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Oaks on Religious Freedom

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12 hours ago, Ouagadougou said:

The subject being discussed isn't about how I came to my own personal conclusions or what my parents taught; rather, it is how Elder Oaks is hypocritical in what what said about discrimination and the 1st Amendment, when he is guilty of advocating for discrimination like "excluding homosexuals" from certain positions.  

I think what Oaks advocated for back in 1984 is 100% discrimination--just look at the definition:

discrimination:

treatment or consideration of, or making adistinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit:

racial and religious intolerance and discrimination

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discrimination

Like I said, unless you currently agree with open discrimination, I see no way to justify or rationalize his words even today.   

OK I sensed this was one of those niche discussions where a political or secular issue is used to bash an individual Church leader. That is indeed a reflection of your personal conclusions about the man, the faith, and the politics all rolled into one hot mess. Which is more important to you, indicting the Church and her leaders, or discussing the balance and compromise between legislation concerning civil rights and religious freedom?

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12 hours ago, rockpond said:

The First Amendment protects the rights of church leaders to teach and do what they believe God wants. 

...including settling these issues of what constitutes racism and discrimination in the public square, which for the USA affords them all the advantages of a democratic republic. Rhetoric is not a definition, and the laws typically moderate and reflect the overall societal understanding of racism and discrimination. Extremists of course will bash personalities rather than stick to issues or what is really in the best interest of the citizens, and misrepresent the personalities that dare affect their tiny world by disagreeing with them as a danger to all.

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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

This is not a text in any way related to negroes.  Moreover, the LDS Church began by baptizing and ordaining negroes during the life of Joseph Smith.  How can that be if your text is ironclad?

Furthermore, Black Saints from Melanesia, Fiji, etc., were ordained to the priesthood long before 1978.  How could that be possible?

The text isn’t ironclad.  Nothing taught or written by prophets, seers, and revelators ever is.  There are all kinds of contradictions.  And disavowals. 

You made the claim:  “The LDS Church did not teach that black skin was a curse or that mixed-race marriages were wrong.” 

When it has been pointed out that our scriptures and our leaders did make such claims your response is that they are just individuals, that they are not the Church.  But they are those who have been ordained and set apart to speak for the Church.  

What our Church leaders taught in the past about race was wrong and discriminatory.  And those were the teachings of the Church.  I think it’s critical that we see that for what it was. 

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9 minutes ago, CV75 said:

...including settling these issues of what constitutes racism and discrimination in the public square, which for the USA affords them all the advantages of a democratic republic. Rhetoric is not a definition, and the laws typically moderate and reflect the overall societal understanding of racism and discrimination. Extremists of course will bash personalities rather than stick to issues or what is really in the best interest of the citizens, and misrepresent the personalities that dare affect their tiny world by disagreeing with them as a danger to all.

This is written as a response to me but is nonsensical in the context of what I wrote.  Please clarify. 

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2 hours ago, rockpond said:

This is written as a response to me but is nonsensical in the context of what I wrote.  Please clarify. 

You said:  "The First Amendment protects the rights of church leaders to teach and do what they believe God wants."

To which I added the rights to participate in settling public issues of racism and discrimination through public discourse and other means availed through our democratic republic system, usually using the legislative and judicial routes.

You said: "But, if God tells them to discriminate and have racist teachings/policies... they are still discriminating and acting in a racist manner regardless of what God may he telling them to do."

To which I observed that this is rhetoric. The public / civic definitions of racism and discrimination in legislative and judicial terms are settled over time through compromise in the political system that honors the First Amendment. The same holds for defining religious freedom. Where disagreement in public policy and enforcement remains, the definitions have yet to be determined. In this area of discourse, to indict someone else’s definition as “wrong” is part of the rhetoric and contributes to undermining and seeking control of the system, especially when individuals are attacked as proxies for constituencies within the larger body politic. The latter is something a more extreme or polarized mindset is inclined to do.

Where the Church and many of her members’ position is relatively small in the national debate, and all have the right to speak, and many yet share the same position as the Church and her members, using Elder Oaks as a scapegoat for those who disagree seems pretty small. This seems like the wrong way to effectively participate in fine-tuning how the nation interprets things like racism, discrimination and religious freedom. Character, verbal and physical violence really have no place in a free society.

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10 hours ago, Yirgacheffe said:

Not sure how this works, the ideal behind it is that LGBTQ people should not be allowed to influence society.

