Mormons, whose religious beliefs are even flakier than some fundy christianists, are convinced that their followers will live forever in an afterlife which will consist only of Mormons like themselves. It becomes very important then, that they baptize as many people as possible so extended families can enjoy the pleasures of heaven for all eternity.
Is there any evidence whatsoever for such a belief? No.
That hasn't stopped the Mormons, however, for like most religious people, evidence is not required. Faith or what passes for faith is the most important thing even if the evidence contradicts that faith.
You should not be surprised, therefore, if some of your deceased relatives have been baptized into Mormonism without your knowledge or consent. "Using genealogy records, the church ... baptized people who have died from all over the world and from different religions. Mormons stand in as proxies for the person being baptized and immerse themselves in a baptismal pool." In this case, the Mormons believe, like many religionists, that the ends justify the means.
What's really pissy, though, is that the Mormons have been baptizing Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust! According to an AP article appearing in The New York Times, Jews and Mormons signed an agreement in 1995 "to limit the circumstances that allow for the proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims."
The Mormons, however, have not lived up to their side of the bargain for some time. This was confirmed in 2005, when "...ongoing monitoring of the database by an independent Salt Lake City-based researcher show[ed] both resubmissions and new entries of names of Dutch, Greek, Polish and Italian Jews."
The Jews have said enough is enough or not enough. They will negotiate no longer. Ernest Michel, honorary chairman of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, said that it isn't enough that the LDS make changes in its database to make it harder for Holocaust victims to be proxy baptized, the Mormon Church must also "implement a mechanism to undo what you have done."
Unfortunately, the Mormon Church is typical of religious creedal associations who believe that they and only they have the "truth." So church elder Lance B. Wickman told reporters that to stop proxy baptizing of Holocaust victims entirely would mean Mormons would have to change what they believe.
"We don't think any faith group has the right to ask another to change its doctrines. If our work for the dead is properly understood ... it should not be a source of friction to anyone. It's merely a freewill offering."
Okay. Let's turn this around. Let's start a new church!
First we'll find some "holy" books buried in Hawaii (that way we can get a tan while we dig). Our holy books, buried years ago by the angel Proxy, will be written in King James English and detail how Native Hawaiians descended from the Apostle Paul. We know Paul wasn't married. But our holy books, the Proxy Chronicles, will reveal to the world for the first time Paul's affair with Mary Magdalene. It will also describe how Paul and MM traveled by boat and camel to the Hawaiian Islands in the year 82. Because miracles still occurred in those days, Paul and Mary had 12 children.
The story of Paul's martyrdom in Rome is a myth.
Our new church will be called The Salvation by Proxy New Church of God in Jesus Christ and Sts. Paul and Mary M. One of our major doctrines will be that only members of our church will live eternally with the father, his son and the holy ghost. Another main doctrine is that the Mormon church is obviously non-Christian and therefore all Mormons are going to hell.
It will be our evangelistic mission to save not only living Mormons -- and we'll do that by sending out female missionaries by twos dressed in brief bikinis (in cold weather they'll wear overcoats) to call door to door around the world -- but also to save dead Mormons.
To save dead Mormons, we'll borrow the LDS database and conduct baptisms into our new church, known as SPN & MM for short. All proxy baptisms will be performed in the Hawaiian Islands, and proxies will have to spend at least two hours in the Pacific Ocean, unless it is raining, then they may merely dip their big toe in the surf and head for Joe's Bar & Grill.
Now, I know that the LDS folks are not going to like this. Migod, they'll probably think it is a slap in their face and disrespectful to their religion. They'll probably ask us to stop doing it. They'll probably say, "You must stop baptizing our Mormon dead by proxy!" And they'll mean it. They might even threaten legal action.
We'll say, no, we're not being disrespectful. And we don't think we should have to change our doctrines to please you. "We don't think any faith group has the right to ask another to change its doctrines. If our work for the dead is properly understood ... it should not be a source of friction to anyone. It's merely a freewill offering."
That's what we'll say.
I think that if they could, the Holocaust folks baptized by the Mormons would say, "Thank Hashem, already!"