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Postby Faramond » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:42 am

What does Mitt Romney have to do with this? He should be evaluated for his policy proposals and statements, not for what someone who shares the same religion as him did. Guilt by association is an ugly thing. He should answer the questions? Nonsense. He should run for President and ignore Mormon-baiters.

Voronwe, I can't tell if you were getting in a dig at the poster before you, or simply reacting to the practice presented in vison's post.
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Postby crispycreme » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:39 pm

If someone baptizes me posthumously, I will haunt them mercilessly.
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Postby Cerin » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:57 pm

heliona wrote:If I was religious and knew that my dead body would be baptised by another religion, I'd be furious!

This is what I was trying to get at. I don't think they're digging up dead bodies and baptizing them, are they? They can't do that, so in fact no one is 'being baptized' by another religion, except in the minds of those doing it. I agree that the idea of making a spiritual decision for someone against their will and without their consent is extremely offensive, but it isn't real. What I'm trying to say is that whatever these Mormons may say or think, they can't really touch anyone. In the disposition of a will, for example, you are affecting people's reality, but this affects no one's reality.


vison wrote:Jews do not go about the world trying to convert people, nor do they attempt to interfere with the dead.

But, again, no one is interfering with the dead! They just think they are. Mind, I'm not defending the practice, just trying to point out that the way people are speaking about it seems inaccurate to me.
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Postby heliona » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:29 pm

Yes, technically I mistyped, I really should have said "If I was religious and knew that my soul would be baptised by another religion, I'd be furious!"

Cerin wrote:What I'm trying to say is that whatever these Mormons may say or think, they can't really touch anyone . In the disposition of a will, for example, you are affecting people's reality, but this affects no one's reality.


This is true in a sense. Certainly from my point of view (which is a non-religious one), yes. However, it does affect people's reality because it is all about perception. Jews (and anyone else whose family members have been posthumously baptised without their consent) perceive that something has changed and therefore their reality has changed.

Reality isn't just about tangible things, but also perceptions change a person's reality. This argument is about perceptions because of course nothing physically happens to the dead people however their souls have been perceived to be meddled with, so to speak.

If you learn something new at school or in life that changes your outlook on the world, people, or a particular person, then your reality has changed. Reality as a whole hasn't, but your own personal one has.

However, that doesn't negate the argument that the whole thing is wrong and goes against a lot of people's beliefs.

Whether Mitt Romney should comment on it is something else entirely. I don't know whether he's been vocal about his religion - if he has then perhaps he should comment on it. However, if his religion is not part of his campaign, then there's no reason for a comment. (Not being American, I've not been following all the candidacy campaigns.)
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Postby vison » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:10 pm

Faramond wrote:What does Mitt Romney have to do with this? He should be evaluated for his policy proposals and statements, not for what someone who shares the same religion as him did. Guilt by association is an ugly thing. He should answer the questions? Nonsense. He should run for President and ignore Mormon-baiters.

Voronwe, I can't tell if you were getting in a dig at the poster before you, or simply reacting to the practice presented in vison's post.


I don't think Mr. Romney has anything to do with it, but some of the people I heard interviewed thought it might be useful for him to comment. If I was him, I wouldn't. :)

It can't affect anything anywhere at any time. But if living Jews or others are upset and offended by the implication that their religion is insufficient, that's good enough for me to say it should be stopped - by the Mormon church, not by the law.

It IS an attempt to "invalidate" Judaism (and other religions) - to the extent that if Mormons really believe this stuff and think they are really accomplishing something, then what they are trying to accomplish is to convert dead Jews (and others) to their idiosyncratic version of Christianity. (I am one of those who does not regard Mormons as Christians, but that's another topic and it's merely a point to argue about for me, I have no dogs at all, none, not even one whining puppy, in that particular fight. :) )

I am gobsmacked that anyone who believes any of the teachings of the Mormon church should be a candidate for POTUS, but that's just me, I am not in charge. Not yet, anyway. :) Mr. Romney may be as bothered by the posthumous baptisms as I am, or as Elie Wiesel or Daniel Pearl's family are. Or - he might be cheering from the sidelines. :twisted:
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Postby Griffon64 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:47 pm

If I had to be gobsmacked, I would be gobsmacked that someone who believes that having women on the front lines would be distracting to the men ( due to their instinct to protect those fragile women - nothing as base as sexual attraction in his mind ) should be a candidate for POTUS. ( Mr. Santorum, in this case. )

Being a member of a religion doesn't automatically cause your brain to go flying out of your ears or something, and religious people are perfectly capable of holding office, even high office. In a country where religion and state is kept separate, someone's religious beliefs should not factor into their suitability for office.

