President Obama’s late mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was baptized by the Church of Latter-day Saints during the campaign last year, Politico reports. The Mormons are investigating the baptism of Dunham—who died in 1995—which a Church ancestry website documents. Posthumous baptism performed without permission has raised problems in the past, and the Mormon church says it has limited the practice.
“The offering of baptism to our deceased ancestors is a sacred practice to us and it is counter to Church policy for a Church member to submit names for baptism for persons to whom they are not related,” an LDS spokeswoman said, implying foul play. Sometimes, members “bypass this instruction and submit the names of non-relatives for temple baptism,” she continued, causing “pain and embarrassment.”