The “Mormons hate black people” thing

No Republican is going to bring this up in the pimrary.    No Democrat is going to mention it until after Mitt Romney has locked up the nomination and it is too late for Republicans to change their candidate.

It’s an issue with no merit, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a potent weapon.   It came up briefly in 2008 and Romney chased it away, but he wasn’t the Republican Nominee and he wasn’t running against a man who is the result of an inter-racial sexual relationship.

I listen to “black radio” fairly regularly, something few “white” people do.  You can bet your last dollar that if Romney is the nominee running against Barack Obama, this issue will be out front 24 hours a day for months pounding Romney into the ground for something he doesn’t believe (at least I don’t think so)

Back in the “good old days”, the Mormon church had an official policy that blacks could not be in leadership positions in the Mormon Church and were specifically not considered to be equals

Background on LDS theology about Blacks

Mitt Romney’s reaction to being hit with that charge is that it was his father George Romney who pushed the LDS church to repeal its stand in 1978.   George Romney had tried to run for President in the 1960s with little success.   George Romney was born in Mexico after his parents fled the country.  It’s an open question as to whether George Romney was a “natural born” US citizen and eligible to run for President.

This is a letter George Romney received in 1964 while he was Governor of Michigan:

Letter from Delbert Stapley to George Romney

Enjoy your Super Tuesday   Choose wisely.

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11 Responses to The “Mormons hate black people” thing

  1. PACoug says:

    I never liked Delbert L. Stapley. I had much more affinity with Spencer W. Kimball, who spent so much of his life as an apostle visiting the members in Central and South America and the Pacific Islands. It was not George Romney who inspired Kimball, as president of the church, to inquire about whether the whole “curse” thing should be abrogated. It was my friend, Helvécio Martíns, former CEO of Petrobrás and eventually the first black bishop of the Mormon church, whose great testimony and faith moved President Kimball to action on the subject.

    If Stapley had had more than a simple racist’s understanding of the church policy, he’d perhaps have noted that several black men received the priesthood under the hands of Joseph Smith and it was not until his assassination and the assumption of the presidency by Brigham Young that black men were denied the priesthood. I think it’s quite likely, given the zeitgeist, that Brigham was as racist as most of his contemporaries. Because of the hierarchichal nature of the church, and its doctrinal dependence on revelation to the man at the top, a mistake made early on could persist for generations and cause all manner of mischief, including the racist attitude of Del Stapley and multitudes of other Mormons of the day. When the policy was officially changed by Pres. Kimball in 1978, I remember the quiet joy felt in my household–although my mother was by today’s standards quite racist at the time. Even she felt the happiness that comes from something so obviously right. She’s still around now, and tells me how much she hated Martin Luther King–and now, after reading many of his sermons, how she loves him these many years later. I think it took the policy change by the church that she is so invested in to get her to look at racial relations in a more fair-minded way.

    Our parents are wise because of the mistakes they’ve acknowledged and corrected, not because they’ve always been right. I served a mission in Brazil in 1985-87. Most of the people I taught were black, and about half of the Brazilian friends who’ve stayed in touch with me over the years are black. It was an honor to serve them, serve under their authority, and serve alongside them. I would do it again today. And I would continue to teach, as I do in my own ward, that if you think like ol’ Del Stapley in the above letter, you’re in danger of hell fire.

    Your brothers and sisters deserve nothing less than the best and most evenhanded behavior from you, and if you aren’t there yet, repent and get on the peace train, brutha. There is not a soul on this earth that is worth less to God than yours, so remember you’re dealing with God’s precious children at all times.

    I’m pretty sure that’s the message delivered by George Romney in 1964 that got Elder Stapley’s garments in a twist. Absolutely sure it’s what he instilled in his children, and what Mitt and Ann have taught their own as well. It is now the official doctrine of the church, so not hard to embrace.

    If you think the Mormons have a racist past, you should try the Southern Baptists or…pick your poison. Any church of the South from Joseph Smith’s time. The Mormons were pretty doggone liberal compared with the rest of the lot. In fact, that’s why the Missourians kicked them out of their state–the Mormon vote threatened to overturn the slave-state consensus, so the old residents took care of the newcomers with powder and ball.

