Mike Kueber's Blog

March 19, 2012

A Mormon baptism

Filed under: People,Politics,Religion — Mike Kueber @ 1:35 am
Tags: , , ,

Maureen Dowd, one of my favorite liberal columnists, recently opined that Mitt Romney seemed to be trying to separate himself from his religious beliefs.    That is not surprising since he is a devout Mormon and many Christians think of the Mormon religion (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) as a cult. 

Cult is defined as a religion that is considered as strange or extreme by the mainstream population.  If you dig deep enough, you could probably find things about most religions that are cultish, but Dowd took it upon herself in her column to focus on why her readers should consider Mormons to be a cult. 

No, she did not talk about the religion’s acceptance on polygamy in the 19th century.  And she didn’t mention its religious undergarments, which Mormons supposedly wear to remind themselves of sacred covenants.  Instead she focused on the Mormon belief that an individual cannot get to heaven without a Mormon baptism.  Because of this belief, Mormons have developed a practice for baptizing people, especially ancestor, who have already died. 

This baptizing practice became controversial when Mormons baptize people who aren’t ancestors – e.g., Elvis Presley or victims of the Holocaust.  According to Wikipedia, however, this controversy has caused the Mormons to stop the practice, but that didn’t stop Maureen Dowd from basing her column on the practice (or describing Romney’s new “7,400-square-foot home featuring an additional 3,600 square feet of finished underground space.”  I wonder if she has an ulterior motive.    

Incidentally, Mormons believe that baptism is effective only with total submersion.  I am always amazed when religions make an important distinction between things that obviously should not be significant.  For example, religions often make a similarly important distinction between whether children can be baptized.

Also incidentally, Dowd mentioned in her column that Romney was apparently flummoxed by his primary opponent Rick Santorum and his immigrant, blue-collar roots.  I find it interesting that Santorum can claim immigrant, blue-collar roots even though his parents were born in America and had white-collar jobs.  That reminds me of President Obama portraying himself a deserving affirmative-action baby even though both of his parents had doctorate degrees.

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