The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Gratuitous Insults
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In late 2007, in light of the fact that Mitt Romney appeared to be one of the possible frontrunners for the Republican nomination, I raised the question in Meditation 652 of whether a Mormon could successfully run for President. My view then was that he probably could not. The problem was that the religion was seen as too weird by those whose support Romney needed.
...all the strange concepts have been revealed to anyone who wants to look. This gives ammunition to those who choose to disparage Mormonism as a cult, rather than recognizing it either as a legitimate religion or a Christian denomination. By calling it a cult, they disparage those who follow the beliefs. And those doing this are predominantly Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists. They are sabotaging the one candidate who might have the best chance of carrying their moral views into the Presidency.
An election cycle later, it is appearing that many of those who could not stomach Romney's religion four years ago (or even six months ago) have reluctantly chosen to endorse him. But still - the weirdness of his religion persists in haunting his chances. And one of the weirder practices has to be after-death baptism, essentially a gratuitous insult to the dead.
I call it a gratuitous insult because it makes absolutely no theological sense. It implies the dead can be saved if they are baptised by name by someone living, and then subsequently the baptised dead person can achieve salvation provided he or she accepts Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. This means the tens of billions of those dead and lost to history have no path to salvation in the afterlife. Mormon salvation is a lottery with the odds stacked against the vast majority because they are unknown. Chance rules - which is the state of the universe without any need of supernatural nonsense.
Nevertheless, the Mormons continue to baptise the dead (provided they can find a name) willy-nilly.
They've baptised Anne Frank and numerous other Holocaust victims - gratuitous insults to the dead, and to Jews in general.
They've even baptised Adolph Hitler in another gratuitous insult to the Jews and an insult to everyone who died in WWII.
They've baptised a number of popes, including John Paul 2 along with Mother Teresa - gratuitous insults to the dead, and to Catholics in general.
They've initiated baptism procedures for Muhammad, and have completed baptism for at least one of the 9/11 hijackers - managing to insult all the Muslims of the world and all non-Muslims simultaneously.
And most recently, it was confirmed that the Mormons had baptised the late Stanley Ann Dunham - that's President Obama's mother. A gratuitous insult to the dead woman, and to Obama and his family. Whatever evangelicals and fundamentalists may feel about Obama, bringing after-death baptism back into the news is not going to improve their views on Romney's religion.
In these days when respect for the religious beliefs of others seems to be a mantra, the Mormons continue to show the utmost disrespect for everyone else's religion (or lack thereof) by conducting these meaningless after-death conversions. They gratuitously insult everyone.
In the event Romney recovers from the extremely bad week he has been having, this issue could still be one of the decisive factors in denying Romney the presidency. It will certainly cost him some votes. His religion is still just too weird for many of those whose support he needs.