Sunday, March 19, 2006

"Dealing with the Mormon factor"

R.B. Scott in the "Salt Lake Tribune" discusses the problem Romney is going to have if he emerges as a leader for the nomination. Romney has tried the, "America has a political religion . . . people who are elected . . . [take] an oath to abide by a nation of laws and the Constitution, above all others." line, but the past history of the Mormon's treatment of blacks, with is still not a settled issue, will be used against him. Here are some of Scott's examples.

.... The church is aware that some members still believe theories taught by leaders like Brigham Young, who proclaimed that black skin and loss of priesthood were "marks" placed on all descendants of fratricidal Cain. Others said it was punishment for being less valiant in the war in heaven. Young's harsh sidebar comments - one sanctions death for partners in interracial marriages - are particularly vexing.

After the policy was renounced, it was hoped that apostle Bruce R. McConkie's sweeping disavowal to the church's Seminary and Institute of Religion teachers of all that had been previously taught would tie up loose ends: "Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young . . . or whomsoever has said . . . that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world . . . "

But it didn't. A perusal of any Mormon-oriented e-mail discussion group today would confirm that the Internet gives currency to such recidivist views. That is why some members believe a more specific statement is needed. And Hinckley may be just the man to make it. Rest here


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