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Poll on the bigotry of revealing Mormon theology

Ted Cox is giving a talk at UC Davis titled “How to Get into Heaven (According to Mormons)” — he’s an ex-Mormon, and is going to summarize Mormon theology. This has apparently annoyed some people. People are pre-emptively protesting that an unbeliever would actually dare to reveal the silly things a Mormon might actually believe. They’re calling it bigotry.

It is one thing for someone to talk about how he came to leave the faith but it is quite another to attack the sacred things that people hold dear. There is no point to this man’s decisions to reveal things that go on in LDS temples and that has nothing to do with his journey. I do not support people desecrating the Koran, the Torah, Rosaries, Crucifixes, or anything associated with the sacredness of the LDS temple. There is a fine line between education and disrespectful gestures done for the sake of shock value.

So there’s a poll. Have fun.

Is this event informative or offensive?

Purely informative. 54%

Purely offensive. 29%

A combination of the two. 16%

Comments

  1. eigenperson says

    Wow, that poll has tiny numbers so far. I almost feel sorry for them.

    At least they used the “This is not a scientific poll” line.

  2. alisonstreight says

    It’s amazing that a group which sends out missionaries to spread the word would be so offended by someone else spreading that word. Presumably Ted Cox knows whereof he speaks, so it is unlikely he will be telling lies about the religion. After all, a straight telling of the myth is amusing enough without any embellishments.

  3. Heliantus says

    I noticed the poll Miranda, too: “This is not a scientific poll”

    Unless it was a Magrite.

  4. joed says

    I voted and left a comment.
    “hopefully the insanity of Mormonism will be shown to the people who don’t know about it.
    it is true insanity. and just think of the abuse children of Mormons are subjected to.
    there should be laws against Mormonism.”

  5. Sastra says

    I recall watching an interview on tv where Richard Dawkins was castigated for terrible rudeness simply because he quietly pointed out that one of the other members of the science and religion discussion panel believed that Jesus rose from the dead. How dare he bring this up! Religious beliefs are personal! Never mind that the issue was completely germane to the topic.

    When supernatural beliefs are spelled out carefully without all the hand-waving and air of deference they look absurd. Curiosity, clarity, and consistency are the enemies of faith.

    Sorry, but if you have some gnostic religion which hides deep and secret truths, you’re not going to be able to force everyone to keep up the pretense that these deep and secret truths need to be as private as what you do in the bathroom — but they are really, really wonderful. If they look like something which should have remained in a bathroom when the light of day is shined on them, someone somewhere will bring that up.

    Atheists aren’t part of the Mutually Assured Destruction pact going on between the faiths. No, not even if you keep on telling us that atheism is really a ‘faith.’

  6. Chuck says

    Because the temple ceremonies — all the various versions — aren’t already all over the internet? It’s so offensive to talk about this stuff AGAIN. Waah waah waah he’s talking about my sacred shit. Hey Mormons: nothing’s sacred. That’s your first step to understanding your way out of Mormonism.

  7. flakko says

    I live in Davis and have never heard of the “Davis Patch”. I might just have to head over to the Chemistry building thursday night for what is sure to be a purely informative talk about how purely offensive Mormonism is. (Hey, I guess the answer to the poll is “a combination of the two”!

  8. hotshoe says

    I voted and left a comment.
    “hopefully the insanity of Mormonism will be shown to the people who don’t know about it.
    it is true insanity. and just think of the abuse children of Mormons are subjected to.
    there should be laws against Mormonism.”

    This is wrong.

    There should be no laws against Mormonism, no laws against being a Mormon or believing in the Mormon cult dogma.

    There should be laws against child abuse, and guess what, there are. Sometimes existing laws aren’t enforced – sometimes religious persons are given a free pass – but that doesn’t lend any support to a claim that our society should make it a crime to be religious.

  9. says

    It’s the 21st Century. Unless you go to great lengths nothing is going to stay secret for very long, especially if you have any significant number of people who know the details. If you don’t want your sacred doctrines and practices examined and critique stay small. Don’t evangelise.

  10. Cyranothe2nd says

    Riiiiight. I’m sure Mormons totally respect the religious sanctity of Muslims, Catholics, Jews and other religious groups but not making arguments against them or trying to convert their followers. Oh, wait.

  11. Alverant says

    @hotshoe If a religion proscribed having sex with children, would it be OK? If a religion ended its weekly sermon with the killing of a poor person, would it be OK? Those are extreme examples but there are religions (called cults by some) that are illegal. Some religions are and should be considered illegal and joining them on par with joining a gang or terrorist cell. I don’t know if mormonism should be considered one of them. But “freedom of religion” is not a blank check to have religions that harm others.

  12. carpenterman says

    When the Ku Klux Klan was at it’s height, much of it’s power to frighten and intimidate came from it’s secrecy. It’s members met by dark for secret rituals, whose details were fiercely guarded. This gave the Klan an aura of danger, since no one outside the group knew what went on, and imagination is a very powerful thing. Eventually a federal agent (whose name, excuse me, I’ve forgotten) spent two years infiltrating the Klan, making his way to the innermost circle of the group, privy to all it’s secrets. And then he did the most devastating thing possible.
    He published them.
    The newspapers were filled with the details of the Klan’s rituals, whose secrecy the Klan had protected (shall we say?) religiously. Children incorporated them into their games. There was even a Superman comic where he fought the Klan. What had, when unknown, given the Klan an air of danger, now just seemed…silly. Grown men running around in costumes, secret signs and passwords…suddenly it seemed more juvenile than scary. It dealt the Klan a huge blow to it’s prestige and influence.
    Sunlight is an outstanding disinfectant.
    The Mormons have no business demanding that anyone respect the secrecy they maintain of what goes on in their temples. How can anyone trust people who meet in the dark for secret rituals? If you need to keep it hidden, it means it is shameful. Evil loathes the light.
    If the Mormons truly believe theirs is the True Faith, the best and proper way to worship God… what the hell are they hiding for? Or from? What does it say about them, that they demand secrecy and silence?
    Tell us everything, Mister Cox. Let’s shed some light on this subject.

  13. Koshka says

    Alverant #12,

    Surely you don’t believe hotshoe thinks freedom of religion overrides child abuse or murder.

    In fact if you read all of #9 the opposite is stated.

    joed @5

    there should be laws against Mormonism.

    is wrong.

  14. Francisco Bacopa says

    Eventually a federal agent (whose name, excuse me, I’ve forgotten) spent two years infiltrating the Klan, making his way to the innermost circle of the group, privy to all it’s secrets. And then he did the most devastating thing possible.
    He published them.

    Not sure if it was the same guy, but one Klan infiltrator leaked information to the Superman radio show, which then parodied the Klan.

    But back to the OP, if what Ted Cox is saying is true, who cares of others are offended that he reveals it. I can see how the people who are having their secrets revealed might feel threatened, but why should any third party have any concern at all?

  15. robro says

    I voted “Purely Informative” because that’s the sensible vote under the circumstances. But the thought occurred to me: why can’t the talk be purely offensive? We’re not allowed to offend Mormons? Mormons have done plenty of offensive things, both in the past (Mountain Meadow) and recently (CA Prop 8). So, they can be offensive about things they don’t like, but the rest of us can’t be offensive about things we don’t like, such as Mormonism? What a bunch of spoiled brats.

  16. Bjarni says

    Hmmm, I want to say offensive, but I doubt they would understand that I see that as a positive.

    Seriously though, it’s very telling when people get so very precious about their beliefs. It shows how they realise at some level that it’s rubbish.

  17. justinnitsuj says

    There is a lot to be embarrassed about if you’re a Mormon. It’s no surprise they wouldn’t want someone who can credibly expose it exposing it.

  18. bcskeptic says

    I’m glad that this sort of talk is happening, and I hope it continues to happen more and more.

    Mormonism needs to be exposed to the light of critical, rational thought, to show it for what it is, complete and total nonsense that started with the charlatan Joseph Smith. Why anyone can actually believe that B.S. is unfathonable (oh, right, I at one time did, as I was brought up in a related religion…sheeze!). But, then, people believe that scientology bullshit, the judeo-christian mythology, and islamic nonsense.

    It is bizarre beyond belief that the leading right-wing presidential candidate actually believes all that horse-shit, and the more it can be exposed the better.

  19. says

    Changing the status quo to encourage public discussion of religious belief is going to improve the world so much—I’m so excited!

    Hope I live to see ‘church taxation’ become a mainstream public debate in my lifetime (not quite 30, so there is probably a reasonable chance?).

  20. luoanlai says

    Shed light on crazy practices like…posthumous baptism by proxy.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0215-mormon-baptism-20120215,0,6601885.story

    Recently the parents of the nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal were posthumously baptised into the Mormon church.

    His father died in World War I. His mother died in 1942. He died in 2005.

    It’s been suggested on here before, but I’d happily take part in a massive, public ceremony to posthumously, simultaneously unbaptize everyone that these lunatics have coopted into their cult since the time that it was made up.

  21. Rick says

    I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the diary here, but the results are currently
    Purely informative.
    1321 (92%)
    Purely offensive.
    59 (4%)
    A combination of the two.
    43 (3%)

    I think its a very important topic. What if it turned out that a candidate for leader of the free world, actually believes and engages in this religion?
    I’d sure as hell like to know just how cooked the brain of that person is. Believer in magic golden disappointing tablets? No business running ANYTHING.

  22. skephtic says

    Interesting how many people are claiming to be offended specifically about the revelation of the Mormon “secret handshakes”. Given that the secret handshakes are stolen directly from the Masons, it is pretty silly for people to get upset about revealing the Mormon version of them.

    I’m for open inquiry. If we want to get a full idea of whether a religion is silly is we should look in to all of its beliefs and secrets. And secret handshakes are just more proof that god is invented by men. An all knowing god wouldn’t need to hand out secret handshakes. Such a god would just know who is who–no easily stolen “secret” knowledge needed to prove who you are. (Is there a back up security question for those who forget the handshake? Like, “who was your first grade teacher”? And such…?)

  23. some bastard says

    Why are some atheists opposing this? When the whistle was blown on the Church of Scientology, I don’t remember hearing outrage from any atheists. What’s so different here? Personally I’d say this has been a long time coming, and I can’t wait for an ayatollah, an archbishop, and a grand cleric to walk into a bar announce to the world all the dirty little secrets we haven’t yet learned about.

  24. robro says

    I’m willing to bet that secret handshakes pre-date Masons, too, but to accuse one group of silliness is to accuse them all. And, it is a very silly business. Secret handshakes? Baptizing dead people? Special underwear? Prophets? Golden tablets that only one person has ever seen? The list goes on and on…what are these people thinking.

    I’m also willing to bet that no matter how much the Mormon’s “sincerely regret” this “breach of protocol” (protocol!?), there is no difference on their end. Their response is clearly a PR statement…i.e. sincere crap. Anyway, how can you undo a baptism? Oops!…Edit > Undo. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the names are handwritten in a big ledger in permanent ink.

    You do have to wonder how the Simon Wiesenthal Centre found out about this. The news article doesn’t say.

  25. Aliasalpha says

    Didn’t south park basically do this a few years back? Wonder what weird stuff they left out

  26. sonofrojblake says

    One thing I just found out Mormons do is baptise the long-dead.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/15/mormons-apologise-baptise-simon-wiesenthal

    One thing I just found out that Jews do is… care.

    Seriously – a bunch of Mormons in Utah, Idaho and Arizona did a little dance and sang a little song and incanted a magic spell – or whatever it is they do – and some Jews in California think it matters enough to whine loudly about it and demand an apology.

    Seriously? Nobody daubed swastikas on a grave. Nobody turned up at a funeral in a Nazi uniform and shouted “Sieg Heil”. Nobody caused any direct physical or mental harm to any Jewish person – in fact, I strongly doubt there were any Jewish people even present.

    What they did, when it comes down to it, is that, between themselves, they stood around and *talked about* a couple of Jewish people who had been dead for seventy and ninety years.

    So – given that the Simon Wiesenthal centre considers this such a grave offence that it is worth their time to demand a public apology, can we assume that actual anti-Semitism – y’know, violence, threats, discrimination, REAL things – is officially no longer a problem?

    That’s great news, isn’t it?

  27. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    there should be laws against Mormonism

    Criminalizing profession of belief in magic underwear would be unethical, unenforeable, and awful precedent.

    Criminalizing the fraudulant profession of peddling magic underwear… the current state of consumer protection is such that this was something to be celebrated:

    In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility. We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974. If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologize and offer a full refund.

  28. stubby says

    winstonsmith is a handsome and powerful man. stubby, on the other hand, is a lazy bastard. He doesn’t even know if winstonsmith or stubby should be capitalized if you start a sentence with them. What a maroon!

    ?

    :-(

  29. raven says

    What secrets!!!

    According to one reckoning, there are 3 times as many ex-Mormons as there are active Mormons.

    And the internet knows all and tells all. Plus far more than you ever wanted to know or even could know.

  30. Aquaria says

    It is one thing for someone to talk about how he came to leave the faith but it is quite another to attack the sacred things that people hold dear.

    Uh–dumbass, why he left the faith probably has something to do with the bullshit things your stupidly hold dear.

    Besides, it’s free fucking speech. Don’t like that he’s talking about the delusion?

    Don’t go.

    Sheesh. What a bunch of whining pieces of shit.

  31. says

    Let’s put it this way. Suppose a washed-up con merchant claimed that a set of directions, given to them by an angel, led them to find a set of special optical discs, which they had no idea how to make sense of. Then, a bit later, the angel shew them where to find a device with a drive and a screen that could display the contents of the discs; but it wasn’t in any language they recognised. Then, eventually, over several lessons, the angel taught them to read the strange language. It was a new religious text, to be revealed by the finder of the discs, henceforth to be known as a prophet. But the conditions were that they were only allowed to dictate the translation one word at a time, from behind a screen, and not show the discs or the reader to anybody.

    Now suppose that, at some stage during this process, one of the people typing out the dictation managed to lose a stack of pages, and asked the prophet with the discs to scroll back a bit and re-read that bit again. That ought to be easy enough, unless they had been making the whole thing up as they went along (which would be obvious at once if the missing pages ever turned up again). Only they said no — the angel was very annoyed at the person who lost the papers, and as punishment for their carelessness wouldn’t let them read that bit again.

    Suppose further that when the dictation was completed, the discs and the reader vanished without trace — ostensibly picked up by the angel (which nobody but the original prophet ever saw).

    At which point in this scenario would you first become suspicious that someone was trying it on somewhere?

  32. Aquaria says

    So – given that the Simon Wiesenthal centre considers this such a grave offence that it is worth their time to demand a public apology, can we assume that actual anti-Semitism – y’know, violence, threats, discrimination, REAL things – is officially no longer a problem?

    It is offensive, you fucking moron.

    It shows zero respect for people having the right to believe whatever the fuck they want to believe.

    It shows zero respect for the dead.

    It’s ghoulish, and, when it happens to Jews, it is beyond offensive, given the history of christslime forcing them to convert, stealing their children, torturing them and murdering them for what they’ve chosen to believe.

    Fuck you.

    Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.

  33. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Separate from the mormons’ callous disregard for Jewish survivors’ beliefs about their deceased, out of curiosity I wondered if there were any good comparative anthropology lectures on what “respect for the dead” entails within different cultures.

    Unexpected first google hit was about Taiwan’s Funeral Strippers.
    * Mafia ran nightclubs, acquired mortuaries, and consolidated. And it caught on, apparently.
     
    I guess googling anthropology was just asking to end up in the weird part of the internet, but so soon?

  34. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    My father had zero respect for the Mormon Church. If he knew he would be posthumously baptized into a church he loathed, he would have been quite angry. I daresay many Jews feel the same way about being made members of a religion with a centuries long history of persecuting them.

  35. davem says

    You do have to wonder how the Simon Wiesenthal Centre found out about this. The news article doesn’t say.

    All their baptisms are available on the Internet,(https://www.familysearch.org/). Their indexes to births, marriages and deaths are the best genealogical source on the planet, and open to all. As a family historian, I often go to their ‘Family History Centres’, to consult their records. They’re free to consult, and they don’t proselytise at all. It’s the one weird habit of theirs I’m in favour of. The fact that most of my ancestors have been baptised into the Mormon faith doesn’t affect me, so I have no problem with it myself. Others might, of course.

  36. McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn says

    Ethel Mormon is in a panic because the more batshit that gets outed by former members means more material for Trey and Matt to use for ‘Book Of Mormon II.’ You already have the hat-looking for revelations, the posthumous baptizing of Holocaust Jews, the afterlife of wives being nothing more than baby factories for the men who have their nice shiny new planet…WTF more do people need to realize LDS and Scientology are the stupidest of stupid among the various cults. Any one of those things should be enough to have people telling the door-knockers to fuck the hell off. More events of outing material is overkill, but maybe people will eventually wake up and send the LDS creepshow the way of the Moonies, and most certainly not consider them for presidential candidates.

  37. McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn says

    “Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.”

    No, no, NO, Aquaria! You completely forgot to mention the porcupine should be covered with pustules and maggots. For shame!

  38. Akira MacKenzie says

    Why are some atheists opposing this?

    I think you’ll find that the problem is more widespread and encompasses a significant portion of what passes for a Left-wing here in America. While embracing the laudable goal of trying to alleviate the physical sufferings of humanity, many liberals have taken it upon themselves to try to end any emotional or intellectual inequites as well. Armed with the post-modernist bullshit that “all beliefs are valid” and backed up by hippy dippy sensibilities about universal peace and love, they are willing to put the “happiness” and “self-esteem” of morons and charlatans before demonstrable facts. It’s all supposed to be so nurturing’ fair, and democratic.

  39. Tony says

    bcskeptic:

    Why anyone can actually believe that B.S. is unfathonable (oh, right, I at one time did, as I was brought up in a related religion…sheeze!). But, then, people believe that scientology bullshit, the judeo-christian mythology, and islamic nonsense.

    –Yeah, they are all nonsense, but for some reason, I given bonus nonsense points to mormonism and scientology. I think it’s because they were founded so freaking recently, and we know the two guys who did it. I find it the height of delusion that people believe Joseph Smith and L Ron Hubbard. One found magical golden tablets, and the other created a science fiction story so bad it makes Plan 9 From Outer Space look brilliant.

  40. johnwolforth says

    I can’t really answer the poll without having heard the speech. It depends on how he presents it. Do you remember when the Atlanta Braves were in the World Series? And what people were saying about the tomahawk chop? Or any of the Native American names and symbols that are used for sports? Those are being changed for good reason.

  41. McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn says

    Akira MacKenzie @51: That reminds me of that video that PZ posted a couple months back about relativism. There was a philosopher with a nice putdown of the concept, but the name escapes me and my searches (short of going back through every post since then) came up short. Maybe someone with better memory and/or search skills can up the link for you/us. It pretty much has everything I would want to say to someone with such a mushywishywashy attitude about things, and some of the lines the guy had were worth a laugh or two.

  42. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    It is offensive, you fucking moron.

    And yet you read and support this blog, which is filled to the brim with content that people find offensive.

    Offensiveness is not a crime.

    Ghoulishness if not a crime.

    Disrespecting the dead is not a crime.

    Nobody has been kidnapped, tortured, or murdered.

    These weren’t even public events.

    So fuck your double standard of behavior, Aquaria. Fuck your irrelevant invocation of history. And most of all, fuck your violence-drenched outbursts against those with whom you disagree.

  43. says

    I’m willing to bet that secret handshakes pre-date Masons, too

    Yes, and probably back even further, to the time some early human kids, ages and ages ago, made up the first imaginary games, especially games that excluded other kids or pitted one group against another. Secret handshakes and codes and private, dark clubhouses and rituals are essential elements to those games. As was observed upstream, this sort of thing is childish and exclusionary.

    When adults do those sorts of things, they look silly. When adults actually believe in it, they reveal their stupidity. When these silly, stupid, delusional people aspire to positions of power and influence, they are dangerous.

  44. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    sort of thing is childish and exclusionary.

    But faith-healing exorcising flying zombie Jesus wants to be your invisible friend. He just needs to know you’re a mormon to power the magic underwear. If you’re a pentecostal, he’ll give you superpowers. If you’re a methodist, he’ll make sure you do good deeds. If you’re a calvinist, he already knows what you’ll get.

  45. victortanner says

    Well, now I’ve got a new line for LDS door knockers. I’ll listen to your speech, if you first tell me everything that goes on in the temple ceremony. See what they do.

    The guys at Irreligiosity (the one true podcast) already gave it all away in episode 56. It is quite a strange ceremony.

  46. says

    You do have to wonder how the Simon Wiesenthal Centre found out about this.

    Helen Radkey, a researcher and former Mormon, regularly checks the Mormon church’ s database.

    So – given that the Simon Wiesenthal centre considers this such a grave offence that it is worth their time to demand a public apology, can we assume that actual anti-Semitism – y’know, violence, threats, discrimination, REAL things – is officially no longer a problem?

    You can presume that as much as you want, and we will infer you are an idiot as much as we want. The Simon Wiesenthal centre also considers violence, threats and discrimination a grave offence too.

  47. StevoR says

    Voted (I think?) – purely informative – latest (last?) results :

    Is this event informative or offensive?

