Conservative Apologist Trying to Defuse an Issue for Mr. Romney
One of the more disgusting items that has come to light in the current political campaign is that members of the Mormon Church have posthumously baptized Jews. In many cases this involved men and women who perished in the Holocaust.
The issue is back in the news following reports that Anne Frank, who died at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, was recently baptized by proxy at a Mormon temple in the
. Relatives of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and the parents of the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal were also submitted for proxy baptisms. Dominican Republic
Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby (who is Jewish) is outraged, but not by this incredible violation of personal faith by zealots, but by the fact that some Jews and some Jewish leaders are offended. Really, he is. Here is what he fulminating against.
“Holocaust victims were killed solely because they were Jews,’’ fumes Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “And here comes the Mormon Church taking away their Jewishness. It’s like killing them twice.’’ The
, pronouncing itself “outraged,’’ declares that the latest proxy baptisms “make a mockery’’ of Jewish-Mormon relations. Wiesel himself insists that Mitt Romney, as “the most famous and important Mormon in the country,’’ has a moral obligation to tell his church: “Stop it.’’ Simon Wiesenthal Center
And Mr. Jacoby’s reaction
But if anyone should be told to “stop it,’’ it’s men like Foxman and Wiesel, whose reactions to this issue have been unworthy and unfair.
And his is his further excuse for this
Even to the most zealous Mormon, proxy baptism is simply the offering of a choice — it gives non-Mormons in the afterlife a chance to accept the gospel, should they wish to. You don’t have to buy the theology — I certainly don’t — to recognize that its message is benign.
Everyone should be aware of what the real issue is here. Mr. Jacoby is a strong Conservative, and this issue could prove highly embarrassing for Mr. Romney, as well it should. Even Mr. Jacoby with his limited intellect and his political biases must know the history of forced Baptisms upon Jewish people. It was church policy for centuries. For hundreds of years forced Baptisms was the very definition of persecution of Jews. Has Mr. Jacoby never even read The Merchant of Venice?
So Mr. Jacoby has taken it upon himself to try and protect Mr. Romney. This is politics, pure and simple. And it is an indication of just how far Conservatives are willing to go, that they would tolerate what even non Jews would consider an odious practice in order to promote their political positions. In a political season that has sunk to an historical low in decency, surely Mr. Jacoby’s commentary sets the bar even lower.