Rebuttal–Douglasadams525

The Mormons Aren’t Hurting Anyone

While post-mortem baptism of Jews by Mormons may upset some members of the former group, the outrageous reactions by members of the Jewish faith is not unmerited, but also discriminatory against members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The antics and caustic remarks of certain Jewish individuals regarding the well-intentioned behavior of the Mormons are a result of Jewish snobbishness and inflated egos of those who assume that their religion is better than that of others, and, interestingly, a fear that it may in fact be inferior to the same.  Additionally, the vitriol and anger that have been expressed by certain members of the Jewish community may also be explained by a lack of mutual understanding between the Mormons and Jews.

The majority of the outrage felt and demonstrated by Jews following the baptism of Daniel Pearl, a Jewish reporter killed by terrorists in February of 2002, stems from the belief that Pearl’s baptism discredits his Jewish faith, and also is disrespectful of his lifelong non-Mormon religious beliefs.  This belief is the result of the oversized egos of many members of the Jewish community, who believe that their religion is superior to that of the Mormons.  However, if we truly are to believe in “God’s motherly love for all Jews and Gentiles” (the Gentiles in this case being the Mormons) as referenced in Fred Bert Ithurburn’s God Loves Everyone, we can only assume that God’s love for the Mormons is no less than that for the Jews, and that therefore neither religion is inferior or superior to the other.  If God loves Daniel Pearl, Anne Frank, and Elie Weisel as Jews as much as God would love them as Mormons—and let us remember that a posthumous baptism does not necessarily result in a conversion—, then the fact that the aforementioned individuals were all baptized by the Mormon church makes no difference.  To assume that posthumous baptism is a corruption of the deceased’s religion is foolish, for God recognizes each individual not as a Jew, a Christian, a Mormon, or a Pastafarian; rather, God recognizes us all for our humanity, and therefore post-mortem baptisms do no harm.

The hostile reactions of some Jewish individuals may also reflect an insecurity in their own religion.  If we choose to assume that the Jews are correct in assuming that their religion is, in fact, the “correct” one, and that the Mormons are simply a bunch of lunatics, then we must question if their outrage is anything more than the result of a highly irrational fear.  If the Jewish version of that which many individuals call God does in fact exist and has in fact decided to save only the Jews, then the Jews have absolutely no reason to fear that the deceased members of their congregation will be damned for eternity, simply because of the fact that the Mormons’ practice of posthumous baptism would accomplish nothing in this scenario—it is simply preposterous to assume that an individual may be granted salvation by Heavenly Father if Heavenly Father does not actually exist.  Furthermore, when remembering that a post-mortem baptism of an individual does not result in a conversion of the soul of the deceased, this irrational fear becomes even clearer.  Because the soul of the baptized individual must choose to convert to the Mormon religion, the opposition to the practice as a whole may be used to indicate that the Jews’ uncertainty in their faith is even more prominent than it may have first appeared; if the Jews are God’s chosen people, there is no rational reason to speak out against a religion that is, in their eyes, anything more than a farce.

While the Jewish community may claim that the practice of posthumous baptism of non-Mormons, particularly Jews (living or dead), by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is disrespectful of the Jewish faith, they simultaneously have been equally disrespectful of the Mormon faith.  As we have explored more than once before, a certain half-Jewish individual reacted to the post-mortem baptism of Daniel Pearl by creating the website alldeadmormonsarenowgay.com, which claims to possess the ability to convert deceased Mormons to homosexuality, without even extending the courtesy of choice to the soul of the deceased, as the Mormons do to the soul of a deceased individual undergoing a baptism after death.  The disrespectful connotations of this website towards homosexuality and the entirety of the gay community notwithstanding, I submit that this is merely the result of a grave misunderstanding between faiths.  The Mormons, as it has been established, do not intend any illness towards the deceased, regardless of faith.  Rather, it is the desire of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that every individual, living or dead, be given the chance to spend eternity with Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom.  The Jews, however, misunderstand this tenderhearted practice.  Rather than being seen as a gesture of love for humanity and a desire universal brotherhood in Heavenly Father (not unlike the brotherhood in Christ that many Christian individuals so frequently reference), the practice of posthumous baptism has been misconstrued as a disrespectful, sneaky, underhanded attempt by the Mormons to convert the deceased to their own religion, rather than allowing the dead to rest in peace.  The Jews, unfortunately, have failed to understand that the Mormons are not desperately grabbing for converts any more than Jewish or Christian missionaries who travel the world preaching that which they believe to be true.  Ultimately, the reactions of the Jews to the practice of posthumous baptism can be explained in one simple sentence.  First said by John Merrick in David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, “People are frightened by what they don’t understand.”

