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Benji

Brigham Young and extreme racism

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Hi GIMR, long time no see.

I'm glad you haven't dropped us altogether.

You should know that Benji, rather like many (most) who bring this issue up, doesn't give a rat's behind about people, including black people; if you look at his posting history, you'll quickly discover that he's only interested in whatever mud he can sling. He's started thread after thread after thread pushing all the usual anti-Mormon trash; this is just one more of them.

I know this is a very emotional issue for you, but if you can keep an even keel, I'm sure you have some very valuable things to say. Although, given the level of contention in this thread, maybe it would be best on the Fellowship forum.

Once again, may I remind you that not everyone in the Church is scared of what you look like (unless you look like Sitiveni Sivivatu.) Come on down here, you'll blend right in!

Warmest regards,

Pahoran

Greetings Pahoran,

For the most part, I have ceased attempting to have deep discussions with LDS in forums like this. The anonymity can make people very comfortable with being nasty if you don't agree with them...and of course it will be beacuse I did something to goad them, or somehow it will be my fault. Some flaw in my character, that apostate nature, ya know. Discussions like these, I have with friends and loved ones in the church who actually care about me. It's much more fruitful. They know me, and know I'm out to get neither them nor the church.

Still, I have to say that I'm not satisfied with the responses arguing for the statements against people of color that have been made by church leaders. It's just wrong, it's wrong today. Don't defend it today. But when you have to believe that 100% of what someone who leads you does is right, you'll run in all sorts of circles to make sure that is so. It's called apologetics.

No, I don't think that everyone in the church is afraid of me because I'm black. But I've come across enough who were to be suspicious, and the venom that I recieve from "the faithful" when I talk about it is really narly, if you ask me.

But to each is own. If avoiding things like this makes one sleep better at night, I can't stop you. I can only choose to sleep in another place. Because I can't avoid myself. And after a while you get tired of being avoided.

Be blessed. I'm so glad its friday.

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I think AKS has a legitimate beef. The biggest slaughter of human beings in the US at the time occured under his watch. So say what you will about his involvement (or lack of) but to me it appears his hyperbole filled "gruesome" "giving them hell" type attitude appears to have come back and bit him in the backside.

Just a guess....but I'd be willing to wager that slavery caused far more deaths. But hey...what the heck, eh? Who noticed. But then...this thread really has nothing to do with blacks, as Pahoran noted...it is all about finding something...anything....to use as a brickbat. Blacks are always handy it seems. :P

Laughable. This is a bonafide issue. But anything that shakes a TBMs faith is "anti" and "stuff to use as a brickbat". Juliann, do you really think folks like me are just waiting with horns and fangs concealed until you crumble spiritually over things like this?

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1. Racism is wrong today, no one argues that. If racism is wrong today then was it not wrong 100 years ago?

2. BY preached racism. Just because it was the social norm of his time doesn't justify it. If a prophet claimed God told him the Earth was flat in a time when it was an accepted idea, can we not infer that the info was not of God?

3. If BY was preaching things in the name of God that were not of God, does this make him a false prophet by definition?

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1.  Racism is wrong today, no one argues that.  If racism is wrong today then was it not wrong 100 years ago?

This is the trouble with dealing in big, vague, broad-brush categories. "Racism" is a modern horrendum, an emotive epithet that provides an easy way for demagogues to elicit a knee-jerk reaction from people; IOW, it is a thought-terminating cliche. Convince people--or even just create the suspicion--that someone is a "racist" and you might as well give that person a black uniform with Todenkopf insignia: everything that person says or does is tainted with suspicion ever after.

2.  BY preached racism.  Just because it was the social norm of his time doesn't justify it.  If a prophet claimed God told him the Earth was flat in a time when it was an accepted idea, can we not infer that the info was not of God?

Fallacious analogy. Besides, Brigham's "racism," upon closer examination, turns out to be radically different in important respects from that of his contemporaries. He enacted legislation to give legal protections to slaves, when such protections existed nowhere else in the U.S., North or South. (Please note that he would have preferred to have no slaves in Utah--he was a New England yankee, with all that implied--but since they were there, he permitted slavery, on the basis that he didn't believe he had any authority to forbid it. So much for the legend of Brigham the dictator!)

