Harry Reid, Racism, and Religion
In a recent KNPR Radio interview, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made a racially charged remark against Republicans opposing President Obama. Not only does Reid hope Republicans are not basing their opposition to Obama based on race, but he equates the Tea Party with Anarchists.
Yet, Reid’s reasoning should profit his position very little given the Mormon prophet whose teachings he follows.
First, Reid shows his hand in the show introduction. By “show his hand” I mean he backhands the Tea Party comparing them to Anarchists. Actually, he does more than simply compare them. When complaining that the Tea Party controls the House, he attempts to define the Tea Party. He begins by mentioning the potential influence of violent Anarchists on WWI. He further explains:
“The modern Anarchists don’t do [violence] – that’s the Tea Party. But they have the same philosophy as the early Anarchists. They do not believe in government. Anytime anything bad happens in government, that’s a victory for them.”
Reid goes on to express his dislike of the control wielded by what he calls an “ideological anarchy driven Tea Party.” Keep Reid’s reasoning in mind of how he subtly formed the Tea Party into the modern day Anarchist movement.
In the same interview, Reid said the following about Republicans opposing Obama.
“It’s been obvious that they’re doing everything they can to make him fail. And I hope, I hope, that it’s – and I say this seriously – I hope that’s based on substance and not the fact that he’s African American.”
Now what would make Reid insert race as a reason Republicans oppose Obama? I hope, I hope that it’s not the case, but could it be that this is a pot-kettle issue rooted in Reid’s religion?
It is no secret that Harry Reid is a Mormon. Mormonism was founded by the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith. Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, a sacred Mormon book, which states in 2 Nephi Chapter 5:
“21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. 22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities. 23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.”
“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain the penalty under the law of God is death on the spot.”
Could it be the case, by applying Reid’s own reasoning, that he inserts racism against Republicans because he feels the weight of the words of his own prophets? You know – pots, kettles and all that!
The Mormon church through its prophets have changed their stance on race. Blacks are now admitted into their priesthood, etc. For the record, I don’t recall Mormon leadership officially apologizing for past racist views, some of which still exist in their books. I’m sure this is an unfortunate history for today’s Mormons who wish they could erase it.
Yet, the above points are not to paint Mormons in general as racists. Rather, to challenge Harry Reid’s reasoning in regards to his insertion of racism against Republicans. What Reid does not understand is that because the Tea Party is against the style of government he favors, does not mean the Tea Party is against all government and pro-Anarchy.
Though it will be lost on many political pundits, Reid is simply trying to make the racist label stick to his political foes while his church tries to scrape that same unfortunate label from its foundation. So, if Harry Reid wants to distance himself from a racist past – and I don’t know a Mormon who doesn’t – he should stop insensitively bringing racism into the present as a calculated insult for political gain.
p.s. This post is not an attack on Mormonism in general, but an attack on Harry Reid’s carelessness with his words in the realm of racism. His religion seems fair game since he is not above using it for political points. E.g. Harry Reid: Mitt Romney is not the face of Mormonism
Mark Lamprecht, a Southern Baptist Christian, is the blogger/owner of Here I Blog. He lives in Metro-Atlanta with his wife and daughter working full-time while during the day while pursing a Master of Divinity degree in the evening. Follow Mark on twitter: