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« Suffragin' Succotash The RantsFuck the Big Three »

Yeah, Well, My Imaginary Friend Just Beat Up Your Imaginary Friend!
2008.11.11 (Tue) 15:15

Ah, the sound of children bickering. Only these aren't children. Well, not literally, anyway.

Holocaust survivors said Monday they are through trying to negotiate with the Mormon church over posthumous baptisms of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps, saying the church has repeatedly violated a 13-year-old agreement barring the practice.

...

Baptism by proxy allows faithful Mormons to have their ancestors baptized into the 178-year-old church, which they believe reunites families in the afterlife.

Using genealogy records, the church also baptizes people who have died from all over the world and from different religions. Mormons stand in as proxies for the person being baptized and immerse themselves in a baptismal pool.

...

"We don't think any faith group has the right to ask another to change its doctrines," Wickman said. "If our work for the dead is properly understood ... it should not be a source of friction to anyone. It's merely a freewill offering."

Wow. Let's count the layers of nonsense here. First, religion itself is nonsensical, so the baptisms performed by the Mormons on live people are just silly. On top of that, their practice of baptism-by-proxy of dead people who have never indicated their desire to be baptized as Mormons is even more silly. Then there's the absurd little nugget that the Jews involved are offended by these silly, silly fake ceremonies that have no impact on anyone anyway, which is even more silly. Finally, the offense that the Mormons are taking at the perceived request to change their practices tops the silliness cake off quite nicely. Anyone got some candles? Not that we want to blow them out, mind you — we'd just like to set fire to the whole affair.

Folks, both of these belief systems are just plain nonsensical from a rational standpoint, whether you indulge in them or not. What the fuck does it matter if some other group of silly people pretends to posthumously induct your silly people into their silly club? Seriously, who gives a fuck? What, are these already-dead Jews going to be sitting on a cloud in Jewish Heaven, enjoying the afterlife, when all of a sudden the Cruise Director of Jewish Heaven flies over on little angel wings, scans a clipboard containing the monthly Mormon data, and pipes up:

"Hey, Irv, sorry — it says here that you're a Mormon now. Grab your stuff and head over to Mormon Heaven — but you can leave your yarmulke...they'll be providing magic underwear when you get there."

Not too astoundingly, of course, our silly argument holds more water than the actual silly argument put forth:

Michel suggested that posthumous baptisms of Holocaust victims play into the hands of Holocaust deniers.

"They tell me, that my parents' Jewishness has not been altered but ... 100 years from now, how will they be able to guarantee that my mother and father of blessed memory who lived as Jews and were slaughtered by Hitler for no other reason than they were Jews, will someday not be identified as Mormon victims of the Holocaust?" Michel said Monday.

Gee, Mr. Michel, how can we guarantee that this little exercise in idiocy won't change the historical record? Are you fucking kidding us? Fuck, what the hell does a little Mormon spreadsheet matter to anybody except the fucking Mormons? They're not exactly going to be the definitive keepers of history a few hundred years from now. Let's face it: these are people who have decided that, historically speaking, a Middle Eastern Jew from two millennia ago was wandering around North America, the Native Americans are a lost Jewish tribe, and Joseph Smith saw fucking angels (and, after losing the first transcriptions of his divine revelation, "read" a "different" version that was also totally, completely, for-real the God's-honest truth, no really, even if it's a little bit slightly different this time, I swear!). For fuck's sake, does anyone really believe that their little Microsoft Excel file of posthumously converted Mormon Jews is going to replace the actual history books? Even if they put in some devastatingly cool macros? (Is ƒx=MORMONIZE(J1,J6000000) a valid function?) The only people who take the Mormons seriously are the Mormons. And, frankly, we're not entirely sure they do. (Seriously...magic underwear?)

We really should just point out that this fucking insidiously asinine crap merely punches up yet again that any one religion is stupid enough...but the fact that there are so many of these silly mythologies, all utterly contradicting each other, is just further evidence of the stupidity of it all. Especially given the bullshit these assfucks pull on each other. The only saving grace is that, while they're focused on their petty religioso squabbles, maybe their efforts to push their beliefs as law will fall by the wayside.

With all this outrage from Jews over the Johnny-come-lately conversions of dead Jews to Mormonism, how come they've never been particularly pissed about the entire Christian fairy tale being based on the conversion of one dead Jew to the Granddaddy of all Christianity? Obviously, we don't think they should be, but a little consistency in their internal logic would be nice. For a change. Fuck, man.

And just when you think the silliness can't be laid on any thicker, the last sentence of the article takes it to new and dizzying heights:

In May, the Vatican ordered Catholic dioceses worldwide to withhold member registries from Mormons so that Catholics could not be baptized.

Whew! Thank fucking Christ they dodged that bullet. After all, Catholic angels are former nuns — they don't just escort you out of heaven, they kick your ass on the way out the door.


— • —
[  Filed under: % Religion  ]

Comments (19)

Darthcynic, 2008.11.11 (Tue) 16:20 [Link] »

If they as most religious do, believe that their chosen superstitions are the only and one true way, surely they should not care one jot what all the heathens think?

Makes me wonder if many believers somewhere in the back of their collective minds know it really is bogus.



Silly Green Monkey, 2008.11.13 (Thu) 11:58 [Link] »

I'd guess it's more about intolerance, the Jews see the Mormons as forcing their beliefs on the dead who cannot protest. You're right that it's "my god better than your god:, but that's exactly the problem--the Jews do believe that being Mormon is wrong. Yet the Mormons are sullying the names of their ancestors by replacing their religion with a 'better' one?
Mormon genealogies are used as references even now, I wouldn't discount the effect they could have on future historians (even many now are rather lazy in seeking sources).



Crosius, 2008.11.15 (Sat) 11:52 [Link] »

"After all, Catholic angels are former nuns they don't just escort you out of heaven, they kick your ass on the way out the door."

That's just silly. Everyone knows Catholic nuns don't have legs under their cloister -- from the sternum down they're smooth, sterile cylinders that hover on a righteous field of piety-fed antigravity. Want proof? They never SIT.

Also, corporal punishment by nuns is meted out with a ruler. Though the heavenly rulers are probably marked in cubits.



The Two Percent Company, 2008.11.17 (Mon) 23:45 [Link] »

Crosius — we'd say you're confusing nuns with some kind of new Terminator model, but honestly, we can't see much difference. We will now commence four nights in a row of nightmares featuring Robert Patrick in a habit.

