Dear Mormons: Feel Free To Baptize My Future Atheist Corpse
And yet … for all that my default response is usually “outrage” whenever facing the prospect “organized religion imposing where it’s not wanted,” I find it hard to fault what the Mormons are doing. In fact, I wish all proselytizing religions would follow their example: preach to the dead all you want, but leave the living alone. Most religions predict eternal damnation for anyone who dies outside the true faith; the Mormons are attempting to avoid this. If their theology is right then they’re doing a good thing, and if they’re wrong (that’s how I’m betting) it makes no difference either way.
Having said that: Mormons, you really need to shut the hell up about your little baptism games. Just quietly fill out whatever holy paperwork you figure gets souls out of Mormon purgatory and into Mormon paradise, and keep it to yourselves.
It’s like a sexual fantasy: if you (not “you” personally, of course you’d never think naughty thoughts) fantasize about doing things to or having things done to you by a neighbor or colleague, your private thoughts don’t harm that person in the slightest. But it would be appallingly inappropriate, and downright creepy, to actually tell that someone “You’re who I think about while I pleasure myself,” let alone issue press releases announcing “so-and-so is my primary whack fodder.”
And the same holds true regarding postmortem Mormons: nothing harmful about the baptism or the fantasy itself, but you desperately need to keep quiet about it.