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Damage control: Mormon church explains racist past

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The Mormon church is engaged in a public relations campaign to distance itself from its immoral and racist past: Up until 1978, the church taught that black people were spiritually inferior, and barred men of African descent from the clergy.

According to Mormon teaching, God changed his mind about dark skinned people in 1978. Apparently Mormons are supposed to believe that church leaders received a “revelation from God” disavowing previous Mormon teachings, teachings such as black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, that black skin reflects bad actions in a premortal life, that mixed-race marriages are a sin, and that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity other than white are inferior.

However, in the 35 years since the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially abandoned its overt racism, church leaders had never explained the reasons behind the once widely held notion that black people were spiritually inferior.

Last Friday the church released a statement, “Race and the Priesthood,” posted Friday on the church’s website, in a belated attempt at damage control. The nearly 2,000-word article is the most comprehensive explanation yet about the past exclusion of black people from the priesthood and marks the first time the church has explicitly disavowed its previous teachings on race. The following is an excerpt from that statement:

The church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavour or curse…

Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.

Apparently God changed His mind about racism in 1978, and Mormon officials are finally willing to disavow their racist teachings in 2013. Better late than never. One wonders how long it will take this fickle Mormon God to change His mind about the gays.

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