Silly Green Monkey — believe us, we understand why the Jews are saying they're upset. We just think it's really, truly, incredibly silly.

Listen, even if we look at this from within the context of the irrational (read: "religious" — they're all irrational) Jewish belief system, we don't see why this should matter to them. To wit: if they (the Jews) are right in their beliefs, and the Mormons are wrong, then what does it matter if the Mormons' fake religion has a meaningless ceremony uselessly declaring that some dead Jews are now Mormons? Surely the Jewish God — you know, that one true God under that one true religion — won't hold anything against Jews who never willingly participated in these ceremonies. (Though we understand that the animals used in bestiality scenarios are, in fact, condemned to death under Biblical law. Just another fair and just call at home plate from your friendly neighborhood asshole, God. No wonder so many bible-idiots condemn a woman who was a victim of rape — at least that's consistent. But we digress....)

Are these actions of the Mormons offensive to the Jews? That's sort of like asking if the perpetual loser status bestowed upon Wile E. Coyote is offensive to coyotes — the entire premise is just so terribly goofy and irrelevant to reality that we can't believe that any rational person would call it offensive (or, in fact, take offense). At most, the behavior of these Mormons calls for a roll of the eyes, or a flip of the bird — but not the wailing and the gnashing of teeth that we seem to be seeing here.

Seriously, if we had a ritual ceremony just among ourselves, which had nothing to do with you whatsoever, and "officially" declared (in our view, anyway) that all of your dead-and-gone ancestors are now members of our Witchy coven, what would it matter? Would you seriously think it makes a difference to you? We know you're probably in agreement with us here, Monkey, but now extend that: you don't think our "witchcraft" (pretending for the moment that we practiced it) has any bearing on reality, so our opinion on the affiliation of your ancestors is insignificant to you...the Jews don't think Mormonism has any bearing on reality, so this Mormon silliness should be insignificant to the Jews.

Again, we're not expecting rationality from the religiosos, here — we're talking about religion, for fuck's sake — but, every now and then, a little consistency in their stream of thought would be nice. If you don't think someone else's religion is remotely real, then what precisely does it matter if they pretend to "convert" your dead relatives?

And if it's about a politically incorrect "insult" or some such bullshit concept — then fuck the hypocrites, frankly. We're not addressing Jews in general, here, but anyone who claims membership in a club that places them on high above the rest of all humanity, merely by virtue of the opinion of a fictitious superhero prone to temper tantrums, should really shut the hell up when it comes to feeling "insulted."

Regarding the use of Mormon records, we have no doubt that their genealogies are used to document population data and such. But given the fact that we (and historians and scholars) know that they do these posthumous baptisms, we can't believe that any rational person would ever use their data to count the number of Mormons in any meaningful way. By extension, we really can't see any merit to the claim that their data may one day make it seem like many of the people who died in the Holocaust were Mormons rather than Jews.

Who would ever take such a claim coming from anyone even remotely seriously? What, six million Eastern European...Mormons? Killed because of all of Der Führer's genocidal rants against...Mormons? The claim is ludicrous on its face. If, someday, we as a society are willing to accept that as fact, based on nothing more than the dubious data of the Mormons, then we'll be so far gone at that point that it really just won't matter any more — stick a fork in humanity, we're done.



Silly Green Monkey, 2008.11.19 (Wed) 08:16 [Link] »

"If, someday, we as a society are willing to accept that as fact, based on nothing more than the dubious data of the Mormons, then we'll be so far gone at that point that it really just won't matter any more � stick a fork in humanity, we're done."

Not necessarily--but of course if no one actually cares how many Mormons there were thousands of years ago in the twentieth century, I don't see how it could possibly matter how many they think there were.



Jason Spicer, 2008.11.20 (Thu) 00:46 [Link] »

TwoPercenters, I agree with you as far as you've gone. It is silly to take offense at the Mormon practice in question for the religious reasons you state, but it seems to me that people could legitimately take offense at the Mormons for fucking with the memory of the departed in any way. Why should the Mormons be dicking around with dead members of non-Mormons' families? This strikes me as an invasion of privacy at minimum. They shouldn't be butting into the affairs of others, living or dead. And it's definitely tacky as hell. It's like making velvet paintings of Elvis. Although he might actually have approved of that, come to think of it. Moving on...

As an atheist, I'm pretty sure I'd be upset at the thought of my Baptist parents being inducted into the Mormon Hall of Loony. It would have mortified them, and even though I know they can't actually be mortified postmortem, and it seems to me that one ought to respect the wishes of the deceased, whether expressed or in this case, almost certainly implied. For example, I would hope that my wish to have a secular funeral would be respected, even though I wouldn't be around to be outraged if was turned into a revival meeting. My atheist friends would be upset, though.

So doesn't this fall along the same lines as "speak not ill of the dead"? They're not here to defend themselves, so the best policy is to not drag them into anything they wouldn't have associated themselves with. The Mormons should leave these strangers out of their personal drama, thanks.

Plus, this Mormon practice (well, pretty much all Mormon practices) is intellectually dishonest in the extreme, for way too many reasons to state here.

Oh, and it violates the Golden Rule (not that that has ever stopped the religious). I'm pretty sure they wouldn't approve of others doing this to them. Come to think of it, maybe the Jews should just declare all Mormons to be Jews. That'll larn 'em. Well, except virtual holy wars have a habit of turning into real holy wars. Hey, more dead people to baptize by proxy!



constanze, 2008.11.28 (Fri) 17:11 [Link] »

I see several problems with this even from an atheist perspective.

First, the Mormon church had a prior agreement with the Jews that they would stop this practice because it upset the Jews - but they broke this agreement, and did it without telling the Jews publically about it.

Secondly, while there is no rational proof of a soul existing after death (in heaven or elsewhere), the Jews have a special problem with this (beyond the normal problem that the Mormons are violating the whishes of the departed and their living family. Somebody else compared it to going to the cemetary and pissing on a grave - it won't hurt the dead body inside, but it's still disrespectful and most would consider it rude and a violation of the general "Don't be a jerk/asshole" Rule.
However, for a long period of history, Jews in Christian countries (back before seperation of Church and State, when the Church still officially blamed them for the Death of Christ), they were often forcefully converted (or put to death).
In the Vatican state there were some cases of e.g. a Christian servant in the household of an affluent Jew secretly baptized their child when she thought it would die (for honest fear it would go to Hell after Death). When the Church heard of this, the recovered child was taken away from his parents (the courts decided they, as Jews, had no rights to this Christian) and was raised in a christian convent.

