Yesterday, I ran across this story about how The Mormon Church was considering performing a posthumous "Proxy Baptism" for Elie Wiesel in spite of the fact that he certainly would object to being Baptized. Oh...and he's also not dead. Oopsie!
Frankly, this is one of those things that twists my mind into so many directions I have a hard time nailing down my own opinion on it. I'm left with a case of "On the one hand; on the other hand; on the third hand; Can I borrow a hand or two 'cause I'm fresh out."
Let's start with my first knee-jerk reaction: Who the fuck do these people think they are to take it upon themselves to baptize anyone who didn't ask them to? I mean really! If you haven't already read the linked story, please go back and do so. It's not just Jews who have had a history of having to fend off forced conversions, but we've got a pretty solid history with the practice. We're not real big on martyrs, but the few we do have tend to be folks who refused to denounce their faith. The idea that anyone would come along later and perform some kind of involuntary baptism is really about as offensive as you can get.
Not only that, it would appear that the Mormons have previously promised not to do it any more, but they're just ignoring that and going ahead anyway. I'm officially putting the Mormon Church on notice that I'd appreciate it if you didn't baptize me now or at any time in the future. I haven't accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and I'm not likely to do so any time in the future. (If, during some unforeseen afterlife, I discover that I've been betting on the wrong horse all along, I'm pretty sure I'll be in a better position to rectify the situation than any of you in Utah will be. Or it'll be too late and I'll just have to live(?) with the consequences.)
Shortly after pitching an internal hissy fit over it, I find myself having another reaction: Who Cares? I mean, really. I don't believe in the Mormon Church's beliefs or rituals, so what possible power can they have over me? In my mind, it's the rough equivalent to someone signing me up for the NRA's newsletter, paying for the subscription themselves, and having the newsletter sent to their mailing address. Weird, yes, but would it really be any skin off of my nose? The only potential effect that might have on me would be if some future biographer digs up the record of the subscription and has trouble trying to understand my previously hidden fascination with guns. And why I was receiving mail in Montana?
On the Third Hand: What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander! How's about if we start converting some of them? Obviously, an individual's personal beliefs don't enter into it, so maybe we should just convert a bunch of Mormons to other religions. Hey Mitt, I don't know if you're circumcised or not, but a symbolic drop of blood is required even if you are. I can schedule a visit from the Mohel at your convenience. And there's no reason to limit this to Jewish conversions. I'm sure Mormon's will be just as appreciative to be unknowingly made into Hindus, Buddhists, or Hare Krishnas! Everyone can join in on the fun! (Painful rituals will score extra point!)
I swear I had at least one more reaction to this, but my head hurts and I've completely forgotten what it was. Feel free to tell me what else I think about it. I'm confused enough to throw it into the mix.