    (Voting has been closed for this question)

    Purely informative. 3421 (74%)

    Purely offensive. 527 (11%)

    A combination of the two. 647 (14%)

    Total votes: 4595 This is not a scientific poll.

    ***

    Hey, they got soemthing correct – good last line disclaimer there. Could it be they’re learning?

  48. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    The Simon Wiesenthal centre also considers violence, threats and discrimination a grave offence too.

    And it can do more than one thing at a time. It’s not as though the organization dropped everything else it does to issue a press release and await a response.

  49. StevoR says

    @44. Aquaria : Very well said & seconded by me.

    @57.Naked Bunny with a Whip :

    Offensiveness is not a crime.

    Actually I believe it is. Swear at the cops here in Oz and you can get arrested. I believe public indecenity – which counts as offensiveness, and a few other things – blasphemy are indeed illegal at least in many places.

    Ghoulishness if not a crime. Disrespecting the dead is not a crime.

    Technically I do believe it is.

    Aren’t those marines who urinated on Taliban corpses in trouble now for that or something?

    Nobody has been kidnapped, tortured, or murdered.
    These weren’t even public events.

    Oh rii-iight. Secretly add dead Jews to your list of members against the wishes of their families, friends and descendents and that’s just fine is it? Not like you may want to respect Jewish people’s feelings and beliefs or anything is it?

    Like there are no other crimes besides kidnap, torture and murder anyhow.

    Actually, I think from what I’ve read here that they list them publicly online which kinda counts under “public event” grounds no?

    So fuck your double standard of behavior, Aquaria. Fuck your irrelevant invocation of history. And most of all, fuck your violence-drenched outbursts against those with whom you disagree.

    Sometimes history – historic context – *is* important.

    Sometimes some people FAIL at appreciating history and understanding *how* important it can be.

    I think you’ve just joined that category.

  50. Synfandel says

    If they’ll stop lying about us, we’ll stop telling the truth about them.

    *Chuckle* No, we won’t.

  51. davem says

    Ok, so I watched the video, and he promised some fun stuff about the ceremony, and the magic underclothes, but he forgot to do that bit. So, a couple of questions: Do they actually wear those underclothes all day and night? What is the even weirder stuff than having sex through the holes in a sheet?

  52. baal says

    @ # 57 Naked Bunny with a Whip.

    I really don’t like violence in movies, it gets used gratuitously. But, in Pulp Fiction when the gun went off and splattered a guy all over the back seat it was hilarious. I had side stitches from laughing too hard for too long.

    Sometimes, it’s best to enjoy over-the-top stuff for that over-the-top message. Aquaria does not disappoint. She’s great every time and spot on with the content of her points. Kabiel on MediaMatters.org does a similar presentation style.

    I don’t suppose you’ve ever heard the joke called ‘The Aristocrats?”

    As to the OP, I don’t think posthumous baptism has any actual effect (magic being not real and all) but it is really weird of a major US religion to systematically do magic that is disrespectful of the dead. Would that dead person have wanted to be baptized a Mormon? no? Then it’s no ok to do it later. The Mormons should expect

  53. sonofrojblake says

    “It is offensive, you fucking moron.[…] Fuck you.

    Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.”

    Gosh. I don’t think I can hope to compete with such eloquence or intellectual rigour, so I shalln’t try. Truly the quality of debate below the line at this blog is all I have been led to expect.

  54. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    @davem #69:

    Ok, so I watched the video, and he promised some fun stuff about the ceremony, and the magic underclothes, but he forgot to do that bit. So, a couple of questions: Do they actually wear those underclothes all day and night? What is the even weirder stuff than having sex through the holes in a sheet?

    1) He says yes. 2) Part of the Temple ceremony involves poking your hands through holes in a hanging sheet to prove you’ve learned the secret masonic handshake.
    After the talk linked in comment #38, there was a second video of Q and A on that YouTube account.

  55. says

    Regarding Davem’s questions @69 about mormon undergarments, or “garmies” as mormons are apt to call them, there was a recent letter sent out by the Prophet and his closest apostles reminding mormons to be sure to wear the sacred, uncomfortable garments while doing yard work.

    Some discussion of this nonsense from the perspective of ex-mormons and Jack Mormons can be found here: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,404427,404456

    The letter from the holier-than-thou LDS leaders was dated December 9, 2011. The letter was not just about yard work, but it did specifically mention yard work. I guess that counts as a “revelation.”

    There’s one satire website where an ex-mormon blogs about all things mormon, and a link to the yard-work-garments letter is provided: http://stakepresident.blogspot.com/2012/01/president-paternoster-gets-letter-from.html

    Excerpt:

    This is a very important issue and one that as a Stake President I have addressed many times. Some are becoming slothful in the covenant they have made to wear their garments night and day and seek for unreasonable excuses to remove them. Due to this from now on when interviewing members to ensure they are worthy to attend the temple the First Presidency statement on “Wearing the Temple Garment” has been modified to include the specific direction that “The garment should not be removed, either entirely or partially, to work in the yard.”

    While many members may find themselves uncomfortable (especially on those stifling hot summer days of July and August), I testify that they will be blessed as they obey the instructions of the First Presidency in this sacred matter.

    I am thankful to know that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ cares enough that not only does he notice the sparrow that falls but he also takes an interest in the underwear we have on when working in our yards.

    May the First Presidency be blessed as they continue to inspire members to become more and more Christlike.

  56. says

    More on mormon underwear: here’s the actual wording used in mormon temples during “endowment” ceremonies:

    Brother Smitch, under proper authority, the Garment placed upon you is now authorized and is to be worn throughout your life. It represents the Garment given to Adam when he was found naked in the Garden of Eden, and is called the Garment of the Holy Priesthood. Inasmuch as you do not defile it, but are true and faithful to your covenants, it will be a shield and a protection to you against the power of the destroyer until you have finished your work on the earth.

    Info posted by an older ex-mormon:

    In years past, it was common for the more Letter of the Law Mormons never to take the garment off even when bathing and putting on a new clean one. It was not taken off for intimate relations either. They were made for men with buttons and zippers in the front of the one piece garment, and with a large crotch flap for women. Most of us wore those at one point, before they went to the two piece in the late 70’s. The older styles are still available, I think.

    I can’t quite visualize the description of never taking the garment off before putting on a clean one, but I think the general idea was that the clean garment would be put on in stages while the dirty garment was being taken off in stages? The idea being that the mormon body was never wholly without protection against the power of the destroyer.

    A complete review of the LDS endowment ceremony is posted here: http://www.ldsendowment.org/initiatory.html
    This website page includes the garment-wearing portion of the endowment.

  57. Corporal Ogvorbis (Would that be considered punishment?) says

    Lynna:

    Hospitals in Utah usually have protocols in place such that, if a Mormon will not allow the garment to come off under any circumstances, it is left on one hand, or one foot, and sealed in a plastic bag so the Mormon is fully protected against the Beast. When my friend’s father, in AZ, needed minor surgery, he flew to SLC because the Flagstaff hospital would not accomodate his magic underwear.

    Amazing the hold that LSD has on some people.

  58. Thomathy, now angrier and feminister says

    The comments at that poll are golden. Some people are actually comparing telling ‘secrets’ about Mormonism to telling secrets about an ex-friend. Because a cult organisation and a friend are the same things! Or something.

  59. says

    Ex-mormon, and grandson of former prophet Ezra Taft Benson, Steve Benson recently posted about the necrodunking of Simon Wiesenthal’s parents.

    http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,416917,418092#msg-418092

    Church PR flaks are now trying to claim that Wiesenthal’s parent’s names were only entered into the genealogical database, but it is clear that the two dead ancestors were also proxy baptized.

    A screen grab showing that the “ordinances” had been performed was part of the Daily Mail’s coverage, and was also displayed on the website of the Wiesenthal Center.

    The LDS Church is notorious for making it difficult or impossible to access the records of proxy baptisms that have become controversial. They hide the records of these ordinances rather than deleting them. Hitler is a good example. See http://nowscape.com/mormon/hitler_temple_records.htm

    The whole story, including official letters that document the coverup, is now online. Excerpt:

    … the LDS Family History Department clearly avoided taking responsibility for the discrepancy between Ashton’s September 8 denial of LDS temple work for Hitler and Braun – and the IGI copies, supplied by Roberts, which seem to prove – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that this notoriously well-known pair have, indeed, had proxy LDS ordinances performed on their behalf.

    At the time McAreavy made his initial inquiry to the Family History Library on August 30, there were multiple entries in LDS temple ordinance files which showed that Mormons have performed various rituals on behalf of Hitler and Braun….
    Prior to adding the 1997 edition to the IGI, it seems that the Mormon Church, intent on preserving its public image, attempted to remove the names of well-known Nazis from the IGI files. Most of the IGI entries for Adolf Hitler; Mrs. (Adolf Hitler); Adolf Eichmann; Paul Joseph Göbbels; Hermann Göring; Rudolf Hess; and Heinrich Himmler, were quietly removed. Also erased were the records for Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Fascist Italy from 1922 to 1943 and ally of Hitler and the Third Reich.

    Expect a coverup of the Wiesenthal proxy baptisms.

  60. hotshoe says

    Amazing the hold that LSD has on some people.

    We only wish they were enthralled by LSD; that’s certainly a much better drug than LDS. :)

  61. says

    Hospitals in Utah usually have protocols in place such that, if a Mormon will not allow the garment to come off under any circumstances, it is left on one hand, or one foot, and sealed in a plastic bag so the Mormon is fully protected against the Beast. When my friend’s father, in AZ, needed minor surgery, he flew to SLC because the Flagstaff hospital would not accomodate his magic underwear.

    Yeah, I’ve heard the same thing. Still seems like a practice likely to increase infections.

    Mormons make special magic underwear for military troops. Mormons who join the military wear that magic underwear even in really hot climates.

    I’ve heard from mormon women that the “G’s” increase the incidence of yeast infections.

    And mormon women wear their bras over the top undergarment. Sheesh.

    I’ve been subjected to the garmie feelup. Mormon women who don’t know me and who want to see if I’m one of them will hug me long time while running their hands over my back and shoulders to detect garmie lines. Weather permitting, I try to frustrate them by wearing too many layers.

    I think mormons have to be buried in the G’s as well. Not sure on that one — there is something to the idea of being buried in one’s “temple clothes,” so I assume that includes the G’s.

    Mormon culture is so insular, and mormon language use so strange, that one ex-mormon recently posted about going to New York City and being startled to hear that there was an entire “Garment District,” which she envisioned as being a few blocks dedicated to the making of mormon underwear.

  62. sonofrojblake says

    One more thing, re: Aquaria’s articulate point:

    “It shows zero respect for people having the right to believe whatever the fuck they want to believe.”

    Your comment itself shows “zero respect” for the Mormons’ rights to believe as they wish. Do they have less rights because they’ve not been believing it long enough? Or because they’ve not got killed for it enough?

    I’m surprised to see BTL comments here so vehemently defending the concept of the soul and the importance of its fate. This IS the cracker-nailing blog, right?

  63. Moggie says

    Lynna:

    I can’t quite visualize the description of never taking the garment off before putting on a clean one

    This is like one of those topology thought experiments, like turning a hollow torus inside-out through a hole, only with added nudity.

    Are young Mormons still falling for the magic underwear idea? It beggars belief. Ok, Mormonism is ridiculous in many ways, but somehow the underwear crystallizes it into a neat you’ve-got-to-be-kidding package which I’d like to imagine is driving people away from the church. The pants which broke the camel’s back, so to speak.

  64. Brownian says

    sonofrojblake tiresomely shat out this:

    Gosh. I don’t think I can hope to compete with such eloquence or intellectual rigour, so I shalln’t try. Truly the quality of debate below the line at this blog is all I have been led to expect.

    If you’re actually on the fence about this, then let me settle the matter: the fact that you selected a few quotes—especially ones that are being debated on this very thread—as representative of a community solely so you can score a cheap rhetorical point, strongly suggests that intellectual rigour is way beyond you.

    Since you can’t convincingly keep up the pretense of intellectualism, you might as well learn to drop a few f-bombs, dumbfuck. You’re hardly impressing anyone as it is.

  65. hotshoe says

    Your comment itself shows “zero respect” for the Mormons’ rights to believe as they wish. Do they have less rights because they’ve not been believing it long enough? Or because they’ve not got killed for it enough?

    I’m surprised to see BTL comments here so vehemently defending the concept of the soul and the importance of its fate. This IS the cracker-nailing blog, right?

    Fuck off, you clod.

    Go away and gets your jollies somewhere else.

  66. Pierce R. Butler says

    carpenterman @ # 15: … a federal agent (whose name, excuse me, I’ve forgotten) spent two years infiltrating the Klan, making his way to the innermost circle of the group, privy to all it’s secrets. And then … He published them.

    I believe you’re thinking of Stetson Kennedy, who died last August at age 94. Not a federal agent but an independent activist, he spent all of his long adult life campaigning for minorities and the poor, from collecting folklore alongside Zora Neal Hurston in the WPA to testifying before the United Nations about the horrific living and working conditions of migrant farm laborers in the US. An amazing man, witty and perceptive, his talks still inspired those lucky enough to hear him till the end.

    The feds, otoh, generally gave the Kluxers a free pass until Att’y Gen’l Robert Kennedy forced J. Edgar Hoover to probe the largest terrorist organization working in the US.

  67. What a Maroon says

    We only wish they were enthralled by LSD; that’s certainly a much better drug than LDS. :)

    LSD makes people jump off buildings. Religion makes people fly into buildings.

    There’s a t-shirt in that.

  68. Brownian says

    Your comment itself shows “zero respect” for the Mormons’ rights to believe as they wish. Do they have less rights because they’ve not been believing it long enough? Or because they’ve not got killed for it enough?

    Believe as they wish? Talking about their beliefs, or even trying to persuade them to adopt different beliefs, in no wise abridges their right to believe what they wish.

    If you truly thought that it did and that such a right mattered, you wouldn’t be trying to convince anyone here of anything they didn’t already believe.

    The difference between the after death forced conversion of Jews, particularly those who died in the Holocaust, is that it’s a blanket lie about what they had believed in and who they were.

    If the Mormons had simply proselytised to them while they were alive, it would have been the simple kind of run-of-the-mill annoying that Mormons excel at. But to claim someone had converted to Mormonism after their death, particularly for those who had died for their non-Mormon beliefs, is a certain kind of douchiness that’s hardly on par with a talk divulging their beliefs or, since you think it constitutes a ‘point’, nailing a cracker. If Catholic beliefs are right, the only person hurt was Jesus. And he never sent PZ one email to complain. If they are wrong, and it’s just a symbol, then we’re all very sorry that Catholics were hurt by the disrespect of the symbol that even they don’t believe means what they say it does.

    And finally: don’t forget that the cracker incident was brought about by some Catholics physically assaulting Webster Cook on behalf of their cracker.

  69. RickR says

    It represents the Garment given to Adam when he was found naked in the Garden of Eden, and is called the Garment of the Holy Priesthood. Inasmuch as you do not defile it

    So, any statements from the leaders about how to handle the occasional skidmark?

  70. says

    So, any statements from the leaders about how to handle the occasional skidmark?

    My bet is that the LDS Church makes money selling the garments, so they would encourage you to replace the skidmarked garmies with new ones.

    There is a procedure, of course. You are not supposed to just throw the damaged or old garmies in the trash. I think you have to cut the symbols out of the top and the bottom, then burn said symbols. With the sacred symbols removed, the old G’s can be thrown away. I don’t know if further restrictions apply.

    I do know that you are not supposed to give your used G’s to Goodwill or to Deseret Industries.

    The sacred symbols used to be cut into the flesh of newly endowed mormons, so the whole garmie-wearing thing could be viewed as an improvement of sorts.

  71. says

    The wearing of sacred undergarments causes so much trauma that ex-mormons have filled up entire threads discussing the issues associated with G’s.

    The recovery from mormonism process is often marked with the significant milestone of buying new underwear.

    http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon044.htm

    Excerpts:

    I went to Target and bought some regular underwear. Except that it looks kind of like G’s — lol. Unlike you, Anon, I bought all white — boxers, boxer briefs (the ones with half-legs) and regular briefs, along with some white t-shirts. It was partly a matter of necessity since my old G’s were beyond worn out — holes and tears everywhere in the bottoms — it was pathetic. I just needed new underwear, and I had no inclination to go buy the Beehive Clothing Magic Masonic underwear. I bought the underwear on Sunday, which made the experience all the more a repudiation of the morg.

    Problem is, my wife’s not buying it — that Mormonism is a fraud, that is. She’s still mostly a believer who wears her Gs most of the time (thankfully not ALL of the time ;-) ) and goes to church every Sunday. So I must confess that the white undies I bought were partly a cop-out to the morg so as not to shock my wife too much and so they wouldn’t stand out so much if they showed to the morgbots I’m surrounded by.

    On Memorial Day weekend I spent the whole weekend without morg underwear and shorts. That was liberating! I’m gonna do that a lot more.

    You’re buying underwear, you’re not committing a crime. Yet, I remember 3 years ago when my wife brought home a pile of boxers for me. It was not without a bit of shame and even fear that I threw my graments away. I didn’t even cut out and burn the marks! Man, looking back I can’t believe how superstitious I was about my underwear!

    Garments are about control. As the covenant goes, “to serve as a constant reminder”. I cannot believe I let another grown man ask my wife and I what kind of underwear we were wearing and volunteer the information with a cheery smile. What was even more sick is that I believed in a tyrannical God that cared about what kind of underwear I was wearing.

    Garments are very much a social marker in Utah, a Scarlet Letter for those who are not part of the elite clan. It takes a lot of courage to wear normal underwear. I believe it is a tremendous step in the recovery process. As a couple, you should wear those boxers and panties with pride.

  72. says

    I’m having a wee bit of fun poking at the Mormons in the comments over at the poll page but I seem to be the only one who is somewhat asshole-ish.

  73. says

    Well, I see the pollsters have added a sort of disclaimer:

    Update: As many of you know, this story was picked up by the blog Pharyngula, of FreeThoughtBlogs. Safe to say: It has had a drastic impact on the poll numbers. I suggest you view the results with that in mind (or forward this story to a prominent Mormon blogger, I suppose). Or continue conversing in the comments and at the event. Prior to Pharyngula, the results were:

    Purely informative: 54%
    Purely offensive: 29%
    A combination of the two: 16%

  74. skephtic says

    “Aquaria says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:08 am

    So – given that the Simon Wiesenthal centre considers this such a grave offence that it is worth their time to demand a public apology, can we assume that actual anti-Semitism – y’know, violence, threats, discrimination, REAL things – is officially no longer a problem?

    It is offensive, you fucking moron.

    It shows zero respect for people having the right to believe whatever the fuck they want to believe.

    It shows zero respect for the dead.

    It’s ghoulish, and, when it happens to Jews, it is beyond offensive, given the history of christslime forcing them to convert, stealing their children, torturing them and murdering them for what they’ve chosen to believe.

    Fuck you.

    Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.

    Really? Baptizing the dead is offensive? More offensive than your profane calls for bestial rape? Really?

    You have unarguably demonstrated yourself to be a hypocrite of the lowest order.

    I think baptizing the dead is silly. But they are dead, and so can’t be offended. Where as *you* are calling for living people to be “fucked” with dead animals.

    I suspect you think of yourself as writing in the style of PZ, but all you have is a thin, misunderstood veneer of profanity–your clueless double standards show that you lack any of the substance.

  75. raven says

    Are young Mormons still falling for the magic underwear idea? It beggars belief.

    It’s a package deal. A very large package of fruitbat crazy weirdness.

    The LDS church does have a high defection rate. The wonder is how many people still stay in the religion.

    Part of it is fear. The devil, satan and his huge horde of demons are always out to get the Mormons. It’s a much bigger part of LDS mythology than most other xian sects. Half of all US xians don’t even believe in satan or hell anymore.

    I once had a Mormon acquaintance tell me that satan didn’t care about me at all. I was already lost and going to the lower realms or hell because I wasn’t a Mormon. Satan and the demons really were after the Mormons because they are the Real New Jews, god’s special snowflakes and chosen people destined for the celestial kingdom and godhood.

    There really isn’t anything to say to that except to pour another cup of coffee or a glass of wine and thank the gods or whatever that we aren’t Mormons.

  76. raven says

    dumb troll:

    Really? Baptizing the dead is offensive?

    Listen up moron troll. Offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. People decide what is offensive to them.

    You don’t get to decide what is offensive to other people.

    You are offensive to me. Not much, a dumb troll is just a dumb troll. About like a fly in the house or aphids on the rose bushes.

    I could care less about the Mormons baptizing the dead. I’ve already baptized all Mormons into atheism in a moving ceremony with a cookie being dunked into a cup of coffee.

    OTOH, the xians haven’t spent 2,000 years forcibly converting my people at swordpoint or massacring them by the millions. If I was Jewish, I might feel a lot different about it.

  77. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Baptizing the dead is offensive?

    The only way it wouldn’t be offensive is with the dead signing that day that they want it done. Or all the descendants agree. Get the picture? When you try to make decisions for other people, even the dead, and especially the dead you aren’t a direct descendant of, you are offensive to the direct descendants. Any thinking person would understand that. What is your explanation (there is no excuse) for not seeing that?

