Nobody should be shocked to see Jana Riess of Religion News Service misrepresent a Mormon’s conservative views and call them racist.
Today, as I read Jana Riess’s snark towards Ayla, aka A Purposeful Wife, something about it got under my skin. I critically dissected Jana Riess’s rhetoric, and I suddenly felt sick to my stomach when I realized that I had read this kind of rhetoric before: in history books about Nazi propaganda.
#1 Divide The Population With Race Distinctions
It all started with a hashtag #DearWhiteMormons in which fake Mormons complained about white people in the church. Jana Riessperformed some real mental gymnastics to defend this blatant racism.
She says they were just giving “Mormons of color an opportunity to share their experiences.” Uh huh. As she introduced #DearWhiteMormons, she related a couple innocuous posts and incorrectly claimed that this is what people were outraged against. Oh but they were just saying how they were “treated or judged” by whites! That’s not what I saw, Jana.
Actually, this racist hashtag follows Nazi rhetoric by dividing the population of the church by race and introducing competition. This is something Jana Riess applauds:
“The tenor of some of these tweets from white Mormons was that golly, gosh, and darn it, race just does not exist as a category in white Mormons’ minds! If blacks or Latinos bring it up, they are creating divisions and barriers where none exist. We’re all brothers and sisters in Christ, people; can’t we just get along? Stop playing the victim already.”
They weren’t just bringing up their identity, Jana. Nobody is outraged when that happens. They were attacking another group of people based on race. This is known as racism.
“But it wasn’t long before some white Mormons appeared to feel threatened by the hashtag.” No Jana, people just don’t like racism.
Nazis likewise divided the population by races and discussed how some races were treated and judged. Nazis would have been blogging under the hashtag #DearJews.
In his book Ten Responses to Jewish Lackeys, Nazi propagandist Kurt Eitzen said “a Jew always remains a Jew” even if he is baptized Christian. The race is his identity, not his religion. This argument led to discussions about racial injustice against Germans from Jews.
Eitzen rejected the argument that “everything with a human face is equal.” The Hitler Youth’s handbook likewise rejected the teaching that “all men are equal before God” as backwards Christian doctrine. We need more “racial thinking,” the handbook taught.
The Mormon Right teaches that we should be unified as a church rather than complaining about other races.
Jana Riess says people who want to get past racial thinking are “often the same folks who perpetuate white culture.” I don’t see any difference between this statement and the Nazi logic that the German Christians who didn’t want to look through a racial lens were pushing a Jewish agenda.
Apostate blog By Common Consent spreads Jana Riess’s article
#2 Group By Race Rather Than Beliefs
Hitler called Jews a race rather than a religion, “…the Jewish religion is nothing other than a doctrine to preserve the Jewish race.”
Jana Riess approaches the Mormon Right in a similar way. She equates the “Mormon Right” with white “racists.” She defines us by the labels “white supremacy”, “#whiteculture”, and “#saveeurope.” Rather than talk about conservative Mormons’ conservative views, she assumes we must all be white and we must be spreading our beliefs in order to stop our racial “coming extermination.”
Nazi propagandist Von Moltke said, “In resisting all government attempts to nationalize them, the Jews build a state within the state.” They said Jews were being racist when they were expressing outrage about racist division.
Jana Riess and the fake Mormon bloggers try to alienate the Mormon Right as a separate group in the church as well. Jana points out that Ayla held a conference this weekend (actually it wasn’t this weekend, Jana), and complains, “A dozen is small, but it’s a dozen Mormon racists too many.”
#3 Stoke Historical Racial Resentment
In regard to how the German government treated Jews, Eitzen quoted propagandist Rosenburg, “gradually the rights [Jews] stole from the Germans in politics and culture have been restored.”
Germans were just bringing social justice to the disenchranchized minority… what’s the problem, right Jana?
Eitzen said a few hungry Jews were nothing compared to the “many millions of German families that the Jew murdered over the course of centuries through wars, revolutions, and civil strife.”
Jana Riess says white Mormons want to “sweep under the rug” the “experiences” of minorities and the “privileges” that whites enjoy. This stokes the same kind of racial resentment that the Nazis whipped up. We also read about this kind of racial resentment in the Book of Mormon, that the Lamanites held for the Nephites.
#4 Make The Issue About Competing Reproduction Rates
Jana Riess very cleverly claims A Purposeful Wife wants more white children to “counteract the growth of minority races.” When has she ever said that? Ayla never said that. What she said is all races and groups should pursue a healthy reproduction rate. Her call for more white reproduction has nothing to do with other races.
Jana thus slyly introduces the question of competing reproduction rates among races. The Nazis also put emphasis on the reproduction rate of other races.
Jews at the time had a very low birth rate, 16 to 1000 people compared to 41 to 1000 Germans. “Far too few babies were being born to maintain the Jewish population.”
Whites in the United States are in a similar situation. This isn’t an opinion, it is fact. More whites are dying than are being born. The white population in America today is in the same reproductive position as Jews in Nazi Germany.
Despite this, German propaganda “depicting how the prolific Slav nations would cause the German people to be overrun.” The Mormon Right is not on the side that worries about being overrun. They are the side that recognizes the fact that a certain race has an unsustainable birth rate.
Apostle Elder Uchtdorf responds to anti-Mormon racism on Twitter
#5 Tie Race To Cross-Generational Injustice
Do bloggers on the Mormon Right complain about racial injustices a hundred years ago? No. Only if a racist Leftist brings up an incorrect narrative, maybe the Mormon Right will point out that the ancient slave trade ran through Turkey. But mainstreams Mormons do not hold racial resentment.
Jana Riess on the other hand blames Brigham Young and Bruce R. McKonkie for our sins of the past. She says the church needs to repudiate the “kind of injustice” that began with them and continues today among conservatives.
“I call upon our church to speak out against this kind of injustice… But the church has also never fully repudiated racist statements from earlier leaders like Bruce R. McConkie, Mark E. Peterson, and Brigham Young.”
Compare this with Hitler’s Mein Kampf, “…with such terrible justice that the sins of the fathers are avenged down to the tenth generation. But this applies only to profanation of the blood and the race.”
Hitler was talking about preserving racial purity while Jana is talking about keeping minorities pure of “white culture and history as normative.” She connects race with a continual injustice in society.
She attaches the label “white supremacy” to Ayla, Wife with a Purpose, for simply resisting racial attacks against white people. This says a lot more about Jana than it does Ayla.
What is Jana Riess’s belief when it comes to race? Why does she bitterly insist on sowing division and resentment?