    It’s helpful to take the big picture under consideration when you are forced to render a judgement such as a vote. I’m comfortable with Mitt’s opinions on race relations. What I don’t like is his political opinions, which appear to not exist, or exist in a mercurial state depending on which crowd he’s addressing at the moment. Romney may indeed believe similarly to me politically, but there’s no way for me to know, because he is such a chameleon.

    Some say changing your positions to fit your audience is “moderate.” To me it renders you untrustworthy. If you want my vote, come and get it. I don’t vote the man, and I don’t vote the party. I VOTE THE POLICIES. I know I’m never going to get all of what I want. I vote for the man who seems to be the one who’ll bring about the least-bad set of policies. Right now for me that’s probably Santorum or Gingrich. But if it comes down to Romney and Obama, it’s Romney by a country mile, whether or not long-dead Mormon apostles were as racist as preachers from other white churches of the day.

    • Art Stone says:

      You’ll get no argument from me. The church I attended as a youth (right next to the one Quinn & Rose attend in Mount Lebanon) had the ministers telling us to embrace the Civil Rights movement, while one of the deacons was employed by Mount Lebanon to make sure no black people dared to pollute the Mount Lebanon municipal swimming pool or buy a house. Had a black person sat down in a pew, the police probably would have been called, or at least it would have been gossip for the next year.

      Meanwhile, down in the basement, the youth minister was rounding up the local street gangs and talking to them about Woodstock and helping to fight against President Richard Nixon.

      Last report is the huge sanctuary is just about empty on Sundays. I csn’t figure out why. At the point I was asked to “be confirmed”, the only thing I knew I knew was I wanted nothing to do with this religion.

      But the bigger point that you’ve demonstrated very well (and I mean this sincerely) is how effective the Democrats bringing this issue up in a few months will take the entire campaign into the ditch. Non-Mormon Republicans will be forced to “take sides” on religious doctrines that has nothing to do with anything, while the looting of the US Treasury will be off the radar of the campaign.

  2. Generally speaking, I think the presidential election will be decided by the people in the political middle who voted for Bush in 2004 but decided to give Obama’s “hope and change” a chance in 2008. These voters are not going to hold old Mormon bigotry against Romney any more than they would refuse to vote for a white candidate because slaveholders were pretty much all white. If Democrats try to bring this stuff up, Romney will simply change the subject back to spending and the debt and that will illustrate to folks in the middle the difference between the two sides.

    • Art Stone says:

      For an example of the power of the media to sway those people in the middle using a made up charge of racism, look no further than George Allen and “Macaca”

      In 2012, the Republicans could nominate Mother Theresa and by the election she would be painted as a racist merely for running against Barack Obama. You can take this to the bank.

  3. 3tooz says:

    If Condelezza Rice ran against Obozo, she would probably be considered a racist as well !

    • Parrott says:

      >”In 2012, the Republicans could nominate Mother Theresa and by the election she would be painted as a racist merely for running against Barack Obama. You can take this to the bank.”

      Art, Glenn Beck or his boys that gather info for him, read your Blog ! They(Pat, Glenn and Stu) were joking around about Ms Fluke being put out by a PR firm that hired that ole girl that admired Mao that worked for obama. They more or less said this exact same sentence in the first our this morning(Friday March 9) That they would call Mother Theresa a racist for her political views and platform.
      You are cutting edge Art.

      • Art Stone says:

        Glenn Beck watches his public image very closely.

        There was evidence at one time that Michael Savage used to read things here in real time, or at least his producer did 🙂

  4. JustTheFactsMaam says:

    “Background on LDS theology about Blacks”

    This is my beef about most links that are supposed to offer “support” of what people think is truth. Doesn’t it make more sense to go to a proper source for information? I mean would you go to Burger King to find out about McDonald’s? Would you go to Purdue to get information about Georgetown? Wouldn’t it make more sense (and probably be more legitimate) if you went to the official Mormon church website to find out the true stance on blacks in their church? It’s as if people are afraid of what they might find out if they actually go to the actual source. I was interested in what the link had to say until I found out that it was from someone who really didn’t have authority to speak on the matter.

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