Furthermore, the statement that has generated so much more heat than light is actually very radical for its day. As already pointed out, the standard practice for dealing with any sexual connection between black and white was to lynch the black man "on the spot." By suggesting that the white party should be killed, he simply turned that conventional racism completely on its head.

3.  If BY was preaching things in the name of God that were not of God, does this make him a false prophet by definition?

Whose?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Just a guess....but I'd be willing to wager that slavery caused far more deaths.  But hey...what the heck,  eh?  Who noticed. But then...this thread really has nothing to do with blacks,  as Pahoran noted...it is all about finding something...anything....to use as a brickbat.   Blacks are always handy it seems.    :P

Laughable. This is a bonafide issue.

That depends upon the participants. "Bona fide" means "good faith." I believe that you would be willing to discuss this issue in good faith. However, I remain convinced that those who have been trying to leverage it for cheap polemical advantage are not.

But anything that shakes a TBMs faith is "anti" and "stuff to use as a brickbat".

Which TBM's do you think have had their faith shaken by this thread?

The fact is that almost anything can be used as a brickbat. And anti-Mormonism is not just a figment of our paranoid imaginations; it really does exist, just as surely as racism does.

And mostly for the very same reasons.

Juliann, do you really think folks like me are just waiting with horns and fangs concealed until you crumble spiritually over things like this?

I can't speak for Juliann; but I think there are people who just like to exploit things like this for cheap polemical point-scoring.

Regards,

Pahoran

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This is the trouble with dealing in big, vague, broad-brush categories.

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This is the trouble with dealing in big, vague, broad-brush categories.

LOL. Are you serious?

Racism:

1.The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.

2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Is this really a vague concept? BY demonstrated by his comments that this is indeed how he really felt.

His actions demonstrate something different.

If you were not simply knee-jerking and emoting, you might actually be able to see through the red haze a little.

"Racism" is a modern horrendum, an emotive epithet that provides an easy way for demagogues to elicit a knee-jerk reaction from people;

I'm not trying to illicit a reaction from anyone, I'm just stating what I believe the evidence supports. Why is this so hard for you to understand? I have no agenda. I do my best to be as honest as I can in my posts. I doubt you can say the same.

Thank you for your good-faith attempt at dialogue. Since your position is so self-evidently "right," the only way to disagree with you is to be dishonest.

Don't you realise that that's not dialogue at all? It is arrogant, overbearing and bullying.

But if we are going to inject some "honesty" into the discussion, consider this fact: it is not honest to judge the past by the standards of the present. This is a given, and something that all people of good will and good faith unanimously accept as a starting point in any discussion of the past.

Besides, Brigham's "racism," upon closer examination, turns out to be radically different in important respects from that of his contemporaries...

This is really laughable. After all of the dialog, that you can still conclude that the sermon in question was about protecting female blacks is absurd.

I'm glad you are entertained, but that is not what I said.

Perhaps if you weren't merely knee-jerking and emoting, you'd be able to follow the discussion.

is actually very radical for its day.

I simply don't buy this line of reasoning. To say it's a stretch is an understatement.

Really?

Is it then your position that all the "racists" around at the time advocated executing white people for sexual contact with blacks?

You claim to be so smart,

Do I? Where?

how can you believe this?  Honestly.

That's the first thing I've seen you write in this entire thread that looks like a good-faith attempt at dialogue. If you don't understand your opponent's position, ask! But before I waste time answering a question only to find out you don't actually care, tell me this: do you really want to know? Or was that question merely rhetorical?

Regards,

Pahoran

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it is not honest to judge the past by the standards of the present.

I believe that there are some principles that are universal and unchanging (BY did too). Murder is one example. Another would be the fact that all men are created by God, and thus should be treated equally.

I disagree that we can't judge the past by standards of the present. This is especially valid when attempting to determine if a person was truly a man of God.

do you really want to know?  Or was that question merely rhetorical?

If you have something to share that hasn't been presented in the preceding 24 pages, then yes I would really like to hear it.

