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Just as effective as the Mormon ceremony

Thank you, Bill Maher, for rescuing Mitt Romney’s father-in-law from Kolob.

Comments

  1. procyon says

    “atheism is like religion precisely like abstinence is like a sex position” Think he’d mind if I steal that?

  2. congenital cynic says

    That was fucking great. I love it when he takes the piss out of religion. And of all the strange practices, posthumously baptizing people? Religion makes people crazy.

  3. says

    I saw Charles Darwin’s predictions of hereditary limits in apes, archaea, and orchids.

    Ah ha, so evolution is a religion!

    Oh, unless finding the exact sort of evidence that is predicted by physical causes isn’t what religion does.

    Glen Davidson

  4. alisonstreight says

    There are times when Bill justs hits it out of the park. This was so jam-packed with zingers it would be hard to pick a favourite, but the wizard hat topped it.

  5. tbp1 says

    As pelamun suggests, it is hard to overlook Maher’s anti-rational stances on some other issues, but, damn, when he’s good, he’s REALLY good. This is pretty close to perfection.

  6. Rip Steakface says

    Yeah, Maher’s anti-rational stances on various food woo, vaccines, and stuff like that is irritating as hell, but he’s damn good at nailing other ones, religion in particular. He could take some inspiration from Carlin and just avoid his non-rational views altogether.

  7. dogfightwithdogma says

    Touchdown. Homerun. Three-pointer. Choose your sports metaphor. This simply was AWESOME! I suggest we start a program to debaptise every person ever baptised by every religion, but not one at time. Let’s have one large depatismal rally. Maybe we could do it outisde the Mormon church in Salt Lake City. Or perhaps we should have separate debaptismal events for each denomination and hold each outside a well-known Church representing each denomination. Or perhaps we should just hold events to debaptise the Pope, all the Cardinals, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, John Hagee, and all the other living and deceased religious imbeciles who have plagued or continue to plague us. Of course this would be as much a lunatic waste of our time as baptism is a idiotic waste of their time in the first place.

  8. Sastra says

    Very, very nice. I am so sick of the tendency for all theists — including the so-called ‘liberal, moderate’ ones — to try to draw some sort of equivalency between ALL the beliefs about God and thus elevate the virtue and necessity of “having faith” in the process.

    No, atheists do not have to worry about participating in your Mutually Assured Destruction Pact of Religious Tolerance (“I won’t question your faith if you won’t question mine.”) Atheists don’t make a big song and dance about how you have to leap over the evidence and apply the standards you would normally use onto an ethical principle on an empirical claim. In fact, we think the song and dance needs to go, right along with the intellectual confusion and dishonesty.

    Maher made many coherent points — and made people laugh. I was pleasantly suprised, also, at the laughter and applause from the audience.

  9. peterh says

    As hinted above, Maher isn’t always “on his game,” but this time he hit one out of the Cosmic Park.

  10. maryb says

    His best ever. I want the mormon de-batising after I’m dead as my converted relatives will no doubt try to save my soul.

    But it isn’t my body they are after, it’s my memory they are trying to change and that is offensive. Their attempts at changing history to bolster their crazy theology is really offensive.

  11. blindrobin says

    @#8 Rip Steakface said it for me as well. (Sorry about the rhinoplasty failure or left hook or whatever mate)

  12. eddyline says

    Well, at least he didn’t give away the secret handshake.

    Seriously, though, that was excellent!

  13. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Just goes to show Maher can make a good point and be funny doing so. He should do that more often.

  14. peterh says

    @ #8:

    Actually, Maher should offer his services on behalf Carlin; the Hippy-Dippy Weatherman is just one of those unfortunates who was posthumously “saved” by those LDS cretins. So was Carl Sagan, among others. The LDS effrontery & nuttery know no bounds.

  15. you_monster says

    Watching Maher perform the reverse-baptism, wearing that wizard hat and saying the ceremonial words of tribute to “math, gravity, evolution, and electricity”, I had a good laugh. But, I wasn’t laughing at the silly empty rituals of religion, but at Alain de Botton.

    If Botton’s unfortunate idea of having a “temple for atheists” ever gained traction, I hope Maher gets elected atheist-pope.

    P.S., Fuck anti-vaxers

  16. David Marjanović says

    Well, that should stop the claims about his insisting he’s an agnostic.

    I can’t watch the video; does it rule out the possibility of a deist god?

  17. David Marjanović says

    If Botton’s unfortunate idea of having a “temple for atheists” ever gained traction, I hope Maher gets elected atheist-pope.

    Rāmen!!!

  18. Sili says

    I can’t watch the video; does it rule out the possibility of a deist god?

    I may of course have heard wrong, but I think he did indeed call himself an atheist.

  19. Rey Fox says

    Hmm. Maybe we could do the “atheist religion” thing if we can just keep it at the level of Dada.

  20. freelunch says

    I did like that Maher noted that atheists are as capable of having blind spots as anyone else (not that he mentioned his own).

  21. John Morales says

    David @21, here’s a gag from early on:

    In fact, not only is atheism not a religion, it’s not even my hobby — and that’s the best thing about being an atheist, it requires so little of your time.

    <audience laughs>

  22. bassmanpete says

    I did like that Maher noted that atheists are as capable of having blind spots as anyone else (not that he mentioned his own).

    It may be that he’s blind to them.

  23. shouldbeworking says

    Oh wow. What a funny guy. I never watch his show on TV, I wait until the best parts are posted on the intertubez.

  24. says

    In fact, not only is atheism not a religion, it’s not even my hobby — and that’s the best thing about being an atheist, it requires so little of your time.

    That line would have hit particularly hard for mormons. They not only have to spend 3 hours in church on Sunday, but they also have VT (Visiting Teaching) assignments, HT (home teaching), EQ (Elders Quorum), Boy Scouts with mormon flavoring, “calllings” like janitorial service or Ward Clerk, seminary classes for teens, RS (Relief Society), General Conference, Singles Ward dances, YW (Young Womens), daily Book of Mormon reading, Temple ordinances …..

    I have to go now. The list is not complete, but it’s making me sleepy.

  25. raven says

    Lynna, you left out family home evening.

    IIRC, every Monday, the entire family is supposed to get together and do something together. Even if it is just watching TV or a movie.

    Many claim the Mormons keep everyone so busy with meetings and fearful of endless imaginary monsters that they never get a chance to actually sit down and think. Because if they ever did think for a while….

  26. carlie says

    Rasmus – he did follow with “… For (name)”, so it was ok. I kept waiting for him to bring a hair dryer out, though.

  27. bastionofsass says

    IRC, every Monday, the entire family is supposed to get together and do something together. Even if it is just watching TV or a movie.

    My Mormon acquaintance, trying once again to convince me that Mormonism would improve the quality, not just of my afterlife, but of my present life, was going on and on about how wonderful the family home evening was. He mentioned, among his family’s favorite activities, board games, working on jigsaw puzzles, and baking cookies.

    After he was done, he asked eagerly, “Doesn’t that sound wonderful?”

    I said, “Even if I thought some of those sounded nice, if my family and I really want to do those things together, we don’t need to become Mormons to do it.”

    I don’t think he had a response to that.

  28. Aquaria says

    My Mormon acquaintance, trying once again to convince me that Mormonism would improve the quality, not just of my afterlife, but of my present life, was going on and on about how wonderful the family home evening was. He mentioned, among his family’s favorite activities, board games, working on jigsaw puzzles, and baking cookies.

    After he was done, he asked eagerly, “Doesn’t that sound wonderful?”

    How fucking presumptuous, arrogant and fucking stupid to think that someone doesn’t do that with their family anyway.

    I would have said, “Normal people do things with their family. Why do you need to be brainwashed to do it?”

  29. Aquaria says

    Lynna, you left out family home evening.

    IIRC, every Monday, the entire family is supposed to get together and do something together. Even if it is just watching TV or a movie.

    IIRC, that time is supposed to be for them to pray and read from Joseph Smith’s bestselling novel, but maybe they’ve lightened up on that in the past few years, and are grateful to get their godbots simply to spend some time together away from the material world.

  30. Rip Steakface says

    @#8 Rip Steakface said it for me as well. (Sorry about the rhinoplasty failure or left hook or whatever mate)

    That got a good laugh out of me. Nah, it’s just something I utterly ripped off (geddit?) from Mystery Science Theater 3000, specifically, the Space Mutiny episode. They call the “hero” a number of names related to his bulky physique and screechy battlecry, including Rip Steakface, Dirk Hardpec, Fist Rockbone, Roll Fizzlebeef, and, when they started to run out of ideas, Big McLargeHuge.

  31. Ichthyic says

    I can’t watch the video; does it rule out the possibility of a deist god?

    probably right after it rules out the existence of flying unicorns.

    agnostic should be tossed from the vocabulary as an entirely useless word.

  32. McCthulhu's new upbeat 2012 nym. says

    For title of this thread, PZ used the phrase “Just as effective as the Mormon ceremony,” which, probably unintentionally, diminishes just what is going on. It might not seem like much of a deal at first glance, but I’m willing to bet money that some insidious bastard at the LSD church is fully aware of, and made plans for some brainwashed puppet to pull this information out sometime in the far future and disingenuously make a big deal about ‘all these people who were baptized as Mormons. Look how huge were were throughout history! And look at all these famous scientists!’

    You just know it’s going to happen. That’s why I’m all for verbally eviscerating the practice at every opportunity and being as hardass as possible about it when encountering people from this idiot cult in person. Bill Maher may have a few flaws that irk people, but no comedian gets away without doing so. However, this bit was so delicious I’m sure I gained 10 lbs just watching it.

