“Severe, Pervasive, and Objectively Offensive Race-Based Harassment”

Photo by Rolande PG on Unsplash

Yesterday the Salt Lake Tribune reported on the end of a Department of Justice investigation into the Davis School District in Utah. And frankly, its findings were disgusting. You can (and should) read the DOJ’s report here, but in summary, but in summary, the DOJ found “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive race-based harassment” in Davis schools by students and staff. A taste of the kinds of harassment Black students had to deal with: white students called them

monkeys or apes and said that their skin was dirty or looked like feces. Peers taunted Black students by making monkey noises at them, touching and pulling their hair without permission, repeatedly referencing slavery and lynching, and telling Black students “go pick cotton” and “you are my slave.” Harassment related to slavery increased when schools taught the subject, which some Black students felt was not taught in a respectful or considerate manner. White and other non-Black students demanded that Black students give them an “N-Word Pass,” which non-Black students claimed gave them permission to use the n-word with impunity, including to and around Black students. If Black students resisted these demands, they were sometimes threatened or physically assaulted.

(Note that the report also discusses anti-Asian discrimination.)

And what happened when students reported this behavior to school faculty and staff? At best, nothing. And that alone would be unacceptable. But students and parents also “reported incidents in which District staff targeted and assaulted students of color, ridiculed students in front of their peers, endorsed pejorative and harmful stereotypes of people of color in class, and retaliated against students of color for reporting harassment.”

This is a huge Davis School District problem. But this is also a huge Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints problem.

And why do I say that? Well, it looks like at least 77% of the population of Davis County are members of the LDS church. And while its possible that it is only the other 23% discriminating, count me skeptical of that.

And before any of us dismisses Davis County as an outlier, I want to be clear: racism by church members isn’t limited to any one area. I’ve heard shockingly racist statements by church leaders here in the Chicagoland area,

But the DOJ’s report on Davis schools really puts a point to the fact that we have not managed to teach our people the basics of the Gospel, including that racism is wrong.

And it’s not that we haven’t tried. In 2006, at General Conference, Pres, Hinckley condemned racism in stark terms:

Now I am told that racial slurs and denigrating remarks are sometimes heard among us. I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. How can any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color is ineligible?

That doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for justifying racism. More recently, Pres. Nelson has joined with the NAACP in calling for racial harmony (and, by implication, the end of racial discrimination by members of the church).

But these moves have clearly been insufficient to rip racism out of our hearts and our communities. And we both can and should do more.

What should we do? I have a simple proposal: we should devote a church curriculum to battling racism in ourselves, our church community, and the larger community around us. That curriculum should be taught either in Sunday School or in our priesthood and Relief Society classes (as well as youth classes and even Primary). And it shouldn’t be a fifth Sunday kind of thing: it should be a consistent class for whatever period of time we need to fully cover the curriculum. (I imagine at least three months, but I don’t actually know.) And it should repeat on a regular basis.

(Note that I’m not open to the idea that somehow this isn’t appropriate for a church setting. I’ve been in classes that discussed financial planning—heck, I’ve taught that once or twice—which strikes me as perfectly fine but also far less central to the Gospel than, say, “All Are Alike Unto God.”)

And what would this curriculum look like? I don’t know exactly; I would hope the church would reach out to people with expertise in the area to design it (and that they would produce a detailed lesson manual that would be legitimately helpful to teachers). But I have some ideas of what it should include:

Scriptural and Prophetic Statements Decrying Racism. Fairly self-explanatory, right? And we have plenty.

Racism in Church History. We need to confront our history. We like to tout the idea that Missourians in the 1830s didn’t like us in part because we were northern abolitionists. Which is true as far as it goes. But we also need to confront the fact that, while Illinois was formally a free state, church leaders allowed chattel slavery in Nauvoo. Brigham Young permitted slavery in Utah. While we may have made some rhetorical moves toward abolition, our revealed preferences suggest we weren’t, as a community, actually terribly uncomfortable with it.

