All I know about Mormons I got from Chick Tracts

Actually, I lie, but I’m sure that got someone’s attention. The Visitors happens to be one of the first Jack Chick tracts I ever came across and I thought it was hilarious.

Jewish folk aren’t laughing right now, though. Mormons have this proxy baptism thing they’ll do to ensure that one’s ancestors get to hang out in holy heaven with all their moron… er, Mormon offspring. They have some method of making people who died years and years ago into Mormons. It seems to involve a Mormon going through the baptism ritual as a stand-in.

Hence the issue for the Jews. They don’t want Holocaust victims to be Mormons.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say they are making changes to their massive genealogical database to make it more difficult for names of Holocaust victims to be entered for posthumous baptism by proxy, a rite that has been a common Mormon practice for more than a century.

But Ernest Michel, honorary chairman of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, said that is not enough. At a news conference in New York City on Monday, he said the church also must “implement a mechanism to undo what you have done.”

“Baptism of a Jewish Holocaust victim and then merely removing that name from the database is just not acceptable,” said Michel, whose parents died at Auschwitz. He spoke on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazi-incited riots against Jews.

“We ask you to respect us and our Judaism just as we respect your religion,” Michel said in a statement released ahead of the news conference. “We ask you to leave our six million Jews, all victims of the Holocaust, alone, they suffered enough.”

Michel fears that combined with this proxy service and the genealogy tweaking, the impact of history will be lost. They died because they were Jews. They should remain known to the world as they were.

Michel suggested that posthumous baptisms of Holocaust victims play into the hands of Holocaust deniers.

“They tell me, that my parents’ Jewishness has not been altered but … 100 years from now, how will they be able to guarantee that my mother and father of blessed memory who lived as Jews and were slaughtered by Hitler for no other reason than they were Jews, will someday not be identified as Mormon victims of the Holocaust?” Michel said Monday.

The LDS hopes a new version of the genealogy database will solve the problem because it’s supposed to add an exemption flag in these situations.

Catholics have also been getting baptized after death but in May the Vatican ordered dioceses all over the world to keep their records from getting into the hot little Mormon hands.

Those crazy little Mormons. Is there anything they won’t do?

20 Responses to All I know about Mormons I got from Chick Tracts

  1. SusanBarnes says:

    Ernest Michel is DEFINITELY entitled to expressing and acting on his beliefs, but honestly, how on earth could this issue lead to forgetting the horrors of the Holocaust?

  2. Mark says:

    I really don’t understand. I assume that jews do not believe in the mormon church? Nor do the catholics or any other faith! So why are they so worried? If they don’t believe and therefore, think the mormons have no authority, then multiple faiths are acting like children. Obviously to them the baptism doesn’t count, maybe they should stop acting like it does. It makes me wonder if I should look into the mormon thing. I mean come on. I can stand up and say some guy hundereds of years ago is now a pink unicorn, would they be upset with me? would they try to stiff arm me to stop changing people? HAHA silly religions. Do you really believe that GOD would change them to mormons if the people themselves didn’t want to be? If so then you should re-evaluate what you practice and what you follow.

  3. Chris says:

    I think the respondents, Susan, and most definitely Mark, are missing the point. I’m neither jewish or mormon, but the act of taking names of the faithful yet dead members of one religion and then baptizing them into another is at the very least disrespectful. I don’t think the Jews in any way believe the mormon baptism is legit, but it seems they are worried about the mormons altering the history and memory of those jews who died in the holocaust, and even worse, taking claim to being holocaust victims themselves as a whole (since you know, it was their “baptized members” who died in the holocaust – but let’s not mention they were baptized 40 or 60 years after death).
    In the least, it is very disrespectful to the dead who now have no choice in the matter, and at the worst it is an act of identity theft, at least I guess in a spiritual sense.

  4. Kenny says:

    Chris is completely missing the point, and his facts or assumptinos are also entirely wrong. As a practicing, lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon church), what Chris posted could be no further from the truth. The intent of baptizing deceased people has absolutely nothing to do with claiming a part of the Holocaust, nor is it meant to change the memories of the Holocaust either.

    In short, we believe that the church that Christ established when He was on the earth was lost as the apostles were killed. In addition, the power to act in the name of God, the Priesthood, was lost with them. Christ’s church and the Priesthood were restored in the 1800′s through Joseph Smith. We also believe Jesus Christ, when he said that all men must be baptized in His name in order to return to heaven. Performing baptism for the dead is a means of assuring that those who died without a knowledge of the restored gospel have a chance to receive the necessary saving ordinance of baptism. This does not mean, however, that everyone so baptized is forced in the afterlife to accept our religion as their own, nor the baptism performed on their behalf. (We also believe that those people who died when Christ’s church was not on the earth, or those who didn’t have a chance to hear the message while they were on earth, are taught it in heaven and are given a chance to accept or reject the teachings). I hope this clears up some of the confusion that some people have about this practice.

    In the least, if you don’t believe that the Mormon church is the church of God or that we don’t have the authority to act in His name (thereby making these baptisms valid in His sight), then it seems that all we are doing is wasting our time, and no one should be worried about it since it won’t matter after we pass on anyway.

  5. Starbert says:

    Did you not read the whole article?
    The mormons don’t force it on those who have passed on, it is a free will offering.
    So if they want to be known as mormon jews in the afterlife what is the problem? Will there families on earth take away that choice from them????

  6. David says:

    In addition, it’s clearly stated that the churches policy is that only direct descendants of the holocaust victims can have that work done; the church doesn’t just go ahead and do it anyway. So if the child or grandchild of a holocaust victim joins the LDS church and wants very much to share that with their ancestors, shouldn’t they be allowed that right?

  7. let's baptize Joseph Smith as a Wiccan says:

    let’s baptize Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, as a Wiccan and see how NUTS the Mormons would get.

    they’d be going crazy.

    well, guess what idiots….people of other religions feel the same way when you baptize Popes, Jews, HIndus, Muslims, etc. it’s INSANELY OFFENSIVE and you promised not to. so STOP already.

  8. S says:

    Okay, let me see if I can explain this.

    Let’s say you go to the cemetery to visit your late grandmother and find some guy dry-humping the plot on her grave. When you ask him what he’s doing, he explains that he’s having ghost sex with your grandmother – that through this spiritual ritual, her soul achieves new life. It seems bizarre, sure – but he’s just offering her the chance of spiritual redemption and he wants you to respect his beliefs and let him and your late grandmother have ghost sex in peace.

    Now, presumably you don’t believe that the wackjob bumping and grinding grandma’s plot is actually having any kind of encounter with your late grandmother’s soul. He’s just an idiot dry-humping a grave. This does not make the act any less disrespectful though, and most people would kick the guy’s teeth in.

    When Mormons do this baptism by proxy thing, they are violating the memory of people who died. They are using a person’s name and memory in a religious ritual without that person’s permission. What makes it particularly horrible in this case is that the people whose names they are using were killed for being Jewish. It doesn’t matter that the person’s family doesn’t believe the ritual has any validity – it is still a horrible, disrespectful act. And the fact that it is part of someone’s religious beliefs does not make it okay.

  9. Nathan says:

    I will have to agree with what Kenny said. This is in no way an atempt to hurt anyone in this life or the next. The LDS church is taking a great number of steps to acomodate the request that the holocaust baptisms don’t take place. But there are many members of the church that are related to this group that wish the work be done.
    But no need to worry, I am sure the LDS church will continue to do their best to make sure the request is granted. But the request does seem to validate what the LDS church is doing in the first place. Should the Jews look into the option of becoming LDS in this life?

  10. Matt says:

    I concur with Starbert and others:

    People who are upset at this practice and kick and scream (such as the VERY anti-Mormon Helen Radkey mentioned in the article, who was excommunicated from the LDS church and then had a huff because they wouldn’t hire her at exhorbent fees to monitor the records) simply have no idea what the practice entails. I have never met anyone who, understanding the actual process, cares one bit if it happens or not, excepting a few very agenda driven people who ignore the facts.

    A few points on how it works:

    1) Both LDS and Non-LDS members across the globe do genealogy work. It is considered the largest hobby in the world and is usually in the top three things searched for on the internet (right after porn).

    2) LDS, and even some non-LDS, submit names through a computer program that checks to see if the name submitted has already had ordinances done for them (baptism, ordaining to the priesthood, etc.). If so, it denies the name and lets the user know that it’s been done. The same is true for banned names.

    3) There are non-LDS individuals who are known to take the names they know are against our policy and try to submit them for ordinances secretly in order to get the LDS church in trouble. Some of them have been caught submitting mass lists of Holocaust Jews. i.e., we have people against the LDS church putting names against policy up, then screaming that the LDS church is baptizing people they said they would try not to. Elvis Presley, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc. have all had work done for them multiple times.

    4) LDS doctrine is unequivocally clear: from the time LDS children first learn of the temple and throughout life, an LDS member is taught that the Temple and its ordinances is a way for living LDS to connect in a meaningful way with their ancestors and the work of God. Additionally, it is always, without exception, taught that while ordinances are performed on the behalf of the deceased who never received them in life (think of Christ saying in the New Testament how no one without baptism can enter heaven… a harsh sentiment for those who never hear of Christ or understand him), the individual in the spirit world ALWAYS has freedom of choice in accepting or rejecting it and that some will reject it. Baptizing a deceased person by proxy is NEVER understood in any LDS doctrine to force a person to be LDS.

    5) Ernest Michel, the man mentioned in the article, is being deceitful about the effect of this on records and he knows it. He is a known liar, who in the original statement he released a little while ago said that part of the reason for cutting off talks suddenly is that the LDS church had refused to meet with him and his group for a long time. He repeated it multiple times in other places, but suddenly stopped when the LDS church produced meeting transcripts and itinerary showing they have met several times together just this year. As for his deceit about the impact: he well knows that even after the LDS church performs ordinances by proxy, even on THEIR OWN RECORDS that person is still listed as Jew, Anglican, Catholic, or whatever other faith they were baptized in. Their is a love for history and ancestry and many are proud of their multi-cultural heritages. I have never in my entire life heard a single LDS member refer to a deceased person of another faith as “Mormon” after doing the ordinances for them. NEVER. It would fly in the face of all the LDS believe. It’s not how it’s recorded on the records. It’s just not how it works and Michel is simply grinding his axe, taking advantage of anti-LDS sentiment caused by Prop8 support.

    6) As has been mentioned, when one takes into account the reality of zero issues on faith change and such by LDS work, the only objection one could sincerely have is that the work done is actually recognized by God. In which case… there’s no problem, right? Of course, since the LDS firmly believe God doesn’t just take a person and make them Mormon because someone else did proxy work for them, this is still a red-herring.

    7) The VAST majority of Jews do not care that we do this. In fact, the LDS church has long been recognized as having some of the best Christian/Jewish relations in the world. They constantly work together, the LDS have a University in Israel, Leaders from both groups are constantly visiting each other, and LDS believe firmly in the prophecies of the rise of Israel in the last days as the covenant people of God. It is frustrating that one or two nutcases and the media report things like this without the facts and in a way that makes it seem like an all LDS vs. all-Jew issue.

    8) The work has been done already for the people whose names have been done. Taking them off of the lists doesn’t mean the LDS don’t believe they’re no longer valid, it jsut means that the software system can’t check the names submitted as easily against people who’ve already had the work done.

    9) Some third-world countries don’t have the software yet, leading to problems with duplicate submissions. A concerted effort is made to check them though, as it’s a waste of time to do an ordinance twice, regardless of background.

  11. Nathan says:

    S,

    The only way this ritual you speak of would be worrysome to me is if he had authourity given to him by God to act in God’s name. And since the ordinance you speak of is nowhere to be found in the bible, or anywhere else I would imagine. I don’t think I would give it a second thought, unless they destroyed property in the process. In which case I would want that property replaced.

    My memories of my dead realative would not be changed because of actions in the present like those given in your example.

  12. Steve says:

    They should sue the Mormon church. The Mormons, like most Christian sects, have no respect for the religious beliefs of other cultures. Personally, I think all religions are just ignorant myths and superstitions. But the Mormons are one of the worst. The Jews should try to get a court order barring them from continuing this stupid practice and then jail anyone who doesn’t comply.

  13. Matt says:

    For those trying to say how offensive it would be for Joseph Smith or such to be “baptized” or some such into another faith:

    It’s been done and we could care less. I know several “new-agers” and such who have inducted him through rites into their practices. We firmly believe that they don’t have the authority of God and what they do is meaningless, other than it shows that at least they care enough about our welfare to try to do something.

    As long as they are not physically pulling up a body from the ground (to which the straw-man of the “dry-humping grae guy” fits into), then no problem. No graves are descrated, and the people are still counted as Jews, faithful Catholics, etc. even by LDS accounts regardless of ordinances done.Never are they considered Mormon, except by non-Mormons who don’t understand the practice.

  14. Seth R. says:

    Let’s get one thing straight here.

    Performing an LDS temple baptism for a person does NOT make them a Mormon.

    The ordinance is voluntary on the part of the dead person. They have the option of accepting it or not accepting it in the afterlife. The only record keeping our Church does on this matter is who has had the ordinance performed for them – not who is or is not “Mormon.”

    For all I know, my great, great grandfather in Germany (not a Jew), whom I was baptized on behalf of a few years back totally rejected the ordinance, wants nothing to do with the LDS faith, and thinks I’m a deluded loony for believing this stuff. Totally possible. And that’s HIS CHOICE.

    In fact, I wonder if it isn’t YOU who are arrogantly demanding that your ancestors, or the ancestors of other not be allowed the CHOICE of being a Mormon or not if they choose.

    Who died and made you king over their afterlife?

  15. steve says:

    Mormons believe the baptisms for the dead are only useful if the individual accepts the baptism in the afterlife. Otherwise, it means nothing. Yes, it would be offensive if Mormons actually counted them as members of their church, but they do not. A baptism for the dead is similar to any blessing left upon a grave … there are no assumptions as to what the individual thinks of the blessing, but it is done and there if accepted.

  16. Chris says:

    I see the defenders of the mormon faith have come out in full to justify their actions.
    Look, listen carefully to what I’m saying – NOT EVERYONE BELIEVES YOUR FANTASIES OF THE AFTERLIFE!!!!!! Even fewer believe that you have any authority at all from any god.

    Putting it even simpler – baptize anyone of my dead relatives, and I will sue your @sses without hesitation.
    This is how many people feel, regardless of what faith they profess. You have no right, not even from God, to meddle into the memories of other people’s dead ancestors.

  17. Tiffanie says:

    WHO CARES!!!

    This is so stupid I can’t believe it!!! If the Jews don’t think that Mormons have God’s Blessing to do it then why do you care? It won’t change anything… If the church has said that only direct family members can do the “baptisms” for any Jew Holocoust victem then that should be good enough. IF they (the Jews) balk at that then they are the ones persecuting now. They are asking nice folks to NOT practice their faith because it interferes with there own… Um is that not what Hitler did?

    If it doesn’t hurt you, and serves to only help (possibly) then who cares right? Honestly, what is the harm in baptisms of the dead? Mormons believe that it will help their ancestors into heaven. Do the Jews believe that these baptisms will exclude them from their version of heaven? No one has said that… at least none that I have found.. So I say… get over it and let it go….

  18. TC says:

    “What is Truth” asked Pontius Pilate ……..

    Babtism is an act of Self Presentation , as evidenced by Jesus himself . He waited until he was 30 years of age to get Babtised .

    From the Bible , “That namely Babtism is a request made to God for a good conscience”

    A request for a Clean conscience and a relationship with God , NOT a Salvation into the afterlife .

    A presentation , of one’s life to do things God’s way and not their own .

    How can a Person who is already DEAD , ( who is already forgivin by the way ) make a request to do God’s will .

    How can a Baby who doesnt yet Know what they want to do with life Make a Request to God ( It is NOT the parents Job )

    Babtism was demonstrated to be a ” Decision ” by the person getting Babtised

    From the book of Romans ” When a man has died , he has been aquitted from his sins ”

    Aquitted ,……… they are gone , ( that really puts a dent in the Hellfire theory)

    You know what , if everyone studied the Bible just out of curiosity , researched it as they would their Physics textbook , or History , or Art Appreciation , whatever class your taking or Hobby your involved in . If Just for the sake of Curiosity , truly research the Bible’s contents ………. Not a Man’s opinion from a Podium .

    The Mormon’s would have to go find another planet to live on #1 , TV Evangelists would have to stop the programs and actually get a Job somewhere #2 , The Jewish community would have to accept that Jesus actually was here #3 , The Dollar bill would have to be changed to remove the ” In God We Trust ” off of it #4 , and a lot of people would actually come to say to themselves ” hmm you know what , this principle actually makes sense , The dividing lines of Prejudice would have to be done away with .
    and 10,000 other things which would take to long to type .

    Mormos you have no understanding of the scripture , none , zero , go home

  19. Nathan says:

    TC,

    I am glad you like to study the bible is such depth.

    What do you think of 1 Cor. 15: 16, 29

    16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised;

    29 Else what shall they do which are baptized fo the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

    Sounds that it seems to have been a practice even during the times after Christ.

  20. Mark says:

    I think you all should read the long entry by MATT. It was very well stated and I checked some of it out. I think it is the first time I actually learned some good things from a comment string after an article. That doesn’t mean I am ready to become a mormon… But I feel they are good people.

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