  33. Ermine says

    Once again, McCthulhu:

    While I completely agree that the ceremony is completely useless and silly, The LDS are NOT baptizing these people “as Mormons”. They’re not listing them as members anywhere in the church rolls.

    Really, they have enough silly things they do that are worth sniping at, but they’re going to laugh and ignore you when you say things like that, because they’ll all just go “Hah! Well, we’re not baptizing them as Mormons, so there!” and never think about what you’re saying beyond the incorrect claim. Trust me, I was one, I know exactly what goes through their minds when someone says that!

    For example, Catholics really DO believe that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. It’s clearly stated in their doctrine, and any educated Catholic will be able to tell you about that part of their religion. You will not find a claim anywhere in mainstream LDS theology that all the dead who have been baptized by proxy are now Mormons. Oh, some of them might become so in the future, but no one knows which (if any) will accept “The Truth” after they learn it in the Afterlife, nor even when it is that they might be taught and given the opportunity to make that decision. At death? During the thousand years of peace during the Millennium? Therefore, none of the people who have had ordinances done by proxy are listed as having -accepted- those covenants, they’re only recorded as having had the ordinances performed on their behalf.

    I’m only correcting you in the interests of making sure that people understand what’s really going on in the Mormon’s heads, and why, while many people may find the practice rude or even abhorrent, I don’t think you’d have any luck whatsoever trying to -stop- them. I don’t think anyone would have a legal leg to stand on, really. No dead bodies are ever so much as touched, and the dead are not counted on the membership rolls. Nothing is being done to anyone’s relatives except a prayer being spoken in their behalf. (Well, more than one if all of the ordinances are done. 3 or 4 all told – Baptism, laying on of hands for the Holy Ghost, Temple ordinances, and sealing, if they are to be sealed to their spouse(s).)

    You may not like it, but I can’t think of any way that one could stop them without impacting your own right(s) as much or more than theirs.

  34. says

    “I’m not saying atheists are perfect thinkers, everyone has blind spots.”

    You don’t say, Bill.

    “If you still insist atheism is a religion, then it’s only fair that we get to do all the loony stuff that you get to do.”

    Awesome! Bring on the loony stuff!

  35. andyo says

    I may of course have heard wrong, but I think he did indeed call himself an atheist.

    He’s done it before. IIRC, one of the last times he had Hitchens on (or maybe Penn Jillette) he referred to him as being on the same “camp” or “team” or some such. It’s been a long time since he stopped saying things that are pretty close to what he’s criticizing in this video, calling himself an agnostic. I suspect since he actually started talking to atheistic scientists like Dawkins, Neil Tyson and maybe Sam Harris. And of course, Hitchens has been on many times.

  36. says

    @evilisgood #42,

    From my experience here, I can tell you that unless your comment is trolling, a video clip, extremely long, harmfully obsessive, or something like that then there should not be a problem with you reposting it in the right thread.

    I think the tentacular administrator around here does a pretty good job of giving people warnings if something they do crosses the line, and besides, a repost of a comment in the right thread would hardly cross any line at all.

    If you want to double check that what you are doing is OK, though, see this post (which is linked to from the Dungeon tab at the top of the site): http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/01/pharyngula-standards-practices/

  37. Michael Heath says

    Bill Maher at his best.

    The media should drill into this with Mitt Romney and even his wife Ann. How does he justify demeaning her father? These are the types of queries we should inflict on candidates in order to understand whether they’re be inflicting their beliefs on the rest of us through the promotion of certain laws. Which we already know Mitt has done and will continue to do, e.g., abortion, gay marriage, Christianism, which the media likes to avoid addressing.

  38. Ichthyic says

    They’re not listing them as members anywhere in the church rolls.

    I don’t care if you were raised Mormon, there is a lot of evidence that this has not always been the case.

    There is a huge list of jewish communities that have written strenuous objections to the Mormon leaders in the past for having their dead relatives listed on the rolls of Mormon because of exactly this practice. Whether or not this technically makes them “Mormon” to mormons themselves, NOW, is irrelevant. In fact, most of the LDS leadership has been working to get people who object removed from the roles. Now, why would they be doing this, if they were never added in the first place, eh?

    Originally, baptism within the LDS, just like it still is within the catholic church, served to initiate one into the roles of the church. Hell, where do you think LDS got the idea to baptize people from to begin with?

    you think Smith really just invented the idea on his own?

    It is amusing to watch mormorns, both present and FORMER, play the courtier’s reply, though.

    please, do continue to tell us how mormons are laughing at the world for getting the details wrong.

  39. Chris Booth says

    Ichthyic @ #39:

    agnostic should be tossed from the vocabulary as an entirely useless word.

    Oh, I don’t know.

    ;-)

  40. says

    Aratina Cage @45:

    Thank you!

    What I meant to say in this thread was:

    My husband, Mr evilisgood, is now on an agnostic kick. 6 months ago, he thought he was Christian, until I calmly explained to him that you really shouldn’t claim to be Christian if you think that Jesus was a philosopher rather than the son of god and that the resurrection was a fairy story. He’s not a stupid man, just confused.

    Tonight we got into it because we saw Bill Maher’s most recent “New Rules,” and Mr evil was all, “Atheism is too a religion.” At which point, trying not to tear my hair out, I tried to explain that atheism was a position on one point, the existence of deities, and nothing else. His argument was that if you proselytize or preach or try to convince others of your position then it was a religion. I said, “So what am I supposed to do? Just shut up about it? Because that’s not going to happen.” And he said, “No, you’re not religious. You’re just expressing your opinion.”

    GAHGLAGHGAGAGGGHAAAA

  41. Ichthyic says

    GAHGLAGHGAGAGGGHAAAA

    so, is the purchase of a wig in your near future?

    personally, I myself am seeking to purchase some spackle to repair this big dent in my head from banging it on the desk all the time.

  42. Ichthyic says

    try to convince others of your position then it was a religion.

    I’ll try to remember the next time I argue a point that I’m actually creating yet another religious sect, and not to let it go to my head too much.

    So many godheads, so little time for worshippers.

  43. jaycubed says

    I beat Bill to it. I atheized Edward R. Davies on Saturday (as soon as I read the first article concerning his posthumous baptism). And I didn’t have to wear a silly hat! Feel free to atheize anyone you want to, just like the Mormon Church baptizing anyone they wish.

    http://www.iamanatheist.com/atheize.php

    —–

    You do realize that the Mormon Church is attempting to “genealogize” & posthumously baptize every human being that ever lived: they keep the records of their endeavor in the Church’s nuclear bomb proof vault at Granite Mtn. UT.

    This is one of the major reasons that the Church runs online genealogy services for non-Mormons, to acquire data for their magical rituals.

  44. says

    so, is the purchase of a wig in your near future?

    The funny thing is, I do have a substantial wig collection already. Ooh la la!

    And I didn’t have to wear a silly hat!

    Everybody knows that atheizing doesn’t work without the hat. What, do you live under a rock?

  45. Ermine says

    I don’t care if you were raised Mormon, there is a lot of evidence that this has not always been the case.

    There is a huge list of jewish communities that have written strenuous objections to the Mormon leaders in the past for having their dead relatives listed on the rolls of Mormon because of exactly this practice.

    Ichthyic, Can you present any of that copious evidence that any of the people baptized by proxy have EVER appeared on the membership rolls of the LDS church, as opposed to appearing on the list of dead people who have had the ordinances performed by proxy, but who were NOT ever listed as LDS members? My POINT is that people are assuming facts not in evidence, and by going back to the complaints from the Jewish community, you’re doing exactly the same thing. Neither you nor they have presented any evidence (that I’ve seen so far) that any of the names of dead people baptized-by-proxy have ever appeared on the membership rolls of the LDS church. Have you got any?

    Yes, I know full well that the Jewish community was outraged by the practice of baptisms-by-proxy, but I’ve never seen even one piece of real evidence that the names they were objecting to were ever listed as LDS members. When has any religious community had to be -right- about something before they became outraged? Can you supply any evidence that any of those names were listed as actual members of the LDS church? If not, mayyybe you should take that new data into account? Nahh, easier to just keep complaining about the same thing, even when it’s pointed out that you’re wrong, and that all of your evidence is hearsay and rumor.

    What other group acts like that, do you remember? Hmmmm…

    I know that you ASSUME that Mormons list those people as members, but unless you actually have some evidence that that is the case, I know from a lifetime of having it pounded into me every week that they DON’T, and I’d HOPE that the more rational people here would want to know the actual facts of the matter. Maybe you don’t, which leaves me somewhat disappointed in you, but nevertheless, other readers may come out of the conversation more willing to to understand the actual facts involved, and may have better luck talking with LDS and former LDS, since they won’t be repeating falsehoods about the process.

    And yes, I KNOW that baptism of -living- people is quite often used to show membership in a new church. Since the LDS DON’T list those people on the membership rolls, obviously that isn’t the case for baptisms-by-proxy. Again, if you can provide any real evidence to the contrary, I’ll do a 180 in a heartbeat, but all you’ve offered so far in your case is groups of other religious people getting angry at rumors that they don’t understand, rather than actual practices as the LDS church records, performs, or teaches.

    In fact, most of the LDS leadership has been working to get people who object removed from the roles.

    From the membership rolls, or from the rolls of those who have had ordinances-by-proxy? Two different lists! As far as I know, the only lists those names have been removed from are the lists of dead who have had ordinances performed on their behalf, NOT as members of the church. (Actually, I think taking those names off is kind of silly, since as far as I know it doesn’t track the names that have been removed, so there’s nothing stopping members from tracking down those names and re-submitting them later. That may even be intentional, for all I know..) Sure, you and anyone else can complain about the practice as loudly as you like, but you’re not going to make much LEGAL headway when you’re flat-out wrong about how and where the names are being recorded, and what the records are actually stating. If you go to court and claim “They’re listing my grandfather as a Mormon!” and they can show in their records that they aren’t, your case is likely to fail.