And then we have the priesthood and temple ban. We should learn about the people who faced that ban. We should confront the harm it did to them and their families. We should learn about the origins and development of it.

We have J. Reuben Clark’s and Ezra Taft Benson’s opposition to the civil rights movement.

Fallible People and Scriptures. Now the thing is, I’m not arguing that we should confront our past to tear down the church. But simply put, our past is our past and we don’t put it behind us by ignoring it.

But we also need to learn how to read past leaders—and scriptures—as something other than the infallible will of God to us. Because they’re not. The Book of Mormon has passages that are tremendously racist, equating whiteness with goodness and dark skin with badness. But it doesn’t force us to read that equation as God’s will; in fact, the narrative of the Book of Mormon ultimately subverts and condemns those racist ideas.

But a surface-level reading of scripture won’t get us there. We need to learn how to engage with scripture rather than assuming its infallibility. This class would be a perfect way to engage with that. It could give us the skills to recognize not only the spiritual worth of scripture, but how to read scripture.

Likewise, it could teach us that prophets are not, and don’t have to be, infallible. Many of our church leaders held racist views. That a prophet held those views doesn’t make those views right, and that they had racist views doesn’t make their actual revelatory statements wrong. But we need to learn to navigate these shores.

How To Prevent Racism. I think most of us don’t want to be racist. I think most of us would like to shut racism down. But I think most of us—in the U.S., at least, majority white—also don’t entirely know what constitutes racism. It’s not just dressing like a Nazi and using the n-word while white (though it certainly includes dressing like a Nazi and using the n-word). It would be valuable to address the range of things that constitute racism. But more than that, it would be valuable to learn tools for recognizing and combatting racism in our own selves, as well as tools for confronting racism in our church and non-church communities.

There’s certainly more that a class could involve. But we really need a more sustained approach to racism than merely its mention and condemnation in General Conference and in press releases. We need tools to deal with it, and tools to help rid ourselves of it.

And outside of a class, the church needs to formally and institutionally apologize for its racist past. Its racist past does not somehow make it invalid. Apologizing doesn’t somehow make it weak. But this idea of leaving our past behind us isn’t working; it’s not sending a message to members.

And we desperately need to send members this message: racism is unacceptable. Is ungodly. And is something that each one of us is capable of engaging in. It takes effort and humility to overcome and repudiate, but repenting of our racism helps to heal our selves and our communities and is a critical step toward creating Zion.

Comments

  1. Interesting. I knew of the problem in Salt Lake City itself AT ONE TIME. It was from older generations than my own (1960s-70s generation). Personally I was raised in a home where one parent taught tolerance, acceptance and lived as Christ taught – to love our brothers (and sisters) and not judge them. The other parent was racist to a degree. That parent was raised in a home where that sort of thing was common place, and at the time (1920s and 1930s) most of the community was too. Despite the persecution our own Church suffered.

    These days it is extremely backward to think like they did back then. The world is larger, we SHOULD have moved on. But I have members of my own family who are extremely racist and make remarks that are derogatory and ugly. They don’t do such things around me, because I won’t tolerate it, but that’s how they feel.

    And the wheel is turning in ‘our’ direction. Whites are becoming a minority. I have to wonder what happens then, and when people stop being so small minded as to judge each other on a trivial factor like skin color. Oh. Just for the record, I’m White.

  2. The problem is that these racist attitudes and behaviors are precisely the legacy of Benson, Clark, Skousen and the rest of their ilk. Many of these individuals are quite beloved by many members. To strongly repudiate their previous teachings would be problematic.

  3. Thanks Melanie!

    JLM, that may well be true. Which makes it doubly important that the church formally repudiate these racist views, as they’re less likely to slip out of members’ thoughts if they were expressed by beloved figures.

    And that also makes it doubly incumbent that the church work to help members understand how to engage with church leaders’ fallibility.

