And Another Question to Ask Mr. Romney:

Do you, sir, agree or repudiate this statement by BYU religion professor Randy Bott:

“God has always been discriminatory.”

(From  a Washington Post piece by Jason Horowitz. via Max Perry Mueller in Slate)

Well, Mr. Romney? Is that your view? The divinity divines consequential differences amongst the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve?

Further: do you, Mr. Romney, agree or repudiate this view:

….The Mormon Church’s own longstanding priesthood ban was, according to Bott, not racist. Rather, it was a “blessing.” Prior to 1978, blacks weren’t spiritually mature enough to be ordained with such authority. Bott compared blacks to “a young child prematurely asking for the keys to her father’s car,” and told Horowitz that misusing priesthood authority—like crashing dad’s Oldsmobile—could have put blacks “in the lowest rungs of hell,” reserved for serial killers, child rapists, world-class tyrants, and “people who abuse their priesthood powers.”

Take your time.

Image: Domenichino, Adam and Eve,  between 1625 and 1623.

[OT PS: am I the only one who finds those winged decapitated kid’s heads to be supremely creepy?]

63 replies
  1. 1
    gmf says:

    Dem babby heds must have had some redbull

  2. 2
    The Dangerman says:

    Of course that’s not his view; he’s running for office, fer goodness sakes.

  3. 3
    zmulls says:

    The Lord seriously looks like he’s flipping the bird

  4. 4
    gogol's wife says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I believe it’s “for Pete’s sake.”

  5. 5
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    as far as the rift between the mormon cult and fundamentalist, and dominionist christianity, i say, let the healing begin.

  6. 6
    Linnaeus says:

    Don’t know if this is the thread for it, but here’s Ta-Nehisi Coates on Andrew Breitbart. He hits it out of the park. Again.

  7. 7
    Mark K says:

    Romney can take his time, but he needs to: SHOW YOUR WORK!

  8. 8
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    No Tom you are not the only one, as soon as I saw them I thought WTF are those?

  9. 9
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Wnat about women? I guess they are still like children..

  10. 10
    Johannes says:

    Creepy is an understatement. Weeping Angels get anxious around them.

  11. 11
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Linnaeus: I’d say this and many threads are the place for that link.

  12. 12
    dr. bloor says:

    am I the only one who finds those decapitated kids heads with wings to be supremely creepy?

    Thalidomide cherubim

  13. 13
    gogol's wife says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Odilon Redon must have known this painting. He has images that are very similar, and, yes, creepy, but in a wonderful way.

  14. 14
    PTirebiter says:

    @Marcellus Shale, Public Dick: Healing, quiet death, whatever’s quickest.

  15. 15
    The Lodger says:

    @dr. bloor: “Thalidomide Cherubim” has to be the name of my next band.

  16. 16
    Poopyman says:

    Oh my God!* Domenichino is a frickin’ genius here. In a universal language he has God saying “GTFO!” and Adam saying “But it was HER fault! WTF was I to do?”

    And the winged heads are kinda weird. Why does it trigger some hazy memory of a Three Stooges short though?

    *Pun fully intended.

    PS – Oh yeah. The Mittens thing. Who cares what he says anymore? He’s just gonna blurt out what he thinks will do him least damage, anyhow.

  17. 17
    schrodinger's cat says:

    OT PS: am I the only one who finds those decapitated kid’s heads with wings to be supremely creepy?]

    I am going to have nightmares about it. Very disturbing.

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m going to try to put in a link here, although I don’t know how. Odilon Redon, “Le Prisonnier.”

    http://www.muzeocollection.de/.....dilon.html

  19. 19
    dr. bloor says:

    @Linnaeus: More class and wisdom than his subject could have accumulated in a thousand lifetimes.

  20. 20
    Poopyman says:

    And what’s God doing hanging around with a bunch of little kids, anyhow?

    This is not going to turn out well….

  21. 21
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Renaissance representation of the Toclafane.

  22. 22
    Napoleon says:

    OT PS: am I the only one who finds those decapitated kid’s heads with wings to be supremely creepy?]

    Before I even saw your OT I was thinking to myself “those angels are seriously weird”.

  23. 23
    Elizabelle says:

    Personally, I like that God seems to be giving Adam the finger.

