Daniel Peterson wrote:And I think that, in my particular case, my blue-collar roots protected me from the temptation of academic snobbery and intellectual elitism.
So there has been plenty to ponder. Indeed: that alone would have made for an intriguing day, but instead, we get this remarkable nugget from Stephen Smoot. Smoot is upset by something he heard on John Dehlin's podcast--namely, this remark from John Hamer:
John Hamer wrote:It’s not only that it’s academically impossible to justify arguing that the Book of Mormon is an ancient text, it’s actually an ongoing contribution to the injustice, the racism, imperialism, and genocide that our European ancestors hoisted upon indigenous people in the western hemisphere.
Mormon Stories Episode #1063: The Book of Mormon’s 19th Century Context
Smoot doesn't like this one bit. His counter-argument is especially interesting, though:
Smoot wrote:I mean, sure, everybody knows that accepting the authenticity of the Book of Mormon makes you a genocidal racist. (This includes, naturally, Elder Larry Echo Hawk, those employees at Book of Mormon Central of Latin American and indigenous ancestry, and the scores of faithful Latin American Latter-day Saints who believe the Book of Mormon.)
And in an endnote (the concluding bit of text in the entry, actually), Smoot writes this:
Smoot wrote:Before wrapping things up I must admit my envy of Hamer. To have such an abundance of white privilege that you can get away with casually accusing several million Latin American Latter-day Saints of being complicit in the genocide of their own race for simply believing a religious book is quite something.
Very interesting to see a rising, Millennial (?) Mopologist like Smoot deploying this tactic. You have to wonder, though: which is the worse offense? Hamer accusing the Book of Mormon (and belief in its historicity) as "racist," or Smoot leaning on people of color to make his point? Is *that* white privilege? If it's not, then what gives Smoot the right to speak on anyone else's behalf? Ultimately, I suspect that this is really just a variation on the time-worn tactic of saying, "I'm not a racist! Look at all my black friends!" Just because people of color are LDS does not mean that there aren't racist components of LDS doctrine, theology, culture, and practice. It really is impossible to look at LDS history and *not* see evidence of racism. (Didn't the Church recently "celebrate" the 40th anniversary of the lifting of the priesthood ban?) I guess it does not occur to Smoot that other LDS--including non-white Mormons--might not adhere to the same theories about the Book of Mormon that he does.
Whatever the case may be, Smoot is very much in keeping with Mopologetic tradition on this one. No wonder that he's receiving ample praise on "Sic et Non," a place where the notion that blacks should be "thankful for slavery" because they now get to live in America is regarded as a serious idea, and where the proprietor posts photos of lynchings as a "joke." It really is too bad to see this sort of thing carrying over into the next generation of Mopologists.