Why do Mormons have racist teachings?

Mormons condemn "white supremacists"

The Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in America condemned white supremacy after a neo-Nazi attacked a demonstration in Charlottesville.

Following the American Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference, the World Jewish Congress, and numerous other organizations and individuals, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have most emphatically condemned white supremacists within their own ranks and insisted that they does not support this, reported the Huffington Post on Wednesday.

In a first statement, the community had already written on Sunday that all people, believers and non-believers, should be concerned about the increasing intolerance in words and deeds. “Our prayers are with those who suffer because of this intolerance and this hatred”.

Reuters / George Frey

The Mormons are fighting their own racist history

"White Supremacy is Morally Wrong"

After apparently some members with white nationalist ideas misinterpreted this statement, the community clarified their statement on Tuesday.

“Some of the pro-white and white supremacy groups claim that the Church (of the Latter-day Saints) is neutral or in support of their views. Nothing could be further from the truth "..." White supremacy attitudes are morally wrong, sinful and we condemn them. Members who want to promote a "white culture" or promote white supremacy are not in accord with the Teachings of the Church ”.

Statement interpreted in a racist way

The statement is supported by a quote from the Bible and one from the Book of Mormon, which the community regards as an additional religious authority. What prompted the LDS to clarify the statement is not clear, according to HuffingtonPost, but a Mormon blogger with more than 30,000 followers on Twitter commented on the first statement by saying, “You can't be anti-white and a disciple Christ ”.

In addition, rumors had surfaced on social networks that members of the Mormons were allegedly involved in organizing the racist rally in Charlottesville.

Several right-wing extremist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right movement, which US President Donald Trump had supported in the election campaign, demonstrated against the dismantling of a monument at the weekend in the university town in Virginia. A 32-year-old woman died when a 20-year-old neo-Nazi apparently purposely drove his car into a group of counter-demonstrators.

Own racist past

Mica McGriggs, a Mormon student at Columbia University Medical Center who has been studying "race" and "privilege" issues in her denomination, told the Huffington Post that the statement was "long overdue," but at least a first, more critical one Step, so McGriggs.

The Mormon Church has had a difficult history with regards to racism. In 1852, a few years after taking charge of the Church, Brigham Young announced that men of African descent could no longer be ordained as priests. Afro-American men and women were subsequently prevented from participating in important church practices until 1978 - for example, the respected Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which consists of around 300 people, hardly has any African-American singers.

Even today, many Mormons experience racism in their religious communities, writes the Huffington Post. The church had tried to put aside the racist legacy and published numerous articles on its website, but that was not enough for many of those affected.

Religious community since 1830

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as Mormons, is the largest of approximately 70 “Book of Mormon” communities. The Mormon religious community was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith in the United States, where around half of what it claims to be around 15 million members worldwide live today. Smith is also considered to be the author of the second (besides the Bible) Mormon scriptures, the "Book of Mormon".

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