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Racism has always been wrong and God is not a racist. Racism has come from man.

As many have pointed out, the 19th Century held a totally different understanding of race. In the eyes of the abusers, racism was justified. When we are discussing that heritage from the abusers view, everything they said and did was done in good faith. As Christians we should offer them forgiveness for their ignorance, but let us never compound it by continuing with any insistence that God wanted racism. That tact seems blasphemous.

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AKS wrote: "I believe that there are some principles that are universal and unchanging (BY did too). Murder is one example. Another would be the fact that all men are created by God, and thus should be treated equally. I disagree that we can't judge the past by standards of the present. This is especially valid when attempting to determine if a person was truly a man of God."

There are universal principles. But there are changing sensitivities. Anybody remember a very popular John Wayne movie, "McLintock?" 1963. The resolution of the marital discord story line is the errant wife getting paddled with a hair brush by the hero husband. And not a woman in the audience walked out. I don't think women today would find the movie so funny.

You have ideas about what a prophet should be, to be truly a man of God. That obviously must be your own list and not God's. I don't know if it is "changing sensibilities," but today I think we would have a hard time accepting a prophet who thought he was visiting a prostitute (he wasn't, but he didn't know it), who got drunk, or who lied about his wife. Old Testament prophets were guilty of each of those sins. Yet we accept them as prophets.

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I can't speak for Juliann; but I think there are people who just like to exploit things like this for cheap polemical point-scoring.

You can speak for me. I think race baiting is more disgusting than racism. The irony is, of course...that those who are howling the loudest with their self-righteous indignation about those poor "blacks" not being able to have the priesthood are the very ones hoping the church will disintegrate. Which brings us back to the hypocritcal cheap shot. How convenient that there were people with dark skins around to serve their purposes. :P

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Juliann wrote:

You can speak for me. I think race baiting is more disgusting than racism. The irony is, of course...that those who are howling the loudest with their self-righteous indignation about those poor "blacks" not being able to have the priesthood are the very ones hoping the church will disintegrate. Which brings us back to the hypocritcal cheap shot. How convenient that there were people with dark skins around to serve their purposes.

Perhaps some critics engage in "race baiting", but the subject goes deeper than a few statements attributed to Brigham Young and others. The church purports to speak as God's agent and mouthpiece on earth. the church holds and extends God's priesthood as necessary for exaltation and the reception of certain "blessings" found in the higher ordinances. This same priesthood is the very differentiating element separating the LDS church from all the other Christian denominations in existance. The Priesthood claims ARE the 800 pound gorilla of the LDS church if true, not necessarily the BoM or the first vision.

This priesthood, despite the remarks of BY and others was withheld from the negro race until 1978 without a canonized prophecy to do so, but was apparently withheld utilizing human interpretation of scripture and commonly held societal norms of the times (pre 1960's). This pattern of conduct towards a race of persons for over 100 years, in such a theologically important matter, without a canonized prophecy to do so, leads critics to wonder who is really running the show; men or God?

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Perhaps some critics engage in "race baiting", but the subject goes deeper than a few statements attributed to Brigham Young and others. The church purports to speak as God's agent and mouthpiece on earth. the church holds and extends God's priesthood as necessary for exaltation and the reception of certain "blessings" found in the higher ordinances. This same priesthood is the very differentiating element separating the LDS church from all the other Christian denominations in existance.

And every other religion who engaged in racism eventually claims the same. This is a "and your point is...?" The only place you can go with this is that all religion is therefore false, dangerous and needing to be destroyed. The next logical problem should be obvious....all of the 19th century population held the same ideas. So you now have set up a situation where we need to get rid of a few hundred years of history and people. Have at it. Just use a single standard.

This priesthood, despite the remarks of BY and others was withheld from the negro race until 1978 without a canonized prophecy to do so, but was apparently withheld utilizing human interpretation of scripture and commonly held societal norms of the times (pre 1960's).  This pattern of conduct towards a race of persons for over 100 years, without a canonized prophecy to do so, leads critics to wonder who is really running the show; men or God?