    All I’ve been trying to do is to cut through the rumor and hearsay and explain what the LDS church actually believes/teaches on this subject, so the curious could at least work with good data rather than faulty. Why is this a problem for you? Yes, the Jewish community assumed that the names of those baptized-by-proxy were listed as LDS members. To the best of my knowledge, that was never the case, but again, when has being wrong ever stopped any religious community from being outraged?

    Blood Libel springs to mind as a (false) rumor that caused the Jews a LOT of grief, even though they never practiced anything like they were accused of doing. Do you think Blood Libel was an okay practice for the Catholics, or do you think it was wrong of them to promulgate lies about the beliefs and practices of the Jewish community? Even though I’m not LDS in any way anymore, I still don’t like to see people accused of things that they don’t appear to be guilty of. I especially don’t like to see “my kind of people” acting in the same fashion as the religious even *after* their errors of fact are pointed out. Disappointing, but I suppose I shouldn’t really be surprised. We’re all still human after all..

    So sure, you can continue to be incensed by the actual practices if you like, I’m not even suggesting that you change your feelings about the LDS church or its members – I left too, if you recall! – but I was *hoping* that I could get the rationalists here to take reality into account, as I hoped reality would be more important then being right or being outraged.

    Now, do you have any real evidence that the LDS church is listing ANY dead non-members as members of the LDS church? If they -aren’t-, perhaps you could try only sniping at them for the things that they’re actually guilty of? There’s plenty of that, really!

    I haven’t much desire to argue with you about what baptism-by-proxy MEANS to the LDS, since you can -claim- it means anything you feel like. Until or unless you can show some actual LDS documentation stating any of those people are or have ever been listed AS LDS MEMBERS, I’m going to continue to think that you are promulgating falsehoods when you claim that they do. I would have thought that was important to you, too, but I’ve been wrong before.

    Which is more important to you, the truth, or finding fault with religion(s), even if you have to make up the faults after you’ve been corrected?

    (Back on the original subject, I thought Bill Maher was damned funny in that clip. I especially liked the wizard hat. It was the perfect accessory to the silliness!)

  46. says

    Ermine:

    This is interesting. If Mormons don’t baptize the dead to add to their membership rolls, then why do they do it? What’s the purpose?

  47. Ermine says

    Evilisgood @ 57,

    According to LDS theology, Only those who have received the ordinance of Baptism, (by an authorized Priesthood holder, and of course, only Mormons have the proper authority!), can reach the highest level of heaven, to live for eternity with God and their families, become gods in their own right, etc. The practice of baptism-by-proxy is -supposed- to provide that ordinance for literally *everyone* who didn’t have the opportunity in this life.

    According to LDS doctrine, everyone will be taught the Truth in the Afterlife, and at that point they will be given the choice to accept or reject Christ’s message of salvation. Without Baptism though, even those who accept “the truth” won’t be able to reach the highest levels of heaven. The Mormons are baptized on behalf of their dead so that those ordinances will have been performed in their names, giving them the chance to reach the highest levels if they so choose.

    When you hear people saying that the Mormons plan to try and baptize everyone who has ever lived, that’s the truth. However, they *aren’t* making any claims that the dead people they’ve performed those ordinances for have or ever will accept them. Mormons go to their temples to perform these ordinances for their deceased ancestors, although there have certainly been cases of people submitting names that they weren’t related to, even names of fictitious people – That’s not supposed to happen, though obviously it HAS happened on occasion..

    They do it because they think it will make a difference, not in this world but in the next. Isn’t one of the points often raised in the “How could God be real?” question, “What happens to all the people who never had a chance to hear about Him?” Well, the Mormons have come up with an answer to that one. We can all agree that the actual practice accomplishes nothing, but I have to give them credit for trying to come up with an answer to that particular problem.

    It also gives the Church itself another hook of guilt to use on the membership. Not only do they have to keep all the rules to get to the very highest level, but they also need to perform temple rituals for their ancestors and others – and to attend the temple, Mormons have to have a current temple recommend, which means paying a full tithe, (10% of gross income), among other things.

    Does that make any more sense? I know, I know, it’s religion, none of it makes sense! But -internally-, it hangs together and makes sense as long as you accept the ideas behind it.

  48. chigau (違う) says

    Ermine
    Thank you for that explanation.
    It’s still fucking demented but I now have a better understanding of why it’s demented.

  49. says

    Ermine:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to explain that. Yes, it definitely makes more sense now. There is a weird consistency to it. Fucking demented for sure.

  50. dingojack says

    Evilisgood – did you ever consider giving your husband a movie review, a scientific paper, a fanzine, a council pamphlet on sanitation (or the like), or even, a maintenance manual for a vacuum cleaner to read?
    He wouldn’t want to miss out on all those exciting new ‘religions’ would he?
    @@*
    Dingo
    —–
    *[nausea-inducing eyeroll]

  51. Ichthyic says

    I know that you ASSUME that Mormons list those people as members, but unless you actually have some evidence that that is the case, I know from a lifetime of having it pounded into me every week that they DON’T, and I’d HOPE that the more rational people here would want to know the actual facts of the matter

    strangely, the admonitions of someone brainwashed into that cult to begin with do carry even less weight as an authoritarian argument.

    I suggest even reading the wiki on the subject?

  52. Ichthyic says

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism_for_the_dead

    In 2008, the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors announced that, since the Church had repeatedly violated previous agreements, it would no longer negotiate with the Church to try to prevent vicarious baptism. Speaking on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, Ernest Michel, a Holocaust survivor who reported on the Nuremberg Trials, [49][dead link] speaking as the honorary chairman of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, called on the LDS Church to “implement a mechanism to undo what [they] have done”, and declared that the LDS Church had repeatedly violated their agreements, and that talks with Mormon leaders were now ended. Jewish groups, he said, would now turn to the court of public opinion for justice.[50] Michel called the practice a revision of history that plays into the hands of Holocaust deniers, stating: “They tell me, that my parents’ Jewishness has not been altered but … 100 years from now, how will they be able to guarantee that my mother and father of blessed memory who lived as Jews and were slaughtered by Hitler for no other reason than they were Jews, will someday not be identified as Mormon victims of the Holocaust?”[51]

    tell me again that posthumous baptism is meaningless and has no effect on anyone.

    AND STOP PLAYING THE APOLOGETICS GAME.

    you’re supposedly NOT a Mormon anymore, right?

  53. Ichthyic says

    Mormonism is an evil fucking cult, equally bad if not worse than Scientology, and it needs to go, pronto.

  54. Ermine says

    Ichthyic..

    That quote does absolutely nothing to show that any Jewish names were ever added to the membership rolls of the church. In fact, from that link itself:

    Church officials, in response, stated that the Church does not teach that vicarious baptisms coerce deceased persons to become Mormons, nor does the Church add those names to its list of Church members.

    Your ‘evidence’ seems to be in my favor, not yours. Can you point to any specific section on the wiki that states otherwise, or shall I just read the entire wiki and hope it jumps out at me? Come on, this is classic theist behavior here. You can do better than that!

    My respect for you is dropping fast, fishy. I know, I know, you could care less what a brainwashed apologetic thinks, right? That was pure ad-hominem attack you know. You’re really racking up points on my theist’s bingo card here. Who’s side are you on, anyway? You’re certainly not making the side of Reason and Evidence look very good at the moment.

    And what fucking apologetics? The only apologetics involved is simply correcting an error of fact. As I said from the beginning, to the best of my knowledge, the LDS church does not and never has listed the people they baptize by proxy as Mormons. Thus far, the only evidence you’ve provided supports me and not you. I’ve also said that the LDS Church, like every other religion, is chock-full of lies and coercion, and that their beliefs are wrong. What exactly do you expect out of me? Do you want me to lie about the facts when they are clear before me, and no one yet has offered a shred of evidence to the contrary? Does the real truth not matter to you, if using rumor allows you to attack someone else better?

    Do YOU believe that Baptism-by-proxy actually accomplishes anything? I thought we were all agreed here that there’s no afterlife, no supernatural, and NONE of any church’s rituals have any real effect. Have you suddenly started believing in them? No? Then it IS meaningless and has no real effect on anyone. Just because people get mad doesn’t mean that it actually affects them, look at how mad non-gays get over same-sex marriage, when the issue doesn’t actually affect them in the slightest.

    Don’t those caricatures of Mohammed “have an affect” on people? Should we make it illegal to draw pictures of Mohammed then? Shouldn’t you have been screaming at all the people who drew or linked to Mohammed cartoons back when that last blew up? Why didn’t you? It HURTS and ANGERS people, doesn’t it? – We’re back to where I started. Fine, the practice makes you and others angry. So? What happened to “you don’t have any right to not be offended”? What are you, some kind of hypocrite? You’re shouting mad already over a simple matter of fact, something that you -ought- to be able to easily prove if you actually have any evidence to support your position.

    Fine, people get mad. People get mad whether they know what the LDS are really doing, or whether they’re getting nothing but rumors and lies. As I said, when has anyone of ANY religion ever needed to be correct to get angry at someone else?

    Your quote is lovely, but doesn’t say anything. It’s just a what-if! “What if the Mormons stop doing things the way they have for 150 years and completely change how they keep their membership records? Wouldn’t they THEN list my dead ancestors as Mormons?” Sure, maybe, if that never-before-happenestance happens, then there could be a problem. Maybe I’d be more worried about the harm it caused if any of that ever actually HAPPENED, rather than just being presented as a might-someday-be. Someday, God and his Son might descend from the clouds, trailing glory from heaven. I’ll believe it when I see it, not before.

