COMMENTARY: The problem with Daniel Pearl’s Mormon baptism

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RNS photo courtesy Daniel Pearl Foundation.

RNS photo courtesy Daniel Pearl Foundation.

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(RNS) The posthumous Mormon baptism of slain journalist Daniel Pearl shows that it's not just the proxy "baptism" of Holocaust victims that is problematic. Because of Judaism's communal sense of identity, performing this ritual for any Jews without their community's consent, raises basic questions of fairness and respect. By Philip A. Cunningham.

  • gilhow

    This kind of practice makes the Mormons deserving of the description as a cult.

  • Bart

    You have to laugh at this idiocy.

    They banned the practice two years ago, in response to Jewish outrage, yet can’t quite seem to get it to stop. Why? Because their doctrine supports it. Hell, they baptised Anne Frank nine times so far..I guess the first eight didn’t take.

    Just another example of what religious delusion does to ones brain.

  • sheila0405

    Well, since a baptism cannot be valid unless it is done without coercion, the Jewish people need not worry that any of their graves have been robbed. What amazes me is that the LDS would publicly state who they have baptized in the first place. That can only strain relationships between religious groups.

  • baguioboy

    It should be noted that the LDS Church does not consider those who have been baptized by proxy to be members:

    It should also be noted that members of the Church are asked to only be baptized for those related to them, a policy which was reiterated in response to this issue:

    Thus, this was a unfortunate incident which went against Church policy, not the result of any institutional action.

  • gilhow

    This Mormon baptism practice might be sincere on the part of serious Mormons, but they should consider what an affront it is to those who have no part in it and whose survivors want no part in it. It diminishes the Mormon faith with a hocus-pocus practice that involves no choice, so how can it hold any serious meaning. It is an aspect of the Mormon faith that has kept Mitt Romney swimming in the mid-percentile of his best wins. In short, it will cause concern among many voters toward any candidate whose faith involves such practices. We can and must maintain a strict separation between state and church. History is loaded with too much ugliness from times when they were mixed. It’s not always easy to separate a person’s faith from concerns about a political office the person aims for. Though it’s not baptism, Rich Santorum’s display of faith in politics raises just as many concerns.