  4. purple_flurp says:

    JLM is right on the money, such measures would be great, but honestly I don’t think we’ll get much beyond “racism bad” statements from the upper leadership. Anything more detailed than that risks casting light on the church’s very recent history of racism. They’re OK with throwing Brigham Young under the bus since he’s been dead for over a century but I don’t think they’re willing to do the same with JFS, Lee, McConkie, Benson, Clark, Skousen, etc.

    Even Kimball, who was the good guys at the time (those who sought overturn the priesthood ban much earlier) also said some pretty problematic stuff about Indigenous people which were (and possible still are) commonly held beliefs by some significant portion of chruch members (such as that ‘the descendents of the lamanites’ will turn white after coming back into the fold).

    I really don’t see them risking having all of that brought to the public stage and they are EXTREMELY reluctant to say anything even remotely approaching a “we were wrong” kind of statement or apology.

  5. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    President Nelson seemed fine with throwing previous leaders under the bus regarding their acceptance of using “Mormon” as an identifier. Not doing so regarding racist teachings, and not castigating current members for perpetuating or tolerating racism is just SO MUCH more important. Unless, of course, he has received no revelation that Satan wins when we say racist things.

    And this is, as you say, Sam, very much a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints problem. One can argue that the statements and behaviors in Davis County weren’t from members of the Church (an incredibly weak argument), but if at least 77% of the population of Davis County are members, it’s nearly impossible that they weren’t around when the statements were made or to witness the behaviors. These are youth who attend Seminary, go to EFY, and regularly attend Church meetings. Clearly, those activities aren’t getting the job done. Shame on all those parents, SS teachers, YM/YW leaders, and Seminary teachers for this pervasive behavior.

  6. Ah yes the MAGA crowd. That particular dysfunction runs wide, deep, and straight through Mormondom. I wonder how Davis Co treats the handicapped.

  7. nobody, really says:

    >we have not managed to teach our people the basics of the Gospel, including that racism is wrong.

    Of course we don’t teach the basics of the Gospel. We teach tithing, seminary attendance, word of wisdom, temple work, and female modesty. When more than half the ward budget is spent on young men’s activities, we teach that it is okay to treat some people better than others. We teach adoration of general authorities, and the importance of buying their writings at Deseret Book. We teach that it is proper to shun the sister who shops for groceries in yoga pants. We teach that avoiding the appearance of evil is far more important than not being evil ourselves.

    Stephen R Covey wrote that “every organization is perfectly aligned to achieve the results that it does”. Our churches are perfectly aligned to get these results too.

  8. Bro. Jones says:

    It’ll never, ever happen. The LDS church will never disavow the statements of previous leaders to a degree that would allow careful, critical study and healing.

    I’ve been studying with the Community of Christ recently, and their approach is so vastly different. They start with a focus on Christ, determine what it means to be a true disciple, then examine history and scripture through that lens. If something fails to uphold that ideal, they actually discuss it and acknowledge the weakness of humanity along with the potential for growth and change.

    I say again: I don’t think it’ll ever happen in the LDS church.

  9. Can we have some curriculum about recognizing and combating misogyny, too?

  10. Jenny Richards says:

    This is precisely what a stake in Seattle did! WE NEED THIS church wide (or at least in Utah)!
    https://seattlenorthrs.home.blog/category/race/

  11. Earlier this year (May 2021) the Area President (Elder Paul Pieper) and Ahmad Corbitt (Gen YM Presidency) held a youth fireside broadcast for all the youth in Arizona. The fireside was focused exclusively on combating racism and how youth cannot be followers of Christ and agree with any racist attitudes or beliefs. Several youth of different races spoke about how they’ve experienced racism at school and in church, and how it made them feel.

    In theory it was a great idea, but the delivery was a little clunky (with Elder Pieper trying to host an “open mic” type situation with the teenagers). My 12 year old daughter said, “This whole thing is so awkward.” Still, I think they get major points for bringing up the topic! It led to a great conversation in my home about race and the Church.

