'Have the first presidency tell me' controversial blogger says after LDS church statement
(KUTV) – A controversial LDS blogger has responded to a statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that condemned advocacy of “white culture” and white supremacy.
Ayla Stewart runs Wife with a Purpose, a social media presence that advocates “white culture.” Stewart’s blog fell in the cross hairs of the LDS church’s statement Tuesday.
“I don’t listen to the church’s PR department,” Stewart wrote in a tweet Tuesday afternoon. “Have someone from the first presidency tell me I can’t love my culture, then we’ll talk.”
Stewart has gained popularity in the so-called alt-right movement and claims she was going to speak at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally over the weekend.
While not naming Stewart’s blog directly, the LDS church drew a sharp line of what was acceptable in LDS teachings.
“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,” the church wrote Tuesday. “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.”
See the full statement at MormonNewsRoom.org.
Stewart quickly responded to the church’s statement Tuesday afternoon.
“This is a dark day. The day the LDS church turned it's (sic) back on its white members. We DO have a culture to be proud of. God loves us ALL,” Stewart wrote.
Stewart has been vocal in the days since violent protests erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia. In two YouTube videos, she claimed her security detail warned her not to attend the rally. She sympathized with President Donald Trump who said Tuesday night that the “alt-left” was also to blame for the violence in Virginia.
2News contacted Stewart for an interview, but she responded with an email saying “No, Thank You.”
Mormon scholars said Tuesday’s statement is one of the most direct clarifications of LDS beliefs about race.
“I think [the statement] is aimed at more of a contemporary issue than it is about LDS history,” University of Utah history professor Paul Reeve said in an interview with 2News. “This is the first time they have been this specific targeting a sub-set of what we would define as racism.”
Reeve said he is not aware of any studies to determine how many members of the church may sympathize with Stewart’s “white-culture” views.
“It’s difficult to know how widespread this white supremacist phenomena is within Mormonism … one is too many, and I think the LDS church in its statement today has made that perfectly clear,” Reeve said.