What's to object? It's like a bath. For the Stinky dead!The ongoing dispute between Mormons and Jews took another turn when Jews were informed that their agreement with the Mormons was again not being respected.

The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (try saying that quickly four times) has a strange practice of posthumous baptisms. What is a posthumous baptism, a.k.a. ordinance? Do they dig you up and dip you in water? Muffti isn’t quite certain how the ceremony goes: apparently it involves a dipping in water by proxy. Its intent is to retroactively baptise people who are real believers in Jesus. The practice was first started for ancestors of Mormons but has extended its reach to nearly everyone deceased that they can attach a name to. After all, you wouldn’t want people who believe in Christ not facing an insurmountable aquatic based objection to their entrance to heaven and languishing in either hell or limbo. Even Dante, who relegated such noble types as Socrates to hell carved out an torture-free ante chamber for them to lounge in.

The Mormons agreed in 1995 to stop baptising Holocaust victims and dead Jews because The Lobby found it offensive (hopefully you paused for a second there). Of particular offense is that the Mormons keep a registry of latter day saints and since they assume that no dead person would turn down the chance to go to heaven, they include them in the registry. So the Mormons agreed to stop the offending practice and to purge the appropriate names.

So far so good; except that geneologist watch dogs keep turning up names of victims in the list, including some holocaust victims (Anne Frank has apparently been baptised several times), dead Israeli Prime Ministers, and other Jewish luminaries such as Marc Chagal and others.

Most recently, a New Jersey geneologist examined the records and exposed 1500 names of Dutch Jews which were supposed to have been removed. So, back to the old drawing board. Ernest Michel, whose name turns up in nearly every article on the subject (he is a founding member of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and was apparently instrumental in getting the 1995 agreement put together), claimed:

We’ve been dealing with it for 11 years, since 1995, and we continue to deal with it.

Ironically, the Mormons are somewhat baffled at Jewish objectors. After all, they claim, the baptism is useless if you don’t accept the faith, and surely the dead who get baptized can reject the deal. As Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, put it in a December 2005 interview:

Well, if they [the posthumously baptised] wish to so regard it. But they must realize the performing of the ordinance does not mean acceptance of the ordinance. Those for who the ordinance is done do not necessarily have to accept it…So, there’s no injury done to anybody.

So let Muffti get this straight. The Mormons offer a bargain to the dead involving their supposed salvation. The dead are presumed to take it and so are included in a registry of mormons. The living jews get pissed off because now their ancestors, friends and Holocaust victims are now baptised mormons and kvetch. The Mormons agree and then play fast and loose with honouring the agreement.

One is a little tempted to ask ‘who cares?’ Muffti thought that as Jews we don’t really regard the Mormons as an organization capable of effecting spiritual damage with their silly ceremonies. Why, then, are we up in arms, wasting ink and wearing down keyboard keys? Why not let the Mormons do what they like in peace? Maybe we can cheekily give a few posthumous Hannuka presents to Joseph Smith? There is no ceremony Muffti can perform to metamorphisize Hinckley into a four toed sloth – why think any ceremony Hinckley does will Mormonize Muffti’s late great grandmother?

One ‘argument’ that rears its ugly head involves vague resemblance the ceremony bears to the unfortunate medieval practice of forced Jewish baptism by the Catholic church. Muffti can only wonder ‘so what?’ Another point made is that future historical records will become blurred: revisionist future historians may wonder whether Muffti was a Jew or a Mormon if the latter try to claim him by baptism. To this, Muffti can only respond that it would be much better for the future records if we encouraged them to put such luminaries as Einstein, Ben-Gurion and the like on their records as Mormons. It’s the best way to ensure that reasonable future historians confer absolutely no credibitlity on the compiled list.

One can’t help but shake his head at religion and its follies. At least the two groups aren’t splling blood over it. They better not; it would just give the Mormons more people to baptize by proxy. And you guys wonder why Muffti doesn’t embrace religion.

note to reader: Reading this post, or even failing to read it, is (the only part of) a induction ceremony to Muffti-ism. Congratulations, you are now a Little Muffti and your eternal soul has been disposesed and put into the cosmic and eternal service of your new God and Leader, the Grand Muffti. Bwahahahahaha!

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  • Mr. Grandmuffti,

    Your other spelling errors aside, we demand that you spell our name correctly – The Lobby.