From my perspective, the idea behind Pres. Oak's words is that, in a perfect world, anything that attempts to normalize and legitimize sinful behavior should not be given a voice in society.  I agree with that in theory.  However, in practice, I believe that people should have a voice in society whatever their beliefs are, because this is not a perfect world and my ideas about what society needs are not more important than anyone else's and if society chooses to normalize sin then so be it.  They have the agency to do so.

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11 hours ago, Yirgacheffe said:

Religion does not solve the problem of "what is right and what is wrong depends on the beliefs of the people doing the judging" .  Different people belong to different religions and believe all various religions teachings on what is right and what is wrong, so all you have is what is right or wrong depends on the people who are deciding what is right or wrong.

I agree.  Religion doesn't solve that problem, in this life.  What religion does is say that, some day, the problem will be solved.  It provides an ultimate authority or standard that some day all we be judged against, a perfect standard that cannot be wrong.  

In atheism, right and wrong is forever relative and arbitrary, completely dependent upon imperfect human beliefs and standards that are often wrong.

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5 minutes ago, bluebell said:

From my perspective, the idea behind Pres. Oak's words is that, in a perfect world, anything that attempts to normalize and legitimize sinful behavior should not be given a voice in society.  I agree with that in theory.  However, in practice, I believe that people should have a voice in society whatever their beliefs are, because this is not a perfect world and my ideas about what society needs are not more important than anyone else's and if society chooses to normalize sin then so be it.  They have the agency to do so.

I think the COJCOLDS exclusion policy and the rhetoric of church leaders towards the LGBTQ community is the sinful behavior here that we ought to condemn.  If I took your perfect world position, maybe people like myself should advocate for not allowing the church to have a voice in society?  This seems to be the corollary opposite to the Oaks position.  People like myself should want to construct arguments and enacts laws that discriminate against religions and religious speech.  

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7 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:
10 hours ago, Ouagadougou said:

Yes it did...you are wrong.  First of all, why would the church disavow it in its own essay if it didn't teach it?  

People write essays.  Churches do not write essays.  A church is an organization.  A church may have various official positions and doctrines.  In the case of Pres David O. McKay, for example, he was unable to find any doctrinal backing for many of the idiotic claims made by various LDS Church members.  He had people pilfer through the LDS Archives.  Yet they could find no revelation justifying the practice of not ordaining negroes.  They did find that Joseph had no problem with ordaining negroes and sending them on missions.  Odd how carefully you neglect to mention that aspect of LDS history Only hate could motivate such an omission.

Once again ... you are wrong.  The essays are approved by the First Presidency and the Quorm of the Twelve Apostles, so it is approved at the highest levels within the church. 

"The purpose of these essays, which have been approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has been to gather accurate information from many different sources and publications and place it in the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org, where the material can more easily be accessed and studied by Church members and other interested parties."

https://www.lds.org/topics/essays?lang=eng

If the church disavowed it, then it clearly illustrates that it taught such doctrine, policies, theories (whatever you want to call it, but I think it was doctrine) up until 1978.  

Also, CFR that my motivation is hate, because that is not the case.  

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3 hours ago, CV75 said:

OK I sensed this was one of those niche discussions where a political or secular issue is used to bash an individual Church leader. That is indeed a reflection of your personal conclusions about the man, the faith, and the politics all rolled into one hot mess. Which is more important to you, indicting the Church and her leaders, or discussing the balance and compromise between legislation concerning civil rights and religious freedom?

No, what this is about, IMO, is a religious leader using the guise of "religious freedom" to advocate in favor of discriminating against an entire group of people (based solely on sexual orientation), which, by the way, now violates the Civil Rights Act Title VII.

This same religious leader then makes a comment about discrimination and the 1st Amendment, which only further highlights his and the church's hypocrisy on this issue.  You can't have it both ways; therefore, like I have said numerous times before, unless you openly agree with discrimination of an entire group (based solely on sexual orientation), there is no way, IMO, to justify Elder Oaks' comments.

"Sexual orientation discrimination is a type of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled en banc. This holding overturns the Second Circuit's prior decisions on the subject and adds to a growing circuit split. ABA Section of Litigation leaders believe the Supreme Court of the United States will eventually rule on the matter."

