Tuesday 11 November 2008

More Mormon insensitivity

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been criticised for using its considerable financial muscle to quash the marriage rights of gay people (latest updates here and here). Now the Mormons are under fire for trampling on the religious rights of the dead.

Despite being an undeniable boon to family historians, the Mormon habit of retrospectively baptising their ancestors has always seemed weird to outsiders. But when this extends to proxy baptisms of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, it becomes downright offensive. Ernest Michel, honorary chairman of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, speaking on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, claimed that the practice played into the hands of Holocaust deniers:

They tell me that my parents' Jewishness has not been altered but...100 years from now, how will they be able to guarantee that my mother and father of blessed memory who lived as Jews and were slaughtered by Hitler for no other reason than they were Jews, will someday not be identified as Mormon victims of the Holocaust?

Seems like a good time to replay this little gem. The theology lesson starts around 4 minutes 45 seconds in:

A lifelong Mormon explains why Proposition 8 made her leave the church, and protestors rally outside the Mormon temple in New York. Best placard award: 'Brigham Young had 55 wives. I just want one'.

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