This is an amazing intrusion by one religion into a White House family.
Or add your own description of its significance.
President Barack Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who died in 1995, was baptized posthumously into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last year during her son's campaign, according to Salt Lake City-based researcher Helen Radkey.
Mormons often do such "proxy baptisms" of dead people -- without permission from relatives of the dead.
And it's highly controversial ...
The Trib goes on:
LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter confirmed that someone did perform a proxy baptism for Dunham, but said it was “counter to [LDS] Church policy for a church member to submit names for baptism for persons to whom they are not related.”
... Such proxy baptisms are nothing more than a way to give people in the spirit world a chance to reject or accept the gospel, Elder Lance Wickman, a member of the church's First Quorum of Seventy, said in November.
The baptism doesn't cancel out a person's "life story," Wickman said.
Still, the practice has prompted ongoing conflicts with various religious groups that object to such baptisms. Beginning in 1995, Jewish organizations complained about proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims. In response, Wickman said, the church removed 260,000 names of victims submitted to its International Genealogical Index.
Since then, he said 43,000 additional names -- 42,000 of them identified by the church -- had made their way into the system, only to be removed. Wickman called this "persuasive evidence" that the church was doing all it could to uphold its end of the deal.
Early last year, the Vatican called LDS baptisms for the dead a "detrimental practice" and directed each Catholic diocesan bishop "not to cooperate with the erroneous practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
The baptisms of dead Holocaust victims have gotten the most publicity in the past. The Mormon Church says it is "pained by the perception" that such baptisms are disrespectful of Holocaust victims and families. Hundreds of Salt Lake Tribune readers have commented about it.
Obama and his staff had no comment in the Trib story.
Helen Radkey, the researcher who says she found the evidence about Obama's mother, told the Trib:
"The LDS Church is walking a fine line when the mother of our very special president has been posthumously baptized and endowed in a Utah temple ... It sends out the message that the religion she chose while she was alive was not good enough. And that spills onto her son, who is our president."