A new video from Mr Deity is out, and it’s a heavy hitter. It’s about the racism in the Book of Mormon, with its teaching that dark skin was a punishment from God upon the Lamanites.

When I posted this on a social media site that I’ll call “Schmacebook”, a friend of mine (I’ll call him ‘Schmavid’) asked me “What was your take on this when you were a believer?”

So I’m trying to think… and nothing’s happening.

Oh, I can think of rationales that apologists would say, like “the dark skin was just the mark of the curse, not the curse itself”, or whatever rubbish I read somewhere that I just repeated when questioned about it. But I can’t remember what I thought about it.

I wonder if I thought about it at all. I know I had this ‘blackout’ reflex — just blocking the thoughts when they were uncomfortably close to unbelief.

Or maybe I didn’t attempt to integrate the racist teaching with my desire not to be racist. I think I was happy to let the book be the book, let real life be real life, try not to blend them too much, and then try not to think too much about not thinking about it.

That’s really bad, isn’t it? I’ve wondered how faithful-but-liberal Mormons can be in the Church when they’re actually okay with gay marriage. Maybe that’s how. The Church is your philosophical bubble, and if one bit seems uncomfortable, you can float over to another part you like more, and try not to let that one part bother you too much. After all, you “feel” that it’s all true, so you just have faith that all that stuff will sort itself out someday.

So how can I avoid making that mistake now? Maybe I need to watch out for symptoms of the blackout reflex, integrate my ideas and real life, and keep trying to be bothered by things that I really ought to be bothered by.