Thursday, September 02, 2010


But then…most religious disagreements are nutty.

That said, this one goes beyond reason, if one can reason about religion.

This morning, the New York Times reported (“Utah: Mormon Holocaust Survivers Reach Accord”): “The Mormon Church says it has changed its genealogical database to better prevent the names of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps from being submitted for posthumous baptism by proxy.”

That lede sentence is mind-numbing to start with. Take a moment to try to wrap your mind around it.


The short article went on to state: “In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors said a new computer system and policy changes should resolve a yearslong disagreement over the baptisms. Mormons believe posthumous baptism by proxy provides an opportunity for deceased persons to receive the Gospel in the afterlife. The names used are drawn from a church-run genealogical database. Jews are offended by the idea that Mormons are trying to alter the religion of Holocaust victims.”

I have to admit, I laughed.

But, the fact is, the Mormons believe they can baptise people into their religion after they have died. This, of course, is to save those who weren’t baptized while living from eternally roasting in hell now that they are dead.

I, who am not noted for being all that compassionate towards people whose belief systems differ from mine, can understand that this is a deeply held belief of the Mormon religion and I can respect it. (Just barely, but what the hell.)

But for the Jews to get their undies in a twist over this belief of the Mormons is, by me, totally nutsoid.

It’s my understanding that the Jews do not hold with baptisms. It is not part of their belief system.

So fine. I, personally, like the idea of baptism…the rite, by me, is lovely, whether done to babies, or taken on by adults, I like it.

But what I don’t understand is:  Why do the Jews care if the Mormons baptise everyone who ever lived and who are now dead?

The folks are dead…so WHAT THE FUCK?

Oh well, maybe these Mormons and Jews don’t have enough to worry about. Maybe what is going on in the world of the quick is not sufficiently worrisome, so they are taking on the vast world of the dead to fill the void.

But to me, it is totally nutty. And even the détente is nutty.

But I will grant, a nutty détente is preferable to a nutty argument.

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