  24. 24
    Poopyman says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I’m going to try to put in a link here

    It worked. It invited me to zoom, though, and I declined thankyouverymuch.

  25. 25
    stibbert says:

    the flying babby heads are putti, the guys at top right are garden-variety angels. cherubs have 4 wings, while seraphs have 6 (& are supremely scary).

  26. 26
    MikeJake says:

    Adam’s all like “Hey, women, amirite?”, and God’s all like “Don’t even fuckin’ get me started.”

  27. 27
    Poopyman says:

    @Elizabelle: “GTFO!” More like a home plate umpire tossing Billy Martin.

  28. 28
    scav says:

    If the world is at all logical, this is proof of time travel and Domenichino is a 21stC snarkster with a brush. Thalidomide cherubim and Adam’s tutu together?

  29. 29
    matryoshka says:

    So what happened in 1978?

  30. 30
    Chris says:

    Far be it from me to be a shrinking violet for once, but… oh, what the hell. Do we really want political candidates interrogated on whether or not they agree with this or that position that their church holds or has held in the past? Slippery slope, religion a private matter, etc…

  31. 31
    Poopyman says:

    @stibbert: Yeah? Well, Mister Smartypants, how many putti can dance on the head of a pin? Huh? Huh?

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    I don’t see this as a problem for Romney. One statement about how the people who ran the church in the past were in error, now the church feels that it has come to a deeper understanding of god’s will and now they accept everyone.

    Yes, I’m sure he’d rather not have people on his side going around saying what they really think in public, but the current official view of his church is inoffensive.

  33. 33
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @matryoshka: Women got the right to sign loans without having a male cosign. Not sure how that applies.

  34. 34
    Zifnab says:

    and told Horowitz that misusing priesthood authority—like crashing dad’s Oldsmobile—could have put blacks “in the lowest rungs of hell,” reserved for serial killers, child rapists, world-class tyrants, and “people who abuse their priesthood powers.”

    Imagine if they did something outrageously foolish like posthumously baptizing Ghengis Khan.

  35. 35
    Elizabelle says:

    The cherubs’ heads look sort of contemporary.

    As in Domenichino meets Rene Magritte.

  36. 36
    scav says:

    @Poopyman: with no feet, putti pinhead dance moves are going to be incredibly imaginative.

  37. 37
    Poopyman says:

    Horse? Or Unicorn?

    Oh Mr. Zampieri, you’re toying with us!

  38. 38
    Seebach says:

    Seems like the Right is turning on the very idea of insurance itself, that people don’t want to have to pay for operations or treatments they don’t agree with.

  39. 39
    matryoshka says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): My question was more about “Prior to 1978, blacks weren’t spiritually mature
    enough. . .”

  40. 40
    Tom Levenson says:

    @MikeJ: A long reply is possible, looking at the precise interpretaton of the 1978 prophetic revelation, but perhaps more simply, one could say,

    Jeremy Wright.

    You could say, and I might even agree with you in the abstract realm of late night debate, that the Wright controversy was false and demeaning to our politics.

    But (a) we don’t live in that paradise and (b) it actually matters, to me at least, what Mitt Romney thinks about race and original sin, given that he was raised to adulthood, and discovered an adult commitment to a system of belief, a sub-culture in which African Americans were viewed as, at best, child-like, and at worst, as untrustable “fence-sitters” in the war between good and evil.

    How a president or potential president thinks is actually relevant to the selection, IMHO.

  41. 41
    Egypt Steve says:

    Strictly speaking, the kids’ heads weren’t decapitated. Their bodies were decapitated. I suppose the heads were disembodied?

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    Nobody is gonna ask Willard about the fact, that in my lifetime, I was going to hell according to the Mormons…

    NOT because my deeds on Earth..

    But, BECAUSE I EXIST.

  43. 43
    stibbert says:

    @Egypt Steve: presumably the bodies are now dancing on pins somewhere (or maybe they’re all dancing on a single pin).

  44. 44
    scav says:

    I thought large chunks of the Book of Mormon were lifted from contemporary books/theories that simply couldn’t believe the mounds scattered around the midwest and southeast were built by the ancestors of Native Americans. Had to be white / civilized people building them, all that scary evidence of civilization etc, drag over the lost tribe! whew!

