Date: February 18, 2012 08:29PM
He also claims that the Mormon church never promised to stop dead-dunking Nazi-exterminated Jews--and, further, insists that necro-dunking murdered Jewish Holocaust victims is just fine:
"Posthumous Baptisms of Holocaust Victims
"An article has appeared on 'The Daily Beast' (and may perhaps yet appear in its printed companion, 'Newsweek'), about vicarious Latter-day Saint baptisms for Jewish Holocaust survivors, a controversial topic that has arisen yet again.
"I was interviewed for the article. . . .
“'But despite more than two decades of negotiations and agreements between the two groups to prevent such baptisms of dead Jews,' reporter Allison Yarrow writes, 'the practice persists. . . . Jewish and Mormon leaders first devised a pact to stop all baptisms of dead Jews in 1995, but soon after, Radkey made public that the church had reneged.'
"No. No. No. NO. NO!
"The Church has never promised to stop baptisms of 'dead Jews.' Jewish members of the Church have just as much right to perform vicarious work for their ancestors and family members as do other members of the Church.
"The Church agreed to try to prevent people from submitting names culled from unapproved extraction sources (e.g., as New Family Search explicitly mentions, from lists of 'Jewish Holocaust victims') for vicarious temple ordinances. The Church also strongly discourages whimsical submissions of the names of unrelated celebrities, and tells members of the Church to concentrate on their own ancestral lines.
"If, however, those ancestral lines include deceased Jews, even if those deceased Jews were Holocaust victims, the names of these deceased Jews are entirely legitimate for submission to the temples.
"(My take on it: The abstraction 'the Jewish people' does not have a greater claim on deceased Jews than those Jews’ own flesh and blood families do.)
"[Author of the 'Daily Beast' article] Ms. Yarrow and I discussed this, explicitly.
"I can’t imagine how my explanation could have been any clearer than it was.
“'But LDS leaders continue to make promises to Jewish leaders that they do not keep.'
"I do not believe this to be even remotely true. I think the leaders of the Church have made serious, good faith efforts to meet Jewish concerns, even though I’ll frankly admit—and frankly admitted to Miss Yarrow—that I’m somewhat puzzled by those concerns.
"From an outsider’s unbelieving perspective, all we’re doing is quietly mentioning a dead person’s name in connection with a few other words, and then plunging somebody else into a water tank located in a very private place. It takes approximately half a minute. I find it extremely difficult to see how the practice really harms anybody, if one assumes that it has no effect on the dead. And one can only assume that it has actual effect on the dead if one assumes that Mormon beliefs are true, that Mormon priesthood authority is efficacious in the next life, and that Mormon temple rituals are divinely ordained. In which case, again, it’s difficult to see how offering the gift of vicarious baptism actually hurts anybody.
"Those for whom such baptisms have been performed are not listed on our membership rolls. We don’t presume that they’ve accepted the ordinance performed on their behalf. And we don’t specifically target Jews, let alone Holocaust victims.
“'the mistaken request for a baptism of the very-much-alive writer, Elie Wiesel'
"I’m not altogether sure that there was actually a 'request for baptism' for Mr. Wiesel (whose writing, by the way, I find extraordinarily powerful). And, if there was, it was clearly improper and illegitimate; neither Church procedures nor Mormon theology permit the vicarious baptism of a living person.
“'Regular checks of Family Search by a researcher who has been called the ‘Erin Brockovich of posthumous genealogy,' Helen Radkey, revealed the baptisms of the Wiesenthals and the alleged targeting of Wiesel. Also a disaffected Mormon, Radkey . . .'
"I admit to a sneaking suspicion that at least some of this is the work of one or more agents provocateurs. With many, many thousands of people submitting millions of names, I can’t help but wonder whether a critic or two aren’t setting us up. It’s especially curious, to me at least, that, when a potentially inflammatory name shows up in the records—a needle in a vast haystack—Helen Radkey is almost always immediately in touch with the Associated Press, the New York Times, and, well, The Daily Beast/Newsweek.
"Call me paranoid. . . ."
("Posthumous Baptisms of Holocaust Victims," posted by Daniel C. Peterson, under "Sic et Non," 15 February 2012, at: http://dcpsicetnon.blogspot.com/2012/02/posthumous-baptisms-of-holocaust.html
; for another link to Peterson's blog article, with additional Mormon defenses of the Mormon church's dead-dunking rituals, see "Why Do Mormons Baptize Dead People?," on "Well-Behaved Mormon Woman," at: http://wellbehavedmormonwoman.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-do-mormons-baptize-dead-people.html
Edited 16 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2012 09:18PM by steve benson.