With this history, any new attempt to convert their people without consent must feel very difficult for a Jew, and quite different than for a Baptist or similar.

Lastly, as regards to the historical records: the question isn't whether anybody will want a tally of all Mormons a 100 years in the future, but will remember to discount people with Jewish names. The problem is (as already said above) that already many genealogical research is done with the Mormon database, and not everybody now (or in the future) knows about this secret baptism after death.
Since the Mormons already violated their good word, people are rightfully worried that they'll also show no respect to original data and change the records there.



The Two Percent Company, 2008.11.30 (Sun) 23:16 [Link] »

There's a problem here, folks, and it's coming through loud and clear to us whether from SGM and Jason, whom we know to be sharp people with a good understanding of this stuff, or from constanze, whom we've only met once, briefly. We can illustrate this problem easily with a quick excerpt from Jason's comment:

So doesn't this fall along the same lines as "speak not ill of the dead"? They're not here to defend themselves, so the best policy is to not drag them into anything they wouldn't have associated themselves with.

And this is where our baseline understandings diverge. To wit: why should being dead suddenly give one a free pass from being offended? And yes, we understand that this isn't the point that some of you were making. We just think we need to take a moment to straighten this issue out before we move on. Bear with us here.

It's getting a little silly that, as a society, we seem to always be looking for criteria to "exempt" people from criticism. Oh, you can't talk about them that way, they're religious! Oh, don't dissect his motives, he's the President of the United States! Oh, you shouldn't point out her failings, she's black! Folks, if a mentally disabled black Christian woman pulls a deliberate asshole move, we're absolutely going to say: "Asshole." It's really that simple. She doesn't get out of it thanks to mental retardation, or ethnicity, or religion, or gender...

...or anything else. And you can go ahead and extend that, and consider that she may reform her behavior and even apologize for it down the line. Okay, cool — but she still pulled an asshole move, and we'll still say she was an asshole then, even if she's straightened out now.

Which leads to the question: why should a person's status as a corpse suddenly get them off the hook? Not to pull Godwin's Law on you, here — we're certainly not accusing any party in this case of being the E-Ville One — but we sure don't let Hitler off the hook just because he's dead. An asshole is an asshole, and — dead or alive — we'll feel free to call them an asshole.

We have respect for the people we have respect for; we don't have respect for the people we don't have respect for. A change in status regarding anything other than the factor that led us to respect them or not will most likely not change our view of them. And "death" is one of those purely irrelevant factors, seeing as how we're not very likely to respect (or disrespect) someone on the basis of whether or not they are breathing. (Though, admittedly, we do admire free divers quite a bit.) In short, we'll speak ill of anyone who we think deserves it, and we don't particularly care if they're dead. Why should that get them out of something they've done?

In that light: we're starting from a very different baseline than many others seem to be starting from. We simply don't agree that the dead deserve respect by virtue of being dead. So we've already jumped off the train several miles back when it comes to the Jews being all cross that the Mormons have "disrespected" their dead — folks, the Mormons (along with most other organized religions) have already decided that everybody else is going to Hell, and is ethically and morally inferior to them, and that we don't (and can't possibly) lead happy, fruitful lives...they've already disrespected all of us, living or dead. What the fuck does it matter what they pretend about our dead, if we don't subscribe to their belief system?

Further, while "going to the cemetary and pissing on a grave" is a similar act, we don't think what the Mormons are doing is even that bad (and we don't think pissing on a grave is all that bad to begin with). What the Mormons are doing is more like: two jerks who you've never met start writing offline fanfic for each other about your dead grandpa. The test, to us, is simple: if you never find out about an "offense" to your dead relatives, will it still have any kind of actual effect? Yes or no?

Now, if we go and dig up your Uncle Roger, smack the body around, chop his fingers off, steal his suit jacket, draw cartoons on his dessicated skin with a Sharpie, and lay his corpse on top of the mound of dirt we created, something has happened, even if you don't know about it. This something is able to be perceived by all, with or without any beliefs or opinions on the matter, if they go and check out Uncle Roger's body.

If, on the other hand, we declare that Roger was the King of Atlantis, enjoyed eating unicorn meat, and always carried his magical paper clip wherever he went...well, if you never learn that we've said all that, in what possible way could it affect you? The answer, of course, is: no way at all. Nothing has actually happened. We made up silly stories about Uncle Roger to entertain ourselves, and they have no bearing on Uncle Roger, his corpse, reality, or your memories of any of the three.

Did the Mormons violate the "Don't be a jerk/asshole" Rule, as constanze suggests? Sure — what they did was rather rude, and certainly tacky. We said as much in our post. But they already violated that rule, with regard to the living, simply by virtue of putting themselves on a pedestal, high above the non-Mormon rabble, forever superior to all who lack a second wife (at least), magical underwear, and forty kids who smile way too much. However, in the same respect: the Jews have violated the "Don't be a jerk/asshole" Rule as well, simply by virtue of putting themselves on a pedestal, high above the goyim, based on whatever arbitrary criteria they've decided makes a Jew superior.

The point being: all religiosos of any stripe have already disrespected anybody and everybody else (in the sense we're discussing) by declaring theirs the "one true way" and themselves the "special chosen few," and — speaking for ourselves, at least — we see no reason to take any particular offense to that, because it's just...fucking...words. However, this means that the Jews, in this context, are just...fucking...hypocrites. And that is our real problem with their behavior.

The Mormons aren't "disrespecting" the dead, from their point of view. From their point of view, they are helping the dead (of course, from our point of view, they're just being idiots). If hypothetical "you," as a Jew, are validating the Mormons' idiocy by saying it "means" anything, then you, as a Jew, are (in essence) validating the fundamental tenets and worldview of Mormonism, aren't you? So why the fuck are you doing that?

The Mormons "broke their word"? Who cares? In fact, if we want to look at this from the Mormon perspective, then they should break their word, because it will save souls — from their point of view, they're "saving" those dead Jews from an eternity of hellfire. Meanwhile, from the Jewish perspective, they shouldn't do it because it spits in the face of the Judaic belief system. So do we need to be asking ourselves which belief system takes precedence?

