Ep 42 – The Unintentional Racist


Posted January 27th, 2014

Mike Tannehill (love him or hate him) is fighting the good fight against the Mormon church. Or at least against the influence of those liberal academic types trying to re-write church history — more specifically those authors of the recent essay Race and the Priesthood on LDS.org who would have us believe that church doctrine is nothing more than the “theories” of racist men influenced by a racist time who simply could not call down a revelation from God until 1978. Listen in as Mike explains how he remains True to the Faith. When the enemy assaileth, shall he shirk or shun the fight? NO!!!

  • cwald

    OMG. I can’t wait to listen to this.

  • Maci

    Mike mentions that interracial marriage was forbidden because the church didn’t want white women marrying outside of the priesthood, to prevent the priesthood from weakening. This is not true. The church still cares about its members not marrying interracially. Leaders of the church also taught white members not to marry Chinese, Japanese, etc. who were allowed to hold the priesthood. Even today, the aaronic priesthood manual still encourages young men not to marry outside of their own race.

  • ciarran

    Wow! Maybe one of the most entertaining podcasts since the psychic channeled Emma Smith! Please get Mike back on here for more podcasts.

    • Glenn

      Maybe we should just get Christa the psychic to channel Mike. No, I’m sure we’ll have him back on. Maybe to talk about The United Order and the evils of socialism.

  • Brad

    Love the man, hate the theology :). Seriously though, Mike is a trooper for fighting an unfair battle. I’m just glad I was able to listen, to remind myself of the sad fact of just how bereft the church was of inspiration for 100+ years. Thanks Mike!

    • Aussie

      I think you nailed it.
      HE isn’t the abberation. He IS the actual doctrine.
      FWIW I doubt you were ever like that yourself, even though you and I were a part of (victim of) the sickness we can now see it is

  • @SampsonAvard

    Whenever Mike says Abrahamic Covenant, I am so happy to be out of the goddamn Mormon church. It is an evil filthy cult and Mike is proof that it is also a mind control cult.

  • Abe

    I tried to listen to this only to be reminded why I ignore Brother Tannehill. Giving this ass the time of day is the Mormon equivalent of listening to a Sarah Palin speech. It’s never worth it.

  • Kessee Ian Anderson

    I keep hearing the word “radical” thrown out. What the fuck was Joseph Smith? A radical in the truest sense of the word. All we are witnessing is Mormonism 6.0. Keep Ark steadying and nailing that jello to the wall. The futility is hilarious. Gotta keep that money flowing. The only Mormon constant is change.

  • K

    Women of color were banned from endowments because in the temple women have a connection to the priesthood (it’s not men in there doing blessing women only wearing a sheet).

  • K

    A story that I used to love (now I can see so many issues with it) involves two of my-then heroes: Lowell Bennion and David O McKay. Lowell eventually lost his job as the UofU Institute Director due to his outspoken words on race and priesthood. But this story happens while he was director. Supposedly a young man (1/4 African American) asked Lowell why his sister (also 1/4) could not marry her white fiancé in the temple. Lowell took the petition to DOM. In the conversation DOM asked Lowell, “someday I will meet my Maker and have to report on this decision. What would you have me do?” And Lowell replied, “well, if I am going to err, I want to err on the side of mercy.” And DOM approved the sealing.
    I think I read this in a biography of Lowell Bennion. But it’s been 20 years, so I have no legitimate source.
    I do remember excitedly telling my mom about this story and she said she didn’t believe it because DOM always told her that it (removal of the priesthood ban) wouldn’t happen in his lifetime. We are relatives, so no source on that either, just what my mom reported.

  • Chad

    Thanks Mike. I’m glad it’s not just the apostates and NOMs that get tired of hearing the bullshit apologetic lies and mental gymnastics.

    PS…when the church accuses of an heretic and takes away your temple recommend and releases you from all your callings, you’ll always have a place reserved for over at New Order Mormon and StayLDS websites 😉

  • 3GrandKeys

    I appreciated Mike’s faith that the essay’s release was just an honest oversight by the Lord’s anointed, but there is simply no way a hot button issue like this wasn’t given due diligence and approval from church leadership.

    I was also surprised to hear his plan of action should the church ever clearly start to be lead astray: hit your knees and pray to God to put a new man in charge.

    I’d never heard that kind of action plan before. I always thought the church was very clear in teaching that a misleading prophet is simply impossible, thus no one ever has to worry or petition for new leadership or what not. Is the “pray for a better prophet” approach supported by any church teachings? Seems like heresy.

