I wouldn’t have bothered to bring up this issue–disturbing as it is–when it looked like the Romney campaign was cratering. But now that it looks like he has as good a chance as any of the GOP candidates I think it’s worth knowing. It has to do with moral leadership which Mitt seems to be proclaiming every time he opens his mouth.
I’m surprised at how many people were unaware of this Mormon practice which was only–officially–curbed in 1995, although according to this article from the Salt Lake Tribune the practice continued beyond the curb on its “inappropriate” use.
The practice, sometimes known as “Temple work” involves a Mormon “standing in” for a dead person to allow said dead one to be baptized as a Mormon and enter Mormon heaven. It became an issue when it turned out that many Mormons were retrospectively baptizing Holocaust victims such as Anne Frank and other dead Jews including Einstein and Freud as Mormons in this way. Not only that, some Mormons had baptized less savory figures in history including Stalin, Mao, Ivan the Terrible–and even Hitler himself (along with Eva Braun so they could share Mormon heaven together).
While the Church did not encourage the baptism of Nazis, the doctrine was not changed until 1995 by which time Eichman, Himmler and Heydrich joined the Furher among the baptized. I know: this sounds too strange and offensive to be true, but Mormons are big on conversions and it’s a lot easier to convert the compliant dead than the living.
As I mentioned, in 1995, after protest from Holocaust survivor groups, the Church sought to end the practice of baptizing “inappropriate” dead people, and it deserves credit for this action however belated, but the practice continued for at least some years thereafter.
We know that Mitt Romney didn’t speak up publicly against his church’s second class citizenship for people of color, although he claimed to have wept with joy in 1978 (when he was 31) and this doctrine was discarded. Did he speak up at all against the shameful posthumous baptism of Holocaust victims? Of Hitler? How does he feel about it now? Why has no one raised the issue during the campaign?
Not the issue of the practice which was ludicrous and lamentable, but the issue of whether Mitt Romney felt any responsibility to dissociate himself from, or protest the practice. It’s what they call a character question. It has to do with “moral leadership”.
Does anyone have an answer? Doesn’t anyone care?