Or...should we just acknowledge that since all religions are fucking silly, self-contradictory, and contradict each other, then successfully and peaceably following any one religion while in coexistence with other religions on the same planet means you really just have to pretend you're living in parallel worlds that never touch? Because that's the end result of "sensible" people believing in disparate religions. You simply have to ignore what's going on in the "other" ones, or else there's no reason for you to specifically believe in yours. If you genuinely believe in the Judaic worldview, then Mormons soaking their own in the name of your dead ancestors means precisely nil. Reacting as if it means more than nothing means that you aren't abiding by your own belief system.

Really — look at all the trouble that ensues when one incomprehensible belief system collides with another! It's laughable. And, believe us, we're laughing. So which takes precedence, Judaism or Mormonism? Neither! Reality does — and it makes both of them look fucking silly. And, quite frankly, as non-silliness-believing persons, we absolutely, one hundred percent, no doubt get to (and should) call this ridiculous hypocrisy and stupidity out whenever it comes up.

It's just like what we said about all the wringing of hands over the alleged Quran flushing back in 2005:

Is it mean-spirited and uncalled for? Yes. Is it an atrocity? No.

And that's pretty much how we feel about this whole flap, too. We've yet to see any rational argument to convince us otherwise.

Jason, you bring up one point directly, and another that we derived from what you've said. The first regards the atheist funeral:

As an atheist, I'm pretty sure I'd be upset at the thought of my Baptist parents being inducted into the Mormon Hall of Loony. It would have mortified them, and even though I know they can't actually be mortified postmortem, and it seems to me that one ought to respect the wishes of the deceased, whether expressed or in this case, almost certainly implied. For example, I would hope that my wish to have a secular funeral would be respected, even though I wouldn't be around to be outraged if was turned into a revival meeting. My atheist friends would be upset, though.

See, we differ here, and we actually find it a little odd hearing this from you. If the Mormons inducted your deceased Baptist parents...what difference would it make to anybody but the Mormons? You don't buy into the Baptist line or the Mormon line; your parents didn't buy into the Mormon line. As far as you're concerned, and your parents were concerned, anything the Mormons might do with regard to Mormonism is simply meaningless. It isn't like the Mormons would be coming to your house each and every day with signs reminding you that your parents were posthumously converted. Sure, that would be a horse of a very different color (and more of a real harassment case), but it's simply not the scenario here. So, again: who cares?

(Note that we're aware that the answer to that repeated question is: some people. We just haven't yet seen a good reason why something that seems to be just tacky and rude should qualify as a horrible offense.)

And if the Mormons were doing this to atheists, the assumption here (and your assertion, Jason) is that we atheists would be the ones complaining. Except, of course, we firmly disagree, at least in our case. If a bunch of silly people, nowhere near the corpse of our deceased love one, spout off their silly shit, making a reference to the name of our deceased atheist friend, we simply wouldn't find that outrageously offensive. As we said in our post, we'd either roll our eyes or flip them off, depending on our mood. Perhaps we'd point out the stupidity, and crack a few jokes. But we wouldn't give it much thought beyond that.

We couldn't care less what folks do with our remains after we're gone, and — to directly answer your scenario — we couldn't care less what our respective families might do with our atheist friends' remains, either. Jeff's family is largely Jewish, to some degree or another from person to person, and certain individuals in his family take every opportunity to declare: "Oh, you're Jewish, even if you don't believe in it." (No, he's not. Judaism is a belief system; if you don't believe in it, you are, by definition, not Jewish. There is no "Jew gene," which is what many Jews seem to be asserting — ironically, since that's precisely what their detractors believe, as well.) If Jeff kicked the bucket tomorrow, it's quite likely that his family would take it upon themselves to give him the Jewish equivalent of "the works." Would Tom be particularly upset about this?

Nope. Not in the slightest. Nor would it happen the other way around, if Tom's largely Catholic family gave him a wake and a priest-driven Catholic graveside ceremony. See, we recognize that funerals and such are for the living, not the dead. The dead are dead; they are no more, deceased, shuffled off this mortal coil, they are ex-people. The rituals are for those still here; and, as with all observances — Thanksgiving, New Year's, Arbor Day, Christmas — we are all free to celebrate them (or not) as we see fit. Our families could feel free to do what they like to mourn our deaths; whichever of us is still around will feel free to do what we like, which in our case would probably involve getting together with likeminded friends who knew the deceased, having a quiet drink or two, laughing and crying as we reminisce, and just generally going through the natural grieving process.

The other point you've raised, Jason — not necessarily on purpose, but it's something we thought of upon reading your comment — is that some might make the case that the Jews' anger at the Mormons is parallel to our own anger at people like Allison DuBois (and the usual "psychic" fucks who rip people off). Plenty of our opponents might take the opportunity to remind us that they contend that phony psychics (a redundant term) aren't hurting anybody...in the same way that we contend that these Mormon baptisms-by-proxy aren't hurting anybody. So why are we so angry at phony psychics?

To us, that's a very simple answer: we get mad when psychics try to make money and get famous by leveraging the grief of others and fucking with the memories they have of the deceased. The Mormons aren't doing this for fame or money; they're like those psychics who really believe in their powers and just do it "to be nice." Yes, they are still deluded and incorrect (both the psychics and the Mormons), but we don't get angry about them the way we do about a greedy, media-whoring bitch like Allison DuBois or Sylvia Browne.

Again, it's a simple test: if you never find out about an "offense," will it still have any kind of actual effect? Look at these two situations:

A) Sylvia Browne pretends to talk to your dead grandma and gives you false comfort. Even if you believe her forever, and never find out it's bullshit, you're now out several hundred dollars, and that money was Sylvia's motive for the reading. There is an actual effect whether you know about Sylvia's behavior or not.

B) Mormons pretend to convert your dead grandma to Mormonism and add her name to their database. If you never hear about the ceremony, and never discover grandma's name in that database, there will never be any effect on you whatsoever. Plus, the Mormons' motive was to "save" the dead person from an eternity of damnation.

Keep in mind: if you later find out about Sylvia's bullshit, that simply compounds the actual effect of her ripping you off; if you later find out about the Mormons' bullshit, all it will remain is utter silliness with no actual effect, and while you may choose to feel offense, that's a pretty odd choice (given the circumstances). Similarly, if one of those silly deluded (rather than deceptive) psychics — say, for instance, your girlfriend's friend, who claims to have "intuitions" — tries to "help" you out pro bono, she's not ripping you off, there's no actual effect, and any later revelation will only establish that she is exceedingly silly (like the Mormons), rather than some kind of nefarious bitch.

