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What Did Mitt Romney Do During Baptism Conversion Ceremonies of The Dead, Why Did he Do It & Who was Baptized?

When asked by Newsweek if he has done baptisms for the dead–in which Mormons find the names of dead people of all faiths and baptize them, as an LDS representative says, to “open the door” to the highest heaven–he looked slightly startled and answered, “I have in my life, but I haven’t recently.”The Daily Beast (an interview from 2008)

So, we find out that Mitt Romney has participated in the baptismal of the dead. But he hasn’t “recently”?

This is a serious question any presidential candidate would have to answer. Barack Obama has been asked questions about his religion relentlessly, called a Muslim. Mr. Romney deserves no special treatment on the subject.

I’ve called Mitt Romney’s Boston headquarters, but all you get is an answering machine where you can leave a message.

I’ve tweeted Kevin Madden, who has been a Romney man going back to 2004.

I’ve also tweeted Mitt Romney’s press secretary on the issue.

This is a story that could be a killer for Mitt Romney, but will Rick Santorum run with it?

Who will be the first in the elite media to pick up this line of questioning that I’ve begun?


TM NOTE: Let me add here what I said during a conversation on Twitter. Does the media get to choose which politicians get asked tough questions about his or her religion and what questions will be asked? The traditional media was all over candidate Obama about Jeremiah Wright, which I covered extensively as well. There is absolutely no reason not to ask what are obvious questions of Mitt Romney, especially given the backdrop of the Weisel revelations and subsequent apology by the Mormon Church. Cable talking heads are uncomfortable asking about Romney’s religion why, exactly? If religion is going to be a seminal part of our political process, which Rush and Sean Hannity make it daily, as do talking heads like Joe Scarborough, making wild links between contraceptive mandate and female Southern Baptist deacons being mandated by the fed, then honest questions are worth asking of Mr. Romney. annity brings up Rev. Jeremiah Wright still, so why is Mr. Romney’s prior involvement in baptizing the dead not an appropriate question and topic to explore? Disclosure: my husband Mark is a recovering Mormon and has six children, all Mormon, whom I love dearly.

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33 Responses to What Did Mitt Romney Do During Baptism Conversion Ceremonies of The Dead, Why Did he Do It & Who was Baptized?

  1. secularhumanizinevoluter February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh THIS should help him with the Jewish vote and Israeli Lobby!!!!!!!

  2. Betsy February 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    I can’t help but laugh at all of this.  My sister married a Mormon and she became one.  Our mother died at her house so my other sister and I of course went there.  My Mormon sister had  exactly that done to our Mom.  We kept our mouths shut but were rather stunned.

    But the best part of this story is the story of our distant cousin.  I’m doing genealogy and this came up from another cousin so I looked it up and it is indeed true.  Anyway, as the story goes.  My 4th cousin, 5 times removed wrote a manuscript that one of his farm hands stole.   Solomon Spaulding is my cousin’s name and his wife Matilda said that the man who stole it was Joseph Smith and that the manuscript suddenly became the “Book of Mormons”.  How true it is I don’t really know.  But what I do know is that the Mormon Church has denounced this.

    If you think it’s appropriate Taylor, I will be glad to paste the story that I have in my genealogy on to the comment.  But I don’t want to do it unless you think it’s okay.  For me, it’s part of history.  And it’s very interesting.

    • Taylor Marsh February 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

      What a fabulous story, Betsy. Amazing. Mark will be very interested when I tell him.

      Now I have to get to the technical stuff, Betsy.  I don’t care, it’s your personal decision.

      But it brings up a subject I have to address as a business. Remember that you’re choosing to post very private information about yourself online, which is your personal decision.   You’ve been posting off and on for a while now, so I’m sure you appreciate what I have to write next, which is that TM.com cannot be held responsible if you do choose to post your information.  Identify theft is unlikely, but if it were me I’d think twice.

      That said, I’d love to hear the genealogy. I’m fascinated.

      Some of you old-timers around here may remember the run-in I had with my hosting company back before I moved to D.C. area.  They didn’t like a link I posted in a column about Romney, so they came in and censored the site. It was chilling. ..and a very loud explosion ensued.

      The secrecy shrouding Mormonism is intense, which is how I got censored by these two people, because they don’t believe anything should be discussed.

      “Big Love” had a hell of a time getting off the ground, but it was great.  Mormonism on Broadway is a smash.

      Romney certainly doesn’t want to get mired in the discussion, not the least of which he’s not supposed to according to his church’s dictates.

