a single member may emerge as gay, and to destroy lives, even driving people to suicide. This is Mormonism. They are intolerant, intolerant, intolerant. This fact is undeniable and cannot be over-emphasized. They complain and complain about how they should be left alone, free to practice their religion, but they send our armies of missionaries to proselytize the world. Their disprespect for others is complete.And yet they do not understand even the most basic concept of tolerance nor why anyone would seek to promote toleration. I think that, over all, Mormonism is primitive, unsophistocated, and kindergarten stuff. If they want the respect that they think they deserve, then they are due for a little growing up and a little maturity. In the meantime, it is not intolerant to reject intolerance in others. My rejection of their intolerance should not be their justification for it.

  • bobsewell

    NYC123 – I think it’s one of those dual-citizenship propositions. I don’t think you have to give up your Jewish passport to eternity just because you were issued a Mormon one. Just don’t use the other passport.Besides (to steal the punchline of an old joke), “Isn’t it better that a Mormon should be the dead one?”

  • sparrow4

    “A genealogist should recognize the important of the historical record. for some its all they have left for generations to learn about them. they are entitled to the accuracy, as much as possible of that record, and their name. By incorporating Jews, catholics and any others without their consent, into a baptismal database of a church they never attended and were never interested in, you destroy the truth, and the historical record.”Just my take, but then i try to respect other people, religious or not. at least when they deserve it. Jews aren’t arguing over whether or not dead relatives care (they’re dead- we know.) we’re arguing over the record and the truth of someone’s life being changed by insertion into the mormons whacko database. It’s libelous, in fact. People fight libel because the truth is important.And for the record, I am not overly religious- but I know how to respect and honor people’s memories. The mormons- not so much. their religious identity theft only proves how little respect they have for others. I respect history- I don’t try to rewrite it, the way they are.

  • sparrow4

    bobsewell- wouldn’t it be better if living Mormons were as silent as dead ones? I do love how they can’t make up their minds about how to explain it all to us.First its- well, there is no guarantee that your dead relative will accept the teaching of Jesus so its no skin off your nose. No big deal…are they so desperate to increase the rolls of the church that if they can’t get you when you’re living, they’ll just grab you when you’re dead? and the dead can’t argue (if you grew up in a Jewish household you’d know, that could be a blessing :-)I hope G-d has a sense of humor- to deal with this amazing Mormon tripe.

  • bushidollar

    MRE1 saidWTH?! She is *DEAD*. How can you “force” a dead person to do anything? Please explain that one to me. DEAD means no longer alive, ie. inanimate, you know, like a rock or a chair.

  • jennifer8

    MrE1 said:”I’m sorry if my reply seemed condescending; that was not my intention at all. Allow me to correct myself; if your grandmother does not wish to be baptized, of course no-one should force her, either before or after death. But the fact remains that she will need to work out the conflict with your relative. Since he apparently (according to your statements) intends to perform a baptism even against her express wishes, this seems to be a family conflict, and the best resolution would be between him and her, not involving the church at all. If after she has talked to him he still intends to baptize her, it would be best for her or another family member to inform the church that she does not wish to be baptized. If she does so, I am confident that the church will respect her wishes, rather than those of her over-zealous relative.”MrE1 – Your suggestion that we should just work this out with our relative – that this is merely a family conflict – misses the point.We have our own family. And we love our Mormon relative. We were not unhappy about our relative’s LDS conversion before the issue of baptizing me and my grandmother crept up. We were happy to live and let live as a family – until it became clear that the LDS church was unwilling to let us live and let live.You – as a member of the LDS/Mormon church and an American – have freedom of religion. Let me and my grandmother have that same freedom. It’s only fair. It’s the right thing to do. Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion. The LDS church wants to eliminate that choice for us and this is simply wrong.We should not have to convince our Mormon-convert relative to prevent your church from entering our names into your databases of converts following our death. We should not have to go to your church and ask to “opt out” like on some “do not call” list of souls. There is nothing we can do practically to stop this from happening after we die anyway. We have no recourse. No voice.If LDS posthumous baptisms were merely “symbolic” I’d feel much better. The reality is that it’s difficult to remove your name from the list once it’s on there.Dear readers, if well-organized Jewish organizations are having difficulty preventing victims of the Holocaust from being posthumously baptized by the LDS church how on earth are we as mere individuals going to prevent this from happening to us?Another commenter said we shouldn’t worry, that this was just a bunch of wackos practicing “voodoo.” Sadly, this is not just “voodoo.” This is a well-funded, well-staffed, huge organization with designs on our names, legacy, and history.This is an unethical, immoral, and, I believe, illegal intrusion.