This is why assholes like the famous "psychic" bullshitters piss us off, and silly gits like the Mormon posthumous converters simply don't. So Jews getting angry at the Mormons here, and making demands that they "cut it out," is like us walking up to, for example, a street prophet, and demanding that he shut up. Sure, we find the poor deluded fool quite silly, and we may be more annoyed or more amused depending on our mood at the moment (how did the morning go, how are we feeling, are we in a rush, et cetera), but that guy just standing on a street corner, where he is roundly ignored by all the folks (even most of the Christians) who walk by, means that it just...doesn't...matter.

By the same token, the Mormons are roundly ignored by just about everybody (except for ex-Mormons and, in some cases, the Child Services folks, quite understandably). Almost nobody even has any particular rancor toward them, and certainly not on the level of that toward, say, the Scientologists. Seriously: can you imagine being really pissed at Mormons? They're a joke. (With their recent support of Prop 8, they've become a joke with a wholly hypocritical and tasteless punchline, but still....)

Even deluded (i.e., sincere) psychics are, in their own way, holding pretend ceremonies that falsely define what people who no longer exist now "are." And nobody in the tangible world is affected — except those who choose to take offense (or choose to listen to them). So we don't waste our time. We'll point out the obvious — it's bullshit — but we don't slam them the way we do a greedy, disgusting fuck like DuBois or Browne.

In short: you have bullshit-believers yelling at bullshit-believers for believing their bullshit and flying in the face of the other bullshit. And, since we don't believe in any bullshit, we call it all for what it is: bullshit.

Then there's the argument about how these incorrect Mormon records will one day pollute the historical record. One more time, because too many people keep coming back to this point: no historical records of the future are going to rely solely on Mormon databases in order to decide who was killed in the Holocaust, for fuck's sake, and we think that's a pretty plain and simple fact. (Extend this, please, to cover: none of the Mormon databases will be the sole foundation for lists of who was or wasn't a Mormon. Because that's just as accurate.)

For one thing, already at this point in time, the science of historical fact-gathering is well understood, and no sensible, legitimate historian relies on just one source (any more than a sensible, legitimate scientist would rely on the results of just one experiment). Do you think the progress of data-analysis and information sciences will take steps backward in the next century or five? Do you really think future historians are going to glance at the Mormon records and say, "Eh, good enough for me"? Come on — that's bullshit.

For another, we keep hearing over and over about the Mormon genealogies being utilized in many historical endeavors. We've got one word and a punctuation mark: evidence? Again — until we're offered a reason to believe that Mormon records are being considered the end-all, be-all of demographic research, we have a very difficult time believing it to be anything other than pure bullshit. Yes, folks, their records may be examined to establish certain lines of investigation, but no historian worth his salt would just "leave it at that." Let's get real.

We have no idea what you're getting at, constanze, when you say it "isn't whether anybody will want a tally of all Mormons a 100 years in the future, but will remember to discount people with Jewish names." What is this even supposed to suggest? That future historians will be so stupid that they'll accept the Mormon tally of all Mormons without question? To be blunt, this is insulting to an entire profession and academic field, not to mention those of us who understand how research and careful analysis of factual data work. (Note, however, that we're not "taking offense," but that doesn't make it any less an insult — i.e., call us "shit-eating cow-fuckers," and that, too, is an insult at which we wouldn't take any real offense.)

Does anyone honestly think that the historical fact, estimate or not, that "Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust during World War II" will ever be taken lightly? That it would be "altered" by a series of entries on a fucking list of Mormons made by Mormons with an obvious agenda? The claim is ludicrous on its face. It has no basis whatsoever in reality, and unless someone can cite an example to back up this claim, then please stop bringing it up.

...not everybody now (or in the future) knows about this secret baptism after death.

Seriously? We know about it right now, and we're not professional historians or record-keepers. Is it your position, in all sincerity, that the professionals are going to ignore — or be ignorant of — these "secret" baptisms (which are already on the public record now), and not understand their significance when it comes to the Mormons' shoddy list of Mormons? We find that assertion preposterous. Even if the Jews weren't complaining about it, the simple fact that every religion has a vested interest in inflating the numbers of their own followers would be more than enough to make any objective researcher wary of a Mormon tally of the number of Mormons. And future historians are not going to overlook these basic facts.

To us, this is all way, way too crystal clear, and we're beginning to wonder what the catch is. If anybody has any evidence that these crazy assertions could possibly be true, then please just lay it out. Because we're simply not buying it.

Since the Mormons already violated their good word, people are rightfully worried that they'll also show no respect to original data and change the records there.

Now you're really not making any sense. Are you honestly suggesting that the Mormons have carte blanche access to all the non-Mormon databases and historical records in the world? That there could be some kind of Mormon conspiracy to alter the entire body of historical information that humankind has accrued? Maybe we missed your mark here, but if not, we don't even know how to respond to this one.

To refine our response to Silly Green Monkey, before: if the only records that survived into the far future were the Mormon records, it would almost certainly imply that the Mormons themselves were the only humans to survive. And if so — if the rest of us are all long dead and gone — then who cares if the Mormons, alone in the world, live with their own delusion that everybody who came before them also wore magic underwear? It's a non-issue in this fantasy scenario (which is absurdly improbable), because there's no one left to care; and it's even more of a non-issue in the more probable scenario, because the issue doesn't exist there to care about.

We're not sure where you're getting your data about the Vatican kidnapping unwillingly baptized Jews, and it sounds highly apocryphal at best (and like someone's outright fabrication at worst). However, true or not, it really just seems to be more ammunition to load into the "Hey, the Jews are special" shotgun, a weapon which we are, frankly, getting a bit fed up with.

Secondly, while there is no rational proof of a soul existing after death (in heaven or elsewhere), the Jews have a special problem with this...

...for a long period of history, Jews in Christian countries (back before seperation of Church and State, when the Church still officially blamed them for the Death of Christ), they were often forcefully converted (or put to death).

And the Mormons' downright silly behavior is a callback to forcible conversion and genocide...how? Talk about a parallel to Godwin's Law! How the fuck does a silly Mormon ceremony that has no bearing on reality suddenly equate to the fucking Inquisition?