      But this is revealing about our media. Jeremiah Wright was fine but asking Mitt Romney about his church is off limits.  I find that telling.

      • Betsy February 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

        Taylor, thank you.  And I do want to post it because I feel that it is something that should be known.  I know that you can google it and I also know that my sister was very conflicted when I told her.  But it is history and it’s part of our history which to me is truly interesting.  And I do understand why you have to post

        So…here we go.  Don’t forget that this was written in the early 1800s.  So some of the language is of course different.  If interested, read below and I really hope that it doesn’t offend anyone.

        Would-be “Epic” of Solomon Spaulding.  According to his widow, Solomon Spaulding was a keen student of the classics. He read the great stories of Greece and Rome and knew their histories. He could probably quote passages in both Homer and Virgil from memory. But the Rev. Solomon Spalding was also an adopted son of the Ohio Western Reserve and it must have worried him greatly that Frontier America had no epic histories of her own: no Iroquois “Iliad, ” no Delaware “Aeneid,” not even a Buckeye “Poems of Ossian” to recount the forgotten heroism of the long-lost “Mound-Builders.”In about 1812 Solomon Spaulding set out to remedy that defect in American history and literature. He may have been spurred on by reading Robert Southey’s “Madoc” poetry. But the picture of Britannic adventurers fighting heroic wars with the ancient Aztecs was hardly what patriot Spalding had in his mind in the midst of the War of 1812. His epic would be wholly an American one — a thick stack of prose that would leave the credulous frontiersmen rubbing their eyes in wonder. He set out to write the American narrative equivalent of what James MacPherson had done for Scotland. Since no prehistoric epic of the first Americans existed, he would fabricate one himself.  There is good reason to believe that Spaulding wrote an epic story of the Ten “Lost” Tribes of Israel and how they wandered across Asia to finally settle in ancient America and become its first inhabitants. I have already provided my thoughts on why I think that Spalding wrote such a pseudo-history and I will not go into detail discussing that subject here.  Some people believe that Spaulding also wrote the precursor to the Book of Mormon — another would-be epic American story. If he did in fact produce such a story, it was probably a revision of what I conjecture was his original Lost Tribes tale. Those who can see the hand of Spaulding in the text of the Book of Mormon may well imagine how it could have been written as a Redman’s Ossian and the Book of Joshua all rolled into one.  The only surviving Spaulding pseudo-history is the sketchy, unfinished story now on file in the Archives of Oberlin College. At the very best, that novelette can only be termed a concept paper for a would-be epic; but as mock-epic it succeeds rather well. While it is no “Rape of the Lock,” the Oberlin story is indeed the “charming story in its own right” described by Kent P. Jackson. The wry (and dry) humor and parody sometimes calls for a second (or even a third) perusal before the modern reader “gets it” and Spaulding’s socio-religious jokes come through intelligibly.  But as true epic the Oberlin story never gets off the ground — not even as a pen sketch of some projected lengthy adventure. True epic spans vast vistas in time and space, recounting the birth and progress of whole nations in heroic meter or rosy prose. The true heroes and heroines sacrifice their all to propagate and protect the tribe, the people, the nation. They rise above mundane humanity to grasp into the starry heavens or to overcome the chaos of the infernal pit. They elevate and enoble the people in ways Spaulding never seemed to have comprehended. And, like the story told in the Oberlin fragment, the accounts related in the Book of Mormon also fall short of true heroic epic. It is easy to imagine a common author for both — an author emulating MacPherson’s Ossianic shadows instead of the full vigor and substance of a Ramayana, an Iliad, or an Aeneid.  Dale R. Broadhurst

         

         

        • Taylor Marsh February 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

          That is something and I’m sure the Mormon Church denounces it.  Any wonder?

          So, I’m not sure about “looked it up”.  How’d you verify it? I’m really curious about your comfort level of the truth of this story and whether you believe it.

          Really appreciated reading it, Betsy.

