Some of the Jewish world was predictably outraged. Noble Laureate and holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was up in arms and called upon Mitt Romney to get involved. According to the Washington Post, Wiesel said, “Romney is now the most famous and important Mormon in the country... He should come out and say, ‘Stop it.’ ”
Anti Defamation League’s Abe Foxman, also a holocaust survivor, was quoted by USA Today as saying, "I am a holocaust survivor. It is so offensive in the sense that holocaust victims were killed solely because they were Jews. And here comes the Mormon church taking away their Jewishness, it's like killing them twice."
As a grandchild of holocaust victims I admit to being completely puzzled why my fellow Jews are so upset about this. From my perspective, as a Jew who obviously does not believe in Mormonism at all, it makes no difference whether the Mormon Church tries to Baptize anyone.
One person submerging their friend in a pool of water while dressed in a waterproof smock and thinking that the person being immersed represents me or any of my departed relatives, has no significance for me. If it is consequential to them, let them do it, I say. It is certainly absurd for a Jew to claim, as Foxman has, that such at act is “taking away their Jewishness.”
Let it be clear: when a Mormon posthumously Baptizes a Jew it has no impact on that person’s Jewishness. They, in actuality, become no less Jewish and no more Mormon. They become Mormon in the eyes of Mormons only. Why would we care if the Mormon church considers our ancestors to be Mormon simply because one of their members used a substitute to posthumously Baptize them?
The Mormon Church holds the most extensive genealogical archive in the world. They are systematically Baptizing everyone who ever lived. Devout Mormons are expected to spend their golden years in service of the Church working in their temples, which, in large part, consists of Baptizing the dead. In time the Mormon Church will have Baptized every person who ever lived.
This thought does not bother me in the slightest--their illusions do not effect my reality. This practice of theirs is peaceful in nature and they find it fulfilling. So, as in all matters of faith, my attitude is that as long as it does not hurt anyone and it is meaningful to you I will defend your right to do it.
Whilst I find this Mormon practice peculiar--no doubt they find some of my religious practices equally bizarre - I do not object to them doing it and in actuality it hurts no one. Thus, I call upon my fellow Jews who are protesting this largely irrelevant Mormon practice to live and let live. Frankly they need to calm down and stop being so neurotic.