    My point. Your serve, bubby. Care to try again?

    Are you adult enough to admit that you could be wrong on the one fact that I disagree with you on, or are you going to provide some evidence to support your claim?

    It’s funny, I completely agree with you that the LDS church and all other religions are incorrect, lie to their members, and cause harm to people every day. I disagree with you on one aspect of verifiable fact, and prefer to see people attacked for what they’ve actually done, not what other people accuse them of doing. Rather than prove me wrong, you’ve attacked me and called me brainwashed, while providing ‘evidence’ that does absolutely NOTHING to support your position. Stop acting like a theist! Support your argument or have the common decency to admit that you might actually be wrong, and move on!

    Or if you don’t like either of those options, you can try attacking me with more ad-hominem and links that don’t support your claims. Which is it going to be?

  55. says

    Ermine, you do seem to have a point about the technicalities of Mormon baptism for the dead, but the fact that it’s Mormon baptism for the dead, done under their auspices and according to their theology, means that it makes little difference to most of the rest of us whether or not they show up on a particular LDS membership list.

    Glen Davidson

  56. Ermine says

    Maybe so, Glen. But whether or not it makes any difference to YOU, the truth is important to me, and I wanted to be clear that some of the things people have claimed here weren’t exactly matching up with reality. Maybe it’s just a “technicality” that I’m right, but those technicalities can matter! I don’t think it’s a matter of any “particular” membership list when those names haven’t appeared on *ANY* LDS membership lists, ever.

    I’ve made no claims about anything but that little “technicality”, so I don’t have a problem if you dislike the actual practice as the LDS do it. I’d like to see the LDS membership numbers drop to zero as much as you would, I’d suspect – I just won’t spread falsehoods or shade the facts in order to do it, and I’ll correct errors of fact when I see them, in hopes that people will address the REALITIES of what the Mormons DO teach and believe. I was one for over 20 years, so I can spot the obvious lies when they are promulgated, and I know that the Mormons will spot them too, and shut down any hope of getting through to them as soon as they hear someone claiming things that manifestly aren’t true.

    Do you sit quietly when someone claims that atheists “Just hate God”, or “Just want to live in sin” or even that we “have no morals”? No? Well, I don’t think we’ll get far if we lie about the other side, either. We -should- be able to formulate our arguments to deal with the actual realities of what they believe and teach, and we -ought- to be willing to address lies no matter which side is promulgating them. Maybe not everyone can, or will, but *I* can at least attempt to live my own life that way.

    (Yes, when I start to type out a post, it often grows rather wordy. That’s me, I’m afraid. Most of my daily communication has been via text for the past decade or so, so typing comes almost as easily as talking, perhaps more so. Sorry!)

    All I’ve done here is disagreed with one specific claim, and I’d like to think that I’ve defended that claim in exactly the manner that other rationalists would prefer, by pointing out where the other side’s evidence is faulty or flat-out incorrect, and presenting my own evidence to the contrary so that anyone else can decide the truth of the matter for themselves.

    Sure, the actual practices of the LDS in regards to baptism-by-proxy may be abhorrent to you. Fine! You’re welcome to your feelings, and welcome to trumpet your outrage to the whole world if you so desire. I would hope that it would make at least -some- difference to you whether or not the things that angered you had any basis in reality or not. For myself, I think that I would be quite unhappy to run across a Catholic who still accused Jews of killing Christian children to make the Passover matzoh, and I’d point out that their claims were incorrect, even though I have no love for Judaism OR Catholicism.

    Wouldn’t you?

  57. says

    Ermine,

    hyperbole much? Are you trying to Godwin the thread. My respect for you is dropping fast, to quote you.

    We’re not taking about killing babies here, we’re talking about appropriating the names of dead people for your own selfish purposes. It doesn’t really matter if these acts constitute baptisms or just the posthumous offer of one, I find it offensive either way (and pretty invasive too).

    Or have you never heard of concepts like commemorating the dead? For a grieving family especially so, this is why Jewish groups are up in arms about it especially.

  58. Ermine says

    Pelamun,

    Godwin? Wow, I’ve managed to Godwin the thread without ever mentioning Germany, Hitler, or the Holocaust! Blood Libel has been a problem for over 700 years. Now the mere mention of Jews and their persecution at any time in history is a Godwin attempt, is it? And you have the gall to accuse ME of hyperbole? Sheesh! Maybe it’s something in the water – there are certainly enough attempts at poisoning the well going on at the moment!

    It appears to me that you’re reading far more than you should into what I’ve said. You’d probably get a much better idea of me if you just envision me as a pedant only interested in the accuracy of the claims, rather than an apologist – but I certainly can’t stop you from thinking of me however you prefer. If accuracy isn’t so important to you.. Well, carry on!

    *I’m* not talking about killing babies here either. I brought up the Blood Libel issue as an example of people passing on lies about a religion in order to make other people hate that religion more. We use examples in our conversations, remember? As a matter of fact, I thought it was a pretty good example, really. Rather than trying to end the conversation by accusing me of trying to stealth-Godwin it somehow, maybe you could tell me what you actually object to, or why that’s not an appropriate example? I object to people passing lies about what the Mormons are actually doing or claiming for exactly the same reasons that I object to Blood Libel – and I’m not Jewish, either!

    Your respect for me is dropping because.. What? I haven’t argued that you shouldn’t be angered or offended, though I may question just how you think people should react to that offense. I’m not defending any of their doctrine or practices, I’ve objected to one specific claim, and so far, no one here has presented any evidence that I’m wrong, have they? So what exactly is your problem?

    The only thing I’ve said, claimed, insisted on, whatever, is that the Mormons do not and never have claimed the names of those they’ve baptized-by-proxy as members of the LDS church, never (to the best of my knowledge to date), placed those names on the membership rolls of the Church, contrary to what people here and elsewhere claimed. I would love to be proven wrong, because that would immediately catch the Church in a HUGE lie, but so far I still think that I’m correct on this little “technical” point, right?

    I also understand that people get angry at this sort of thing, but I can’t help asking myself, “How is this different from the Muslims getting angry about the pictures of Mohammad?” (Well, except for them killing people, of course. I’m referring to the anger and outrage!) People are mad because the Mormons are (supposedly) doing something that doesn’t actually affect anyone, but it angers or outrages a lot of them on behalf of people who aren’t alive to be offended on their own. So? Even after we get past the fact that they aren’t “technically” (read:actually) doing or claiming what most people seem to object to, what can we expect to change about this practice without adversely affecting our own rights at least as badly?

    If my church makes up a list of everyone whose ever lived on the planet and announces that we’re praying them all into FSM Heaven as Honorary Atheists, should anyone be able to stop us, or force us to take names off our list? Should the Catholics be able to stop us from Unbaptizing-by-proxy the last dozen Popes? Should the Muslims be able to prevent cartoons of their prophet Mohammed from being printed? I don’t believe that someone else’s outrage should be reason enough to force anyone’s behavior – religious or non – unless there can be some actual harm shown, and “they put great-grandpa’s name on a prayer list!” doesn’t really seem to show any actual harm.

    I can see the point of keeping names off of actual membership records, that could adversely affect how people viewed one’s character in the future – it would also be fraud. But do I have any right to stop someone from praying about me or my family or ancestors? No. Should I have any such right? *I* don’t think so. So I don’t really see the baptism-by-proxy practice as actually practiced to be something that I or anyone else have any right to stop. Other people may feel differently than I do, and that’s just fine – but I do object when the truth starts to fall by the wayside.

    I’d also rather lock horns with the LDS on some of their more egregious practices that DO affect myself and people all around me, like their support and lies surrounding Prop 8 or the ERA, the missionaries they send all over the world to annoy us, or the way they practice shunning of anyone who doesn’t meet their standards or beliefs.

    I totally agree that what they’re doing can be construed as rude and arrogant, I object to many of the practices and all of the doctrine and scripture of pretty much *all* religions in general, and Mormons specifically, but I won’t make up reasons to be angry at them, and I’ll try not to be hypocritical about what rights I think they and I should have. If that makes me “brainwashed” or causes anyone to lose all their respect for me.. Well, I really don’t *want* the respect of that sort of people, any more than I want to have everyone from ERV’s slimepit suddenly speaking up on my behalf.

    I’ll live with the loss.

    Meh, It’s already becoming far too long a post. I’m done for now! That’s bound to make -someone- happy, right?

  59. says

    As an ex-moron (erk, I meant mormon)I cannot tell you how much Bill Maher’s unbaptism ceremony meant to me! Thank you thank you thank you for un-baptizing Mitt’s father-in-law and for doing it in a more believable way than the actual baptism in the temple does (which is a proxy baptism someone else gets dunked in the dead person’s name).
    I hope EVERYONE sees this video, esp. anyone who thinks that Big Mo Mitt should be running this country!

  60. says

    Ermine,

    I wonder why you feel the need to write one teal deer after the other about this topic. It doesn’t matter that the Nazis didn’t come up with the blood libel originally, we’re talking about why you felt the need about bringing it up in the first place. Is anyone accusing the Mormons of eating babies? If no, why bring up such an idiotic analogy unless you weren’t trying to Godwin the thread?
    Regarding respect: learn to understand sarcasm. No-one is particularly concerned about losing the respect of an internet ‘nym here (with the possible exception of OM-suffixed ones).

    You teal deer everyone to death about the technical differences between baptism and baptism-by-proxy yadda yadda yadda, most people here are not interested in the finer aspects of Mormon theology, what they are interested in is that non-Mormons are upset about the memory of their loved ones being defiled by the Mormon practice of whatever you call it. The Mormons don’t have any business in appropriating real people whose memory is still held dear by their families. To compare this to Muhammed, ONE person who lived 1400 years ago, is preposterous. No-one would care that much about Muhammed, weren’t it for religion, but even in a completely atheist world, most people would still commemorate the lives of their direct ancestors (probably up to 2, 3 generations for most people).