          • Betsy February 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

            Taylor, when I first found out about this was last year.  My cousin sent me a bunch of papers for the genealogy and the family tree.  Through all my research I have connected with several cousins who have helped me with my research.   What made this so ironic was something that my mother told us.  She had said that there was something involving Joseph Smith in our ancestors, but she didn’t know what it was.  I had told my cousin that and she started laughing and told me that she had some paperwork to send to me which talked about that.  After I read it I then went on line and googled the name Solomon Spaulding.  I found articles that supported it and others that didn’t.  It also is funny that there are two different spellings of Spaulding.  The other one is Spalding.  On my family tree it was both, so I really don’t know which is correct.  Anyway, I found “The Spaulding Family” which starts in the mid 1500s in England.  It was truly interesting.  All we have to go on is his widow’s statements.  There is a whole list on google.  Mormons are outraged.  You can read some of the sites where they denounce it.  I’m a member of the DAR and I tried to look it up on their genealogy site.  But couldn’t find anything.

            So Taylor, who knows what the real truth is.  But I sure didn’t make it up.  It came from ancestors.  Genealogy is really fascinating.

          • Taylor Marsh February 17, 2012 at 12:34 am #

            Remarkable. Again, I so appreciate you sharing this, Betsy.

  3. angels81 February 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    My god! you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. We have two loons wanting to be President, one is baptising dead people and the other brings home his dead baby so the rest of the family can get to know it.

    If I didn’t know any better I would say someone is making this stuff up. The republican party and their voters have all lost their minds.

    • Taylor Marsh February 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      I’m laughing so hard right now, angels81, I’m shrieking!  O. M. G. Too funny.

  4. newdealdem1 February 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    I just want to make sure I’m understanding this correctly.  So, when someone in the Mormon faith dies, his/her family trolls obits in newspapers, take names and uses those names in a baptismal ceremony and sends them on into everlasting afterlife?

    If I understood that correctly, that’s one hell of a way to convert someone and en mass.  Wow, and I thought us Catholics or erstwhile Catholics had the market on trolling for converts (we were taught in parochial grammar and high school during our religion classes to try to convert non-Catholics especially Jews – which was the crown in the jewel of conversions and could get some of your sins washed away – but just like 99% of Catholics don’t adhere to the Church’s doctrine re/”artificial” contraception, 99% ignore the push to convert others.  The non-Catholics who do convert do so by marrying a Catholic  or the Catholic partner will convert to Judaism and both conversions have  happened several times in my own family).

    But, at the least, the tiny minority of Catholics who do try to convert people (outside of the marriage situation), do so when the people are still breathing and so it is assumed most of those people have the free will to just say no (except when Catholics do missionary work in third world countries and scare the crap out of the locals into conversion.)

    But, again, if I understood this, what the Mormons do and at funerals, is very disturbing.  It’s reminds me of grave robbing without the sweat equity involved.  Yikes.

    And, yes, if everyone else, most especially the way in which Obama was hounded about Jeremiah Wright, Romney should be subject NOW to the same questions.   But, I have to say I really hate going there about someone’s religion if they keep it to themselves and don’t let it interfere with public policy (like Mario Cuomo, for example) but since these cavemen have made their “faith” a big part of this election and sometimes into a religious pissing contest, it’s now fair game.   Tough cheese.

    Thumbs up, Taylor,  for following up with his people to get answers.

    • Taylor Marsh February 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      I’m not sure the details, but I’ll ask my husband.

      Good to see you tonight.

       

      • newdealdem1 February 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        Same here, Taylor.  Thank you for following up with your hubby.   I’m really interested in his answer and please thank him for me as well.

        • Taylor Marsh February 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

          Mark was very matter of fact about the existence of it himself, but he’s very open about the Mormon Church, having officially left it.

          I was very fascinated with the Catholic Church for quite some time back when I was a kid. My big sister converted & I went to mass a lot there in high school.

          Appreciate church rituals, love the Episcopal Church.

          I don’t like secrets about anything fundamental to a person’s life who wants to be president.  More important, however, is that Mormonism is fundamental to who he is & exposing the Republican Party’s bigotry is important (unless this is all about Mitt Romney’s paranoia & that’s what’s paralyzing him).

           

    • spincitysd February 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

      Newdealdem1,

      There are plenty of resources on the web that explain Mormonism. There is the Church of Latter Day Saints itself and there is more than enough sites connected to skeptical inquiry. There are plenty of sites run by fallen away Mormons that are very helpful.

      Shifting away from “Theology Central” and putting on my amateur historian’s cap, the story of Smith and the founding of the faith is very interesting and more than a little embarrassing. It has all to do with Smith and how his living in the “burned over district” of New York helped to create a uniquely American faith. Wait ’till you get to the part where Smith was literally talking into his hat whist translating parts of Book Of Mormon; it’s a hoot!.

