X-Message-Number: 19845
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 17:52:49 -0700
From: "John Grigg" <>
Subject: The Mormon Church, racism & me

J. Corbally wrote:
Just happened to browse through your message, and I have to say, I'm 
absolutely *STUNNED* you could post the quote below as a positive aspect to 
the Mormon church and the opinions of those within it.

I was simply trying to show some of the thinking/theory/doctrine behind the past
church policy.  The author of it was not an official spokesman of the church.  
He was just giving his views.  

To be honest, I felt stunned when I read the link provided by Keith R. Dugu.  I 
knew the basic history, but the actual quotes ranging from Brigham Young to Mark
E. Petersen were new to me.  Remember, these were men raised in different eras,
which were full of racism, but that is still no excuse.        

From the website:
>Racism is a "philosophy of man" that began in the early to mid-19th 
>century that said that some "races" of human beings are "superior" to 
>others. This philosophy was based upon Darwinism; from the belief that 
>some species of animals (and humans) are "more evolved" (higher) than 
>others. The Philophsophy of Racism was never a part of the Bible; nor was 
>it ever a part of the Mormon Faith! What has always been a Bible-doctrine 
>(and always a part of the Mormon Faith) is that God alternatively blesses 
>and curses various nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples, according to 
>how they hearken to (listen to and obey) His Voice!

you continue:
Very, very well you know that racial hatred (racism) vastly predates the 
formation of Darwinian theory.  Very, very well you know that at the time 
of the genesis of Darwinian theory, the racial stereotypes of pre civil war 
America were being espoused (as well as condemned) from the various pulpits 
of various sects.  While the Bible is considered by many to contain racist 
interpretations, it is no secret that racism in some form or other has 
existed a long time before the Bible was written, and probably for at least 
as long as humans have been around.    This quote is the poor ramblings of 
a creationist, as he certainly has no understanding of Evolutionary theory 
(the "Darwinism" statement gives him away).

I think the author was referring to a particular strain or philosophy of racism.
This was couched in darwinism as a means for victorians to justify the 
colonizing, and plundering of those from different races and cultures.  Whether 
the author is a creationist or not, the fact is darwinism has at times been used
as an excuse to abuse others.  I do agree that racism itself has been around 
since the beginning.  

you continue:
And as for the last sentence quoted above, being "cursed" by a god on the 
basis of my beliefs(or lack) is no damn bit different than being hated for 
one's colour.  It's every bit as wrong and trivial.  And it's generally 
every bit as fatal, thanks to those who feel "God" has chosen them to 
vanquish the heretics.

I don't think it's trivial or wrong for God to chasten those with bad beliefs, 
which result in bad actions.  An example would be people with the conviction 
they have the right to kill their own children as a part of religious ceremony.
This is an extreme example, of course.  

I realize we live in a world where many different groups believe they alone have
the truth.  This can develop into trouble when a leader decides it's time to 
attack and kill the opposition.  

But please do not simply group every religious group into the same category as 
certain religiously inspired terrorist organizations.  For instance, there is a 
big difference between the Methodist denomination and the Taliban.     

you continue:
Personally, I'm far, far more interested in YOU being around after cryonic 
revival than the Mormon Church.

Thank you! lol 

you continue:
>Enjoy your weekend John.

I did.  I was busy packing for my next big adventure in life.

Keith R. Dugu wrote:
The probablem with excusing  prejudice in one area is that the same 
arguments can be used in other areas like cryonics. 
Just look at what the media has called us.
People are prejudiced against cryonicists for some of the same reasons that 
the mormon church has continued it's racism against Blacks worldwide.

Since 1978 the priesthood ban has been lifted.  I am hurt by your statement that
the Mormon church(as an institution) at the current moment carries out racism 
against Blacks worldwide.  It does not.  I realize you have been deeply hurt, 
and I am truly very sorry.  

you continue:

The real question is do you think that the way that the mormon church treated 
Blacks was wrong.
(Like prohibiting interracial dating at brigam Young University in the 70's.)  
If so, do you think it was wrong for the church not to have apologized 
and admitted that what it did was wrong?
"Yes" or "No" will do just fine.

I love my church very much, and it has so many great things going for it, as I 
stated in an earlier post on this subject.  But ultimately, I do believe it was 
wrong for the Church to not have apologized on this painful matter, and I wish 
decades before the policy had been changed, or even better, never carried out in
the first place.   

you continue:
Please do not rewrite my past. It was "many mormons" not "a few" 
as you have stated after all I should know I was there! 
From your post about the Black bishop I guess you are not black 
and therefore would not be the subject of  racism and 
so to you there is not much racism in the mormon church. You don't 
see it because most of the encounters
 that you observe are either Black-Black or White-White because 
Blacks comprise only 10% of the population.

 The probability of a Black encountering a White is much higher than you 
 encountering a Black.

I did not realize your personal experience on this matter.  I am deeply sorry 
for the racism you have experienced due to church members.  The black friends I 
have had in the church never told me there was rampant racism within it, but 
they are probably quite a bit younger than you are.

I hope one day the church leadership does make an official apology, and that the
matter can be looked at squarely by all members.  

Please don't forget, there is great good in my church.  The world is a vastly 
better place for it being here.  But for the church to rise to it's full 
potential, this matter does need to be dealt with.

As I said earlier, I love my church, I love cryonics, and I love my 
friends(whatever their race).  

A great deal of deep thought, soul searching, and emotion went into the writing 
of this, and the other post I wrote on the issue.

I hope it has helped.

very best wishes,


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