    Unfortunately, the same youth that need to hear the message may be getting conflicting messages about racism at home…

  12. If the church is serious about racism, it needs to formally apologize for its past racist policies. Doing so would simultaneously make a big statement about racism and about prophetic fallibility, and both of those would be enormously beneficial to church culture. The admission of fallibility seems to be the sticking point. Today’s leaders seem comfortable talking about fallibility in generalities, but they don’t seem to want to take a specific policy or statement (or in this case, many of them over many decades) from the past and say it was wrong.

  13. Kevin Rex says:

    Tragic that the Book of Mormon still has so many passages about God Himself cursing (or call it a “mark”, whatever) some humans with “a skin of blackness” so that they won’t be enticing to the white folks. How will we ever get over our racism with that concept in our “keystone” book?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Full disclosure: I am a Davis School District teacher.

    We noticed a serious decline in civility and a concerning uptick in racist jokes and language about 13 years ago. There were even antisemitic incidents. It worsened enormously five years ago. Administrators who turned a blind eye to racism were predominantly from one political party and members of a single religion.

    The First Presidency is powerless here. The message which urged masking and vaccinations was broadly dismissed. Some called them “fallen prophets.” Zion will not be established in Davis County anytime soon!

  15. Anonymous As Well says:

    I’m anonymous for this comment for an obvious reason. My brother in law who taught seminary in Davis School District is an outspoken and unrepentant racist. All my telling him that he’s wrong has accomplished is that he makes disgusting comments more frequently.

  16. AnonforThis says:

    My small town is very Mormon, and the town’s high school had a blackface incident this year. Most of the community, including school and district leadership, was more upset that they got bad press than that students were engaged in blackface. Official statements were along the lines of “how dare the media attack students over this incident.” (No students were named in any media accounts.) No apologies offered at all.

    Needless to say, our community’s gone backwards on race issues over the last five or six years. I think most of us know one big factor in that decline.

  17. Geoff - Aus says:

    The church supports discrimination against gays and women. If I go online supporting discrimination against gays and women I am going to get paired with white supremacists, trumpers, anti vaxers anti maskers and others who do not trust institutions.

    These are all part of a package. When the church teaches discrimination against gays and women they are grooming for the rest of the package. To then try to oppose racism is impossible. Why did so many members support trump, and still believe he won; they bought the package of bigotry the church is selling, and most were not able to separate out racism.

    The culture that comes with discrimination against gays and women includes racism and white supremacy, and the whole package.

    The people who buy this culture also do not accept truthfull history; so correcting history will not be accepted by them. Trump has done so much damage to America.

  18. Brother Sky says:

    Sam, you’re correct. The findings are disgusting. They are also shocking, but hardly surprising. I don’t wish to offend folks on this blog who are more orthodox than I, but the fact is that racism (as well as misogyny and homophobia) is baked into Mormonism. As other posters have suggested, part of the problem is, indeed, that contradicting or repudiating the statements and beliefs of previous leaders is one reason the church has painted itself into a corner on this. But let’s not forget that there are some simply indefensible teachings about race in the Book of Mormon, not just in the words of early prophets. Such deep and pervasive thinking about race (and yes, about women and members of the LGBTQ community) is even more difficult to overcome if one believes that such discriminatory and exclusionary thinking is ratified by God and his prophets. And let’s not also forget just how insular Mormon communities can be. Is it any wonder that a bunch of people who are already predisposed to feel superior to other groups of people might not know how to discuss issues involving race with empathy and respect?

  19. Eyeroll at these comments. I lived in Utah and around Utah people my whole life. I have never seen any outwardly racist acts my entire life. I have heard less than progressive racial comments, but not any different from what I have heard from non-Utah/lds people.

  20. Brother Sky, Kristine already addressed this and I hinted at it in the OP but there are only indefensible teachings in the Book of Mormon if you read the Book of Mormon as laying out the opinion of God, infallibly. But if you can accept that the prejudices baked into the book are, in fact, failures of the book’s authors (and perhaps even one of the precipitators of the downfall of the Lehite nation), the Book of Mormon’s racism doesn’t endorse, excuse, or even allow our racism.

