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Apostasy for the Dead; and a new article

From: Steve C
Sent on: Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:33 AM

Greetings Thinkers,

Tuesday evening at Drinking Skeptically, the Salt City Skeptics stumbled upon an idea. Thanks to Dave McKean’s fast acting, the idea is now reality. Check out the “Apostasy for the Dead” page on Facebook by clicking here now.

The idea emerged from a discussion of the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead, which is once again in the news. The outrage du jour is over a posthumous baptism performed on behalf of the parents of prominent Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal.

The 15 of us in attendance Tuesday night didn’t share the outrage. Granted, to my knowledge none of us is related to Holocaust victims or survivors; perhaps that would change our perspective. As it was, we agreed that (1) sure, baptism for the dead is odd (with which most Mormons agree, with pride); (2) it’s kinda funny; (3) it’s presumptuous, even arrogant; and (4) it’s harmless.

So, if anyone reading this cares to perform any sort of proxy ceremony for any of us after we croak, I think I can speak for Tuesday night’s group in saying: knock yourself out.

Then came the idea of Apostasy for the Dead. I wish you could have been there. It was in a spirit of fun, with nary a hint of meanness. As most of you know, playing nice is part of what Salt City Skeptics is about.

Besides, the dead retain their right to accept or reject the proxy apostasy.

—Steve Cuno

P.S. On another matter, I have a new article today on Randi. org. Click here to read “Care and Feeding of Homunculi.” (Between you and me: one of my homunculi is named after a local brewmaster some of you may know.)

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