    Yours truly,
    The Lobby

  • As your soul belongs to the Grand Muffti, creator and suistainer of all, it is for him to tell you how to spell. As Muffti has invoked the natural and obvious right to infallibility, it is clear that nothing he has spelt can possibly be misspelt. Thus, adjust your spelling accordingly or face the eternal wrath of the Muffti. And don’t think for a minute that some weenie Mormons dipping you in water will help.

  • 1500 holocaust victims? Give me a break. I found my father and all of my grandparents (deceased) in the Morman registery. The registery obtained their Social Security death certificates, and then went in and baptized them by proxy! My guess is that they do that to everyone. I don’t personally care enough to put up a fuss, (as Mr. Muffti indicates, it’s not my anything that I pay much attention to) but I can certainly see where many people would feel offended and insulted. The Morman church promised in 1995 to stop doing this….the World union of Holocaust surviviors should sue the multi-billion $$$ church for breach of promise, and make some money to help take care of aging survivors who are living in poverty.

  • Personally I think that the mormons theologically are pretty much as crazy as a closed bag full of cats. Of course I believe that about all religions. But there is a little something special about a major religion from the 1800s that believe a guy found a cave full of gold tablets from God, describing the trials and tribulations of a lost tribe of jews in america (was Moses driving again?) and a very undead Jesus, how this guy needed special God spectacles to read the text (why didn´t god just write them in americun for gods sake?)and how all those golden tablets just got sort of misplaced once the text were transcribed. All that just for the basis of your mormon church.
    However, I just have a hard time getting what the point of what you describe is for Mormons.
    Do they get some extra god points? Tax breaks? Federal funding (with Bush nothing surprises me)?
    Do they feel some special affinity for dead jews or do they do this to just anybody who´s dead that they find out about? Should I check up on my dead mom?
    Jesus. today is mothers day in Sweden… Happy mothers day mom you´re retroactively a mormon!
    Thanks mr. Mufti another reason for not sleeping at night.
    The horror. To die an honest athiest only to wake up during the rapture as a MORMON!(ok. I know im mixing and matching my religious idiocies but how do you think that honest new religions get started? From divine revelation or something?. Get serious)!
    Honestly whats the gain for the church of jesus and later day saints (no I can´t say it out loud 7 times). Are they trying to win some sort of infantile cosmic game of “Last Word!”?
    Mormons, go figure.
    By the way I don`t think that Muftiism is gonna catch on even by devious methods. Sorry, don´t quit your day job yet.

  • Ps. Wasn´t there a famous jewish comedian who said that he wouldn´t want to be a member of aclub that would have him as a member? Or was that W.C. Fields? (please don´t tell me that W.C. was jewish. My all knowing ego couldn´t take it.))
    Anyhow with a little paraphrasing it could be applicable as rider on my death certificate.

  • Muffti-ism rules!
    Well, assuming it doesn’t involve any kind of genital mutilation, since I’m not into that.

  • There is no genital mutilation in Muffti-ism. There’s not much of anything really. It’s kind of more like a drinking club which Muffti is leader of and as such, you may not draw on him if he passes out first. Thanks for the support, oral dullard, and let no one tell you that you don’t have an awesome nick name!

  • I could care less who they baptise after death. However, the LDS do provide an invaluable service, namely keeping TONS of genealogical info on file, miles of microfilm of records from all over the world, which proves invaluable to many people researching their family histories. I’m willing to begrudge them a little quirky theology for not having to get on a plane to do research of European records.

  • Just returning the favor

    Pagan Pathways:”Rites for the Dead”
    All are here “to remember Joseph Smith

    name, born December 23, 1805, died June 27, 1844. He has

    gone on to Summerland and now awaits rebirth.”

  • Well, Muffti, it’s shooting fish in a barrel to dismiss all religions based on Mormonism’s goofiest practices (and there are many to choose from. My favorite is the Utah grain silo filled with food for the Second Coming.). Casting about for analogies, we might compare all political parties everywhere to the NSDAP, or adopt Andrea Dworkin’s notion that all intercourse is rape.

    (Btw, it goes without saying that Mormonism is outside the Christian mainstream.)

    Anyway, as I understand the practice, they baptize a number of dead folks each time they baptize a sentient being, and are up to about 100 million of the departed. According to a (very recent) PBS program on Mormonism, there are about 7 billion people known to have lived, and the Mormons have collected geaological records for 2 billion of them. Plenty of work to do.