There’s a website called familysearch.org that allows you to search through the records of the Mormon Church and find information about people who are now dead, who have since been “baptized” into the Mormon faith…
Obviously, a “proxy baptism” has absolutely no effect. People don’t magically become Mormon after they die… because, you know, they’re dead. (I know, I know, that sounds obvious, but try telling that to a Mormon.)
Still, it can be hurtful to the relatives of the people who are now magically Mormon as well as anyone who wants to preserve their legacy:
“I am a Holocaust survivor. It is so offensive in the sense that Holocaust victims were killed solely because they were Jews. And here comes the Mormon church taking away their Jewishness,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “It’s like killing them twice.”
A lot of the work exposing what Mormon churches have been doing has been done by Helen Radkey.
She’s has gotten access into the website for years thanks to the help of Mormon confidants (presumably ex-Mormons) and now the church is trying to stop her.
Their solution: If you even try to search on their website for, say, Anne Frank, they’re suspending your account.
“I have been effectively stopped,” says Radkey, who shared a log-in screen shot, taken at Salt Lake City’s Main Library last week, that reveals a red box reading: “Your account has been locked temporarily. Please try again later.”
“Obviously, they have been very concerned about the data that has been coming out and said, ‘We have do something about it,’ ” Radkey says, adding “of course” they are targeting me.
Asked whether the new restriction is directed at Radkey, LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy released the following statement:
“The church is committed to preventing the misguided practice of submitting the names of Holocaust victims and prominent individuals for proxy baptism. In addition to reiterating its policy to members, the church has implemented a new technological barrier to prevent abuse of the New FamilySearch system. Anyone trying to access names that have been restricted will have their account suspended and be required to contact FamilySearch to establish their family relationship in order to have their access reinstated. Abuse of the system will result in the permanent loss of database access.”
In other words, “Stop embarrassing us by exposing our creepy, disrespectful rituals.”
Radkey did something great, though. Even if she can’t use their system anymore, her work has led to a slew of articles documenting another dumb religious ritual. Even if the proxy baptisms change nothing, shedding some light on this Mormon belief exposes yet another religious delusion.
(Thanks to Ubi Dubium for the link!)