Just because I think someone's beliefs may be strange doesn't mean that I doubt their ability to hold a secular office. Thinking that someone's religion should keep them out of office whiffs of a belief that atheists are better/smarter/more clever/etc than religious people, or that some beliefs are OK to discriminate against ( and maybe others are not? ). There's enough discrimination in the world already without looking to pile more on, so I just shrug about any candidate's religion. Fortunately, you get to count yourself lucky that you don't live in the backwards ol' U.S.A ;)

Now, if that candidate wants to use their secular office to further their religion, such as Mr. Santorum appears to be eager to do, then I start to bristle very badly indeed.
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Postby vison » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:26 pm

Good post, Griffon64. I largely agree.

But. Oh, great Scott. :shock: :shock: :shock: But.

The Mormon church has so many weird beliefs. :shock: :shock: Weird to me. IMHO, of course. Weirder than most of the common North American religions.

I always find it odd and interesting that the Mormon Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the Jehovah's Witnesses are all of much the same vintage and were all started in the US. :?

I daresay Mr. Romney could manage to do a half-decent job as POTUS, regardless of his religion. Mr. Santorum would be a different matter - perhaps. The president doesn't get to do whatever he wants and cannot ever put all his ideas into place, and I don't think Mr. Santorum could, any more than most.

It's just this: either you believe what you say you believe, and that means you might believe some very weird stuff, or you don't and you pretend you do. Neither one appeals to me.

But you might not know that I live in a country where our PM is a devout fundamentalist evangelical Christian who supposedly believes that the Earth was created in 6 days 6,000 years ago. If he believes it, I don't think he's fit to be our PM and if he doesn't, then he's a hypocrite. I know which I think is more likely. :)

However, he has managed to steer the ship of state more or less safely through some very stormy days - mostly because of policies put in place by better men in better times. He's becoming arrogant and too certain, which is fatal and will see the end of him when the time comes.

To his eternal credit he has refused to allow the anti-abortion people to derail him.
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:24 pm

Respect (or disrespect) shown for the dead, whether it is at a funeral or in a graveyard or in commemoration of some sort, is for the living, and it is to the living that this practice is disrespectful, IMHO. Would a group be allowed to make some proclamation in proxy for a living person without consent? But the dead cannot speak for themselves and so are easy targets. They cannot object.
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Postby Cerin » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:34 pm

heliona wrote:Jews (and anyone else whose family members have been posthumously baptised without their consent) perceive that something has changed and therefore their reality has changed.

I find this very difficult to believe, and won't believe it until I hear someone who has been baptized by proxy (or whose dead relative has), say that they believe the act has changed their (or their relative's) reality. To say that could only mean they believed Mormon beliefs are true and that the soul in question has actually been interfered with.


If you learn something new at school or in life that changes your outlook on the world, people, or a particular person, then your reality has changed. Reality as a whole hasn't, but your own personal one has.

But (speaking presumptuously) Mormon beliefs have not changed these Jews' outlook on the world, people or a particular person! It is only changing it for the Mormons, and their perception doesn't impact someone else's reality. What someone thinks about me does not change my reality; the thing they think doesn't suddenly become true in my life.


vison wrote:It IS an attempt to "invalidate" Judaism (and other religions) -

I can't agree with this. Invalidate is the wrong word. By these baptisms, are Mormons saying they believe Jews have it wrong? Sure (along with all the rest of the non-Mormon world). But that does not mean that they are trying to 'invalidate' Judaism, anymore than me holding the belief that Christianity is the one truth is an attempt to invalidate all of the other world's religions. It's a fact of life that some people adhere to exclusive belief systems; yes, that means they believe everyone else is wrong. No, that doesn't mean they are attempting to invalidate other religions. Yes, they themselves privately believe these other religions are invalid. But absent an actual crusade to wipe out or otherwise oppress the adherents of those other religions, so what?


Again, I want to clarify that I think the practice is nonsensical and detestable, I just disagree with the way this discussion is presenting it.
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Postby Jnyusa » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:23 pm

Cerin wrote:But (speaking presumptuously) Mormon beliefs have not changed these Jews' outlook on the world, people or a particular person! It is only changing it for the Mormons, and their perception doesn't impact someone else's reality.


