Cory Leonard

Why We’re Afraid of Mormons | BU Today | Boston University

In politics on July 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm

One of the best stories of late (and there have been quite a few) addressing many of the issues Mormonism confronts in contemporary American political life, written by Rich Barlow for Boston University Today and interviewing religion scholar Cristine Hutchison-Jones, who coincidentally, isn’t married:

The other people who are uncomfortable with Mormons are socially and politically liberal Americans. Polls ask, would you vote for a Mormon presidential candidate? People who self-identify as liberal have a tendency to say no. There’s a tendency to see Mormons as a hegemony, as if they were en masse in thrall to church leadership. The Moral Majority reached out to Mormons, and because of that association, liberals tend to see Mormons as off-limits. I had to get over some of that myself. That was the expectation I came into my research with. I headed off to the Mormon History Association national conference, and the group of scholars there are by and large Mormon, and they are not in any kind of political lockstep. There’s a wide diversity of opinion.

With the Moral Majority, it seems Mormons were crawling into bed politically with people who had a prejudice against them.

It’s true. In the 1980s, the New York Times didn’t know what to do with Orrin Hatch, who rode into the Senate as a conservative Republican Mormon. Then conservative Republicans proposed a school prayer amendment to the Constitution. He said, “Absolutely not. I am part of a minority religion that has been abused, and I am not going to be party to telling anyone how they should or should not pray.” Hatch famously went on to work with Ted Kennedy for federally funded children’s health care. Mormons have a very strong sense of the common good.

via Why We’re Afraid of Mormons | BU Today | Boston University.

via Why We’re Afraid of Mormons | BU Today | Boston University.

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