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NEWS OF: 2/22/2007

Mitt Romney: Big Love

Mitt Romney, the man who saved the Salt Lake City Olympics and a 2008 Presidential hopeful, is a Mormon. How big a deal is that? America’s version of religious tolerance is a thin diet. Being a Catholic is no longer going to kill your presidential bid, but 17 percent of Americans have qualms about electing a Mormon to the White House — a number that hasn’t changed since 1967. That’s 17% of voters disinclined to vote for you no matter what.

Part of the problem is a certain amount of secrecy within the LDS church, especially by those still practicing polygamy. Polygamy? Still? Yes. But it’s not like HBO’s Big Love. Tapestry of Polygamy is an organization founded by those women who fled from polygamy. Young girls are married to church elders. Those girls become second class citizens — uneducated and often abused. On the other side? Young boys, who represent competition for wives, have been cast out — “lost boys.”

But not all Mormons are polygamists, of course. Polygamy was banned by the LDS church, but splinter Mormon groups still practice plural marriage. Estimated percentage of Mormons practicing polygamy? As low as 2%… others guess at 20%.

Evangelicals dislike Mormons. In 2004, Shirley Dobson (wife of James Dobson/Focus on the Family) specifically excluded Mormons from participating in the National Day of Prayer because their theology was found to be incompatible with Christian beliefs. Many consider Mormonism a cult.

Romney’s playing down the “Mormon” thing and trying to play up the idea that people want a leader who is faith-based, regardless of the faith. All religions have splinter sects that are more extreme or mysterious or cult-like.

So how do we demystify the Mormons?
Mormon Stories
video podcasts is a great place to start:


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2 Comments »

  1. First things first…the splinter groups of the LDS church should not be referred to as Mormons. They are not Mormons. This error would be akin to me referring to Lutherans as Catholics. The off-shoot religion from the LDS church has no affiliation with the real Mormon church.

    Comment by Cory — 2/23/2007 @ 6:25 pm

  2. There seems to be some debate over this. There are 30,000 to 50,000 individuals living in western North America who call themselves “Mormon fundamentalists.” While members of the LDS church prefer to be referred to as “Latter-day Saints” — not mormons.

    Comment by admin — 2/23/2007 @ 8:40 pm

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