Many Jews went through something awful — horrifically so — during the Holocaust. This does not suddenly make all Jews special, or above insult. Just as the atrocious practice of slavery in the Americas for hundreds of years does not suddenly make all blacks special (no, that's done by rhythm, athletic prowess, and exceptional bling — please sit down and shut up, politically correct androids, that's only a joke). Nor does the incredibly disgusting treatment of Native Americans by certain European-descended jerks through the pre-history and history of the United States suddenly make them special. The Cult of the Victim needs to end, and it needs to end soon.

Worse, the Cult of the Victim is conflated with the Judeo-Christian concept of the Sins of the Father, with the result that "Great-grand-daddy went through something terrible, so I deserve a prize." No, you don't. You deserve the same equal opportunity to prove yourself that the rest of us deserve; no more, no less. This gets into the topic of affirmative action and reparations, which is another whole Rant, so we'll leave it there for now — there are complications and reasonable objections to some of these issues.

So let's sum up:

  • Yes, the Mormons are being rude and tacky by posthumously converting people who never expressed any desire to be converted to their delusional belief system. Calling them rude, tacky, delusional people is just fine.
  • There is simply no realistic way that the Mormon database will single-handedly determine the content of the historical record in fifty, a hundred, or a thousand years.
  • There is no logical reason to single out the Jews as the "one" group who should be protected from this kind of "offensive" behavior.
  • Barring these assertions, the only complaint left is: their silliness is upsetting our silliness. Which, for those of us who aren't silly, is just fucking silly.
  • If you're going to complain about someone else's internally consistent, if utterly irrational, behavior, then don't be fucking irrational and internally inconsistent yourself.
  • The dead are dead, and that means they are neither affected by any actions of the living, nor entitled to protection from it. All considerations are for the living, and the living should remember that.
  • If you don't believe in somebody else's silliness, then it is inconsistent and irrational to be offended by it when it does not tangibly affect you.
  • If a behavior has no actual effect beyond your knowing of it, then taking offense is your choice, but a very silly one.

So we're not saying that this isn't rude, and we're not giving the Mormons a pass here (we're doing quite the opposite, really). We're just saying that, when we look at this as part of the bigger picture — the implied rudeness of religion in general, the fact that this ceremony is meaningless to anyone who doesn't subscribe to Mormon beliefs, and the total non-impact of this ceremony in the real world — then, objectively, it just isn't all that bad. The end result being that, just as with the silliness over the flushing of the Quran, we have to ask: "So what?"



Jason Spicer, 2008.12.01 (Mon) 02:31 [Link] »

Man, you guys sure write a lot. But then, that's why I keep coming back. All fair points. This isn't something I'd file a lawsuit over, but maybe I think it's more rude than you guys do.

I wasn't actually suggesting that there was any criticism of the dead going on. If it's deserved criticism, I'm OK with that. Being dead is not a get-out-of-being-debated-over card. But as far as I can tell, the Mormons aren't engaged in criticizing the dead Jews. This just seemed like a similar vein.

And yes, people do take far too much offense at simple rudeness, but then it's sort of normal to be offended by rudeness. I wouldn't start a holy war over it, but I would call the perps on it, which is what the Jews appear to be doing here, albeit with perhaps more zeal than is truly warranted. Basically, I believe that people should give and take less offense. There's that Golden Rule thing again...

Obviously it's the living who will take offense. I think the thing that bugs me about this is that it's hard enough to pin down historical truth without some asshats muddying the water. I agree that reasonable historians will never accept the Mormon scrolls at face value, but revisionist history has a bad name for a reason. It sows doubt. It confuses people. Maybe only gullible people, but the gullible need all the help they can get. It's not at the same all-star level as Holocaust-deniers' revisionism, but it's the same asshole game, pee-wee league.

But more fundamentally, a person's memory is really the only legacy of their person. Their DNA may live on in their descendants, but they themselves only get to leave an impression on the living. For non-famous people, it's a very weak impression. (Famous people can let competing biographies duke it out.) I think of the record of my life as being my life's work. To have somebody screwing with it after the fact is just annoying. Perhaps it's no more than annoying. Maybe I'm just not happy with the idea of the Mormons having the last word. I know, I know, the Mormons aren't actually rewriting my family scrapbook. But they're still jerks.



The Two Percent Company, 2008.12.01 (Mon) 14:35 [Link] »

Jason says:

I wasn't actually suggesting that there was any criticism of the dead going on. If it's deserved criticism, I'm OK with that. Being dead is not a get-out-of-being-debated-over card. But as far as I can tell, the Mormons aren't engaged in criticizing the dead Jews. This just seemed like a similar vein.

We probably could have made our intent more clear, above. We weren't suggesting that the Mormons are criticizing the dead Jews. We were stating that doing anything purely verbal/mental/whatever about the dead is ineffectual and pointless. The example of criticism (true, the crux of our explanation, but not the primary thrust of how it related to the current context) was only chosen to illustrate the point due to the use of the "speak not ill of the dead" line. As an aside, we also didn't think that you, Jason, were advocating not criticizing the dead for acts they committed while alive.

We were merely establishing our baseline — "being dead" doesn't grant one special status. Our point is that we think doing shit to or about the dead, when it has no actual effect on anything, doesn't mean jack shit. This includes but is not limited to criticism, and certainly includes posthumous conversions to Mormonism.

I wouldn't start a holy war over it, but I would call the perps on it, which is what the Jews appear to be doing here, albeit with perhaps more zeal than is truly warranted.

We agree that we'd call the Mormons on their behavior, and we've pointed this out a couple of times — and, in fact, we did call them on it. We just think calling them on something this silly involves calling them via the eye-roll or bird-flip or call-stupid or crack-joke approach, not the angry-press-release and demands-for-apologies and swooning-at-the-insult-of-it-all approach. The way we look at this, the Jews are calling the Mormons out with a lot more zeal than is warranted.

Basically, I believe that people should give and take less offense. There's that Golden Rule thing again...

The problem here is: how do you "give" offense? As we wrote in our comment, you can outright insult us and we won't take offense. So if you mean to give it, you failed. On the other hand, a fundy can refuse to seek medical treatment for a dying child, which offends us horribly, even though they don't mean to "give" offense (and by "offends us," we mean the more accurate end result is, of course, "it pisses us off").

The point being: we don't think there is such a thing as "giving" offense. Offense is purely a perception of an action from the outside. Watch a bad insult comic sometime — they really do want to offend, but they just can't pull it off. You only "give" offense if somebody takes it.