  61. Ermine says

    Pelamun,

    I wonder why you feel the need to write one teal deer after the other about this topic.

    Ah yes, tl;dr, the mainstay of those with no real argument. Of COURSE my point has no bearing on the subject at hand, it’s too long! Hey, If I can’t explain the point in 3 leet-speak sentences, it’s just too much trouble, right? I guess your posts can be a lot shorter when you fail to respond to anything I asked, sure. Me, I would prefer to read a longer post and get enough information for an informed decision, or to learn enough about the writer to get a real idea of what they’re trying to say. Should I use smaller words so you can better understand them? (Yeah, that was a bit much, but I’m kinda pissed at you at the moment. Maybe you could stop wondering and trying to conflate issues, and try responding to what I actually SAID? You’d have a lot less need to wonder if you’d just read what I wrote when I explained why I posted, rather than complaining that it was too long for you.)

    I’ve explained exactly why I felt the need to say something on the topic, and subsequent posts have been responses to other posters, just like all the other conversations here. If it’s too long for you, skip it and move on, but to complain (twice!) about the length without actually engaging any of the content, well.. What were you saying (or not saying) earlier about respect?

    Blood Libel has nothing to do with the Nazis, and your automatic assumption that any mention of it is an attempt to Godwin the thread is ludicrous. Blood libel has been around for over 700 years, and is not mentioned or even alluded to in Godwin’s Law. With no mention of the Nazis or the Holocaust or anything but this ancient slur, it’s ludicrous to accuse me of trying to Godwin the thread – Actually, at this point, YOU’RE the one who brought up the Nazis, so I’d say the accusation has bounced back on you in rather a large way, hasn’t it? Are YOU trying to Godwin the thread? Why?

    My reason for bringing up Blood Libel was exactly what I explained – an example of people telling untruths about one religion in order to make others hate and fear its members. The only difference in my eyes is that it’s a different lie, and that -that- lie wasn’t corrected often/soon enough, and was allowed to spread until people started killing each other over it. With that as an example, correcting lies about other religions is important to me, even if I disagree with everything else about that religion. I notice you completely ignored my point there, too. What the hell? Has someone replaced the names I know with Folgers(tm) creationists? (Let’s see if anyone notices!)

    No, the Mormon practice of Baptisms-for-the-dead isn’t killing babies, and I never claimed that it was In fact, I never brought up killing babies at all, I brought up the example of a catholic passing along the false rumor of of that behavior, while explaining at length why this particular rumor about Mormons is also false. The idea that they’re listing those people as Mormons is what infuriates and outrages most people, isn’t it? Just like the rumors about the Jews and their reputed behavior. Look at how many of the posts here mention that as the reason for their anger! And SOME people are happy to pass along those falsehoods in order to make the Mormons look even worse. How is that different from what the Catholics did to the Jews? Sure, it hasn’t gone on as long, and it hasn’t yet caused anything approaching the horror and loss of life, but it’s the exact same sort of behavior, done for the very same reasons the Jews were libeled – Someone doesn’t like Mormons, and they’re willing to pass along lies to smear them if the truth isn’t enough. Some people do it knowingly, some people just pass along what they’ve heard, never knowing that the rumors aren’t “technically” true.

    I would correct either falsehood if I heard it, and I have done so here. Make of it what you will, but try to stick to reality, would you? Jews don’t kill Christian babies for their blood, and Mormons don’t list the names of those baptized by proxy in LDS membership records, nor do they make any claims that those people are now Mormons. That’s it! Accept it and move on, or put up some reasons why you dispute the claim, but don’t attack me just for posting a correction, okay?

    Regarding respect – So you didn’t actually have any point there, either? Fair enough. Sarcasm doesn’t always transmit well over text alone.

    To compare this to Muhammed, ONE person who lived 1400 years ago, is preposterous. No-one would care that much about Muhammed, weren’t it for religion, but even in a completely atheist world, most people would still commemorate the lives of their direct ancestors (probably up to 2, 3 generations for most people).

    Why is the comparison preposterous? That’s at least twice that you’ve claimed that an example or comparison was preposterous, care to explain WHY? What does the age of Mohammed have to do with it? Muslims get -very- upset if you disrespect THEIR beloved prophet, no? They become hurt and angry when someone else appropriates him in cartoons that they don’t approve of. It seems a perfectly apt comparison to me. Why is your anger justified and theirs isn’t? Whether the anger is religiously-based or not, what the hell difference does THAT make? It doesn’t matter WHY they care about Mohammed, what matters is that they DO, just as you care about your immediate ancestors. Why is it wrong for them to try and stop people from drawing Mo, but you appear to think it’s okay to try to stop the Mormons from praying over everyone’s ancestors? (And how exactly are the LDS preventing anyone from commemorating their direct ancestors?)

    Hmm.. Actually, I’ll give you one major difference, in the violence that the Muslims are using to try to force the issue, but it’s that anger and outrage itself that I was referring to in the first place, not the actions they’ve taken because of that anger, and I specifically pointed that out in my post – more of that tl;dr that you couldn’t be bothered to read, I suppose. However, I suppose we wouldn’t worry about it if it weren’t for that violence, – but I’m not really worried about the complaints against the LDS practice(s) either. I’ve disagreed with one specific claim in the interest of accuracy. If you want to go ahead and keep complaining that they’re somehow appropriating your relatives even though they aren’t claiming them as members, go ahead! I just don’t think you’ll make any more headway than the Muslims did in the case of the Mohammed cartoons, and for much the same reasons. Yes, you’re offended, but how often have we agreed here that people don’t have any right to not be offended?

    We could try to actually discuss that point if you wanted to, or we could go back to calling me names and ignoring everything I actually say. Which is it going to be? This is already far off the original point that I corrected and well into the realm of pure opinion, as well as adding even more length to a post that you probably think is far too long already.

    You teal deer everyone to death about the technical differences between baptism and baptism-by-proxy yadda yadda yadda, most people here are not interested in the finer aspects of Mormon theology,

    Yes yes, it was SUCH a long argument, I’m SO sorry to hurt your poor little eyes by forcing you to read it! I pointed out that, contrary to some of the claims here, the Mormons do not and never have claimed the names of those baptized-by-proxy as members of the Mormon church. That’s not even a matter of theology, that’s a matter of verifiable fact. Maybe the facts don’t really matter to you, but they matter to me, and you certainly don’t speak for most people here, nor matter what you may claim. The post was on-topic, and I’ve already explained (at great length) exactly why I posted the original correction. If you don’t want to read it, don’t. But if you want to complain about it, please try complaining about something that I’ve actually said rather than making up bizarre accusations.

    As I said, I’d be happy to have someone prove me wrong, but no one has made any inroads in that area so far, have they? Of course, I’m just “technically” correct, on this “finer aspect” of doctrine, right? Should I just shut up and let people go on libeling the LDS for something they aren’t actually doing, because some people don’t want to be corrected?

    I don’t think so.

    Why not just accept the new data and move on, one tiny detail better informed than you were? Maybe you don’t care, that’s fine and dandy, but some people do, as they’ve already stated here in the thread, and those “finer aspects” are the difference between reality and passing on lies. Why attack the messenger? You want to attack the Mormons for what they’re actually doing, go right ahead! Just expect to be corrected if you try to claim something that just ain’t so, just as the majority here would pile on a creationist who claimed that there were no transitional fossils. I’d like to think that -most- people here would pounce on any obvious falsehoods, no matter who was making them, but it looks like I’ll have to be careful not to assume that -anyone- here would.

    Sheesh! It disturbs me to see rationalists fall into exactly the same behavior as the religious when someone disagrees with them. Ad-hominem attacks, failure to address the actual points raised, complaints that the argument is too long, (or too angry), making up arguments when they can’t refute what The Other is actually saying, (Godwin? really??), all to avoid simply admitting that I might actually be correct on one specific point, (Horrors!), and changing their own claims to better match reality, or presenting a rational rebuttal if they still disagree.

    Oh well. Like Pete the chef says, “Peoples is peoples”, eh? I’m off to make a run to the library before it closes!

  62. Therrin says

    Ermine, you missed a spot, here I’ll repeat it for you:

    pelamun:

    what they are interested in is that non-Mormons are upset about the memory of their loved ones being defiled by the Mormon practice of whatever you call it. The Mormons don’t have any business in appropriating real people whose memory is still held dear by their families.

    Really now, why don’t you like me pissing on your parents grave? It’s not like I’m harming them, I’m even fertilizing the flowers. You have no reason to be mad!

    You’ve taught me something new, that the baptized (un)dead aren’t on the actual real ultra accurate one of a kind irreplaceable Mormonbership list. Great. I’ll never again claim they were (not that I ever did, really).

    From this article:

    “We also have people who are called ‘extraction missionaries,’ ‘’ Elbert Peck, the former editor and publisher of the Mormon intellectual magazine Sunstone, told me. “They basically go to their little stake center and sit down at a microfilm machine and take these names and put them into our computer database.”

    While it may not be the membership list, I don’t see much effort going into refuting that claim explicitly. At least, not for anyone that doesn’t have representation capable of applying enough pressure to do so.

    From the last hour’s worth of searching, I’ve discovered that the agreement not to baptize Jews in 1995 was broken, and the agreement in 2010 to do the same was also broken. I’m surprised you’re willing to take them at their word, when they’re not willing to keep it.

