Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Friday, January 27, 2012

When Mythology Becomes Voodoo

Commentary By Ron Beasley

As anyone who reads these virtual pages knows I'm an atheist and consider religion to be nothing but mythology.  Mormonism adds an additional layer of nonsense to the Christian nonsense but this sounds like voodoo to me.

Two readers have sent us confirmation that Edward Davies, Mitt Romney's militantly atheist father-in-law, was indeed posthumously converted to Mormonism by his family, despite the fact that when he was alive he regarded all religions as "hogwash."

Converting the dead - zombies in heaven.  Now this is too weird but not uncommon.

[A] canonical series of rituals that Mormons undergo (in life or death) in order to qualify for admission to heaven, including baptism, confirmation, "washings and anointings," endowment, and, in the case of men, ordination to two levels of priesthood. The description seems to indicate that certain family members were present for all these rituals, in which a living male would have stood in "for and in behalf of" the late Mr. Davies.

And they have received objections before although I'm not sure why.  If they convert me after I'm dead I'll still be dead.

The Mormon church has repeatedly been criticized for its practice of trawling for dead souls to convert to the faith. Catholic and Jewish organizations have expressed outrage when the names of dead popes and Holocaust victims have turned up on Mormon lists of the baptized. In 1995, the church pledged to "discontinue any future baptisms of deceased Jews" except for direct descendents of living Mormons, tacitly acknowledging that its creepy and weird to claim the souls of people who had no interest in Mormonism for their own. It's strange that the Romney and Davies families didn't accord Edward Davies' memory the same respect.

I'm not sure that anyone who believes such nonsense should be anywhere near the most powerful position in the world.  This makes the craziest of Evangelical Christians look sane.  A voodoo president?


  1. I wonder how Mormons would feel if the Catholic Church posthumously made Brigham Young a Catholic?

  2. Interesting but unsurprising bit of information. Makes me think I ought to start my own religion, conscript all available souls and particularly those who died with money, and then posthumously have them rewrite their wills to name their new religion as "soul" beneficiary.
    Perhaps I can take it with me.

  3. So, as an atheist, can I buy one of these conversions for a living Newt Gingrich?