An African-American pastor affiliated with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is demanding that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney “renounce his racist Mormon religion.”
At a press conference on Monday, Rev. O’Neal Dozier, who is an honorary chairman of Santorum’s Florida campaign, said that he was speaking out to “foster and maintain good race relations here in America.”
“The Mormon religion is prejudiced against blacks, Jews and native Americans,” Dozier insisted, adding that Romney’s nomination would widen the racial divide because “the Republican Party would be viewed as a racist political party.”
“Romney’s nomination would cause the erroneous view that has long existed in the minds of black people that the Republican Party is prejudiced to become a reality. Why? Because Romney will become the face and the leader of the Republican Party.”
In a statement released on Friday, the Florida pastor explained that The Book of Mormon “accuses God of cursing African people and causing them to have black skin in order for them not to be attractive to white people.”
For its part, the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints admits that it once had a policy against ordaining men of African descent.
“Church leaders sought divine guidance regarding the issue and more than three decades ago extended the priesthood to all worthy male members,” according to an official statement. “The Church unequivocally condemns racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church.”
Dozier, however, is also been accused of a different kind of bigotry.
In a 2003 Broward-Palm Beach New Times report, he was quoted as saying that homosexuality was “something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit.”
Santorum kicked off his Florida campaign in January with a stop at Dozier’s Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach.
“Blacks are not going to vote for anyone of the Mormon faith,” the pastor said during the event.
A few days later, CNN host Brooke Baldwinasked Dozier if Santorum shared his views on homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
“I’ve had a face to face talk with him, but I don’t know if he really shares my views,” he admitted. “Rick Santorum is not a politically correct person. He’s going to speak the truth as it is.”
“I want to say again, I love the homosexual people and God does also,” Dozier added. “God hates the act of homosexuality. That’s what he hates.”