I agree that reasonable historians will never accept the Mormon scrolls at face value, but revisionist history has a bad name for a reason. It sows doubt. It confuses people. Maybe only gullible people, but the gullible need all the help they can get. It's not at the same all-star level as Holocaust-deniers' revisionism, but it's the same asshole game, pee-wee league.

This is a fair point, and could easily be debated in either direction; but still, the Jews are pretending that this is their "true issue," and it simply isn't. Look at what they said:

"Baptism of a Jewish Holocaust victim and then merely removing that name from the database is just not acceptable," said [Ernest Michel, honorary chairman of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors]... .

So while they are pointing to an issue with revisionist history and holocaust deniers to justify their complaints on one hand, they are also admitting that, if that "problem" (which we don't believe is truly significant in the first place) were to be erased, they would still take issue with the Mormons solely for the perceived insult of these posthumous conversions. To us, that pretty clearly signs up the Jewish plaintiffs as contenders in the "Who's the Biggest Dick in This Scenario" competition.

That said, we'd take your "pee-wee league" classification and lower it down a few notches. First, not every instance of fabrication is big enough to fall under the heading of revisionist history (or big enough to help revisionist historians). And we tend to think that the lies of the Mormons in this case are of the much, much smaller, more-like-zero-impact variety. Second, yes, there is historical revisionism...but there is also refutation of it. We're all well-aware of the holocaust-deniers, who are working on a much larger scale, and with a much more horrible lie than the Mormons. And that's the thing: we're all well-aware of this. So, again, assuming that the holocaust-deniers aren't the last and only ones standing, it's not like our history books are ever going to say "Holocaust — never happened."

Let's extend this for a moment. Some might say that, if we never found out about what the holocaust-deniers were saying, it would have no impact on us. As such, why are we so angry at holocaust-deniers? The answer is not that simple. See, we're not angry at folks who "deny the holocaust" — folks who say, "Eh, never happened." They're welcome to that absurd and terribly misguided opinion, and we're happy to roll our eyes, flip them off, call them stupid, and crack jokes about their idiocy.

However, like creationist assholes trying to infiltrate the academic field of science (and science education) with their unfounded bullshit, the organized body of holocaust-deniers are trying to infiltrate the academic field of history (and history education) with their unfounded bullshit — they are trying to change the accepted and accurate history of the world on a holistic level. Their aim is to rewrite the history books for all of us (as the creationists would do to our science books), and to impact how people are taught about the Second World War. That is an impact on us; there is an actual effect.

By contrast, the Mormons are simply trying to rewrite history for their own group of followers. And let's face it — religions do that all the time. Just about every religion has make-believe creation stories, and all of them are utter bullshit. But as long as they only want to spin these ridiculous yarns in their churches and temples and other indoctrination centers, they are welcome to do so. It's only when they want to expand their bullshit into laws or public education that we start getting royally fucking pissed off.

But more fundamentally, a person's memory is really the only legacy of their person.

We agree. The memory of a person who has died lives on in the hearts and minds of those who loved that person. That is the only vitally important legacy that every person leaves behind. And as far as we're concerned, the Mormons can't even come close to touching those memories. None of the people who knew or loved the Jews who were posthumously converted are going to suddenly say, "Hey, wait...was Uncle Moishe a Mormon? I seem to recall something about that." They know better! Their memory of Uncle Moishe isn't being fucked with here. So yes, memories are vital, we agree 100%. But the Mormons aren't able to do anything to these memories. Again, "feeling" that they have done something there is the choice to "take offense," and we find that choice incredibly silly and non-constructive.

I think of the record of my life as being my life's work. To have somebody screwing with it after the fact is just annoying. Perhaps it's no more than annoying. Maybe I'm just not happy with the idea of the Mormons having the last word. I know, I know, the Mormons aren't actually rewriting my family scrapbook.

Your last sentence is dead on, and it's what we're talking about here: the Mormons aren't "having the last word." And that's our point. They just aren't. They can't. They can write their Jason Spicer Slash FanFic all they want, but it simply isn't going to change the more widespread, consistent, and valid records that are already kept. They simply are not getting the last word.

Even in the case being discussed, the Mormons aren't getting the last word. Right now, the Jews have the last word, not the Mormons, because the Jews are on record as saying "Hey, you fuckers, you're not supposed to do that!" Of course, they didn't have to do it the way they did — they could simply have done what we would do, and get, in print, the (presumably more formal) equivalent of: "Are you serious? These were all Jews, and you pretending to convert them to Mormons means precisely jack shit. Thanks for playing."

That would be the last word, and it would be a much more meaningful and appropriate one than the offense the Jews decided to take.

But they're still jerks.

Yep — bingo. But the Jews' reaction made them jerks, too. And that's the mistake that was made, here.

See, there's nothing more silly than the followers of two conflicting but equally idiotic belief systems yelling at each other because an act that, under one system, is "good," is, under the other, "bad." That's the crux of what we're saying here — that these two factions are busy arguing about perceived offenses stemming from acts that are based on nonsensical beliefs on both sides in the first place. It's like an argument about whether Superman or Batman would win in a fight — except the people engaged in the argument aren't children, and they are dead-fucking-serious. It's so pathetic it's laughable.

Back to the top:

This isn't something I'd file a lawsuit over, but maybe I think it's more rude than you guys do.

And that's why "offense" is something you can only take, not give. It's fine to think that this is more rude than we think it is (though, in fact, we think it's pretty rude). But there's a big, honking difference between "That's rude!" and the kind of reaction the Jews are having (and that people are trying to justify).

We laid it out in our bullet points, and bullet number one said it all. You think it's rude? We agree. So call it rude. But trying to support an overreaction to it by pretending anything from "it disrespects our silly belief system" to "it destroys the memories of our ancestors" to "it will rewrite history" is just silly. That's not "calling it rude," that's calling it (as constanze almost literally did) Hitler-esque, which is just so over the top it becomes more laughable than the Mormon conversions in the first place.

Look, having an emotional reaction is totally cool (we'd be the first people to shout that mantra from the doorway of a mountaintop Buddhist temple), but understanding the amount of public reaction that is really called for is important. This was just so over the top that the Jews "took over" the title of "who deserves the most derision in this scenario," which was a silly and unnecessary move on their part. The Mormons deserved some derision, and the Jews didn't deserve any...until they overreacted, at which point the Mormons still deserved the same derision, and the Jews deserved at least as much! Oops — that's a game they shouldn't have tried to play.