  63. says

    Ermine,

    yet another one of your teel dears… Look up the Gricean maxims of communication some time…

    You explained the difference in one post, and we all took notice, we got the point. But to most of us, this doesn’t really matter anyway, because as I said the Mormons don’t have any business in appropriating the memory of real people held dear by their families. Whether you call it baptism or not, is really only relevant to theists. Why would atheists care about baptism? The point is the Mormons are involving people in a religious ceremony against the will of their next of kin, often against their stated wishes while they were alive. That’s enough for me.

    You say that the family members have no right in being upset about this, since we also don’t think Muslims should feel offended about Muhammed. But that’s where you’re wrong, it does matter that whether it’s for religious reasons or for other reasons. We tend to dismiss people getting upset for religious reasons, but even in that hypothetical atheist world, family ties and friendship will be important to most people. And it’s based on relationships to REAL people, not imaginary beings or historical figures.
    If I knew someone descended from Charlemagne and they would be offended about me criticising the emperor, I wouldn’t take that seriously either. We’re talking about 2-4 generations here.

    If you really are the ex-Mormon you claim to be, you seem to have fallen for their rhetorical trap, hook, line and sinker. By creating all these theological distinctions, they can distract the public by saying it’s not a baptism but whatever-it-is, the critics got it wrong yadda-yadda-yadda. It’s a little bit like the Courtier’s Reply.

    Also, what Therrin said about the broken agreements.

  64. Ermine says

    (And yes, it’s a long post, because I am actually trying to respond to what people say and give my reasons for it. Sorry if that thoroughness offends you – But offense or not, I’m going to say it anyway!)

    Therrin,

    Really now, why don’t you like me pissing on your parents grave? It’s not like I’m harming them, I’m even fertilizing the flowers. You have no reason to be mad!

    Leaving aside the fact that, at most, the Mormons have only added those family names to a list/database, (Pissed on metaphorical graves: Bob Smith, Janet Smith), and haven’t actually come anywhere near those family members who’s graves you’re worried about;

    Did I say anywhere that you or anyone else don’t have a reason or right to be angry? Did I say anywhere that you shouldn’t be angry, or that I wanted anyone to stop being angry at the Mormons for what they actually ARE doing? If you can point it out, I’ll retract it, because I certainly didn’t intend to say that – but I don’t think I did.

    Yes, people get mad about this sort of thing. Quite a few people get mad as hell if you tell them that you don’t believe in their god, even if you don’t go on from there to tell them that you think their belief is silly. I didn’t say people don’t have any right to be angry, I said more than once, as several other people have said at one time or another,(including PZ, I believe), we don’t have any right to not be offended. Do we?

    Do we? Or do all the rules change if someone insults your family rather than your religion?

    You’ve taught me something new, that the baptized (un)dead aren’t on the actual … Mormonbership list. Great. I’ll never again claim they were (not that I ever did, really).

    Good! Now you know the truth of the matter, and if you ever want to argue it, you won’t be starting from incorrect information. You’re welcome!

    Of course, if you weren’t one of the people who thought or made the claim that they WERE listing or claiming those names as Mormons, then nothing I said was directed at you, just as a lot of the recent feminist posts weren’t directed at ALL men, only the MRAs and mysoginists. You don’t have to say “I never claimed that!” because if you didn’t, it wasn’t. about. you.

    the actual real ultra accurate one of a kind irreplaceable Mormonbership list.

    Right. The Mormons weren’t ACTUALLY claiming or doing what many people have explicitly claimed that they did – but of course, that’s just a minor technical detail, a fine point of doctrine, the actual real ultra accurate one of a kind irreplaceable TRUTH of the matter, so why should it matter to anyone, right? Let’s all make sure to point out that I’m only “technically” right, only by the letter of the law. Making sure that I know that is far more important than having accurate information, right?

    While it may not be the membership list, I don’t see much effort going into refuting that claim explicitly. At least, not for anyone that doesn’t have representation capable of applying enough pressure to do so.

    I don’t understand this paragraph, I’m sorry. Much effort on whose part to refute which claim exactly? Please clarify if you actually want me to respond.

    I’m surprised you’re willing to take them at their word, when they’re not willing to keep it.

    They’re a church. They lie, just like all of them. There’s a reason I’m not a theist anymore! But I’m willing to take them at their word for now on this single point of verifiable fact, because wherever I traveled as I grew up, the LDS churches taught the same thing everywhere – they never made any claims that the baptized dead were now Mormons, rather they explicitly stated that they were NOT adding those names to the membership rolls. It should be easy enough to prove if they were, someone would just have to find any of those names in the membership records, like a fossil rabbit in pre-Cambrian strata. I’d be more than willing to believe that they do, if only someone were to present any evidence to that effect – but I won’t believe something just because I WANT to, or because it makes for more outrage when I tell the story, especially in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.

    You know, the same open-minded, evidence-based thinking that is lauded in every other instance here on Pharyngula? Why do you have a problem with that?

    And on to Pelamun!

    yet another one of your teel dears…Look up the Gricean maxims of communication some time…

    Shouldn’t that be, “Yet another one of your teal deers”? Learn to read, spell, AND properly capitalize some time…

    Now what did that accomplish? You snipe, I snipe, and none of it actually relates to the discussion at hand. I looked up Grice’s maxims. They’re lovely. Maybe YOU ought to read them sometime, too, so you could learn to include enough content in your posts to properly communicate. You are rather obviously ignoring what I stated quite clearly, so perhaps it’s not the length of it that’s your problem, eh?

    The point is the Mormons are involving people in a religious ceremony against the will of their next of kin, often against their stated wishes while they were alive. That’s enough for me.

    Enough for you to what? To be angry about it? Fine! Here’s my quote on that subject:

    You want to attack the Mormons for what they’re actually doing, go right ahead!

    Now, if you’re angry enough to try and force them to stop, we’re back to the question I actually asked, as opposed to the claims you’re making up – What gives you the right to interfere that doesn’t also give the Muslims the right to interfere in regards to the appropriation of their prophet in those cartoons?

    But that’s where you’re wrong, it does matter that whether it’s for religious reasons or for other reasons.

    Back to Grice’s maxims – Perhaps you should include just a wee bit more information here, eh? WHY does it matter? What empirical criteria are you using to separate “religious emotions – valueless” from “familial emotions – important!” So far it would seem to be a baseless claim, and one that most of the religious world would dispute. Care to give some good reasons?

    We tend to dismiss people getting upset for religious reasons, but even in that hypothetical atheist world, family ties and friendship will be important to most people. And it’s based on relationships to REAL people, not imaginary beings or historical figures.
    If I knew someone descended from Charlemagne and they would be offended about me criticising the emperor, I wouldn’t take that seriously either. We’re talking about 2-4 generations here.

    So your feelings matter more than theirs? How blithely you ignore all their very real feelings, but because your family is important to YOU, it’s more important than anyone else’s feelings about what’s important to them? Yes, we tend to dismiss people getting upset for religious reasons – and what’s to stop them from dismissing YOUR feelings because it’s not important to them? Their emotions are just as real as yours, whether you admit it or not. Hey, what if it’s FIVE generations and not the totally arbitrary 2-4 generations that appear to be all you’ll allow? Would your feelings no longer matter then?

    What do you think would give you the right to stop the Mormons, that wouldn’t also give the Muslims the right to stop the cartoons? That’s akin to saying that you think we should be able to stop christians from claiming that atheists go to hell! (or to keep it within the familial ties, maybe Peter Hitchens specifically should be able to stop Pat Robertson from claiming that his brother Christopher is in Hell because he was an atheist?) Anything that leaves us free to unbaptize the Pope or Joseph Smith or whoever also leaves the Mormons free to do baptisms on behalf of the dead, as long as they aren’t listing those names as Mormons. Anger notwithstanding, their rights (and ours) are still pretty clear there.

    You say that the family members have no right in being upset about this, since we also don’t think Muslims should feel offended about Muhammed.

    BZZZZT! I didn’t say either of those things, and I challenge you to point to where you think I did, or retract it and admit that you’ve let your mouth run away on you.

    *sigh* Well, this post is going to get a bit longer, as it takes more words to properly respond to your claims with quotes to back me up rather than just making up claims from my ass as you appear to be doing. If you don’t want my posts to be as long, don’t say things that I must then (thoroughly) refute!

    Here is some of what I have said in this thread in regards to your anger and your rights to it. Care to show where I’ve said exactly the opposite as you claim?:


    I’ve made no claims about anything but that little “technicality”, so I don’t have a problem if you dislike the actual practice as the LDS do it.

    Sure, the actual practices of the LDS in regards to baptism-by-proxy may be abhorrent to you. Fine! You’re welcome to your feelings, and welcome to trumpet your outrage to the whole world if you so desire.

    I totally agree that what they’re doing can be construed as rude and arrogant,

    If you want to go ahead and keep complaining that they’re somehow appropriating your relatives even though they aren’t claiming them as members, go ahead! I just don’t think you’ll make any more headway than the Muslims did in the case of the Mohammed cartoons, and for much the same reasons. Yes, you’re offended, but how often have we agreed here that people don’t have any right to not be offended?

    You want to attack the Mormons for what they’re actually doing, go right ahead!

    What do I say? I say, (and damned if quite a few others haven’t also said the exact same thing): We don’t have any right to not be offended. You have every right to be offended! Go ahead! – But stop putting words in my mouth when I’ve said exactly the opposite, you dishonest fuck!

    Also, what Therrin said about the broken agreements.

    Right. They lied once, so now we can assume that anything we want to carp about was a lie, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, right? Are your principles really so shallow? I just caught you in at least one blatant lie above, should I now assume that everything you say is a lie, and announce that to all and sundry?