No, that's true, it does not change objective reality. What has happened is that the Mormons have revealed something about themselves, something about the inside of their own heads, that makes me, as Jew, fearful and mistrustful towards them.

Whether Jews are objectively unchanged is not really the point. The point is that Mormons see us in need of being something other than what we are and intends to do something about it (however innocuous posthumous baptism may appear to be).

Cerin, this is anti-Semitism, just as Catholics praying for the darkness of the Jews to be lifted is anti-Semitism, just as the Southern Baptist Conference's public apology for not working harder to convert all of us is anti-Semitism, just as the Lutheran refusal to pray on the same stage with a rabbi after 9/11 is anti-Semitism. The message is the same in all cases: The Jews have got to go.

Since that message has relentlessly translated into active persecution over the 2000 years that Christianity has been in existence, any recurrence of it is going to enrage Jews. Justifiably so, in my biased opinion.

As far as Mitt Romney is concerned though, I don't see that it has much if anything to do with him. He's probably no more religious than any other of the bull-spewing candidates. If it turned out that he subscribed to this belief, if he made a statement in support of it, for example, I would dread his presidency because I would consider him an anti-Semite. I am sure in my gut that Rick Santorum is anti-Semitic. We're just the one group that he can't vomit his hatred on publicly and get away with it.
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Postby vison » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:41 pm

Jnyusa wrote:Whether Jews are objectively unchanged is not really the point. The point is that Mormons see us in need of being something other than what we are and intends to do something about it (however innocuous posthumous baptism may appear to be).


That's the thing, isn't it?

Good post, Jnyusa.
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Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:21 am

FSM needs to adopt post-death conversions as a belief, and convert dead Mormons as well.
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Postby Faramond » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:06 am

I agree this practice is anti-Semitism.

vison, I have no problem at all with your thread title, but in one respect it is a bit misleading. It's not really Anne Frank that is a victim here. Not in any material, objective sense. The victims are the living people who are being told that the religion of their ancestors is a mistake that must be written over.
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Postby Griffon64 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:39 am

Mormonism is not the only religion who has a proselytizing clause built in, although they are the only religion that I know of who goes out and does it to dead people.

Therefore, I think this practice, if talking about their posthumous baptism practice, is anti-every other religion, not only anti-Semitic.

It does appear as if, while the LDS church teaches this practice, it also teaches that the dead can, in return, reject the baptism if they don't want it. It is apparently meant as a mechanism to ensure that those who never had the chance to hear the LDS church message gets one more shot after death to decide if they want it or not. ( Who knew? Didn't read that in any of the news articles. Had to read it on teh Googlez. )

With that in mind, I suppose it becomes less a "We're better than you and we're going to write over your religious decision whether you want it or not" practice and more of a "We're going to proselytize to you at least once, no matter if you're dead or not" one.

I'm not apologizing for their practices, which I still think is very weird, but I think the discussion is more interesting if one figures out what the proxy baptism means to the LDS church and views it through that prism as well as through the prism of what it may make the targets and their families feel - especially if they take the action at face value, like we've been doing in this thread. Then it can easily become a "You think you need to erase my ancestors' religious decisions, huh?" thing. Something the LDS church maybe should start considering. They may want to point this particular shotgun away from their foot.

( For my money, they might as well stop the practice. I think it annoys and alienates. If someone wants their ancestors baptized after they converted to the church, let them do it then. Leave everybody else out of it. )
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Postby Democritus » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:22 am

Griffon64 wrote:Mormonism is not the only religion who has a proselytizing clause built in, although they are the only religion that I know of who goes out and does it to dead people.

Therefore, I think this practice, if talking about their posthumous baptism practice, is anti-every other religion, not only anti-Semitic.

It does appear as if, while the LDS church teaches this practice, it also teaches that the dead can, in return, reject the baptism if they don't want it. It is apparently meant as a mechanism to ensure that those who never had the chance to hear the LDS church message gets one more shot after death to decide if they want it or not. ( Who knew? Didn't read that in any of the news articles. Had to read it on teh Googlez. )

With that in mind, I suppose it becomes less a "We're better than you and we're going to write over your religious decision whether you want it or not" practice and more of a "We're going to proselytize to you at least once, no matter if you're dead or not" one.

I'm not apologizing for their practices, which I still think is very weird, but I think the discussion is more interesting if one figures out what the proxy baptism means to the LDS church and views it through that prism as well as through the prism of what it may make the targets and their families feel - especially if they take the action at face value, like we've been doing in this thread. Then it can easily become a "You think you need to erase my ancestors' religious decisions, huh?" thing. Something the LDS church maybe should start considering. They may want to point this particular shotgun away from their foot.