Man, you guys sure write a lot. But then, that's why I keep coming back.

Yeah, we write a lot because there's a lot to say on these issues. And comments like yours and the others in this thread make us think. But thanks — it's good to find people who understand why writing "too much" can be a good thing.



The Two Percent Company, 2008.12.01 (Mon) 15:38 [Link] »

One more thing we'd like to mention that we missed in our last reply. We said:

See, there's nothing more silly than the followers of two conflicting but equally idiotic belief systems yelling at each other because an act that, under one system, is "good," is, under the other, "bad." That's the crux of what we're saying here — that these two factions are busy arguing about perceived offenses stemming from acts that are based on nonsensical beliefs on both sides in the first place. It's like an argument about whether Superman or Batman would win a fight — except the people engaged in the argument aren't children, and they are dead-fucking-serious. It's so pathetic it's laughable.

We'd like to expand on that a little.

The hypocrisy of the Jews in this case — the "Superman versus Batman" of the situation — is a big part of what makes this so ridiculous. Frankly, we wouldn't call someone like Jason a contender for "Biggest Dick" if he was the one getting really mad at the Mormons for this. We'd still say "Meh, they're just being fucking silly," but we wouldn't view the anger coming from Jason the same way we view it coming from the Jews. This is because the Jews have their own delusional beliefs that are insulting to all non-Jews, and the fact that they contradict the delusional Mormon beliefs is the reason for the argument in the first place. Their anger is based on a flawed and nonsensical premise. In Jason's case, with no similarly contradictory beliefs that line right up with the Mormon contradictory beliefs, his anger wouldn't be hypocritical.

In other words, to build off of the well-known aphorism: the moratorium on stone-throwing can be relaxed a bit if you don't live in a glass house.



Jason Spicer, 2008.12.03 (Wed) 20:58 [Link] »

Makes sense. And I did miss a couple of the finer points in your original post. Might have something to do with that "you guys sure write a lot" thing. Or my occasional nystagmus.

A quote from Napoleon Bonaparte seems apropos to the Jews' response: "Never interrupt your opponent while he is making a mistake." Too bad competing wooshit beliefs don't just cancel each other out in a puff of logic.

And thanks for the follow-on post. As an atheist, I would want to shout "You leave my mother out of this!" if the Mormons did that shit to me. Well, they probably already have. I'm sure they're efficient. But my anger wouldn't stem from the fact that they were monkeying with anything beyond my (living) memory of my (dead) mother. I certainly don't think they'd be harming her.



TimmyAnn, 2008.12.04 (Thu) 01:12 [Link] »

But, Jason, how would they be harming your memory of her? You know she wasn't a Mormon. It wouldn't have any effect on your memories of her.



Akusai, 2008.12.04 (Thu) 23:35 [Link] »

I think a good way to put it is that, though it harms nobody and certainly doesn't really have an effect on your living memory of a lost loved one, it's still a dick move. I think that's what Jason's getting at, but I could be wrong.



TimmyAnn, 2008.12.05 (Fri) 02:58 [Link] »

Oh, definitely a dick move.



The Two Percent Company, 2008.12.05 (Fri) 18:03 [Link] »

Oh, we agreed from the start that it was a dick move, Akusai (we've been agreeing with that all along). All we did is point out that the Jews also pulled a dick move. And the Jews' dick move was more dickish, because not only was it such incredible overkill compared to the response the Mormons' dick move called for, but they're also being incredibly hypocritical and internally inconsistent by responding the way they did (thanks to their own silly belief system).

A dick move is a dick move (is a dick move...). We can (and should) call it a dick move. We just shouldn't then proceed to pile on bullshit like "It flies in the face of my silly, unfounded beliefs" or "It hurts my dead relatives" or "The history books will be changed." Because when we do that, then we have pulled a dick move — which is what the Jews did here.

That's pretty much what this entire Rant and our participation in the subsequent thread boils down to: what we said, in a nutshell, is that the Jews pulled a total dick move in response to the Mormons dick move, and this pole-vaults the Jews over the Mormons on the Dick-O-Meter. Everything else we said just establishes why.



Akusai, 2008.12.06 (Sat) 01:06 [Link] »

Oh, don't get me wrong; I wasn't disagreeing with your rant at all. I was just responding to TimmyAnn in an attempt to clarify what I thought Jason was saying.



Timothy, 2008.12.08 (Mon) 02:05 [Link] »

Meh, I'm an organ donor. If someone wanted to exploit my corpse for any reason, I say have at it.



Tom Foss, 2008.12.08 (Mon) 19:57 [Link] »

I thought I might disagree slightly with the 2%ers until I actually read through the comments. Once again, I've been won over.

However, I think there is some small room for legitimate offense here, with a boatload of qualifiers. You touched on the slightly-similar psychic issue in the comments, but I think beyond the matter of charlatans getting rich off bullshit, it's offensive that a stranger is lying about their loved ones. Sure, the lies tend to be harmless--"He says he loves you, don't worry about the money," and so forth. Occasionally a "the kid's dead" sneaks in there, but that's what you get from frauds. Still, I think a family could find some legitimate outrage at discovering that a psychic has been telling lies about their deceased loved ones. Especially if they then spread those lies--see also Alison Dubois and the Domini affair.

I could see Jewish families feeling a similar outrage at the Mormons for this idiocy. The Mormons are effectively saying "Hey, your Grandpa Chlomo's not sipping Matzoh ball soup in Jewish Heaven anymore; he's wearing silly underwear and hooking up with some spirit-wives to screw like spirit-bunnies so he can populate his own brand new universe." You're absolutely on-target in comparing that to slash fanfic, by the way. In any case, I could see Chlomo's kids and grandkids getting understandably perturbed by the lie.

Part of the problem with that, though, is that they're lying about things that no one could possibly find out the truth about, and as you've said repeatedly, there's no reason for either side to give any credence to the other side's wacky beliefs. Moreover, any legitimate offense in the situation would be limited to those people who directly knew the individuals who have been slandered. I don't see the Mormon church discussing specific conversions, nor do I see specific families complaining about the lies spread over their specific dead relatives, which really renders the point moot as far as this situation goes.

And in any case, I'm not sure what recourse the family would have the right to take. Were the slander over something that could be proven one way or another, I suppose they could sue. But over changing rooms in Heaven? I don't think any court around here has jurisdiction.




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