Mr. Deity Explains the Racist Theological Roots of Mormonism

The folks at Mr. Deity are back channeling Ray Comfort with a new episode of “Way of the Mister.” This one focuses on “the racist theological roots of Mormonism”:

The (actual) moral message begins at the 2:00 mark. That part alone is worth watching.

(Thanks to MegaZeus Thor for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • HughInAz

    The other night on the Daily Show, they interviewed a group of African-American Mormons. I can’t understand why any black person would want to be a Mormon. Or any non-American for that matter, since it’s so parochial and America-centered in its beliefs. Or any sane person, since the whole thing is a transparent con job. Although I guess if you live in Utah or parts of surrounding states and you want to get anywhere in your career, Mormonism is compulsory and you go through the motions for the social and networking benefits.

    • HughInAz

      And in a (no doubt futile) attempt to forestall the inevitable knee-jerk accusations of racism from the plussers, I want to state that I am NOT implying that African-Americans and sane people are non-overlapping groups.

      • Guest

         It’s so weird how people keep attributing opinions to A+ that they made up, and that those same people obsessively bring them up here every day even though no one else does.

        • Baal

           Maybe there is a reason folks are nervous that A+ will ream them for no or any reason?  Your comments here are not exactly using  a positive spin.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rick.jackson.963 Rick Jackson

        Yeah, pretty sure I’m a “plusser” and I completely understood what you were saying.  Like the other commenter, I wish people would stop attributing opinions to A+ that they made up.

        • Gus Snarp

          This.

        • Brian Macker

          … but it’s the A plussers that have been pushing the notion that there are only two kinds of atheists, the A+ers and the knuckle dragging dinosaurs. In fact Richard Carrier defended this “deepity” in his orginal comment on A+. Many an A+er does in fact use the race card on the drop of a hat. If there are only two kinds of atheist then according to your own ideology you must be one of those.

          Of, course the comment you just complained about didn’t actually do what you complained about. He was concerned about the behavior of some, not all self identified A plussers. A plussers are notably concerned about in and out groups, and the labeling of such. If you aren’t an A+er you want to be associated with racists, according to what I’ve read from the A+ movement. Heck, non-A+ers deserve condemnation on the very principle of, “If you are not with us you are against us.”

    • Squibob827

      ”  I can’t understand why any black person would want to be a Mormon”.

      A much more interesting, and culturally significant, question would be “Why on earth would any black person vote for a Democrat?”

      If you don’t understand why that question is important, then you are, as they say, a “Low Information Voter”.

      • Deven Kale

         Then call me a low information voter. What exactly is it about the democratic party that should drive away colored people?

        • Squibob827

           A history of over 170 years of supporting slavery, Jim Crow Laws, voter intimidation, poll taxes, literacy tests, segregation, the Ku Klux Klan,  and forbidding blacks to learn how to read and write as well as opposing every single meaningful piece of civil rights legislation from 1865 to 1965.

          So, again I ask, “Why would any black person vote for a democrat?” Hell, you’d think any self respecting black would cross the street just to avoid sharing the sidewalk with a democrat.

          • Deven Kale

             Oh okay, so I don’t see any reason why a black should have voted for a democrat at any point before 1965. What you haven’t really shown, though, is why they should be against Democrat’s now. In fact, I would have to say that it seems the roles have been reversed since then.

            • Squibob827

               Because the Democratic party hasn’t really done anything to help blacks, unless “free Obama cell phones” count.

              • Deven Kale

                 I disagree, but I have no proof. Apparently, you have no proof of why they should be against Democrats now anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

                • Brian Macker

                  Because Democrat policies have pretty much ghettoized the Black community. Unintended consequences that have been pointed out by Republicans from the start. Democrats tend not to understand incentives.

                • Deven Kale

                  And it would seem that Republicans don’t understand poverty, if your point of view is common among them. If those programs hadn’t been there, allowing them to get food and shelter, many of them would have died. Instead, they’re at least alive. The fact that some who are able are unwilling to get themselves out of that situation has nothing to do with the government.

                  Actually, looking at it that way has given me a slightly new perspective, so thank you. I’m much rather support the party of life (Democrat) than the party of death (Republican).

          • Icyfist

             You say all of this as though the Republicans werent as complicit or more with these policies and groups as the Democrats, or that the Democrats havent adopted slightly less antagonistic policies towards black people.

            And by the way, ignoring the fact that the Dixiecrats were more like todays Republicans in their personal religiosity, sexism, and hostility towards immigrants doesnt help your case.

