Yesterday, Andrew mentioned a Mormon stay-at-home-mom involved with last weekend’s race-fueled conflict at Charlottesville. Ayla Stewart, who tweets at
apurposefulwife & blogs at Wife With a Purpose, was scheduled khổng lồ speak with a handful of other alternative text right activists, white nationalists, and white supremacists at a “Unite the Right” rally. Due khổng lồ violence, Stewart was not able khổng lồ participate in that event as planned, though she took ample opportunity lớn make some controversial tweets on the matter. (See Andrew’s post for those.)

Stewart claimed that the church’s original statement on Sunday condemning racism supported her pro-white position in condemning anti-white sentiment. Today the church updated their Charlottesville statement to lớn say that it was never their intent khổng lồ suggest they were in tư vấn of pro-white activism or trắng supremacy.

 It has been called to lớn our attention that there are some among the various pro-white và 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, & with all thy mind. This is the first và great commandment. & the second is lượt thích 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, & we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a “white culture” or trắng supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.

So who is Ayla Stewart, what is her mission, & does the Mormon alternative text Right have a future in light of today’s events?

Personal Background

Ayla Stewart’s history is something I couldn’t make up. For autobiographical overviews see here, here, and here. She was born in Tennessee but grew up in Southern Nevada (Las Vegas) & Southern Utah (Beaver). While in Vegas, she got a bachelor’s degree in German và a minor in Anthropology<1>. She then moved lớn San Francisco and got a Masters in Women’s Spirituality (combining theology, anthropology, & women’s studies). Her master’s thesis was on trang chủ births in the Mormon and Amish communities. Although she’d been a pagan since her teens, her graduate studies led her lớn investigate Mormonism and she was baptized in 2008. Shortly afterwards she presented her thesis and participated in panel discussions at the Sunstone Symposium.

Prior to lớn her Mormon conversion, Stewart was quite active in the pagan community, và wrote for SageWoman magazine, among others. She had her own (now-defunct) blog, Mother Lover Goddess, and upon conversion khổng lồ Mormonism reportedly considered her pagan beliefs “consistent with Joseph Smith, Jr.’s interest & teachings in ritual và magic.” At the By Common Consent blog, one commenter affectionately called her the Bloggernacle’s blue-haired witch.

Stewart became inactive in the Mormon religion for about a year, attending the Episcopal church, & attributed that time to lớn development of a much closer relationship with Christ via the bible. She returned to lớn Mormonism & has been active ever since.

She describes her original political leanings as “Leftist Progressive.” She went to lớn liberal colleges, & considered herself a feminist. When Stewart first joined the church in 2008, she struggled with the church’s conservative position on women’s ordination & gay marriage. Later her views changed radically. In 2009 she “learned the truth about homosexuality.” She was always very family-oriented and anti-abortion, even as a progressive, but upon reading books lượt thích Helen Andelin’s Fascinating Womanhood, she became anti-feminist & fully converted to the “trad life” (the restoration & preservation of traditional values, according khổng lồ her current storefront.<2>) It wasn’t until năm ngoái that the growing refugee crisis drove her to lớn the alternative text Right movement và white advocacy.

Wife With a Purpose Ministry

Ayla Stewart’s blog was originally called Nordic Sunrise, but at some point it changed khổng lồ the Wife With a Purpose moniker. The online magazine, as she calls it, is to lớn “support the revolution of radical traditionalism.” In explaining her purpose, Stewart says:

We have an epidemic in the Western world right now. In America and Europe citizens have become self obsessed, lazy, fat, demanding, spoiled, loud, controlling, egotistical & mentally ill. Feminism, homosexuality, atheism, hedonism, và transgender-ism are being promoted while the hard work and priorities of family & faith have all but died away and this pattern is killing us, physically & spiritually….

Whether found in protestant gatherings, Catholic traditions, the tea-party, Trump supporters, Mormon families, Amish barn raisings, Old Order or Conservative Mennonites, the purity movement, the stay-at-home daughter movement, homesteading, quiver-full, patriarchy movement, the fight against Islam, traditional homemaking, the hopeful repeal of the 19th amendment, or the quest lớn keep our countries from being over run with migrants và illegal aliens, etc, we will explore how peoples everywhere are saying yes lớn hard work, yes khổng lồ big families, yes to the Lord và His plan for our families and our future. (emphasis in original)

Yeah, I know. The “hopeful” repeal of the 19th amendment. Emmeline B. Wells is rolling over in her grave.

