It started in mid-February, when Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author of the book Night that recounts his experiences in a concentration camp, said that he wants GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also referred to as the Mormon church) to tell the Mormon church to stop baptizing Jews killed in the Holocaust. The Mormon practice of posthumous proxy baptisms of Jewish Holocaust victims was the subject of a settlement between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, wherein the Church promised that it would stop the practice.
Shortly after Wiesel's public request, reports surfaced that Mitt Romney's father-in-law, an atheist who thought that organized religion was ridiculous, was baptized after his death by the Mormon church.
With public interest in these posthumous proxy baptisms, non-Mormons are poking fun.
Acknowledging his Catholicsm, Comedy Central's Steve Colbert said the right way to force people to be baptized is the Catholic way, through inquisition. He explained the basics of Mormon posthumous proxy baptisms, joking that “This controversy just seems like it will not die, and if it did, the Mormons would posthumously baptize it.” To "balance things out," Colbert conducted a “proxy circumcision” using his Jewish intern Jay, a hot dog and a cigar-cutter, pronouncing dead Mormons to be Jews after his ceremony:
There are also spoof websites being created, as Cenk of the Young Turks noted (see video embedded below). One of these is All Dead Mormons are Now Gay, which allows viewers to enter the name of a dead Mormon or to allow the website to choose one. There are "no take-backs," the site reads, and "Holocaust victims are not eligible for conversion."