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/publications/litigation-news/top-stories/2018/sexual-orientation-discrimination-claim-actionable-under-title-vii/

 

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14 hours ago, blueglass said:

The church does not really believe in religious freedom:

1)  otherwise it would have praised Waddoups ruling.  HB 99 passed by an overwhelming majority to re criminalize polygamy.  Consitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley took up the case.

https://jonathanturley.org/2017/01/23/supreme-court-turns-down-sister-wives-petition/

2) The BYU schools also go out of their way to kick out those who have faith transitions. http://www.freebyu.org

3) church IT surveillance systems spend money on Amazon deep learning AI to find and attack blogs like the Van Allen's who spoke our against sec 132.  Within days after posting the blog an area authority 70 asked the stake president to call them in and take it down.

https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/kirk-and-lindsay-van-allen-facing-church-discipline-for-rejecting-polygamy-dc-132/

You'll understand if I don't take Mormon Stories word for something.

Beyond that though, I think the church does believe in religious freedom, and they believe that they have the right, as a religion, to set the boundaries for what is and isn't allowed while being a member of that religion.  There is nothing unusual or nefarious about that.  They aren't stopping anyone from saying or believing anything.  They are just stopping them from saying or believing anything while being a member of the church.  Doing that does not mean that someone doesn't support freedom of Religion.  That's not a reasonable conclusion.

Besides that, supporting freedom of whatever (freedom of the press, of speech, etc.) does not mean that people support the right of people to say or print whatever they want.  Even freedom of the press and freedom of religion still have laws they must follow (you can't print or say lies about people for example).  Speech, Press, and Religion, while protected as 'free', still have boundaries that they can't cross.  

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13 hours ago, california boy said:

This is NOT about sin.  This is about targeting the gay community.  If it was about sin then Elder Oaks remarks would have stated

":It would also be desirable to permit employers of all immoral people from influential positions in media, literature, and entertainment since those jobs influence the tone and ideas of society."

If you commit adultery, you are out of a job.  If you are an unwed mother, you are out of a job.  If you are living together without marriage, you are out of a job.  Has anyone ever heard any general authority make any statements of this kind?  Don't tell me it is not about attacking the gay community unless you can show that the church position on discriminating against immorality is universal.  What he is saying is outrageous.  What you are saying is outrageous.  Being attracted to the same sex is NOTHING LIKE being a white supremacists.  You make it so easy for me to dislike this church and what it stands for.  You make it easy for an entire generation to dislike this church and what it stands for.

I don't think that's a very reasonable conclusion.  Given that the title of the speech where he said this was "Principles to Govern Possible Public Statement on Legislation Affecting Rights of Homosexuals" it would be weird to expect him to suddenly broaden the topic and start talking about every kind of sin.  He had a specific topic and he specifically talked about that one topic.

Besides that, the quote ends with Oaks saying that he doesn't think such a law would be enforceable.

And of course being gay or a lesbian is nothing like being a white supremacists.  I used that label because I needed something that every person in the discussion would likely agree was both 1) morally wrong and 2) serious enough that   everyone would agree such a person shouldn't be given a platform to teach that such as acceptable.  When you are trying to do that you are only left with extreme examples because no one agrees on anything but the really extreme examples anymore.   I'm not surprised you are often outraged, seeing as how you often look for the most uncharitable interpretations of other's words possible.  

What should I have used (that would fulfill points 1 and 2) instead?

 

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55 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I think the COJCOLDS exclusion policy and the rhetoric of church leaders towards the LGBTQ community is the sinful behavior here that we ought to condemn.  If I took your perfect world position, maybe people like myself should advocate for not allowing the church to have a voice in society?  This seems to be the corollary opposite to the Oaks position.  People like myself should want to construct arguments and enacts laws that discriminate against religions and religious speech.  

People do want to do that, and it'll probably increase, especially if we believe that God and 'the world' are often diametrically opposed to each other.  

You believe that Pres. Oaks position is morally wrong.  He might believe that your's is.  People disagree, that's life.

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21 minutes ago, bluebell said:

People do want to do that, and it'll probably increase, especially if we believe that God and 'the world' are often diametrically opposed to each other.  

You believe that Pres. Oaks position is morally wrong.  He might believe that your's is.  People disagree, that's life.

I'm not aware of any movements advocating the creation of laws or arguments on constitutional grounds to call for discrimination against religions and religious speech.  Can you provide some examples, any articles that are promoting this kind of view?  

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13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The LDS Church did not teach that black skin was a curse or that mixed-race marriages were wrong.

