Social Question

King_Pariah's avatar

Proxy baptism: How much more disrespectful and idiotic can a person get?

Asked by King_Pariah (11408 points ) February 24th, 2012

Recently in the news, attention was brought to a Mormon practice called “proxy baptism” which is pretty much converting an already dead someone of another faith to Mormonism to pretty help those people enter heaven. Recent person of proxy baptism interest: Anne Frank.

I find this practice disrespectful, disgusting, ridiculous, and utterly idiotic. You?

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85 Answers

janbb's avatar

Yup – totally agree with you. How dare they?

Jeruba's avatar

Same here. If anyone dares try that with me, I hope someone atheizes me right back.

filmfann's avatar

I found out that they were doing this when I was working on family genealogy 30 years ago. I was shocked. This is beyond the pale of decency,

King_Pariah's avatar

there should be a much in the question details *facepalm

YoBob's avatar

Frankly, I have more important things to worry about then whether some religious faction believes that performing some ritual on behalf of some long dead relative will up the odds of more of us getting into heaven.

Seems to me there are basically two cases:

1) They are right, in which case I will be grateful that they took the time to proxy baptize some long dead relation.

2) They are totally off base, in which case the proxy baptism really doesn’t make a darned bit of difference here in the real world to me, the long dead relative they baptized, or whatever awaits in the afterlife.

So… why should I care?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Completely ridiculous.

ragingloli's avatar

personally, I do not care what mentally ill people do in their grottos. It has no effects on actual reality

JilltheTooth's avatar

Lordy, lordy lordy. so to speak Could you have been more slanted in your presentation of the Q? Does it matter? In what universe will someone else’s concept of who you should be be more important than your own idea of who you are?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Somewhere Anne Frank is politely showing a middle finger. I think it’s disturbing. The mormons, not Anne Frank showing the middle finger.

Kardamom's avatar

It’s outrageously disrepectful to the people that are still living, the relatives, the decendants, and the other people that belong to the faith that they are trying to remove.

On the other hand, Anne herself, would probably just laugh and be cheerful, as she always was, she still has her own faith and those people cannot take it away, she died with it and took it with her.

And God, would probably say, “Oh Christ people! You gotta be kidding me, really!?”

bkcunningham's avatar

Have you seen the statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? In response to questions about violations of the Church’s proxy baptism policy, the Church issued the following statement:
The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism.

It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place.

While no system is foolproof in preventing the handful of individuals who are determined to falsify submissions, we are committed to taking action against individual abusers by suspending the submitter’s access privileges. We will also consider whether other Church disciplinary action should be taken.

It is distressing when an individual willfully violates the Church’s policy and something that should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/violations-of-proxy-baptism-policy

6rant6's avatar

I am proud to be part of a group that excommunicates dead people. Just name your loved one and send the $10 to….)

ragingloli's avatar

Here is what would be cool: posthumous remote conversion of every dead Mormon into a theistic Satanist.

jca's avatar

I learned about this while working at the local government archives. Mormons would come in and requests lists of names (birth names, veterans’ names, etc.) and baptize them. This was how they could claim that the number of Mormons is growing and growing. So according to them, I could be a Mormon, even though I have never stepped foot in their church.

bkcunningham's avatar

The Mormons come to local government archives for names, @jca?

KatawaGrey's avatar

This ranks somewhere around atheists believing I’m mentally ill for my spiritual beliefs as far as how much it affects me.

I really don’t see what the big deal is. If you were baptized a Catholic, the Catholic church says you’re always a Catholic, no matter what, yet there are tons of people who aren’t Catholic even though they were baptized. But, hey, feel free to keep making a big deal out of it. As they say, there is no such thing as bad press, and this goes for Mormons too! :)

Pandora's avatar

I have to agree with @KatawaGrey on this. It really doesn’t bug me. It just comforts them. Its not like Anne Frank is suddenly going to change. She’s dead. I understand another religion taking offense but more so because its shouting to them that their faith isn’t good enough. But I don’t think they should be offended, but rather contented that they believe this will be her salvation and that they want this for her.
They know it doesn’t make her non jewish. If someone did that for me, I could care less. It would be touching that there are people who pray for me and worry for my salvation, no matter what their faith.
And if they feel empowered a bit by doing this, than so be it.

