Mitt’s Gag Rule on Race and Mormonism

Mitt’s Gag Rule on Race and Mormonism



Mitt Romney refuses to talk about his Mormon faith on the campaign trail and it’s probably a sound political strategy since his religion teaches that Black people are cursed by God.

Even though the overwhelming majority of African-American voters will support President Barack Obama in the general election over Romney, Black Republicans have been particularly silent about how Mormons view Black folks.

For decades, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has taught that Black people are “inferior” and “cursed” by God because of something sinister that Blacks did before they were born.

“And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity,” according to a bizarre passage from the Book of Mormon. “For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of Blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.”

Shades of the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials of 1692.

So where are the tough questions for Romney from Black Republicans? Did they fold up their tents and go into hiding, hoping this religious controversy blows over? They should hold Romney’s feet to the fire instead of giving him a free pass. Many Blacks view the Mormon church as racist and the African-Americans who make up only one percent of the six million Mormans in the United States are hard-pressed to convince critics otherwise.

“Right now is a great opportunity for the church to say, ‘Let’s clear the air once and for all,'” Darron Smith, co-editor of the book “Black and Mormon,” told USA Today. “But they won’t do it. And that’s going to put reasonable doubt in people’s minds about Romney and the Church.”

Last week, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) insisted that Obama’s campaign team will use Romney’s Mormon faith against him during the presidential campaign.

“You watch, they’re going to throw the Mormon church at him like you can’t believe,” Hatch, who also practices the Mormon religion, told a group of Republicans.

Romney, the GOP frontrunner for president, has not spoken substantively about his religion and does not usually take questions about his Mormon faith. When he was recently asked by a GOP delegate about whether he agreed that Black people were cursed by God, Romney, who seemed very agitated, answered “no” and quickly walked away.

For Hatch, however, that was enough.

“You can find some pretty outlandish statements by some of our early leaders that we’ve all had to live with from time to time, but he handles it very well and I think [Romney] is going to do a good job,” Hatch told GOP delegates in Salt Lake City.

Doing a good job? Romney hasn’t talked in depth about the warped notion that Black people are cursed and he’s declined to take a position on the longstanding ban of Black men from the Mormon priesthood. Until 1978, priest positions were only available to white men. The church, which also barred Black men and women from temple ceremonies, has never apologized for its discriminatory principles or explained its backward reasoning.

Here’s another reason Romney refuses to speak publicly about his faith: He already has a huge problem attracting women to his campaign, and his religion – created in 1830 and encourages polygamy – will certainly not ingratiate him with women voters. Romney’s faith will clearly become an issue in the campaign and will probably cause him some political headaches before it’s over.

The billionaire White House hopeful continues to play his cards close to the vest. Romney, a successful businessman is shrouded, to some extent, in secrecy. He refuses to divulge all of his investments, he hides his financial holdings, and he always keeps the press at a distance.

For a seemingly devoted public servant, Romney sure insists on his privacy. And when it comes to his questionable Mormon doctrine, he remains loyal –even to a fault.

“I’m very proud of my faith, and it’s the faith of my fathers,” Romney said in a 2007 television interview. “And I’m not going to distance myself from my faith in any way.”

a partnership with


  1. It is clear you have no understanding of Mormon theology. The "blackness" referred to in the Book of Mormon is a spiritual reference and the classic interplay between light and darkness. If you understood that the Book of Mormon purports to be a history of people in the Americas you would realize that the Mormon church has actively sought out the "Lamanites" (i.e. those cursed people) and brought them in to the fold. They have always been eligible to hold the priesthood.

    • That just isn't true is it? Willful ignorance is a BAD thing, but common among the religious.

      There is a reason why one man is BORN BLACK and with other DISADVANTAGES while another is BORN WHITE with great ADVANTAGES. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful recieved less."- Joseph Fielding Smith, "Doctrines of Salvation"

      2 NEphi 5:21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a SKIN of blackness to come upon them.

      You're welcome!

  2. The restriction on the priesthood grew out of a desire to not offend the local population in Missouri in the mid 19th century. Thereafter it became a practice in the church that really was not an issue for many years given the isolated location of the Mormons in Utah. In the mid 20th century the church recognized this as an issue but the leaders at the time did not think they could change this practice without direct revelation on the topic, which did not occur until 1978. Perhaps after the church had suffered the stings of the civil rights movement for the views expressed by some of its early leaders. The Mormons are not alone in restricting access to the priesthood. Only Levites were able to be ordained priests in the Old Testament. None of the other tribes of Israel qualified, and nobody seemed too concerned about that. Many denominations today have restrictions on access to the priesthood. Before you criticize perhaps you should get your facts right.

  3. Oh please, the Mormon Church teaches nothing of the sort. Blacks were some of the first members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In fact, much of the early persecution of the church was due to mormons being pro-abolitionists in a state that had not yet been designated as a slave or a free state (Missouri). Blacks were not allowed to hold the priesthood before 1978, why that it is,no one really knows for sure and anyone who claims to is just speculating. But is t it hat really that outlandish? In the bible, only Levites were allowed to be priesthood holders, and during the ministry of Christ, only the Jews were taught the gospel. It was until after his resurrection that non-Jews could be taught the gospel. I've read through all of the church's scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants) and scriptures people have used to say the church is racist are completely taken out of context or misinterpreted. The scripture used in this article is not even referring to people of African descent. The author of this article would do well by doing a little more research before making claims.

    • Another mormon liar…what a surprise!

      "I am aware that many, who profess to preach the Gospel, complain against their brethren of the same faith, who reside in the South, and are ready to withdraw the hand of fellowship, because they will not renounce the principle of slavery…They advance in an opposition calculated to lay waste the fair states of the South, and let loose upon the world a community of people, who might, peradventure, overrun our country, and violate the most sacred principles of human society, chastity and virtue.

      …I do not believe that the people of the North have any more right to say that the South shall not hold slaves, than the South have to say the North shall.

      Jos. Smith 1838

    • (cont).

      After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject, I do not doubt, but those who have been forward in raising their voices against the South, will cry out against me as being uncharitable, unfeeling, unkind, and wholly unacquainted with the Gospel of Christ. It is my privilege then to name certain passages from the Bible, and examine the teachings of the ancients upon the matter as the fact is uncontrovertible that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the Holy Bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation, and walked with God. And so far from that prediction being averse to the mind of God, it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude. “And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant” (Gen. 9:25, 26).

      Jos. Smith 1838

    • (cont).

      …What could have been the design of the Almighty in this singular occurrence is not for me to say; but I can say, the curse is not yet taken off from the sons of Canaan, neither will be until it is affected by as great a power as caused it to come; and the people who interfere the least with the purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before Him…

      Jos. Smith 1838

      Perhaps it's YOU that should do a little more research on your religion before making claims.

  4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn't teach that black people are cursed. Furthermore, it does not encourage polygamy, nor has it in over 100 years. Any Mormon who likes polygamy is immediately kicked out of the Church.

    Romney is not a billionaire, his wealth is between $150-275 million, as he fully disclosed his personal tax statements. That is the opposite of hiding his financial holdings. As for secrecy or "keeping the press at a distance", he has appeared on many major TV shows including Leno and Letterman, several interviews with Fox and other organizations, he is constantly giving speeches that the press are invited to, and is more in the press' spotlight than just about anyone these days.

    It's fine to criticize Romney or his policies, but please base your criticisms on facts, not lies.