  • sparrow4

    And I agree with that. I don’t think we all need to find our paths through life the exact same way. And it’s actually not hypocrisy to say “you don’t understand.” that’s a comprehension issue. Hypocrisy is when you do understand yet refuse to address the problem anyway, and then wonder at the reaction. I understand the Mormons thinking, I understand why they think they’re doing us a favor. In my religion, there are historical, traditional and religious reasons why the idea of proxi-baptism is abhorrent, not the least the establishment of an actual record. But The Mormons want others to take them seriously. They rail about the misunderstanding regarding their beliefs, the want to establish laws to deny gay rights- when do they take responsibility for these actions in the here and now? When do they concede that what they do affects others and when will they accept that whatever their reasoning or excuse, they don’t get a free pass because its faith? when the head of a Mormon church is shocked by the protests over Prop 8, isn’t that weird itself? Maybe its arrogance, maybe its blindness, but somewhere along the line the Mormons seemed to have stopped caring about anything other than their own agenda, no matter who it hurts or affects. It isn’t about being right or wrong- as I said before, everyone chooses their path and who am I to say a Catholic or a buddhist or a Pagan is wrong to follow that path. But a little reality please. we all live in this world- a little more effort to get along, even compromise or cede doesn’t make us right or wrong, it just makes us better fellow sojourners.

  • yishai_613

    sparrow4,I’m using that email address here beacuse while I am open to emails, the last thing I want is spam, and Bud gives free email addresses. It’s not my work or home email address.As for the rest, if you really did grow up Orthodox as you claim, then you should know that what I posted is true.If you doubt that I’m realy Orthodox, then I’m open to discussion about that as well. We can discuss the masechet that my chevruta and I are learning (and if you have some chiddushim from the rishonim or the achronim, I’d be glad to hear them), the shiurim that I attend (and that you used to), etc…As to me being a Mormon, to tell you the truth, I know almost nothing about them except:- Donny and Marie were/are MormonsAnd because it’s complete naarishkeit and has no “tokef”, I could care less. There are more important things for me to worry about.

  • CostPlus

    Sparrow4, However, I do agree with you when you say: “Mormons seemed to have stopped caring about anything other than their own agenda, no matter who it hurts or affects.” I investigated the religion for a long time and during that time came across quite a few members who did not understand why certain practices (and comments) offends others and could care less if it did because they feel it is their right. Fortunately I found that to be a minority. Specifically speaking on this topic of Baptism for the Dead, I know the majority of members will seek permission and will honor the will of the family and not find ways to circumvent that. Unfortunately, I also know members that would get permission through not so Christian ways.The bottom line is, if a direct relative and their family agrees to it, I see no harm. They know this person better than anyone else and it is their decision and no one has the right to question that. However, and as I have said before, it is wrong to baptize someone without the family’s permission. If that is occurring it must stop.I know you will never agree with me on whether this practice is right and I respect your opinion. I wish I could write something to appease you or at least make you believe I am not “hijacking” my relatives. I may be a disgrace in your eyes, a betrayer of my blood, for “finding the mormons”. My decision to join was not a split second decision made after a month of being “brain washed”. Nor was it made out of desperation to find religion. It was a journey, one thoroughly studied, that has led me to happiness. For someone who believes “everyone chooses their path”, you sure are quick to question mine.

  • sparrow4

    Yishai- Had you not made a rather snarky comment about Jews who were upset about the practice of proxi-baptism, not being confident in their identity there would be no issue. But you tossed off a rather condescending remark, claiming you really didn’t care, yet obviously you cared enough to post twice. I’m as confident in my faith as you seem to be in yours and I happen to care about the practice. I’m not the only one- nor are Jews the only ones protesting. So why did you even bother posting if you really don’t care? How do you stand by and allow someone to proxi-baptize someone of another faith, and create a record of this baptism, yet cling to your own heritage? But as far as thinking you are a disgrace for converting- no, i don’t feel that way and never said that. I’m sure it was a decision a long time in the making- and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one. I won’t lie and say I understand what brought you to Mormonism, but it fulfills something in you and that’s nothing I would take lightly. You’re lucky you found something you’re so confident in, not everyone does. So in fact i wasn’t questioning you choice, but a practice of your church that you seemed willing to act on. But it seems you and I do agree- if you have permission of the person, there is no harm. Good luck to you.

  • revdrjoan

    I am a lesbian Christian clergywoman with a Mormon sister-in-law. Personally, I’m offended by the thought of re-baptizing the dead who proudly lived and died in the faith they knew and practiced; I feel it is disrespectful. I carry some emotional baggage around this, as a descendant of Irish Catholics who risked their lives to follow Christ as they knew Christ. However, I am trying to take it as a compliment that my sister-in-law asked for my genealogical info. It means that she recognizes me as part as her family, just as I recognize her as part of mine, and that pleases me.I can imagine what the spirits of my dead Irish family members would say if offered the chance to join the Mormon faith, but you can’t print those words in a family newspaper. 8-)BTW, Dr Rock, your representation of gay activists and families is untrue and unfair. No family is ever perfect. What drives you-all to destroy ours?

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The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

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The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

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Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.