Symbeline's avatar

Jeez man, even the guy who wrote the Malleus Maleficarum wouldn’t have gotten away with that shit.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Pandora So, you’re saying since she’s dead, she won’t care ‘cause, presumably, she’s not in her Jewish afterlife but the beliefs of some other people in an afterlife takes precedence? That makes no sense.

mattbrowne's avatar

Extremely disrespectful. I would even consider baptizing Anne Frank as a form of antisemitism.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: Way to completely miss @Pandora‘s point. If I understand correctly and I believe that I do, while you clearly do not, she was saying that it doesn’t matter what all these people think because Anne Frank believed what she believed and a bunch of people with a completely different belief system aren’t going to change that. If there is a Jewish afterlife, that’s where Anne Frank is. She’s not all of a sudden gonna be sucked into a Mormon afterlife because of this. But, hey, any fodder against us believers is good fodder, right? ;)

Pandora's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Lets take for instant that I were dead and someone wanted to pray for me and make me an honorary Muslim. To any of my relatives with sense they would know that it no more makes me a Muslim. To them they would see it as something for their own purposes or at least for some reason they. I don’t believe just naming and praying for someone of another faith changes who they ever were. Forever, everyone will know Anne Frank as a Jewish girl who was killed in WWII. She will always be a Jewish girl.
If a white man made a black man an honorary white man, would that really mean the man is white.
Besides, I don’t see Heaven as a penthouse apartment. 1st floor Muslims, 2 nd Jewish, 3. Christians, Penthouse Mormons.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Pandora Look, all these things are about are meanings and symbols. Symbolically, this is disrespectful because the person isn’t there to give consent.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KatawaGrey unclench. no one is victimizing you. all you ever say on these question is the same, about how people think you’re mentally ill for your beliefs…well, I don’t actually think that and you need to just stop making all religious qs about yourself. I was in conversation with @Pandora and don’t need your condescension

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: Hehe, you always amuse me so. ;)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KatawaGrey I know..maybe after I die, you can christen me, woot

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: Hahahaha, yep, I don’t take offense to you lumping me in with everyone else, lady.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KatawaGrey No, not everyone else…only you get to christen me or it won’t work…on a serious note, I am totally just talking to you, not lumping you and I know you don’t identify as Christian…but you lump all non-believers as well.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m planning to christen you both as hardcore carnivorous, devout Catholics. Ah, the laughs I shall have, as I watch you both roll in your graves. :P

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: Nope, just anti-theists like you, sweetheart! LOL

@WillWorkForChocolate: BACON. OMNOMNOMNOM!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I’m being cremated. But it can prob still work. I won’t mind being Catholic, they’re the best in bed once repression is gone and it’s all about hot and bothered guilt.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KatawaGrey I’m anti-religion, not anti-theists…or I wouldn’t care what Anne Frank is about, judaism-wise..but, sure, sometimes there is a fine line

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Awesome, then I can christen your ashes! And it’s not just Catholics that are amazing in bed. Recovering Southern Baptists can also rock it, LOL.

@KatawaGrey Yes ma’am. Bacon. And sausage. And chicken fried steak. And homemade tacos. And beer battered chicken.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate : And so it ends. You know what I’m talking about!!! :-/

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@JilltheTooth Huh? It ends? Does that mean that you ate all my bacon? pfft

HungryGuy's avatar

It doesn’t bother me. If they (the Mormons) think they’re doing a good deed, what’s the harm?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@HungryGuy Had it been Anne Frank who told me that, there would be no big deal.

6rant6's avatar

Saying that what you do symbolically to someone after their dead doesn’t matter… does that mean you think it’s okay to piss on corpses if you didn’t think those people were going to heaven anyway?

HungryGuy's avatar

There’s a difference between physically vandalizing something (such as pissing on a grave), and speaking some mumbo-jumbo (or whatever it is they do) amongst a group of people.

6rant6's avatar

@HungryGuy So, you are the sole arbiter of what people find offensive if done to the memory of their loved ones? I didn’t know that. See, I would have thought that was the relatives’ call.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@HungryGuy Why is one considered vandalism and the other inoffensive if it has meaning to people doing it and this particular system (aka religion) also made sense to the dead in question? It’s all about context 101. If I was into golden showers, perhaps you pissing on my grave would be a show of your love or respect. It’s like that.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir and @6rant6 – So okay. Let’s turn this around. Let’s say Rick Santorum finds it offensive that one or the other of you have homosexual sex in some public setting, such as a park or (gasp) a cemetery. I come to your defense and say that as long as you’re not actually vandalizing anything, what you do is harmless and nobody else’s business (even if some segment of the population finds it offensive). Rick, of course, accuses me of being the sole arbiter of what people find offensive. Bleh.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@HungryGuy Wait, but am I trying to have same-sex with his corpse, even if symbolically in order to ‘queer’ him up a bit? No. Another clarification: am I having same-sex (apparently) by a park near his grave? Oh, he’s not dead? Damn.

