This morning, Andrew Sullivan penned what I think is a devastating post about Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. In short, Neither Mitt nor Anne nor his parents spoke against their church when it was rabidly racist for decades. Mitt claims that his parents wept with joy when a “new revelation” led church leaders to begin including African-Americans in the 1970s, but what led him to stay so silent for so long?
As Sullivan notes, all churches have their dark histories. But even the powerful and relatively monolithic Catholic Church — to which Sullivan belongs — allows for public dissent. Just drive around Minneapolis this week and see the lawnsigns that read, “Another Catholic Voting No,” in direct defiance of the stated position of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on the marriage amendment.
Here’s the lede of Sullivan’s post:
Imagine for a moment that Barack Obama had never attended Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago and had decided to attend services, and proselytize for, a black separatist, nationalist church that refused to allow whites to participate in crucial religious services because white people had been condemned by God for their iniquity in the ancient past and had been for ever marked white so black Americans would know instantly to keep their distance. In fact, the definition of white in this black supremacist church was just one drop of white blood in a black person. It was Nazi-like in its racist precision and exclusion. Whites were denied the rites that made a person a full member of the church. Even blacks with a tiny strain of white DNA were kept from full participation.
Imagine further that backing this racist church was not a youthful folly on Obama’s part, but a profound commitment – that he went on a mission abroad to convert Christians to a new religion based on black racial supremacy, and has often said that the most important thing in his entire life to this day is a church whose sacred scripture declares white people to be cursed by God for their past sins – and the sign of this curse is their white skin.
A simple question: Do you think this issue would not come up in a general election or a primary? If Obama was subjected to news cycle after news cycle of clips of Obama’s actual former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, can you imagine the outrage if Obama had actually been a part of a black supremacist church – that denied whites equal access to the sacraments – for over a decade in his adult life?
I raise this because it is a fact that Mitt Romney belonged to a white supremacist church for 31 years of his life, went on a mission to convert Christians and Jews and others to this church, which retained white supremacy as a doctrine until 1978 – decades after Brown vs Board of Education, and a decade after the end of the anti-miscegenation laws.
Read the rest of Sullivan’s post, including quotes from the Book of Mormon and from the writings of Brigham Young: Religion, Race And Double Standards – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast.