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Friday, June 22, 2012

Introducing Mormon American

There's a Mormon blog that RealClearReligion has picked up, called Mormon American. The author, Ryan Bell, is a Mormon, as you'd guess, and he adds a great voice to the discussion out there about our shared faith. I like him because his ideas are the same as mine! Just kidding, kind of. He explains the political climate and Mormonism well.
Bell points out media bias in coverage on Mormonism, like I do. He agrees that Romney should leave religion alone, like I do. Take this as an example:
By the same token, there’s also very little reason to believe that Romney would benefit politically from re-casting himself as a compassionate Mormon leader, as Dickerson (half-heartedly) suggests. If our political dialogue were more sensible, I believe the country would have a lot to gain from this sort of conversation, as would Mr. Romney. But in the current climate, there is no room at all for discussion of marginalia. A candidate is allowed two or three main messages, and any departure from the core themes of a campaign inevitably leads to distraction and sensationalized coverage. In a room of inquisitive, open-minded people, I have no doubt that Romney could use his religious biography to dramatically increase his sympathy quotient. But that is not the room we live in.   
Precisely. Then he talks about the recent Gallup results that 57% of Americans (at least of those polled) don't know that Romney is a Mormon, and 18% of respondents wouldn't vote for a Mormon. Political venues are making much of these numbers, while only pointing out as sidelines that liberals are the ones who most dislike Mormons by a significant margin, and they wouldn't be voting for Romney anyway. Presumably (you can't be certain they'd all want Obama again either).

Everyone in news media is talking about this poll as if it would be bad news for Romney, and leaving the other details further down, buried in the bottom of their articles. No surprise there. They're liberals.

CNN points out (towards the end of their column, and quoting the Gallup poll) that JFK won with 21% of Americans declaring they wouldn't vote for a Catholic. So these numbers might not significantly affect Romney's campaign, either way. And of course that previous study found that the more people learn about Mormons, the more comfortable they feel voting for one. The media isn't going to help Americans feel comfortable with Mormonism since they're in the tank for Obama, but there is enough new media responding to their extreme portraits that news media no longer solely controls public opinion. Conservatives and independents are often frequenting conservative venues, realizing that liberal media leaves stuff out they'd like to know about.

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