Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Turnabout Is Fair Play

From Dan Savage's latest column:
HEY, EVERYBODY: You know how Mormons “baptize” dead people who weren’t Mormons—including Holocaust victims—because Mormons believe they have a right to choose Mormonism for the deceased? And you know how the Mormon Church says that being gay is a choice? The same church that doesn’t think you should have a choice about being posthumously baptized? Well, now you can choose homosexuality for dead Mormons! Just go to, enter the name of a deceased Mormon or ask the site to find a dead Mormon for you, and—presto!—that dead Mormon gets to have a gay afterlife!
I was bemused by the utter hysteria that the revelation of the postmortem baptism by Mormons of Gentiles produced. For example: "The Mormon practice of converting dead people is so despicable and sickening" -- just one of many. You'd think that the performance of this rite actually did something, had some effect. Which, of course, it doesn't. Your late loved ones and revered historical figures will not become Mormons, they are safely beyond the reach of any intervention now. seems a perfectly reasonable response, and just so there will be no confusion about this, I entered Orson Scott Card's name in there. I know he's not dead yet, but why should he have to wait? And, of course, this site is every bit as efficacious as the Mormon rite.

(The very first commenter on this column at The Stranger pointed to the next logical step: since the LDS also do posthumous marriages, because you can't enter into the Kingdom if you're single -- which would have surprised Jesus and Paul -- it is legitimate and indeed a blessing to posthumously gay-marry those poor dead Mormons who otherwise would have been shut out of Heaven.)

Come to think of it, though, the fuss over the Mormon rite reminds me of the way that many people, straight and gay, react to speculations or evidence that this or that historical figure (or even fictional character) may have "known the joys of homosexuality," as ADMANG puts it. It's as though we were posthumously recruiting them.* The suggestion is still commonly seen as an accusation, even in our supposedly more enlightened times.

*The comments on that article are entertaining. For comparison, see this helpful site. Aren't you glad that liberals and progressives aren't gullible, credulous fools who believe everything they see on the Web, unlike the fools who watch FOX News?