    That’s not the way we generally read the Book of Mormon, which may (to paraphrase Pres. Benson) be to our condemnation. In any event, that’s why, in the OP, I suggest that my proposed class teach non-surface-level skills for reading scripture.

    Steve, that you haven’t noticed “outwardly” racist acts (which is quite the qualifier!) doesn’t mean that there isn’t outward racism surrounding you. I don’t know where in Utah you live, but the outward racism in Davis wasn’t just obvious, but it was extreme. Failure to notice it could mean that it hasn’t happened around you. Or it may mean you didn’t notice it. Which is why I recommend that a portion of the course go over recognizing racism, both in ourselves and our community.

    More broadly, while the lack of movement so far from the church is discouraging, that doesn’t mean change can’t happen. Institutions—including the church—can change for the better if they believe that the change is important. And here it is absolutely important that we actually work to root racism out of ourselves and our communities. We’ve already learned that merely saying don’t be racist doesn’t work. That modeling behavior isn’t clear enough. But with sustained effort and focus, the church can respond to racism in its ranks. It will take work, it will take apology, and it will take exiting its (and our) comfort zones. But that strikes me as a worthy cause.

  21. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    Now I’m rolling my eyes. Grew up in Utah and been around Utah people my whole life. Have heard countless racist comments and seen racist acts from people in nearly every setting: elementary school, high school, college, church, seminary, sporting events, grocery stores, FHE, … What imaginary utopian zion community rock did you live under?

  22. Perhaps I can share a racist experience I was dragged into here in Ogden, Utah this week.
    Let me begin by stating I am about as fair skinned as they come. My light blond hair has gotten lighter and lighter as it turns white in my older years.
    I was grocery shopping at Walmart. A woman about my age, mid 60’s, came up to me and complimented me on how pretty my hair and skin color were. I thanked her and jokingly replied the hair just kept getting lighter as I aged. She then repeated the compliment and nastily announced how sick she was of brown skin. That is when I noticed the young Hispanic woman and her daughter right beside us facing the other side of the aisle. The woman marched away. I was left opening and closing my mouth like a fish, too stunned to respond.
    I wish I could say this was the only racist incident I have witnessed here this year. It was the second.
    At least when I was young, racism was seen as shameful, something to be hidden. Now real evil is paraded in public. And people have the unspeakable gall to assume they can involve a stranger in the attack. Next time I will be ready. Unfortunately, there will probably be a next time.

  23. I was so proud to read about President Kimball’s fighting the racism of his time from those who did not want Native Americans to attend the Mesa Temple. It had never occurred to me that people would want to keep others out of the temple.
    Of course it was the election of Obama that brought out so much hidden racism. Not just in Utah or among the Saints. I think many people could not accept that a Black man could lead the country. Then along came Trump, who in his opening speech told us of the rapists slipping in from Mexico. He was so ridiculous I thought certainly people would see through him. Instead he normalized insults to anyone who opposed him. He found a winning formula in verbalizing the fears of blue collar workers who could not get a raise as their jobs were shipped overseas or done by new immigrants willing to work for less. He vocalized the real fears of those living near the borders that violent criminals were slipping easily into our country. And racism became public again.
    But to all of those who think this is a white problem to be calling racist names, I have been called whitey as I walked the sidewalks of Oakland, California. And my friend had to consult her mission president in Tonga when her companion told her that she was not House of Israel as a Caucasian. The Tongans were real House of Israel. It seems racism can infect people everywhere and every color.

  24. Former Davis county resident here. As a YM leader, I had to correct racist and homophobic statements from youth on multiple occasions. Most of these came from “good kids” who were trying to be cool and fit in. The racism problem is exacerbated by a strong bullying culture as well. There were multiple incidents where an LDS youth who didn’t neatly fit the typical Mormon mold were cruelly bullied by other LDS kids. Most of them want nothing to do with the church any more. In many ways, Mormon corridor culture is in the downward trend of the pride cycle. The Q12 really need to ratchet up their calls to repentance.

