The Instigator
tyler90az
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
PARADIGM_L0ST
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Latter-day Saints are not racist.

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
PARADIGM_L0ST
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/23/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,925 times Debate No: 14477
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

tyler90az

Pro

I will be arguing that Latter-day saints aren't racist.
PARADIGM_L0ST

Con

It's a well-known fact that the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) have racist tendencies that stretch back to the religion's founder, Joseph Smith. Native Americans and Africans, for instance, are viewed in the Book of Mormon as "Lamanites."

"And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities. And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done. And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey." -- Nephi 5:21-23

The LDS Church has through the years attempted to either diminish the racist remarks of its founder or to simply conceal them. Because of this, the Mormon Church is officially attempting to change its image. The demographics within the church, especially of the younger generation, grow up not knowing or understanding its own scriptures on the subject, and the Doctrine of Salvation of Joseph Smith on the subject. For instance,

"There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantage. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.... There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits." --Joseph Fielding Smith Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, pages 66-67

So there comes a question of whether or not they take the modern view of "racism is bad," or whether The Book of Mormon itself is fallible. The two cannot be reconciled logically. You must either admit that the book, and therefore the religion, is a farce, or it must maintain its racist origins as being divine revelation from God.

SOURCES:

http://saintsalive.com...
http://www.mormoncurtain.com...
Debate Round No. 1
tyler90az

Pro

BOM= Book of Mormon

LDS= The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints www.lds.org

Let’s start by looking at both of those sources. Two sites dedicated to bashing Latter-day Saints, one maybe both make money off bashing LDS. Do you think they will ever stop coming up with content? The answer is of course not. Mcdonalds will never stop making burgers. Those sites will never stop coming up with propaganda.

Both of those sites exaggerate LDS beliefs and make up some. Some of the stuff they say is true, but there are reasonable explanations for all of it. I can make up absurd stuff about you just like them. Con wears underwear on his head and no pants in public. Just because I said it does it make it true?

LDS may have some different beliefs then other churches. We may also have some things said BY IMPERFECT HUMANS that are dicey. I concede everyone is right about that. The motto goes pull the rod out of your eye before you cast stones. Have other churches done that, do they have questionable things in their religion? Do you have things you (IMPERFECT HUMAN BEING) said that you regret?

LDS believe in Prophets and Apostles who are fallible humans, as all are. Prophets and Apostles who are humans have speculated on things they believe. We all speculate on certain things. Such as who is going to win the Super Bowl etc. Not everyone who speculates on the Super Bowl is automatically right.

Just like us speculating on the Super Bowl, Prophets and Apostles have speculated on spiritual things. Most of the time what they say is speculation of what they believe. As an LDS member we tend to listen to what they say on spiritual matters because they are Prophets and Apostles. Although all the side books they write are of use, but they are mostly just opinions of LDS Prophets and Apostles. An example is Joseph Fielding Smith Doctrines of Salvation.

The LDS cannon are Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Not books that Prophets and Apostles write.

Lamanites are Native Americans not Africans…

In the Book of Mormon a family comes from Jerusalem to the Americas. Nephi one of the members is righteous. Laman the brother is not righteous. That is where the terms Nephites and Lamanites come from. Nephis people started off righteous in the BOM, but at varies times were not righteous. Same goes for the Lamanites started off unrighteous and flipped back in forth. At the end of the BOM neither were righteous, both at war with each other. The Lamanites were the last ones to survive.

http://lds.org...

That is why we refer to Native Americans as Lamanites. The BOM shows were not racist against Native Americans. It wasn’t about the Nephites dominating the Lamanites. It showed how each group fell into wickedness at different times. We believe God is no respecter of persons. Anybody who is righteous can receive his blessings and gain eternal life. Also be a member of the church.

LDS also believe that it is important we convert Lamanites to the gospel. It speaks of how they will be converted in many different places in our scriptures. Lamanites will convert before the second coming of Jesus. Would somebody racist against a group, want them in their church?

