Skip to comments.Mormon church's racial history continues to haunt Romney
Posted on 03/06/2012 5:44:27 AM PST by Colofornian
Mitt Romney, despite a seemingly lackluster appeal to the Republican base, is steadily marching toward the GOP nomination. A relatively private man, Romney has suffered for appearing awkward in public. But the businessman turned politician is learning to be transparent: he has finally released his tax returns, made attempts to clarify a myriad number of changed policy positions, and has even held his own in debates -- fine tuning well-rehearsed attacks on President Obama ahead of their likely general election fight.
Yet there is one subject Romney has consistently avoided -- for good reason -- and that is the sordid history of racial insensitivity in the Mormon Church
theGrio: Black Mormons weigh Romney-Obama match-up
The issue garnered attention this week after the Washington Post published an article, "The Genesis of a Church's Stand on Race". In the article, Randy Bott, a well-regarded religious professor at Brigham Young University, which is owned by the Church of Latter-day Saints, sought to justify the church's previous exclusion of blacks to the priesthood, as well as the disturbing teachings -- and explicitly racist texts of the Book of Mormon.
"God has always been discriminatory," Bott said.
The professor compared prejudiced policies to a young child asking for keys to a father's car and conflated this with the Mormon ban on blacks.
"What is discrimination?" Bott asked. "I think that is keeping something from somebody that would be a benefit for them, right? But what if it wouldn't have been a benefit to them?" Professor Bott tried to explain that though blacks were not allowed into the priesthood before 1978, this meant that they were spared from being sent to the lower rung of hell.
It's a stretch - and a wholly insufficient answer for most reasonable minds - but Bott's comments actually reflected mainstream Mormon opinion for at least 150 years.
Founded in 1830, the Latter Day Saint (LDS) movement was started by Joseph Smith, who claimed to have received a revelation from which he penned the Book of Mormon. LDS theology claimed that people of the black African Diaspora were cursed. Today, Mormons still teach that a war in heaven took place when Jesus and Lucifer, both considered sons of God, disagreed on whether or not humans should be given free will.
According to Smith, Jesus believed that only a select few could be saved, while Lucifer believed that everyone should be given a chance at salvation. Smith's revelation purports that the spirits who sided with Lucifer ended up being born as darker-skinned people, cursed by God, and were undeserving of the priesthood.
Though Smith may have been unduly influenced by the slave-owning society in which he lived -- more than any actual spiritual awakening -- the official doctrine of the LDS Church still views his writings as divinely inspired. And despite the ban being lifted in 1978 -- more than a decade following the 1964 Civil Rights Act -- the Church has never disavowed the scripture or Joseph Smith and Brigham Young's teachings, which are fraught with racial bias.
Further complicating the matter are the dubious circumstances under which Mormon leaders eventually saw the light. In early 1978, the U.S. Department of Justice threatened to revoke the LDS tax-exempt status if it continued to discriminate on the basis of race. It was then that the Mormon "living prophet" declared his new revelation -- thereby protecting millions, if not billions, in potential tax liabilities.
In response to Ricard Bott's claims, the Church of Latter-day Saints issued an official statement yesterday condemning racism, "including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the church."
This represented the most forceful statement the Church has made on the subject to date, but if the story gains more traction -- or if Bott defends his stance -- this will undoubtedly prove to be a mitigating factor for Mitt Romney, forcing him to speak about the racial politics of his faith.
Romney has claimed that he was so moved when the church finally allowed blacks into the priesthood that he broke into tears. Yet he was a full grown man in his 30s and there is no evidence whatsoever that he previously objected to or campaigned against the blatantly racist policies.
I guess I’m not ready yet.
here was a barber that thought that he should share his faith with his customers more than he had been doing lately. So the next morning when the sun came up and the barber got up out of bed he said, “Today I am going to witness to the first man that walks through my door.”