  45. 45
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    My art history professor said heads with just wings symbolized the resurrection of the soul, so they are souls. Dead people don’t become angels in Xtian symbolism, despite popular belief.

    Oh and for Mormons, women still don’t count.

  46. 46
    Corey says:

    @Chris: Yep. This post is pretty embarrassing.

  47. 47
    Brachiator says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Well, Mr. Romney? Is that your view? The divinity divines consequential differences amongst the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve?

    Unfortunately, the Mormon Church is not the only, or even worst offender in American History.

    The Evangelical minister Fred KC Price got a lot of scorn heaped on his head for pointing out a white evangelical who preached that the Deity was against interracial dating and marriage. Digging further, Price found that a number of congregations were still using guides and concordances that held that the Bible justified segregation and a belief in the inferiority of blacks and other nonwhites. Price wrote a book about this, not only denouncing an ugly silence among evangelicals of all races on this issue, but also detailing the historical background on these noxious beliefs, Race, Religion & Racism.

    Much of this had been mainstream Christianity, especially in the South, up through the turmoil of the Civil Rights era.

    These former tenets of Mormonism are despicable, but they are not an outlier in American religion.

    You have to be very careful when pointing fingers on this issue. The shame runs deep in America on racial issues. Few can claim to be innocent.

  48. 48
    piratedan says:

    @Linnaeus: agreed, that was at least seven kinds of awesome.

  49. 49

    […] Any talk of his private life, is an attempt to change the subject and avoid discomfiting truths. (h/t) Let me divert for a moment to the frame through which I see such matters. I am, as you probably […]

  50. 50
    ericblair says:

    Well, Rmoney could say that his personal religious beliefs have no place in the public sphere and he would govern according to American law and not his own moral understanding. Except, oops, the goopers have been screaming at us for weeks now that he’s entitled and really even forced to govern according to his own, personal moral and religious beliefs.

    Bummer, that; maybe he can just scream religious persecution. That might work fine.

  51. 51
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Brachiator:

    The shame runs deep in America on racial issues. Few can claim to be innocent.

    True. The use of religion to sanctify oppression is no new, or sect-confined reality.

    A more nuance post, one I didn’t have or take the time to write, would try to pursue this thought: Much of the rhetoric on the right (though not only the right) has a contradictory view of race in America. Bott’s comments undercut the “it no longer matters” claim. Clearly he’s not post-racial, and to the extent that he is the most popular professor at BYU, we may judge such thoughts to be a fairly widely disseminated impression. and at the same time, the existence of this argument justifying racial discrimination through 1978 at least guts the notion that whatever harm was done to black Americans is so far in the past that any attempt to redress the concrete consequences of discrimination is uncalled for.

    So it matters in this context because it frames specific issues of relevance to contemporary society and this election. We’re not talking “mere” historical significance, ISTM.

  52. 52
    Poopyman says:

    Since you asked:

    Santorum calls Limbaugh ‘absurd’ | Rick Santorum labeled Rush Limbaugh “absurd” over the hate radio host’s disparaging remarks about Sandra Fluke. “He’s being absurd, but that’s you know, an entertainer can be absurd,” Santorum told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today. “He’s in a very different business than I am.” CNN’s Jim Acosta reports that, when Mitt Romney was asked about Limbaugh, he ignored it and “walked right by our camera.”

  53. 53
    makewi says:

    Obama is held blameless for the incendiary rhetoric of the good Reverend, but Romney is going to be made to answer for Mormonism itself. Good times all around.

  54. 54
    Mart says:

    Question for Obama and Notmitts, If Mormon theology is a bit whacked out, why is any other theology not?

  55. 55
    robert waldmann says:

    The heads are creepy, but I was more focused on checking which Finger He was waving at Adam. Took an honest non blasphemous double take to make sure He was not clipping him the Bird.

  56. 56
    Retief says:

    As a mormon myself, I’ll happily refudiate that view. The former ban was racist, and grew out of the pervasive racism in America at the time of the church’s founding. It was a non-revelation based tradition that got codified by long practice. A lot of decent people tied themselves in knots over the years trying to create good doctrinal reasons for it while also believing in a god who is not a respecter of persons. But the fact is it was just a tradition that grew up out of the early leaders’ racial prejudices, and that went temporarily uncorrected by the Lord. That spiritual maturity line is a load of bunk. Far from being a blessing, the ban is a curse to the church in that the persistence of this tradition led to the organization missing a lot of talented people of color who might otherwise have been in it.