( For my money, they might as well stop the practice. I think it annoys and alienates. If someone wants their ancestors baptized after they converted to the church, let them do it then. Leave everybody else out of it. )


To my mind this only underlines yet again how much Chesterton got it backwards... it is when you believe in religion that you can belive in anything... literally anything.... which makes sense when putting your faith in something completely divorced from the real world.
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Postby Cerin » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:41 am

Jnyusa wrote:What has happened is that the Mormons have revealed something about themselves, something about the inside of their own heads, that makes me, as Jew, fearful and mistrustful towards them
.
Yes, this is exactly what I understand to be happening.


The point is that Mormons see us in need of being something other than what we are and intends to do something about it (however innocuous posthumous baptism may appear to be).

I'd agree, but would also say that they see not only Jews, but anyone not baptized into the Mormon church to be in need of being something other than what we are (or was I incorrect in thinking that it isn't only Jews who are posthumously baptized?) So I don't think it's necessary for Jews to take it as such a pointed attack, if you see what I mean.



Griffon_64 wrote:With that in mind, I suppose it becomes less a "We're better than you and we're going to write over your religious decision whether you want it or not" practice and more of a "We're going to proselytize to you at least once, no matter if you're dead or not" one.

I was also seeing the relation to proselytizing. The difference is one of degree. As a non-Jew, I see no greater threat to Jews implicit in the Mormon practice of posthumous baptism than in evangelical proselytizing. I don't believe either practice represents an intent to wipe out Jews or Judaism in this life. I realize there are and always have been anti-Semites who would like to wipe out Jews in this life, but I don't think these practices necessarily represent that mind-set.
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Postby rwhen » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:59 am

Cerin, you are correct. It is anyone who has not been baptized into the church, not just those of the Jewish faith.
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Postby Jnyusa » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:30 pm

So where are they getting their lists? - from old phone books?

As a practical matter, who are they baptizing? That's where the rubber meets the road, isn't it?
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Postby vison » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:37 pm

Jnyusa wrote:So where are they getting their lists? - from old phone books?

As a practical matter, who are they baptizing? That's where the rubber meets the road, isn't it?


Apparently they have baptized Adolph Hitler. I do not know if that is true.

They were given - according to the people I heard in the interview - a list of Holocaust victims. They promised not to baptize those people.

It is so utterly beyond bizarre. As I said above, if this god wants to offer "salvation" to everyone, why doesn't it do it itself? Is it really leaving this terribly important business to weird people here in this life?

The god being knows, anyway. It knew what is going to happen from the beginning.

It beggars belief. Only it doesn't. :(
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Postby Frelga » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:19 pm

Well, there is now a website where you can enter a name of a dead Mormon (or they will pick for you) and make him/her(?) posthumously gay. I'm not certain where it stands on TOS, so no link.
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Postby Democritus » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:06 am

Frelga wrote:Well, there is now a website where you can enter a name of a dead Mormon (or they will pick for you) and make him/her(?) posthumously gay. I'm not certain where it stands on TOS, so no link.


That's hilarious! :lol:
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Postby vison » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:29 am

Perfect. I might check that out one day when I'm feeling more than usually *itchy.
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Postby AlexSnitzel » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:31 am

I've seen that site, and it says something hilarious like, "So and so is now gay for all eternity!" :rofl:

Which highlights the fact that all this posthumous baptising doesn't really change a thing for anybody other than to tick people off. To me this just equates to the Mormon religion digging itself deeper into the ground (or bunker?)
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Postby portia » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:35 am

I know that no-one has suggested banning those Mormons who believe in it from baptizing dead people, nor would a ban like that be enforceable. But, I feel compelled to point out that Jews or anyone else who is offended by this practice are entitled to be offended, but the larger society is not obligated to act to ban what is offending them. Some things we simply have to put up with, in the interests of protecting out own freedom (of speech, religion or whatnot).
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Postby vison » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:01 am

portia wrote:I know that no-one has suggested banning those Mormons who believe in it from baptizing dead people, nor would a ban like that be enforceable. But, I feel compelled to point out that Jews or anyone else who is offended by this practice are entitled to be offended, but the larger society is not obligated to act to ban what is offending them. Some things we simply have to put up with, in the interests of protecting out own freedom (of speech, religion or whatnot).


Of course.

But it should be laughed at and it can't be laughed at if people don't know about it.

Spread the word.
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