You’re In The Mormon Army Now

WTF is wrong with Mormons?

I read on a blog today that the Mormon Church baptised a woman into their faith.  Nothing terribly unusual about that.  Except she was dead.  She had been dead for 13 years.  And she was Barack Obama’s mother.

According to AMERICAblog News, Stanley Ann Dunham, mother of our current President, was baptised into the Mormon faith on June 4, 2008.  Ms. Dunham died on November 7, 1995, and no family member approved of this.

Now, that’s just bizarre, and coming from the conservative church that rallied so hard against Proposition 8 in California, maybe it was a political move.  A strange, fucked-up political move, but a political move nonetheless.

Here’s the part that gets me:  they do this all the fucking time.

Jews have been pissed about it.  Catholics won’t ever turn over parish information to the LDS’s extensive genealogical records anymore.  Baptists are too busy drinking and being hypocritical to get pissed over this.  I’m going to guess that a large portion of the remaining populace doesn’t even know about it (it’s not listed in the public records anymore, as I understand it.)

If you read the comments on the AMERICAblog post, you’ll notice that a lot of them seem to ask, “what’s the big deal?  Why get pissed over this piddling crap?” (At least one of those came from a Mormon, who helpfully and dickishly explained that in the afterlife, the dead have the chance to refuse the “gift” of Mormonism.  For me, as a living being, if the choice is between Mormonism and chlamydia, pass the pennicillin and send the heavenly hookers over.)

It’s a big deal because we live in a country (America) that is all about religious freedom or, if one wishes, having no religion at all.  You can do that, in America.  You can choose to go your whole life without ever saying a single prayer or stepping foot in a church or even acknowledging that such things exist.  The essence of freedom is about choices, and one can choose in life not to be of any religion (many do) or simply not to be a Mormon (most do, and rightfully so).  That’s your choice; you’ve made it, and no one can take it away from you.

Except, apparently, the fucking Church Of Latter-Day Saints.

When people are re-baptised (or baptised for the first time) posthumously into the Mormon faith, without the permission or even knowledge of their families and loved ones, that’s not a choice that they made or that someone that knew them is making for them.  It’s an overruling of the choice they made in life, specifically, the choice not to be a fucking Mormon.  Who is the LDS to decide that your choice was wrong and should be overruled?  If someone wants to become a Mormon, they’ve got their entire lives to do it, and it’s not like the little shits Mormon missionaries are hard to find.  Just stay at home; they’ll come to you!  My point here is that the LDS is overruling your freedom to choose not to be a part of their silly inane blasphemous ridiciulous religion.  You made a choice in life; now that you’re dead and can’t fight back, the Mormons are making a choice for you.  That’s not only blasphemous against the deceased person’s religious beliefs, it’s a denial of their right to choose their own religion, if any at all.  It’s the antithesis of freedom:  denial of choice.

Fucked up, ain’t it?

Now, the Mormon apologist on that blog says that in the afterlife, the deceased can easily refute the “gift” of Mormon baptism, so, no harm, no foul, right?

Well, right. . .if the Mormons are right about the afterlife.  Show me one single goddamn shred of evidence (factual, not faith-based) that says that they are, and I’ll back off of this.  But what if they’re wrong?  What if Mormonism is not the One, True Religion?  What if their “gift” consigned hundreds of thousands of people to an eternity in Hell?  How many people are there, right now, burning and being tortured by demons and all the while yelling “FUCK YOU, JOSEPH SMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITH!”  (Hey, the Mormon Church is saying “fuck you” to your right to choose your path to God; it’s only fair to say “fuck you” back to them.)  Then there’s a pretty goodly amount of harm done, in what’s definitely a foul act.  The other story that the guy posted was that it’s simply a “just in case” measure, as in “just in case we’re right.”  I’ll stick with not being a Mormon, in life or in death, “just in case” you’re fucking wrong.

And you are, for baptising the unwilling.

VS 05.05.2009


14 Responses to “You’re In The Mormon Army Now”

  1. The practice of posthumously baptizing mormon parishioners is fairly well documented, but it doesn’t make it any less creepy for sure. Personally, the mormon doctrine I find most reprehensible is their belief about blacks, and how they were sinful spirits, and that explains the color of their skin.

    • vagabondsaint Says:

      well, to mormon parishioners is one thing, but to non-mormons, to people who specifically chose in life not to follow the mormon path, is blasphemous, disrespectful and intolerant of the religious views of others where applicable and disrespectful of intolerant of the personal choices of others where not. the black people thing is creepy too, but hell, that’s pretty much what conservatives say about all minorities, so it’s not shocking anymore.

  2. It really is desecration of a corpse, baptizing someone into a faith that they did not follow. Sick stuff for sure.

  3. vagabondsaint Says:

    i should perhaps clarify that they don’t actually use the person’s corpse for this process. a non-life-challenged person stands in for the deceased and undergoes the baptismal process in the deceased’s name. it’s still spiritual assault, if one believes in spirits, and i’m currently arguing with my mormon friend about how they can possibly justify this. if he’ll allow, i’ll post that argument later.

