How to Open In-Class Exercise

Essay in need of a Strong Opening

Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose diary and death in a Nazi concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust, was allegedly baptized posthumously Saturday by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to whistleblower Helen Radkey, a former member of the church. The ritual was conducted in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic, according to Radkey, a Salt Lake City researcher who investigates such incidents, which violate a 2010 pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders.

Radkey discovered that Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, who died at Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945 at age 15, was baptized by proxy on Saturday. Mormons have submitted versions of her name at least a dozen times for proxy rites and carried out the ritual at least nine times from 1989 to 1999. This time, Frank’s name was discovered in a database that can be used for proxy baptism — a separate process, according to a spokesman for the church. The database is open only to Mormons.

A screen shot of the database shows a page for Frank stating “completed” next to categories labeled “Baptism” and “Confirmation,” with the date Feb. 18, 2012, and the name of the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple.

Mormon posthumous proxy baptisms for Holocaust victims or Jews who are not direct descendants of Mormons has continued, despite church vows to stop such practices. Negotiations between Mormon and Jewish leaders led to a 1995 agreement for the church to stop the posthumous baptism of all Jews, except in the case of direct ancestors of Mormons, but some Mormons have failed to adhere to the agreement.

The name of Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel was recently submitted to the restricted genealogy website as “ready” for posthumous proxy baptism, though the church says the rite is reserved for the deceased, and Wiesel is alive. Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, was among a group of Jewish leaders who campaigned against the practice and prompted the 2010 pact by which the Mormon Church promises to at least prevent proxy baptism requests for Holocaust victims.

Wiesel last week called on Republican presidential candidate and Mormon Mitt Romney, a former Mormon bishop who has donated millions to the church, to speak out about the practice. The Romney campaign did not immediately reply.  The Frank case follows closely on an apology from the Mormon Church last week for recent posthumous baptisms of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal’s parents.

The latest baptism of Frank by proxy is especially egregious because she was an unmarried teenager who left no descendants. Mormon officials have stressed that in accordance with the agreements, church members are supposed to submit only the names of their own ancestors.

“The security of the names submissions process for posthumous rites must be questioned, in view of the rash of prominent Jewish Holocaust names that have recently appeared on Mormon temple rolls,” Radkey said about her latest find. “This one sailed straight through, with Anne’s correct name in their ‘secure’ database.”

Radkey said she expects, once word gets out, that church officials will scrub the records as they did with Wiesel and Weisenthal’s parents. The Mormon Church responded later Tuesday in a statement: “The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism. While no system is foolproof in preventing the handful of individuals who are determined to falsify submissions we are committed to taking action against individual abusers who willfully violate the Church’s policy. Ritual baptism should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect; we regret when it becomes a source of contention.”


Exercise Specifics

In the Reply field below this post, write your strongest Opening Paragraph.

Your paragraph must contain a thesis sentence that clearly and boldly proclaims the claim you promise readers you will prove.

In addition, your Opening Paragraph:

  1. Will make strong, perhaps paradoxical claims.
  2. Will sum up a very strong argument your essay will make.
  3. Will NOT LOSE the argument.
  4. Will itself be an argument.
  5. Will be memorable.
  6. Will be debatable, demonstratable, illustratable.
  7. Will be a good example of itself.

Well, maybe it won’t accomplish all 7 goals, but the more the better!

You have until the end of the period to write your best first draft.

27 Responses to How to Open In-Class Exercise

  1. The posthumous baptism of the symbol of the horrific Holocaust, Anne Frank, by the Mormon church is an act that can only be defined as outright betrayal to her religious wishes and beliefs. Anne Frank was forced to endure an inhumane journey through the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she ultimately suffered her demise at a young age. The alleged baptism was performed on Saturday by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A former member of the church, Helen Radkey, is a Salt Lake City researcher who investigates incidents such as this one that violate the agreements made in the 2010 pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders.

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  2. kraemercali says:

    The idea of respecting religion is a meaningful topic that all must succumb to. The idea of converting anyone is a touchy subject to some, and must always involve the consent of the party involved. The church baptizing those who are deceased is causing problems to arise due to issues of morality. Such people may not have wished to be baptized, or had their own beliefs. One person who is victim to this is the well- known woman, Anne Frank.

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  3. When dealing with one’s beliefs, repeat must be a major factor. This is especially relevant when someone has passed away. Baptizing Anne Frank while she was dead is morally unjust and simply unfair to her. If she wanted to be baptized, thats something she should have done while alive. It is true that she did not have the right circumstances to be worrying about her religion while hiding from the oppression of the Nazis, but nonetheless, baptizing someone while they are dead is something that should not be practiced and should not be promoted.

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  4. ahntkd99 says:

    Anne Frank who died in a Nazi concentration camp was allegedly baptized posthumously Saturday by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons have submitted versions of her name at least a dozen times for proxy rites and carried out the ritual at least nine times from 1989 to 1999. Mormon posthumous proxy baptisms for Holocaust victims or Jews who are not direct descendants of Mormons has continued, despite church vows to stop such practices. It is rude to Holocaust victims. So, they have to stop baptized posthumously.

