Hitchens’ Book of Mormon-ism

Excellent Slate article by Christopher Hitchens on Mormonism, its core beliefs, and how it should be discussed in the context of the presidential campaign. Hitch’s piece includes a reference to a terrific book I republished in 1995, by Facebook friend Alex Shoumatoff. It’s his superb study of human kinship and genealogy, The Mountain of Names. It arises here b/c of the Mormon practice, indulged in for many years, of posthumously claiming souls to harvest for supposed salvation, even non-Mormon decedents, such as murdered Holocaust victims. The book’s title is a direct reference to the name bank that Mormons, at least until the mid-90s, kept in the rocky innards of a private peak in Utah. In his inimitable way, Hitch tartly dubs this “a crass attempt at mass identity theft from the deceased.”

6 replies
  1. Peter says:

    What a shocking insult to the memory of those gone before, to be co-opted so vulgarly in the name of another man’s faith.
    We need to blow back this bogus wizzardry.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] history of human kinship and genealogy, which before dying last year Christopher Hitchens made the springboard for one his last columns. We also developed a strong list in books on Central Asia, including four […]

  2. […] history of human kinship and genealogy, which before dying last year Christopher Hitchens made the springboard for one his last […]

  3. […] discussed earlier on this blog, in Hitchens’ Book of Mormonism and  “‘A Crass Attempt at Mass Identity Theft’,” Mormon officials in 1995 […]

  4. […] October I wrote a blog post, “Hitchens’ Book of Mormon-ism,” after Christopher Hitchens published an article in Slate, “Mitt Romney’s Mormon […]

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