Post-Humous Mormon Baptism of Anne Frank and Others

Mrs. - posted on 02/27/2012 ( 26 moms have responded )

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It has been in the news lately, with holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel pleading with Mitt Romney in a public way to condemn the post-humous baptisms of people like Anne Frank and, it seems, as soon as he passes on, himself.



Here's a link about the practice and the controversy:



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21...



Normally, I'm no more offended by Mormons than by say, the Catholic Church. I mean, they weren't the first ones to think their undergarments are magical or hate blacks (at least until the 60's or something when God spoke to them again)/gays. It seems to be pretty standard with most religions. I mean, yeah, they think there is some planet in the cosmos that they get beamed onto after death, but Christians think a virgin popped out a kid...so whatever floats your boat and stay out of my life with the bigot stuff and we'll be fine.



However, I think the baptism of someone like Anne Frank is sick and disrespectful.



Thoughts?

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Johnny - posted on 02/28/2012

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So much for inter-faith cooperation. Right. I don't actually believe that people actually respect other faiths at all. Some people are just better at hiding it. These people who performed that baptism just stopped bothering to try to hid it.



The Mormons have been going around baptizing dead people from other religions for a long time now. It isn't anything new. You can't even request that they don't do it to you when you're dead. Some friend or family member of yours could toss your name in the hat and the next thing you know your soul is being transported off to Kolob (the Mormon's planet).



I can't think of a religion that has never attempted to convert through force. This is just a new method. Much easier, cleaner, and less risky than the usual wars, crusades, raping and pillaging.

Krista - posted on 02/28/2012

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Mormons or any other religion could dance on my grave and perform whatever rituals they wanted -- it certainly wouldn't mean a hoot to me.



To you, no. But what if you were held up as a symbol of the persecution of people of your religion?



Anne Frank is, for all intents and purposes, a Jewish martyr. Her ordeal and her suffering were because of her heritage and faith. She is a tangible reminder to ALL of us about the horrors of the Holocaust and religious persecution.



For the Mormons to disrespect that is to disrespect her memory and what she MEANS to people.

Krista - posted on 02/28/2012

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Heather, they're doing this because it's high-profile.



To what ends, I have no idea. Do they honestly think that anybody could view this action in a positive light? Or are they simply operating under the adage that any publicity is good publicity?

Krista - posted on 02/28/2012

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I agree that it makes no difference spiritually.



But symbolically?



It is so fucking disrespectful to who Anne Frank was that it makes me see red.

[deleted account]

Being a hard-assed atheist, I honestly don't think it makes any difference on some spiritual plane.



That being said, it is terribly rude to take someone's name and make pronouncements about them after their dead. Very much like proclaiming deathbed conversions (Like they often do with Darwin) or 'psychics' claiming they can speak to the dead.

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Desiree - posted on 03/01/2012

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Not quite penance does in no way guarantee me anything, it may help but it guarantees nothing. Just like confession and prayer doesn't guarantee me any thing either. Being a good person and having good standards on the other hand helps. As a Catholic we believe in a whole package not just part of it, Good works, the sacraments and so forth. It helps but still doesn't guarantee anything. I don't know much about the Mormons strange clothing I got out before it got that far. I don't believe in more that one baptisim although I am told that in some denominations it is practised because sins need to be washed away. I think it is open for abuse. I certainly don't believe in posthumous baptisim. I am more of a traditionalist where certain things are concerned.

Mrs. - posted on 03/01/2012

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I understand the purpose of hair shirts, if you read enough books from before the turn of the century...you get the jist. However, the idea that wearing one would make up for their sins, to me, seems to give it a "magical" or spiritual (if that's a more comfortable) property. That they would mimic the suffering of Christ on the cross, you know a dude who died then magically appeared on Earth again after being nailed to a cross, IMO, seems as magical as the concepts behind Mormon magical underwear.



I mean the Mormon underwear is supposed to be a "constant reminder" of the promises and sacrifices they have made in the temple, yes? It also serves to protect them? Isn't a hair shirt a "constant reminder" of the person's spirituality, to their belief in what is a sin, to the promises they've made to the church? In wearing it, wouldn't the hair shirt protect them from possible being transported to hell when they die? I'd say it sounds pretty similar.



If you object to the word 'magical", that's cool. I know Mormons object to it and frankly, that's why I used it. I don't think though, it is that I don't understand what the purpose of the undergarments are...it seems the comparison is pretty above the bar, since they are used for similar purposes.

Desiree - posted on 03/01/2012

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Rebecca no offence its just that it lead there. The Hair shirts are not magical at all they are used for penance. It seems that some people seem to think they need to feel constantly uncomfortable in order to attone for whatever wrong they have committed, it seems like their own guilty consience isn't good enough but I suppose each one to their own.

Jen yes there is a reason they say that and it is usually ignorance, because I have yet to hear of other Orthodox Churches being tainted with the same brush and yet those churches have Statues in them more than most Catholic Churches do.

As to the subject at hand I did as a young adult become a Mormon, Heaven alone knows what was in my head. I woke up one morning to discover that i was being lead along the garden path and not a very clear one at that.