I'm having a hard time seeing your truth here.  Please read the quotes below.  If these highly ranking LDS leaders public teachings aren't enough to convince you that "The LDS Church" did not teach it, please tell me what source or context you'd need to see before you accept that the "The LDS Church" teaches something.

President Brigham Young (JOD) in 1863: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”

President Brigham Young's talk in 1866: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death."

First Counselor in the First Presidency Apostle J. Reuben Clark in LDS Improvement Era 1946: "It is sought today in certain quarters to break down all race prejudice, and at the end of the road, which they who urge this see, is intermarriage. That is what it finally comes to. Now, you should hate nobody; you should give to every man and every woman, no matter what the color of his and her skin may be, full civil rights. You should treat them as brothers and sisters, but do not ever let that wicked virus get into your systems that brotherhood either permits or entitles you to mix races which are inconsistent. Biologically, it is wrong; spiritually, it is wrong."

Letter from the First Presidency in 1947: "We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this area, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine."

Statement of the First Presidency in 1947: “The attitude of the Church with reference to the Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the Priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle."

Apostle Mark E Petersen's talk to teachers of religion in 1954: “The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence, at least in the bases of the Lamanites and the Negroes we have the definite word of the Lord himself that He placed a dark skin upon then: as a curse — as a sign to all others. He forbade inter-marriage with them under threat of extension of the curse (2 Nephi 5:21) And He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an iron curtain there. The Negro was cursed as to the Priesthood, and therefore, was cursed as to the blessings of the Priesthood. Certainly God made a segregation there. ... Now what is our policy in regard to intermarriage? As to the Negro, of course, there is only one possible answer. We must not intermarry with the Negro.  If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There isn’t any argument, therefore, as to inter marriage with the Negro, is there? There are 50 million Negroes in the United States. If they were to achieve complete absorption with the white race, think what that would do. With 50 million Negroes inter-married with us, where would the priesthood be? who could hold it, in all America? Think what that would do to the work of the Church!”

Apostle Alvin R. Dyer's talk to missionaries in 1961: "The reason that spirits are born into Negro bodies is because those spirits rejected the Priesthood of God in the pre-existence.  This is the reason why you have Negros upon the earth."

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1 hour ago, Ouagadougou said:

No, what this is about, IMO, is a religious leader using the guise of "religious freedom" to advocate in favor of discriminating against an entire group of people (based solely on sexual orientation), which, by the way, now violates the Civil Rights Act Title VII.

This same religious leader then makes a comment about discrimination and the 1st Amendment, which only further highlights his and the church's hypocrisy on this issue.  You can't have it both ways; therefore, like I have said numerous times before, unless you openly agree with discrimination of an entire group (based solely on sexual orientation), there is no way, IMO, to justify Elder Oaks' comments.

"Sexual orientation discrimination is a type of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled en banc. This holding overturns the Second Circuit's prior decisions on the subject and adds to a growing circuit split. ABA Section of Litigation leaders believe the Supreme Court of the United States will eventually rule on the matter."

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/publications/litigation-news/top-stories/2018/sexual-orientation-discrimination-claim-actionable-under-title-vii/

 

Well, there is so, so, so much further to go than judicially non-binding EEOC rulings for Title VII, which is why the definition and protected classes for discrimination have not attained your desired position. That should tell you something about Elder Oaks and what discrimination is interpreted to mean in the broader societal government beyond the EEOC.

Again, you are picking apart the character of a religious leader for no good or effective reason. It simply doesn’t work for changing legal/constitutional definitions. Repeating yourself and misrepresenting a non-binding definition that has not passed muster through the three branches of government to become the national standard is also ineffective. Using large text doesn't help, either.

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2 hours ago, Ouagadougou said:

No, what this is about, IMO, is a religious leader using the guise of "religious freedom" to advocate in favor of discriminating against an entire group of people (based solely on sexual orientation), which, by the way, now violates the Civil Rights Act Title VII.

This same religious leader then makes a comment about discrimination and the 1st Amendment, which only further highlights his and the church's hypocrisy on this issue.  You can't have it both ways; therefore, like I have said numerous times before, unless you openly agree with discrimination of an entire group (based solely on sexual orientation), there is no way, IMO, to justify Elder Oaks' comments.

"Sexual orientation discrimination is a type of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled en banc. This holding overturns the Second Circuit's prior decisions on the subject and adds to a growing circuit split. ABA Section of Litigation leaders believe the Supreme Court of the United States will eventually rule on the matter."