Works Cited

The Elephant Man. Dir. David Lynch. 1980. Film. *new source

Oppenheimer, Mark. “A Twist on Posthumous Baptisms Leaves Jews Miffed at Mormon Rite.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 2 Mar. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

Ithurburn, Fred Bert. God Loves Everyone. 1st ed. Trafford, 2012. 51. Print. *new source

“All Dead Mormons Are Now Gay.” All Dead Mormons Are Now Gay. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

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6 Responses to Rebuttal–Douglasadams525

  1. douglasadams525 says:

    Feedback was requested.

    Feedback provided.
    —DSH

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  2. douglasadams525 says:

    I understand that there’s only so much that an individual can do, so please don’t mistake my urgency for rudeness, but it’s now 3:20 on the 19th, and I had hoped that I would have received feedback by midnight on the 18th. I’d greatly appreciate anything that you may have to offer, if you have the opportunity.

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    • davidbdale says:

      I realized that I might be misunderstood when I said I would reply to all requests I received before midnight, but I merely meant that I would reply to all requests I received before midnight, not that I would reply before midnight to all requests I received. 🙂

      I’ll work on yours now, douglasadams, and additionally, I will extend to you the courtesy of leniency on the deadline, as I always do for those who communicate with me about their needs.

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  3. davidbdale says:

    P1. A contradiction in your first sentence illustrates the danger of overwriting, douglasadams. You say “not unmerited, but also discriminatory,” which alert readers will recognize as one positive but also a negative. The reactions are “not pointless, but also racist.” I overstate the synonyms to make a point, but you can understand their confusion. I think you’ve out-talked yourself here. I won’t ask you to write like me, but I will offer you a simpler alternative to your first paragraph for your consideration.

    Jews are wrong to object to post-mortem baptism of non-Mormons by Mormons. They reject the generosity of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints out of a snobbishness that masks their inferiority. In short, they misunderstand the Mormons’ intentions.

    Alternatively:

    When Mormons, out of generosity, posthumously baptize non-Mormons, to purchase their way into heaven, only snobbishness can explain why Jews object to the favor. They either refuse to accept the motives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or they’re blinded by their own fear of inferiority.

    P2. Even the most generous interpretation of your quotation that “God loves Jews and Gentiles equally” doesn’t lead to your conclusion that “neither religion is inferior or superior to the other.” Sorry, but no.

    It’s also not certain that Jews as a group would accept the contention of Fred Bert Ithurburn, whoever he may be, when thousands of rabbis over millennia have made careers of variously interpreting small phrases of the Torah.

    God is not bound by our logic to love Mormonism even if we can bind him to love Mormons any more than he is bound to admire voodooism or cannibalism.

    Of course, the baptisms “make no difference,” to the departed souls, but neither would the planting of a crucifix on the grave of Daniel Pearl. No doubt you see the difference between a tangible effect and a symbolic gesture. Only one may “make a difference,” but both “make a difference.”

    P3. Messy over-writing: If we choose to assume that the Jews are correct in assuming that their religion is, in fact, the “correct” one,

    I think I can reasonably replace this:

    The hostile reactions of some Jewish individuals may also reflect an insecurity in their own religion. If we choose to assume that the Jews are correct in assuming that their religion is, in fact, the “correct” one, and that the Mormons are simply a bunch of lunatics, then we must question if their outrage is anything more than the result of a highly irrational fear. If the Jewish version of that which many individuals call God does in fact exist and has in fact decided to save only the Jews, then the Jews have absolutely no reason to fear that the deceased members of their congregation will be damned for eternity, simply because of the fact that the Mormons’ practice of posthumous baptism would accomplish nothing in this scenario—it is simply preposterous to assume that an individual may be granted salvation by Heavenly Father if Heavenly Father does not actually exist

    with this:

    Most Jews take these phony “baptisms” in stride. Those who don’t are insecure in their own faith. Otherwise, they wouldn’t fear that the silly ceremonies of misguided Mormons could threaten the souls of God’s chosen few with their promise of salvation from a non-existent “Heavenly Father.”

    P5. I respect the point, but it’s hard to equate the satirical postings of a single individual with the organized program of baptizing departed humans to a quirky religion. Now, if you can minimize the baptism program so that it’s equivalent to the existence of a comedian’s website, you can effectively balance one with the other.

    You mean they don’t intend any ill-will, not any illness.

    Your P5 is at least two paragraphs.

    I wonder if it will help or hurt your argument to suggest that since Jews don’t believe in life after death or the persistence of the soul into an afterlife, there’s no way to disturb the dead, nor any point in exerting oneself to see that they “rest in peace.” Clearly, it’s the living who object to anything done on behalf of the deceased.

    Helpful at all, douglasadams?
    Reply, please.

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