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Posted by on Aug 25, 2012 in Education, Health, Law, Politics, Religion, Society | 64 comments

Joe Biden on Slavery vs Brigham Young on Slavery

Wondered whether Biden’s ‘in chains’ remark that Romney camp land-heaved over– had any correspondence in Mormonism… re slaves and enslavement. Brigham Young took over as leader of Mormon church in mid and late 1800s.

This is part of Brigham Young’s 1852 speech (during immense struggle in US in which holding slaves had been turned down by Northern States. At the time Young lived in a northern state but held the idea… well, you see: about how Mormons ought see other ‘non-Mormons’, slavery, citizens, ‘mixing of the races,’ and so on. He begins by claiming that Eve was God’s first slave when she ate of the apple, and so became no longer free but a slave. Then Adam ate the apple, Young says, making him a slave too, and therefor slavery comes from God.

Brigham Young, leader, goes on to say:

We know there is a portion of inhabitants of the earth who dwell in Asia that are negroes, and said to be jews.

The blood of Judah has not only mingled almost with all nations, but also with the blood of Cain, and they have mingled there seeds together; These negro Jewes may keep up all the outer ordinenances of the jewish releigeon, they may have their sacrifices, and they may perform all the releigeous ceremonies any people on earth could perform, but let me tell you, that the day they consented to mingle their seed with Cannan, the preisthood was taken away from Judah, and that portion of Judahs seed will never get any rule, or blessings of the preisthood until Cain gets it.

Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the earth; we will sommons the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishoprick, and all the elders of Isreal, suppose we summons them to apear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with with us and be pertakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate.

The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain, the Church must go to desstruction–we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the preisthood untill that curse be removed.

Therefore I will not consent for one moment to have an african dictate [to] me or any Bren.[brethern] with regard to Church or State Government. I may vary in my veiwes from others, and they may think I am foolish in the things I have spoken, and think that they know more than I do, but I know I know more than they do.

If the Affricans cannot bear rule in the Church of God, what buisness have they to bear rule in the State and Government affairs of this Territory or any others?

In the Government affairs of States and Territorys and kingdoms by right, God should Govern.

He should rule over nations, and controle kings. If we suffer the Devil to rule over us we shall not accomplish any good. I want the Lord to rule, and be our Governor and and dictater, and we are the boys to execute, I shall not consent for a moment to give way to a Gentile Spirit of contention, which is the cause of angry…Difference to the alinations of every Good feeling.

It is for you and I to take a course, to bind our feelings together in an everlasting bond of union inasmuch as we love the Lord, which we ought to do more than selves.

Consequently I will not consent for a moment to have the Children of Cain rule me nor my Bren. No, it is not right.

But say some, is there any thing of this kind in the Constitution, the U.S. has given us? If you will allow me the privilege telling right out, it is none of their damned buisness what we do or say here. What we do it is for them to sanction, and then for us to say what we like about it. It is written right out in the constitution, “that every free white male inhabitant above the age of twenty one years” &c. My mind is the same to day as when we where poreing over that constitution; any light upon the subject is the same, my judgement is the same, only a little more so. Prahapes I have said enough upon this subject. I have given you the true principles and doctrine. No man can vote for me or my Bren. in this Territory who has not the privilege of acting in Church affairs.

Every man, and woman, and Child in this Territory are Citizens; to say the contrary is all nonsense to me. The indians are Citizens, the Africans are Citizens, and the jews than come from Asia, that are almost entirely of the blood of Cain.
It is our duty to take of them, and administer to them in all the acts of humanity, and kindness, they shall have the right of Citizenship, but shall not have the right to dictate in Church and State matters.
The abolishonists of the east, have cirest them them, and their whol argument are callculated to darken Counsel, as it was here yesterday.

As for our bills passing here, we may lay the foundation for what? for men to come here from Africa or else where; by hundreds of thousands.

When these men come here from the Islands, are they going to hold offices in Government No. It is for men who understand the knowlege of Government affairs to hold such offices, and on the other make provisions for them to plow, and to reap, and enjoy all that human beings can enjoy, and we protect them in it. Do we know how to amilerate the condition of these people? we do.

Supose that five thousands of them come from the pacific Islands, and ten or fifteen thousands from Japan , or from China, not one soul of them would know how to vote for a Government officer, they therefore ought not in the first thing have anything to do in Government afairs.

What the Gentiles are doing we are consenting to do. What we are trying to do to day is to make the Negro equal with us in all our privilege. My voice shall be against all the day long. I shall not consent for one Moment I will will call them a counsel. I say I will not consent for one moment for you to lay a plan to bring a curse upon this people. It shall not be while I am here…

(Journal of Discourses)

While there were in the 1800s in the states, honest and dishonest, predatory and helpful, and greedy and generous people of Brigham’s time, the grasping to codify and rationalize one person owning another human being by ‘copying God’ (and it’s all a woman’s fault it is said) and the rampant making of other humans into less than human if they are jews or ‘affricans’ or of the ‘islands’ or ‘indians’… and claiming there are oh just so many of ‘them’ that they need to be controlled… by Mormons… reads as nothing God-like. Rather it reads like a greedy grasping magnate who wants to dominate rather than lift all others… the time period doesnt matter it seems.

However in 1808 Congress banned importation of slaves and the North where Mormons lived had moved against slave holding even as Young was making his statements about slave keeping by dint of God’s modeled behavior with Adam and Eve.

Joe Biden’s remarks about some in power wanting to metaphorically put black people back in chains, that is, look down on them, enslave them by not giving opportunity, parity, might have been closer truth in terms of long roots to the past of Brigham Young, than even Biden realized.

Brigham Young appears to have been most prominently responsible “for revoking the priesthood and temple blessings from black members of the LDS Church, who had been treated equally in this respect under Joseph Smith’s presidency.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110) After settling in Utah in 1848, Brigham Young announced a priesthood ban which prohibited all men of black African descent from holding the priesthood. In connection, Mormons of African descent could not participate in Mormon temple rites such as the Endowment or “sealing.” These racist restrictions remained in place until 1978 [34 years ago,] when the policy was rescinded by President of the Church Spencer W. Kimball.” wikipedia on Brigham Young’s life

The rescinding of the Mormons’ racist policy and exclusion to worship with parity for African Americans, did not come after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, which proclaimed across the last there would be no quarter given to discrimination against others by race, et al.

The recision of the racist Mormon policy came belatedly, about thirteen years after the Civil Rights Act had already been in effect.

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