Posts tagged utah
Posts tagged utah
Nestled (by Wade Bryant)
Mitt Romney is the favourite to become the Republican Party’s candidate in November’s US presidential election. But in what could be a tight race with Barack Obama, Romney’s Mormon faith might be a deciding factor.
While the majority of US voters will be unconcerned about Romney’s religious beliefs, a significant minority say that they would think twice about voting for a Mormon as president. Evangelical Christians are especially concerned, with some believing that Mormonism is more a cult than a mainstream Christian creed. Others fear a Romney administration would be unduly influenced by the church’s attitude to such matters as polygamy, gay rights and abortion.
So what is Mormonism and what would a Mormon in the White House mean for the US and the world?
Not sure how I feel about this 25 minute episode of Al Jazeera’s “People & Power” on Romney’s Mormonism. It’s too brief and confuses many aspects of Mormon history. The first five minutes introduces a polygamous family before relaying the fact that mainstream Mormons do not practice polygamy. It is definitely a different story when it comes to theology, but the only Mormons practicing polygamy are members of fundamentalist sects that split from the Church over the issue and over one hundred years ago at that. I’m not surprised whatsoever that Mormon polygamy is sensationalized in the press, but in articulating an argument regarding Romney’s Mormonism as a divisive factor in his campaign, there are too many strange facts and nuances to focus on rather than the strange, stereotypical images most of the general population are already aware of.
I’m from a tiny corner of southwestern Utah. 75% of my ancestors were Mormon pioneers. I have many family members who identify as LDS. I wasn’t raised in the Church, and I identify as an atheist. I find the political activities of the Mormon Church in relation to women’s movements and the LGBT community to be reprehensible. But I know these people, and just as any other group is subjugated to being written off as a generalized whole, irrelevant to its diversity within, it’s just not fair to focus on tired and prejudiced myths that have already been dispelled like “Mormons have five wives” and/or “Mormons aren’t Christians”.
I wish “People & Power” focused more on American exceptionalism within the LDS Church and what it could mean for a Romney administration’s foreign policy. That is definitely an issue people should be aware of. The identity of the Mormon Church is intrinsically American- from believing ancient Israelites settled in Central America to the Garden of Eden existing in Missouri, Mormons believe they are the one true Church, and that there is a reason they are Americans who inhabit the United States. It’s rather ironic. In a world where nationalism has wreaked havoc over the last century particularly, we may elect an American President who comes from one of the most nationalistic faiths in the world today, especially with all of the cute, major problems we face globally?
Yeah, can’t wait to fight climate change, the gays, women, and them Muzlims with my Book of Mormon at my side and Mitt as my President.
#Utah (Taken with Instagram at Natural History Museum of Utah)
Sands Motel in St. George, Utah.