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Of course, the LDS Church is not alone in its offensive beliefs about blacks — the Southern Baptist Convention didn’t apologize for its affinity for slavery until 1995, nearly 20 years after the LDS ban was lifted. Critics of the LDS church usually don’t mention that the Mormon community has made great strides in the African-American community as well as on the African continent, enough so that Hinckley was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and in 1997 was the first LDS leader to address that group.
The LDS church has struggled for acceptance among both the religious — Smith’s teachings were heretical to most mainstream Christians — and the secular — Smith did not have the luxury of thousands of years buffering his claims and thus they are more susceptible to modern scrutiny. Bi-annual conferences held by the church in Salt Lake City routinely attract hordes of protesters who label the church a cult and sometimes resort to offensive tactics.
“We are not a weird people,” Hinckley told Wallace during his 1996 interview. “The more people come to know us, the better they will understand us.”
AND YET, MANY people still don’t understand, or are troubled by members of Hinckley’s faith. Their suspicion of the religion has consistently haunted Mitt Romney in his quest for the Oval Office. One poll conducted last summer found that as many as 43 percent of Americans would not vote for a Mormon president. We don’t know what this figure would have been like prior to Hinckley’s dedication to forge ties across racial, religious, and international boundaries.
As Monson, Hinckley’s lyrical replacement, said on Saturday, Hinckley “was an island of calm in a sea of storm.” His optimism, stalwartness, and missionary zeal have helped solidify the church’s place as a major world religion. He laid the groundwork for a continued dialogue between Mormons and their non-Mormon, “Gentile” neighbors. It remains to be seen whether this conversation will continue.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online