Obery Hendricks on Mitt Romney & Mormon Racism

Yesterday Obery Hendricks posted an article on the Huffington Post challenging Mitt Romney on racist sentiments found in the Book of Mormon.  As has been pointed out, Hendricks is guilty of cherry-picking some of those statements.  He also doesn’t have a good enough handle on Mormonism to understand that the Book of Mormon is not making reference to people of African descent, rather it’s speaking of dark-skinned people of Jewish descent living in a yet-to-be-determined location (some might say they are dark-skinned Native Americans, others might say these passages have nothing to do with skin color at all).

Last night Hendricks appeared as a guest of Ed Schultz on MSNBC.  As I predicted, I believe this is just the start of these attacks on Mitt Romney and Mormonism.  The challenge Romney faces is answering these charges in the length of a sound-bite.  I don’t think the nuance that Mormons engage the priesthood bad with is going to communicate.  I also don’t think he has the opportunity to engage in exegis of the Book of Mormon. Hendricks does not offer an attack that effectively sways Mormons, but he does offer an attack that sways non-Mormons.

I don’t believe this is going to go away and I’ll be interested to see how Romney resolves it.  I believe he’ll eventually be forced to say, as John Huntsman has stated, that the priesthood ban was wrong.

Huntsman on Mormon Priesthood Ban

I discovered this ABC News interview about the LDS Priesthood ban with John Huntsman recently.  I was pleased to see that Huntsman said exactly what I think Mitt Romney should say in regards to this issue.

HUNTSMAN: I think it was wrong, plain and simple. I think it was wrong. I think it was something that divided people, divided friends and maybe even divided families. I believe they — they saw the errors of their way and they made a policy change. And I think they’re much better because of it.

It’s interesting to see that Huntsman wasn’t disciplined for saying it was wrong and the LDS church in no way has suffered because he chose to clarify the issue like this.  In what way would Mitt Romney harm the church by saying the same thing? Huntsman still describes himself as a Mormon and has family ties that run deep within the Mormon leadership.  In some ways, as the former governor of Utah his personal ties to Mormon culture are deeper than Romney’s.