  78. skephtic says

    “raven says:
    15 February 2012 at 1:00 pm

    dumb troll:

    Really? Baptizing the dead is offensive?

    Listen up moron troll. Offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. People decide what is offensive to them.

    You don’t get to decide what is offensive to other people.

    You are offensive to me. Not much, a dumb troll is just a dumb troll. About like a fly in the house or aphids on the rose bushes. “

    You seem to be so busy with the ad hominem invectives that you missed the point of my post, which is that Aquaria is exhibiting double standards. Aquaria doesn’t really have the moral high ground to moan on about posthumous baptism as s/he is suggesting that those who disagree with him/her should be raped with a dead animal.

    I gotta say that PZ has really let the standards drop around here if you and Aquaria haven’t gotten the ban hammer. You make Kwok seem like a rational and reasonable, if Leica obsessed, person.

    Here’s the thing, raven, disagreeing with Aquaria’s hypocritical, rape-invective filled rant does not make someone a troll. What you are doing is trying to dehumanize people you disagree with rather than engage them in substantive argument. Perhaps you’d care to explain how Aquaria is not a hypocrite?

  79. hotshoe says

    More offensive than your profane calls for bestial rape? Really?

    You have unarguably demonstrated yourself to be a hypocrite of the lowest order.

    I think baptizing the dead is silly. But they are dead, and so can’t be offended. Where as *you* are calling for living people to be “fucked” with dead animals.

    Good one, skephtic. I especially love the thin, misunderstood veneer of civility you demonstrate with your scare-quotes around “fucked”.

    Why, it’s positively marvelous how much meta commentary you pack into your short post. Bravo, bravo.

  80. hotshoe says

    You seem to be so busy with the ad hominem invectives

    Nothing in our replies was an ad hom, you ignorant clod.

    Learn 2 logic.

    See, when we say “skephtic is an ignorant dirt clod, therefore nothing he says could possibly be reaonable” now THAT’s an ad hominem.

    But when we say “everything skephtic has said so far is stupid trolling, therefore we conclude from the evidence that he’s a troll (and ignorant to boot)” THAT’s valid logic with a insult thrown in just for our listening pleasure. Not an ad hom.

    Now fuck off, you worthless piece of shit troll.

  81. skephtic says

    “Good one, skephtic. I especially love the thin, misunderstood veneer of civility you demonstrate with your scare-quotes around “fucked”.

    Why, it’s positively marvelous how much meta commentary you pack into your short post. Bravo, bravo.”

    Ah, sarcasm. Now that I can appreciate. Not “scare quotes” by the way, I just meant to note the specific profanity used by Aquaria, though I should have put the “ed” in brackets to make it a proper quote.

    Seems to me that some of the hoard are here just to be self-important and to swear at people they want to think they are better than–a moat teaming with impotent, would-be bullies who come here to fulfill their dreams of dominance over others by dehumanizing those they choose to disagree with. That’s what the whole suggestion to rape people with a dead animal does, it is dehumanizing violent imagery. At least you know how to use sarcasam. Puts you up a notch.

  82. skephtic says

    “Nothing in our replies was an ad hom, you ignorant clod.

    Learn 2 logic.

    See, when we say “skephtic is an ignorant dirt clod, therefore nothing he says could possibly be reaonable” now THAT’s an ad hominem.

    But when we say “everything skephtic has said so far is stupid trolling, therefore we conclude from the evidence that he’s a troll (and ignorant to boot)” THAT’s valid logic with a insult thrown in just for our listening pleasure. Not an ad hom.

    Now fuck off, you worthless piece of shit troll.”

    Ah, now that is an excellent example of the trollery that I was referring to, and a wonderfully clueless work of self-referential irony. And a wonderful example of Dunning–Kruger effect.

    You claim from your high horse that I was wrong, and insult me with invective as an extra ego-topper for yourself.

    There’s a small problem with your claim: you are wrong.

    Ad hominem means “to the man” and refers to personal attacks. Personal attacks were made, as you are continuing to do. Thus “ad hominenm”. An ad hominem doesn’t need to be an **argumentum** ad hominem to be an ad hominem, that is a personal attack is still a personal attack even if the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem, substituting a personal attack for a rational argument, is not invoked.

  83. says

    We’ve had the same discussion here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/04/just-as-effective-as-the-mormon-ceremony/

    I also don’t think “You don’t get to decide what offends other people”, while true, is a good line of argument, because plenty of what atheists do and say offends religious people.

    Let me quote myself:

    (this was in response to someone who kept going on and on about how baptisms by proxy weren’t really baptisms and thus not offensive at all)

    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.

  84. Corporal Ogvorbis (Would that be considered punishment?) says

    Ad hominem means “to the man” and refers to personal attacks. Personal attacks were made, as you are continuing to do. Thus “ad hominenm”. An ad hominem doesn’t need to be an **argumentum** ad hominem to be an ad hominem, that is a personal attack is still a personal attack even if the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem, substituting a personal attack for a rational argument, is not invoked.

    Is that your final answer? Here is a real definition:

    An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.[1] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy.[2][3][4]

    from here.

    Note that an ad hominem is not an insult delivered at a person. It is an attempt to negate an argument based on that insult. For instance, if I say, “Al Gore is fat,” that is and insult. If I say, “Al Gore is fat, therefore he is wrong and the earth is not warming,” that would be an arumentum ad hominem. And a logical fallacy.

    What, exactly, is your argument here? You show up blasting out absurdities and tossing up strawmen like they were Tebow passes and then when you are called out, you immediately act the victim and complain that PZ should have banned some of the commenters. So what are you trying to accomplish?

  85. janine says

    You seem to be so busy with the ad hominem invectives that you missed the point of my post, which is that Aquaria is exhibiting double standards. Aquaria doesn’t really have the moral high ground to moan on about posthumous baptism as s/he is suggesting that those who disagree with him/her should be raped with a dead animal.

    You are a rather dim sack of shit. First, you are not being threatehed with rape, you are being told to use a dead animal with quills as a sex toy. Big fucking difference.

    That said, you cannot use this insult as a means to claim that Aquaria, (She is a woman.) has no right to condemn a religious action.

    Also, one more point, the owner of this blog approves of how Aquaria conducts herself. She is under no threat of having the banhammer coming down on her.

    You, by being inane, are much closer to being banned.

    Now, go forth into the nearest forest, find a frozen corpse of a porcupine and use a vigorous circular motion. (Please note, this is not a rape threat.)

  86. hotshoe says

    Ah, now that is an excellent example of the trollery that I was referring to, and a wonderfully clueless work of self-referential irony. And a wonderful example of Dunning–Kruger effect.

    Repetitive. Needs editing. Grade: C-

    You claim from your high horse that I was wrong, and insult me with invective as an extra ego-topper for yourself.

    Padded bombast. Grade: D

    There’s a small problem with your claim: you are wrong.

    Ad hominem means “to the man” and refers to personal attacks. Personal attacks were made, as you are continuing to do. Thus “ad hominenm”. An ad hominem doesn’t need to be an **argumentum** ad hominem to be an ad hominem, that is a personal attack is still a personal attack even if the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem, substituting a personal attack for a rational argument, is not invoked.

    After previous correction, persistent refusal to use right vocabulary. Grade: F

  87. hypatiasdaughter says

    Anger or offense at Mormon baptism of the dead is one of those things that make us emotional – which makes a skeptical rationalist ask themselves “Why does something that doesn’t cause any material harm, make me so angry?” I know it makes me want to spit, but I know that is not a rational response. One of these interesting peculiarities about humans and their emotions.
    To me, it is like someone accusing my dead father of being a rapist or my dead mother of being a slut – both not only totally untrue, but a complete inversion of their actual moral character. It can do them no harm, only their “reputation” (which they aren’t around to care about). It is offensive to the surviving family members, but does them no actual harm. But it would make me angry.
    I once happened on a website devoted to necrophilia. (No, I was not searching for it! Someone in a blog had a link to it.) There were staged videos of men having sex with “dead” women (obviously actresses playing the corpses); but also supposed videos of an undertaker having sex with his dead “clients”.

    Now, the question for skephtic & others is “Would you be offended if you found out the undertaker preparing your wife’s, mother’s or sister’s body for burial had sex with it?”
    It can’t do “her” any harm – she’s dead. It’s not causing an “real” harm to your family members. It can only “offend” them and make them angry.
    So it is “wrong”? Why?

  88. skephtic says

    “Note that an ad hominem is not an insult delivered at a person. It is an attempt to negate an argument based on that insult. For instance, if I say, “Al Gore is fat,” that is and insult. If I say, “Al Gore is fat, therefore he is wrong and the earth is not warming,” that would be an arumentum ad hominem. And a logical fallacy.”

    Terms often have more than one definition and use, as is the case with “ad hominem”.

    “ad hominem |ˌˈød ˌhɑmənəm|
    adverb & adjective
    1 (of an argument or reaction) arising from or appealing to the emotions and not reason or logic.
    • attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain : vicious ad hominem attacks.
    2 relating to or associated with a particular person : [as adv. ] the office was created ad hominem for Fenton. | [as adj. ] an ad hominem response.
    ORIGIN late 16th cent.: Latin, literally ‘to the person.”

    From the Oxford-American Dictionary

    “ad ho·mi·nem
       /æd ˈhɒmənəm ‐ˌnɛm, ɑd-/
    adjective
    1.
    appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason.
    2.
    attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.”

    I believe I have and can make a case that “ad hominem” is not an absolute synonym for the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem. As well, calling me a moron *is* an argumentum ad hominem in the context of an intellectual argument, where as, calling me “fat” or some other un-related quality (an needlessly insulting) might not be. Calling me a “moron” or a “dim sack of shit” or any other aspersion on my ability to argue is an argumentum ad hominem *even if* further argument is supplied, because the insults are substitutes for the arguments unsaid, and are attempts not only to dehumanize me but to poison the well.

  89. hotshoe says

    Also, one more point, the owner of this blog approves of how Aquaria conducts herself. She is under no threat of having the banhammer coming down on her.

    You, by being inane, are much closer to being banned.

    I’m wondering which prevciously-banned poster skephtic really is. Who used to have some issue with Aquaria and/or raven?

    I gotta say that PZ has really let the standards drop around here if you and Aquaria haven’t gotten the ban hammer. You make Kwok seem like a rational and reasonable, if Leica obsessed, person.

    Who does skephtic sound like ? Someone from the old days, the Kwok days ? And pre porcupine-meme, too.

  90. says

    I gotta say that PZ has really let the standards drop around here if you and Aquaria haven’t gotten the ban hammer.

    Funny thing about that. The people who think they can lecture me on how to run the blog are almost always the ones that make me start thinking they’re right, I am letting standards slide, and I can think of someone I should start applying them to right away.

  91. janine says

    Hey, Dum-Dum, please address the point the telling you to fuck yourself with a dead porcupine is not a rape threat. Because you are basing your dismissal of what Aquaria said on that.

    Also, if you knew this blog like you are implying that you do (Slipping standards, laughable.) you would know that we do not tolerate rape threats.

  92. Corporal Ogvorbis (Would that be considered punishment?) says

    I believe I have and can make a case that “ad hominem” is not an absolute synonym for the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem.

    But you have been claiming it is a synonym for insult. Unsuccessfully, I might add.

    As well, calling me a moron *is* an argumentum ad hominem in the context of an intellectual argument, where as, calling me “fat” or some other un-related quality (an needlessly insulting) might not be. Calling me a “moron” or a “dim sack of shit” or any other aspersion on my ability to argue is an argumentum ad hominem *even if* further argument is supplied, because the insults are substitutes for the arguments unsaid, and are attempts not only to dehumanize me but to poison the well.

    No. Because nowhere did I write, or imply, that your arguments should be discounted because you are a moron. I simply stated that you are wrong, gave evidence for that conclusion, and then gratuitously called you a moron as a personal insult.

  93. janine says

    Funny thing about that. The people who think they can lecture me on how to run the blog are almost always the ones that make me start thinking they’re right, I am letting standards slide, and I can think of someone I should start applying them to right away.

    I have been around here too long, I usually have a fair idea of whom is most likely to be banned.

    Quoting me:

    You, by being inane, are much closer to being banned.

    Spooky! How could I have known this?

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And notice the non-skeptical troll isn’t addressing the issue of descendant permission. Avoids it like it is the plague. Of course it is like the plague. The Achilles heel of those who think fallaciously they can do anything to the dead and not expect folks to get irrated about it.

  95. says

    Calling me a “moron” or a “dim sack of shit” or any other aspersion on my ability to argue is an argumentum ad hominem *even if* further argument is supplied, because the insults are substitutes for the arguments unsaid, and are attempts not only to dehumanize me but to poison the well.

    In other words, ad hominem is being re-defined as any argument that contains sulfur.

  96. A. R says

    Mormon troll: Question: Do you legitimately believe that Joseph Smith found golden plates buried in upstate New York, with Hebrew writing inscribing what you call the book of Mormon? Do you also believe that Joseph Smith was able to use two rocks with holes in them to translate said Golden Plates?

  97. skephtic says

    “janine says:
    15 February 2012 at 2:16 pm

    You are a rather dim sack of shit. First, you are not being threatehed with rape, you are being told to use a dead animal with quills as a sex toy. Big fucking difference.

    Let’s see what she wrote:

    “Aquaria says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:08 am
    Fuck you.

    Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.”

    Sorry, janine, at best Aquaria is being ambiguous. It doesn’t say “please voluntarily consider using a dead animal for masturbation”. It says: “Fuck you. Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.”

    So, if someone were to go into a rape survivors forum and post that, do you think *anyone* there would defend that as not dehumanizing or not evocative of rape?

    “That said, you cannot use this insult as a means to claim that Aquaria, (She is a woman.) has no right to condemn a religious action.”

    Care to quote where I did any such thing? You can’t because I didn’t. You are making a straw argument.

    Aquaria, as do we all, has the right to make any argument she wants. And she can be offended by anything she wants. But when she decries offense and also seeks to offend, all in the same post, she is being hypocritical and her argument (if she really has one) is inconsistent, and, therefore, unsound.

    “Also, one more point, the owner of this blog approves of how Aquaria conducts herself. She is under no threat of having the banhammer coming down on her.”

    More’s the pity. I’m against giving nonsense respect, so I’ve no problem with frank and contentious dialogues. Nor am I generally opposed to profanity, but I find that the forum here sometimes tends towards profanity laced group think, and that people are so busy shouting people down with swearing and calls for rape with dead animals (yes, I still see it that way) that they loose track of the actual facts and rational arguments.

    “Now, go forth into the nearest forest, find a frozen corpse of a porcupine and use a vigorous circular motion. (Please note, this is not a rape threat.)”

    Perhaps not, but it is still an express wish for someone to be physically harmed–I really don’t see a valid place for such expressions of hatred in a rational argument, or in a pro-feminist blog.

  98. says

    skehptic,

    while that’s right, do you understand your own dictionary definitions?
    Also, dictionaries are mainly descriptive, they aren’t necessarily right, we have to
    1. observe the language use
    2. if there is a standard, refer to it

    Dictionaries usually strive to reference the broadest, academic standard, but that’s not the only one, though some do include other types of standards.

    “ad hominem” in the sense of “to the person” is university speak for “awarding someone a personal honour”, as in “personal chair ad hominem”, and is usually used in a positive context.

    “ad hominem” in the sense of the fallacy, is the predominant use in academic discourse, and also on this blog. The Pharyngulawiki can be used as a reference to that.

    This doesn’t mean that “ad hominem” couldn’t be used in the sense of “insult”, but I haven’t seen any data yet that this has actually become an accepted usage anywhere. It seems to occur mainly in academic contexts, I’d be surprised if it did in colloquial speech. There, “insult” is still much more frequent.

  99. hotshoe says

    As well, calling me a moron *is* an argumentum ad hominem in the context of an intellectual argument, where as, calling me “fat” or some other un-related quality (an needlessly insulting) might not be. Calling me a “moron” or a “dim sack of shit” or any other aspersion on my ability to argue is an argumentum ad hominem *even if* further argument is supplied, because the insults are substitutes for the arguments unsaid, and are attempts not only to dehumanize me but to poison the well.

    No. Because nowhere did I write, or imply, that your arguments should be discounted because you are a moron. I simply stated that you are wrong, gave evidence for that conclusion, and then gratuitously called you a moron as a personal insult.

    Thanks, Ogvorbis!

  100. says

    The other thing I’ve noticed about people begging for a culling is that they obsess over how rudely they are treated on this blog.

    This is a rude place. Everyone gets treated rudely. Heck, I get rude comments. Grow up and roll with it.

  101. says

    Ex-mormon “Flatlander” produced a video about the proxy baptism controversy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHl-ebTbgOs

    At about 2:30, he talks about the process of “Name extraction” which was also know as “records tabulation.” The LDS Church started in 1938 to microfilm genealogical records from all over the world, with the express purpose of extracting the names for “temple work.”

    At about 3:05, he documents the fact that a mormon prophet ordered all the names to be used during proxy baptism, with no regard as to whether or not the persons were related to LDS Church members.

    Prophet [David O. McKay] ordered the Genealogical Society to extract names directly from the microfilmed records for use in temple endowments –without any concern as to whether the names extracted were those of ancestors of church members … All [the members] had to do was go to the temples and the Church would provide the names for them.

  102. janine says

    Care to quote where I did any such thing? You can’t because I didn’t. You are making a straw argument.

    You are an exceedingly stupid sack of shit, you are about in Glenn Beck territory.

    Aquaria doesn’t really have the moral high ground to moan on about posthumous baptism as s/he is suggesting that those who disagree with him/her should be raped with a dead animal.

    You are dismissing what Aquaria said. Gee, how the fuck was I able to do that.

    Stupid pile of shit.

  103. skephtic says

    “Funny thing about that. The people who think they can lecture me on how to run the blog are almost always the ones that make me start thinking they’re right, I am letting standards slide, and I can think of someone I should start applying them to right away.”

    And indeed, I am opening myself up to such retribution by being upfront with my thoughts.

    I’m willing to argue on the merits and am open to being persuaded by counter arguments. And while I’m not against confrontational arguments, so far I haven’t found “Fuck you. Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.” to be especially persuasive. I think it would be ironic for me to be banned and for all of the people are being gratuitously insulting to stay. Well, perhaps not ironic, but it would say that you value gratuitous insults more than sound arguments, IMO. Even so, I recognize that it is your blog and you can and will do as you wish. And I haven’t even demanded you give me a Leica :-)

  104. says

    skephtic:

    I find that the forum here sometimes tends towards profanity laced group think…

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. We hear that bullshit all the fucking time, even when it’s obvious we don’t even give each other any kind of undue respect.

    “Group think” my hairy geeky ass.

  105. skephtic says

    “This is a rude place. Everyone gets treated rudely. Heck, I get rude comments. Grow up and roll with it.”

    True enough. But if I’m outside and note that it is raining, nobody threatens to ban me for stating the obvious.

  106. hotshoe says

    Sorry, janine, at best Aquaria is being ambiguous. It doesn’t say “please voluntarily consider using a dead animal for masturbation”. It says: “Fuck you. Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.”

    So, if someone were to go into a rape survivors forum and post that, do you think *anyone* there would defend that as not dehumanizing or not evocative of rape?

    This IS a rape survivors forum.

    Goddamn, you’re a clueless leech.

    Get the fuck out. Your kind is not welcome here.

  107. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:04 pm

    skephtic: You haven’t answered my question yet…”

    What question is that?

  108. A. R says

    skephtic: Do you legitimately believe that Joseph Smith found golden plates buried in upstate New York, with Hebrew writing inscribing what you call the book of Mormon? Do you also believe that Joseph Smith was able to use two rocks with holes in them to translate said Golden Plates?

  109. janine says

    I’m willing to argue on the merits and am open to being persuaded by counter arguments. And while I’m not against confrontational arguments, so far I haven’t found “Fuck you. Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.” to be especially persuasive Well, perhaps not ironic, but it would say that you value gratuitous insults more than sound arguments, IMO.

    Talking sack of shit, would you like to know what would help your case? If you actually had a rational argument.

    There is nothing ironic about if you got banned. Being insipid and demanding that this blog be ran in a certain way has gotten other trolls banned in the past.

  110. says

    The example I gave above of mormons blatantly using the names of persons not related to LDS Church members for proxy baptism rituals was a little outdated. Here’s a more recent reference, from August of 2008. Again, we have “Flatlander” to thank for this research:

    I checked with a … desk worker at the St. George Temple and she told me … “There are stacks of names in the vault. They are sorted by M&F, and according to needed ordinances…Often times Salt Lake will have us do baptism only on extraction names and thens end the confirmations to Salt Lake – who in turn forwards them to other Temples…”

    The names come from Ellis island immigration records, the 1880 census records, U.S. births records, U.S. marriage records, international parish and civil records, WWWI draft cards, Canadian census records, etc.

    “Extraction effort will speed work of redeeming dead” — Church News, September 25, 1993

  111. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What question is that?Who the fuck gave you premission to tell us how to behave? We didn’t. PZ didn’t, so apologize and fade into the bandwidth.

  112. janine says

    Stupid pile of shit, Aquaria has been here even longer than I have, many years. Aquaria does not have a history of threatening rape nor of hand waving the topic away.

    Fuck you for even implying that is what she was doing. You are a slimy piece of work.