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  5. voxpopuli75 says:

    Posthumous bapitization by the Mormon Church is an assault on the religious rights of the dead. Recently, whistleblower Helen Radkey revealed Anne Frank, long dead symbol of the Holocaust was subject to one of these invalid ceremonies at a Mormon Temple in the Dominican Republic. According to a researcher who investigates such incidents the ritual violated a 2010 pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders.

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  6. Despite the vows to not practice converting deceased non Mormons, Mormons have continued to selfishly disrespect the deceased and carelessly continue to ignore the lack of consent the deceased can give. Mormons have chosen to have no respect for the 15 year old deceased child, Anne Frank, victim of the atrocious holocaust. Mormons of the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple have taken it into their own hands to convert Anne Franks deceased remains into the Mormon religion.

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  7. lg102015 says:

    Anne Frank, a who was a member of the jewish community, has died during one of the most tragic events we have seen in history. Anne of all people, after her bravery should not be baptized posthumously by a Mormon Temple in the Dominican Republic. This action that the mormons are taking is unjust to other faiths. This goes with most things in this world, that if you are not capable of giving permission to something being done to you, then the action should not be taking place.

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  8. Anne Frank died a Jew in the Holocaust and was reprehensibly baptized as a Christian by the Mormon church posthumously. Pitiful proxy baptisms did not begin and have not ended at Anne Frank as Mormons continue to baptize Holocaust victims and Jews. Mormons are picking up where the Nazis left off, the only difference is they are cleansing victims of the holocaust after death. No clear claim has arisen from the Mormons as to why they practice such baptisms, but this antisemitic purification process of the afterlife seems clear.

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  9. tenere84 says:

    The Mormon Church has resumed their practice of posthumously baptizing deceased non-Mormon individuals. Famous Holocaust symbol Anne Frank’s name recently appeared in a Mormon temple’s list of baptized people. This violates not only the pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders, but also the right of freedom of and from religion. It was bad when they did it with famous Holocaust survivor Ellie Wiesel, but it’s much worse that they have made a deceased 15-year-old teenage girl, who has not even left any descendants, conform to the religion. Deceased people should not be forced to conform to religions after death when, while alive, they would not have done so. The right to freedom of religion is paramount over Mormon Church members’ selfish desires.

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  10. It’s unethical to conform an individual (Anne Frank) to a religion after their death and further more baptize them into the Mormon church. Given that Anne Frank has passed admitting her into a church when she was Jewish is completely wrong as she cannot refute. This will further cause more problems and issues with future Jews who completely disagree with such doings. The death of a person gives no reasonable instance to baptize one without them being able to properly decide. Changing one persons beliefs and religion is against many laws and flat out morally inappropriate.

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  11. bmdpiano says:

    Respecting others beliefs of religion should be the only common practice between all people. Anne Frank is a staple symbol of the Holocaust and the battle Jewish people had to fight to want to practice their own faith. For her to be baptized into the Mormon church after her brave death most definitely is unethical and disrespectful. Many are disturbed by the fact that the Mormon people are converting Anne Frank when she is an obvious heroic spokesperson for the falsely treated Jewish people.

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  12. mpsj13 says:

    Baptizing the deceased into a religion that they did not consider in life is immoral, yet this is what has been being done by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Famous Holocaust survivor Anne Frank has been submitted for posthumous proxy baptism many times and such a baptism took place in 2012 disregarding the agreement made by the Mormon church to stop such practices. Even more shocking, Mormon people have attempted to unwillingly baptize those still living into their church. Baptism by proxy is wrong and despite agreements made by the church, still, offensively, taking place.

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  13. roses0102 says:

    The Mormon church posthumously baptizing people of Jewish faith is unethical due to failure of consent. The people that have no Morman decent shouldn’t be objected to being baptized and documented in the Mormon database. Mormons stating baptism should be started on love and respect completely contradicts their immoral decision to baptize and document people from other faiths. Anne Franks Judaism should have never been tampered with, whether she is living, or not

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  14. Valcom says:

    The Mormon Church has been posthumously baptizing people of Jewish faith, and one of those being Anne Frank. Anne Frank was such a victim where the Mormons baptized her and then put her name in a database that is only accessible to Mormons. It is inhumane to baptize people who have passed away because that person is no longer able to give consent and that person can not say anything about what they are doing to them.

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  15. lucbe219 says:

    Everyone deserves to believe in their own faith, and others cannot steal that away from them. It is unjust that the Moran church is baptizing people who are unable to object to what is happening to their bodies after death. It should be illegal for people to convert others into their religion potentially against their will. It is unfair to make a decision on behalf of someone else without their input on the topic, especially when they will no longer be able to.

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  16. jackso23 says:

    The dead should in fact be left dead. Leaving the dead alone is an idea that most people would think is a universal norm, yet some seem to think otherwise. Anne Frank, a 15 year old girl who died during the Holocaust while imprisoned in a death camp, was a member of the Jewish faith. However, decades after her untimely death, Christian followers have begun to use Anne’s (as well as other deceased people) body to perform a posthumous baptism. Far from Anne being a non-member of the Christian faith, there are many more reasons why posthumous baptism is very wrong. Posthumous baptism is wrong because Anne (as well as other victims) are deceased, it is morally wrong, and there is already a pact against it.

