What all the point of all this media attention on Mormons? The NYT editorial answers that.
For Romney’s religion to become a significant issue in the general election, the White House probably needs the media to play the Mormon card for them. Not through overt attacks on Mormon theology and practice, which would be out of bounds for most mainstream outlets. Rather, the Obama campaign’s best-case scenario involves a wave of theoretically evenhanded coverage come August and September – newsmagazine cover stories on Mormon theology, 60 Minutes specials on L.D.S. history, pieces about Romney’s own family tree – that end up reminding undecided voters of the things that they find strange and alien about the Republican nominee’s faith.This answers why Bashir used a Book of Mormon passage over the Bible, when both teach the same thing. We are alienating only Mormons here, not all Christians. USA Today's point seems to remind us that Mormons are questionable despite the assurance of no religious qualifications as guaranteed in our Constitution. Joanna Brooks is trying to fight the 'bigoted Democrat' image on behalf of fellow Democrats and against conservatives crying 'bigot.' I think she condemns these Democrats by her reasoning more than she excuses them. And it's not going to change.
The media is going to paint the Mormons as too different, too strange. They will put questions in people's minds about Romney that have no business being asked of someone running for public office. They're going to take any 'weird' aspect of LDS Church history, beliefs, and practices and accentuate that. They will create discomfort - hoping to make the idea of a Mormon in the White House so uncomfortable that people won't vote for Romney.
Under no circumstances will they unify or accentuate the fundamental beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They agree to much with all of Christianity! I suspect that Mormons like me around the world are going to be speaking up and teaching their audiences that Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. We believe in following Jesus Christ by helping the people around us and by obeying the commandments. I suspect that our friends who respect us will come to our aid in this endeavor.
Will Romney talk explicity about how the LDS Church has shaped him or will guide him in office (it won't)? I doubt it. The liberal media would love to see that happen and attack him for it for bringing it up. I don't think it's his place, as a Mormon running for public office. At any rate, he has already addressed many of these questions in his 2008 address "Faith in America." Rather than it being his job to explain his religion among the many other pressures of campaigning, it is the job of fellow Mormons and the people who understand them the world over.
Also on my mind:
Paul Ryan's "Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge" (the government-induced spending and debt crisis)
Economic Collapse Blog's "5 New Lies The Federal Reserve Is Telling The American People"