  113. skephtic says

    “This IS a rape survivors forum.

    Goddamn, you’re a clueless leech.

    Get the fuck out. Your kind is not welcome here.”

    No, it is not. While there are undoubtedly rape survivors who post here due to the horrifically high percentages of people who have been sexually assaulted in the US, that is not the reason why people post here. It is no more a survivors forum than it is a drug recovery forum.

    I mentioned a rape survivors forum as a way illustrate how the words written by Aquarius might be viewed more clearly in a different context, to try to get you and others to think out side of the box of this forum.

  114. A. R says

    skephtic: 1. There are at least five people on the blog who are rape survivors.
    2. You haven’t answered my question.

  115. ChasCPeterson says

    This doesn’t mean that “ad hominem” couldn’t be used in the sense of “insult”, but I haven’t seen any data yet that this has actually become an accepted usage anywhere. It seems to occur mainly in academic contexts

    as far as I can tell, it occurs almost exclusively on the internet. Is it “accepted”? Not usually around here; elsewhere I don’t know.

  116. says

    Ex-mormon “Flatlander” talks about Mitt Romney and family baptizing his dead father-in-law at about 6:15.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHl-ebTbgOs

    The atheist, scientist father-in-law was baptized, confirmed, endowed, and sealed to a spouse. The separate Temple Ordinances performed after proxy baptism convince me that mormons actually believe the necrodunked person accepts the offer of joining the LDS Church. Otherwise, why would they bother will all the follow-up rituals?

    This baptism is not binding on them unless they accept it. -Elder Quentin L. Cook, Draper, Utah, 2009

    But the second ritual, “Confirmation,” is when three priesthood holders confirm that the dead person is a member of the mormon church — and this is what mormons did to Mitt Romney’s atheist father-in-law.

    Hitler was “confirmed.” U.S. President George Washington was “confirmed.” Carl Sagan was “confirmed.”

  117. says

    Why would anyone use “ad hominem” to mean “insult?” We have a word for that. Insult.

    But then, I hate it when people use “begging the question” to mean, “raises the question.”

    I also think very little of people who complain about ad hominem arguments who then use “group think” dismissively.

  118. Dhorvath, OM says

    Nigel,
    Because fancy Latin words are good at putting down those you oppose. “I am more sophisticated than you, stop arguing with me.”

  119. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:08 pm

    skephtic: Do you legitimately believe that Joseph Smith found golden plates buried in upstate New York, with Hebrew writing inscribing what you call the book of Mormon? Do you also believe that Joseph Smith was able to use two rocks with holes in them to translate said Golden Plates?”

    No and No.

    You seem to think I’m Mormon. Why do you think that?

    It seems folks are so busy dog pilling on me with insults that the the topic has been lost.

    I think that posthumous baptizing people is silly and insulting, but no more so than being told “Fuck you. Fuck you with a dead, rotting, mange-ridden porcupine, you selfish piece of shit.”

    People have right to be offended by whatever they want to be offended, but they don’t have a right not to be offended.

    What get’s me, and I’ve not seen a good defense of it, is Aquaria getting all upset by posthumous baptisms and then setting out to deliberately offend by saying insulting stuff. She reserves the right to offend for herself, but seems to be saying that the Mormons shouldn’t do anything that others might find offensive. That seems like double think to me. I note that not because I’m a Mormon, which I am not, but because I’m in favor of *consistency*. I think being consistent is important.

    I’d really like for someone to explain how they think Aquaria is being consistent.

  120. Corporal Ogvorbis (Would that be considered punishment?) says

    I’m willing to argue on the merits and am open to being persuaded by counter arguments.

    But you have ignored every, or claimed persecution, or deliberately derailed every counter-argument to which you have been exposed. The sound arguments have been dismissed, by you, repeatedly while you, at the same time, claim that you are being attacked, insulted, and ignored.

    And knock off the ducking complaints about the use of foul (or fowl) language. It makes you sound like an immature tone-troll.

    But if I’m outside and note that it is raining, nobody threatens to ban me for stating the obvious.

    [sound of a record needle sliding across a Buck Owens record]

    What question is that?

    See 118. And 131.

    Damn. You really are quote mining for maximum outrage rather than, y’know, actually reading for content, aren’t ya? What, if there’s no ‘duck’ you skip over it?

    skephtic: 1. There are at least five people on the blog who are rape survivors.

    And not all are female, either.

    Why would anyone use “ad hominem” to mean “insult?” We have a word for that. Insult.

    So the person can play the victim card and claim persecution.

  121. A. R says

    skephtic: It’s the difference between giving offense without reason, and giving offense in retaliation to offense.

  122. janine says

    No, it is not. While there are undoubtedly rape survivors who post here due to the horrifically high percentages of people who have been sexually assaulted in the US, that is not the reason why people post here. It is no more a survivors forum than it is a drug recovery forum.

    Here is a fucking suggestion, santorum-for-brain, take this quote to the endless thread and wait for the reaction. It will not be what you think it will be.

    History lesson about this blog, not just the women who are open about having been raped, just about every regular here has put in a lot of work to make this a safe place when it comes to the topic of rape.

    Stop telling the regulars what this blog is, you arrogant cesspool of shit.

  123. skephtic says

    “Dhorvath, OM says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Nigel,
    Because fancy Latin words are good at putting down those you oppose. “I am more sophisticated than you, stop arguing with me.”

    As opposed to “Because profane insults are good at putting down those you oppose.”

    Tell me, please, is the use of Latin bad but the use of “fuck,” “dim sack of shit” and “Stupid pile of shit” good? Can you give me an sound moral argument to support one over the other? If “putting down” people is the moral problem then surely the profane insults are even worse than the mere use of a few Latin words, even by your own reasoning.

  124. janine says

    How easy arguing must be, skephtic, when you spend more time whining about what I call instead to answering the points I have made.

    And you wonder why I call you a stupid pile of shit.

  125. says

    Chas,

    that depends.

    The problem of course is that most corpora of English do not include internet communities, they’re based on the news media, literature and interviews/recorded conversations of people. In those interviews, people do not use such terms in everyday speech.

    So I still think the term occurs so rarely in general that one could say it is confined to academic usage, and within academic usage, usually the definition is clear. In case of this blog, it’s even spelt out.

    Caveat: since the frequency data I posted some time ago were from traditional corpora, I could be wrong. But you’d actually need to count. If you care about a linguistic issue, you will see it “all the time”. But if you actually do the count, it might turn out to be negligible. Certainly I might be wrong about this, and there might be communities where “ad hom” has become a totally neutral, normal term for “insult”.

    However:

    I think what happens when people are using it in the sense of “insult”, it hasn’t really become an accepted and normal usage to them, but is more like they’re trying to emulate a higher-register academic usage, i.e. they’re using the word as a fancy term for “insult” in order to sound more erudite. This can only be determined by analysing the person’s speech in detail, but I think this is often what other people perceive.

    As I said, if you can present me a community where this is not so, I’ll gladly take a look at it. A brief glance over reddit.com, for instance, suggests that it’s not the case there…

  126. maryb says

    Ignoring all the invective about the necro-baptism practices of the Mormons: I will likely be subjected to this practice after I die and I have always felt really offended by it. I have a brother who converted to Mormonism in high school at the same time I firmly became an atheist (after simply not believing in any of the god talk before that from the time I can remember). Since I don’t for a minute believe that this weird practice will actually accomplish anything, I have thought about why I feel so offended by it.

    What it boils down to is that I am offended because it is an attempt to rewrite my history after I no longer have an ability to affect it (I’m dead). It is as offensive as any “lying for Jesus” is. It is offensive because it is lying about who these people actually were and what they believed in (Mitt Romney’s dead atheist father-in-law, e.g.) and leaving a written record to try to change their history. I have thought about leaving a statement in my will forbidding anyone to convert me after my death to something they could never convince me of while I am living. But that won’t stop them. It is the lying that is offensive. It is leaving a false record of a person’s life that is offensive.

    The Jews have another reason for being so offended – it feeds into the holocaust deniers category. Rewriting their history is offensive, no matter who does it and for what reason.

    By the way, their genealogical records are not the best there is, they are simply the largest single repository. They have deliberately introduced errors to better support their re-writing the history of people to further their beliefs and every single line gets a lineage that fictitiously goes back to some king or other and then on to Adam and Eve. My mother has done extensive genealogical research and has had to separately verify all the Mormon data and has found many, many errors in their data.

  127. Dhorvath, OM says

    Skephtic,
    So you would agree that it is still a similar tactic? Using ad hom in place of insult is subtle, calling someone a sack of shit is overt. I understand that frustration is a frequent companion of any argument and I have little trouble just glossing over it whether it’s from you or from someone else.

  128. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think that posthumous baptizing people is silly and insulting

    Then why were you attempting to claim folks shouldn’t be insulted and irritated by it? Can’t keep your lies straight?

  129. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:26 pm

    skephtic: It’s the difference between giving offense without reason, and giving offense in retaliation to offense.”

    The Mormons have a reason for posthumous baptism, and it isn’t to insult people. I think their religion is as false as all other religions and that they are wrong, but the do have reasons for what they are doing, even if those reasons are not founded in evidence.

    OK, so I’ll assume you are meaning “without reason” to mean that Mormonism is not based in evidence and reason and thus there is no sound reason for the posthumous baptism. However, being offended by the posthumous baptism isn’t based in reason, either. If there is not god then there is no reason to be offended by the empty gesture. Same goes for any Jews who are offended. Judiasm isn’t based in sound evidence and reason any more than Mormonism is. So if we apply your “without” reason standard consistently we have to apply it not only to the giving of the offense but also to the taking of offense.

    So, I don’t think Mormons should baptize dead people. I do think it is presumptuous. But its their right. We can say its stupid, and I do, but they get to do it anyway.

  130. says

    She reserves the right to offend for herself, but seems to be saying that the Mormons shouldn’t do anything that others might find offensive.

    Mormons can be offensive, and we can call them offensive. Nobody said mormons can’t be offensive.

    As far as the entire necrodunking discussion goes, it is mormons that are mightily offended by the fact that anyone (Jews, for example) are offended.

    Mormons not only reserve the right to offend, they reserve the right to redefine offense as “an act of love.”

    I think that what Aquaria and others are saying, in part, is that mormons should not get away with redefining offensive actions as “love,” nor should they get away with lying about those actions, nor should they get to play the persecution and bigotry cards when people voice their objections.

    Mormons can be as offensive as they like. They just do not earn our respect, nor our silence by being offensive in the name of religion.

  131. hotshoe says

    “This IS a rape survivors forum.

    Goddamn, you’re a clueless leech.

    Get the fuck out. Your kind is not welcome here.”

    No, it is not. While there are undoubtedly rape survivors who post here due to the horrifically high percentages of people who have been sexually assaulted in the US, that is not the reason why people post here. It is no more a survivors forum than it is a drug recovery forum.

    I mentioned a rape survivors forum as a way illustrate how the words written by Aquarius might be viewed more clearly in a different context, to try to get you and others to think out side of the box of this forum.

    So according to you, rape survivors’ voices only belong in a box called “Rape Survivors’ Official Forum”. And you think you can use their putative viewpoint to harass us about our collective “hypocrisy”. Meanwhile our survivors’ viewpoints count for jackshit with you, because we’re all in a box called “Pharyngula Forum” which somehow proves we can’t think “out side of the box”. Because if we could think “out side of the box” we would agree with you, naturally! I mean, it’s so obvious you’re right, how could anyone disagree ? Stupid rape survivors in the Pharyngula box, how dare they disagree with you.

    Fuck you. You’re a disgusting specimen of inhumanity. You make me feel like vomiting. Since there is no evidence that you are capable of feeling ashamed of yourself, I won’t bother telling you that you should be.

    Go away.

  132. says

    skehptic,

    It’s not the baptism, about which atheists couldn’t care less…
    It’s offensive because it defiles the memories of your loved ones even by appropriating them for their religion. How hard is that to understand?

    Imagine a world without religion. Most people would still commemorate their closest family members who had died. This would probably only go back 2-4 generations.

  133. skephtic says

    “Dhorvath, OM says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Skephtic,
    So you would agree that it is still a similar tactic? Using ad hom in place of insult is subtle, calling someone a sack of shit is overt. I understand that frustration is a frequent companion of any argument and I have little trouble just glossing over it whether it’s from you or from someone else.”

    No, I don’t agree that it is a similar tatic. I actually assume this is an educated group, familiar with terms used in debate. So I doubt I’m talking over anybody’s head by saying “ad homimnem”. In a different forum I think you might be able to make a stronger argument for that.

    But here’s the question, you essentially called me out for being insulting for using common Latin as “putting down” people, and that being bad. Do you also, therefore, condemn the explict insults and profanity that are undeniably being used to “put down” people? Or did you just take time to call me out for something you give other people a free pass on? That is, are you consistent in your standards?

  134. A. R says

    The Mormons have a reason for posthumous baptism, and it isn’t to insult people.

    But they must recognize that they are insulting people with their practices? And if I am insulted by the Catholics in some way (opposition to condoms in Africa) I have every right to hurl an insult back at them. (Though I suppose I am far too polite to do so). The point is that when someone is insulted with no provocation, that person has the right to insult their insulter. I’m going to ignore the rest of your post, as I have enough straw for my horse.

  135. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But its their right.

    No it isn’t. Not without permission fo the descendatnts–all of them.

  136. skephtic says

    “pelamun says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:44 pm

    skehptic,

    It’s not the baptism, about which atheists couldn’t care less…
    It’s offensive because it defiles the memories of your loved ones even by appropriating them for their religion. How hard is that to understand?

    Imagine a world without religion. Most people would still commemorate their closest family members who had died. This would probably only go back 2-4 generations.”

    You have the right to be offended. I’m very explicit on that point.

    And Mormons have the right to do what they want so long as it doesn’t interfere with your other rights. But you don’t have the right not to be offended. And it has to be that way because I want my own freedom to speak out and act out against religion–and if offending someone is a crime, I’ll lose that right. So if we want our freedom we have to grant the same freedom to people who’s position and actions we oppose, for their rights are our rights. We can’t have one without the other.

  137. A. R says

    skephtic: But I have the right to not have my ancestor’s memories defiled and essentially (apologies in advance for the potentially offensive or triggering hyperbole) raped by a cult of mind-numbingly ignorant religious zealots.

  138. says

    So, I don’t think Mormons should baptize dead people. I do think it is presumptuous. But its their right. We can say its stupid, and I do, but they get to do it anyway.

    Please explain why anyone has the “right” to create a false historical record. Creating a storehouse of genealogical records (of dubious accuracy, according to an earlier poster) and creating “records” of baptisms and confirmations sounds rather like a continuous effort to create phony primary sources of information for future historians to peruse. We here now know that it’s crap; what will future researchers think? And again, why does anyone have the right to confuse the issue of who was Mormon and who was not?

  139. A. R says

    For the record, I actually have a clause in my Will (I know it’s early, but you never know) explicitly preventing posthumous association of my person with any religious organization.

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And {living} Mormons have the right to do what they want so long as it doesn’t interfere with your other rights, {and that of your ancestors}.

    FIFY. They don’t have a right, but pretend they do. You have rights to oppose such shit.

  141. says

    skehptic,

    your religion analogy fails: getting offended about religion is getting offend over imaginary being and teachings, getting offended about your ancestor’s memories defiled is getting offended over real people you had a close relationship with.

    The Mormons have no moral right to come in and do this.

    A better analogy might be: while I can speak out against religion and say some offensive things, I have no moral right to walk into a church full of strangers and start insulting them for being religious. Likewise, Mormons have no right and waltz in and baptise the loved ones of strangers.

  142. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:45 pm

    But they must recognize that they are insulting people with their practices? “

    What if they do? Lots of things insult lots of people. PZ insults religion and accords it no special respect. Should he stop because he knows people take offense? I say no. And while I think Mormons should stop posthumously converting people, I also think Mormons should stop converting people at all, living or dead.

    “And if I am insulted by the Catholics in some way (opposition to condoms in Africa) I have every right to hurl an insult back at them. (Though I suppose I am far too polite to do so). The point is that when someone is insulted with no provocation, that person has the right to insult their insulter. I’m going to ignore the rest of your post, as I have enough straw for my horse.”

    You have the right to insult people whether or not they insult you first. Not really seeing your point. The issue in regards to Aquaria’s insults was not her rights–she has the *right* to offend or be offended–but whether her argument is sound and consistent. If she tells Mormons “You shouldn’t offend people–even if it is unintentional” then she is being inconsistent if she then proceeds to intentionally offend people.

  143. janine says

    What if I were to specify in my will that no religious organization is allowed to baptize me, could my agent sue in the name of my (nonexistent) estate.

    Also, fuck you, stupid pile of shit.

  144. Thomathy, now angrier and feminister says

    A.R., the hyperbole, if you’re sorry, I can’t help but think that you wouldn’t have written what you wrote. There’s nothing like ‘essentially raped’ about having the dead posthumously claimed by a religion. It’s not remotely similar. You noted that and then went on to say it anyhow. I think you know that the use of ‘rape’ as hyperbole is, at best, frowned upon, so I don’t understand why you went on to use it in just that way. It’s been noticed and saying sorry for writing dumb shit isn’t an excuse for writing dumb shit. Rape is not the same as claiming the dead for a religion. It’s just not.

  145. A. R says

    skephtic: It’s the nature of the offense. That is, it is one thing to say the religion is a ridiculous waste of time, but it is entirely another to <violate the person and memory of a deceased person without their, or all of their descendent’s permission.

  146. A. R says

    Thomathy: Yeah, I know, I was just trying to find a word to describe the level of violation I feel when thinking about what the Mormons do. My sincere apologies.

  147. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:51 pm

    skephtic: But I have the right to not have my ancestor’s memories defiled”

    Where is that right enumerated? How should it be enforced? How would such a right bounce back at you if you were granted it? If I speak out against Mormonism and the silly Mormon rights, saying there is no heaven of any kind, am not I defiling the memories of the Mormon’s ancestors who they thought were in heaven but are, in fact, just in the ground? If I want that right I have to given them their right to do similar things.

    I think you need to think through your arguments and the consequences. If you demand a certain right, remember that such a right wont just be given to you, everybody will get it, and such rights will likely infringe on other of your rights, like your right to free speech and your freedom of religion.

  148. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    In other words, ad hominem is being re-defined as any argument that contains sulfur.

    HA!

    I laughed audibly at your remark.

  149. hotshoe says

    Ignoring all the invective about the necro-baptism practices of the Mormons: I will likely be subjected to this practice after I die and I have always felt really offended by it. I have a brother who converted to Mormonism in high school at the same time I firmly became an atheist (after simply not believing in any of the god talk before that from the time I can remember).

    Sorry about that. No good advice, I’m afraid.

    Since I don’t for a minute believe that this weird practice will actually accomplish anything, I have thought about why I feel so offended by it.

    What it boils down to is that I am offended because it is an attempt to rewrite my history after I no longer have an ability to affect it (I’m dead). It is as offensive as any “lying for Jesus” is. It is offensive because it is lying about who these people actually were and what they believed in (Mitt Romney’s dead atheist father-in-law, e.g.) and leaving a written record to try to change their history. I have thought about leaving a statement in my will forbidding anyone to convert me after my death to something they could never convince me of while I am living. But that won’t stop them. It is the lying that is offensive. It is leaving a false record of a person’s life that is offensive.

    Yes, of course, it’s not the “soul baptism” nonsense which is in itself offensive, it’s the lying about a person’s entire moral core (core of atheism, or of any religious belief other than Mormonism) which is offensive. In real life, if anyone thought I was stupid enough to convert to Moronism, I’d spit on them. Too bad I won’t be able to spit on them after I’m dead.

    Heartless bastards like our skephtic who claim we shouldn’t be offended can only say so because they’re totally lacking in empathy. They have no clue what it feels like to want to be remembered as a person of integrity.

  150. skephtic says

    “janine says:
    15 February 2012 at 3:57 pm

    What if I were to specify in my will that no religious organization is allowed to baptize me, could my agent sue in the name of my (nonexistent) estate.

    Also, fuck you, stupid pile of shit.”

    Ok, now that is funny. :-)

    Do you really want the right to sue over insults made to dead people? I think that would backfire big time on non-theists such as PZ and everyone here in the forum. If I say there is no such thing as heaven or god I’m in effect baptizing everybody, without there permission.

  151. says

    who said it was a legal issue?

    I was saying that they didn’t have the moral right to do so.

    The Mormons have the legal right to do it, but they deserve all the flak they can get when people get offended about it, because it’s a despicable practice.

  152. Dhorvath, OM says

    Skephtic,

    No, I don’t agree that it is a similar tatic. I actually assume this is an educated group, familiar with terms used in debate. So I doubt I’m talking over anybody’s head by saying “ad homimnem”.

    Educated? Not liable to get far with that line of reasoning. You are largely employing the same tactic, whether through intent or obliviousness, as what I initially complained about to Nigel. That paragraph essentially tells me, and likely others in this venue like myself who have limited post secondary education, that our participation is only welcome if we first lift ourselves to your level. I don’t know as that is a conscious intent on your part, but it is still an outcome of your terms and usage.

    In a different forum I think you might be able to make a stronger argument for that.

    Perhaps you need to check that assumption you made.