    They’re a church. They DO lie, and I think any provable falsehoods should be pointed out and refuted for all to see, in hopes of getting through to people that they’re a scam that hurts people and families. What does that have to do with the specific point of fact that brought on this herd of teal deer in the first place? I’m certainly not going to compromise my principles by promoting falsehoods just because they (or you) have already done so somewhere else! I’ll base MY arguments against them on reality, and that way I won’t ever have to worry about being caught in a lie myself and losing any rapport I may have with whoever I’m conversing with.

    What a crazy idea!

    you seem to have fallen for their rhetorical trap, hook, line and sinker. By creating all these theological distinctions, they can distract the public by saying it’s not a baptism but whatever-it-is, the critics got it wrong yadda-yadda-yadda. It’s a little bit like the Courtier’s Reply.

    Yeah, it’s a little bit like, but not ACTUALLY anything close. More like a simple correction to a claim of fact, in an attempt to give people correct information for their ammunition, so they can work with reality and not rumors. Funny how these minor points of fact make all the difference, isn’t it? The Courtier’s Reply is an attempt to shut up the opposition. “You can’t comment on God because you haven’t read all these esoteric treatises.” I haven’t made any attempt to shut anyone up, merely corrected an erroneous detail that was being spread about as if it were the truth.

    I never claimed that it wasn’t a baptism, neither have the LDS. If you want to complain about -that-, knock yourself out! But if you claim that they’re using the ceremony to claim the dead as Mormons, you are wrong. Once again, PLEASE try to stick to what I’ve actually said and stop making up new and untrue claims. “All these theological distinctions”? It’s one single fact claim that I’ve disputed from the beginning, nothing more. Why this constant attempt to move the goalposts?

    If you really are the ex-Mormon you claim to be

    Good grief. Yes, maybe I’m REALLY a devout Mormon! That’s why I’ve already stated that I don’t believe in any Gods or any LDS (or christian) theology or doctrine, and why I’ve said that you’ve every right to feel hurt or angry at their actions. That I dispute one matter of fact MUST mean that I’m actually a stealth theist!

    Tell me, do you have any objections to blood libel against Jews? Why? They’re Jewish, and *obviously* their religion is wrong, who cares if the things anyone says about it are -actually- true or not, right? Would YOU correct someone if you heard them claiming it was true? If yes, what’s the difference between that and my attempt to correct one fact here? If no, well.. Tell me so I can be sure to ignore you in future, thanks. If you can’t see the parallel, try harder.

    Shall I start making insinuations about what YOU might actually be, since you seem to be happy to fall back on all of the standard apologist tactics when you can’t defend your claim empirically? This way lies ruin!

    It’s amazing how far people will go to avoid simply admitting (even just to themselves!) that they were wrong on something, accepting the new information, and moving on to other subjects.

  65. Therrin says

    Much effort on whose part to refute which claim exactly?

    Effort on the part of the Mormons who feel they are being unjustly criticized by the (false) claim that they are making members out of the dead. I assume that they exist.

    Please clarify if you actually want me to respond.

    Doesn’t really make a difference to me.

    someone would just have to find any of those names in the membership records

    And they’re so incredibly open and forward with those, right?

    Why do you have a problem with that?

    Why do I have a problem taking the word of an organization that has been shown to lie? I’d say the appropriate evidence-based conclusion is that they are lying, because such behavior has been shown by them in the past. You’re saying that being open-minded in this instance means ignoring the fact that they’ve lied in the past because they might not be lying this time. I’m plenty open-minded. I also learn from experience.

    What gives you the right to interfere that doesn’t also give the Muslims the right to interfere in regards to the appropriation of their prophet in those cartoons?

    Personal relations? One of them existed? Comparing my dead grandmother to Mo is rather a stretch. If you want to make a cartoon of her, be my guest. Might have a bit of difficulty getting the appearance down, though.

    How blithely you ignore all their very real feelings, but because your family is important to YOU, it’s more important than anyone else’s feelings about what’s important to them?

    Um, yes? I’d say that my memory of my grandmother is more important than their desire to “save” her. Moreso because there’s evidence of my memory, whereas heaven remains unobserved.

    They lied once, so now we can assume that anything we want to carp about was a lie, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, right?

    Once? ONCE? Look, there were two separate formal agreements that were violated MULTIPLE times. That’s lying a lot more than once. And do you really not think they’ve ever lied beyond those “two” times? The whole sect is based on a lie.

    More like a simple correction to a claim of fact

    Which could have been covered quite quickly. In fact, I think it was. The apologetics came after.

    If you can’t see the parallel, try harder.

    The parallel between killing children and baptizing dead people?

    and moving on to other subjects.

    Yep, amazing.

  66. Ermine says

    Why do I have a problem taking the word of an organization that has been shown to lie?

    Don’t try to quote-mine me or otherwise twist my words, please. No, that’s not what I asked, this is:
    but I won’t believe something just because I WANT to, or because it makes for more outrage when I tell the story, especially in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.

    You know, the same open-minded, evidence-based thinking that is lauded in every other instance here on Pharyngula? Why do you have a problem with that?

    Please try to respond to what I’ve actually asked, not what you want me to be saying.

    Comparing my dead grandmother to Mo is rather a stretch.

    WHY is it a stretch? How about some reasons? I am comparing your feelings about the inviolate memory of your grandmother with their feelings about the inviolate memory of their prophet. Who are you to denigrate their feelings? As someone (Amphiox!) mentioned in the TJ thread earlier, pain is pain. “There is no objective test that can measure it without resorting to self-report.

    If a person says he is in pain, then he is in pain. End of story. Period. That is all the evidence required. And the only evidence possible. Unless you can actually produce objective evidence of deliberate lying, the null hypothesis stands.

    Whether or not Mohammed ever existed, Muslims certainly -believe- he did, and their emotions are just as real as yours. This is getting waaaaay off the subject though!

    How blithely you ignore all their very real feelings, but because your family is important to YOU, it’s more important than anyone else’s feelings about what’s important to them?

    Um, yes?

    I’m.. really kind of shocked to see you take this tack. I would have thought that you’d understand that the Muslims’ pain is just as real as your pain, and that the laws and reasons why we don’t allow them to use their pain to control others are just as applicable when you try to use your emotional pain to force coercion on someone else. But instead, you’ve denied the Muslims’ right to their pain completely! “My grandma was related to me, so MY pain means something, but because I am positive that Mohammed wasn’t real, they aren’t entitled to the same rights in regards to their pain.” What the hell? If that’s how you really feel.. Well, it’s good to know, at least. It’ll certainly save me time in the future.

    They lied once, so now we can assume that anything we want to carp about was a lie, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, right?

    Once? ONCE? Look, there were two separate formal agreements that were violated MULTIPLE times. That’s lying a lot more than once. And do you really not think they’ve ever lied beyond those “two” times? The whole sect is based on a lie.

    Please don’t ignore the many times I have explicitly said “Even in the face of evidence to the contrary?“. I also said “They’re a church. They DO lie, and I think any provable falsehoods should be pointed out and refuted for all to see, in hopes of getting through to people that they’re a scam that hurts people and families.” in the very next paragraph. Did you miss that? Can you offer any evidence that the Mormons ARE lying about this specific claim? You certainly haven’t offered anything yet!

    ..Hey, aren’t there lies in the Old Testament? So the Jews lied too.. Maybe Blood Libel is real, and they really DO kill babies! What do you think? I suppose we should all assume that, since we knows that Jews HAVE lied about all sorts of things, both in their scriptures and other places, right? So it’s probably a lie when they claim that they don’t really kill babies.. – That’s an idiotic argument!

    You keep trying to insinuate that evidence of one (Or more) lies means that -everything- is a lie, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Have YOU lied more than once in your life? I’ll bet you have. Should we then immediately assume everything you say is a lie, or should we apply some sort of method for ascertaining the truth of your claims, instead? We are surrounded by lies, which method will most -reliably- find the truth in the most cases – relying on stock assumptions or honestly and open-mindedly considering the evidence in each case? If I use your method, I would have to automatically assume that everyone on the planet was lying to me at all times, and that would -not- be a viable strategy to get through life!

    I agree with you that the sect is based on a lie, just like Islam, Catholicism and the rest of Christianity, and Judaism as well. Maybe a more provable lie since it’s so much more recent, but all lies nonetheless. Does that mean we should assume that every claim made by every religion on every subject is automatically an intentional lie, even in the face of evidence to the contrary on specific claims? Unfortunately, PEOPLE lie as well, and sometimes their claims conflict with one another, as they did in this instance.

    Somewhere along the line we have to rely on evidence. That’s where I am now – I have enough evidence to make an assessment that that -particular- claim is the truth, and I will hold that belief until someone presents convincing evidence that I’m wrong – and you haven’t actually provided any to tip the scales in your favor.

    Which could have been covered quite quickly. In fact, I think it was.The apologetics came after.

    What fucking apologetics? Apologetics is defense of a belief, and I’m not defending any beliefs of the Mormons whatsoever. If you want to wash out the definition by claiming that any defense of any position is apologetics, then the word becomes nigh-useless, and certainly loses the specific (and insulting) religious connotation that -appears- to be the reason you used that word in the first place. I’m not defending any beliefs but my own, and I have disputed and defended just one single point of fact. So far, your best rebuttal to that appears to be “But they lied about something else!”, which has got to be one of the weakest attempts to prove a specific truth claim that I’ve seen this week. I don’t NEED apologetics to respond to that!

    This is the second time I’ve been accused of apologetics in this thread, but no one yet has had the (courtesy? guts? Whatever..) to actually point out any specifics. Please do so, if you can. Defending a point with evidence and reason is generally the preferred method here, so being accused of apologetics when I’m doing my best to stick to what I can verify is damned annoying, especially considering the quality of the opposition’s arguments/evidence.

    Of course, someone is sure to complain that it was too long because I took the time to explain my reasons and present my rebuttals to specific statements, too. Oh wait, you just did! You WIN your very own decaying porcupine! Enjoy!