  57. 57
    Bill Murray says:

    @matryoshka: Church leaders wanted a bigger pool of players to help Danny Ainge and Jim McMahon lead BYU to greatness in sports

  58. 58
    PST says:

    That middle head is just a bit too Cabbage Patchy for my taste.

  59. 59
    Amir Khalid says:

    @makewi:

    Obama is held blameless for the incendiary rhetoric of the good Reverend,

    I remember this clearly: Obama was not held blameless for Reverend Wright’s words. Not by the Republican party, nor by its fellow travelers. Not then, and not even now.

  60. 60
    Jimbo316 says:

    I’m sure someone has answered this already but the weirdo angels are called “putti” (putto singular). It’s Italian. They’re supposed to be naked little boy angels so this version should be called “decapitated putti”. Really big in the late Medieval and Renaissance religious paintings. But I agree, the painting is hilarious.

  61. 61
    Anya says:

    [OT PS: am I the only one who finds those winged decapitated kid’s heads to be supremely creepy?]

    I find the whole image extremely creepy.

  62. 62
    Christian Sieber says:

    Those quotes from Bott are only a week old, from a WaPo article. The LDS Church HQ released a statement repudiating them and Bott’s Wikipedia entry contains this:

    In February 2012 Bott was quoted in a Washington Post article about the LDS Church’s stand on race.[10] In the article Bott referred to a piece of long-repudiated Mormon folklore (i.e. a belief not officially espoused by the church but circulated as rumor/gossip among its membership) regarding the origins of a ban on giving black Mormons the church’s lay priesthood. Bott implied that the reason for the ban was black individuals’ descent from Cain through Egyptus, who married Ham, Noah’s son. Bott asserted that Cain’s descendants were marked with dark skin and were prohibited from holding the priesthood.[10] His explanation contravened official LDS Church doctrine, which states that the reason for the ban (which was lifted in 1978) is unclear.[11][12][13]
    In response to the article, the LDS Church published a press release repudiating Bott’s statements and condemning racism in any form.[14][12][13] Members of the Black Student Union at BYU and the Provo Peace Forum planned a literature distribution campaign to combat erroneous conceptions in the LDS community concerning race.[12] Various church members expressed hope that this incident, although embarrassing for themselves and church leadership, will help educate those in their community who hold these fringe folklore beliefs.[15][16][17][18][19]

  63. 63
    MathInPA says:

    I’m not sure how much of this changes in the Book of Mormon, since I’m Methodist, but– and I’m paraphrasing here, since it’s too soon after waking up for me to go searching– even in the Old Testament, which is primarily showing how God tried to deal with the Elites, he instructed the Israelites to be kind to the alien among them, for they had been persecuted as aliens in Egypt. Many of the Levitic laws are hospitality laws, at that, including ways for both foreigners and slaves to convert and/or become citizens.

    The New Testament, on the other hand, has God in the person of Christ being the opposite of discriminatory. Christ made company with prostitutes, tax-collectors, and other categories that were scorned by the people. We are then instructed to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend to the ill (HEALTH CARE RIGHT HERE…), comfort the widow, to tend to and even free (if my memory serves) the imprisoned, and to care for the alien among us yet again. Far from being discriminatory, the Lord tells us to go out among all peoples and be generous.

    Not ‘be generous if they listen to you preach at them.’ Not ‘be generous if they’re the RIGHT KIND.’ Not ‘be generous if they are exactly like you and you like them and they’re the right kind of gratefully servile.’ Be generous. Be loving. Be forgiving. I’m a liberal, a math and social studies teacher, who will answer honestly and endorse acceptance of both evolution and climate change (though other than talking about facts, I DON’T talk about the politics of what to do about those facts, let alone my faith– that would be abuse of authority), so I’m not exactly the person they’re talking to, but I wish they would, indeed, read more of the Bible. And understand it.

    The code that comes out of it for me is this. Faith, hope, and love are the greatest of God’s gifts. You cannot spread the truth of faith with the lies of dogma. You cannot shepherd hope while preaching fear and paranoia. And you can never glorify love, the highest of all of God’s gifts, while worshiping hate.

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