    But here’s the question, you essentially called me out for being insulting for using common Latin as “putting down” people, and that being bad.

    I have, to use simple terms, stepped in it. I like Nigel and will frequently click on links to his comments in the recent comments bar, (not the only commenter who I do this with!) So I came in to comment 141 and it seemed easily responded to without catching up on any previous context:
    Nigel,

    Why would anyone use “ad hominem” to mean “insult?” We have a word for that. Insult.

    This is a simple question that has at least one answer, which I brought up. It was friendly banter, no doubt in a bad location, and was not intended to call anyone out. Still, that cannot change that you felt I was addressing you as well. So, my apologies. I should have noted the length of the thread and insured I was safe rather than assuming that I was in making that comment.

    To reiterate: I don’t much care either way how people put each other down. It happens, and so long as it doesn’t happen to the exclusion of actual arguments, I can’t raise much concern about swearing, intellectual lingo, or any other type of alienating language that others employ. I still find more eloquent, or at least understandable, comments to interact with here than I have time to address and I focus on those which catch my interest.

    Do you also, therefore, condemn the explict insults and profanity that are undeniably being used to “put down” people? Or did you just take time to call me out for something you give other people a free pass on? That is, are you consistent in your standards?

    No, as of right now I am only concerned with the appearance you are giving of thinking that your behaviour does not have similar impact on some members here to that of those profane commenters who are drawing your ire. I don’t think ill of you for speaking the way you are accustomed to, merely for being convinced that it’s okay for you to tell someone else that their mode of discourse is worse than your own.

  153. says

    Mary @152 is correct in stating that the mormon genealogical records in the Family Search database contain many errors.

    Here’s a quote from an ex-mormon:

    I am a genealogist. For years I saw people do sloppy “research”, and copy names from books just so they could do as many names as possible, and brag about it. Researchers are disgusted at people who do this.

    I’ve seen many posts noting the errors in the mormon databases, including one woman who found that her grandmother, who was not mormon, had been proxy baptized. And to add insult to injury, the database improperly recorded real details about the grandmother’s date of birth.

  154. skephtic says

    “hotshoe says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Heartless bastards like our skephtic who claim we shouldn’t be offended can only say so because they’re totally lacking in empathy. They have no clue what it feels like to want to be remembered as a person of integrity.”

    Given that I’ve explicitly said that everybody has the right to be offended multiple times I’d say you are parsing my posts rather hastily, using some sort of confirmation bias.

    “Yes, of course, it’s not the “soul baptism” nonsense which is in itself offensive, it’s the lying about a person’s entire moral core (core of atheism, or of any religious belief other than Mormonism) which is offensive. In real life, if anyone thought I was stupid enough to convert to Moronism, I’d spit on them. Too bad I won’t be able to spit on them after I’m dead.

    Hmm…you might actually be on to something. While I do think that Mormons have a right to ruin your memories (sorry about that, but that is the price of freedom, my rights depend on other people having rights), if they lie about someone they may be open to a defamation claim. However, a posthumous conversion makes it fairly clear that you weren’t converted of your own free will, and I think there is a common law rule against posthumous defamation claims.

  155. Richard Austin says

    My perspective: If someone tries to use my name as an endorsement of a product without my permission, that’s grounds for legal suit. It doesn’t matter if I’m dead or if the product is a religion: society recognizes that a person’s identity, living or dead, bears weight and should not be used without the consent of the person or the estate.

    Mormons are violating that with necrodunking: by placing them on the baptismal roles, it’s an implicit endorsement of Mormonism without (and often against) the consent of the estate. This is ethically wrong; feeling offended is the proper response, and measured retalliation to stop the practice is justified in the eyes of society.

  156. janine says

    Given that I’ve explicitly said that everybody has the right to be offended multiple times I’d say you are parsing my posts rather hastily, using some sort of confirmation bias.

    Stupid cesspool, given just your track record in this thread, there is no need to parse your words, it is there for all of us to read.

    And the stupidity kept a flowing, just like santorum.

  157. A. R says

    PZ: I think it’s time for a ban on this one, the arguments are getting repetitive. I’m done with this chew toy.

  158. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:12 pm

    skephtic: There is a right to sue over violated provisions of a Last Will and Testament”

    You can sue anybody for anything. That doesn’t mean you have a sound legal basis to back you up. And generally suits over wills are about the heirs, and the only remedy is to take away money. So unless you are going to take away the inheritance you give to someone for posthumously baptizing you I’m unsure of what legal basis you will base your suit on.

  159. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:23 pm

    PZ: I think it’s time for a ban on this one, the arguments are getting repetitive. I’m done with this chew toy.”

    Oh, good grief, I’m making supported rational arguments, with quotes to try to insure that I’m responding to the actual arguments made, and you want me banned because you are tired of me? How intellectually lazy is that? :-p

  160. hotshoe says

    I’ve seen many posts noting the errors in the mormon databases, including one woman who found that her grandmother, who was not mormon, had been proxy baptized. And to add insult to injury, the database improperly recorded real details about the grandmother’s date of birth.

    Maybe that’s the good news. Maybe the proxy baptism fails if they don’t have every datum correct about the baptizee. How would the holy spirit know which Mary Ellen Smith of Indianapolis is meant, if the baptizers have got the wrong grandmother’s birthdate ? It’s not like they can use fingerprints in the spirit world to tell which soul is which. :)

  161. says

    The LDS Church is telling a lie by omission when they say that the people who are necrodunked are free to reject the offer of mormon heaven. Their actions say that they think all of the spirits wandering in the Outer Darkness do accept the proxy baptism. The temple-worthy church members go on to perform lots of other ordinances in the name of the dead person, ordinances that only make sense when applied to a “confirmed” church member.

    They do seem to have stopped the practice of sealing “negroes” to white people so that the white people will have slaves in heaven.

    They have not stopped sealing Eva Braun to Hitler so that they will mormon-married in mormon heaven.

  162. says

    A. R,

    you’re wrong. Acc to the Pfft,

    – the New Apostolic Church and Old Apostolic Church both do it

    – outside of Christianity, the Mandaeans also do it (whatever that is)

    Apparently the New Testament describes such a proxy baptism performed by St. Paul.

    Also German legal scholars say that Art. 1 of the Basic Law, protecting human dignity, would also apply to the dead people, but this would fade over time (i.e. the less time has passed since your death the more would you fall under this clause).

  163. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    An act can be offensive or not, and yet one may still choose to take offense or not. These are really two separate issues. If the LDS were to tell me that they planned to baptize me after I bought the dirt farm, I wouldn’t be offended, but that’s my choice. What they have done is nonetheless offensive.
    The Mormon post-mortem baptism is offensive in that it is performed without consent, and communicates that the decedent led a life unworthy of heaven otherwise. Insults directed at skephthic are also offensive, as they are intended to be. However, skephthic has the power to defend hirself from those insults, while the decedent does not. That alone makes the second offense somewhat less egregious to me*.

    Also: Until we all agree on what “rights” are, it doesn’t make much sense to talk about them as if we were all talking about the same thing.
    My two pennies.

    *Also: if you don’t want to be insulted, this really is a terrible place to express an opinion. I don’t think that many of the regulars have been unscathed. It is surprising to me that any one doesn’t know this by now.

  164. janine says

    They do seem to have stopped the practice of sealing “negroes” to white people so that the white people will have slaves in heaven.

    *facepalmed so hard, my skull is disconnected from my spine*

  165. skephtic says

    A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:28 pm

    janine: I know, but this troll is getting old fast.

    Hmmm…so “person who doesn’t agree with you and uses consistent, supported, rational arguments”==”troll”

    I’m not saying I’m always right, mind you, I’m close to being persuaded on the definition of ad hominem not having enough connotations to support my claim, but troll? No. That isn’t grounded in reality.

  166. A. R says

    pelamun: Oh, did not need to know that. I’m even more depressed now. Though that aspect of German law is very interesting.

  167. skephtic says

    “*Also: if you don’t want to be insulted, this really is a terrible place to express an opinion. I don’t think that many of the regulars have been unscathed. It is surprising to me that any one doesn’t know this by now.”

    I do expect it, but I also think that people are sometimes so busy getting on an invective-laced role that they loose track of the arguments and only see what they want to see. And while it is par for the course here, I don’t think that means one shouldn’t be able to mention it. If mentioning the failings of the status quo were to be unacceptable then this blog wouldn’t exist in the first place given that Christianity is the status quo in the US. I question Christianity, even though I already know its pervasive nature in the US, and I question some of the gratuitous insults and profanity, even though I already know its pervasive nature in Pharyngula. If I accepted the status quo I wouldn’t post in here. I’m not sure why folks think we should roll over for something just because it is the way things are currently done.

  168. says

    Yeah it’s the German equivalent to the First Amendment in that everyone knows it (or should):

    “Human dignity is inviolable. To respect and protect it is the duty of all state authority.”

    From this you can derive the prohibition of torture and probably the death penalty, the prohibition of dehumanisation and objectification of human beings by the state etc.

    Re human dignity beyond death, there was a case, where a book was found to be defamatory of a famous actor who had passed away. The court ruled that the defamation statute would apply to the deceased nonetheless.

  169. skephtic says

    “Antiochus Epiphanes says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:31 pm
    Insults directed at skephthic are also offensive, as they are intended to be. However, skephthic has the power to defend hirself from those insults, while the decedent does not. That alone makes the second offense somewhat less egregious to me*. “

    Dead people are dead. They are literally inanimate objects. They can’t take offense, so their inability to defend themselves is irrelevant.

    Worrying abut insults to the dead is, perhaps, a form of superstitious behavior. We are attributing intangible properties to an inanimate object.

  170. hotshoe says

    Well, I’ll grant you’re consistent about at least one thing:
    you consistently misspell “lose”.

    Damn trolls these days. No quality control.

  171. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    Worrying abut insults to the dead is, perhaps, a form of superstitious behavior. We are attributing intangible properties to an inanimate object.

    But it’s not the dead who are worried or offended about it, and living people are not inanimate objects.

    (If someone insults someone you like or respect, but that someone is not aware of the insult, you have no problem with it?)

  172. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m making supported rational arguments,

    Where? I don’t see any. I do see someone who is in a hole who forgot the first rule of holes. When in over your head, and you were that 20 posts ago, stop digging.

    They can’t take offense, so their inability to defend themselves is irrelevant.

    But their descendants aren’t moron. They have every right to demand the spell be reversed and an apology plus a million dollars.

  173. says

    Janine @200

    *facepalmed so hard, my skull is disconnected from my spine*

    Sorry, Janine. But it’s true. See http://www.i4m.com/think/history/mormon_history.htm

    May 18,1894 – In Salt Lake Temple, “Jane Elizabeth Manning (a Negro woman) is sealed as a servitor for eternity to the Prophet Joseph Smith.” Joseph F. Smith acts as proxy.

    In other news, proxy sealings used to be more offensive than they are now. Proxy kissing was involved.

    Feb 15,1927 – Apostle George F. Richards notifies temples that it is decision of First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve to immediately omit from prayer circles “all references to avenging the blood of the Prophets. Omit from the ordinance and lecture all reference to retribution.” Letter also instructs to “omit the kissing” at the end of the proxy sealings.

  174. hotshoe says

    Worrying abut insults to the dead is, perhaps, a form of superstitious behavior. We are attributing intangible properties to an inanimate object.

    No, you toad. That’s your lack of empathy which I already noted.

    We – the living humans, who have actual empathy – care about the effects of necrodunking not out of superstition, but because we have the human ability to imagine ourselves dead, to imagine ourselves slandered after death,and to imagine how hearing that slander would affect the well-being of the survivors we know and love in real life.

    Too bad you’re so lacking. No hope you’ll grow out of it, slim hope you’ll learn to at least shut up about it in decent company. You should just fuck off and die with your consistent heartlessness.

  175. says

    BTW, the New Apostolic Church, while at first “sealing” people like Zwingli, Calvin and Melanchthon, switched to this very neat baptism-by-proxy where they baptise “people who lived a life in Christ” without naming them. (NAC Christians don’t accept baptisms from other Christian churches as valid, if you want to join them, you need to get rebaptised, and without you can’t partake in communion). Very clever of them.

  176. skephtic says

    “Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I’m making supported rational arguments,

    Where? I don’t see any.”

    I believe you don’t see any. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I have no control over what you choose to see.

    But their descendants aren’t moron. They have every right to demand the spell be reversed and an apology plus a million dollars.”

    They can demand that, but if you think that the spell was bogus to begin with, it is irrational to ask for a reverse pretend spell.

  177. says

    Another peek into mormon culture: an über mormon guy attending Brigham Young University took it upon himself to chastise a female student for her supposedly provocative dress.

    The coed posted about the event on her Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150681986993336&set=p.10150681986993336&type=1&ref=nf

    And he posted a photo of herself in the offensive conservative dress.
    https://twitter.com/#!/brittanyjmo/status/169585172348538880/photo/1/large

    Let us gather all the extremists and weirdos in one place. Anthropologists and psychologists can travel there to do research and to provide treatment.

  178. Dhorvath, OM says

    Lynna,
    I am scandalized. I may never be able to function again.
    Actually, I find it incredible that anyone would actually produce such a note and give it to a stranger. Mormons surprise me at every turn.

  179. Brownian says

    Let us gather all the extremists and weirdos in one place.

    Amen!

    Anthropologists and psychologists can travel there to do research and to provide treatment.

    Ah…sure, that’s the reason. Study and treatment.

  180. skephtic says

    hotshoe says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:56 pm

    No, you toad. That’s your lack of empathy which I already noted.

    We – the living humans, who have actual empathy – care about the effects of necrodunking not out of superstition, but because we have the human ability to imagine ourselves dead, to imagine ourselves slandered after death,and to imagine how hearing that slander would affect the well-being of the survivors we know and love in real life.

    Too bad you’re so lacking. No hope you’ll grow out of it, slim hope you’ll learn to at least shut up about it in decent company. You should just fuck off and die with your consistent heartlessness.

    Soooo…you have the superior sense of empathy, which is why you have just told me to “fuck off and die”? Hmm…

    And I have to disagree, I think that you, and others, are objecting to posthumous baptism out of a sense of superstition, but in a broader sense than many people are used to thinking of the term, more in the sense that Bruce M. Hood used it in “SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable,” where we attribute intangible qualities to things, such as a sense of evil and ickiness to a sweater we think has been worn by a serial killer.

    What actually happens to a dead person when Mormons posthumously baptize someone? Nothing. What has changed about that person? Nothing. How have their life and their achievements been altered? They haven’t. Nothing has actually changed.

    And I do have empathy, but I also choose to be principled and not let the sway of emotion and the mob here make me take an inconsistent stance. Many Muslims are genuinely offended when cartoons of Mohammad are posted. To them in there sincere belief it is a grave insult to their dead prophet. And they have a right to be insulted. And even a right to ask that the cartoons be taken down. But the author of Jesus and Mo has the right to put them up, and keep them there. I can understand both positions, both are backed by sincere belief. So empathy doesn’t really play a part in my stance, because both sides have their own sincere feelings. The Mormons are, from there perspective, doing a good thing. But you are demanding I only have empathy for one side. (And no, it isn’t rational for you to reserve empathy for those who are non-theistic, not if you are going to use **empathy** as opposed to reason as your argument.)

  181. says

    Worrying abut insults to the dead is, perhaps, a form of superstitious behavior. We are attributing intangible properties to an inanimate object.

    I was worrying about a powerful organization systematically creating a false historical record of real people and actual events to confuse future generations. You know, attributing tangible value to the idea of laying down an accurate record of what is really taking place in our time, so future generations can maybe learn something from our experiences. That matters to me.
    And I was asking if anyone really had the “right,” as you claimed to create such meticulously fabricated records.
    But I guess I needed to say “fuck you” to get your attention.

  182. Dhorvath, OM says

    Yeah, shit like that makes me think that people should need to actively opt in to any organization rather than being passively included in the rolls.

  183. skephtic says

    I was worrying about a powerful organization systematically creating a false historical record of real people and actual events to confuse future generations. You know, attributing tangible value to the idea of laying down an accurate record of what is really taking place in our time, so future generations can maybe learn something from our experiences. That matters to me.

    So, if that is your actual objection, then you’d be ok so long as those records accurately say that the conversion was done by the Mormons posthumously for their own purposes and not done at the request of the person named?

  184. hotshoe says

    Another peek into mormon culture: an über mormon guy attending Brigham Young University took it upon himself to chastise a female student for her supposedly provocative dress.

    Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism, linked today to Sierra at No Longer Quivcering. It’s not about Mormonism specifically:

    I’ve written a few times about how the modesty doctrine hurts women. Now it’s time to switch lenses. The modesty doctrine also wreaks havoc on the minds of young men in the Christian patriarchy movement. Here’s how:
    It teaches men to be afraid of women because their sexual power is too great to be resisted.
    It teaches men to despise women and hampers their relationships.
    It teaches men to be afraid of their own bodies.
    It teaches men to control and criticize women in order to protect themselves.
    It teaches men to be paranoid about their sexual orientation.
    It teaches gay men that they don’t exist.

    http://nolongerquivering.com/2012/02/14/how-the-modesty-doctrine-hurts-men-too/

    Poor guy. I hope he escapes the Mormon delusion somehow. And if it’s too late for him, I hope at least he doesn’t suck the life out of some decent young woman.

  185. says

    And I have to disagree, I think that you, and others, are objecting to posthumous baptism out of a sense of superstition, but in a broader sense than many people are used to thinking of the term, more in the sense that Bruce M. Hood used it in “SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable,” where we attribute intangible qualities to things, such as a sense of evil and ickiness to a sweater we think has been worn by a serial killer.

    What a fucking idiot you are.

    If you don’t understand the difference between a sweater and the memories of your loved ones, try to learn what empathy is first, asshole.

    You keep going on and on with your false equivalencies.

    Empathy based on religious doctrine DOES NOT EQUAL empathy based on the relationship to real living people that you loved and lived with.

  186. Dhorvath, OM says

    I think then that conversion would be a tricky word to use, beseechment, exhortion, or some such would fit better. If they want to spend time asking for concessions for dead people, go ahead, but baptism is a term that I would have reserved for consenting adults.

  187. Brownian says

    Mormons surprise me at every turn.

    Scariest horror film idea ever.

       INT. AVERAGE HOME.

       DHORVATH reclines with a good BOOK.

       DHORVATH
       “Tum te tum, I love to read all alone in my tony little home.”

       LIGHTBULB burns out.

       DHORVATH
       “Oh damn! Lightbulb’s out. I think there’s a spare in the closet.”

       Goes to closet. Opens door. MORMON jumps out.

       DHORVATH
       “Aieeee! Jell-O and other bland foods!”

       Runs outside, and knocks on NEIGHBOUR’S DOOR.

       DHORVATH
       “Please be home, please be home…”

       MORMON opens DOOR.

       DHORVATH
       “Ack! Tedious mission stories with telegraphed and heavy-handed moralism!”

       Runs…

  188. John Morales says

    [meta]

    I see skephtic has decided to avoid responding to my response @207.

    (Trollish prudence is duly noted)

  189. shaundenney says

    skephtic @178

    “If I say there is no such thing as heaven or god I’m in effect baptizing everybody, without there [sic] permission.”

    That may be the stupidest thing you’ve said in this whole thread. Religions exist independently of their associated deities – a profession of atheism is not a claim about what someone else’s religious beliefs or affiliations *are*, merely about whether or not those beliefs are true.

    If someone wants to say I’m wrong, that’s fine. But if they want to say I’m a mormon, they can fuck off.

  190. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    They can demand that, but if you think that the spell was bogus to begin with, it is irrational to ask for a reverse pretend spell.

    No, the Mormons must acknowledge wrong doing on their part. You are a simpleton if you think they would stop without having to apologize and undo their idiocy.

  191. skephtic says

    “Empathy based on religious doctrine DOES NOT EQUAL empathy based on the relationship to real living people that you loved and lived with.”

    Yes, actually, it is. Empathy is *emotional*. Your emotional brain doesn’t care about reason. You are the one lacking empathy, deliberately choosing to ignore the powerful and genuine feelings of one group. You are being inconsistent.

  192. says

    I propose that Dhorvath spins the horror script Brownian wrote in comment #223 by judiciously adding the word “naked” here and there.

    DHORVATH reclines NAKED with a good BOOK.
    ….

    Goes to closet, still NAKED. Opens door. MORMON jumps out. [mormon faints]


    Runs outside, still NAKED, and knocks on NEIGHBOUR’S DOOR.

    MORMON opens DOOR. [Mormon faints.]

    Runs… [still NAKED]

    [Camera pulls back to reveal entire Mormon neighborhood laid waste by sight of NAKED woman running down the street with a smile on her face and a good book in her hand.]

  193. Brownian says

    (Trollish prudence is duly noted)

    Shklee’s not a troll. Just a skeptically-skeptic.

    (You can tell by the reference to skepticism, reason, science, or brains in the handle, the fucking outrageous nerd-fap over the technically correctest way to use ad hominem to say ‘fuck off’ in as Ivy League-est way possible, and the constant dismissals of counter-arguments by calling them ‘irrational’.)

    But shklee’s arguing in as best faith as shklee knows how. It may be annoying, but it’s not trolling.

  194. skephtic says

    “Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says:
    15 February 2012 at 5:42 pm

    No, the Mormons must acknowledge wrong doing on their part. You are a simpleton if you think they would stop without having to apologize and undo their idiocy.”

    Must? MUST? No, no they don’t have to do that. No more so than they “must” awknowlege that Joeseph Smith was a conman and Christianity, including Mormonism, is made up nonsense. They have freedom of religion, the same freedom that grants us our rights to have none.

    What they are doing is no more wrong than Christians saying that all non-Christians are evil sinners and going to hell. Such statements cast all dead non-Christians as *wicked*–I don’t think you can really make a sound case for how calling a dead person a wicked sinner is worse than saying that are a posthumously saved person. It is an arguable difference at best, and for you to act like it is night and day simply isn’t supported by any universally agreed upon or objectively verifiable standards. It is a matter of opinion.

  195. says

    fuckwit,

    why should we care about the genuine feelings of religious people trying to save us, either alive or dead?

    You know, the slaveholders also cared deeply about giving everyone the position in society they deserved.

    Your constant false equivalencies are getting old.

  196. skephtic says

    “Lynna, OM says:
    15 February 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Dear skephtic, please learn the difference between “their” and “there.”

    Thank you.”

    Ah, the argument from orthography, not one of the higher forms of logical argument.

    Sorry, Lynna, I’m quite familiar with the difference, but I my fingers outpace my spelling sometimes. Do your *really* think I don’t know the difference, really? Or are you just being smugly pedantic? You are welcome to volunteer to copy edit my posts to correct any accidentally misspelled homophones…

  197. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Oh, he’s not a troll, he’s a accommodationist. There are other blogs for that.”

    No, I’m not. But you are welcome to provide quotes by me that you think prove your claim.

  198. says

    So, if that is your actual objection, then you’d be ok so long as those records accurately say that the conversion was done by the Mormons posthumously for their own purposes and not done at the request of the person named?

    I’m not sure I trust them to do that, nor am I confident in the ability of that information to pass down unaltered, meanings unchanged, or in complete original form. What are their purposes, anyway? We know they like weird, alternate histories made up out of whole cloth. That’s what their religion is.
    Yeah, my actual objection is to mucking up history in such systematic, meticulous fashion. I would be inclined to regard it as silly and mostly harmless (although I understand why people would get pissed off at friends and relatives being Dead Grandfathered into the Mormon cult) otherwise.
    I find it really easy to imagine future historians trying to figure out just exactly how Mormon the United States was in 2012, which the record may also show was the year a Mormon candidate for president was elected or defeated, and how this affected subsequent events, and what it meant for race relations, and just how damn provincial and U.S.-centric and exceptionalist Americans really were what with having created their own version of Christianity where everything actually happened in the United States. Etc. Etc.
    And like I said, I wouldn’t trust the Mormons not to be deliberately creating phony primary sources and laying a foundation for future self-serving historical revisionism. They don’t strike me as having any respect for history, or historical records, and in fact the creation of phony “documents” is how Mormonism got started.
    And I always suspect that people like that have a general disregard for keeping things whole.

  199. skephtic says

    “pelamun says:
    15 February 2012 at 5:52 pm

    fuckwit,

    why should we care about the genuine feelings of religious people “

    Which is to say that your earlier arguments from empathy were nonsense, that your argument isn’t based on empathy but on some other basis.

  200. A. R says

    Well, he seems to think that even though the Mormons are wrong on just about everything, they can still necrodunk anyone they like.. I may be wrong, but it looks like accommodationism to my eyes.

  201. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Ah, the argument from orthography, not one of the higher forms of logical argument.

    You think that was an argument?

  202. says

    The Salt Lake Tribune story about the Wiesenthals says that the parents were baptized:

    An LDS Church member last month posthumously baptized the parents of Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate, and the Los Angeles center named for him is incensed.

  203. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, still not seeing a cogent argument from our troll, which would involve an analysis with potential methods of how to get the practice stopped and recommendations to do so.

    Anything else is accommodation…

  204. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    A.R wrote:

    Oh, he’s not a troll, he’s a accommodationist. There are other blogs for that.

    Huh? I’m not getting that vibe at all.

    Anyway, that aside, I think it only fair that if Mormons do dopey shit like claiming to baptise the dead, they deserve to be called out on it. Beyond that, though, I don’t think there’s anything else we can do about it beyond point out that it’s a stupid thing to do – while also taking the opportunity to point out the other stupid things they do.

  205. Brownian says

    So, if that is your actual objection, then you’d be ok so long as those records accurately say that the conversion was done by the Mormons posthumously for their own purposes and not done at the request of the person named?

    I would be okay with this too.

    Brownian was baptised into the Mormon faith on January 18, 2062. LDS Church policy stipulates that along with baptismal records the deceased’s final words, or those regarding his or her future baptism be recorded, which are these:

    “Sure, do whatever the fuck abracadabra bullshit you think will earn you a rimjob in heaven and your own planet. But if you dare not include this autoepitaph with your little incantation, I will fucking find a way to come back and beat you all to death with a can of Folger’s fine grind!

    Alright, fire this fucking guillotine up already, I’m sick of you assholes.

  206. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Nerd wrote:

    Yawn, still not seeing a cogent argument from our troll, which would involve an analysis with potential methods of how to get the practice stopped and recommendations to do so.

    Has anyone come up with a (practical) recommendation for how to stop this? Because, while I agree it’s a douchey thing to do, beyond that I can’t conceive of any way they can be made to stop doing it – other than the bad PR, which I suspect will only lead to them becoming more secretive about it.

  207. says

    I’ve probably said it before, somewhere, but I’m oddly grateful, in a sense, the Mormons exist…

    … I mean, if religions of any stripe must exist…

    Bear with me. The utility of the Mormons, y’see, is they’re just so wonderfully obviously nutty, even to other religions… And you add to that the fact that Smith was so obviously a con man (Book of Abraham? Thx, Joe, old boy, that bit, that really helps, too…), it’s just so convenient.

    People of other religions go all ad populum, try to argue somethin’ like: ‘Would so many believe a complete fraud?’ And you can say, ‘Well, actually… you’ll notice right here, they rather obviously did…’

    … so, really, the question becomes: not why we have religions, but whether, in fact, it’s possible to found one by accident. Y’know… you’re doing a comedy routine on the wildest, most obviously silly ‘Follow me my children to paradise!’ come-on you can possibly come up with, and suddenly, you’ve 12,000 followers tithing to you…

    So thank you, Joe and the Mormons. (With honorable mention to Hubbard and his $cientologists, but I digress yet again…)

    Unrelated: re the hole-in-the-sheet thing referenced above: while I wouldn’t have put such a thing past, say, the BYU folk mentioned above, so far as I’ve ever heard, this actually never happened.

  208. Dhorvath, OM says

    Wowbagger,
    Not necessarily practical, but I do think that involvement in religious ceremonies should be limited to adults who have consented to being involved. Society gives too much leeway to religion.

  209. skephtic says

    “John Morales says:
    15 February 2012 at 5:32 pm
    [meta]
    I see skephtic has decided to avoid responding to my response @207.
    (Trollish prudence is duly noted)”

    Hello, kind of under a hoard-shaped dog pile here. Way more posts against me than I can keep track of in a timely fashion. It really isn’t reasonable to equate lack of an immediate response to “trollishness”.

    John Morales says:
    15 February 2012 at 4:51 pm
    But it’s not the dead who are worried or offended about it, and living people are not inanimate objects.
    (If someone insults someone you like or respect, but that someone is not aware of the insult, you have no problem with it?)”

    Yes, it is the living who are taking offense, at having the claim of an intangible attribute claimed to have been changed on an inanimate object. But I take your point.

    Here’s what I think:

    Offense:
    *People can choose to be offended by anything.
    *People have a right to be offended by whatever they choose.
    *People *do not* have a right to not be offended.
    –Our right as non-theists to be free of blasphemy laws depend on this, so we need to be very careful in our arguments and positions regarding offense.

    LDS:
    *Posthumous baptism is silly nonsense–but then all religions are silly nonsense.
    –I’m in favor of them discontinuing the practice of posthumous baptism, but it is their right to do, just as it is our right to say there is not heaven and no Mormons have or ever will go to heaven. Both are examples of claims that reflect on the memories of people’s dead relatives in ways that go against their beliefs.
    –Our right to criticize Mormon belief as utter nonsense comes from the same basis as their right to posthumously baptize.
    –We are all free to criticize LDS for the practice of posthumous baptism, but we should do so using consistent standards. It doesn’t make sense to argue about how offending people is bad and how we should all have empathy, only to then deliberately insult people and offend them on purpose. Double standards make for a weak moral argument, and I think some people in this thread are doing just that.

    So, yes, people are offended. I’d like the LDS to stop, I think people spend too much time getting offended and not enough time on more functional aspects of how religion interferes with our lives. Posthumous baptism–meh. Prop 8? That actually matters to me, as I think everybody should have the same rights to marry.

  210. says

    This is a follow up to my post at 236, where I questioned the fact that CNN had swallowed the PR ploy of the LDS Church. An LDS high mucky muck, Purdy, claimed that the Wiesenthal names were only entered into the genealogical database, and not submitted for baptism.

    A screen shot of the actual baptism record was posed at The Daily Mail and on the Wiesenthal site. Scroll down to see the screen grab.

    It’s a bit blurry, but here’s what it says:
    Asher Wiesenthal (1885-1915)
    Baptism
    Completed
    24 January 2012
    Mesa Arizona Temple

    In other words, Brother Purdy is lying. CNN is buying the lie.

    The LDS Church habitually lies.

  211. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think people spend too much time getting offended and not enough time on more functional aspects of how religion interferes with our lives.

    Almost there, but still too accommodational. We have a right to be offended when actions of others directly effect us or our families. And our ancestors are part of our families. All you do is try to say we shouldn’t be offended, which is accommodation. Nope, I would be offended, and expect the practice to stop and be reversed.

  212. skephtic says

    “A. R says:
    15 February 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Well, he seems to think that even though the Mormons are wrong on just about everything, they can still necrodunk anyone they like.. I may be wrong, but it looks like accommodationism to my eyes.”

    What does accomodationism mean to you?

    To me it means being all namby pamby to theists, saying that science and religion are just two co-equal ways of knowing, that nonsense should be treated with “respect” so long as it is religious nonsense and that we should never offend religious people but instead be deferential to their sensitive, easily offended feelings. I’m against all of that. I’m also against non-theists being as easily offended and brittle as so many theists are.

    I’m anti-accomodationism. I’d like to see all religions dissipate into the ether. But that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. So I’m a staunch secularist and advocate for the freedom of religion protections that give me rights to be non-religious and to criticism religion, but to get those rights I have to give others the same rights–not respect or deference, but rights. And LDS has the right to think they are posthumously saving people. And you have the right to object. But not the right to force them to stop.

  213. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Dhorvath wrote:

    Not necessarily practical, but I do think that involvement in religious ceremonies should be limited to adults who have consented to being involved.

    Agreed, but I can’t see many religious groups agreeing to abide by that, given that childhood indoctrination is the number one factor in why someone belongs to a given religion.

    But I don’t see any way of making them stop – well, beyond creating and enforcing a law against what is effectively their claiming to be doing something (something intangible at that) which offends some people. And that’d be setting a very problematic precedent.

  214. says

    The record showing that Asher Wiesenthal was baptized, and not just submitted as a name to the genealogical database, also appears here:
    http://www.wiesenthal.com/atf/cf/{54d385e6-f1b9-4e9f-8e94-890c3e6dd277}/ASHER-WIESENTHAL_MORMON-CHURCH.JPG

    You will note that “confirmation” is flagged as “in progress,” which means mormons have at least started the process of confirming Asher Wiesenthal as a member of the LDS Church.

    Also “in progress” is a sealing ceremony to seal Asher Wiesenthal to his wife.

  215. skephtic says

    “Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says:
    15 February 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Yawn, still not seeing a cogent argument from our troll, which would involve an analysis with potential methods of how to get the practice stopped and recommendations to do so.

    Anything else is accommodation…”

    Please define accomodationism.

    I’ve never seen it defined as you must provide ” analysis with potential methods of how to get [a particular religious practice that harms the rights of no one] practice stopped and recommendations to do so.” I’d love for you to quote where such a definition as been commonly used.

  216. says

    So, if that is your actual objection, then you’d be ok so long as those records accurately say that the conversion was done by the Mormons posthumously for their own purposes and not done at the request of the person named?

    LDS Inc. has proven untrustworthy in every endeavor. They could not be trusted to alter their records, nor to keep the altered records.

    LDS Inc. has also shown a talent for mediocrity at best. Look at their food, their doctrine, their “art,” and their bogus attempts to show respect to women, just to name a few areas in which they have elevated mediocrity to a virtue.

    They do not even do a really good job with the genealogical records. Their massive accumulation of records really needs an equally massive cleanup.

  217. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Nerd wrote:

    Nope, I would be offended, and expect the practice to stop and be reversed.

    Reversed how? And, more importantly, how would you know if they’d genuinely reversed it?

    Really, the best we’re going to do here is is to get them to keep the fact they practice this stupid ritual secret. Beyond that I have to agree with skephtic when he says we’ve got no right to force them to stop, any more than we’ve got the right to stop them from believing in any of the other crazy crap they believe.

  218. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    Hello, kind of under a hoard-shaped dog pile here.

    Your homophonic errors amuse me no less than your use of hyphenation.

    Way more posts against me than I can keep track of in a timely fashion.

    Your limited capacity is obvious, no need to assert it.

    It really isn’t reasonable to equate lack of an immediate response to “trollishness”.

    Really. That would be why you responded to the comment succeeding mine (and multiple others), but not to that one until now.

    (I don’t believe you didn’t see it. I have no control over what you choose to see.)

    Here’s what I think:

    Offense:
    *People can choose to be offended by anything.
    *People have a right to be offended by whatever they choose.
    *People *do not* have a right to not be offended.

    You imagine people choose to find something offensive?

    (Your succeeding opinions are predicated on that conceit, but you fail to consider the corollary)

    [1] So, yes, people are offended. [2] I’d like the LDS to stop, I think people spend too much time getting offended and not enough time on more functional aspects of how religion interferes with our lives. [3] Posthumous baptism–meh. [4] Prop 8? That actually matters to me, as I think everybody should have the same rights to marry.

    [1] But they chose to do so, right?

    [2] Really. Care to quantify the ratio?

    [3] Meh to you. Not meh to others, unless you disbelieve their claim — but your previous opinions indicate that’s not the case.

    [4] Ah, so what matters to you is important, what matters to others is just… meh.

    Gotcha.

  219. says

    Wowbagger,

    caling them out is very important.

    If suing them under German law is feasible, I don’t know. There are ten times as many New Apostolians in Germany as Mormons, and they do the baptism-by-proxy anonymously (as in no-one, incl. the apostle conducting the ceremony, names anyone), so it’s not an issue there. I don’t know if the German LDS church does that kind of thing, they have 38k members nationwide. The last time they were in the news was when one trusted member of the Berlin church had been arrested for setting fire to 40 or so cars.

    fuckwit,

    I wouldn’t be against the Mormon practice if they actually asked the families for permission, or even tried to get some kind of statement from the people being baptised when they were alive. Even if they did the baptisms, but left no records, like the New Apostolians. The problem here is that they create an impression like your dead family members endorsed this religion, and that’s the problem here.

    It’s about honesty.

    Sure, people here like to deliberately offend, especially religious ones, but they do it with a commitment to honesty. If someone is insulting people and misrepresenting them, they will get a lot of flak.

    Creating the impression that someone endorsed Mormonism when they never did is dishonest. If the Mormons were ONLY concerned about saving them, why don’t they do it anonymously like the New Apostolians?

    Now false-equivalence this!

  220. says

    Wowbagger, we may not be able to stop them, but we can slow them down.

    Negative PR was, in large part, responsible for the LDS Church dropping the ban on allowing black men into the priesthood.

    Negative PR about mormon support for Prop 8 (which the church leaders tried to hide, and which they lied about) was the straw that broke the camels back for a lot of mormons. They became ex-mormons. And now LDS Inc. has to do a better job of hiding their anti-gay activities.

    Lots of negative PR about necrodunking could result in more people leaving LDS Inc.

  221. Brownian says

    Can people stop with the accommodationist red herring?

    There’s a huge difference between “we risk alienating potential religious allies by criticising religion, so let’s take it off the table” and “it’s all hocus-pocus, so who gives a fuck about spells cast on the dead?”

    skephtic may or may not be wrong, and skephtic may or may not be unempathetic, and skephtic may be any number of things, but let’s reserve the term accommodationist for people who actually make accommodationist claims.

  222. skephtic says

    “Creating the impression that someone endorsed Mormonism when they never did is dishonest. If the Mormons were ONLY concerned about saving them, why don’t they do it anonymously like the New Apostolians?

    Now false-equivalence this!

    I’d say that it is rather obviously implied that if you have to convert someone after their death then they didn’t agree to it–so no false impression.

    From Lynna, OM’s post:

    It’s a bit blurry, but here’s what it says:
    Asher Wiesenthal (1885-1915)
    Baptism
    Completed
    24 January 2012
    Mesa Arizona Temple

    So, he died in 1915, his posthumous baptism was completed in 2012… Yeah, you don’t really have a case for false impressions there. Not even a moron in a hurry would think that.

  223. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    I’m all for negative PR. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned – and that applies to all flavours of woo-kookery, not just LDS Christianity.

    But to try and demand that they stop doing it because it’s offensive isn’t all that much different from them demanding we stop referring to their holy garments as magic underwear because that’s offensive – or the gazillions of other things we do/say that offends people.

    The listing someone as a Mormon convert on their records, though, is a little more problematic, since it is (as has been noted) dishonest and misprepresentative. But again, I don’t know what practical way there is to stop them from doing it, beyond using it as the source of more negative PR.

  224. says

    I think people spend too much time getting offended and not enough time on more functional aspects of how religion interferes with our lives.

    And one of the ways religion interferes is by revising history and turning historical figures into props to push that religion. Have the Mormons baptized the American “founding fathers” yet? How long before they’re offering Baptismal records or somesuch as proof that “America is a Mormon nation?”
    And do we really another magic book of fucked-up genealogy?
    I haven’t seen a lot of talk about using “force” here, other than using defamation laws or something, and what with Not Being A Lawyer and all, I’m not going to comment much on that approach. The best way to get it stopped, I suspect, is public pressure, which I’m pretty sure we have the right to bring, and to make sure that ex-members have the right to openly tell their own stories and reveal the secrets behind the curtain.
    Which, if you’ll recall, was what the OP was about.

  225. skephtic says

    “[3] Meh to you. Not meh to others, unless you disbelieve their claim — but your previous opinions indicate that’s not the case.

    [4] Ah, so what matters to you is important, what matters to others is just… meh.”

    First off, this entire bit about posthumous baptism, and about offense, is mostly about our opinions, so yes, I’m using my opinion, which I think is grounded in consistent reasoning and facts, as the basis for my argument. However, there is a substantive difference between typing “baptized” on a computer and spending millions of dollars to prevent same sex couple from having the right to get married and all of the rights and benefits that go with it. The latter actually affects peoples actual *rights*, the former does not.

  226. says

    shit for brains,

    have you ever heard about funeral arrangements?

    People leave directions as to how they want to be buried. And guess what when it happens, they’re dead!!

    And these things can happen years later too!

    Here some Hungarian cardinal, 16 years after his death, was reburied in Hungary: http://articles.latimes.com/1991-04-30/news/wr-1017_1_mindszenty-foundation

    Or it can create the impression that the still living family members endorse it. Both are possible.

    Of course these things create false impressions, and that’s deliberate.

    I repeat myself: why don’t they just do it anonymously, then?*) If they didn’t want to appropriate the names of the dead for their cult, they wouldn’t need to record any of these names.

    *) I mean their Prophet could have one of these convenient revelations telling the church that an anonymous baptism-by-proxy would just be peachy from now on (if there are any theological problems at all right now).

  227. skephtic says

    “feralboy12 says:
    15 February 2012 at 7:04 pm
    And one of the ways religion interferes is by revising history and turning historical figures into props to push that religion. Have the Mormons baptized the American “founding fathers” yet? How long before they’re offering Baptismal records or somesuch as proof that “America is a Mormon nation?”

    Yeah, not the most convincing slippery slope argument considering LDS wasn’t founded until well after the US was founded. If Americans are so stupid as to believe that retroactive baptisms reflect someone’s living will and wishes then we’ve got bigger problems.

  228. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    So, he died in 1915, his posthumous baptism was completed in 2012… Yeah, you don’t really have a case for false impressions there. Not even a moron in a hurry would think that.

    Really.

    You seriously think LDS adherents don’t believe what they claim to believe?

    (Because, if so, you are in denial; if not, then they really do have a false impression)

  229. skephtic says

    “I repeat myself: why don’t they just do it anonymously, then?”

    Sounds like a rhetorical question, unless you’d be ok with the baptisms so long as you never heard about them. Would that be ok with you? Is it just the finding out about it that you object to?

  230. skephtic says

    “John Morales says:
    15 February 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Really.

    You seriously think LDS adherents don’t believe what they claim to believe?