      Now before Taylor gets all “you mean old atheist” on me let me clear up a point. I find all organized religions equally valid; and equally absurd. I have zero problems with peoples faith, which is a very personal, very individual thing, but I find most organized religions far too bound up in upholding the Patriarchal power structure to have any validity what so ever. Still, I do find Mormonism more skeevy and icky than most. That whole baptizing dead folks is especially off putting. That they baptize victims of the Shoah after agreeing not to is despicable, and far too typical.

  5. angels81 February 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    It even gets better. On Andrea Mitchell’s show Foster Friess, who is Santorms money guy said about contraception, and I quote, ” This contraceptive thing, my gosh its inexpensive, back in my day we used Bayer aspirin for contraception, the gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.  more looney tunes.

  6. Betsy February 16, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    And here is the note that also was posted on the genealogy.

    A version of the origin of the Book of Momon widely accepted by anti-Mormons was that of the Spaulding plagiarism. In 1812 inspired by an archeological excavation in Ohio, the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, Dartmouth graduate and Presbyterian minister, had written a romantic historical novel entitled “Manuscript Found.” The novel was a fictional accounto f ancient plates dug up in Ohio that told of the lost tribes of Israel in pre-columbian(?) America. Before dying of consumption, Rev. Spaulding left manuscript copies of the novel with his wife and with a Pittsburg bookseller. When the widow Spaulding read the Book of Mormon she shouted plagiarism. She remember that in 1825 her copy of her husbands novel had disappeared; by coincidence, she added, Joseph Smith had been working for her next door neighbor as a well digger. Most anti-Mormons accepted this version of the truth in Joseph Smith’s time, and many have continued to do so to this day.
    This is taken from “The Twenty-seventh Wife” by Irving Wallace, page 37

    I also have a newspaper article that my cousin sent me regarding this.  Taylor, I can scan it and email it to you if you and Mark would like to read it.  It sounds to me like no one really knows for sure.

     

     

     

     

    • Taylor Marsh February 17, 2012 at 12:37 am #

      Don’t want to put you to any extra trouble, Betsy. I’ll be honest, though, I’d love to read it. Up to you.

  7. guyski February 17, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    TM your headline is missing a W. You’ve got the Who, the What, and the Why, but are missing the When. By that; I mean, WHEN will the elite media pick up this line of questioning. Timing is important.

    So your question:

    Does the media get to choose which politicians get asked tough questions about his or her religion and what questions will be asked?

    Should be followed by:

    Does the media get to choose WHEN politicians get asked tough questions about his or her religion and what questions will be asked?

  8. thewayzero February 17, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    I’m taking some of what was said from the Facebook page and bringing it over here.

    I’m certainly not an apologist for the Church, ‘The Church’  needs no apology (some of its members, yes), but I’m trying to see the connection between the Church’s belief in proxy baptism and Jeremiah Wright. So please ask me what you want to know about proxy baptism and I’ll do my best to answer.

    I might add that I do not support Mr. Romney as a presidential candidate. If elected he would rise up to be more status quo of American destructive rhetoric called politics. And I’m not one to class all Muslims as Gentile hating radicals, as a lot of moronic ‘conservative’ Americans believe. That’s like saying all Christians follow Jeremiah Write.
    These type of questions will only get worse as my religion is once again put under that proverbial glaring microscope for a chance to show its supposed danger or supposed folly.

    Betsy…that’s quite a story. You just happened upon the Solomon papers? That hoax has been running like a weed for a long time now. Sorry you fell into the trap.

    Also, I can’t handle most talking heads from the radio. Sean Hannity is about the worst. And Taylor, your right, Mr. Romney should answer the question. There is no secret about proxy baptism. And no, we don’t drag bodies up to the temple and dunk them before they take the 6 foot dive into the ground or are turned to ashes. But i got a good laugh about it. Hey, maybe we should ask Harry Reid about it. He’s a regular temple attender.

    Thanks for the invite over to the discussion.

    • Betsy February 17, 2012 at 10:44 am #

      thewayzero, no I did not just run across it.  If you read my posts you would see where it’s in my ancestry.  And by the way, how do you know it’s a hoax?  I don’t know either way.  There’s more out there about it that I’ve read, both pros and cons.  Some contradict the facts, but still maintain that parts of Spaulding’s book is part of the Book of Mormons.  So until you can prove unequivocally that it’s a hoax, I will continue to wonder if my cousin’s book is REALLY the Book of Mormons.  Do I care?  No my friend, it’s just part of US History and part of my DNA.  I’m not a Mormon, but I DO have a great deal of respect for their close knit family beliefs.  Setting aside the religion, if more people treated family the way the Mormons do it would certainly be a better world.

