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Thu Mar 1, 2012, 02:18 AM

Posthumous baptisms. Why they're offensive...

I was catching up on some reading in GD and saw some threads on it, and was bothered by a lot of the 'It's harmless religious symbolism' type sentiments I saw. From what I've read of this baptising people after they're dead, it appears to have been done predominately to Jews, and that the Mormon church was posthumously baptising Holocaust victims up until 1995 when they agreed to stop it....

I'm an atheist, and if I can see so clearly that it's an offensive and hurtful thing to do, I don't understand why there's people who don't see it. Sure, it's some religious thing and the people being baptised are long-dead and can't be hurt anymore, but that's not what it's about. It's the families who get hurt by it, because they're here to see their family member's memory being disrespected and abused. When I see people like Anne Frank and other Holocaust victims being targeted by this stuff, I see it as an attempt to try to strip away their identity as Jews...

When it comes to symbolic gestures towards Holocaust victims, one I'd point out as being the complete opposite in intent and effect than the insensitive ones I've read about lately is one I read about a few years ago (I think it was in a book by Tom Segev) where one of the first actions after the declaration of independence for Israel was the posthumous citizenship granted to Holocaust victims. The difference between those two aren't that the latter wasn't religious, it's that the latter was a powerful and moving gesture that would have given some comfort to relatives of those who died...

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Reply Posthumous baptisms. Why they're offensive... (Original post)
Violet_Crumble Mar 2012 OP
Behind the Aegis Mar 2012 #1

Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 02:34 AM

1. Well stated.

This nonsense has been compounded, IMO, by some of the ignorant and dismissivness of responses. I have explained to a number of posters it isn't about "effectiveness" of posthumous baptisms. It almost comes down to the phrase "it's the thought that counts." And, really, IMO, that is what the real issue is. Think about it, in what way does calling a gay man "FAGGOT" really affect him? It is "just a word" and most of us were brought up with "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." However, anyone who knows about emotional well-being and self-confidence, words do carry impact. I almost guarantee if a Republican or anyone started talking about "faggots", that there wouldn't be a "debate" about why gays were offended or how they are "manufacturing outrage" even though "faggot" is nothing but a word.

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