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I know Pastey appreciates the effort.
Great Entry Dmitri. Since I can't find anything constructive to add to it, I'll have to resort to nitpicking:
<< Daniel Pearl, a (Jewish) journalist who was *a* victim of terrorists>>
Nothing wrong with nitpicking.
I think it's a little unfair to call mormons zelots....
baptisms by proxy are meant to be done by family members thus the family history/geniology aspect, you would be surprised at how instrumental members of the church of latter day saints have been in collecting and preserving such records.
I'm not convinced that the word 'zealot' is totally negative here, and I don't think it's an unfair use. I was drawing attention to why someone else might object. I think the word is appropriate in that context, as I'm trying to show both sides of the issue.
As the Quaker commentator in our link points out, the family member who is doing the proxy baptism may feel that he/she is doing something laudable, whereas non-LDS members of the same family may be quite upset, as in the case of a form of Quakerism that believes that baptism itself is contrary to God's will.
I agree about the excellence of the genealogical work. I've done a bit of research in that line myself, and I can appreciate. Nowadays, when anything in that line is hard to find, everyone recommends the LDS archives.
OED on 'zealot':
1. A member of a Jewish sect which aimed at a Jewish theocracy over the earth and fiercely resisted the Romans till the fall of Jerusalem in a.d. 70.
2. One who is zealous or full of zeal; one who pursues his object with passionate ardour; usually in disparaging sense, one who is carried away by excess of zeal; an immoderate partisan, a fanatical enthusiast.
So the common usage is 'usually disparaging' but not terribly so. This is perfectly suitable to the sentence 'It may be an uncomfortable thought to those who do not wish to find that some zealot has baptised their grandmothers'. If the LDS find this offensive, the onus is on them to prove that it is, I'd say. Is the practice immoderately partisan? Very arguably so.
Thanks for that. The word zealous isn't negative in the Bible itself, viz, 'I have been very zealous for the Lord.' (1 Kings 19:10).
Since we're trying to look at different ways of viewing the same set of theological choices, I'd say we're on track.
Please ignore this post, I'm just checking something.
I thought this entry was fun. I wish some scout would pick it up!
Is everybody happy with it?
Yes, it's excellent ... though I do wonder about the thrust of the final sentence
> ... it is to be predicted that in future, mainstream Christians will continue to insist that you show up for your own christening (as well as for your own burial).
How relevant is this? It seems that proxy baptism is only a feature of the Church of JC and LDS. You imply that this is not and will not be one of the mainstream Christian Churches. Who knows? Others may say they are not Christians at all, but they may yet become mainstream whatever that means.
And incidentally the comma after 'in future' should really not be there unless there is also one before it.
I can change 'mainstream' to 'most Christians'. I refuse to become embroiled in a discussion of what is, and isn't, mainstream. I am no arbitre of religious taste.
I'll add the comma and let the subeditor sort it out.
the lds insist that you come to your own baptism if your alive to do so...
I'd say that was quite a sensible requirement, Anthea. I'd make 'em show up, too.
Personal story: my youngest sister was baptised (by the Baptists) at the age of five. She was precocious, and small for her age.
Now, those of you who have never seen a Baptist baptism need to know that this ceremony is performed in water about waist-deep to the average adult. Usually, the 'baptistry' is a water tank behind the choir (which is behind the preacher). It often has a bad mural of the Jordan River as a backdrop. Oh, and everybody involved is wearing white robes, which are going to get very wet.
Now, this was in the days when the Baptists in Pittsburgh were using cast-off Presbyterian church buildings. Very pretty, but no baptistries large enough, say, to immerse a steelworker in. So the church that was hosting this baptism had built one, sort of a large tank on the side of the dais, with wooden panelling. Not very attractive, but it did the job. On this afternoon, they were going to baptise a number of people from around the county, including my little sister. For short baptisees, there was a block on the bottom to stand on - but only in front of the preacher. When his turn came, our preacher forgot about this.
My sister stepped into the baptismal waters - and sank. Nothing daunted, she bobbed back up to the surface and SWAM to where the preacher was standing. He went through the ceremony while the rest of us choked back sobs of laughter.
Religious dog-paddling...I don't know what John would have said.
Time was, I suppose, when being dunked head-under was a terrifying experience, which gave baptism a certain frisson ...
It is said that when St Patrick baptized the king of Munster, he inadvertently stuck hos pointy staff right into the king's foot and pinned him to the ground. The king assumed this was a necessary part of the rite and made no mention.
I can imagine this.
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