    (Because, if so, you are in denial; if not, then they really do have a false impression)”

    I don’t believe that any reasonable non-LDS person would think that a posthumous baptism would represent a choice made by the person while they were living. I expect the same is true for LDS, but I don’t know since there might be some weird doctrine that says that any posthumously baptized person actually asked for it while living, but I haven’t heard of any such.

    I think you have the wrong impression of what I was arguing.

  231. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    However, there is a substantive difference between typing “baptized”# on a computer and spending millions of dollars to prevent same sex couple from having the right to get married and all of the rights and benefits that go with it. The latter actually affects peoples actual *rights*, the former does not.

    So what constitutes “people’s actual *rights*” are not a matter of opinion, in your opinion, but rather an objective fact about reality?

    (When did ethics become a science?)

    # You think that this process involves naught but typing “baptized” on a computer? :)

  232. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne #249

    Has anyone come up with a (practical) recommendation for how to stop this?

    You can always do what I did several hours ago:

    Comment by skephtic blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

  233. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    skephtic wrote:

    Sounds like a rhetorical question, unless you’d be ok with the baptisms so long as you never heard about them. Would that be ok with you? Is it just the finding out about it that you object to?

    Well, as I’ve noted, the only thing we’re likely to achieve is to get them to shut up about doing it. Anything more – i.e. a law stating that it’s illegal to claim to have baptised deceased individuals of no faith/other faiths into your religion – would be next to impossible to bring about, and even more difficult to enforce.

  234. skephtic says

    “So what constitutes “people’s actual *rights*” are not a matter of opinion, in your opinion, but rather an objective fact about reality?

    (When did ethics become a science?)”

    It is opinion. And there is a substantive difference between a magic spell that harms no one’s rights and preventing people from getting married with all the rights marriages encompasses. Do You disagree that a substantive difference exists?

    # You think that this process involves naught but typing “baptized” on a computer? :)

    I don’t know the full extent of the magic incantations used, but I mentioned typing “baptized” because some people in this thread have specifically objected to the **record** of posthumous baptism, and nobody that I’ve read has mentioned the full process.

  235. says

    This was posted by an ex-mormon today on the Recovery from Mormonism forum:

    My SIL [Sister In Law] used to do extraction which is off the original records. She said if she couldn’t figure something out, she just guessed because she was set apart for this job and was told the spirit would guide her.

    “Extraction” is referring to extracting names from all sorts of records, and then entering those names in the genealogical database. I offer this man’s sister-in-law as an example of the pervasive attitude within the mormon culture, and attitude that fosters mediocre work.

    If one is “set apart” or “called” to do a certain job … well, they’ve got god and the holy ghost as assistants. Maybe they only need 1/2 hour of training and they are good to go. What could possibly go wrong?

    Mormon Bishops are “called” to serve, which is why you can end up with a dentist dispensing marital advice with no training to do do, or with a real estate agent asking a 12 year old boy if he masturbates and then proclaiming said boy’s worthiness based on his answers.

  236. skephtic says

    “i.e. a law stating that it’s illegal to claim to have baptised deceased individuals of no faith/other faiths into your religion – would be next to impossible to bring about, and even more difficult to enforce.”

    Not only would it be impossible to enforce, we can’t actually prove that they haven’t succeeded at doing exactly what they claim, that such people will go to heaven. Granted, there is no sound reason to think they do, but it is a non-falsifiable claim.

    But, so long as posthumous baptisms are recorded as such, they don’t give the false impression of consent. Regardless, the issue of posthumous baptism seems to be a central one to the church and has led the church to be a leading resource for genealogical studies for LDS as well as non LDS families–It seems a fundamental matter of doctrine, though I suppose keeping black people out of the priesthood, too. Not sure what to do with that info.

  237. says

    Yeah, not the most convincing slippery slope argument considering LDS wasn’t founded until well after the US was founded

    Oh, of course they would never backdate the founding of their religion or anything. Such respect for history wouldn’t allow that, I’m sure.
    I also notice that their records indicate when the baptism was completed. It doesn’t indicate (if the example above is what they record) when the process was begun, or why. It also doesn’t say “posthumous.” Although maybe there’s a cover sheet or something, which I’m sure won’t get lost ever.
    I might be taking a longer view of things; don’t think that my complaining here means that I wouldn’t regard Prop. 8 or similar legislation as more important.
    But this is one more thing to call them the fuck out on, and the point of the original post, which is that speaking out about the shit going on behind the scenes in an organization you once belonged to, sharing information that you obtained legally and without false pretenses, is something we do have a right to do and does not constitute bigotry, is a solid point.

  238. says

    Here’s NPR’s take on the story.

    In the baptism ceremony, one volunteer reads aloud the name of a deceased soul while another, a proxy for the deceased, is immersed in a hot-tub-size pool of water. A third volunteer utters the words, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.”

    That NPR story repeats the lie that the LDS Church is putting about that Wiesenthal’s relative’s names were entered into a database, but that the ancestors were not baptized.

    Here is Richard Packham’s description of necrodunking:

    BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD
    Perhaps the most striking feature inside a Mormon temple is the large baptismal font, large enough to accommodate several people standing waist-deep in water. The font rests on the backs of twelve life-size sculpted oxen in a special room. It is here that baptisms for the dead are performed. The proxies are usually a group of teen-age Mormons who have traveled from their homes in a group for a temple excursion. Dressed in white, they line up to enter the waters one by one to be immersed by the officiators with the short baptismal prayer: “Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you for and in behalf of N. N., who is dead, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” The name of the dead person is read from a list to the officiator just before the immersion. One proxy may be baptized quickly in succession for ten or fifteen dead people. After the baptisms, two other officiators confirm the newly baptized dead persons as members of the Mormon church and confer upon them the gift of the Holy Ghost, by placing their hands upon the head of each proxy, with a similar short pronouncement. Hundreds of such baptisms and confirmations can be performed in a few hours. It is an efficient, production-line operation.

    http://packham.n4m.org/temples.htm#BAPTISM

    The Packham site also provides the details of all mormon temple rituals.

  239. says

    The New Apostolians do in a way that no-one, incl. the apostle, knows the names. 100% anonymous.

    If Mormons secretly recorded the names somewhere, it would leak out eventually, it’s not like no Mormon has even left the church…

  240. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    I don’t believe that any reasonable non-LDS person would think that a posthumous baptism would represent a choice made by the person while they were living.

    That’s not the claim; the explicit claim is that the spirits of these posthumously-baptised people are now in a position to enter their Paradise, and therefore they have been granted a favour.

    (The implicit claim is that they agree with the tenets of the LDS church)

    I think you have the wrong impression of what I was arguing.

    You weren’t arguing, you were asserting that “Not even a moron in a hurry would think that [the baptised dead are now part of the LDS adherents]”.

    It is opinion. And there is a substantive difference between a magic spell that harms no one’s rights and preventing people from getting married with all the rights marriages encompasses. Do You disagree that a substantive difference exists?

    Well, if both are a matter of opinion, the substantive difference cannot be a qualitative one, but only a matter of degree.

    (I note that such religious ceremonies are not magic spells, but rather rites of passage)

    As for the substantive difference, if any such exists it is that in the one case, there is an outcome that offends people, and in the other, that there is advocacy that offends people towards an outcome that offends people.

    I don’t know the full extent of the magic incantations used, but I mentioned typing “baptized” because some people in this thread have specifically objected to the **record** of posthumous baptism, and nobody that I’ve read has mentioned the full process.

    If you don’t know, why do you make a claim as if you did?

    FWIW, I draw your attention to winstonsmith’s comment @38, or to Wikipedia or other internet sources.

    (I also note that the actual process is irrelevant, it is the outcome that is problematic to people)

  241. says

    Here’s coverage of the story in The Daily Beast.

    The posthumous-baptism procedure is irreversible, despite theatrical attempts by television host Bill Maher to undo the deed done to Romney’s notoriously atheist father-in-law.

  242. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    But, so long as posthumous baptisms are recorded as such, they don’t give the false impression of consent.

    Disingenous.

    Consent is an implicit part of the entire ceremony of baptism, not something done against one’s will.

    (If I walked up to an LDS chapel and asked for baptism, whilst stating I disbelieved their claims but thought it prudent just in case, you think they’d baptise me?)

  243. skephtic says

    “Disingenous.

    Consent is an implicit part of the entire ceremony of baptism, not something done against one’s will.

    Really? Even infant baptisms? I don’t think so. And a posthumous baptism even more so. If we were to give this question to a jury, as an example of reasonable man standard, I think reasonable jurors would find that posthumous baptisms don’t imply consent. If they consented they would have been baptized while they were still alive, baring rare and exceptional circumstances.

  244. skephtic says

    “(I also note that the actual process is irrelevant, it is the outcome that is problematic to people)”

    Except there is no outcome since it is a magic ceremony that does nothing to the dead person. (Yes, I know, some people who find out about it get upset…but the actual dead person is utterly unchanged.)

    But, if the process is irrelevant one wonders why you challenged me about my knowledge of it? It would seem you did so for no reason that actually supports your position.

  245. says

    my goodness, does stupidity ever end?

    Infant baptism: consent on part of the parents.

    Likewise

    posthumous baptism: strongly implied consent on part of the deceased and/or the family members of the deceased

  246. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, the accommodationist is still trying to bully us by continued posts? It has had its say and then some. Typical godbot style approach.

  247. skephtic says

    “Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says:
    15 February 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Yawn, the accommodationist is still trying to bully us by continued posts? It has had its say and then some. Typical godbot style approach.”

    Care to show evidence for this alleged accomodationism?

  248. says

    Some Hindus have decided to object to the mormon practice of proxy baptism. Link.

    Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Hindus did not mark death as the end of existence. Ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) referred to death as abandoning of worn-out clothes and acquiring new ones. Hindus believed in reincarnation with moksha (liberation) as a goal; which brought end to rebirth, embodiment and death.

    Rajan Zed stressed that ancestors had always been highly important in Hinduism since ancient times. Hindus followed sraddha, pitryajna, pinda, etc., rituals for their ancestors. Hindu feelings would naturally be hurt if their ancestors were baptized without their will.

  249. skephtic says

    posthumous baptism: strongly implied consent on part of the deceased and/or the family members of the deceased”

    We’ll disagree on this. Does anyone in this thread think that LDS gets permission for the majority of these posthumous baptisms?

    I don’t think a religion baptizing a person **after they are dead** implies consent. If anything it implies the opposite, since if they consented the Church would have no need to converted after they were dead.

  250. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    Really? Even infant baptisms? I don’t think so.

    That’s because you’re ignorant; we are talking about LDS baptisms, not about other sects’ baptisms.

    From the Pfft: Mormon baptisms also occur only after an “age of accountability” which is defined as the age of eight years.

    Except there is no outcome since it is a magic ceremony that does nothing to the dead person.

    So, people taking offence at this necrodunking is not an outcome?

    (This very discussion is not an outcome?)

    “(I also note that the actual process is irrelevant, it is the outcome that is problematic to people)”

    But, if the process is irrelevant one wonders why you challenged me about my knowledge of it?

    One wonders, does one?

    Wonder no more (my bold): “I don’t know the full extent of the magic incantations used, but I mentioned typing “baptized” because some people in this thread have specifically objected to the **record** of posthumous baptism, and nobody that I’ve read has mentioned the full process.”

    The point, obscure as it may seem to you, is that it’s not the record that’s problematic (yes, that’s done by typing), it’s the actions that led to the record being merited and the attitude evinced thereby.

    So, to claim that the objections are to the record, not to the process, is sophistic.

  251. says

    There can be many reasons for posthumous baptism. Political persecution/prejudice. Like Tony Blair only becoming Catholic after leaving his post. In an earlier age, he might have stayed a Crypto-Catholic until his death.

    Also, you’re ignoring the family members again. They do care that the posthumous baptism implies their consent and/or that of their dead relative.

  252. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    I don’t think a religion baptizing a person **after they are dead** implies consent.

    Perhaps you should inform yourself before opining*; the link to Wikipedia I posted about is not a bad place to start.

    * Unless you prefer to form beliefs on the basis of guesswork and ignorance.

  253. skephtic says

    “That’s because you’re ignorant; we are talking about LDS baptisms, not about other sects’ baptisms.”

    Except we aren’t. Folks have been talking about what *baptism* implied generally, and extrapolating that to LDS posthumous baptisms, claiming that consent for living baptisms implies that dead baptism have consent–except it doesn’t, because the whole **dead person** thing pretty much puts the kibosh on any implied consent.

    Again, who here in this thread thinks or thought that LDS got the consent of the dead person before baptizing them years after their death? Anybody? Bueller?

  254. says

    skephtic:

    (Yes, I know, some people who find out about it get upset…but the actual dead person is utterly unchanged.)

    And there’s the crux of the issue.

    Everything we are, everything our lives amounts to, resides in the skulls of those who loved us, once we are dead. If our lives amounted to so little that nobody remembers us, then these little ceremonies really don’t matter.

    But if our life was so great that it fucking mattered to someone, then our lives are a little bigger. At least, to someone. So these little ceremonies mean something. To someone.

    Not to me, because I’m already fucking dead. But the people who know me, who loved who I was, love that memory of me. That’s all I am anymore — that memory of me, or at least, the memory they hold of me.

    This is true whether they knew me personally or not. Maybe they just know me through my writing, and the few little documented bits of my life. But maybe, just maybe, my writing was so moving, so powerful, I made a fucking difference. Maybe they saw a little piece of me in my words. Maybe they recognize a bit of human compassion in my characters. Perhaps there’s a tiny ember of hope in my stories.

    So then these little ceremonies matter. Not to me, but to the people that saw hope and humanity in me, in my stories, in my words. They might see these ceremonies as true obscenities, coming from a group that stands transverse to everything I believe: that everyone deserves a shot at happiness, that magical ceremonies obfuscate human truths, that money and power are not things of beauty. How would it feel to those who actually honor my memory?

    (Yes, I recognize the arrogance of placing myself as the honored dead. Deal with it.)

    This is what it’s about. It’s not about the dead, but about the living who honor the memory of the dead. It’s about the future generations who will learn of the dead, who will get to know the dead through writing and history and oral tradition. It’s about the social legacy of people who matter, who made a difference.

    And most people mattered to someone.

    It’s about a clear view of reality, both past and present.

    If you’re not able to see how important it is to tell the difference between fact and fiction, lies and truth, then it’s no big deal. These ceremonies are just stupid ceremonies. But if you give a living fuck about truth, about the bits of humanity each of us leaves behind in the memories of those whom we touched, then yes. This is a big deal, and it should be a big deal.

    Me, I care. I care a whole fucking lot.

  255. skephtic says

    “Perhaps you should inform yourself before opining*; the link to Wikipedia I posted about is not a bad place to start.

    * Unless you prefer to form beliefs on the basis of guesswork and ignorance.”

    Hmm…I just went to the source.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism_for_the_dead#The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints

    Not seeing anything about implied consent of the dead there. And I don’t presume that the will of family members implies consent, as we can see in the case of Mit Romney’s atheist relative who was posthumously baptized *with* consent of the family, but without the consent of the dead.

  256. skephtic says

    “But if our life was so great that it fucking mattered to someone, then our lives are a little bigger. At least, to someone. So these little ceremonies mean something. To someone.

    Not to me, because I’m already fucking dead. But the people who know me, who loved who I was, love that memory of me. That’s all I am anymore”

    Ok. I disagree with the Mormon posthumous baptisms. You say they change the way we look at the dead. But what about when I as an atheist say there is no heaven and say that a dead person of faith isn’t in heaven, but is in fact, just dead. That affects the memory of the dead as well. How do I keep my right to make claims about the disposition of a dead person, in conflict with that person’s beliefs and wishes, but claim that LDS has no right to do something along related lines?

  257. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    Hmm…I just went to the source.
    Not seeing anything about implied consent of the dead there.

    FFS. I linked to it above!

    Much of the theology of Mormon baptism was established during the early Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. According to this theology, baptism must be by submersion for the remission of sins (meaning that through baptism, past sins are forgiven), and occurs after one has shown faith and repentance. Mormon baptism does not purport to remit any sins other than personal ones, as adherents do not believe in original sin. Mormon baptisms also occur only after an “age of accountability” which is defined as the age of eight years. The theology thus rejects infant baptism.

    (my bold)

  258. says

    OK, again teh stupid:

    Family members give consent on behalf of the dead relative. Now, if the relative’s views while alive are well-known, it’s quite disingenuous of them to give consent on behalf of them.
    However, in my view, it’s up to the family members to be offended, not to us. We can just gleefully point out what a bunch of lying hypocrites the Romney family seems to be.

  259. skephtic says

    “and occurs after one has shown faith and repentance. ”

    Yeah, I’m not really sure how you can claim that the whole DEAD PERSON thing doesn’t totally nullify that. Dead person trumps implication. If they consented they wouldn’t have to be baptized after death. So I’m not seeing your implied consent of the dead person when they are hunted down and baptized by proxy years after their death.

  260. says

    do you really lack so much imagination that you couldn’t think of scenarios where someone couldn’t be baptised during their lifetime? Or are you just being a troll by mindlessly repeating the same ol same ol canard?

    – political persecution
    – couldn’t get near a Mormon temple before their death (they can’t just do them on the fly you know)
    – eccentrics playing Pascal’s wager
    etc.etc.

    and of course

    – family member converts to Mormonism

  261. says

    skepthic:

    How do I keep my right to make claims about the disposition of a dead person, in conflict with that person’s beliefs and wishes, but claim that LDS has no right to do something along related lines?

    An honorable person would adhere to the wishes of the deceased. If they were incapable of performing the ceremonies requested of the deceased, it’d be honorable to find someone who could.

    This is, of course, entirely unrelated to the ceremonies the LDS perform long after most death ceremonies. You begin your little mental exercise with the “disposition of the dead person,” as if you’re following through on a wake or burial ceremony. Then you conclude by comparing that to the LDS baptizing them into their church.

    These are two completely different things. They can’t be treated as if they are the same with any kind of intellectual honesty.

    If a Christian asked you to ensure they were buried with proper ceremonies, and you just tossed them in a grave without benediction or observation of their faith, the other people who honored the memory of the dead would properly view you as a complete fucking asshole. It has nothing to do with your beliefs at this point, but the proper representation of the life of the dead.

    I’m not one to accomodate the living. But once someone’s dead, it takes a real ass to ignore their wishes.

  262. says

    pelamun:

    We can just gleefully point out what a bunch of lying hypocrites the Romney family seems to be.

    I kinda disagree. While we do that, we can also note that this goes against the apparent wishes of the dead person.

    But it’s always nice to point out hypocrisy, as well.

  263. says

    nigel,

    it’s all about human relationships, isn’t it.

    Family members usually had close relationships to their dead relatives. If someone imposes themself on it by conducting such a baptism against their wishes, the family members are right to be upset.

    If the family members baptise their dead relative against the wish of the deceased, it shows outside observers that they didn’t treat their relative respectfully in death. But you’d be less upset about it than if they did it to your own relative.

    Yeah, if I promised a theist to bury them according to their rites, I would feel honour-bound by it. It’s common human decency.

    I find the practice offensive in general, but I personally would get offended only if it happened to my dead relatives. It just shows that whoever does such things lacks the human decency to treat the dead respectfully.

  264. John Morales says

    skepthic:

    So I’m not seeing your implied consent of the dead person when they are hunted down and baptized by proxy years after their death.

    Why do you think baptisms are not performed until after the “age of accountability”?

    (Also, do you now recognise how your earlier reference to infant baptisms was ignorant?)

  265. skephtic says

    “These are two completely different things. They can’t be treated as if they are the same with any kind of intellectual honesty.

    I’m not one to accomodate the living. But once someone’s dead, it takes a real ass to ignore their wishes.”

    I say that the last pope is not in heaven because there is no heaven, and he is just a corpse with no afterlife. I’d say that by many Christian’s standards I’ve just dishonored the memory of the dead, of a holy man, and that I’ve caused offense to not only his family, but Christianity and Catholocism. I really don’t see that you’ve manage to draw a bright line between that and posthumous baptism. Both are potential insults to the families memories of the dead. Both are about an outsider presuming to declare what has or will happened to the dead person after death. Both are non-falsifiable. And neither has any actual, demonstrable effect on the dead.

  266. says

    Yeah, while we have been discussing baptism more generally, that’s because we don’t know necessarily that much about Mormonism.

    But unlike you, apparently, we can incorporate new information after it’s been presented to us.

    Also, it didn’t really matter:

    General understanding of infant baptism: consent given by parents
    Mormon understanding of infant baptism: wait until age of accountability

    Makes it even better, because your point about no consent for infants disappears.

  267. skephtic says

    “Why do you think baptisms are not performed until after the “age of accountability”?

    (Also, do you now recognise how your earlier reference to infant baptisms was ignorant?)”

    My mention of infant baptisms was made because baptisms, and to what degree baptisms imply consent to the general public, is based on peoples *general* knowledge of baptisms.

    Meanwhile, you still haven’t explained how the whole *dead person* thing doesn’t nullify any implied consent. Again, if anything it implies the opposite, because if the person consented they would have been baptized while they were alive.

  268. skephtic says

    “General understanding of infant baptism: consent given by parents
    Mormon understanding of infant baptism: wait until age of accountability

    Makes it even better, because your point about no consent for infants disappears.”

    Still not seeing any sound argument from you about how the whole *dead person* thing doesn’t rather obviously nullify any implied consent by the dead person.

