Tag: adolf hitler
Sealed Without Your Consent–Mormon Ordinances by Proxy
The LDS Church performs a wide variety of ordinances, some of which are called saving ordinances, which they believe are required for salvation. One such ordinance is called sealing, and it seals you to spouses and other family members for all eternity. Fine and dandy and more power to them, I say. Everyone is entitled to their own sacred beliefs, and that is one of theirs. Even as someone who is outside their faith, I can respect that.
But wait. Hold on. It turns out that a whole group of my ancestors in Denmark have been sealed. And they passed away before the LDS even existed. How is that possible? It turns out that there’s this loophole called an ordinance by proxy.
According to Wikipedia,
“After Latter-day Saints enter the temple and receive temple ordinances for themselves, they may return and perform the saving ordinances on behalf of their deceased ancestors. These are performed vicariously or by “proxy” on behalf of the dead, and Latter-day Saints believe that it is up to the deceased to accept or reject the offered ordinance in the spirit world. Only saving ordinances are performed on behalf of deceased persons.
“Ordinances on behalf of the dead may be performed only when a deceased person’s genealogical information has been submitted to a temple. Latter-day Saints complete genealogical work for deceased persons and if it is determined an individual has not received some or all of the saving ordinances, the individual’s name is submitted to the temple to receive these ordinances by proxy. Optimally, the proxy who stands in will be a descendant of the deceased person, but the ordinance proxy may also be an unrelated volunteer.”
Well, that certainly explains why the Mormons have the best, most detailed genealogical records in the world. They want to save as many people as they possibly can. That can’t be a bad thing, can it? Rumor has it they’ve even sealed Adolf Hitler, Anne Frank, and Mother Teresa. That’s a load off, knowing that their places in eternity are assured, because their actions in life didn’t already seal their fate for better or for worse, right? [Heavy sarcasm alert.]
But when I heard about this happening to my relatives I was disgusted, and my cousin and my late sister could not understand why. Here’s why. I take my spirituality very seriously. It has been hard won and required a great deal of soul searching. The thought that when I die some future relative who is a total stranger to me can perform this ordinance on my behalf, against my will, is offensive. If I wanted to be sealed, I’d do it while I was alive.
I suppose I could petition that my relatives to be “un-sealed”, but I feel I don’t have the right to do so for the same reason that the proxy sealer didn’t have the right to seal them in the first place. I have no idea what their wishes would have been, so I can’t in good conscience make that type of choice on their behalf.
My sister said, “But why do you care if you’re sealed? You’ll be dead.” I care, dammit, because we’re talking about my legacy. We’re talking about what other future family members will read about me and believe about my choices. Unless they make an effort to do their homework, they’d most likely assume that the choice was mine, and I’d hate to think that perceived choice might influence theirs. I don’t want my legacy, my hard won philosophy about this life and the next, to be usurped and altered, no matter how well-intentioned the person who chooses to perform this rite may be.
It’s a certainty that I won’t completely agree, religiously, with the majority of my future relatives. Heaven knows I don’t agree with all my living ones. And, oh, by the way, there are some relatives that I’d rather not be sealed to for all eternity, thankyouverymuch. There. I’ve said it.
My sister also said, “What would it hurt to have all your bases covered?” To which I replied, “And what if one of those bases happened to be related to the Satanic Church? How would you feel then?”
I sincerely believe that every person has their own spiritual path to walk upon. I don’t want some “one size fits all” type of divine insurance policy. Not only does it lack sincerity, commitment and dedication, but it would deprive me of my free will. If that means I’ll be burning in hell, so be it.
So if any future ancestors are reading this and thinking of having an ordinance by proxy performed on me, thanks, but no thanks. Even if I were truly given the opportunity to accept or reject it in the spirit world, I plan on being busy, and will not want to be disturbed.
Unwanted Legacies: The Shame that is Nathan B. Forrest High School
Here in Jacksonville, Florida, we have a high school named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a confederate general who led the massacre of African American union soldiers at Fort Pillow and was one of the earliest members of the Ku Klux Klan.
That school was named based on the recommendations of the Daughters of the Confederacy, as a reaction to the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that (gasp) did away with segregation.
At the present time, the student body of that school is predominantly African American. Go Rebels! Rah rah rah!
Only one other school in the entire country is still named after this man, and it’s in Chapel Hill, Tennessee. At least that’s in the state of his birth. He never set foot in Jacksonville. Any other schools that bore his name had the good sense to change that years ago.
This is a blight on the city of Jacksonville. Not that we haven’t tried to change this in the past. The last time was in 2008. Unfortunately the school board’s vote went along color lines and was 5-2 to retain it. Too bad there were only two African American school board members that year. Ignorance abounds.
It’s time to make a change. I strongly suspect there are no Adolf Hitler High Schools anywhere on earth. Why would we continue to honor a racist thug?
But here’s where it gets sticky. Where do you draw the line? We have four other schools named after Confederate generals, and one named after Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.
And Jacksonville was named after Andrew Jackson, a slave holder and the president responsible for forcibly relocating untold numbers of American Indians.
History isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always something to be proud of. And it shouldn’t be forgotten, but quite often it shouldn’t be honored, either.
Granted, changing the name of Jacksonville would be unbelievably expensive. But changing the name of a high school where students are supposed to express school spirit and wear t-shirts and cheer for their teams…a school named after a man who helped found the most racist organization on earth…a man who had no connection whatsoever to our local history (thank heavens)…This, to me, is a no-brainer.
Update December 17, 2013: It gives me great joy to announce that the Duval County School Board finally saw fit to do the right thing last night, and voted unanimously to change the name of Forrest High School. The new name has yet to be chosen, but it will take effect in July. That means that this year’s seniors will be the very last to graduate from Forrest High School. Now Jacksonville will be able to hold its head up a little higher.
Update January 7, 2014: The school has been named Westside High School, and the students chose to change their mascot from the Rebels to the Wolverines. Yay, team!
(To add insult to injury, this is the Forrest High School Mascot)
/meem/ n. [coined by analogy with `gene’, by Richard Dawkins] An idea considered as a replicator, esp. with the connotation that memes parasitize people into propagating them much as viruses do.
I’d never even heard the term meme until I got a Facebook account, but they certainly are like parasites. More and more I’ve seen people post “quotes” on Facebook that are 180 degrees out from what you’d expect a particular famous person to say, at least in public, and yet people believe these quotes because they were pasted over that person’s photograph. You’re looking right at them. You’re reading the words, so they must have said them, right? Especially if you see quotation marks in there. But speaking from experience, if you do a little bit of checking, in most cases if it doesn’t seem true, it isn’t.
(This will probably go viral. I’m going to hell.)
Another sneaky way to use these memes to get your point across is by using a cute photo to get people’s attention. Which of these would make you vote for Hitler? Well, hopefully neither one, but hey, that puppy is awfully cute!
(Puppy photo credit: http://www.fanpop.com)
And you can also twist things around to scare people away from a certain belief.
(Photo credit: http://www.bubblews.com)
What it boils down to, basically, is that people will believe what they want to believe, or at the very least, what they refuse to take the time to question. In this age of ever increasing paranoia, we will have to learn to be more skeptical, and, for the love of GOD, more RESPONSIBLE about what we put out there for the world to see.