  4. See, I’ve seen video of this actually happening to corpses. I’ll have to find the youtube link.

  5. vagabondsaint Says:

    i await that link with bated breath and a slightly turned stomach. . .

  6. OK, I’m going to have to call things out.

    The main argument you have to defeat, I think, is the claim that the dead will still have a choice to refuse the baptism in the spirit world (or wherever they are). You hint that you’re going to counter this argument, but…your counter is so weak.

    Well, right. . .if the Mormons are right about the afterlife. Show me one single goddamn shred of evidence (factual, not faith-based) that says that they are, and I’ll back off of this. But what if they’re wrong? What if Mormonism is not the One, True Religion? What if their “gift” consigned hundreds of thousands of people to an eternity in Hell?

    I dunno…this is just reeks of silliness to me.

    If Mormons are *wrong,* then why would their post-death baptism have *any* effect? How would it have ANY power to consign ANYONE to hell? Your scenario presumes that Mormons already have this efficacy that is not certain (and if it IS certain, then why not assume that their efficacy is in the way that the Mormons say it is? if you are going to doubt the power of Mormonism [which is fair to do], doubt it ALL the way.)

    Your argument sounds so silly as: let’s say there’s a man who’s been faithful his entire life, and he dies and presumably is worthy of heaven because he has never cheated on his wife. BUT SOME DASTARDLY WOMAN ROBS THE GRAVE, takes advantage of rigor mortis, and does the unspeakable. Your situation would then suggest that that man would be stripped of his heavenly reward because posthumously, and beyond his control, he cheated on his wife.

    Now, most people don’t believe this is so (at least, no one *I* know would make such a conclusion). But you might want to call me out and say that people *would* be offended at the necrophilia for various reasons (and trust me, I am too). But the offense of necrophilia can be tied solely to reasons of the physical world — on the other hands, Mormons do not rob graves to baptise. They are essentially baptizing some MEMBER with a CARD WITH A NAME. Are you going to equate a card with a name to the body? Are you scared of voodoo?

    So I mean, there are many reasons to disagree with Mormons…but this one (and it seems to be a popular reason)…I just don’t understand it.

    • vagabondsaint Says:

      here’s my thing: i’m very big on personal freedom and personal choices. the people that are being posthumously baptised may indeed have the right to refuse (it’s impossible to know for sure, given that no one has any concrete evidence of what happens after death), but you know what? those people didn’t choose to even have the option. it’s bad enough when mormon missionaries wake you up early on a saturday morning to talk to you about joseph smith and brigham young against your will; now they can’t quit trying to shove their religion down your throat when you’re dead? “but it’s just an option,” as my mormon friend told me today. you know what else gives you unwanted options? SPAM EMAIL. is the mormon church no better than spammers? after all, spammers just give you the option, right? every other human agency leaves you alone when you die; only Mormons and the IRS will keep trying to get you after that point, and that’s not exactly stellar company either.

      if i go to my grave choosing not to be a mormon or ever participate in any sort of mormon ritual, that’s my choice. invoking my name in any sort of ritual or ceremony goes against MY CHOICE. to paraphrase an americablog commenter, the act is offensive [due to the disrespect it shows for the wishes of the deceased and their family]; the secrecy is galling.

      if it’s not a big deal, why don’t they tell people when they do it? why don’t they notify the families before or even after they perform the proxy baptism? why don’t they give the family members the chance to say “no”? my only answers to those questions are arrogance, informed disrespect for the wishes of others (as demonstrated in that the baptisms for holocaust victims kept being performed even after the agreement to stop them), and apathy for the feelings of others. if you or anyone have better answers, i’m listening.

      and you’re right. . .there’s a lot better reasons to disagree with mormons. but, you know, one thing at a time.


      • It seems to me that if your core issue with this is similar to the idea of spam (which, I guess that makes a decent comparison)…then I have to wonder how much this really bothers you.

        Personally, spam doesn’t bother me. Maybe that’s because I have good spam filters. I’m good at not signing up for junk stuff, and I ignore the stuff I do get. In fact, I simply don’t have enough wherewithal to get bothered by spam — because being so bothered and consumed by it would represent a dysfunction to live in human conditions.

        It’s like saying, “I dislike the fact that people I don’t like try talking to me. Sometimes, people talk trash to me. Rage!” I mean, it’s understandable that you don’t like this, but you’re *going* to face this. So, you learn to deal with it. Are you so bothered when the phone rings when you’re doing something something else? When there’s a traffic jam?

        And it seems like your equivocating between what you’re being bothered over. I can at least see the theoretical bother of spam email or missionaries coming to your door or getting into a traffic jam because of this physical, real-world time component. But then this argument does not apply to baptism by proxy, and in fact, you point out that the people are not *contacted* about the baptisms…so it’s not like they can claim to be annoyed by that.

        I mean, really, this seems to be an intensely unrealistic expectation — you admit that you’re bothered by the mere invocation of a name in a ceremony that you do not hear about until after someone does some investigation and that will not affect you in any way (unless you believe that it is true). You admit that you are bothered when people do contact you, but you are bothered that the families are not contacted.

