If we’re not having a Kulturkampf in one direction, it’s coming at us from another:
Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor who has devoted his life to combating intolerance, says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “should speak to his own church and say they should stop” performing posthumous proxy baptisms on Jews.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke to The Huffington Post Tuesday soon after HuffPost reported that according to a formerly-Mormon researcher, Helen Radkey, some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had submitted Wiesel’s name to a restricted genealogy website as “ready” for posthumous proxy baptism. Radkey found that the name of Wiesel had been submitted to the database for the deceased, from which a separate process for proxy baptism could be initiated. Radkey also said that the names of Wiesel’s deceased father and maternal grandfather had been submitted to the site…
To which I can only say, Proxy baptism? Really? That doesn’t sound kosher to me, somehow.
Anyway, the Mormons are saying they didn’t really “baptize” Wiesel, even though his name pops up in their records. Nor did they intend to sorta, kinda baptize Simon Wiesenthal’s parents:
SALT LAKE CITY — Mormon church leaders apologized to the family of Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal after his parents were posthumously baptized, a controversial ritual that Mormons believe allows deceased people a way to the afterlife but offends members of many other religions.
Wiesenthal died in 2005 after surviving the Nazi death camps and spending his life documenting Holocaust crimes and hunting down perpetrators who remained at large. Jews are particularly offended by an attempt to alter the religion of Holocaust victims, who were murdered because of their religion, and the baptism of Holocaust survivors was supposed to have been barred by a 1995 agreement…
The church immediately apologized, saying it was the actions of an individual member of church — whom they did not name — that led to the submission of Wiesenthal’s name…
Hey, it could happen to anybody, right? Right?
I don’t want to cast any aspersions, but this seems kind of… out there. I mean, we baptize babies who don’t know what’s going on, but dead people? Dead people who are not of your persuasion?