5And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among athem; wherefore, bthey shall be restored unto the cknowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.

6And then shall they rejoice; for they shall aknow that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their bscales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a cdelightsome people.

2 Nephi 30: 3-6

24But before the great day of the Lord shall come, aJacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall bblossom as the rose.

D&C 49:24

Rebut to Nephi 5:21-23

White is considered pure, dark is considered evil. It is not about skin color because Indians are not dark like flint. White and dark are used figuratively. Dark is filthy and evil. White is good and pure. If you use that to say were racist then you must argue that all Christians are racist because that is used in the bible also.

6. For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.
7. Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:
8. Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.

Lamentations 4: 6-8

D.C. Pyle notes that the Amorite people, according to Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, I:84, were "depicted ... with fair skins, light (also black) hair, and blue eyes" on Egyptian monuments. Yet, the Sumerians said they were "dark" savages (William F. Albright, From Stone Age to Christianity, p. 166, as cited by D.C. Pyle).

“The LDS Church has through the years attempted to either diminish the racist remarks of its founder or to simply conceal them.”

I would like links and proofs to that please.

Mormon Church Image:

The Mormon Church (LDS) is trying to do anything they can do to get people to salvation. That is what it is all about saving people. We want all people to live a happy life based on Jesus Christ. The church will do anything within reason to help people live a happy life and gain eternal life.

Watch the following videos:

http://mormon.org... Go to the African American and Hispanic ones.

13We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, ilovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Articles of Faith

I want you to put an emphasis on IN DOING GOOD TO ALL MEN. That doesn’t mean some men it means all men

Bottom line skin color is not a measure of righteousness or acceptability by God. There are many members of all different races in the LDS religion. There are more LDS members outside of the USA then in. We have African American and all races as leadership within the church. Would a racist organization let any race in? Does the KKK like African Americans in?


PARADIGM_L0ST

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for the prompt reply. With that, let's answer PRO's questions.

=== REBUTTALS ===

PRO begins by saying that my sources bash Mormonism, but the fact of the matter is that the quotes excerpted come directly from the LDS Church, and moreover, from the Prophet himself. If PRO denies this claim, it is incumbent upon him to discredit the information with reasoned response, not merely malign it as "propaganda."

If the information contained within the source is false, then it should be very obvious to prove. Unfortunately, since I quoted from Nephi and Joseph Smith, those two sources are beyond repute, and are certifiably true. It's up to PRO to adequately debunk it.

Next PRO states that mankind is infallible and we should let those imperfections lie. But if the verses quoted are merely imperfections of God's unalterable truth, then how are we supposed to trust any of it? We don't get to cherry pick what parts of the bible, or the qur'an, or the book of Mormon, that we want to keep to suit agendas. You either defend the supposed Word of God, all of it, or you don't. Anything less is disingenuous.

PRO then alleges the following: White is considered pure, dark is considered evil. It is not about skin color because Indians are not dark like flint. White and dark are used figuratively. Dark is filthy and evil. White is good and pure. If you use that to say were racist then you must argue that all Christians are racist because that is used in the bible also.

Except that nowhere in the bible does it specifically mention black people or black skin as being a curse. The curse of Ham and the mark of Ham does not mention black skin, which is contrasted from this next quote.

"We will first inquire into the results of the approbation or displeasure of God upon a people, starting with the belief that a black skin is a mark of the curse of Heaven placed upon some portions of mankind. Some, however, will argue that a black skin is not a curse, nor a white skin a blessing. In fact, some have been so foolish as to believe and say that a black skin is a blessing, and that the negro is the finest type of a perfect man that exists on the earth; but to us such teachings are foolishness.

We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God's favored servants being of a black race... every angel who ever brought a message of God's mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance bright as the noonday sun."

That's irrevocably racist in context, and there is no way wiggle out of it. There's no way that PRO can state that white and black here are merely used colloquially when it speaks directly of white and black SKIN.

Lastly, PRO does damage control by listing the LDS doctrines that they publically maintain now, but it doesn't matter. As I stated, the LDS is attempting to whitewash (pun intended) its image in the face of overwhelming evidence of institutionalized racism. Let us not forget that the LDS Church is quite like all major religions which can only survive off the charity of people it can get to trust. It is a business, and they need gigantic, solid gold cherubs to adorn the spire of their church. In today's climate, racial commentary within religion is an eyesore, which evidently is prompting the concealment or minimizing of the past.

Again, this is to no avail for the Prophet himself made the claims, of which were supposedly transliterated from almighty God! That leaves only two conclusions to draw from. Either the Prophet was wrong or God was wrong. Either way, it's demonstrably false. This paradigm shift can be noted in the following article.

SOURCE: http://www.usatoday.com...
Debate Round No. 2
tyler90az

Pro

Thank you for a good debate con!

---Rebuttals---

“PRO begins by saying that my sources bash Mormonism”

As CON stated I said that the sources bash Mormonism. I was referring to BOTH of the sources CON left at the bottom. I was hoping that CON would infer that both meant two. I wasn’t referring to the BOM or Joseph Fielding Smith quote. It is CONS burden to use those sources, so I can refute them. CON just put them at the bottom of the page without using them. If CON wants me to prove those sites use propaganda then CON is required to use the sources.

“Next PRO states that mankind is infallible and we should let those imperfections lie. But if the verses quoted are merely imperfections of God's unalterable truth, then how are we supposed to trust any of it?”

CON states I said mankind is infallible. What I really stated was mankind is fallible and since the Prophet is a man he is fallible. Like I stated in the previous round our cannon is the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Other than those four things nothing has been completely refined.

CON is also implying that I said Nephi 5: 21-23 is fallible. That is not what I stated. See my response from last round which CON conveniently never forms a rebuttal against. I am not cherry picking our cannon or anything for that matter. I was merely stating that man is fallible.

“Except that nowhere in the bible does it specifically mention black people or black skin as being a curse. ”

It does refer to black and white skin in the Bible.

6. For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.
7. Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:
8. Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.

Lamentations 4: 6-8

10Many shall be apurified, and made white, and btried; but the cwicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall dunderstand.

Daniel 12:10

“Let us not forget that the LDS Church is quite like all major religions which can only survive off the charity of people it can get to trust. It is a business, and they need gigantic, solid gold cherubs to adorn the spire of their church.”

CON is right LDS Church like most other Churches in society need money to run. With no money what building would I go to church every Sunday in? What hymn books would I sing out of? What activities would I do? How would I grow spiritually? Cons argument referring to Churches need money is irrelevant to this debate.

CON states the church is changing its policy to allow blacks in the church. That is not true any race has been allowed in the church since its founding in the 1830s. Like I stated above and CON never rebutted. Skin color is not a measure of righteousness or worthiness.

1836: In March, Elijah Abel, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.
1836: In December, Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Seventy.
1844: Walker Lewis, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.
1846: William McCary, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.
1900: Enoch Abel, the son of Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Elder.
1935: Elijah Abel, grandson of Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Elder.
1958: All black Melanesians (Fijians) are given the priesthood (blacks in the Philippines even earlier)
1978: Revelation on Priesthood gives the priesthood to all worthy men regardless of color.
1990: Helvecio Martins becomes first black General Authority Seventy.
Additional blacks were ordained in the early years of the church.
For more information see the History Timeline.

DNA-
In 1995 there was a study done by Merriwether, which stated that there was a single migration. The study stated either from Mongolia and China. That is where anti-mormons get this idea from. When in reality a study was done much recently. In 2003 Dillehay says there is evidence for multiple migrations. Also like most places the Americas are a "melting pot" of DNA. There has also been genes that are in Jews in Native Americans.

Later-day Saints Are Not Racist

Now let’s get back to the debate at hand Latter-day Saints are not racist. CON is bringing up speculation done by people when racism was relevant. It wasn’t an LDS thing. It was an America thing. CON is missing the debate completely are LDS racist, No LDS are not racist.

CON can go to www.lds.org and see what the church is teaching. One thing LDS are teaching is love for all people regardless of skin color. Something that demonstrates our love for all races is humanitarian service. We were one of the first to send help to Haiti.

http://thecompetentconservative.com...

http://www.standard.net...

http://beta-newsroom.lds.org...

Slavery

LDS have always been against slavery since the beginning of the church. God has been against slavery. One of the reasons LDS were persecuted out of so many places is the fact that we were against slavery. LDS were unjustifiably kicked out of many of their first homes because they were against slaves.

79: Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

D&C 101:79

old or young, rich or poor, male or female, bond or free, black or white, believer or unbeliever…” (History of the Church 2: 368-69) Temple Rules

“into a free country and set …free– Educate them and give them equal rights.” [30 Dec. 1842 Joseph Smith Journal as quoted in Neither White Nor Black, Bush and Mauss (Signature Books, 1984), p. 62] Joseph Smith on slaves

“it makes my blood boil.” 1842 Joseph Smith letter on slavery

Joseph proposes the sale of public lands to pay for the release of every slave and to abolish slavery by 1850.

Closing

What me and CON are debating is rather Later-day Saints are racist. We are not debating rather the church is true or fallible men have made bad comments. CON can bring up all the old quotes by LDS that are not doctrine he wants, but the fact remains LDS are not racist. You don’t here LDS talking about how they hate another racist. LDS doesn’t preach hate for a race; LDS preach love. The fact that LDS are not racist is clearly stated above.


PARADIGM_L0ST

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for allowing me the opportunity to debate this topic. I genuinely hope it will be both informative and interesting for the reader.

PRO begins his final retort by claiming that he wasn't calling in to question my quotes, but my sources. I sourced the websites because THAT is where I received the quotes. Since he doesn't have a problem with the BOM or Joseph Smith quotes, those sources stand. If he would have bothered to view the sites, he would clearly see that I used the website as a source for the quotes that he does not contend with.

PRO states that the Book of Nephi and Joseph Smith are fallible, and therefore cannot be inerrant. My whole point was that if he is a fallible man who wrote a fallible book, then how are we supposed to trust ANY of it? What's the point of being a prophet if we cannot know, definitively, what parts of your message are from almighty God, and which are from your own greed or bias?

I find it rather convenient that the book and the man is hailed as gospel truth, yet PRO clearly doesn't like the implications and in fact doesn't even address it. Instead of addressing it directly, he shifts the goalposts by simply muddling his terms, stating that biblical analogies refer to white and black as allegorically "good" and "bad." That's partially true, the bible does do that -- except it just so happens be of no relevance. The BOM and Joseph Smith both CLEARLY state black SKIN, meaning it is more than allegorical, it is literal... and unequivocally racist. He uses the term "negro" over and over again, so that there is no question as to who Smith is referencing and why. Black people to Mormons have the "curse of cain," which, according to them, is the mark that God gave to them for their disobedience. Where, then, does allegory fit anywhere in here? It doesn't. PRO is simply desperate to muddle the terms to deflect from the obvious, which I have substantiated fully.

Next PRO concedes one of my points when he states: "CON is right LDS Church like most other Churches in society need money to run. With no money what building would I go to church every Sunday in? What hymn books would I sing out of? What activities would I do? How would I grow spiritually? Cons argument referring to Churches need money is irrelevant to this debate."

PRO justifies the LDS' need and desire for money by wondering where he would go without a physical church. That never stopped Jesus, PRO's Lord and Saviour! "The Church," as per the bible, is a body of believers, not a place. The relevance of this is very evident in Round 2, which PRO questions. For his edification I will reiterate. His claim is that the racist doctrines are either misunderstood or is propaganda. As we all now know, because I've proved that beyond reasonable doubt, the new ethos within the church is to cover up these beliefs. Why? Because these antiquated beliefs are not compatible with today's climate. The LDS Church has to publicly allay fears of their racist beliefs. Why? How else are they supposed to get money without recruiting? The Church can only survive as a business off of the charity of others, so it has to market carefully. That's the relevance, and I am supremely confident that the readers will agree. I was merely explaining why they're whitewashing their tarnished reputation.

