Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Donald Trump’s Mormon Problem

It’s easy to see how Mormons might get spooked by a presidential contender bashing a religious minority. Early Latter-day Saints spent much of the mid-19th century being chased into the desert by bigots and demagogues. Elected officials tried to “exterminate” them. Propagandists painted them as a nefarious foreign race (defined, according to a report printed in multiple medical journals, by their “yellow, sunken, cadaverous visage” and “thick, protuberant lips”). In an eerie bit of foreshadowing, the United States secretary of state sought in 1879 to restrict the flow of Mormon immigrants from overseas, arguing that America must be protected from these “prospective lawbreakers.” 
Mormon leaders have not forgotten this history. As Elder Patrick Kearon said in April while announcing a new churchwide relief effort for refugees, “Their story is our story, not that many years ago.” ("Donald Trump’s Mormon Problem", Mckay Coppins, New York Times, Jun 13, 2016)

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