This mô tả tìm kiếm covers well Ayla Stewart’s feelings about traditional gender roles. The stay-at-home daughter movement, quiverfull movement (advocating procreation), và traditional homemaking all relate to lớn the domestic sphere of motherhood. The patriarchy movement & repeal of the 19th amendment relate to lớn the dominant role of men in both public và private spheres. In blog posts, Stewart advises women khổng lồ act appropriately: dressing for the weekend (spoiler: blouse & skirt), và top ten points of lady-like behavior (eat slow, don’t stomp, và always smile, among others). & remember, “it’s the duty of every woman to watch her figure closely.”

In a recent address at a so-called #TrueBlueMormon Conference, Stewart argued that anti-feminist beliefs in the alternative text Right movement are consistent with the Family Proclamation, the church’s historic position against the Equal Rights Amendment, and New Testament scriptural commands in Ephesians for wives to lớn submit to lớn their husbands. As she pointed out, things are dire if children are oppressing & women are ruling (Isaiah 3:12).

What is less obvious in the ministry description, however, is Stewart’s strong tư vấn of trắng advocacy và nationalism.

In her blog, Stewart promotes celebration of European cultures, specifically trắng Christian European cultures. If your little girl is taking a dance class, make sure it fits with a white cultural perspective. Try khổng lồ eat more traditional European foods. Is it Halloween? Show off European cultural pride! Don’t want to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., in January? Celebrate Robert E. Lee! Or how about celebrating the European heroes who liberated our ancestors from the slavery of Arab rule! (Yeah, so funny thing, Robert E. Lee also had a connection khổng lồ slavery…) Yoga isn’t Hindu, it’s Scandinavian gymnastics! Jesus and Egyptian pharoahs had fair skin & red hair, didn’t you know? trắng privilege doesn’t exist. If anything, current popular culture has not respect for trắng European culture & doesn’t even “consider Caucasian to be an ethnicity.” Whites are the victims of racism. She even wrote a pro-white children’s book to lớn help kids become more proud of their trắng heritage.

In her recent speech at the #TrueBlueMormon Conference, Stewart pointed lớn the Book of Mormon as proof that God doesn’t consider one race superior lớn another, God “loves his fair-skinned children và sees them as valuable.” With our belief of resurrected bodies of flesh và bone, we’d expect resurrected beings lớn display racial characteristics, including Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ.<3> And, by the way, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was noted as white, so there. The Priesthood Ban proves that God agrees there is a distinction between races, even if they are technically equal in his sight. If race exists (and God seems to think it does), then it’s okay to lớn celebrate one’s racial “tribe.” It’s about heritage, not hate.<4> The whole Spirit of Elijah thing.<5> So we truly need to lớn stop racism as the church recently said, the anti-white racism.

Stewart hints at the nationalism with the goal of keeping “our countries from being over run with migrants & illegal aliens” in the description of her ministry. There are two aspects to lớn this argument. The first is the concept of a homeland, và the second is defense.

At the recent conference, Stewart used a statement by then-Elder Russell M. Nelson to lớn prove that God intended for different peoples to lớn have their own homelands.

People can be “brought lớn the knowledge of the Lord”39 without leaving their homelands. True, in the early days of the Church, conversion often meant emigration as well. But now the gathering takes place in each nation. The Lord has decreed the establishment of Zion40 in each realm where He has given His Saints their birth and nationality. Scripture foretells that the people “shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, và shall be established in all their lands of promise.”41 “Every nation is the gathering place for its own people.”42 The place of gathering for Brazilian Saints is in Brazil; the place of gathering for Nigerian Saints is in Nigeria; the place of gathering for Korean Saints is in Korea; và so forth. Zion is “the pure in heart.”43 Zion is wherever righteous Saints are. Publications, communications, & congregations are now such that nearly all members have access lớn the doctrines, keys, ordinances, và blessings of the gospel, regardless of their location.