Well, let's see...if you have a straw up your nose about a particular religion...you would say...men! If you have a straw up your nose about all of religion you would say....men! That was easy. :P

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Juliann wrote:

And every other religion who engaged in racism eventually claims the same. This is a "and your point is...?" The only place you can go with this is that all religion is therefore false, dangerous and needing to be destroyed. The next logical problem should be obvious....all of the 19th century population held the same ideas. So you now have set up a situation where we need to get rid of a few hundred years of history and people. Have at it. Just use a single standard.

The point is...Is your religion divinely lead by God or not? What other point is there? Do the Mormons teach that they are one of many "true" churches, or do they teach that they are the only "true and living church upon the face of the earth". By that very definition, should the LDS church not differentiate itself from the religious pack and human derived mindset? If you do not think so, then why should any of your (church's) potential converts?

I am not here critiquing the LDS church while supporting another religion as superior or more divinely lead. I am critiquing the church's conduct based on its claims as the unique posessor of the priesthood necessary to effectuate the ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation. If the LDS church can withhold the highest power given it by God for the exaltation and eternal life of man for over 100 years due to its own cultural and societal conditioning, then where exactly does divinity have any part of its evolution or structure?

Is it like "intelligent design"; God put the church into motion then stood back and then allowed it evolve on its own? :P

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Is it like "intelligent design"; God put the church into motion then stood back and then allowed it evolve on its own? :P

from the Pickle jar: essentially, yes. Continuing revelation means that God is constanting tweaking the church, making changes large and small, that correct past errors and modify for current needs.

Plural marriage is a good example of the tweaking. The priesthood is another. The prophets never said they got everything right the first time. Sometimes it takes several prophets over the course of several years to get things the way they're intended to be. If you can't stand constant revelation and constant tweaking, this is not the church for you.

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Dill Pickels:

Tchild2 is our ever present guide to perfection. <_< He's just wating for God to figure it out and have Tchild2 translated out of here away from us mere mortals. :P

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If you can't stand constant revelation and constant tweaking, this is not the church for you.

That is the best summation I have seen...not to mention the most economical. T2, I understand where you are coming from. I understand that if God is supposed to be involved in anyway whatsoever the natural assumption is that whatever he touches has to be without flaw. But Mormonism does not allow for that let alone claim it. To demand it only leads us into the downright bizarre situation where our "liberal" critics (I'm not talking about you...I continue to find you reasonable in your disagreements) are the ones who act like fundamentalists.

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I understand that if God is supposed to be involved in anyway whatsoever the natural assumption is that whatever he touches has to be without flaw.

I don't see where this assumption comes from... after all he did create the crooked snake as well.

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I understand that if God is supposed to be involved in anyway whatsoever the natural assumption is that whatever he touches has to be without flaw.

I don't see where this assumption comes from... after all he did create the crooked snake as well.

But he didn't create racism. Yay, God!

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I can't speak for Juliann; but I think there are people who just like to exploit things like this for cheap polemical point-scoring.

You can speak for me. I think race baiting is more disgusting than racism. The irony is, of course...that those who are howling the loudest with their self-righteous indignation about those poor "blacks" not being able to have the priesthood are the very ones hoping the church will disintegrate. Which brings us back to the hypocritcal cheap shot. How convenient that there were people with dark skins around to serve their purposes. :P

Juliann, with all respect to you, I havn't noticed any race baiting. Indeed in my posts I made it clear that in my area (within the church) I didn't ever encounter any racism. (Well except on my mission, when a high priest gave a cringingly bad talk about the only part of a negro's body not being cursed was the palms. All missionaries just about dived under their chairs, and explained to investigators that the guy didn't know what he was talking about)

I asked my mother, long inactive, how she felt about this issue when she joined the church. She said she hadn't been told, (1970 pre-ban) but when she found out she was troubled, and couldn't equate the doctrine with a loving god. (She is a great fan of Martin Luther King as most of us are around here)

It is an integral though uncomfortable part of LDS doctrinal/cultural history.

I for one, have learned a lot from this thread on how attitudes actually still differ even within mainstream mormonism (well at least the folks who post here).

I am sure you will agree, that as an apologist, it is one of the more difficult areas to defend.

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