Saturday, January 14, 2012

Excommunicated Ex-Mormon Dawn Forsythe Defends LDS Church And Mitt Romney Against Bogus Charges Of Racism Aired In Attack Video

Currently making the rounds is an attack ad on video which claims that Mitt Romney and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is racist. Over dramatic music, you can hear the narrator say things like, "Mitt Romney was part of an official racist organization until he was 31 years old." The video goes on to point out that "it wasn't until 1978 that the Mormon Church allowed blacks to participate fully." The attack video talks about the LDS faith, but is aimed at Romney. In a clip from an interview a few years ago Romney says, "I'm proud of my faith, and it’s the faith of my fathers." That is followed by the narrator saying, "The faith of his father is a racist faith." The video is embedded below, although it might not stay up much longer:

The video has drawn sharp condemnation from a number of sources. The other Mormon candidate, Jon Huntsman Jr, condemned the ad and called for YouTube to pull it because of the misleading Huntsman tagline at the end. Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller speculated that it was produced by a Ron Paul supporter. Even the Utah Democratic Party, which has no political reason to defend Romney, spoke out in protest. State party chairman Jim Dabakis characterized the video as political pornography, explaining "We were made aware of a video today [Jan. 13] and we believe that it disturbed not only Democrats, but fair-minded people everywhere." He further characterized it as anti-Mormon discrimination. But the origin of the video has not yet been established. There has been no comment from the Romney camp.

But even more importantly, the video attracted condemnation from an unlikely source; an excommunicated ex-Mormon. Dawn Forsythe, who was an LDS member from 1971 until she was excommunicated in 1973 for apostasy after expressing public disagreement with the ban against conferring Priesthood upon Black men, pointedly explained that the Mormons changed their old racial discrimination as did many other social institutions, and noted that despite being excommunicated, she still admires the Mormon tenets that attracted her to the Church in the first place; namely, service to others, humanitarian aid, good citizenship, and a strong family life. She maintains that although she would not consider voting for Romney, Mormonism should not be a disqualifier for presidential candidates, and only uninformed voters would vote against him because of his religion.

Dawn Forsythe is to be commended for her integrity and fair-mindedness. It's obvious that she has long since come to terms with her excommunication, and it's proof that ex-Mormons do NOT necessarily become anti-Mormons. I would encourage any LDS member reading this post to visit her blog and post a brief comment expressing appreciation for her defense of the truth. The better we treat ex-Mormons, the less likely they are to become anti-Mormons.

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