  7. […] my email inbox, I got a google notification for a blog I haven’t read before, Vagabond Saint, for a tirade against baptisms for the dead. To be sure, Mormons have a history — first Jews, then Catholics…it’s actually […]

  8. vagabondsaint Says:

    the families aren’t contacted and given a choice here. i’m fairly certain that lifelong, firmly devout catholics, jews, and atheists wouldn’t want to take part in a mormon ritual at all, never mind it being against their will. i’m none of the above and i don’t want it done. who speaks for their right not to have this done for them? who speaks for their desire not to participate in these things, not to have their name invoked by a religion they don’t believe in?

    it’s a ritual, like any other in every other religion everywhere on the planet. . .and here in america, you’re supposed to have the right to decide for yourself whether or not you want to be a part of a ritual. if you can’t make that decision for yourself, then that’s what the next of kin are for. but to make someone part of a ritual without their permission or knowledge, or that of their next-of-kin, flies in the face of that right.

    that’s what bothers me, that they are disrespectful to the wishes of the dead, not to mention being disrespectful to other religions, and then attempt to hide the disrespect by not asking or notifying the next of kin. this would be an insult to a devout catholic, and obviously it pissed off jewish people pretty well too.

    that said. . .how much am i really pissed off about it? about as much as i would be pissed off by any instance of someone being denied a choice in their life. . .which, given that it happens numerous times a day, isn’t all that much. i’d have constant Outrage Fatigue if i got really pissed every time that happened, and really, i’d rather spend the time writing erotica. of course, it could just be that i hadn’t been on a good rant in a long time, and this was just the first thing that came along when i felt a mood for one. . .

    i will admit, though, it’s been a pretty interesting topic of conversation all day. especially with mormons.


  9. Ah, but here’s the thing. Firmly devout catholics, jews, and atheists aren’t participating in any mormon ritual.

    If some guy baptizes a Mormon on your behalf, that doesn’t mean you’ve participated. If and only if the Mormons are right, then all it will mean is that you have the choice to 1) accept or 2) reject in the afterlife (no harm or foul, as you mentioned [even though you seem to think even this choice is problematic…if you go to a restaurant, and want to go straight to the main course, is it annoying for the waiter to first ask you if you want soup or salad? Is it annoying if some girl scout asks you if you want to donate money to some cause you don’t support?), and if the Mormons are wrong, then all it will mean is that your name was spoken once, you never heard about it, and it never affected you in any way (except apparently, it disturbs you that people are saying your name.)

    I mean, really…this is what you’re fighting for. You’re fighting for someone’s right not to have their name spoken. As if THIS is the foundation of what America stands for. I don’t know how to even approach this, because I’m caught up by this very idea.

    Personally, as an atheist ex-mormon, this is how it seems to me. If I die, I’m dead. So, if the Mormons are wrong, then I’m dead. When they invoke my dead name, this does *nothing*. It means *nothing*. It has a net effect of *nothing*. There’s nothing to be bothered about. If I’m ALIVE and I’m hearing about this, I have a net effect of being *amused*, because I think they are spending a lot of time on something that won’t do anything, but then again, that’s not being bothered. If someone were practicing voodoo in my name, then perhaps that might be somewhat bothersome…but STILL, even that would be AMUSING, because I don’t think voodoo does anything either. The only thing that would be bothersome is that the proposed voodoo has a harmful intention…if they are willing to do that harm through a completely ineffective magic invocation, I’d only wonder what ELSE they’d be willing to do.

    But even with the Mormons, this is not the case. The sentiment isn’t meant to be harmful. It’s like if someone wants to pray for you, but they are of a different religion. Sure, you may believe it’s silly, but if they do it genuinely and without ill will, it’s not alarming in the slightest. And if they DO do it out of malice, then it is that MALICE that is alarming, not the invocation.

    So, ultimately, I could understand if your contention was something like, “I find it malicious that Mormons want to offer Mormonism to everyone — whether through missionary work, etc.,” But then the emphasis shouldn’t be on the INVOCATION OF A NAME as you’ve carried on throughout the conversation. and even then, your case won’t get too far because, for all the talk of personal freedom and personal choices, that means Mormons should also have personal freedom and personal choices.

  10. vagabondsaint Says:

    after the four different conversations i have had on this topic, i have officially gone past the point of caring.

    mayhaps it is my own beliefs of the afterlife that makes this so offensive to me, but i chose to argue secular points because arguing one theology against another is a losing battle.

    i can believe that most mormons do this as a well-intentioned goodwill gesture. no problem there. i still have problems with them doing it for people of other religions, and given that jews and catholics have problems with it too, at least i’m not alone there. but, seeing as how i am only one person and not a large coalition of like-minded people, it’s not a battle worth fighting for me, and even discussing has dragged on for far too long.

    done with it now, and never let it be said that i don’t allow or encourage opposing viewpoints here.


  11. I mean, of course I recognize too that this is something that many different people feel strongly about, so there’s got to be something to it.

    I just don’t see it. Perhaps it is differing beliefs in the afterlife…because I literally cannot comprehend how this does *anything* in any other proposed spiritual worlds if Mormons are wrong.

    but this was a very engaging discussion, so thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: