Wednesday, February 15, 2012

proxy baptism

i've said it before elsewhere, but i really don't mind if mormons want to baptize people posthumously, even if the deceased would not have wanted it. as a non-believer i think baptism has no significance whatsoever. so if doing some ceremony makes them happy, why would i care?

the main argument i have seen against posthumous baptisms is that it's somehow disrespectful to the deceased. but the mormon church isn't intending to disrespect someone by baptizing them into their faith. the mormons believe in mormonism, so to them baptism is a good thing. when they posthumously baptized holocaust victims, from the mormon point of view, they were saving them. it's not meant to be mean to anyone. of course, the victim's surviving family members are not mormon, so they don't see it that way. but they also would not believe that a proxy baptism has any divine power. without that divine magic, the ceremony is just someone being dunked in the water, followed by some data entry in the LDS computer system. so why does that matter?

this issue seems to bring out strong feelings in people, but i don't understand why it would. unless you buy the premise that a mormon proxy baptism ceremony does something, it does nothing. i'm no more opposed to being proxy baptized than the idea that someone i've never met might fall into a dunk tank at a carnival. to these heathen eyes, there is little practical difference.