Soon after he opened his shop the first man came in and said, “I want a shave!” The barber said, “Sure, just sit in the seat and I’ll be with you in a moment.” The barber went in the back and prayed a quick desperate prayer saying, “God, the first customer came in and I’m going to witness to him. So give me the wisdom to know just the right thing to say to him. Amen.”
Then quickly the barber came out with his razor knife in one hand and a Bible in the other while saying “Good morning sir. I have a question for you... Are you ready to die?”
Very good, grasshopper!
Pink & delightsome, eh, BM?
Oh, what does that prove? Nothing.
Religious nut cases are funny people. They cannot prove themselves to be right before they cast others as wrong. Religion consists of no proof, so they must ignore reality and embrace fantasy. The nut cases put on their Napoleon hats and act like they are God’s agents in religious matters; they fantasize of having the great powers granted to the Inquisitors before them and enjoy their tapioca as it is spoon fed to them.
Never do they address questions posed to them. Instead, they counter attack.
“You are one of them!” A sinner! A non-believer! I’m right; you’re wrong!
Obsession is a hard emotion to overcome, as is the conceit that accompanies religious bigotry.
It might 'prove' nothing; but it SHOWS that your INPUTS to this thread are not very deep, theologically speaking.
But when you state this...
They cannot prove themselves to be right before they cast others as wrong....you've pretty much summed up the MORMON style of proselyzing.
I should have been more clear.
I’m well aware of the Anti-Mormon People’s Liberation Freeper Front guerrillas here.
What I meant was that the ever-tolerant Lefty press was just starting to unload on Mormonism (two lost tribes and golden tablets all).
You really have a thing for Mormans, like the Nazis or the Muzzies have a thing for the Jews. Check under your bed at night - - and in the closet. They’re everywhere!
Not very deep theologically speaking? Proof does not mix with theology. I don’t speak deeply of Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck either.
I believe in good and evil - but just can’t put these religious contests like yours into the former category; they belong in the latter. Look at your company of religious zealots throughout history who claim they have been the right religion—and taken up a personal duty to chastise the non-believers. You’re not in good company.
Their conscripted ARMY is out in force; in the streets and at your door, selling their lies and HERESY to the unsuspecting and ignorant.
Back on the home front, they raise up more good little soldiers from the fruit of their loins; dutifully filling their little minds with the 'truth' of MORMONism.
I believe in good and evil -
So do the DEMONS that JESUS spoke about; and THEY tremble.
Look at your company of religious zealots throughout history who claim they have been the right religionand taken up a personal duty to chastise the non-believers.
Speaking of chasizing...
Are you one of these people who will IGNORE what MORMON leaders think about CHRISTIANITY; or will you take this opportunity to chastise them?
Or will you ACCEPT what they have said?
It's right in this thread - #33.
What say ye?
Obsession is a hard thing to cure. Religious conceit, with its resulting judgementalism and hatred, brings out the worst behavior in humans. I studied the Spanish Inquisition and visited two death camps in Germany. My family is from Poland, where camps such as Sobibor still ring in the memories of people who understand what hatred and conceit can do.
I’ve told you that you have never proven your case - no religion can prove their case - the Mormans, the Catholics, and worst, the evangelical christians, can’t prove anything. But your conceit has you trudging along spitting your vile judgements at others. I stopped going to any church because each one houses bigots like you.
I remember my biblical lessons of Luke and the words of the Lord’s prayer. Those must not agree with your ego. You see, this obsession of yours is not about religion and its not about God, it’s about YOU. No matter what I question, you return to your obsession - which proves my first point in this posting.
You might be mixing up Elsie and this guy:
Elsie is passionate, not obsessed. I think that he believes much the same regarding Jehovah's Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals and the various other nonChristian groups who claim to be Christian.
What is my 'case'?
I posted FACTS directly from top MORMON leaders. Quotes; DAMNING ones if Rush had said them; and yet you choose to continue to remain silent.
Do you 'remember' anything else?
So judgemental; aren't you!
Hebrews 10:25 kjv
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
LOL, you said it - I didn’t.