Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mormon Church investigates baptism of Obama's mother

Ben Smith's Blog: Mormon Church investigates baptism of Obama's mother -

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is investigating the posthumous 'baptism' of President Barack Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, as a 'serious breach' of religious code, a spokeswoman said.

Church records published by a liberal blog, Americablog, show that Dunham, who died in 1995, was baptised last June 4 in Provo, Utah, and received endowment, another sacrament, a week later.

'The offering of baptism to our deceased ancestors is a sacred practice to us and it is counter to Church policy for a Church member to submit names for baptism for persons to whom they are not related,' said spokeswoman Kim Farah in an emailed statement. 'The Church is looking into the circumstances of how this happened and does not yet have all the facts. However, this is a serious matter and we are treating it as such.'

I know Mormons get a lot of criticism about there "retrospective baptism" practices, but I have to say I don't see the harm in it.

The activity, although condemned by almost all other Christian groups, does have New Testament basis. [See 1 Cor. 15:29]

More than that, considering all the religions in the world that want to exclude people from heaven, the Mormons are remarkably inclusive.

I can't see how this is worse than Catholics claiming all the saved don't have to be Christians but "are saved through Christ," Buddhists claiming everyone has a "buddha-nature", Muslims claiming everyone is "born Muslim" (so converts are called "reverts"), or even Jews believing the Noachide covenant applies to all.

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