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It Begins: MSNBC Investigates Mitt Romney's Mormonism and How It Deals With Race

Scott Whitlock's picture

Although many members of the media downplayed the controversial aspects of Barack Obama's connection to the radical Jeremiah Wright, MSNBC on Tuesday began to investigate the Mormon faith of Mitt Romney and "its particular attitudes towards race."

Host Andrea Mitchell highlighted McKay Coppins of the liberal Buzz Feed. She quizzed her guest: "What challenges do you see for Mitt Romney as more and more questions will be asked along the way about his faith and its particular attitudes towards race?"

Coppins, who himself is a Mormon, wrote a piece on Romney's religion for Buzz Feed. He highlighted the fact that, until 1978, the Mormon church did not allow African Americans into the priesthood.

The journalist hinted, "...An increasing number of voices in the black community, are saying that Mitt Romney needs to speak out and condemn this because he was alive when these things were still being taught to him."

In his piece, Coppins cited a number of MSNBC regulars, including Marc Lamont Hill and Joy Ann Reid:

MSNBC analyst and Miami Herald columnist Joy Ann Reid — a prominent voice on race issues in a crucial swing state — said Romney deserves to be challenged on his church's past.

"I think if he were a child when anti-black policies were in place, that would be different," said Reid. "But he was an adult, active in the ministry of his church, and it's fair to ask, if the media cares to — and they should — what he thought of those policies at the time. The question is very much legitimate."

In 2012, look for the same journalists who, just four years ago, defended and dismissed questions about Barack Obama's church, to investigate Romney's faith.

A transcript of the April 10 segment, which aired at 1:43pm EDT, follows:

ANDREA MITCHELL: The November election bound to make history in at least one way, if, indeed, Mitt Romney, the nation's first Mormon nominee is on the ballot against the nation's first black American president. McKay Coppins is a reporter with Buzz Feed and has written extensively about the complexities of that scenario. And I should point out, because it is relevant, you are a Mormon yourself, member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.


MITCHELL: So, you come with a particular understanding of what the book of Mormon really reveals to us about the issue of race. It's a complex issue.

COPPINS: It is. Absolutely.

MITCHELL: What challenges do you see for Mitt Romney as more and more questions will be asked along the way about his faith and its particular attitudes towards race?

COPPINS: Yeah, well, the Mormon church for most of its history did not allow black men into the priesthood. That ban was lifted in 1978, but the church struggles with the legacy of discriminatory policies. There are also verses in Mormon scripture that teach that dark skin is a curse from an angry god and Mormon leaders used to teach that black people were less valiant or less righteous in a pre-mortal life. Now, none of these things are widely believed anymore in the church, but as I wrote at Buzz Feed an increasing number of voices in the black community, are saying that Mitt Romney needs to speak out and condemn this because he was alive when these things were still being taught to him.

MITCHELL: Let's take a look, also- Buzz Feed dipped down into the files and came up with these pictures. This is a very young Mitt Romney when his wife- when his wife- excuse me- when his mom Lenore was running for the United States Senate. It quite striking to see him, of course we've seen pictures of him with his sons but he- this was in the period when he was traveling and actually doing mission work for the church.

COPPINS: Yeah. This is an interesting clip. It's fascinating. For one thing, because you can see you know the political ideology that he was raised with, which was really pretty centrist and independent. He had two parents who bucked the Republican Party on issues like abortion rights and civil rights, and he was kind of raised to believe that, you know, you shouldn't always tow the party line. Obviously in the Republican primary this time around, we haven't seen much of that Mitt Romney and it will be interesting to see, going into the general election, whether he'll be able to pivot back to being kind of that independent centrist that his father was.

MITCHELL: McKay, help me with this. In the church, is there- is there an attempt at various stages to walk away from some of these more controversial, racial imperatives? I mean, is there something that would be the akin to what we understand to be an encyclical, where the Vatican, for instance, steps away from some of its past teachings regarding Jews?

COPPINS: Oh, absolutely. This presidential cycle in particular has been the catalyst for a couple of kind of definitive moments where the church has backed away from past stances, notably, recently, a BYU professor, Brigham Young University professor, gave voice to some of these old, sort of, racist teachings, and the church came out with an unusually strongly worded statement condemning them, saying these do not represent what this church believes, this doesn't represent our view on race and that was the definitive moment where the church kind of drew a line and said, you know, we're not going to be cast this way anymore, and we're backing away from these old teachings and these folk doctrines.


#1 time will tell

It will be interesting to see the reaction of all church attending Americans as they watch the Lefts war on religion.

#2 Time will tell.......

