On Feb. 5, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, as part of a column headlined, “Mitt’s Muffled Soul,” wrote the following:
“… Mormonism’s blithe reluctance, according to its critics, to explain controversial tenets that it has jettisoned, like a ban on black clergy members that was in place until 1978.”
Bruni’s column contains nothing to indicate that he himself does not believe that the LDS banned black clergy until 1978.
This should cause both astonishment and outrage at the alleged “Newspaper of Record” would report such a claim, without any apparent investigation.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, reports the following:
“Elijah Abel (July 25, 1808-Dec. 25, 1885) was the first black elder and seventy in the Latter Day Saints movement and one of the few black members in the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to receive the priesthood.”
“At least two of Abel’s descendants – his son Enoch and Enoch’s son Elijah – were ordained to the priesthood: Enoch was ordained an elder on Nov. 27, 1900; and Elijah was ordained an elder on Sept. 29, 1935.”
In his highly questionable attempt to go after candidate Romney, Bruni even goes after the governor’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, who moved to Mexico after passage of a U.S. law banning the polygamy that he practiced.
That Bruni of the Times believes that presidential candidates should be held responsible for the beliefs of their great-grandfathers is bizarre.
Bruni went on to write:
“But neither Gingrich nor his allies played the Mormon card, even though nearly 20 percent of the Republicans and independents surveyed by Gallup last year said they wouldn’t support a Mormon presidential candidate.”
While Gingrich may have rightfully avoided what Bruni wrote as “playing the Mormon card” – playing that card is exactly what the New York Times has done – to its shame.
I am unaware of any charges in the media that while he was governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, in any way, ever tried to impose his Mormon beliefs on the people of Massachusetts, who are overwhelmingly non-Mormon.
Therefore, beginning with columnist Bruni’s headline, “Mitt’s Muffled Soul,” this column is rife with religious prejudice – as well as inexcusable in its historical inaccuracy.