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09 January 2007



Wow. Did not know this about the Mormon Church.


A religion with a checkered past?!? Romney has some explaining to do, since he's obviously the official spokesman for Mormon church!

A shame something like that could happen in our great nation, where we've never tolerated any form of racism.

Greg G

Andrew, isn't that a bit sarcastic. Rod specifically said that he's only asking b/c Romney is making faith and religion a cornerstone of his campaign. If he is, why shouldn't he explain his own religion.

And yes the Mormon church has a huge racist past. Don't try to deny it.

Rod McCullom

Andrew, this is Rod.

I didn't say "checked" past. I said "racist history." Let me correct that: Recent racist history, because the 1960s and 1970s are relativelty recent.

BTW, I didn't know there were many Rod 2.0 readers in Provo, Utah.


Well, I didn't say "checked" either, Rod. But would you disagree with "checkered" being an applicable term in that context?

And I'm not denying the church's racist past, as viewed through contemporary retrospect. I just don't think Romney's basing his political platform on his religion as much as we think. Does the mere fact that he is running automatically imply that he has to explain every obscure doctrine of his personal religion?

Either way, I didn't mean to be taken very seriously. My first post was my backwards way of saying I disagree. No real harm intended... honest.

Oh, and when I say "his religion," I mean "our religion." You probably guessed that by now, though.

*hides in Provo basement apartment*

Rod McCullom

Okay, Andrew, you "checked" the typo, lol, it should have read "checkered."

Perhaps that word is applicable in this context. Most Christian faiths certainly have a checkered past littered with racism, sexism and yes, homophobia. (BTW, in case you haven't guessed, I'm one of those progressive liberal Christian types.) However, one of the central tenets of the Mormon faith was its belief in the "Curse of Ham" and that only changed within the past generation. It's certainly not obscure.

This is important because the new Mitt Romney--not the old, progressive moderate Republican--has chosen to align himself with the evangelical wing of his party that seeks to fuse church and state. Since Mitt is endearing himself to evangelicals, it's only fair that we consider the evangelical message that Romney brought to the world when he was a young Mormon missionary. Ironically, it seems that he was posted to ... Africa.

BTW, Provo is a beautiful town, I've been there once or twice. No need to cower in your basement. ;)


When I say "obscure," I mean it's not something commonly discussed in a normal church atmosphere. Things may have been different a few decades ago, but my point is that I don't think Romney is responsible for explaining his second-hand associations with outdated church doctrines, even if they are apparently racist from our point of view.

I imagine that if you were to ask him, his answer would probably be something like this: our doctrine relies heavily on divine revelation from God, since He is the only one that could bar blacks from holding the priesthood and then later allow them to receive it.

Considering you call yourself Christian, I hope you will agree that God has that authority. I think it's up to us to research the subject on our own rather than expect an explanation from Romney, especially because such an explanation may not ever be given.

Greg G

Andrew, I'm sorry but I disagree. "God" didn't bar blacks from the Mormon church priesthood; Mormon elders barred them from temples to receive their sacraments and only changed their policy when their evangelism in Brazil would have made it almost impossible to ordain anyone who was not 100% white.

Throughout much of the 20th century, "God" didn't bar black men from the priesthood in most Protestant faiths and the Catholic Church.

Do not confuse Mormon doctrine with "God." Then again, doesn't the Mormon "church" believe that Jesus was a MORTAL man living in the 19th century?


Greg, doesn't every religious adherent believe their organization is divinely inspired? That why I was careful to not phrase my second paragraph exclusively (I specifically used the word "could" rather than simply say "He barred"). I don't think I'm confusing my church with God, but I do believe that His will guides my church.

As for the question posed in your closing paragraph, my answer is "no." If you're referring to Joseph Smith, then you have a very skewed perspective of what we believe and should do some real research before you can expect to corner us in a theological debate.

As a side note, does it seem like I'm interested in picking a fight? That's not my intent... honest!


Although we have freedom of religion in this country, no one has a "right" to be elected to office. If there is probable cause for concern that a candidate believes or has ever believed that certain citizens of the country bear the "curse of Ham," people have a right to question him about that and talk about his response. Wouldn't anyone want to know that?


... (not to mention, whether he believes any people in the world at all bear that curse!) ...

In referring to an American president's responsibility to American citizens, I did not mean to neglect the importance of the rest of the world's people, either, of course.

Rod McCullom

Andrew, the answer to your question is "yes."

You've never commented here before, and, these comment boards are often attacked by anti-gay, racist or pro-right wing types who came across Rod 2.0 while Googling their cause du jour. Also, the Provo ISP and revisionism of the Mormon Church's recent past certainly implies you're not black; it would also imply that you're not (openly) gay.

However, all are welcome here as long as they are respectful. But save your breath--I'm going to talk about this more today and later this week and more. I'll also post an email received from a Romney campaign operative.

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