6rant6's avatar

@HungryGuy So suddenly I feel as if you’re on my side. Not sure if I’m comfortable with that. but you are equating a highly visible, physical act (necropartying) with these hidden Mormon rites done in the bowels of a corporate headquarters somewhere? Right on!

As for Rick Santorum’s outrage, I sould say that at some point, you have to determine who actually has a stake. That’s why I said relatives. I don’t think just any Josiah Doe has a right to see the dead treated as he sees fit. It’s still messy. What if the relatives disagree?

I’d actually prefer a world where we aren’t outraged at either the pissing or the baptizing. But I don’t understand how you can explode at one and condone the other.

As for me, you’re all invited to piss on my corpse. As a matter of fact the only thing I would ask you not to do with my dead body is make me a martyr.

HungryGuy's avatar

@6rant6 – OMG! You and me on the same side?!?! The world is about to end…

That’s almost as outlandish as me and @Simone_De_Beauvoir on the same side :-p

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@HungryGuy Well, when sex and urination is involved, you and I are always on the same side.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – This is true :-0

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@HungryGuy omg, incidentally someone just posted this on my FB wall, I swear to the lord of all lords..i almost died, given our conversation..NSFW.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – That’s awesome :-D

I didn’t do it, but it is something I would do :-p

jenesiaspas's avatar

Please, you all should just meet my boyfriend. What a Jackass!!!

flutherother's avatar

What is even more disrespectful and idiotic is when they turn up on your doorstep and try to convert you while you are still clearly alive and breathing.

augustlan's avatar

It doesn’t change anything for the dead person, but I still find it offensive and disrespectful. Mostly, I find it arrogant.

bkcunningham's avatar

Could someone explain to me what the are complaining about and being offended about, please? What is arrogant? What is disrespectful? What is idiotic?

augustlan's avatar

Arrogant is: Presuming to know best for a person who lived their whole life without your help.
Disrespectful is: Going against the dead’s (and the living relatives’) wishes, without regard to how they’d feel about it.

I’ll let someone else explain idiotic.

bkcunningham's avatar

You mean from the original post, @augustlan, that the Mormons are these things? The official statement from the Church said they don’t allow or condone this practice and were not party to the story about Anne Frank. The request for the Church to do this must come from a relative and the request is documented and researched to make sure it is from a relative, according to the Latter Day Saints. I’m just curious if anyone knows what the practice actually entails or if everyone is just jumping on the bandwagon.

ragingloli's avatar

Personally I place no trust in the veracity of “official statements” from religious institutions. Just visit the scientology website.

bkcunningham's avatar

What does the process you are criticizing involve though, @ragingloli? That is what I’m interested in knowing.

augustlan's avatar

@bkcunningham I actually am not seeing where it says that a relative must make the request, but even if that’s the case, it would still be arrogant and disrespectful… on the part of the relative.

bkcunningham's avatar

What does the process involve, @augustlan?

augustlan's avatar

@bkcunningham I have no idea, but why does it matter?

bkcunningham's avatar

I would just want to know what I’m calling arrogant before I call it arrogant. I have no idea what it involves. I assumed someone here knew since there was such a big discussion about the process.

augustlan's avatar

Unless the process involves raising the dead and asking them if they want it, it would be arrogant in my opinion.

ragingloli's avatar

you do not need to know how the rapist raped the women to know that the rape of a woman is wrong. Just saiyan.

bkcunningham's avatar

I know what rape is @ragingloli. Do you know baptism for the dead is?

ragingloli's avatar

@bkcunningham
It is utterly irrelevant.

bkcunningham's avatar

Why is understanding what you are being critical of utterly irrelevant, @ragingloli? I honestly can’t believe I’m even reading that statement from people.

augustlan's avatar

@bkcunningham What is to understand? The person is dead. They clearly did not choose to be a Mormom while they were alive. Clearly they cannot choose to be a Mormon now.

ragingloli's avatar

@bkcunningham
The details of a specific rape are irrelevant. It is still rape. The rapist using lube on the baseballbat with nails on that special occasion does not make the rape suddenly fine or less reprehensible, so that detail has no bearing on the wrongness of the rape.
In the same way, the precise process of this forced conversion, which it is, does not change the fact that it is a forced conversion and therefore wrong.

bkcunningham's avatar

What is there to understand? What is it about, @augustlan? I honestly can’t make it any simplier than that. What are you actually talking about that is wrong? Forget it. I am just shocked really that you don’t understand that is seems strange to me that I’m curious to know what you are opposing and you can’t tell me.