            • Squibob827

               Just take a stroll through the National Cemetery at Gettysburg and tell me exactly how “complicit” the Republican Party was with slavery.

              Don’t you think that the Democrats’ policy of buying black votes with food stamps, earned income credits (“free money”), racial set asides and all of the other freebies from the public largesse isn’t nauseatingly similar to the Dutch buying Manhattan for a handful of beads?

              No, the Democratic party hasn’t changed its stripes. The Dixiecrats are gone, but their goal of keeping the black race nailed to the bottom socioeconomic rung is still alive.

              The only difference is that they are using new tactics. They are much more subtle now. They can buy black votes while keeping them in the ghetto and still posturing about how wonderful their policies are and noble their motives!

              Even I gotta admit, it’s pretty slick!

              • amycas

                 The fact that being in poverty has a correlation to also being a member of a racial minority means that racial minorities would be more in favor of programs such as food stamps, medicaid, wic, and welfare. They vote for the Democrats because the Republicans have threatened time and time again to cut or get rid of the very programs that are helping racial minorities get out of poverty–programs such as PBS which brings education to areas of lower economic status that wouldn’t otherwise have access to that education. This isn’t “buying their votes,” it should be classified as “making sure they don’t starve, are able to have a place to live and educate their children, so those children might escape crippling poverty.”

                • Squibob827

                   So it’s a GOOD thing to keep them as pets?!?

                • Deven Kale

                  I’m calling you out troll. Nobody could seriously believe that’s what’s actually going on. Nobody.

                • Brian Macker

                  Except Thomas Sowell. Why on earth couldn’t a party do the same thing that was done in Roman times and many times after, Bread and Circuses?

                • Brian Macker

                  The thing is that these policies don’t in fact work to “help” blacks. I suggest you read some of economist Thomas Sowells writings. Charity used to come with strings attached, which tended to uplift the poor. Democrats undid all that, and are constantly fighting against it.

              • Icyfist

                That cemetery proves fuck-all, and you havent addressed my point about the dixiecrat’s similarities to today’s Reps.

                 And yet in “Blue states”, police brutality, poverty and financial isolation among blacks and latino’s is drastically lower, with  southern states (Which everyone knows are commonly “Red states”) as the most impoverished and most dependent on the programs you mentioned. Ignoring the past 300 years of history and social evolution, by your logic, the Republicans are the biggest peddlers of subversive oppression for black and latino people.

                Try again.

                • Brian Macker

                  Nonsense, you ignore the history and culture of Southern states. Read Sowell and you will learn something. Southern states aren’t I’m impoverished because of Republican popularity. That’s laughable. If that were true than why was it the Republican north that was industrialized?

                  Sowell has shown over and over that there is no correlation between racial preferences and lifting anyone out of poverty.

                • Icyfist

                   Way to dodge the argument…

                  1. I never said Republican majority states make poverty, READ what I said “southern states (Which everyone knows are commonly “Red states”) as the
                  most impoverished and most dependent on the programs you mentioned …by your logic, the Republicans are the biggest peddlers of subversive oppression for black and latino people.”

                  2. Republican north, Liberal controlled with the least religiosity, less overall sexism and more counter-cultural antagonism towards racism (for the time anyway).

                  3. I never suggested there were racial preferences to eradication of poverty, but to suggest there’s no connection is bullshit, looking at the financial isolation I pointed to in my last post.

      • kaydenpat

        Because Republicans support racists, and racists support Republicans.

        http://www.google.com/hostednews/getty/article/ALeqM5hBc4Z1xzhDbWrGPjvkvByB3aP_gw?docId=154020260

        Was this White Supremacist asked to leave the Romney rally?  Probably not.  Romney needs every White vote he can get.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Book of Mormon: The Book of Moses: Chapter 7.
    8) For behold, the Lord shall CURSE the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a BLACKNESS came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people. 

    I did a video on this a few months ago, re: various Mormon scriptures that indeed seem very racist:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD3-1VLJeGg&feature=share&list=PL6F10EFFD7DB32C0E

    • Deven Kale

       There is no book of Moses in the Book of Mormon. I checked Mosiah 7:8 to see if you’d gotten those confused, but that’s not what you’re talking about either. You need to double-check your reference there, because I can’t tell where you get this from.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

        Clarification: The Book of Moses (officially called Selections from the Book of Moses) is part of the scriptural canon of Mormonism, dictated by founder Joseph Smith.
        Here is Chapter 7 right on the LDS.org’s own website: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/7?lang=eng

        • Deven Kale

          Okay, I can accept that. I’m a little surprised I’d never heard of it though, considering how long I’ve been associated with Mormonism. Carry on! ;)

          • Deven Kale

             Nevermind, I’m not surprised. It’s in the Pearl of Great Price. I often forget about that one, and I’ve never read any part of it.

