Lemme make this 100% clear: do NOT do this to me when I hand in my dinner pail!
Some enthusiastic Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) have evidently “baptized” Obama’s mother, the late Stanley Ann Dunham who died in 1995. In their church, this is a free will offering to a dead person’s soul to find salvation, not a forced “conversion.” But lots of folks don’t see it that way.
Blogger John Aravosis checked out a reader’s tip and found that “in the heat of the presidential campaign, the Mormons had posthumously baptized Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. Baptizing the dead of other faith’s, secretly and without the consent of their families, is a common Mormon practice…”
Dunham grew up as a Christian in Kansas and reared her children with appreciation for many religions but no one faith. Obama has said that “for all her professed secularism, my mother was in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I’ve ever known.”
But LDS, she clearly was not. At least while she was alive.
Kim Farah, a spokeswoman for the LDS Church, confirms that the proxy baptisms of Dunham did take place. These are outside of LDS policy, which requires that the person registering a proxy baptism for somenone who has died can only do it for a relative, she says, however, she adds,
Well-meaning Church members sometimes bypass this instruction and submit the names of non-relatives for temple baptism. Others — perhaps pranksters or careless persons — have submitted the names of unrelated famous or infamous people, or even wholly fictitious names. These rare acts are contrary to Church policy and sometimes cause pain and embarrassment. They are also extremely difficult to prevent because the temple baptism process depends on voluntary compliance by millions of Church members around the world. The Church nearly always learns about problems after the fact.
In the case of Obama’s mother, Farah says,
The Church is looking into the circumstances of how this happened and does not yet have all the facts. However, this is a serious matter and we are treating it as such.
And I thought it was rude when they come to my front door and tell me my religious choices are wrong!
More below…This assistance from the Salt Lake Tribune is one option:
Mormons tend to see baptism for the dead as a personal favor rather than spiritual conscription. It’s not as if you have to accept it. This life or the next, you’re perfectly within your right to shout obscenities at us and slam the door.
But baptism for the dead makes a whole lot more sense than the afterlife plan some faiths have, which is that you go straight to hell if you didn’t see it their way before you died.
But what about those baptisms for the dead we’ve already performed? After all, you can’t simply unbaptize someone, right?
Actually, that’s not exactly true. If you’re upset that Grandpa may have become Mormon on the other side, I can help. It’s called Excommunication for the Dead.
Here’s how it works:
For an appropriate consideration, I can get your ancestor’s baptism for the dead thrown out. It won’t be free, though. There’s serious effort involved.
For $250, I’m willing to commit some horrible proxy sin on behalf of your ancestor that will get him (or her) excommunicated from the LDS Church.
Send me Grandpa’s name, a certified check and the woman you want the proxy sin committed with, and I’ll get right to work. I’m a professional, so it won’t take longer than the average church meeting.
For your money, you’ll receive an attractive certificate of proxy excommunication worthy of framing. Simply present the certificate to whoever is in charge on the other side.
Unless it’s the Mormons. If that’s the case, then we’re both in a lot of trouble.