  25. My mom was a Relief Society teacher a few years ago when the directive from church headquarters was that we spend six months on the single topic of keeping the Sabbath day holy. She said that each time she sat down to prepare, she wondered how she could possibly come up with enough material for yet another lesson, but she always could, and there were always plenty of comments from class members. There’s enough to talk about concerning racism and our problems in this area that we could fill six years’ worth of lessons and still have plenty to say. But I would take a six-month directive, or a six-week directive. And a six-minute apology from the first presidency would be a great way to start things off. I won’t hold my breath, of course, but I perhaps I can continue working to be more anti-racist myself, which will not be a waste of time.

  26. Steve who is rolling his eyes. You have lived in Utah your whole life and so you know that the testimony of HUNDREDS of people of color is wrong? Because you have only heard some “less than progressive” comments at times? Well you seem credible. Good enough for me. What a relief that no action is needed to correct any severe, pervasive, and offensive racism in our community.

  27. I know that I’ve posted this on BCC before, but a small step in the right direction would be explicitly calling out certain organizations in the temple recommend interview. I know that the church is a global church, so this could be adapted to local situations. How do you think some peoples attitude would change if the question were “Do you affiliate with any organization that teaches against church teachings? An example of such organizations are the United Daughters Confederacy, Proud Boys, or any other organization that has an emphasis on the Confederate States of America”.
    People might argue that organization like the UDC are genealogical societies, but the church should still say that members shouldn’t have anything to do with them.

  28. Former Utahn says:

    I’ve heard a good way to deal with the racist or misogynist comments is to start with, “I don’t think I heard you correctly, “ or “could you repeat that, I think I misunderstood you.” Then listen and do a lot of schooling on loving God and one’s neighbor.

  29. anonymous A says:

    Yes, we have a problem and it is hard for me not to tie it to our current political climate right now. The extreme right is pushing against inclusive teaching in schools and it is becoming more mainstream. Utah has an elected school board member who has twice targeted schools in Davis school district in her social media statements, including an elementary school’s Black History month bulletin board for displaying words like ‘human rights, equity, activist’. The school took the display down due to the outcry she raised. Then you have the Republican legislator calling for parents to be able to vet social science lessons 30 days before they are taught in class.

    I think even if the Church took a more direct approach it will be largely ignored or dismissed. As much as I hate it politics is winning the argument for a large group Utah, including church members.

  30. Jesse Stricklan says:

    Don’t know if this helps, but for those who (unlike the OP) are despairing about the presence of racism in the BoM and elsewhere, it’s good to remember that all scripture and all religion is a collection of both positive and negative aspects. I like best of all to use a scripture’s own words against its worst failings, so in the case of the BoM, the narrative arc itself, the admonition of Christ ripping on Nephi and co. for leaving out Samuel’s prophecies, “all are alike unto God” language, etc., should provide us with at least as much scriptural warrant as prior statements by prophets to the contrary. And, of course, we have Mormon’s own instruction to the effect that we should follow that which leads us to do good and believe in Christ to determine what is good… neither of which racism helps.

    So change is possible, if we remember that the Restoration is an *ongoing* process of revelation, one which revises previous stages constantly. This precludes infallibility, of course, but the scriptures are replete with examples of fallibility (from Adam to Noah to Enoch to Moses to Samuel to Nathan to Peter to Paul to Nephi I to Alma to Mormon to Moroni to JSJr. and on and on), so, as Quentin and Kristine and Sam in the OP noted, this would be a very healthy rooting out of a wicked tradition of the fathers. We need not give up! Here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept, we have repented and we still can repent, at least while we still have breath…

  31. Sam, you’ve aptly illustrated why we as Church members have a lot of work to do in “actively’ rooting out racism as counseled by our current president and prophet. While I thought this was mainly a generational problem, the story shows that all demographics are involved. But I suspect it’s mainly the older generation that needs to learn to read scripture in a new way, otherwise it could take generations for things to change.

