My God can beat up your God

Apparently, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who steps into “it” quite a bit, has done it again. The same man who railed about Don Imus and his infamous “nappy-headed hos” comment, said of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, “As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don’t worry about that; that’s a temporary situation.”

Well, now. Hypocrisy at its finest? I do not condone Imus’s remarks, and in fact found them in poor taste and frankly, downright disgusting, but is this comment really all that different?

It’s a complex situation, to be sure. After all, Mormons have, for years, claimed to have the ONLY TRUE THING. And this Church claiming to have the only conduit to God’s ear has, for years, discriminated against African-Americans.

It was not until 1978 that black men could even hold the LDS priesthood. I suppose I understand why Al Sharpton thinks the Mormon God is different from his God.

We were taught that black people were less valiant in the pre-existence, and thus were cursed with black skin.

What I found must interesting when researching this, is that Apostle LeGrand Richards, when interviewed about the change in the ban, said that while God never said that blacks were less than savory, Native Americans WERE!

RICHARDS: Well, we don’t want to get that as a doctrine. Think of it as you will. You know, Paul said “Now we see in part and we know in part; we see through a glass darkly. When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away, then we will see as we are seen, and know as we are known.” Now the Church’s attitude today is to prefer to leave it until we know. The Lord has never indicated that black skin came because of being less faithful. Now, the Indian; we know why he was changed, don’t we? The Book of Mormon tells us that; and he has a dark skin, but he has a promise there that through faithfulness, that they all again become a white and delightsome people. So we haven’t anything like that on the colored thing.

How nice, that if they are just faithful to the Mormon Church, they can become white. Let’s trade one bigotry for another.

As for explaining the ban, I found a FAIR article (taken from a speech) from 2002, that had THIS astounding passage:

3 Nephi 2:15-16.

15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites; 16 And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year.

There are Blacks here today who are members of the Church. Why have we not turned White? But there are Blacks who have joined the Church, married White spouse, and their children became lighter than their Black parents. Then those kids grew up to marry those that believe as they do, which most are White, so they married White, and their kids became even lighter, and so on. Makes you think a bit, doesn’t it?

Is this man NOT saying that the promises of the Book of Mormon, that dark people will become “white and delightsome,” seems to be coming true?

For the critics, please note I have included links to the entire articles so you can read and judge for yourself and not accuse me of taking it out of context.

Some other choice quotes about blacks and the Mormon Church.

Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie summarized the doctrine as follows:

“The Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, …but this inequality is not of man’s origin. It is the Lord’s doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of spiritual valiance of those concerned in their First Estate [the pre-existence].” Mormon Doctrine, p. 527 – 528, 1966 edition

Typifying the attitude of Mormon leaders was Mormon Apostle Mark E. Petersen, who said, in an address at Brigham Young University on “Race Problems as They Affect The Church” (August 27, 1954, as quoted in Jerald and Sandra Tanner’s book The Changing World of Mormonism, p. 307):

“Now, we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest kind of education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves.”

This last two quotes are from Richard Packham’s Web site, but they can be verified from many other sources. I only CHOSE this Web site because I know it to be matter of fact, honest, and easy to read.

So, I guess I understand Al’s feelings about Mormonism, but I don’t really appreciate his intimation that HIS God was just going to out-of-hand dismiss any Mormons. Frankly, the God that created our world, if he/she does exist, surely loves ALL of his creations, Mormon/Catholic/Baptist, whatever they may be. Right?

Or is that concept just too simple for bigoted religious folk?

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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9 Responses to My God can beat up your God

  1. Renee says:

    Natalie, intersting you would end it that way. I swear I am not pumping for my religion – in fact, I will not name it. However, in their statements of faith (or whatever they call them) it is asked “is XXX the true church or belief?” and the answer is “yes, however we believe that people of many religions also have the true church”. Weasel words? I really don’t think so. I think it says we don’t claim to possess all the answers.

    It’s always given me some comfort. I don’t like Mormonism as a religion, I will not lie to you. Among others. Some things about my own I’m not especially fond of, in fact. But, I do believe that there are Mormons who are as tolerant as I of other thoughts and who do believe in Jesus as I do…and I believe there are those of my faith who are as intolerant as some Mormons and probably really don’t believe.

    And, though I don’t have historical research to validate, I’ll bet my church said stupid thing about blacks and intermarriage and such. They don’t anymore, I know. One would hope you can move past man’s human prejudices…I’m sure it’s hard though. We’ve all got ’em!

    We really are all in this together, gay, black, drinkers, crackheads, straights, cats, dogs…whatever. And I honestly do believe God loves all of us.

