The Conspiracy

NYPD surveillance; Anne Frank baptized (again); Shabbat buses; and more. [Required Reading]

Courtesy. Professionalism. Respect. | Photo by Flickr user Giacomo Barbaro (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

NYPD tracked Muslim students, organizations [Columbia]

Recent news that the New York Police Department willfully performed surveillance on Muslim student organizations in the name of anti-terrorism measures has been met with harsh criticism by many. In light of the fears this news may provoke, the Spectator, newspaper for Columbia College, unpacks the threat to free speech that these “investigations” may have instigated, and their implications for the future.

“There, in Low Library, one of the students representing the ISO heralded terrorist actions like targeting civilians with missiles or suicide bombs as a legitimate form of resistance to the Israeli government. I was appalled that a fellow student would hold such views, but I would have been more appalled if that student had left her ideas unexpressed for fear of being filed away as a potential threat by the NYPD. The chilling effect that the surveillance program might have on campus speech would mean that such views would go unsaid, and thus certain ideologies left unexposed for the truly deleterious modes of thinking that they pose—something more harmful in the long run than a few dilettantes sitting around and speaking reverently of Sayyid Qutb.”

Anne Frank baptized… again? [Huffington Post]

Here at New Voices, we recently shared a story about the controversy surrounding the recent posthumous baptism of the parents of Simon Weisenthal. The Mormon Church had issued an apology for its actions, there was an understandable amount of criticism (an agreement between the Church and the Jewish world a couple years ago was to put a stop to this sort of thing). Apparently, not everyone got the memo, as the Huffington Post reports Anne Frank has been baptized again– her ninth baptism at the hands of the Mormon Church, if anyone’s counting. A church whistleblower provided Huffington Post with all the allegations.

“Radkey said she 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, according to Radkey. But Radkey says this is the first time in more than a decade that Frank’s name has been discovered in a database that can be used both for genealogy and also to submit a deceased person’s name to be considered for proxy baptism — a separate process, according to a spokesman for the church. The database is only open to Mormons.

A screen shot of the database sent by Radkey 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.”

Tel Aviv makes move toward public transportation on Shabbat [Jerusalem Post]

While tension between traditionally observant Jews and modern communities doesn’t look to be resolved anytime soon, the city of Tel Aviv has ruled that it will offer public buses at various points around the city on the Sabbath. But the battle is far from over. The Jerusalem Post reports:

“A Transportation Ministry spokesman indicated Tuesday that the ministry would not approve Tel Aviv’s request. The Transportation Ministry will ‘not infringe [upon] the status quo which has been in place for decades regarding all aspects of public transport on Shabbat,’ the spokesman said.

Nevertheless, Huldai on Wednesday vowed to continue the mission to bring buses to Tel Aviv on Shabbat. ‘We must determine if we want to live in a democratic, Jewish state or a solely Jewish state – which will be similar to Iran,’ Huldai told Army Radio. ‘The citizens have the right to visit their relatives on Shabbat or go out for a trip,’ he added.”

Russia warns of the fallout of Israel – Iran conflict [Haaretz]

It looks like the string of international leaders urging Israel to avoid an all-out attack on Israel can add yet another name to its list: the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, who urged Israel to consider the nuclear fallout, and impact on international peace-keeping efforts, such a strike would have. Haaretz is there:

“‘Therefore I hope Israel understands all these consequences … and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves,’ Gatilov said at a news conference..

A top UN nuclear official said on Wednesday his team could ‘could not find a way forward’ in attempts to persuade Iran to talk about suspected secret work on atomic arms.”


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3 Older Responses to “NYPD surveillance; Anne Frank baptized (again); Shabbat buses; and more. [Required Reading]”

  1. ShashNahalin
    February 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Vandals with an ax to grind put a lot of effort into getting around the computer shield designed by the Mormon Church to prevent submissions for baptism of Holocaust survivors. It was sabotage through hacking and or unauthorized access and use.
    Official Statement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 21 February 2012
    In response to questions about violations of the Church’s proxy baptism policy, the Church issued the following statement:
    The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism. It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place. 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 by suspending the submitter’s access privileges. We will also consider whether other Church disciplinary action should be taken. It is distressing when an individual willfully violates the Church’s policy and something that should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention.

  2. Virginia
    February 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Since the database involved is only accessible to Mormons, Mrs. Radkey must have hacked the database to FIND that the name had been submitted for proxy baptism. How do we know that she didn’t hack it to SUBMIT the name so that she could subsequently “find” it? And why would we think that people in the Dominican Republic would associate the name Annelies Marie Frank with that Anne Frank or that they would even know who Anne Frank was? The name is not obviously Jewish, particularly with the middle name “Marie”.

  3. Raymond Takashi Swenson
    February 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Speaking just for myself, I think it is a bit of a coincidence that Ms. Radkey looked for Anne Frank in the database just a day or two after the vicarious ordinance was performed on her behalf in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic. Radley is a person who rebelled against the Mormon Church, and presumably has contacts within the Mormon membership. If one of them is someone who harbors ill will toward the Mormon Church, but is still on paper a member in good standing, such a confederate could be acting as an agent for Radkey in submitting the names of Anne Frank and other deceased Jews in order to embarrass the Church and, by association, Mitt Romney, whom Radkey also despises.

    Unfortunately, there are always some people who, for various reasons, are disaffected from religions that they had previously been actively engaged in. Mormons have been victimized by such fake Mormons for two centuries. Some of them put on a false front of faithfulness so they can use their contacts in the Church to support their businesses. Like men who deceive their wives while carryiong on secret affairs, there are some people who use a false front of faithfulness in order to undermine and harm the Mormon Church.

    In any case, if the person who submitted Anne Frank’s name was sincere, they were doing it out of admiration for that young woman, not in any desire to harm her. If you asked pastors of most non-Mormon denominiations of Christianity, they would admit that they teach that Anne Frank and all the other Jewish victims of the Holocaust are burning in hell, simply because they did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Which of those opinions is more respectful of the Jews and the Holocaust, the Mormon one or the typical “Jews and Mormons go to hell” Christian one?

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