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/publications/litigation-news/top-stories/2018/sexual-orientation-discrimination-claim-actionable-under-title-vii/

 

 

Please be carefull when suggesting a ruling limited to a specific geographic region applies to the whole of the United States  e.g. 2nd Circuit of the United States only applies to thw 2nd Circuit.

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17 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Well, there is so, so, so much further to go than judicially non-binding EEOC rulings for Title VII, which is why the definition and protected classes for discrimination have not attained your desired position. That should tell you something about Elder Oaks and what discrimination is interpreted to mean in the broader societal government beyond the EEOC.

Again, you are picking apart the character of a religious leader for no good or effective reason. It simply doesn’t work for changing legal/constitutional definitions. Repeating yourself and misrepresenting a non-binding definition that has not passed muster through the three branches of government to become the national standard is also ineffective. Using large text doesn't help, either.

To help remind you, the original post we are discussing is "Elder Oaks on Religious Freedom."  Elder Oaks' statement in 1984 I brought up is the exact definition of discrimination; his other statements on this matter (in the link provided by the OP) are in fact, hypocritical.  You are somehow trying to defend, justify, and rationalize his statements about advocating for discrimination, which I feel isn't possible, unless you openly support it.  

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11 hours ago, california boy said:

If Elder Oaks had his way, there would have never been a Michaelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci or Andy Warhol, or a Rock Hudson or Oscar Wilde or Elton John or George Michael or Ralph Waldo Emerson or Gore Vidal or Truman Capote or Leonard Bernstine or Walt Whitman or Tennessee Williams or Jodie Foster or Noél Coward or, or, or,

Thank God that Elder Oaks and the church doesn't get to decide who should work and who should be silenced.

Very valid point - so much talent and great works/music have been a direct result from the very people Elder Oaks wants to exclude because of their sexual orientation.  Like I said before, employment in any sphere, IMO, should be based on the experience, qualifications, talent, integrity and character of the individual, and not on whom he/she wants to love or is attracted to.  

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On 12/4/2018 at 11:02 AM, hope_for_things said:

The second point that religion should occupy a "special place" in society should be debated.  I'm wondering if he's asserting that religion deserves special treatment as a category and why he feels that religion should be elevated into some special status.  

 

Our founding documents and founding fathers maintain(ed) that our "unalienable" rights come from God.  If that is the principle thinking behind our civil rights, that makes the belief in God extremely important, warranting a special place for religious belief.  Take away the belief in God, what happens to our civil rights?  

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

I don't think that's a very reasonable conclusion.  Given that the title of the speech where he said this was "Principles to Govern Possible Public Statement on Legislation Affecting Rights of Homosexuals" it would be weird to expect him to suddenly broaden the topic and start talking about every kind of sin.  He had a specific topic and he specifically talked about that one topic.

Besides that, the quote ends with Oaks saying that he doesn't think such a law would be enforceable.

And of course being gay or a lesbian is nothing like being a white supremacists.  I used that label because I needed something that every person in the discussion would likely agree was both 1) morally wrong and 2) serious enough that   everyone would agree such a person shouldn't be given a platform to teach that such as acceptable.  When you are trying to do that you are only left with extreme examples because no one agrees on anything but the really extreme examples anymore.   I'm not surprised you are often outraged, seeing as how you often look for the most uncharitable interpretations of other's words possible.  

What should I have used (that would fulfill points 1 and 2) instead?

 

2

I didn't limit an example of similar excluding from employment because of perceived sin to this one.talk.  You have a whole lifetime of speeches and talks given by Elder Oaks to prove your point that he doesn't just target discriminating against LGBT from employment.  So point us to similar speeches where he advocated discriminating from employment others that are immoral in the eyes of the church.  Cause right now it looks like his typical pattern of targeting only the gay community.

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57 minutes ago, Ouagadougou said:

To help remind you, the original post we are discussing is "Elder Oaks on Religious Freedom."  Elder Oaks' statement in 1984 I brought up is the exact definition of discrimination; his other statements on this matter (in the link provided by the OP) are in fact, hypocritical.  You are somehow trying to defend, justify, and rationalize his statements about advocating for discrimination, which I feel isn't possible, unless you openly support it.  

I commented on the OP and the OP's reply to that. I've been commenting on your train of thought that began with another poster.

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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

I'm having a hard time seeing your truth here.  Please read the quotes below.  If these highly ranking LDS leaders public teachings aren't enough to convince you that "The LDS Church" did not teach it, please tell me what source or context you'd need to see before you accept that the "The LDS Church" teaches something.

