May 22, 2008

Personal Opinion

As a genealogist I try to keep up with topical news that might contribute to a continuing education in my chosen hobby. To do this, I subscribe to many genealogy blogs and newsletters in an attempt to keep up to date.

Just recently I read a blog by Leland Metzler entitled "Microfilming of Catholic Parish Records by the LDS Seems to Be a Thing of the Past..." Metzler cited a columnist for the LDNews of Lebanon, PA in which the author, James M. Beidler, writing about the recent Catholic church decision to not allow LDS to microfilm church records because of the LDS practice of "re-baptizing". He suggested that the "Church should rethink stand on digitizing."

I am not Catholic, and I do not have a problem with LDS microfilming church records, Catholic or otherwise. My disagreement comes from the sophomoric and condencending manner in which Mr. Beidler responded to the controversy.

In that column, Mr. Beidler wrote:

"To put it bluntly: I wish the Catholic church would grow up. As many others have said before, other faiths getting upset about this reveals ridiculous insecurities about their own religions."

This remark shows a very shallow view of the world's religions and individual tenents of belief. It implies that he is somewhat superior in thinking, and the rest of the world's religious population are children who have yet to grow up.

I felt that Mr. Beidler's comments merited some rebuttal, so I sent the following e-mail:

Sir:

I read with interest your comments concerning the Catholic Church's refusal to allow LDS to extract records out of concern for their odd practice of re-baptizing non-Mormons.

The sophomoric comment, "To put it bluntly: I wish the Catholic church would grow up. As many others have said before, other faiths getting upset about this reveals ridiculous insecurities about their own religions." was, in my opinion, revealing of your own religious ignorance.

Your comment would seem to indicate you have special insight into the world population's religious "insecurities," but not much about their various beliefs. Outside of the Mormon society, there is a world of a few billion people who do not believe that re-baptism is needed for their ancestors to achieve "everlasting life" that most religions teach.

An overall balanced argument must also include the argument of whether or not the Mormon Church is wrong for continuing the practice of "re-baptism" of people who were never Mormon.
His reply:

Thanks for your opinion.






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