@ragingloli, like I said. I know what rape is. What is this that you are against? I’m not defending it, just curious what you are talking about. Apparently, you don’t know.

ragingloli's avatar

@bkcunningham
and apparently, you can not read. I said “forced conversion”.

augustlan's avatar

We have been as clear as we can be, @bkcunningham. What we object to is converting someone without their consent. Since the person is dead, there is no way to get their consent. Everything else is irrelevant.

bkcunningham's avatar

So you are saying that baptism of the dead is forced conversion? That was my question all along. You both know for a fact that is what this is about, but you have no idea how or why the Mormons do this?

augustlan's avatar

I could not care less how or why they do it. Without consent, none of that matters a bit.

bkcunningham's avatar

For me, I’m just saying for me personally, I really try to understand things that I may not understand or be familiar with before making judgements. That’s all. I was just wanting a better understanding. It scares me and makes me sad in a way to see people jumping on bandwagons and saying hateful things about people without knowing what is at the core of their beliefs or why they do certain things.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I can’t see how it doesn’t come across as arrogant and I’m trying @bkcunningham. I don’t want to imply it has to do with believing in these things but does it? I’m not sure if you’re a believer so please clarify for me. Is it because you think this is a positive thing that you can’t see it as arrogant? Like they’re trying to do something good, for the person? Also, I don’t think it’s people jumping on bandwagons if a lot of people believe one thing. Do I try to say to homophobes, “you don’t really believe I’m beneath you, you are just jumping on the quite boring and pathetic homophobe bandwagon”, do I?

augustlan's avatar

@bkcunningham I don’t think I’ve said anything hateful towards anyone. Saying a practice is arrogant or disrespectful doesn’t strike me as hateful.

bkcunningham's avatar

I honestly don’t know what it involves, @Simone_De_Beauvoir. It seems so foreign to me. I hadn’t heard of it before this question and I’ve been trying to find things to read to understand the who, what, when and where. I went to a play and dinner and came home and read some of the responses and thought perhaps I would just ask what the entire process (I don’t even know if that is the correct word) is about since there were so many comments. Apparently, nobody else knows what it is about either.

I don’t know if it is arrogant, silly, a positive thing, cultish, scary or enlightening. I have no idea what it is and was just hoping someone who had posted comments knew what they were posting about.

bkcunningham's avatar

My comment wasn’t directed at you personally, @augustlan. It was a general comment. : )

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@bkcunningham I’ve never heard of it either but I’m in the camp where it literally makes no difference to me what it is since a person didn’t consent. For example, I personally believe all circumcision of infants is wrong even if I know there are many different (well-meaning) reasons and even if I don’t know some others…because, to me, (and I say this as a sociologist who looks at each culture/society in its own right, rather than say something is worse or better) it’s not about the why but about the lack of consent…which I understand to be the central reason why some of us have an issue with this…this concept, however, gets trumped for MANY people by some other idea or belief.

bkcunningham's avatar

I like to know the why, @Simone_De_Beauvoir. Maybe because I enjoy research and history. I get what you are saying. From what I’ve been reading, the history is very interesting and is giving me a better understanding or at least opening a door to understanding some other aspects of Mormons beliefs and something @jca mentioned with public records. Thanks for the example of circumcision. It gave me a different view in the midst of my frustration and made me see where you are coming from with your opposition.

Symbeline's avatar

@ragingloli you do not need to know how the rapist raped the women to know that the rape of a woman is wrong. Just saiyan.

Love how you altered the last word of that second sentence. :)

Buttonstc's avatar

Bill Maher, my favorite atheist, has created the perfect solution a few weeks ago. How timely.

Watch the clip below as he demonstrates by lowering the lights, invoking the spirits of Seal Team 666, donning a wizards hat and performing the first ever UN-baptism for the dead.

Absolutely hilarious. I loved it. Feel free to share your impression.

FAIR WARNING: Don’t watch while eating or drinking anything. You could choke on food or end up with liquid spewing out your nose :D

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/04/bill-maher-unbaptizes-mitt-romneys-deadfather-in-law/

(The top image is just a pic. The actual clickable video is further down the page)

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