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  2. Hey Renee,

    Just remember, I said “bigoted religious folk.” This is NOT an all-inclusive term. There are so many religious people that are not bigoted, and I know it. Just wanted to clarify.

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  3. Renee says:

    Yep, I got that. And I agree with you that there are many. 🙂

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  4. Renee says:

    Both good and bad religious people. I must be getting too tired to type because that last post made little or no sense! The point I was making in my first post was, really poorly, is that I agreed with how you ended it, especially in your second to the last paragraph.

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  5. Cele says:

    Renee I think one of the things about this post that you are missing, or maybe I just think you are and in that case ignor me, is that prejudice based on the darkness of ones skin was MORMON DOCTRINE. The passages in Nephi voices the hatred of its author, Joseph Smith.

    A decade or two ago my daughter was kicked out of Sunday School. Why? Because she questioned the Sunday School teacher on her theology that this church’s God was different and better, than the God of the Jewish, Mormon, Jehovah Witnesses, Catholics, and Muslim faiths and religions. That if there is one God, why do we get taught that our God isn’t their God? Obviously by the content of the discussion you realize this wasn’t a Mormon Sunday School teacher, but elitist outlook is the same as Al Sharpton’s and many other’s, it is just that Joseph Smith put it in writing when he wrote the Book of Mormon.

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  6. azteclady says:

    Cele: “That if there is one God, why do we get taught that our God isn’t their God?”

    Exactly!

    Why do we care how others express their faith? As long as they leave us alone to express ours in the way we see fit…

    … which is my beef with Mormon missionaries, JW missionaries, etc etc etc–they want to decide for me… and for everyone else.

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  7. theorris says:

    Well one of the important questions that we have to struggle with is can bias against a religion be categorized with racism? Ultimately they are two different things: one is a belief that one can be convinced of the efficacy of (or lack there of) whereas the other is fate. I can’t decide to be another race, but I can decide to believe in Zeus. Of course the issue is further confused by the cultural nature of religion (in that some cultures are intricately tied to the religion that they share) but I don’t think that holds true for most post Protestant Reformation churches.

    In other words to disagree with a religion cannot be categorized as the same as being a racist. If it is, then we are in for very scary times when anything and everything must be accepted by all just because someone “believes” or has “faith” in it. One could, for example, ardently believe the Earth is flat and insist that scientists respect one’s beliefs by no longer insisting on teaching children that the Earth is a globe.

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  8. INTJ_Mom says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if many, or even all, religions have had racist periods. The difference people see is, in my opinion, two-fold. First, Mormonisms racism extended to a relatively recent time in the past. It’s still kind of “fresh.” Secondly, their whole preaching of having the one and only true church and gospel on the planet comes into play. It would be understandable if some other religion was racist at times because they aren’t the one true thing. Mormonism is supposed to be the restored truth, so if racism was part of it, it was because God wanted it to be there, it was approved by God. That’s the problem.

    To be fair to Mormonism – as far as I understand the book “Mormon Doctrine” by McConkie is not supposed to be considered Mormon doctrine in any way at this present point in time. President McKay supposedly privately censured McConkie after the book was published. However, I don’t recall the church ever publicly denouncing it widespread throughout the membership.

    A lot of the older church members, my mother included, read and believed that book as bonafide Mormon doctrine. I remember it was used often as a supplemental material in local church meetings I attended and we were encouraged to buy and read the book by our local ward and stake leadership. My mother still believes what McConkie wrote and believes that his book was inspired by God.

    However, again on the other hand you’ve got statements by Spencer Kimball talking about how the races shouldn’t intermarry and how the Native American and polynesian peoples’ skins will become lighter and more white as they accept the gospel and live righteous lives.

    If you study genetics at all it’s all just silly. Skin color evolves in direct correlation with the amount of sun exposure there is in a geographic location. Negroes are dark because they originated in Africa where they needed darker pigment to deal with all the sun. As people migrated out of Africa up into Europe, there was less intense sunlight to deal with and skin had to evolve and become lighter so Vitamin D production could continue in the most efficient manner. This is why native peoples in the northernmost areas like Finland, Sweden, etc. are so fair skinned.

    Of course, none of this science was known back in Joseph Smith’s time. The attitudes toward dark skinned Native Americans portrayed in his writings are typical of the 19th century attitudes and beliefs that were prevalent then. Wouldn’t it have been nice if God had let Smith in on some of this information, then he really would’ve looked like a prophet still today instead of a charismatic but delusioned narcissist.

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  9. Excellent comments, everyone!

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