Home / News / Elie Wiesel to Mitt Romney: Tell Mormon church to stop baptizing Jews killed in the Holocaust
Elie Wiesel to Mitt Romney: Tell Mormon church to stop baptizing Jews killed in the Holocaust

Elie Wiesel to Mitt Romney: Tell Mormon church to stop baptizing Jews killed in the Holocaust

Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author of the book Night that recounts his experiences in a concentration camp wants Mitt Romney to tell the Mormon church to stop baptizing Jews killed in the Holocaust.   Baptizing dead people is a Mormon practice that they believe saves ancestors.   As the Huffington Post reports, the Mormon church was getting ready to baptize Wiesel by proxy:

The Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke to The Huffington Post Tuesday soon after HuffPost reported that according to a formerly-Mormon researcher, Helen Radkey, some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had submitted Wiesel's name to a restricted genealogy website as "ready" for posthumous proxy baptism. Radkey found that the name of Wiesel had been submitted to the database for the deceased, from which a separate process for proxy baptism could be initiated. Radkey also said that the names of Wiesel's deceased father and maternal grandfather had been submitted to the site.

A spokesman for the Mormon Church claimed that the names were simply entered into the database, and none were submitted for baptism, which he described as a separate process. The entry of a living person, he said, was a mistake, and he provided no explanation for the submission of Wiesel's father and maternal grandfather. By Monday the records for the names of Wiesel and his family had been changed to "not available," according to Radkey.

Getting Romney to do anything publicly regarding his religion may be more difficult than it would seem.  Romney famously does not talk about his Mormon faith, and in the video below, flatly refuses to give any information about his participation in the Mormon practice of baptizing the dead by proxy, saying that the information "should be gotten from the church:"

Slate adds:

Wiesel said that as a presidential candidate, no topic is off limits for Romney, including the proxy baptisms. However, as Romney backers have been quick to point out, the White House hopeful isn't the only member of LDS in U.S. politics. Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, is also a Mormon.

Wiesel's decision to call out Romney by name could pose problems for the GOP front-runner for a number of reasons. One, it forces the issue of his Mormon religion (not exactly a selling point for many conservative voters) back into the headlines. And two, as HuffPo notes, it could cause trouble with Republican-voting Jews in Florida and elsewhere in a general election matchup with President Obama.

Romney's camp is not commenting on the story, a common practice of late for the campaign.

 The practice of baptizing Jews who died in the Holocaust was discovered in 1994 when an Israeli researching her family history found her religiously Jewish grandfather's name in the LDS database of posthumous baptisms.

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • I thought the church had agreed in a settlement to stop doing this … !


  • I thought so too…but apparently somebody ignored it.

    • Wow. Presuming there will be lawsuits again, this will be the third wave of them. Yikes.

  • I went to hear Elie Wiesel speak at my college as part of my English class. I was so disappointed. He spoke to get out his political gay agenda. I had to walk out. He compared how the Jews were treated in the Holocaust to how gays and lesbians are treated today. I guess that's what happens when you go to college in California.

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