The news is out: [SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added new language to the faith’s handbook Friday imploring members to root out prejudice and racism, adding significance and permanence to recent comments by top leaders on one of the most sensitive topics in the church’s history.
The faith’s past ban on Black men in the lay priesthood, which stood until 1978, remains a delicate issue for members and non-members alike. The church disavowed the ban in a 2013 essay, saying it was enacted during an era of great racial divide that influenced the church’s early teachings, but it never issued a formal apology — a sore spot for some members.
In the handbook from the faith widely known as the Mormon church, the new section on prejudice echoes advice in a string of speeches by top leaders this year, reminding 16 million members around the globe that a person’s standing with God depends on devotion to the commandments, not the color of their skin.
“The church calls on all people to abandon attitudes and actions of prejudice toward any group or individuals,” it said. “Members of the church should lead out in promoting respect for all of God’s children.”
It notes that prejudice can be based on “race, ethnicity, nationality, tribe, gender, age, disability, socioeconomic status, religious belief or nonbelief, and sexual orientation.”]
It’s impossible to renounce racism when you worship a racist God.