    The parallel between killing children and baptizing dead people?

    No, you git! The parallel between a non-Jew speaking up to correct blood libel and a non-Mormon speaking up to correct the claim that the Mormons’ practice of baptism-by-proxy for the dead was “Mormons baptizin’ the dead and calling Grandpa a Mormon!”, when they neither baptize corpses nor record them anywhere as Mormons.

    I’m not sure if you’re being deliberately obtuse or what, but I’ve said about all I need to say. Let’s just agree to differ.

  67. Therrin says

    “but I won’t believe something just because I WANT to, or because it makes for more outrage when I tell the story, especially in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.
    You know, the same open-minded, evidence-based thinking that is lauded in every other instance here on Pharyngula? Why do you have a problem with that?”

    Alright, so you’re asking why I have a problem with evidence-based thinking? Never said I did.

    WHY is it a stretch? How about some reasons? I am comparing your feelings about the inviolate memory of your grandmother with their feelings about the inviolate memory of their prophet. Who are you to denigrate their feelings?

    Because their feelings are based on religious belief. I’m sure there are plenty of Republicans that are “in pain” over how homosexuals are taking over the country. Their religion (and their political party) is telling them it’s bad, just like Muslims in your example.

    I would have thought that you’d understand that the Muslims’ pain is just as real as your pain, and that the laws and reasons why we don’t allow them to use their pain to control others are just as applicable when you try to use your emotional pain to force coercion on someone else.

    Wait, what? Weren’t we talking about how Jews didn’t like their ancestors being baptized? I mentioned my grandmother, and you brought in Mohammed in place of my grandmother and Muslims in place of me? I never said anything about making anyone worship my grandmother or die.

    Baptism of Jews occurred. Request to cease was made. Request agreed to. Baptism of Jews continued.

    If that’s how you really feel..

    You’re saying that religious people should be allowed to do whatever they want because we might otherwise be hurting their feelings?

    Can you offer any evidence that the Mormons ARE lying about this specific claim? You certainly haven’t offered anything yet!

    I’ve shown that they have lied. My position is that, until evidence appears, the null hypothesis is that they are lying. Your position is that every statement must be taken on its own and evaluated without regard to past events.

    The LDS Church claims that it has 12 million active members. The LDS Church counts members until they are 110 years old. Members who are excommunicated or have their membership removed are still counted among the membership of the Church. Inactive members and those who have moved on to other Churches are also still counted among the membership. source

    Here they are lying on the very subject of membership. In fact, if they really are keeping everyone enrolled until 110, there’s precedent for having dead people listed. Of course, they say they’re not doing that.

    That’s where I am now – I have enough evidence to make an assessment that that -particular- claim is the truth, and I will hold that belief until someone presents convincing evidence that I’m wrong – and you haven’t actually provided any to tip the scales in your favor.

    Of course I haven’t, I don’t have access to the membership list.

    No, you git! The parallel between a non-Jew speaking up to correct blood libel and a non-Mormon speaking up to correct the claim that the Mormons’ practice of baptism-by-proxy for the dead was “Mormons baptizin’ the dead and calling Grandpa a Mormon!”, when they neither baptize corpses nor record them anywhere as Mormons.

    I thought I already agreed to this? How many different ways do you find it necessary to state the same thing after the point has already been ceded?

  68. Ermine says

    Alright, so you’re asking why I have a problem with evidence-based thinking? Never said I did.

    And yet you keep asking me why I take them at their word on this point, and insinuating that proof of one (or more) lie(s) means that I should assume every statement is a lie, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. It appears that you do have a bit of a problem.

    Because their feelings are based on religious belief. I’m sure there are plenty of Republicans that are “in pain” over how homosexuals are taking over the country. Their religion (and their political party) is telling them it’s bad, just like Muslims in your example.

    And we have laws that -should- prevent them from forcing those homosexuals back into the closet, or attempting to otherwise harass or coerce them. They’re good laws, and I’m very glad that they’re there. That was my point, which seems to have completely flown past you again. We don’t allow Muslims or Republicans to use their pain to coerce other groups! You can’t prove the pain you’d have if some Mormon put your grandma’s name on the baptismal list is any more real or worthy than the Muslims’ pain if you drew a risque picture of Mohammed and a pig. Pain is pain, as I said. I don’t think that you have a legal leg to stand on to -stop- them, and I don’t think you should, but I’ve never once so much as hinted that you had no right to be angry at them for the “appropriation”. Are you having a problem with is/ought here? I’m talking about what IS, as the laws are now and as I hope they stay. Are you assuming that I’m discussing what -ought- to happen?

    Because I’m not.

    Wait, what? Weren’t we talking about how Jews didn’t like their ancestors being baptized? I mentioned my grandmother, and you brought in Mohammed in place of my grandmother and Muslims in place of me?

    Are you reading the same discussion? In a post to Pelamun before you ever jumped in, I brought up the Muslims’ anger over the Mohammed cartoons as a comparison to the pain that people feel if they hear that the Mormons have baptized their relatives by proxy – I brought it up in post #70, and you didn’t even enter the conversation until #74. I haven’t even mentioned how any Jews feel about the Mormons, nor have I commented on the subject. How many times do I have to say it? Please try to stick with what I’ve actually said, rather than what you want me to be saying.

    Worshiping your grandmother?? I didn’t mention worship at all, and I’m becoming increasingly concerned about your comprehension.

    I thought I already agreed to this? How many different ways do you find it necessary to state the same thing after the point has already been ceded?

    Since you keep getting what I said completely wrong, including what I said in the paragraph that you’re carping about there, maybe I need to try a few more ways? You jumped into my response to Pelamun and completely misread everything. Everything after “And on to Pelamun!” in #76 was directed at him and his comments, not you. That’s why I was quoting him there and not you, get it? (If I’m wrong on sex I apologize Pelamun, and I’ll correct it as soon as I’m corrected!) I asked him if he (A non-Jew, I’m reasonably sure) would step up and correct someone if he heard them passing along blood libel as the truth about Jews, and if so, if he was able to see why I might step up and correct a falsehood about some other religion that *I* wasn’t part of, rather than assume I was a Mormon in disguise just because I was willing to correct the public claims. If he couldn’t see the parallel, I suggested he try harder. Then you came in and shit all over the chessboard, while leaving yet another claim of exactly what you SAY you had already ceded in my favor. Iseewhatyoudidthere.

    I begin to think you’re just attempting to string me along in a series of increasingly insane responses just to see how long I’ll keep trying to clear things up, rather than discussing the subject in good faith. It’s either that or your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired.

    My position is that, until evidence appears, the null hypothesis is that they are lying. Your position is that every statement must be taken on its own and evaluated without regard to past events.

    No, my position as clearly stated is that, when I have positive evidence for a disputed point of fact and no real evidence to the contrary, I’ll go with the side with the best evidence in its favor, and that “They’ve lied somewhere else!” is NOT sufficient or reliable evidence in regards to specific points of fact. My position (Oh please, how many times do I have to repeat it before it sinks in??) is that I have enough evidence to satisfy me that they are telling the truth on this specific point. Don’t complain that my post is too long if you’re going to ignore multiple instances of me saying one thing to claim that I’ve said something completely different!

    Have YOU ever lied? Have you lied more than once? (Yes I’m repeating myself, but you didn’t answer the first time I asked..) Do you -honestly- think that I’d get reliable data if I assumed that everything you said was lies, as you keep insisting is the more appropriate thing to do here, instead of weighing the actual evidence in support of any of your claims? The fact that the Mormons lied -somewhere- does not make -this- claim any more likely to be a lie, not when even the people trying to claim that they ARE recording those names as members can’t come up with any positive evidence of it.

    You’re saying that religious people should be allowed to do whatever they want because we might otherwise be hurting their feelings?

    *faceplanet*

    No. No, no, NO! I know for a fact that I said: “I don’t believe that someone else’s outrage should be reason enough to force anyone’s behavior – religious or non – unless there can be some actual harm shown, and “they put great-grandpa’s name on a prayer list!” doesn’t really seem to show any actual harm. ” What do you know, it’s exactly the opposite! I don’t think the Muslims should have the right to force people to stop drawing cartoons of Mohammed because of their hurt feelings, I don’t think the Republicans should have the right to force new laws or behaviors onto the homosexuals because of theirs, and I still don’t see any legal reasons why you have any more rights than they in stopping the Mormons, just because YOUR feelings are hurt this time.

    I’ve already been very clear that I think their practice is rude and arrogant, and that people have every right to be mad at them – But how many times have people said here “You don’t have any right to not be offended“? Hell, how many times have *I* already said it in this thread? That applies to the Muslims, the Republicans, and to you, too.

    Man, that’s a whole family of straw men in one post!

    In fact, if they really are keeping everyone enrolled until 110, there’s precedent for having dead people listed. Of course, they say they’re not doing that.

    Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with the names of those baptized by proxy, you’re moving the goalposts to an entirely new stadium. You know, I figured out that religion was a scam because THEY used similarly dishonest arguments and I learned to spot them, but I stand in awe of your goalpoast-moving skills..

    Right, that’s it! Never mind. You’re not even following the conversation, and you keep reading things into my words after I’ve explicitly and at great length said precisely the opposite. We’re not -communicating-, you’ve decided in your head what you think I’m saying, and damned be the realities that I never said it, you’re going to argue that point anyway!

    You just go ahead and argue whatever points you like, I’ve got a good book or 10, I’m going to go make more productive use of my time. I’ve made my case at length, but -this- is just silly.

  69. gr4tuitou5 says

    “Anyone can say whatever Hocus Pocus they like over my grave, like it will make any difference…” That will be the epitaph chiselled into my gravestone.