      • thewayzero February 17, 2012 at 11:30 am #

        Betsy I mean no disrespect. I did read the whole post and comments, but if you truly have that kind of info, please call The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints headquarters. It’s as easy to find their contact info online as it is to find the Solomon papers. They would love to see it, I’m sure. I do find it interesting that people will throw a mouse amoungst the cats and then say something nice about them. But I do appreciate the compliment about families. I wish more members of this church felt that way.  And again, I mean no disrespect, but it is Book of Mormon…no ‘s’ at the end. :) If you’d like to find out more about the Book of Mormon, when you call Church headquarters, ask for a copy. They’ll send one for free. :) I mean it’s a ‘story’ one of your ancestors wrote. Wouldn’t you want to know what your 4th cousin 5th removed wrote? I certainly would.

         

        • Betsy February 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

          thewayzero, since I cannot get a copy of the Spaulding manuscript there is no way that I can compare either one.  Evidently the manuscript is no longer available.

          From your comment I gather that you are Mormon.  So is my sister and she’s been researching this since we were made aware of it late last year.  My sister married a Mormon and converted to the religion.

          If I wanted a Book of Mormon I could ask my sister.  And by the way, it isn’t the Solomon papers, it’s the Spaulding papers or manuscript.

          And to answer your statement, there is no need to call the LDS headquarters because they have known about this since the late 1800s, long before I was born or even knew about this.

          And if you are interested here’s a site that I’ve been following closely since this person is doing ongoing research on this subject.

          http://solomonspalding.com/index3.htm

      • Taylor Marsh February 18, 2012 at 11:38 am #

        I am just catching up on comments posted here.  Full disclosure: I know “thewayzero”, who is part of my husband’s extended family.  No further identification is necessary, but he is related to my husband through marriage.

        thewayzero, a person for whom I care very much, is a Mormon, so of course he’s going to say it is “a hoax.”

        However, there is no proof it is.

        The AP article Betsy scanned and sent me reveals that some are certain what she has written about her genealogy is true, some aren’t sure, but no one in writing has called it “a hoax.”

        Organized religious institutions, NO MATTER WHAT FAITH, are not credible sources to rebut outside evidence that their foundation isn’t what the faithful say it is. That’s just a fact and I say that about any religion.

        Religion is a matter of faith, not fact, and when anyone gets into saying otherwise they’re at the end of a very thin branch over alligators.

         

  9. thewayzero February 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Oh shoot, that’s right, I was thinking of another story. Sorry.

    • Taylor Marsh February 18, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      I’m so happy you stopped by, thewayzero.  Give my very best to your gorgeous wife.

       

  10. PWT February 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Should we ask the same questions of Senator Reid?

    • Taylor Marsh February 18, 2012 at 11:47 am #

      You’re confusing Sen. Reid, who represents a state with a strong Mormon constituency, particularly in Clark Cty., with a presidential candidate who will be representing the entire country if elected.

      I don’t believe Mr. Reid has been so stupid as to answer a question about baptismal of the dead, something Mitt Romney certainly didn’t have to answer in the affirmative.  But since he did, it’s not wrong to ask follow-up questions.

      Mark and I have talked at length about these issues of the Mormon Church, of which he is no longer affiliated.  In 2002, Mark petitioned the Mormon Church to have his name taken off the rolls. It was arduous; certified letters exchanged, re-submitted, phone calls, trips to the house, all which infuriated him.  But in the end he got it done, something that for him was very important, because he doesn’t want anything to do with the Mormon Church. That’s his choice.

       

  11. Gaius Sempronius Gracchus February 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    It is malicious and morally obtuse to try to equate calling down damnation on all America with this well-intentioned, if amusing, quirk of Mormonism.

    Since neither the one nor the other can be efficacious, the Mormon call for salvation and Rev. Wright’s call for damnation being equally fanatastic, there is nothing here to judge but the intention.

    And the intention of the Mormons is not only benign but praiseworthy while Wright’s was vicious and deplorable.

    Still, we know faux outrage can be and has been trumped up about the Mormon practise and that voters of the Christian right out of their own irrationality and superstition may find it alienating.

    To intentionally play on that to hurt Romney is far from praiseworthy, too.

    Though less awful than equating wishing others well with wishing them ill.