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  17. Anne Frank, a strong and courageous emblem of the Holocaust, is now wrongly being baptized by the Church of Latter-Day Saints; even after the noble officials of Judaism rejected this idea as she herself is not of Mormon descent. This is not only completely ludicrous, but disrespectful to all of the Jewish victims that were effected by the Holocaust. Anne Frank deserves the right to withhold her faith of Judaism, even after death. Any religious proceeding that has not been consented to from all parties should not take place out of complete respect.

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  18. compclass8 says:

    It is unethically and morally wrong to conform people to a certain religion after death. Anne Frank is a victim of the Mormon Church posthumously baptizing members of the Jewish faith and who are not descendants of Mormons. The Mormons have baptized Frank and included her name in a database used for proxy baptism that only Mormons can access. This is immortal because the people who are desceased do not have a voice to speak up and communicate whether or not they are willing to get baptized. Peoples religion and spiritual beliefs should not be messed without permission by the individual.

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  19. hershey515 says:

    The posthumous baptism of the Mormon church has been opposed due to unseen evidence. Anne Frank demonstrates the use of this tactic. As a little young girl the ritual was conducted on her own self. Anne Frank’s faith of Judaism should be protected and not be taken away from Mormons because it is sacred to them.

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  20. hershey says:

    The posthumous baptism of the Mormon church has been opposed due to unseen evidence. Anne Frank demonstrates the use of this tactic. As a little young girl the ritual was conducted on her own self. Anne Frank’s faith of Judaism should be protected and not be taken away from Mormons because it is sacred to them.

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  21. Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, a Jewish girl who died at Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945 at age 15 and whose diary made her a symbol of the Holocaust, has been discovered in a database that can be used for proxy baptism. In violation of the 2010 pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders, researcher and former church member Helen Radkey, discovered that Anne Frank was baptized by proxy on Saturday. Mormons have submitted versions of her name at least a dozen times for proxy rites and carried out the ritual at least nine times from 1989 to 1999.This has continued for her and other Holocaust victims who are not direct descendants of Mormons, despite church vows to stop such practices.

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  22. influenza123 says:

    People, like Anne Frank (who was never a member of the Christian faith), are being posthumously baptized by members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. As ridiculous as such an instance may sound, posthumous baptizing has been done without those that it has been done to expressing their desire for it before they died. Posthumous baptizing has even been attempted on those that are still living! Any spiritual or religious proceeding that is not asked for should not be done to someone, especially when they are dead and have no voice in the situation.

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  23. lovericeandnoodles says:

    Anne Frank and other Holocaust victims that are not descendants of Mormons are being proxy baptized by Mormons. This is very wrong and offensive to do because these Mormons do not have the right to do so as these people are already deceased. It is very immoral to baptize people who have passed away, as the people who have died cannot communicate and cannot say if they want to be baptized or not. Anne Frank’s faith of Judaism should be secured and not be taken away from Mormons.

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  24. smellycat23 says:

    The emblem of the Holocaust, Anne Frank herself, for writing a descriptive diary of her tragic events, should not be baptized posthumously by a Mormon Temple in the Dominican Republic which violates the 2010 pact between Jewish leaders and the Mormon Church. The Mormons have unceasingly baptized Frank and included her name in a database used for proxy baptism that only Mormons can access. Not only has the Mormon church gone against the wishes of the Jews, but also against the fully alive Nobel Prize Winner, Elie Wiesel, who does not want to be baptized after his name was submitted to the restricted genealogy website. Mormons say baptism should be based on love and respect but it has developed into conflict.

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  25. athenapup4 says:

    Respecting the religious rights of individuals is something everyone must practice. Therefore posthumous baptisms in the Mormon church if the individual is not a direct descent of Mormonism needs to be put on hold. The baptism of Anne Frank has been under the microscope in regards to the Mormon church following baptism practices when they claimed they were no longer going to continue posthumous baptisms. And many well known individuals are speaking out against the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. bane1900 says:

    Being able to conform people to a certain religion after death should not be a legal practice because it is unethical and morally wrong. Just because the person being converted is no longer living, gives religious groups the right to change their religion because they can’t refute what is going on. It is morally wrong to change anything about a persons identity without their consent, especially when that person is no longer living.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. The Mormon church is posthumously baptizing members of the Jewish faith even when there are no such descendants to be found. A victim of this such treatment happens to be Anne Frank, and the outcry of a whistleblower may be just what is needed in this fight for religious beliefs even after death. Helen Radkey, a former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is speaking out against the churches wrongdoings of baptizing members of the jewish community killed during the Holocaust; it is her view that only direct relatives can be subject to the baptism, rather than very distant relatives. Radkey spoke to the former Presidential Candidate, and Mormon follower, Mitt Romney asking him to denounce such actions, but no response was given immediately, and with no resolve the Mormon Church continues its wrongdoings.

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