Most of you are familiar with Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim proposal from December 2015:

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”

But how many of you are familiar with his other recent anti-Muslim statements?  Here are a few you may have missed:

“All who come to this country for the purpose of affiliating with Muslims do so with the avowed intention of becoming criminals. … My administration would not consider the Muslim emigrants as any more entitled to respect than so many persons who have been convicted of felony. … ” (Donald Trump, January 3, 2016)

“It is vastly more important to suppress Muslim immigration than Mexican immigration, so far as the moral welfare of the nation is concerned.” (Donald Trump, January 15, 2016)

“[Muslim immigrants] are drawn mainly from the ignorant classes, who are easily influenced by the double appeal to their passions and their poverty.” (Donald Trump, February 23, 2016)

“Mexicans and Muslims, two classes of people who must be made to go.” (Donald Trump, March 13, 2016)

“Islam not only offends the moral sense of manhood … but prevents the administration of justice through ordinary instrumentalities of law.” (Donald Trump, March 30, 2016)

“The arrival in the United States of a few hundred Syrians who have been brought here by Islam should be a signal for an outcry in the press against their admission into the country, and calling on the government to stop this kind of immigration.” (Donald Trump, April 2, 2016)

“I’ve been told that some European countries will aid in preventing the Muslim agents and emissaries from seducing from their homes the men and women of their countries, to help swell the numbers of the lawbreakers in that community beyond the ocean, where a strange fanaticism audaciously assumes to criminally confront the authority of a friendly nation, and to trample under foot the morality and teachings of Christian civilization.” (Donald Trump, April 16, 2016)

Doesn’t Mr. Tump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric feel a little bit like Groundhog Day?

THE TRUTH

Donald Trump actually didn’t make any of the above statements (with the exception of the well-known December 2015 proposal). Here is what was actually said/written, by whom, and when*:

“All who come to this country for the purpose of affiliating with the Mormon Church do so with the avowed intention of becoming criminals. … A member of the Cabinet said last night that the Administration did not now consider the Mormon emigrants as any more entitled to respect than so many persons who have been convicted of felony. … ” (Secretary of State William Evarts 1879)

“It is vastly more important to suppress Mormon than Chinese immigration, so far as the moral welfare of the nation is concerned.” (Boston Daily Advertiser, July 21 1881)

[Mormon immigrants were] “drawn mainly from the ignorant classes, who are easily influenced by the double appeal to their passions and their poverty.” (US Secretary of State William M. Evarts 1879)

CHINESE AND MORMONS. TWO CLASSES OF PEOPLE WHO MUST BE MADE TO GO (Headline from Daily Alta California, March 15, 1882)

“The Mormon Church not only offends the moral sense of manhood … but prevents the administration of justice through ordinary instrumentalities of law.”(James D. Richardson, ed., Messages and Papers of the Presidents {New York: Bureau of National Literature, 1897}, X, 4105)

“The arrival in the United States of a few hundred Danes who have been brought here by the Mormon church is the signal for an outcry in the eastern press against their admission into the country, and calling on the government to stop this kind of immigration.” (Boston Herald 1885)
[Sweden and Norway will] “aid in preventing the Mormon agents and emissaries from seducing from their homes the men and women of Sweden and Norway, to help swell the numbers of the lawbreakers in that community beyond the ocean, where a strange fanaticism audaciously assumes to criminally confront the authority of a friendly nation, and to trample under foot the morality and teachings of Christian civilization.” (John L. Stevens, Letter to Secretary William Evarts, September 23, 1879).

With Donald Trump’s recent comments regarding Mormons, one has to wonder how far he is from turning his attention away from Islam and focusing it on Mormonism in order to seal the Evangelical vote.

At one time we as a Mormon people were on the receiving end of the type of anti-Muslim spittle that Mr. Trump has heaved at our Muslim brothers and sisters.  We might feel safe because it is no longer us who are the minority religion who strike fear into the American heart.  But should we be okay with this now that the shoe is fitting so nicely on someone else’s foot? We were once the stranger.

“Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:12)

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Notes:
*Most of these quotes come from Dr. W. Paul Reeves’ Religion of a Different Color Facebook page (which are quotes from his book) and can be accessed by clicking on this link and from a December 2015 blog post by Russell Stevenson entitled The International War on Mormonism and can be accessed by clicking on this link.  Some quotes came from William Mulder, Immigration and the “Mormon Question’: An International Episode and can be accessed by clicking on this link.

 

 

Michael is a Guatemalan-American Mormon living in the Northwest with his family. He is one of the proprietors of the Rational Faiths blog.

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