    And, again, did anyone here in this thread think that posthumous baptism implied consent of the dead? Anyone? I’m just hearing crickets, but perhaps I missed a relevant post?

  269. says

    pelamun:

    Family members usually had close relationships to their dead relatives. If someone imposes themself on it by conducting such a baptism against their wishes, the family members are right to be upset.

    I guess I have a poorer view of family relationships. I’m close to a couple members of my family, but for the most part, the people in the world who matter to me are people I’ve met along the way. There are several members of my family I wouldn’t trust to represent me honorably or truthfully after i’m dead.

    I guess I just think that representing someone honestly after they are dead is more important than scoring political or religious points. And really, that’s how I see this: as a powerful religious organization trying to score points.

    I find the practice offensive in general, but I personally would get offended only if it happened to my dead relatives. It just shows that whoever does such things lacks the human decency to treat the dead respectfully.

    I’m offended by it in the same way I’m offended by young earth creationists — not personally, but at the level that demands honesty and as close an approximation to truth as we can provide.

    Maybe that’s just me, though. I’m not really that fond of much of my family.

  270. Koshka says

    Nigel #300,

    Well put. If you die before me I will honour you and not baptise you.

    Skephtic #303,

    Ok. I disagree with the Mormon posthumous baptisms. You say they change the way we look at the dead. But what about when I as an atheist say there is no heaven and say that a dead person of faith isn’t in heaven, but is in fact, just dead. That affects the memory of the dead as well. How do I keep my right to make claims about the disposition of a dead person, in conflict with that person’s beliefs and wishes, but claim that LDS has no right to do something along related lines?

    I presume these are your words and you fucked up the blockquotes.

    An atheist believing a dead Mormon does not go anywhere is not the same as the Mormons baptising a dead person against their, and their relatives wishes.

  271. says

    skephtic:

    I say that the last pope is not in heaven because there is no heaven, and he is just a corpse with no afterlife. I’d say that by many Christian’s standards I’ve just dishonored the memory of the dead, of a holy man, and that I’ve caused offense to not only his family, but Christianity and Catholocism.

    Well, yeah. There’s a difference between saying the Pope is just dead and there is no heaven, and declaring the Pope was an atheist.

    That’s all I’m getting at.

  272. says

    Even the Seal Team Six guys who killed Osama Bin Laden made some effort to “bury” him in a way that would not have been offensive to him, and that was in alignment with his religion’s customs – – to some degree anyway.

    To shift the focus a bit, we do see mormons being quite offended when Bill Maher unbaptized Mitt Romney’s father-in-law:

    Making fun of another person’s religion in country that claims to protect freedom of religion is what America has become. Bill Maher has disgraced himself so much and offended so many groups that at this point the show is just about who he can offend next. It’s sad and shameful but it’s also Real Time and the joke is on the viewers who keep tuning in every week.

    Gawker link.

  273. Koshka says

    Skephtic #317,

    And, again, did anyone here in this thread think that posthumous baptism implied consent of the dead? Anyone? I’m just hearing crickets, but perhaps I missed a relevant post?

    Before hearing about this ghoulishness, I would have thought posthumous baptism would have been the result of a deathbed conversion.

  274. John Morales says

    Meanwhile, you still haven’t explained how the whole *dead person* thing doesn’t nullify any implied consent.

    I have, it’s just that I haven’t made it explicitly obvious enough for you to apprehend. Here:

    “and occurs after one has shown faith and repentance. ”

    Yeah, I’m not really sure how you can claim that the whole DEAD PERSON thing doesn’t totally nullify that. Dead person trumps implication.

    If baptism occurs after one has shown faith and repentance, and a dead person has been baptised, it implies the dead person has shown faith and repentance. If they have shown faith in a religion that claims baptism is required, then that implies that they consent to baptism.

    Clearly non-LDS adherents (such as those who object to, for example, pious Jews being posthumously baptised) don’t believe that, but (as I noted above) LDS people do believe that.

    In short: The point, O obtuse one, is that LDS people are making that claim, and that some (justifiably or otherwise) find that claim offensive, because it implies the dead have repudiated their Earthly beliefs and accepted different ones.

    (You imagine only true claims can be offensive?)

  275. says

    And, again, did anyone here in this thread think that posthumous baptism implied consent of the dead? Anyone? I’m just hearing crickets, but perhaps I missed a relevant post?

    I gave you several scenarios, I’m not gonna repeat myself.

    Both are about an outsider presuming to declare what has or will happened to the dead person after death.

    Again, with your false equivalencies.
    As atheists, we don’t care about what has happened after death. We don’t believe in that anyway. What is important here, is the appropriation of these dead people for the purposes of a specific religion to which they didn’t belong. This is also why I don’t care about the theological differences between baptism and baptism-by-proxy. It’s all meaningless to me personally anyway. What I object to is how they handle the memory of the dead.

    About “dishonouring the memory of the dead”
    No-one here has a personal relationship with the pope.

    But let’s take the case of a deeply religious relative.
    You’d still believe what you believe. You’d probably have developed some coping mechanism so your relationship could continue, or your relationship was broken off, as can happen to so many atheists.
    If your relatives could accept your atheism, you’d say that to them, that the relative wasn’t in heaven. If you knew they’d take offence and it’d lead to a ruined Thanksgiving dinner, you just bite your tongue.

    No-one is saying that in order not to offend, we must espouse religious beliefs that are incompatible with an atheist world view.

    Nigel,

    that’s a different type of offendedness, being offended for the sake of truth, but I think we see eye to eye here.

  276. skephtic says

    “An atheist believing a dead Mormon does not go anywhere is not the same as the Mormons baptising a dead person against their, and their relatives wishes.”

    The exact same? No, but both can be seen as being offensive by family members and believers. I bring that up because many Muslims, perhaps the religion of the most easily offended believers on earth, constantly harp on being offended. By images of Mohammad, by even the possibly of blasphemy, by naming a Teddy Bear Mohammad, and who knows what else, constantly call for curbs on the free expression of ideas by non-Muslims. Any support you give for families to turn their offense at free speech activity that interfere with nobody’s legal rights into an attempt to suppress that activity can be turned back on us and our rights to criticize religion, potentially insulting theists and the memories of their dead.

    People have the right to be offended and to tell LDS that and ask them to change their doctrine (fat chance), but not the right to stop LDS. I’m hoping that people will think a few moves ahead before unwittingly lobbying to have their own rights to free speech and freedom of religion impaired.

  277. says

    pelamun:

    that’s a different type of offendedness, being offended for the sake of truth, but I think we see eye to eye here.

    Sure seems that way. My only quibble was with giving undue respect to the wishes of the family simply because they are family. But that seems like quibbling over the nutritional differences between Burger King and McDonalds.

  278. says

    I wonder how many irony metres broke in Utah over this.

    About 60% of the population of Utah does not believe in irony… ironically enough.

    Nor do they approve of loud laughter.

    The Prophet Joseph Smith:

    “Think not that we would enjoin you a Monkish sadness or hypocritical gravity: not so, but we would have your forsake all your loud laughter which is always indicative of an empty mind, and as we have before remarked, is calculated to grieve the Holy Spirit and make it withdraw, leaving you to the influence of that spirit which lures but to destroy.”
    – The Latter-day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, Kirtland Ohio, May 1836, Vol.2, No.8, p.306

    The Prophet Brigham Young:

    “Some of you are very fond of passing jokes, and will carry your jokes very far. But will you take a joke? If you don’t want to take a joke, don’t give a joke to your brethren. Joking, nonsense, profane language, trifling conversation and loud laughter do not belong to us. Suppose the Angels were witnessing the hoe-down we had the other evening, and listening to the haw, haw’s, the other evening would they not be ashamed of it. I am ashamed of it.”

  279. says

    skepthic,

    before you bring Muhammad, read my #104.

    NOTE: objections to baptisms-of-the-dead are not done on religious grounds, but on personal grounds (“right of publicity” maybe), i.e. by the living family members on behalf on the dead ones.

    No such angle exists for Muhammed, who is long dead.

    Also since under the First Amendment (and other similar provisions in many countries), atheism is to be treated equally to other religions, our criticism of religion is protected by freedom of religion.

    However, freedom of religion has in many legal system been found to be limited by other rights:

    – animal rights (why did this pop up now ;) ): ritual slaughterings have been restricted in some jurisdictions
    – human well-being: torturing witches before burning them at the stake
    – health: in many jurisdictions, parents that withhold certain medical procedures from their children for medical reasons can be forced to do so and punished
    need I go on?

    Your slippery slope argument is bullshit.

  280. Koshka says

    skephtic,

    I am quite sure that no-one has been arguing with you that we should legally stop Mormons from doing this.

    They have been arguing that is is offensive. Your original point is that the person is dead, no harm done, get over it. You objected to people being offended by this practice.

  281. John Morales says

    skephtic:

    “An atheist believing a dead Mormon does not go anywhere is not the same as the Mormons baptising a dead person against their, and their relatives wishes.”

    The exact same? No, but both can be seen as being offensive by family members and believers.

    Your attempted analogy is spurious; the correct comparison would be to claim that a dead Mormon is now an atheist.

    (By now, this doesn’t surprise me)

  282. says

    I’d also like to note that every time someone tries to make the point that Obama is a crypto-atheist on this blog along the lines of “he is one of us”, they’re quickly shot down, and rightly so.

  283. Azuma Hazuki says

    As slimy as it feels to say this, Rick Perry’s fundie pastor is technically right: Mormons are Christians the way styrofoam packin’ peanuts are marshmallows.

  284. hotshoe says

    I’m hoping that people will think a few moves ahead before unwittingly lobbying to have their own rights to free speech and freedom of religion impaired.

    No one is lobbying to have their – or your – rights to free speech impaired, you dogdamned gobshite.

    This is not a legal problem that we want settled by some kind of anti-Mormon enforcement squad.

    It’s an ethical problem that we want settled by edification, mockery, protest, or downright vilification of the Mormon habit until the Mormons absorb the idea that it’s stupid, sloppy, lying, and so backassward that it’s bad for them. The sooner they quit the habit altogether, the better, but it would be sufficient for them just to stop recording them, so that no one’s families could be hurt by the slanders.

    Now that we’ve clarified that, kindly fuck off and do your atheist scout good deeds of defending religion or fighting for gay marriage … or whatever … some place where we never have to hear you again.

    Never would be far too soon.

  285. sonofrojblake says

    It’s with some trepidation that I post here again, having read some but not all of the backlog.

    Despite the distracting and unnecessary vitriol, buried among the avalanche of “fuck you”‘s and colourful sexual imagery, there’s a point I’m beginning to see as possibly important, namely that while the ritual is just silly, the recording process poses the risk that history in the future may see LDSers as more numerous than they were, and Jews and others as less so. Whether that’s important I guess goes to whether you care what someone who won’t be born for a hundred or a thousand years thinks of your dear old grandad, or you, and whether you think it’s important today if they in the future use that information to oppress your descendants.

    I’ll be honest, as an electively non-breeding atheist yes, I hold my hand up, I’m lacking instinctive empathy for such considerations. I can see it on an intellectual level, but I can’t *feel* it, any more than I can feel the presence of a god or feel concern for the future of my immortal soul, and for exactly the same reasons. But I don’t *need* to feel it. On the basis of that, I stand persuaded of the merit of part of the argument against my original point. Thank you for changing my mind, if not for the vocabulary and manner with which some of you attempted to do it.

    I have one remaining niggle with that argument however. It’s 2012, not 1086. The sheer quantity of demographic data being recorded everywhere today is staggering. I question whether the LDS database will matter, or even show up, in the future posited. But I’ve A Canticle For Leibowitz, so I’ll shut up.

    Finally: “It’s an ethical problem that we want settled by edification, mockery, protest, or downright vilification of the Mormon habit until the Mormons absorb the idea that it’s stupid, sloppy, lying, and so backassward that it’s bad for them. The sooner they quit the habit altogether, the better”

    I entirely agree with this point. How’s that working out for us against the stupid practices of other religions so far? :-(

  286. John Morales says

    sonofrojblake:

    How’s that working out for us against the stupid practices of other religions so far? :-(

    Not too shabbily, actually, in most advanced economies. :)

  287. says

    I entirely agree with this point. How’s that working out for us against the stupid practices of other religions so far?

    Well, see, part of that habit — in both the Mormon and general sense — is vilifying atheists as being inherently evil, immoral, lying, dishonest…take your pick really.

    I’d say we’re doing a good job, considering what we’re up against and the experiences of other marginalized groups who face or have faced worse prejudice and privilege than us.

  288. Corporal Ogvorbis (Would that be considered punishment?) says

    We’ll disagree on this. Does anyone in this thread think that LDS gets permission for the majority of these posthumous baptisms?

    On this thread? no. An average American? Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    the whole **dead person** thing pretty much puts the kibosh on any implied consent.

    When my sister died in a car accident back in the late 1980s, her organs were harvested for donation. Who do you think consented to the harvesting of said organs? Who do you think consented to the cremation? When something is done with, or to, a corpse, even long afterwards, it is done either with familial consent, or under a court order. This is normal.

    How do I keep my right to make claims about the disposition of a dead person, in conflict with that person’s beliefs and wishes, but claim that LDS has no right to do something along related lines?

    Because the LDS is neither family nor court?

    Yeah, I’m not really sure how you can claim that the whole DEAD PERSON thing doesn’t totally nullify that.

    The LDS is implying that either the soul (not a KIA, this is small ‘s’ soul) or the family is pleading repentence.

    that while the ritual is just silly, the recording process poses the risk that history in the future may see LDSers as more numerous than they were, and Jews and others as less so.

    That is part of it. Another part is the propaganda value now in the recruitment of new tithers.

  289. sonofrojblake says

    When something is done with, or to, a corpse, even long afterwards, it is done either with familial consent, or under a court order.

    I don’t think anyone has suggested or even implied that the LDS ever did anything to a corpse. It’s the very fact that what they did first – the meaningless ritual – was done “to” something that doesn’t exist that caused my initial bafflement. I can entirely understand why what they did next – documenting it as “fact” – would cause distress and anger.

  290. Corporal Ogvorbis (Would that be considered punishment?) says

    I don’t think anyone has suggested or even implied that the LDS ever did anything to a corpse. It’s the very fact that what they did first – the meaningless ritual – was done “to” something that doesn’t exist that caused my initial bafflement. I can entirely understand why what they did next – documenting it as “fact” – would cause distress and anger.

    To many people, the soul is as material as the corpse itself. While this may seem like nonsense to me, I am aware that others have this view. Again, I am not speaking of legalisms here; rather, I am pointing out that the perception among many people is that all these dead Mormons are being baptised with familial consent as what happens to the dead is, barring legal injunction, up to the family.

    When my sister died in a car accident, I attended a service at the Catholic Church she attended. She had become a Catholic via her boyfriend (later fiance (though they were never married)).

    During the service, her more recent boyfriend stood up, in the Catholic Church, and explained that we should not worry about her soul — she had accepted Jesus as her personal saviour and his Evangelical Bible Baptist Church had ceremonially, and postmortemally, baptised her as they knew that his was her, and her family’s, wish. He was explicit about it (she was not buried in a church cemetary, though — she was cremated and the ashes are at Grand Canyon (which is where she died)). The LDS is being implicit about familial consent.

  291. sonofrojblake says

    To many people, the soul is as material as the corpse itself. While this may seem like nonsense to me, I am aware that others have this view.

    Well, yeah, me too. But yet others have the view that a cracker is the literal body of Christ. I’m not clear on the distinction between superstitions we’re meant to respect and implicitly validate, and superstitions it’s OK to ridicule and be deliberately offensive about.

  292. says

    sonofrojblake:

    I’m not clear on the distinction between superstitions we’re meant to respect and implicitly validate, and superstitions it’s OK to ridicule and be deliberately offensive about.

    I think there’s a difference between respecting a person (say, someone you love), and respecting a belief. I don’t respect the silly beliefs of my daughter, but I respect her enough not to ridicule them to her face.

    I also respect her enough that I’m going to be in a religious ceremony when she gets married.

    I don’t respect her beliefs. I respect her.

    Otherwise, I ridicule and am deliberately offensive about Christian beliefs. But generally only about the corrosive beliefs, like the whole anti-gay thing, and the anti-women thing, and the anti-science thing. Or if someone says something patently stupid around here.

    So, I guess it’s all a matter of the time and the place.

  293. Brownian says

    that while the ritual is just silly, the recording process poses the risk that history in the future may see LDSers as more numerous than they were, and Jews and others as less so

    This would fairly accurately describe my biggest issue with posthumous baptism.

    I’m No True Catholic™ according to the Catholic apologists who show up here, but you can bet that through my baptismal record I contribute to their numbers when the RCC wants to unzip and have a laity-measuring contest.

  294. says

    Slate picked up the story.

    …The Vatican directed its clergy to keep their parish records from Mormon genealogists, in an effort to hinder Mormon baptisms for their dead members, even though Catholics believe that the baptisms have no authority….

    Mormons have introduced a new tactic into the PR spin on this issue. They are blaming nefarious non-mormons for entering forbidden names into the mormon databases. This is bullshit, of course. The recent baptism of Simon Wiesenthal’s parents was done by temple-worthy members.

    Enemies of the Church are well aware that it is still possible to slip names past well intentioned members and have them entered into the Temple. This deceitful practice has been well documented, and is incredibly easy to research. Those who have been guiltily of these infractions in the past have both caught and banned from Church property and web-sites. Amazingly, the press seldom interviews these individuals.

    Right. Note that no actual proof of the deceitful practice is offered.

  295. says

    Mormons are all set to build a temple in France, the better to do proxy baptisms there.

    Mormons in France currently attend services at one of more than 100 meetinghouses around the country. But they must travel to temples in Germany, Britain or Switzerland to take part in the faith’s most sacred sacraments, including eternal marriages and proxy baptisms. Across Europe, the church counts nearly half a million members.

    Take that claim of “half a million members” with a grain of salt. Most of them are inactive.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/53530102-80/church-mormons-temple-france.html.csp?page=1

  296. Dhorvath, OM says

    Lynna,
    Excuse my poor attempt at referential humour. I was quite sure that was your meaning, but given the OP I just thought it might tie together well. Some things need a sly glance to really work.

  297. says

    Excuse my poor attempt at referential humour. I was quite sure that was your meaning, but given the OP I just thought it might tie together well. Some things need a sly glance to really work.

    A case could be made for the conclusion that all mormon church goers are “inactive” or “dead” (deadened?) in important ways.

    A lot of ex-mormons have noted the zombie-like behavior of true believers, so in that sense they are all dead.

    Maybe we should start calling those not active in the church “escapees,” or perhaps “resurrected.”

    For those who want the full-on mormon immersion currently offered by Pharyngulites, there’s more discussion of the exotic ways of the LDS Church on The Endless Thread. Here’s one comment:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/16/episode-ccciii-vegas/comment-page-1/#comment-269359

    SQB began a discussion of temple recommends here:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/16/episode-ccciii-vegas/comment-page-1/#comment-269373

  298. says

    Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist, and ex-mormon, Steve Benson has been working his connections ever since the necrodunking of Jews resurfaced as a major story.

    He reports:

    UPDATE: Now They REALLY Know About the Mormon Necro Work Done on & at the Expense of Dead Holocaust Jews: What I choose to say at this pt. is that appropriate contact has been made

    . . . with Jewish leaders at important levels who are now in possession of more critical working information and are in a position to act as, and when, they see fit.

    As I indicated would be the intent, the issues were laid out in detail today in a returned-call personal phone conversation, which proceeded along the following lines.

    –The Mormon Church, through its necro work, not only dead-dunks Jewish Holocaust victims.

    It also:

    –Confirms dead Jewish Holocaust victims as members of the Mormon church;

    –Seals dead Jewish Holocaust victims, in various Mormon temple rituals, to the Mormon church and to Mormon members themselves through secret oaths of allegiance and handshakes engaged in by proxy temple workers dressed in Masonic costumes;

    –Invades the tribes of ancient Israel to which these dead Jewish Holocaust victims belong (through patriarchal blessings pronounced on Mormon church members where Mormons are notified of the ancient tribe of Israel to which they themselves are attached); and this being done by Mormons by “adopting” themselves, through covenant, into the Jewish bloodline; and then

    –Extinguishes the very Jewish identity of dead Holocaust Jewish victims by transforming these Nazi-slaughtered Jews, who died for their faith, into Mormons….

    More details here: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,420695

  299. says

    Mormon “theology” is available from the lds.org own website, Sunday School Manuals like Gospel Principles, Mormons “Bibles”, the Mormon Doctrine and Covenants

    Ex Mormons and non-Mormons can understand Mormon “theology” more from not going to Mormons.

    Take the Mormon training on Exaltation – Mormons can be come GODS; unless asked in public, then they deny their own prophets, manuals and Bibles.

    Mormons can be questioned on their fake faith for as long as they steal the name of Jesus Christ in their name, when Mormonism has no relationshiip to Christ’s Gospel.

    Mormons would be Accepted more if they were like Scientologists – is you are a cult, that is fine, but saying your a Christian Church, the ONLY TRUE Christian church invitres real Christians to challenge your coo coo puff religion.

    NoMormonInWhiteHouse.blogspot.com