PRO further alleges, "Like I stated above and CON never rebutted. Skin color is not a measure of righteousness or worthiness."

This is simply not true. I provided quotes with DETAILED beliefs about the blacks, and on the websites I sourced, it lists at least 30 more doctrinally related quotes to how black people are black on account of their curse, and that they cannot be promised to hold positions of priesthood within the Church. If that's not racist, then what is? The LDS Church clearly, since its inception, was racist.

Therefore, in closing, I submit to the audience that the Mormon history on the subject is well-documented. In fact, consider why PRO created this debate. Surely he is well aware of it's sordid history and is now doing damage control to save face. This is no different than any other fringe belief, like Watchtower, like Scientology, who are always in the spotlight for its bizarre teachings that they want to make compatible with the rest of the world.

Resolution: Confirmed
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
Thank you for the tips! I will consider that debate when I am done with my current ones.
Posted by SurvivingAMethodology 6 years ago
SurvivingAMethodology
"Perhaps it is telling enough that you have nothing better to do then go to my debates and harass. You must really be threatened by the LDS Church."

<roll eyes>

I'm trying to give you some pointers to avoid pitfalls and stop speaking merely from a defensive standpoint. No argument is very compelling when you are expending all of your energy merely defending what should be obvious points.

I would gladly debate you on the merits of Mormon theology vs. Orthodox theology if you wish.
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
Perhaps it is telling enough that you have nothing better to do then go to my debates and harass. You must really be threatened by the LDS Church.

This debate is about the LDS Church as a whole. Con understood that and that is most important. Also everybody knows and it didn't need to be reiterated that there are exceptions to every rule. There are racists in every group. Sadly that s life.....

I do apologize how I form my questions. This is my first time ever debating, so I am learning a lot. In future debates because I will have more experience and the debates will be formatted better. Like anything, your not a pro from the start.

Bottom line LDS(Mormon Church) is not racist! I clearly proved that!
Posted by SurvivingAMethodology 6 years ago
SurvivingAMethodology
Both of your recent debates rest upon generalities "Mormons are ____" "Mormons aren't _____"

Neither position is very clear because of this. Of course all Mormons aren't racist, so your title becomes a strawman. But perhaps it is telling enough that a Mormon feels it necessary to address the issue at all by declaring that most Mormons aren't racist?
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
Guess I should have made this debate longer!
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
That was not the Book of Mormon...... Like I stated in the debate our cannon is Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Joseph Fielding Smith is the 6th president of the church and a fallible man. He was merely speculating on why Blacks had such a hard life in America compared to Whites. We have had church leaders say the exact opposite. That the White man has it hard because he was given so much thus he is expected to do more to return to God.

Doctrines of Salvation the book where he said "negro" was written in 1922. The Civil Rights movement was between 1950-1980. Negro means "Negro is used in the English-speaking world to refer to a person of black ancestry or appearance" until approximately 1960. As hard as it is to believe now, back then most people used "negro" to describe African Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. even used it in his I Have a Dream speech.
Posted by PARADIGM_L0ST 6 years ago
PARADIGM_L0ST
He specifically used the word "negro," Tyler.
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
Dude I proved it isn't talking about black people in the BoM it is talking about Native Americans. Then I proved why the Book isn't racist against Native Americans.
Posted by PARADIGM_L0ST 6 years ago
PARADIGM_L0ST
You didn't need to. The point is that no matter what you choose, the argument will fail.

Example: If the BOM is infallible, then you have to take whatever is written at face value and accept it. If it is fallible, then who is to know what portions are from God and what portions are from man.

It's a lesson in futility, and that was the point of the exercise.
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
I never said the Book of Mormon was fallible. It is clear he pulling stuff out of left field. Latter-day saints who opposed slavery are clearly not racist.
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apologia101
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Atheism
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