Last night I caught the Colbert Report for the first time in a long time. Thanks to my impeccable timing, I tuned in just in time to watch Stephen Colbert perform a proxy cicrumcision on dead members of the Church of Latter Day Saints by snipping the tip off an uncooked hot dog with a cigar cutter. He then popped the tip into his mouth. I can only hope that it was kosher.
Upon watching this masterful display, I learned that the Mormons were up to their old tricks again and that new reports had emerged that they’re still posthumously baptizing dead Jews into the Mormon faith by proxy. This is because 1) Mormons are fucking crazy, and 2) Mormons are fucking crazy.
Normally I’m not one to point to a religious group and openly ridicule them. Part of who I am is to be tolerant and accepting of everyone’s personal beliefs, whether or not I agree with them, but there are times that even my own patience and goodwill gets worn out. The straw that broke the camel’s back in this instance wasn’t that there are alleged reports that the Mormons posthumously baptized Anne Frank; it’s that she was allegedly baptized again.
This isn’t the first time Mormons have been called out for baptizing dead Jews. There were agreements set in place in 1995 to limit the practice, especially in cases where the Church of LDS was baptizing Jews that died in the Holocaust or spent time in Nazi concentration camps, yet just a few days ago it was revealed that the church welcomed the parents of fabled Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal to their ranks.
There are things you might want to know about the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Some of this information comes from the excellent memoir Leaving the Saints by Martha Beck, a woman who grew up as a Mormon but left after confronting her father, a noted Mormon apologist and all around nice guy, on his sexual abuse of her as a child, and how she was ostracized by the community for not just lying back and taking it (ahem). I heartily recommend you pick it up and give it a good read, though be warned: it’s going to be hard to get through.
Mormons wear magical underpants. Both men and women are encouraged to wear these “temple garments” under their street clothes at all times, sort of like how Peter Parker wears his Spider-suit under his clothes. While this isn’t terribly different from, say, an orthodox Jew wearing a yarmulke or a member of a Hasidic sect wearing a Tallit, but you don’t sleep with them on, or, as Martha Beck recounts in her memoir, keep in contact with them while you’re in the shower by sticking your hand out past the curtain and holding on to them.
- You get your own planet once you die. Yes, the Mormon afterlife consists of righteous Mormons getting their own planet (sometimes their own universe!) that they may inhabit and have “spirit children” with their wives. Yes, wives plural. While the modern LDS church may have outlawed polygamy, if your wife dies and you remarry, then once everyone’s dead you get both wives to help populate your new planet.
- Mormons think they’re Jews. No, seriously. They think that they’re the lost 13th tribe of Israel or something. This has led to the Church of LDS trying to cozy up to modern Judaism – or at least co-opt dead ones by, you know, baptizing them.
- Mormons hate fags. While the majority of Judeo-Christian religions will point to Leviticus as justification for their homophobia (though they skip over the just-as-stringent ban on shrimp cocktails for some reason), the Church of LDS took an active and well-publicized role in campaigning for California’s Prop 8, thus proving that the whole “separation of church and state” thing just wasn’t for them. You know what, LDS? You want to throw your hat into the political ring, that’s fine; just give up your tax exempt status and donate away. Start with Mitt Romney – I’m sure that asshole isn’t paying enough in taxes.
- Mormon writers are too goddamn popular. Yes, everyone knows that Stephenie Meyer is a member of the Church of LDS, but did you know that Orson Scott Card is one as well? Though I suppose anyone who’s tried to read the Alvin Maker series couldn’t figure that out. But wait, Dragonlance nerds; did you know that Tracy Hickman is a Mormon, too? Don’t worry, Margaret Weis isn’t Mormon – she’s just a bad writer. Oh, and don’t think that it’s just bad fantasy and science-fiction writers: Anne Perry, wildly popular Victorian mystery writer and convicted murderer, is also a member of the Church of LDS.
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, and neither was it designed to be so. Like I said, I’m not really one to advocate negativity towards a religious group, but the Church of LDS is kind of digging their own grave here. Honestly I could deal with the magical underpants and the getting your own planet thing when you die, or even them believing that they’re the lost 13th tribe of Israel, but Mormonism, much like many other major religions, loses credibility to me when homophobia is a core tenet of their belief system. The continuing posthumous conversion of dead Jews just makes things worse; The Twilight thing is just the extra filling in the shit sandwich, as far as I’m concerned.