It’s this very real fear of trắng extinction<6> that prompted Stewart to lớn issue a tongue-in-cheek “white baby challenge” earlier this year. The alternative text Right has as a founding principle, “we must secure the existence of trắng people và a future for trắng children.” But, as she informed Dr. Darron Smith in a podcast earlier this year, she’s not necessarily saying the United States (or Canada, or Australia, or Europe) should be totally white, just a trắng majority as the founders intended.<7> After all, D&C 38:20 says this land is the inheritance of churchmembers, so that proves God intended for this land to be trắng majority because they were all white(?). The scripture is noted in her Twitter description, so I assume it matters.

Anyway, Stewart also uses the Book of Mormon to lớn justify the defense of the white homelands against threats khổng lồ their wives & children. Are you keeping your wife safe, she asks, “if you allow hordes of violent third world immigrants into your nation?” and often points out the crimes of refugees against white people in Europe và the United States in her blog posts. Although she recognizes the Christian virtue of loving your neighbor, she asks people khổng lồ think of their neighbors at home:

But are you so fixated on the neighbor half way around the world that you have forgotten your actual neighbor living right next door? Have you forgotten that a demand to lớn change the country’s demographics will affect him and his family too? Have you forgotten that he also has a wife và daughters he doesn’t want assaulted? He has property he doesn’t want stolen or vandalized. He has a job he wants to keep và a wage he doesn’t want driven down by migrant workers. He has children & grandchildren and he wants them to lớn have a safe future in our country.

The Book of Mormon pleads for husbands khổng lồ protect their wives and children (Alma 43), so it is our gospel duty to lớn think of their safety first.

The Future of the Mormon alt Right

Those in the Mormon alternative text Right were emboldened by Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s recent general conference address, where he said those who claim tolerance can often be the most judgmental:

Sometimes those who raise a warning voice are dismissed as judgmental. Paradoxically, however, those who claim truth is relative and moral standards are a matter of personal preference are often the same ones who most harshly criticize people who don’t accept the current norm of “correct thinking.”

Yet today’s statement condemning the pro-white movement is hitting those like Ayla Stewart hard:

Honestly, prior to today’s statement, I felt the future of the Mormon alternative text Right was pretty bright. Ayla’s statements were similar to lớn those I’ve seen on comments at the Deseret News and by my own associates on Facebook. I was born after the Priesthood Ban, but it was not unusual khổng lồ hear growing up that trắng people were God’s elect, & ethnic Europeans held more literal blood of the House of Israel than any other group. You don’t just eliminate that thinking overnight. I didn’t think the church would risk giving up an ally in defending traditional roles in the family, but I was clearly wrong.

Questions:

What do you think about the future of the Mormon alternative text Right?Now that pro-white sentiment & white supremacy have been declared “not in harmony with the teachings of the church,” vì you think discipline is likely for outspoken Mormon members of the alternative text Right?

<1> Dr. Darron Smith & Ayla Stewart argued quite a bit in a recent podcast when she pulled out physical anthropology to tư vấn some of her racial views. It’s painful, yet entertaining.

<2> “Red pill the normies while supporting a trad family.” This trad life thing is apparently tight with the men’s rights movement.

<3> And, based on her previous statements, she’s gonna go with Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ as white. By Common Consent just had a post on this stuff, btw.

<4> One point in this section didn’t make sense lớn me. She noted Kimball’s statement on the skin of those in the Indian Placement Program becoming lighter – wouldn’t that argue against a permanent race designation that carries with someone into the resurrection?

<5> I’ve been doing family history for a decade. It’s appropriate to lớn celebrate your heritage & ethnicity, but if you’re giving people the heebie jeebies (like, I don’t know, carrying a Nazi flag), you might want to lớn reexamine your method of celebration.

<6> Ironically, the ethnicities Stewart identifies as “white” weren’t always identified as such.

<7> So her whole idea of the United States, Canada, and nước australia deserving to lớn be trắng majority “homelands” for ethnic Europeans is based on where European immigrants settled, yet the alternative text Right movement says ancestry trumps geography.There’s a hole in that logic.