The Mormon church has repudiated its racist teaching. Romney himself says he opposes the racist teaching, and was glad to have it rescinded. What more can Sullivan expect of him? Is a man supposed to reject entirely the religion in which he was raised because of one ugly teaching? Most of us struggle, one way or another, to believe certain things our faith proclaims. If Sullivan still remains a Catholic, even though the Catholic Church teaches doctrines he finds hateful and bigoted, then why won’t he give Romney the same grace and understanding he expects for himself? At least the Mormon church no longer teaches racially bigoted theology; from Sully’s perspective (not my own), the Catholic Church still proclaims anti-gay theology that is as bigoted as anything the LDS Church taught back in the day.
No, it doesn't. The Catholic church does not condemn a whole class of human beings, regardless of their acts, as deemed inferior by God for all time because of their biological nature, having to wait even in the hereafter behind all other groups to become gods themselves. It condemns non-procreative sex for all, and by that teaching uniquely singles out gays for lives of loneliness, celibacy and repression, while permitting the infertile and the elderly to be full members of the church even as they too have non-procreative sex. And, contra Rod, Romney has not – repeat not – opposed the teaching about the inferiority of Africans in the Book of Mormon itself. He retroactively supported rescinding the tradition of excluding blacks from the Mormon priesthood. Neither the Mormon church nor Romney has altered the teaching on the inferiority of blacks in the Book of Mormon itself. He would have been taught this on his mission. Christianity – in stark contrast with Mormonism – sees no differences between races or groups as a core teaching:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And the difference between me and Romney is that I am openly dissenting within my own communion, have done so for a long time, have analyzed Catholic theology at great length on this, and talked at Catholic insitutions, like Georgetown and Notre Dame, using natural law theory to expose what I sincerely believe is a double standard in the church. My views on the appalling treatment of women in the church are the same. I have put my conscience before authority. Romney put authority before his own conscience. And my church has apologized. The LDS church has not. Moreover, one of its greatest institutions, Brigham Young University, is still named in honor of the man who said:
"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind …. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the ‘servant of servants’; and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.
If football teams change their names to obliterate even a hint of racism, why is a major university in America still named after a vicious racist and, as you can see, someone who dreamed of a divine genocide and defended slavery as a function of a divine curse?