Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Godless Wednesday: Mormonism's Racist Past

Ouch. This billboard from American Atheists publicizing the racist history of Mormon doctrine that Black men were barred from becoming full-fledged members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints until 1978 is starting to get attention. Not only did Mormons discriminate on the basis of race, but they do still discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

The Church still says that sexually active gay men and lesbians are not allowed to be full-fledged members. In their parlance being a full-fledged member means being able to "accept the priesthood." Of course, the even larger aspect of discrimination the Church engages in is on the basis of gender, since women are also not allowed to accept the priesthood, but since there are lots of other religions that are definitionally patriarchal (Catholicism, Islam, etc). Mormonism tends to get a pass on the fact that it does not think that women should have the same status as men.

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