Jessica - posted on 02/29/2012

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They do baptisms for the dead frequently. I dated a Mormon for about a year, and I listened to everything, even went to church with him out of respect. We were in high school and monthy they would take a bus load of kids to Cardston Temple to do these baptisims for the dead. They believe that until you are baptised LSD that your soul remains in limbo, once they do this baptisim you (your soul?) has the choice to accept it being done for you and you can move on to whatever level of heaven you are going to (they believe in 3 levels).

I'm pagan (for lack of a proper title), and kind of think it's insane and rude...but I think most religions are, lol.

[deleted account]

I agree with Laura -- I don't think their intent is offensive. I don't think they are intending to disrespect her at all or her memory. They just have those silly religious blinder googles on...

Krista - posted on 02/29/2012

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It is offensive, really. My husband and I are atheists. I'm an agnostic atheist and he's an anti-theist.



If anything (fates forbid) happened to me and he got wind of some religious person trying to post-humously convert me? He would have to be forcibly restrained from burning their church down. That shit is just NOT cool.

[deleted account]

"Thats as bad as saying we are Idols Worshipers."



It's a very fine line in the RCC imo about their icons, statues etc and the commandment about graven images. I know what they say and I know what the Bible says.



Note: I don't care either way but there's a reason people say that about the RCC and it's not all based in ignorance.

Mrs. - posted on 02/28/2012

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Desiree, I guess the "magical" Catholic undergarment I was thinking about were hairshirts. I used Catholics in first sentence of that paragraph as an example. What follows doesn't apply to Catholisms specifically, but to religion generally. I'm sorry if the example I used in the first sentence led you to that.



Other instances of "magical" undergarments are in the Jewish faith as well. Many, many religions have heavily discriminated against those of a different race, faith or sexual preference. Sometimes it is the Catholic church on the list of those doing it, sometimes it is Scientology...or some other religion.



I'm sorry if my one example led you to feel the Catholic church was being singled out. I meant many religions believe in things as usual as magical underwear or that there is a special place in the universe created by a magic being that is reserved for those gays.



I'll work on the whole not believing everything I hear, but I'm already pretty hard to convince of anything I can't see or hear...or have proven to me by science. It is interesting advice from a religious person though.

Isobel - posted on 02/28/2012

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I think they don't MEAN it to be as offensive as it is. I think in their hearts of hearts, they BELIEVE that they are saving somebody's soul from damnation and that in itself isn't horribly bad.



That being said I DO think it is horribly offensive and wrong.

Stifler's - posted on 02/28/2012

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Wasn't she Jewish. You can't baptise someone who's dead. This is ridiculous. Baptism is a personal choice and a dead person doesn't have a choice.

[deleted account]

To me, I think the whole uproar over it is a bit of overkill. First, the deceased isn't around to be offended. Second, the deceased doesn't believe in the Mormon religion to begin with, so why does it matter what they do? Mormons (or any religion for that matter) can't "convert" anyone just by wishing it so, so who cares? Mormons or any other religion could dance on my grave and perform whatever rituals they wanted -- it certainly wouldn't mean a hoot to me. To me, in falls into the realm of you believe what you believe and I'll keep believing what I believe. Thirdly, from what I understand, the reason why Mormons postumously baptize people is to "save" those whose aren't Mormon from an eternity in Hell. While I don't agree, I can't say that isn't a noble goal, as misguided and overreaching as it might be. To me, the complaining about it sounds like, "How dare you try to save me from burning in Hell!!! The nerve!" Really, don't we have more important things to get worked up about? It's on the level of people praying for someone else's soul -- pray away -- who cares.

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2012

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Being a Catholic myself I am trying to work out your thinking, but anyway. Yes I feel that Posthumously baptizing the dead is both disrespectful of the person and what their beliefs. Anne Frank was Jewish, but then hipocracy comes in many forms as does the lack of knowledge of another persons belief. Magic Garments?? Catholic?? Thats as bad as saying we are Idols Worshipers. As to disliking Blacks well that is both a political and personal thing. It is like saying all South Africans are racisit, Its not very nice and very incorrect.

I suggest not believing every thing you hear and only half of what you see. Personally I don't care what other people believe if thats what floats their boat then so be it, but the respect is earned not a right. Two very big differences. I have a right to my opinion but not to respect.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/28/2012

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I get the high profile thing, but yeah that's just it. They couldn't possibly have thought anyone would be thrilled about it. So it's weird. It's like a bad publicity campaign. I don't know if that's the way to go when promoting a religion.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/28/2012

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So they are only saving one of the millions of souls? How odd. This is just all kinds of weird to me.

Mrs. - posted on 02/28/2012

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Spiritually, I totally get it what you are saying. To me it is the same as me doing a home ceremony sending Joseph Smith to Hogwarts for eternity.



However, as Krista says, "symbolically" it is an asshole move. It is like shitting on someone's grave.

Janice - posted on 02/28/2012

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This is incredibly disrespectful! Basically IMHO Romney is validating the Holocaust. She died because she was JEWISH, why would someone want her baptized after she died?



Unless someone specifically wanted to be baptized and it didnt happen before they died than would this be okay. Or a baby who dies during or shortly after birth.

Tracey - posted on 02/28/2012

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Should only be allowed if the descendents of the person apply and only then if the dead person had expressed an interest in being baptized but for some reason couldn't while they were alive.

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