  • Jane

    Uh oh, this sounds like the beginning of the end for Mike. I can’t wait to see how long it takes him to join the true belivers of truth.

    Thank you for the podcasts. I have been overdosing on ex-mormon podcasts this year but I have finely had enough. I’m not in the mood to waste any more time of the mormon church but I will never get enough of IOT. You could podcast about anything and I will keep tuning in.

    • Abe

      I remember being extremely nervous about anyone finding out that I no longer believed. I didn’t want to hurt feelings or get into arguments about the Church. Now I look back and wonder what would have happened if I had just been confident and forthright about it all. I could have said something like “I have to tell you that I no longer believe and I want to be left alone. It hurts to hear and it hurts to say, but that’s the way it is.” If they can’t handle it, it’s their problem.

      • Olivia

        I did this. It ruined all of my close friendships I had with mormons. I’m not saying that would happen to everyone, but it definitely happened to me. They couldn’t deal with it. I couldn’t deal with pretending to be the person I wasn’t anymore. And so I was honest, and it turned out they preferred the fake me. No thanks. It took about a year, but I have found new friends and those relationships are growing into what I hope will be ones as strong and close as the ones that got left by the wayside when I ws honest with my friends.

  • Francine Johnson McGee

    I know this isn’t about the topic, but I need some help. I couldn’t go to Church today, just couldn’t do it. My roommate still attends, actually less than I have recently, but now she wants to go to start a social liife, or maybe to get food orders, I really don’t know., she doesn’t believe anymore than I do. I just can’t keep faking it. I haven’t been in about a month. I’m on high missionaty rotation, and I don’t know what to to. Last week our home teacher gave a llesson about going inactive.I am terrified about telling anyone ive losy my testimont. I don’t know what to do, how to tell thsm I don’t believe and don’t want go to cjhurcjj help

    • Olivia

      Why tell anyone just yet? My advice is to take it slow. One day at a time. There is no reason you have to “know” anything concerning your religion. Just do what is comfortable for the time being. If that means not going to church, then don’t go. You don’t have to answer to ANYONE. EVER! If someone asks you why you aren’t going to church, just answer that it’s a personal matter, or you were busy, or change the subject. But don’t let the guilt or the expectations stop you from thinking or doing what you feel comfortable with, or what you need to feel sane/happy/okay right now. You are in control of your own choices. Take a break if you need to. No need to commit or confess anything at all. This is *your* life. 🙂

  • Francine Johnson McGee

    I’m already on “high missionary rotation”, when I have to tell them I just don’t believe anymore, I can’t imagine what it would be like. My roommate doesn’t believe anymore than I do, but she doesn’t want to leaarve. If I had known how hard it would be to leave the church, I doubt I would have ever joined. I’m afraid they will try and get Donna to move out of my house if I leave too.

  • Joshua Peck

    I really enjoyed to Star Wars music used in the beginning of the episode.

    For about half of the podcast I was screaming at my ipod that JS was fine ordaining black men so it couldn’t have been revelation to leave them out. Im glad someone brought it up at the end of the episode.

    • Aussie

      I’m with you. I’ve made it barely 7 minutes into interviewing him so far and I’m climbing the wall with frustration too.
      Guys, come on. Your stuff is great, but this is really weak so far.
      He is actually right, WHEN you acknowledge LDS doctrine. You are just pussy farting around so far. The bit about intermarriage- surely you know the BYoung quotes? Just tell him to consider a white male priesthood holder marrying a black woman. Shut’s that down. Why start attacking him on_his_views?
      His views are the actual views of the LDS church, which is now doing a retrospective shift on this.
      I get it, you swear and make it light hearted and irreverent. But I’m really wondering if this is going to be a wasted 40 minutes here. I will return and report once I’ve heard the rest

  • scotty

    This was an interesting pod cast. The group “ganged-up” on Mike and really tried to bait him into being a more obvious racist. What I thought was really interesting is that you…the IOT guys seemed to miss the bigger point here. The race issue made it “sexy”, but the bigger point was the one that Mike was initially trying to make…that LDS.org put out a statement equating early Church doctrine as theories based on the environment. Essentially, that doctrine was NOT irresolute and unchanging, but influenced by society.

    THIS IS HUGE. Regardless of the topic…racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-coffee, etc. This opens the way of discussion. Church policies no longer become unassailable issues. They very well could just be a product of societal and environmental issues of the times.

    Mike is right. Right in the fact that the Church can’t just change canon without more explanation and probably an apology. Right in the fact that if this is an actual sea-change for LDS theology, it affects more than just a lame attempt at prior racism.

    My opinion, they can’t apologize. The Church holds that topic up as “unfortunate”, but it was a revelation, so what can you do? To rescind that would certainly let the camel’s nose in regarding every other “revelation”. So, they won’t apologize. Or can’t. It’s the same thing.

    • Glenn

      Really Scotty? You thought we missed that point? I thought that was pretty evident in our discussions. Well, we are going to record some more this week, so maybe we’ll touch more on it then. But I think we are pretty much on the same page here. This wasn’t about baiting Mike as a more obvious racist — it was about how this history and tradition of belief is fundamentally racist — Mike simply illustrates how being “true to the faith” aligns a person with racist dogma whether they intend to be a racist or not.

      • Scott Evans

        I completely agree with that…that being “stalwart” to a cruddy policy, makes you cruddy as well – even if you don’t want it to.

        Of course, my argument is that MOST religious doctrine-regardless of the sect-is cruddy policy. Theology was created to help people understand things that are not easily understood….and then rules added on by people to “codify” that theology. After centuries of evolution, those rules wind up as commandments, doctrine, Words of Wisdom, etc. And our inherent tribalism makes us think that “my rules are better than your rules”.

        But, that’s just me….

      • Aussie

        Yes, you did miss the point.
        If I want to listen to people pontificate how right they are and how disgusting other people are well I’ll just watch Big Brother, Fox or watch Christopher Hitchins or Richard Dawkins on youtube.
        Yes of course we know these guys are WASP supremacists. Yawn. I grew up in that. I went to church for 30 years and lived it. Boring.
        The bigger issue is that Mike is right in his view, doctrinally speaking. Politically incorrect and culturally racist- yes as a product of his religion, but a bigger story (amongst others) here is that the LDS religion can write essays all it likes, but god – if he restored his gospel for every nation, kindred, tongue and people- walked away from the LDS leaders, or they walked away from him- if you want to follow the LDS restoration narrative.
        Hearing Cletis yab on means jack. There’s 5 million more like him out there. In fact I can walk down my street and find another 100million not too dissimilar.
        I have listened to most of your podcasts. You do a great job usually, and eventually can connect dots (like you all finally did in the last, after, throw in question with Tom Phillips on podcast 3) even if I think you guys are too focussed on the microphone to the detriment of getting the most of of some discussions.
        But this disappointed me.

        Were you too focussed on scripting and the fact you were producing a podcast and were trying to make it a listenable discussion?
        I think this one was over-produced.
        Give me 15 minutes with him and I’ll show you how its done

        • Olivia

          When are you starting your own podcast? Really looking forward to you showing everyone how it’s done.

          • Glenn

            You tell him, Olivia.

        • Jimbo

          Aussie, you suck. This podcast was great on all aspects. Mike was great at standing his ground, and the IOT hosts were hillarious as usual. Thanks everyone.

  • Silver

    My Grandfather was a not so unintentional racist while watching the Super Bowl half time he said, “back in my day we would have ran these guys (talking about Bruno Mars) out of town.”
    Love the podcast, keep up the great work.

  • jeanbodie

    This was fabulous guys, thanks so much. What I can’t quite wrap my head around is that Mike T just doesn’t seem to realize that we are on the same side.
    On of the reasons I left the church was the way the doctrines/narrative had changed since the missionaries taught me. When I discovered that this had been an ongoing thing with the church I just couldn’t stand to watch their lying faces any longer.
    So when the ‘racism’ essay was published I was completely vindicated in my assessment that the ‘no priesthood DOCTRINE’ for black men was completely racist – but still there are believers who can spin that. Not Mike T Rex, he says it like it was – Abrahamic families my ass.
    If the temple marriage issue is changed, how about having Michelle and I on the podcast to explore that whole thing?

    • We would love to have you on, Jean.

      • jeanbodie

        Awesome! We would loooooove to.

  • StormanNorman

    I was always challenging the GAs conference talks —— many agreeing they made doctrinal errors. Then I realized that I knew so much more about the doctrine than they did ——- step one to finding out the full TRUTH about LDS incorporated. There will always be room for Mike on the side of TRUTH once he realizes it is certainly not in LDS inc.!

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  • SantoAtheos

    Forgive my curiosity on year+ old episode, but what became of it all for Mike? All I can see is that the essay has not changed and Mike T. is still Mormonism’s Mastiff online. Thanks either way!

  • Orrin Dayne

    Excellent title on this. This episode was an interesting case study on Mike T.

  • Preston

    22:45 “Mike its time to pull out your javelin and make things right.” I DIED LAUGHING