This White House directed attack on the Mormon Church carried out by that piece of excrement on two legs - mrs. greenspan - is just the beginning. All the mediawhores will be on this bandwagon ASAP. Wake up, America. If this attack on Mormons (Harry Reid being exempt since he is a democratic Mormon) is allowed to stand, whose faith is next? Jews? Methodists? The attack on Catholicism is ongoing and the denigration of Mormonism will only become more intense. However, one certain "Religion" will never be attacked. Can you guess which one? Guess correctly and you win a year's supply of halal chicken fingers. Let's see if I can sum up the left's attack talking points that will be used on Mr. Romney. "Romney is an evil rich man who doesn't pay enough in taxes, invests offshore, (Just like the murderer kennedy did with all his $$- but that was O.K.) is a member of the "Business class," hates the "Working class," and, worst of all, is a MORMON.

I will sum up: Better a Mormon than an islamocommunist!

#3 Does Obama really want to go there?

Consider the recent video of Rev. Jeremiah Wright addressing a black congregation in West Virginia about how white supremacy rules them.

#4 Galv...

Great point!

The left thinks that they have an issue, but once they open the religion can of worms, they will not be able to keep the black theology discussion under wraps, as they have to this point.

Interviewer: Gov. Romney, doesn't Mormonism have a history of looking down on or oppressing minorities?

Romney: Well, all institutions, including our own government, mature and change with the times, we have not always done everything right. The measure of an institution is how it grows and gets better. Compare this with the black theology establishment admittedly worshipped by President Obama -- to this day, they practice, and even encourage, hate mongering against people of different races. Would you like to discuss that further?

#5 Debbie Wasserman Schultz-for

Debbie Wasserman Schultz-for brains says Romney's religion will NOT be an issue in the campaign. I guess the nets didn't get the message...nudge, nudge, wink, wink....

When the HELL is someone going to demand that the president disavow these attacks on Romney and demand that they stop?

You know, use the "bully pulpit."


#6 Galv.,and retrocon

Great points all , but where other than here and a few other places will they see light ?
I believe that we have entered into an era of state run media . In short, we are boned !

#7 Actually...

i often feel the same way, nixon.

But if Romney works it into his interviews, and we see PAC adds (that stations cannot refuse legally), it can get out there. More importantly, as Obama's radicalism is covered up this time, more people will distrust the MSM, and move away from it.

Some of them will, by nature of their corporate parents, hopefully move back to center/neutral, or simply lose their $$$.

#8 don't let them control the conversation

If Romney should get repeated questions about Morman doctrine he should have a ready place to refer them to and then ask for questions relevent to the office of President.

#9 Not very many

In 1976 I was stationed at FT. Gordon GA. I attended the Agusta 2nd Ward. There aren't many places that are more "Southern" than Agusta GA. There were a few of my friends in that ward who indicated that (paraphrasing) "If blacks are ever allowed the Priesthood then I'm leaving the Church!" Well as things go, in 1978 President Spencer W. Kimball announced that "All worthy male members may receive the Priesthood..!" I'm hoping that those that I knew in Agusta were able to digest that but if not, good riddance.

I lived in Germany at the time and attended the Darmstadt Servicemans Ward. That Sunday was one of the most spiritual meetings I've ever attended. We had a young black man as a member of our ward and if there wasn't a single one of us who didn't have an emotional heart and tears in our eyes then because we all realized that now he and his family could receive the blessings of the Priesthood and the Temple. A month or so later about 50 of us packed ourselves into the sealing room of the Temple in Bern Switzerland to witness him and his wife being sealed together for eternity along with their children.

I don't recall ever being taught the reason blacks could not receive the priesthood simply because no one seemed to know for sure. I believe, and I know many who also believe, that it was a mistaken doctrine unfortunately perpetuated from an incident concerning a former slave. Notwithstanding what some authorities have said in the past, President Kimball wanted ALL to be able to receive the blessings of the priesthood and made it a matter of continual prayer. He received the revelation, in my paraphrasing, stating that "Of course they can receive the Priesthood! Now get busy!!!"

Just an opinion.


Since government is coercion, politics is largely the exercise of deception regarding the intended use of coercion - George Orwell

#10 Good morning BeanMan

Such is the beauty and strength of America - we're free to worship as we please. When we lose that God given right we are finished as a free nation.


Jesus Loves You so much He died for you

#11 I think the word should have been delt, not deals.

Past tense. As far as I can tell after reading it, the Book of Morman was very tied to the era in which it was written.

Everybody knows that times have changed, some for the worse (amoral behavior) or the better (Recognition that a person's race does not define the person).

"I find that I am deeply offended by political correctness." IdahoAndy


#12 Yes...

while other faiths have moved away from prejudice and oppression, Obama's own, the black liberation theology, has moved toward it. So has his "other" faith, Islam.

#13 Yes............

I refer to his true faith as, "Islamocommunism."

#14 What the heck, Romney in 2012

A well regulated militia being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

#15 I wish

Coppins would have challenged her on the name she used for the Church.

People may see us as strange, I get that. I thought Mormons were strange until I started investigating the beliefs. I grew up as a Southen Baptist, so one could imagine what I heard.

When I did start examining it, the beliefs just seemed to make sense.

#16 ...the first time I will SHOUT here at NB...



The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God. - William Bernard Ullanthorne

#17 Yea, can you yell Polygamist ranch raid, V.2.0.

The hand righting is on the wall...only one choice.

Herman Cain joins Sarah Palin , Newt Gingrich , and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley in pitching for Allen West.

#18 ...the Tampa Bay Miracle    

...the Tampa Bay Miracle                                                       


The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God. - William Bernard Ullanthorne

#19 No offense, vrwc, but you

No offense, vrwc, but you were not the only one.
This was as predictable as sunrise after night.

#20 (the LDS) deeper than you may think mb...'s not so much that if Rmoney was the nominee that the Mormon faith would be attacked, that's a given. But that the GOP should not have been so supportive of Rmoney because of his Mormon faith, and that it might very well cost him/GOP the election.

TCOJC&LDS tenets will come under the microscope like never before, and for all out there that really have no clue in what they believe are in for a real surprise.


The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God. - William Bernard Ullanthorne

#21 I didn't know Mitchell had

I didn't know Mitchell had such hatred toward Mormons.

Oh well, I assume the investigation into Obama's Church of "G-D America!" will be on tomorrow night's program.

#22 What about Hussein's Black Liberation Theology Church?

Funny, I do not remember the network of hate (MSNBC) diving into Barack Hussein Obama's faith and his church of Black Liberation Theology? A theology that has been expressed as a cross of Marxism, Islam, and Christianity and that only believes in promoting and helping black people and not helping white people or people of other skin colors.

#23 'Cuz that would've been

'Cuz that would've been RACIST dontcha know!

#24 Joy Ann Reid

is also a managing editor at the Black Racist Website the

You bet your last dollar they are going to attempt to play Romney as a racist, when all the evidence thus far has painted President Obama and his staff as racists

I predict a long summer

A Recession is when your neighbor is out of a job. A Depression is when YOU are out of a job.. A recovery is when OBAMA is out of a job Hat tip to Ronald Reagan

#25 'attempt to play Romney as a racist' is just the 'tip'...

...of the iceberg.

Wait 'til you see what they have for the women and the evangelicals!


The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God. - William Bernard Ullanthorne

#26 Investigate Andrea Mitchell and Castro

Lets see.......with all of the Ozzie Guillen's Castro talk today, lets launch an investigation into Andrea Mitchell and all of her PRO-CASTRO PROPAGANDA at M.S.S.R. (M-BS-NBC) over the years. I guarantee you, you'll be stunned at how much she has said in defense and love of Castro over the years.

"Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets". - Robert DeNiro, Taxi Driver (1976).

#27 Good job, Mummy. We'll be awaiting Part II: Harry Reid.


#28 ...he's expendable

...he's expendable


The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God. - William Bernard Ullanthorne

#29 How can

we shut this network down???

A Recession is when your neighbor is out of a job. A Depression is when YOU are out of a job.. A recovery is when OBAMA is out of a job Hat tip to Ronald Reagan

#30 The part I really dislike about Mormonism... the way they stone women, behead infidels, and go into a frenzy if someone does something to their holy book....What?....Ohhhhh...Muslims...

#31 Religion & Race=Liberals 2012 Mantra not the economy

This is the platform and the strategy the Liberals will use as directed by their employers at the White House against Romney. It is a given that African Americans will vote for Obama no matter what; and so, let's move on to the independants and undecided. The media and the Obama administration have begun an attack on Catholics, Evangelists (not Atheists because they are on their side) and now is the Mormons's? Obama cannot run on his accomplishments and so this is what he has left? Are these people crazy?

#32 ~Yes


Obama's WTF 2012 campaign slogan: "A dog in every pot"

#33 ...half the voters are women and see how they get them


The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God. - William Bernard Ullanthorne

#34 Bad Plan

Sounds about right. Jeremiah Wright is as racist as David Duke, but the Drive-by media ignores him while they focus on Mormonism. However, I see this as an advantage to our side as they will go overboard (typical of leftists) to the point where their attack will only solidify the view that Democrats are involved in a war on religion.



The few who watch this poor excuse for news are going to vote for nobama, but look who has the largest audience?

#36 I wish Andrea would go to. . .

. . . Africa and see the growth of the LDS Church there. In some places, people are joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints almost faster than they can call and train leadership. They don't seem to be bothered by blacks no being able to hold the priesthood until 1978. Yes they know about it. There was a man who helped organize groups of folks who wanted to hear the Gospel even before blacks could hold the priesthood.

As long as Andrea pursues the notion of "black liberation theology" of Barry Soereto, I would invite her to talk with the head of the LDS Church, Thomas S Monson, and put this issue to rest.

Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment.

#37 the press is digging a deep

the press is digging a deep hole...right now they are half the way to china.

sometime they will have to proclaim themselves infallible. then the real fun starts.

#38 Andrea, here is your next assignment

Does marrying an idiot Federal Reserve Chairman make you an idiot? For this story please interview Lyndon LaRouche and Lewellyn Rockwell. No softballs, please.

#39 I want

every conservative who is interviewed, when presented with having to discuss or justify Romney's Mormon faith, to counter with the phrase "Obama's Black Liberation Theology", or Obama's Critical Race Theory beliefs". If they all had a "set" and countered with either phrase at any time, I think we could get a handle on this right quick. And, I'm no Romney fan, but I'll line up behind our pick, regardless. ABO.

#40 ....the lesser of two evils still evil


The burden of life is from ourselves, its lightness from the grace of Christ and the love of God. - William Bernard Ullanthorne

#41 tsm

I think the more the dems attack Romney's religion, the more the conservatives will support Romney. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" - or something like that.


#42 That ladies face is MELTING!!!

Somebody please help that poor woman... that is a woman right?

#43 As an LDS Member

I take issue with Mr. Coppins' reading (in my view a mis-reading) of the Book of Mormon. In particular, this characterization of his: "There are also verses in Mormon scripture that teach that dark skin is a curse from an angry god." I would expect a member of our church to be a little less careless in his fueling accusations of racism. Then again, Coppins is also on record as criticizing Glenn Beck (a fellow Mormon) for being a Republican (which he's not).

I suppose Mr. Coppins has minimized in his own mind this passage from the Book of Mormon: "and [the Lord] inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; all are alike unto God." (2 Ne. 26:33)

Let me just state that Mormons believe all humankind are created equal. God is no respecter of persons. We believe that all humans are children of God, equally precious and cherished by him, regardless of race or any other characteristic which might otherwise set us apart.

And if we're not making investments in basic research, which is not something that the private sector is doing at a sufficient pace right now and has never done, then we will lose the lead in things like clean energy technology. --Barack Obama

#44 Anti-Christianity in the News

Anti-Christianity in the News

The age-old admonition against ever discussing religion or politics never held any water, except maybe for atheists and for those who consider politicians spawns of the devil.

Especially in A.D. 2012, with the first serious Mormon candidate running for president, a president who is desperate to establish his Christian bona fides in the face of continuing doubts, and Rep. Paul Ryan saying on Tuesday that his Catholic faith is the foundation of his budget plan, religion has taken center stage in America although that stage is noticeably tilted against Romney and Ryan.

For example, Mitt Romney is often subjected to negative stereotyping and commentary from both the left and the right because of his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, reactions that haven’t been seen in this country since the first Roman Catholic ran for the presidency fifty years ago.

Indeed, it would seem that all Christians come under greater scrutiny than adherents to other faiths, which has given rise to charges that there is a war on Christianity raging in America, a war apparent to any thinking person.

What do New York Jets quarterback Jeff Tebow, former sitcom star Kirk Cameron, and “American Idol” hopeful Colton Dixon have in common? Actually, all three share the same distinctions of being devout Christians–and all have been roundly criticized for their beliefs.

Tebow, of course, is the most visible figure among them and has been attacked for his outward displays of faith since his days as a Florida Gator through his two years with the Denver Broncos. Since his trade last month to New York, the belly of the liberal beast, many sports pundits have ramped up their ridicule and critiques and have gleefully predicted he will fail miserably.

However, failure doesn’t exist in Tebow’s playbook any more than the thought of changing either his character or altering his public demeanor exists.

Tebow took his show on the road to celebrate Easter Sunday to Georgetown, Texas, appropriately at the Celebration Church where he delivered a heartfelt sermonette in the form of a Q and A session with the pastor before a congregation estimated at 30,000 faithful.

The gist of his sentiments was reflected in his proud admission that he said, “Win or lose, it is most important that I honor my Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” (

Not that it would bother Tebow but that line will surely be seized on by his detractors the first time he throws an interception or the Jets lose a game.

It’s doubtful Kirk Cameron can toss a football as far as Tim Tebow but he created almost as big a stir when he frankly expressed his Christian moral views last Friday on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.”

Cameron tread where few celebs would dare to go when the”Growing Pains” star and now a Born Again Christian gave his opinion on abortion and gay marriage.

Concurring with millions of other Americans, Cameron believes abortion is “wrong, under any circumstances. I think that someone who is ultimately willing to murder a child, even to fix another tragic and devastating situation–like rape or incest or things like that–is not taking the moral highroad.”

He may have gotten away with that statement but his non-politically correct Christian view that homosexuality is a perversion, without using that term, caused an uproar from the ultra-liberal, pro-gay set. Cameron forthrightly said, “I think that it’s unnatural . . . (Read more at

#45 More pressing issue

Perhaps they should investigate how Islam deals with women issues?

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius

#46 And we will also see the other side.

Where supposed Catholics like Blowhard Joe Biden and all the other liberal "Catholics" stray from the tenets of their faith and see how that equates to religion vs. person. What a religion espouses does not necessarily determine in detail how someone practicing that religion will behave. How about all the Muslims who go to foreign countries to drink alcohol and wench? Both are strictly forbidden by Islam, yet these are supposed to be devout Muslims.

Granting that, by reeeeaaaalllly stretching, Romney's Mormonism might have a determining bearing on how he will begave in all situations, my question is "When will the same question be directed to Harry Reid?"

#47 Harry Reid is a Mormon

Wonder why that's never mentioned??


#48 Selective reporting

They don't mention it for the same reason they never bother to mention that Obama actually has Democratic opponents in the Primaries this election. Nothing, and I mean, NOTHING, can be said that would tend to downplay the "message" they're trying to send. Like how Obama actually has opponents in his own party (So much for Democrat Unity! Yet the Republicans are, how did they describe it? Oh, that's right: "fractured!"), or Romney isn't the only Mormon in government (Will his religion affect his politics, like it doesn't seem to do for Reid?).

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. The US Constitution

Unless you're a fetus. The US Supreme Court

Or Anwar al-Awlaki.

#49 A "prominent" what?

"a prominent voice on race issues in a crucial swing state."

Just how is this person a "prominent voice," when most people have never even heard of her? Is she another of those media appointed "experts" that no one has ever heard of before? I know that this may come as a surprise to the Media Elite, but it's a rather BIG stretch to claim that a columnist at a local newspaper is a "prominent voice" at anything, except for displaying a rather prominent ego!

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. The US Constitution

Unless you're a fetus. The US Supreme Court

Or Anwar al-Awlaki.

#50 C'mon now, the garden

C'mon now, the garden columnist in The Greater Mudlick News & Recipes is a genuinely prominent voice.

"Beauty is only skin deep, but liberal's to the bone." - me

#51 Rev Wright

Do you think Mrs. Greenspan will call to our attention the Right Rev Wright, head antisemite and white hater as a choice of Obama's religious beliefs. Of course Obama did sit in church for 20 years and heard nothing that the Rev said. Maybe she will attack his love of the Muslim faith. What cheap shots these alleged "reporters" are. Will America let her get away with it? Of course they will, that's how she has managed to stay. I say it is time for her to pack in her computer and join Madeline Albright, Janet Reno and Helen Thomas by jumping out of cakes at warthog bachelor parties. It is time - she will soon be joined by Hillary Clinton doing the same thing.

#52 Backfire pending

This tactic is going to backfire on Obysmal and the Dems. Those leftists who do consider themselves Christians tend to be of the liberal persuasion (surprise!), which believes that you can believe anything you want, hang the name "Jesus" on it, and that makes you a Christian. Obysmal's buddies harping on the validity of Mormonism will cause those people to react by either voting against them or (more likely) staying home from the polls. Likewise with the many, many religious libs (of all faiths) who believe that all faiths are the same thing under a different name.

I predict Obysmal's messing about in religious politics will hurt Dems more than it will help them this fall.

"Beauty is only skin deep, but liberal's to the bone." - me

#53 I want to help Andrea Mitchell......and MSNBC.....

To help in this crisis...I thought it wise to provide the means for Andrea to get "both sides" of this story....Therefore, I am providing the means for hearing from Utah's Democrat Mormons...

There now...Andrea can contact the Utah Democrats who just happen to be Mormon...and get their take on racism and religion....and any other questions which she is directing at Mitt Romney.


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