The LDS Church Should Excommunicate its Racist Mommy Blogger
Mormon blogger @APurposefulWife has made quite a space for herself in the white nationalist movement. She claims she’s not a racist, but she believes “white culture” is under attack and must be preserved. There is perhaps a subtle difference in those concepts, but if you follow her page for very long, you’ll soon see that the effect is the same. Here’s just a small sampling of her awesome ideas:
Religion has everything to do with it. Christians built America, for *their* posterity not Muslim hordes. https://t.co/FnXrfJFJbs
— Wife With A Purpose (@apurposefulwife) January 17, 2016
— Wife With A Purpose (@apurposefulwife) January 11, 2016
Remember when your ancestors fought and died for this country so that their posterity could be out bred by people who showed up yesterday? https://t.co/5rJPqtNJPB
— Wife With A Purpose (@apurposefulwife) May 30, 2017
Prior to this weekend, she was probably most famous for her outspoken opposition to popular Mormon rapper James the Mormon. In her unfortunately viral blog post. She claims:
Equality of cultures is a false God.
. . .
All things are not equal and the culture and values promoted by James the Mormon do not reflect what is best for Mormon youth. He should not be given promotion within our homes or church.
In other words, white culture is better than black culture. What a neat new idea!
But probably the most frightening and dangerous aspect of @APurposefulWife’s schtick is not her garden variety racism; it’s the way she has skillfully woven boring old racist ideas into hip new Mormon millennial culture.
For every racist tweet or blog post, there are three more that look like things you’d find on a typical Mormon culture site (so-called “Mommy blogs”):
Shut up and take my money 😍 https://t.co/WIH9kFg6Yy
— Wife With A Purpose (@apurposefulwife) August 15, 2017
And she works actual Mormon doctrine in there too:
— Wife With A Purpose (@apurposefulwife) August 14, 2017
But unlike Catholics or Protestants, Mormons have additional scriptures which are crystal clear on the issue of races being different /5
— Wife With A Purpose (@apurposefulwife) March 13, 2017
It’s this pernicious coupling of racism and Mormon ideas that make @APurposefulWife such a frightening threat. Racists who wear hoods may be dangerous, but they’re not as dangerous as a racist who looks and talks just like you. It’s her soft, welcoming approach to racism that has made @APurposefulWife so successful.
It’s also the reason she was invited by alt-Right leader Richard Spencer to speak at the rally in Charlottesville this weekend. Richard Spencer is outspoken about his desire for a “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to create an America only for white people.
She eventually decided not to appear at the rally due to safety concerns, but her association with the racist march last weekend could not be more clear. She tweeted in support of the rally both leading up to the event and even after the violence that erupted.
So what was her response when the LDS Church issued its first statement condemning racisim in Charlottesville? In essence, she claimed it proved she was right!
— Wife With A Purpose (@apurposefulwife) August 14, 2017
@APurposefulWife and others in the Mormon blogosphere saw the Church’s first statement as a dog whistle for so-called “white culture.” A Mormon blog called “Wheat and Tares” analyzed @APurposefulWife’s position compared to gospel doctrine and history. They concluded that, while the church had made statements condemning racism in general, they had never really addressed the concept of white supremacy or a dominant “white culture” as a value system:
I will not opine on whether @apurposefulwife is correctly or incorrectly interpreting scriptures or LDS church statements. I will simply note that apparently, there’s nothing in LDS scripture that makes her interpretations obviously absurd, and also, apparently, her public actions have apparently been of no concern to her leaders.
Today, the Church updated its initial response with a clear and unequivocal rejection of this idea:
It has been called to our attention that there are some among the various pro-white and white supremacy communities who assert that the Church is neutral toward or in support of their views. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the New Testament, Jesus said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37–39). The Book of Mormon teaches “all are alike unto God” (2 Nephi 26:33).
White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a “white culture” or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.
If the Church lacked a clear position on white supremacy before, they certainly have one now. Some are saying this is th Church’s strongest statement ever regarding racism.
Predictably, @APurposefulWife is not happy. Nor should she be. The Church that she claims to belong to, led by people she believes speak for the God she worships, has just soundly rejected her worldview.
We applaud the LDS Church for taking this stand against what they clearly must recognize as a growing problem within their ranks. But it is not enough.
As long as white nationalists like @APurposefulWife claim their views are consistent with Mormon theology, there is a danger those ideas will spread to other members. They’ll use the LDS Church’s admittedly ugly history on race issues to promote racist ideas today. The Church needs to send a message to its members that these views are not just wrongheaded, but they will not be tolerated within the membership of the Church.
Luckily, the Church has a tried and true method for sending exactly this kind of message. It’s called excommunication.
Members who espouse polygamy today are excommunicated, as are those who claim to speak for God and hear him saying something out of bounds with traditional doctrine. More recently, the Church announced its intentions to excommunicate gay couples for apostasy.
Prior to that, the Church excommunicated John Dehlin and Kate Kelly. Both Dehlin and Kelly claimed to be faithful Mormons. But Dehlin denied some of the Church’s foundational truth claims and promoted a more secular version of the faith. Kelly claimed to believe all of the church teachings, but she pushed for women to be granted priesthood powers.
According to the Church, these two were excommunicated not because of the beliefs they held privately, but for using public forums to “lead others astray.” In essence, they were seen as promoting dangerous ideas that are not consistent with church teachings. So the church had to draw a line and cordon itself off from those ideas.
So how is @APurposefulWife any different? She runs a popular Twitter feed and blog that she uses to promote racist ideas — ideas which the church just clarified are wholly out of bounds with their gospel. She also leads others astray by combining these ideas with church doctrine in dangerous and misleading ways. Her blog is even titled “Wife with a Purpose Ministries,” suggesting she may see herself as the leader of some kind of alternate faith movement within the Church.
This is all dangerous stuff, and it’s antithetical to what the Church teaches today. With Kate Kelly and John Dehlin, the Church used the tool of excommunication to draw a clear boundary between its teachings and the new ideas they brought to the table. If such a boundary is necessary to prevent the spread of progressive ideology, it is certainly warranted to prevent the spread of gospel-tinged racism.
We call on the LDS Church to begin excommunication proceedings for @APurposefulWife.
UPDATE: Here’s her latest tweet responding to the new church statement:
I don't listen to the church's PR department, have someone from the first presidency tell me I can't love my culture, then we'll talk. https://t.co/spnfjFkoYJ
— Wife With A Purpose (@apurposefulwife) August 16, 2017
She’s dismissing this as some irrelevant PR move that the First Presidency wouldn’t agree with. Only excommunication will prove she’s wrong.