This is an interesting article that interviews author David T. Smith who just released the book, “Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States”. The interviewer is responding to Donald Trump’s recent remarks at a rally where he calls for banning all Muslims, immigrants or visitors, from coming to the United States.
The first parallel Smith gives is to the persecuted Mormons who were run out of Missouri and Illinois and polygamy which was equated with slavery, first by the Republican Party and then by the Democratic Party as well. Smith says, “By the 1880s the majority of Democrats in Congress agreed with them [ the Republicans], and together they passed measures to deny voting rights to Mormons and even seize Mormon temples.”
The church came out with a “freedom of religion” statement in the Mormon Newsroom today quoting Joseph Smith twice in response to Trump’s comments:
Speaker Paul Ryan also call out comments by Trump: