Some Mormons baptized Obama's dead mother

 

This is an amazing intrusion by one religion into a White House family.

Or add your own description of its significance.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

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."

 

MORMONS BAPTIZE OBAMA'S MOTHER
Wes Thayer
Wes Thayer
May 06, 2009 12:50 AM
SO WHAT! NOT A BAD THING. THE MORMONS FELT THEY WERE DOING A GOOD THING AND A SERVICE. IF THE CATHOLICS, LUTHERNS, METHODIST OR MUSLIMS WERE TO ALSO BAPTIZE THE PRESIDENTS MOTHER SEEMS TO ME THAT WOULD BE OKAY TOO. CERTAINLY THEN THE MOTHER WOULD BE WELL BAPTIZED AND HAVE A CHOICE IN THE HEREAFTER, WHATEVER HER BELIEFS ARE. WHY MAKE A BIG AND BAD THING ABOUT AN ACT OF KINDNESS.
Pretentious Mormons
Pete
Pete
May 06, 2009 10:31 AM
Who do Mormons think they are to imply that a person's religion of choice in life is secondary (read, inconsequential) compared to that of the LDS church?

This whole baptism practice smacks of arrogance.

About Ray

Ray has been a Western journalist since 1979. He's now High Country News senior editor, based in Bozeman, Montana. He's earned national recognition including a George Polk Award for political reporting, a Sidney Hillman Foundation Journalism Award for investigating oil-field accidents, and an Investigative Reporters & Editors scroll for going undercover as a prison inmate. He's had three novels published.