1. “Why Do Mormons Perform Baptisms for the Dead?” Mormon.org. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Background: This is a frequently asked questions page on mormon.org. It explains why the Mormons practice baptisms for the dead, and gives a bit of historical context.
How I used it: I used this article to explain the rationale behind posthumous baptisms, and to establish certain truths about the practice (for example, the fact that the remains of the deceased are not disturbed).
2. Naik, Jordan. “Here Are 10 Famous People Posthumously Baptized By Mormons.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 2 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Background: This article lists some of the individuals baptized by the LDS Church, as well as provides some information on the practice.
How I used it: I used this article to name certain benefactors of posthumous baptism. I also used it to help me do away with some misconceptions about proxy baptism, such as the idea that a baptism always results in a conversion.
3. 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. 24 Nov. 2015.
Background: This article outlines the posthumous baptism of Daniel Pearl and others, and reports the reactions of some members of the Jewish community.
How I used it: I used this article to describe the sentiments felt by the Jews after Holocaust victims and other members of their faith were baptized. It also helped me to demonstrate the hostility that followed the baptism of Daniel Pearl.
4. Veronese, Keith. “The Time Mormons Baptized Adolf Hitler and Vlad the Impaler.” Io9.com. Io9, 22 Nov. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Background: This article not only lists a number of people posthumously baptized by the Mormon Church, but also explains the exact process of proxy baptism. It also explains that such baptisms are performed to release the soul of the deceased from Spirit Prison. It also touches on the controversy surrounding the baptism of Holocaust victims.
How I used it: I used this article to outline how a proxy baptism takes place, and to further establish the reasons for which such baptisms are performed.
5. Goyette, Braden. “Why Mormons Baptize the Dead: A Guide.” NY Daily News. Daily News, 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Background: This article answers several questions about posthumous baptism, such as why and how the practice is performed. It also establishes the opinion of the LDS Church on other faiths on the topic.
How I used it: This article helped me to provide more detail on the reasons for which Mormons baptize dead people. It also allowed me to contrast this practice with other religions that believe that salvation cannot be achieved after death.
6. All Dead Mormons Are Now Gay. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Background: This website was created in retaliation to the baptism of Daniel Pearl. It claims to be able to convert dead Mormons to homosexuality.
How I used it: I used this website to demonstrate the vitriol in the Jewish community, and to show a practice that I asserted to be more harmful than posthumous baptism.
7. “What Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Attitude regarding Homosexuality and Same Sex Marriage?” Mormon.org. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. Background: This web page, also found on mormon.org, outlines the position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on homosexuality. How I used it: I used this website to argue that in converting Mormons to homosexuality, the Jews are being disrespectful towards the Mormon faith by subjecting them to go directly against their religion. (Note: I might not use this one in my final paper. I’ll remove it from this post if that ends up being the case.) 8. Ithurburn, Fred Bert. God Loves Everyone. 1st ed. Trafford, 2012. 51. Print.
Background: This is a book that discusses God’s supposed love for all of humanity, regardless of faith.
How I used it: I used a concept detailed in this book–God’s motherly love for all Jews and Gentiles–to assert that if all individuals are loved equally by God, their faith is an irrelevant detail. Thus, I asserted that no religion can be considered superior to another.
9. The Elephant Man. Dir. David Lynch. 1980. Film.
Background: David Lynch’s The Elephant Man has been hailed as a tale of incredible humanity. It tells the tale of John Merrick, a man plagued with elephantiasis. Because of his terrifying appearance and a disregard for his humanity, Merrick is outcast from society.
How I used it: I reiterated one of the most memorable quotes from the film: “People are frightened by what they don’t understand.” This summarized my argument that because Jews do not understand the good will behind posthumous baptisms, they become frightened and angry at the Mormon Church.
10. Otterman, Sharon. “Mayor De Blasio and Rabbis Near Accord on New Circumcision Rule.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 14 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015
Background: This article outlines the Jewish religious practice of ritual circumcision. It also offers the disturbing fact that because of certain parts of this tradition, some Jewish babies became infected by the herpes virus and died.
How I used it: I used this article to provide an example of a Jewish practice that causes actual harm to living people, in contrast with a Mormon practice that has no tangible effects.
11. James, Susan Donaldson. “Baby Dies of Herpes in Ritual Circumcision By Orthodox Jews.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Background: This article discusses roughly the same things as the one immediately above it, but focuses more on the infections, rather than the practice of circumcision itself.
How I used it: Like the article directly above, I used this article to call attention to the real-world effects of a religious practice. This article also allowed me to point out the hypocrisy of Jewish individuals who ignore their own flawed traditions.
12. Genesis. Holy Bible. Colorado Springs: Biblica, 2011. Print.
Background: This is the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, the first four books of which make up the Jewish Torah. In the particular part of the particular book that I have cited here, many commandments are given to Abraham, such as the commandment to circumcise all males. Orthodox Jews follow these commandments–circumcision being no exception.
How I used it: I used this passage of scripture to highlight the arbitrary nature of circumcision. I also contrasted the practice with posthumous baptisms, claiming that the former accomplishes nothing whatsoever, while the latter offers something to the deceased.
12. “Mission and Vision.” Http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/missionvision.asp. Southern Baptist Convention, 15 June 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Background: This is a page on the website for the Southern Baptist faith. It discusses the Baptist tradition of mission service, as well as its goal to lead all of mankind to their own interpretation of salvation.
How I used it: I used this website to draw parallels between the Mormons and the Southern Baptists, stating that both faiths believe in the importance of missionary work. This allowed me to argue that while posthumous baptisms are partially done to gain converts, this goal is not an uncommon one. Furthermore, I claimed that this is simply one reason for which post-mortem baptisms are performed.
13. “A Missionary Church.” Mormon.org. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.
Background: This is a page from mormon.org, explaining why Mormons believe so strongly in mission service.
How I used it: I used this source to draw parallels between Mormonism and other religions that believe in missionary work, which allowed me to argue that the Mormon religion is not extremely unlike other religions.
Edit 12/3/15: Removed sources 7 and 8, as I didn’t end up using them. Also added source 13.