President Brigham Young (JOD) in 1863: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”

President Brigham Young's talk in 1866: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death."

First Counselor in the First Presidency Apostle J. Reuben Clark in LDS Improvement Era 1946: "It is sought today in certain quarters to break down all race prejudice, and at the end of the road, which they who urge this see, is intermarriage. That is what it finally comes to. Now, you should hate nobody; you should give to every man and every woman, no matter what the color of his and her skin may be, full civil rights. You should treat them as brothers and sisters, but do not ever let that wicked virus get into your systems that brotherhood either permits or entitles you to mix races which are inconsistent. Biologically, it is wrong; spiritually, it is wrong."

Letter from the First Presidency in 1947: "We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this area, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine."

Statement of the First Presidency in 1947: “The attitude of the Church with reference to the Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the Priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle."

Apostle Mark E Petersen's talk to teachers of religion in 1954: “The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence, at least in the bases of the Lamanites and the Negroes we have the definite word of the Lord himself that He placed a dark skin upon then: as a curse — as a sign to all others. He forbade inter-marriage with them under threat of extension of the curse (2 Nephi 5:21) And He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an iron curtain there. The Negro was cursed as to the Priesthood, and therefore, was cursed as to the blessings of the Priesthood. Certainly God made a segregation there. ... Now what is our policy in regard to intermarriage? As to the Negro, of course, there is only one possible answer. We must not intermarry with the Negro.  If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There isn’t any argument, therefore, as to inter marriage with the Negro, is there? There are 50 million Negroes in the United States. If they were to achieve complete absorption with the white race, think what that would do. With 50 million Negroes inter-married with us, where would the priesthood be? who could hold it, in all America? Think what that would do to the work of the Church!”

Apostle Alvin R. Dyer's talk to missionaries in 1961: "The reason that spirits are born into Negro bodies is because those spirits rejected the Priesthood of God in the pre-existence.  This is the reason why you have Negros upon the earth."

Please try to read more carefully:  I did not say that some very senior Mormons did not make racist statements.  I said that the LDS Church did not have these doctrines.  David O. McKay looked in vain for any evidence to support these ignorant statements, and could find none.  Like me, McKay held these men in great esteem, but he was not fool enough to believe that they were infallible.  He knew many of them personally.  Any sincere person could easily find that Orson Pratt did not share these views and argued vehemently against racism.  Joseph Smith himself had no problem ordaining Black men and sending them on missions.  Joseph advocated an end to slavery as part of his 1844 run for President.

It is a fallacy to claim that an organization teaches or believes anything.  Individual people teach and believe things.  The problem here is that the LDS Church has no revelation or official doctrine supporting these personal racist views, and David O. McKay could find no support for these awful statements.  Anyone interested in a balanced appraisal would know this and verbalize it.

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I'm not aware of any movements advocating the creation of laws or arguments on constitutional grounds to call for discrimination against religions and religious speech.  Can you provide some examples, any articles that are promoting this kind of view?  

You stated "maybe people like myself should advocate for not allowing the church to have a voice in society."

Don't you remember what happened to members of the church in California when people started to release financial contributions to support Proposition 8? People's businesses were boycotted, people lost jobs, and others went after the church's tax exempt status (and still are).  Just google "Religion should not have a voice in politics" and you'll get multiple hits on people advocating that.

Edited by bluebell
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3 hours ago, Ouagadougou said:

Once again ... you are wrong.  The essays are approved by the First Presidency and the Quorm of the Twelve Apostles, so it is approved at the highest levels within the church. 

"The purpose of these essays, which have been approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has been to gather accurate information from many different sources and publications and place it in the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org, where the material can more easily be accessed and studied by Church members and other interested parties."

https://www.lds.org/topics/essays?lang=eng

If the church disavowed it, then it clearly illustrates that it taught such doctrine, policies, theories (whatever you want to call it, but I think it was doctrine) up until 1978.  

Also, CFR that my motivation is hate, because that is not the case.  

Had you presented a balanced and even-handed look at the racist history within Mormonism, one might say that you were fair and impartial.  You did the opposite.  Why else than motivated by hatred?  Many people hate Mormons and vilify them and their history.  Why do you insist on joining the anti-Mormon dog-pile?  Those who make mistakes need to be called to account them.  I don't mind the criticism, as long as it is reasonable and factual.

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