Sunday, March 4, 2012
Sunday Morning News and Views, Part I
A change in the policy of baptising the dead. The top leaders of the Mormon Church have composed a letter that will be read to every congregation today as the faith struggles with a controversy about one of its most important religious practices. The letter instructs the faithful to stop posthumous baptisms of celebrities, Holocaust victims and anyone else who is not a direct ancestor. In recent weeks, the Mormon practice of baptizing the dead has attracted criticism that has even touched the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, a member of the faith. This is a reversal of previous LDS policy, and comes while Mitt Romney, the first Mormon to have a real chance at being a major party candidate for president. Romney has not addressed Holocaust survivors, Jewish and complaints by other religions on the previous policy of baptising first Mormon ancestors, then any ancestor regardless of faith, and finally anyone other deceased person. These type of faith wide letters delivered by the pulpit are not common among the LDS (Latter Day Saints). The message this time is very clear. Do not violate a policy that limits you to first and if possibly only Mormon ancestors, then only blood relatives after all Mormon relatives have been discovered and baptised.
Residents in parts of the Midwest and South are recovering from a wave of deadly and destructive tornados and storms. Not one but two Super Tornado's, a very rare ocurance, stuck in two consecutive days, with winds in excess of 200 miles and hour. The images of a bed remaining with no house around it, the home where the man in the photo lost a close family member...of flattened homes and businesses..and of the sudden horror of deadly Super Tornado's.
Today, President Barack Obama addresses thousands of pro-Israel activists in Washington, for the annual gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. His appearance before that influential lobbying group comes at a crucial juncture for Israel, with a looming nuclear threat in Iran and growing violent conflict in neighboring Syria. We begin with perspectives of Israelis in Tel Aviv, regarding the escalating threat posed by Iran. He is expected to reveal what he can of the "red line"over which Iran cannot step without serious military retribution.Tomorrow , President Obama will meet at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Obama is expected to try to convince Netanyahu to put off any plans his government may have to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.On Tuesday responses from Republican candidates for president will answer Obama's plans and set out their own stratigies before AIPAC and/or the media.