In 1995, the Church of Latter-Day Saints was discovered to have been posthumously baptising Jewish people murdered by Adolf Hitler. These included Anne Frank and her family, as well as the parents of famed “Nazi hunter” Simon Wiesenthal. The church moved swiftly that year to cease its operation, and not least of all because the wretched names of Heinrich Himmler, Eva Braun, and Hitler himself also appeared on the fast-track list for the transportation of their souls to Mormon Heaven.
But as recently as Mitt Romney was identified as the front-runner for the Republican nomination, it emerged that a branch of the church in the Dominican Republic had just baptised Anne Frank for the ninth time. (No word yet on the tally for her killers.) That appeared to have been accident: the memo apparently hadn’t traveled internationally. And yet it should have been no surprise to anyone following the LDS church’s relationship to the Jewish people, as Mormons took it upon themselves to also posthumously baptise another Jewish victim of regional fascism last year: Daniel Pearl, the journalist murdered by al-Qaeda in Pakistan, received one at a more mainstream chapterhouse in Utah.
Pearl’s insult was permitted because the moratorium on baptising slain Jews had only applied to victims of Hitler’s grinding industrial abbatoir. In fact, this narrowing of the holy roll-call was so limited that the guilty church officials would not even say if those sacrificed in Polish and Russian pogroms were also exempt. Let us be clear about how awkward this conceit has become. In order to save exterminated Jews from eternal confinement in the Mormon “spirit prison”, an occultish cadre of latter-day saints shamefully disdained the religion they had died for in the first place. But now that baptisms of Shoah dead are off the table, a priori, doesn’t Mitt Romney believe that the families of Elie Wiesel, Simon Wiesenthal, and Otto Frank are languishing in Mormon Hell?