  • guest

    wait, why would a black person want to be a mormon? or is it the same as women in the catholic church?

    • http://CoffeeShopAtheist.com/blog Patrick

      Or both in the case of Gladys Knight.

  • Dr_I_Needtob_Athe

    When you wrote “that part alone is worth watching”, you were literally saying that the rest of the video is not worth watching. Is that what you meant?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Sorry – no. Whole video’s good. Especially that part.

  • Gus Snarp

    This was great. Wasn’t sure what to expect of it, certainly didn’t expect it to be quite so serious, but it was really thoughtful while still humorous. 

  • Octoberfurst

     I don’t know any Mormons personally but they do seem like nice people. However I wonder how they reconcile the Mormon belief that Black people are inferior with their modern day sensibilities?  I mean, it’s obviously racist to the core. But as Mr Deity pointed out they can’t just get rid of it from their scripture because they believe it is “God’s holy word.”  Tis a predicament.
      And I wonder what Black Mormons think about all this?  The whole “White is Godly & delightsome” and Black skin is a curse thing.  I assume they just have to suspend rational thought and just gloss over it. How nice that God told the Mormon hierarchy in 1978 that he changed his mind and that it is now ok for Blacks to be in the priesthood.

    • Baal

       “can’t just get rid of it from their scripture” 
      Actually, they do edit the mormon bible from time to time.  Their pope equivalent is allowed to receive further guidance from god to update their holy word.  They have been softening their blatant racism (too slowly and not radically enough).

      • Octoberfurst

          I had not heard of that. But if so then why doesn’t he do it? It’s obviously something they can’t justify so why not say that there is a “new revelation” and change the scripture?

        • Baal

          Due to questions, i went and looked again.
          The changes aren’t as extensive as I remembered.  Mostly it looks like they cleaned up Mr.Smiths problems with writing and to down play the racism by using ‘pure’ instead of ‘white’ a few times.
          c.f. http://mit.irr.org/changes-latter-day-scripture

          This isn’t too much different from different Bible versions down playing donkey shows and dildos (“practice whoredom upon the likenesses of man” or similar words).

      • Nankay

        Do they actually rewrite the scripture…take something out and put something new in it’s place?  I know new revelations are handed down, but I thought the actual text of BOM stayed the same

        • Deven Kale

          There have been quite a few changes (I only have one BOM on me, so I can’t verify all of these) over the years. Some minor, some major. Most of the new revelations are given during General Conferences (every Mormon watches the church leaders during a worldwide TV broadcast for 3 hours a day, Saturday and Sunday, twice a year), or through some little Mormon magazine they hand out occasionally (I’m not sure on that one, it’s been a long time). There have been a few revelations that contradict things in the Book of Mormon, like black people being able to hold the priesthood. I think another is that blacks are now far enough removed from the original Lamanites that the curse has been lifted, but their color remains. I remember hearing something like that when I was a kid.

          • kaydenpat

            “I think another is that blacks are now far enough removed from the original Lamanites that the curse has been lifted, but their color remains.”

            How nice to know!!

    • Michaelbrice

      White and delightsome…..heehee……I think I’m going to put that on a T-shirt

  • Shad Pantle

    The tanning bed reference is priceless.

    • Deven Kale

       Oh you have no idea how important tanning is here in Utah. That leather lady that went viral a few years ago? I’ve seen a few girls in their late 20s that look like that.

  • Brian Macker

    “Nobody knows this about Mormons”

    He just got done saying that he never met one racist Mormon, which I cannot say about Christians, and yet here he is saying that nobody knows “this” about Mormons. He seems to be sending a mixed message here since it sounds like he is claiming Mormons, all Mormons, are racist. I also find it hard to believe he never met a racist Mormon if he grew up as one. Not one?

    To be consistent other religions have racist attributes also the story of “The Curse of Ham” and it’s racist implications were already widespread in Christianity. Not like the Mormons invented it. I’ve heard this story from southern Christians about the palms of darker skinned people being white because they ran out of water to wash away the sin (or some such nonsense).

    Obama himself belonged to a racist black church, and marched alongside the racist Black Muslims during the Million Man March.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657980277 Emmanuel Pleshe

    I like the video, I posted it on my facebook wall via liking the video on youtube and there was some discussion there about racism and religion. I’m glad it got people thinking and talking.


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