    • spincitysd February 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      Gaius,

      Here is something an old Roman will understand: they broke their word. They said one thing and did another.

      They were informed by many Jewish leaders that the baptizing of passed-away Jews by The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints was highly upsetting and unwelcome. The leadership of the LDS then agreed to halt this practice except when a Jewish congregant had a direct genealogical link to a member of the Mormon faith. The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Later Day Saints then continued to baptize  passed away Jews. The Jewish leadership again protested and the LDS leadership agreed to only not baptize those Jews killed in the Holocaust; other dead Jews were fair game for the Sea Gull Worshipers.

      So we now have a LDS leadership that is faithless to its sworn agreements, but also uses that faithlessness so it can indulge in salami tactics against people of other faiths. And by the by, Mitt Romney is one of those in the LDS leadership. So, the legitimate question is, did he break faith with the agreement made with Jewish leaders? Did Romney participate in these baptisms before the agreement, did he do so afterword?

      I would rather no candidates religion be up for inspection. I would rather we observe the bright line made in the Constitution of no religious tests. As I have made clear, I am a high wall of church state separation topped with razor wire kind of guy. I would rather have no politician discuss matters of faith period. But if we are going to rake Obama and his pastor over the coals for every last jot and title of how they worked out their Christian faith, then by Jupiter Mitt Romney should have to answer for his oddball practices. Sauce for the gander noble Gaius.

  12. Taylor Marsh February 18, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Betsy – I got the scanned article. I tried to email you @ your email address, but it bounces back. Thanks so very much.

    • Betsy February 19, 2012 at 12:20 am #

      Hmm, wonder why it bounced back.  But I’m glad you got it Taylor.  I hope I didn’t cause a firestorm here.  But I just thought it was of great interest.  Today I was doing genealogy all day and watching the funeral.  What a beautiful but sad event.

  13. Gaius Sempronius Gracchus February 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Spincitysd,

    Somehow this slip in promise keeping seems less a problem than a man screaming out to his congregation in public, calling down divine damnation on white people and America.

    And, anyway, who believes an extorted promise is actually binding?

    Do schoolchildren believe that?

    Do your kids believe that?

    My grandchildren sure don’t.

    And if your boss makes you promise not to surf the web, any more?

    Well, maybe I’m just being insensitive.

    So you actually think they can steal souls, huh?

    “Salami tactics against other faiths”?

    • spincitysd February 19, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Sigh Gaius,

      I’m not even going to try to defend what Rev. Wright said or did. I’ll just observe that from a very tilted perspective the outburst made internal sense. Once you accept the heretical doctrine of Black Nationalism into Christianity anything is possible and justifiable. Please note I am using the the word “heretical” in the the very strict Greek root meaning of “false teaching.” I am not advocating Rev Right burned at the steak or be called on the carpet by the Holy Father or even having so as much as a discouraging word uttered at him. I’m just pointing out that the Christology and dogma of Wright’s preaching was and is suspect. Having actually listened to both Obama books on Audible I understood that Wright’s outbursts were his own and Obama did not agree with them.

      Moving right along, I don’t see how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was “extorted.” Pressure was brought to bear, but the LDS church could of simply ignored it. If the Mormons felt they were being “extorted” they should have said so. If the LDS Church felt put upon, they should have said so from the beginning. The baptism of the dead is an integral part of the faith, or at least appears so, if so the Mormons should defend it. You don’t find Roman Catholics embarrassed by Marian apparitions or the miracles attached to those apparitions, no how weird or bizarre they might appear to heathen outsiders.

      There is something skeevy about any organization that makes a promise they have no intention of keeping. It points to moral laxity or at least an unwillingness to do the hard work of explaining themselves.

      The salami tactics I referred to were the difference between the first agreement ( all Jews exempt from the baptism of the dead ritual), to new rule (only Jews of the Holocaust now exempt.) The new agreement has a far smaller scope than the last, thus the Mormons were successful in slicing off a substantial chunk of the previous agreement and the Jewish leaders came away with much less with this new agreement.

      Which brings me back to the original point, you can not trust these guys. What is the next agreement they will 86 because they feel they were “extorted” into it? Historically speaking the only reason the Mormons abandoned plural marriage was because the Federal Government brought on the pain and forced a “vision” to occur. So by your logic the LDS can now restart the quaint practice of plural marriage to under-aged wives? After all they were “extorted” into monogamy. What other carve out are you going to allow? What other solemn vows are they allowed to break? Do tell.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong