Dibs on the dead guy!

As I’ve said before, I’m not overly religious. And one of the reasons is that I get seriously annoyed at evangelicals, those who do everything they can to bring others to “the one true faith.”

But the Mormons are taking that to new and outrageous levels. They have taken to baptizing dead people. By their rather odd rules, though, permission can only be given by a relative of the deceased.

That was a bit inconvenient until someone pointed out that, according to the Mormon faith (among others), everyone is descended from Adam. Therefore, we’re all one big family, so everyone is related to everyone else.

By that reasoning, anyone can stand in for any deceased person and “volunteer” them for baptizing into the Mormon faith. And they’ve been busy as the dickens, bringing in new converts by the graveyard-ful.

Until word got out to some Jewish people that their ancestors who were killed in Nazi concentration camps were, in the eyes of the Mormons, no longer Jewish. They were now Mormons, and “saved” in the eyes of God.

To many of those Jews, this was an unforgivable insult. Those ancestors had died solely because of their Jewish identity, and now these Mormon whackos were stealing them of even that. They protested loudly, and the Mormons agreed to stop doing it.

But apparently they didn’t. The Jewish leaders who raised such a fuss the first time around say they have evidence that the Mormons broke their word and have been continuing the “baptisms by proxy” ever since.

I’m a huge believer in freedom of religion, but I’ve always thought that a key element of that concept was the right to be free FROM religion. Christians have gotten over the “convert or die” crap, the Jews never had an evangelical streak (in fact, converting to Judaism is a huge effort), and even among Muslims it’s less common than before.

But the Mormons are taking it even further. It’s now “die, and then we’ll convert you.” Whether you ever wanted it or not. No matter what your family might say. We’re gonna save your soul over your dead body — most literally.

There’s a part of me that’s slightly intrigued by the prospect of a post-mortem conversion. I can see myself suddenly yanked out of my current apres-vie existence and suddenly showing up in Mormon Heaven. And I can see myself getting so ripshit, I get sent to Mormon Hell. And from all the things that the Mormons consider sinful, I’m willing to bet that Mormon Hell is a real swinging place.

With all the caffeine I could ever drink.


(Update: Comments are now closed. If you want to continue this discussion, take it here.)

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