I've seen very little coverage of this in the mainstream media, even in the Jewish pubs I read for work. Which is odd. I think it's ridiculous. This comes from
Mormons Baptize Jews Without their Consent
by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca, 2008-11-13
The arrogance and chutzpah of the Mormon church knows no bounds. Not only was this particular religious sect responsible (along with the Catholics and other conservative Christians) for the passage of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state of California. Now comes word that the Mormons are continuing to baptize Jewish Holocaust victims despite an agreement 13 years ago that they wouldn’t do it anymore.
Unbelievable as it sounds, Mormons actually baptize persons posthumously because in their way of thinking these folks might then have the chance to convert to their religion in the afterlife. Their slogan might well be, “If we don’t get you when you’re alive, we’ll get you when you’re dead.”
That’s why the Mormons have such an interest in genealogy. Every Mormon is encouraged to add the names of dead relatives to the church’s database so that those individuals can be baptized posthumously. In addition, they amass the names of non-Mormons throughout the world and place them in their database so that they can claim their souls as well.
It’s a disturbing practice. One that was denounced by Jews in the 90s when it was learned that the Mormons were gathering the names of Jewish Holocaust victims and baptizing them as their own. An accord was reached in 1995 between Jews and Mormons that the so-called Church of Jesus Christ of the Ladder Day Saints (or LDS, not to be confused with LSD) would stop baptizing dead Jews, including Holocaust victims.
Now comes word that the Mormons are not living up to their promise. Holocaust survivors announced on November 10 that they have cut off all talks with Mormons because they feel they are futile. They plan to bring the matter before the world court of opinion.
Bernard I. Kouchel, writing on the Jewishgen.org website, said, “We don't want to be saved, redeemed, forgiven, reincarnated, resurrected, or enraptured. We just want to be left alone... We find the idea of Jews being posthumously baptized into the Mormon church to be deeply offensive in the extreme and cannot express our disgust, outrage and revulsion at this practice in strong enough terms.”
I concur. I’m not Jewish, but I am atheist and queer. I do not want to be baptized by the Mormons, ever! I do not want any of my ancestors baptized by the Mormons. I do not want the Mormons to come anywhere near my family tree.
LDS members say that they are only following their beliefs. But reaching beyond the grave to drag unwilling souls into their rite of baptism seems a bit overboard even for a religion that believes that after his resurrection Jesus visited the Americas and hobnobbed with the same Native peoples his followers would later slaughter.
Maybe their church should be called LSD.
Tommi Avicolli Mecca is co-editor of Avanti Popolo: Italians Sailing Beyond Columbus, and editor of Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation, which will be published next year by City Lights Books. His website: www.avicollimecca.com