  32. Those who latch onto specific verses as prooftexts about the alleged racism OR anti-racism of the Book of Mormon are ignoring a clear sub-text woven into the entire arc of the narrative. It’s by no means the central point of the book, but Mormon consistently (and subversively, I might add) threads an anti-racist message into the story in ways I think a lot of us have missed. For me, the situation in Davis County reinforces the claim that the BoM was written for our time and the fact we all have a lot of work to do.

  33. Thanks, Sam. And shame on us as a religion. Yes, all of us. We need to be not just not racist, but anti-racist. Whatever the Church is doing to combat racism among its conservative members is not working. And whatever it is doing (virtually nothing) to stop conservatives from listening to and believing the truckload of disinformation on various topics coming from right-wing platforms is also not working. The numbers don’t lie, and neither do the accounts of people who have to confront our massive ignorance on any number of topics. Some will say, “This isn’t who we really are.” But unfortunately, that isn’t so. This is who we are as a people. I wouldn’t blame God for abandoning us and starting over with some other group. Or maybe he has already.

  34. If you truly want to be sad, read the comments on the Deseret News article. So sad to see the people I grew up with trying to either downplay the incident, or play the victim card about how affirmative action, the blacklivesmatter movement, and critical race theory, somehow harm white folk. It’s a scarcity mindset run amok.

    Events of the recent two years have made me realize it’s not enough to not be racist, or homophobic, or just generally not hateful. I have to be anti-racist, LGBTQ affirming, and loving. The marginalized deserve better than we give them.

  35. Sam, an article in The Atlantic discusses a similar failure of evangelicals to teach basic Christian doctrine to their congregants, with similar results, a membership who are more likely to identify political beliefs as doctrine than actual Biblical teaching. The parallels are unsettling. Having had several children go through the Davis schools in the 80s and 90s, we had to correct some of these same false ideologies with them, including some taught by seminary teachers. It was a constant battle, with several of our kids leaving the church as adults.

  36. Tom,
    Not only is the Church doing nothing to stop conservatives from “listening to and believing the truckload of disinformation,” it actually provides that disinformation by programming right wing talk radio on stations that the Church owns. And makes money on. I would love it if someone could show me that I am mistaken.

  37. Malia Moore says:

    My mother always taught me the people in the church are not representative of the true gospel of Christ. While believe she was correct, I also believe how the members conduct themselves will represent the church to non-members. It saddens me LDS Utahans show themselves to be the worst type of Christians, not just the worst type Latter Day Saints. As long as Utahans stays socially and racially insular, no teachings of modern prophets will move them. Love the Jesus that taught us to Love One Another and accepted all types of people. I live in an ethnically, religiously, and culturally diverse suburb of Dallas, and l love the diversity here.

  38. nedreberg says:

    I love it, Critical Race Theory, CRT, taught at church with their blessing. It just might work.

  39. Say her name. says:

    Isabella Tichenor, a ten year old child at Foxboro Elementary in Davis County, died by suicide on Saturday, November 6.
    She went by Izzy.
    She is Black, and autistic.
    Her mom recounts several incidents of racism her bright, giggly daughter experienced.
    Deeply sad. Unnecessary. So wrong.
    Mormons can address our past, leave racism behind.
    Salt Lake Tribune, November 9, 2021. // salt Lake Tribune, November 10, 2021.

Trackbacks

  1. […] ourselves, our church community, and the larger community around us,” Brunson writes in a recent By Common Consent blog post. “That curriculum should be taught either in Sunday school or in our [male] priesthood and […]

  2. […] ourselves, our church community, and the larger community around us,” Brunson writes in a recent By Common Consent blog post. “That curriculum should be taught either in Sunday school or in our [male] priesthood and […]

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