Thursday, February 07, 2008

time magazine editor

She wrote, “The first time I ever heard about Mormons was in fifth grade, sitting in a basement classroom of my Baptist church, watching a filmstrip about cults. Our Sunday school class was covering a special month-long unit on false religions; in the mail-order curriculum, Mormonism came somewhere between devil worshippers and Jim Jones.
“Although most of the particulars are lost to me now, one of the images remains in my mind: a cartoon of human figures floating in outer space (an apparent reference to the Mormon doctrine of "eternal progression") that appeared on the screen next to our pull-down map of Israel. Even at age 10, the take-away message was clear. Mormons were not like us, they were not Christian.”
She said that Evangelical opinions about Mormons have not changed since those days 20 years ago and noted that in 2004 Mormons were excluded from participation in the National Day of Prayer organized by Shirley Dobson, wife of the well-known Focus on the Family leader, James Dobson.

Read more about religious bias and Mitt Romney from Scot Proctor at Meridian Magazine.

Here's something else to think about:
Harvard law professor Noah Feldman at that same conference said that if the liberal press had said that Romney’s religion was irrelevant, it would largely have been considered irrelevant.

What do you think? On CNN I heard ad nauseum about Mitt Romney's "Mormon problem." Do you think the press in large part magnified this problem?


Julie said...

Absolutely! I think the press does that for many situations. They take something they can capitalize on and they exploit it for all its worth, blowing the whole issue out of proportion in the process. It is sad, but the press really does carry a HUGE influence with people.

Anonymous said...

I think the way it has become a problem is by not acknowledging that Huckabee won the south BECAUSE of Romney's religion. There is no way on earth Huckabee would be the nominee, yet by winning the south, pundits continue to act surprised by his "viability". He's not viable, he's just not the Mormon. This isn't rocket science - you'd think someone would mention it. Say...Bill Bennett perhaps?
Conversely, it is too simplistic to say that Romney lost everywhere because he's a Mormon. Romney has his own issues aside from his religion.
But if Huckabee was truly viable, he should place a tight second somewhere other than the Bible belt. Romney has won or been tight everywhere in the country BUT the Bible belt.

Anonymous said...

Here's an article from the Politico in this morning's paper. You might find it interesting toward this conversation. Maybe not. :),5143,695250962,00.html

Anonymous said...

Sorry Calandria - these two previous anonymous posts are me! I forgot to sign. Busy morning....

Calandria said...

Good points, Becky.

Gabriela said...

hmmmmm. Always interesting to visit your blog. Makes me think more than other blogs. :)

all we get down here in English is Fox and you know how Fox is I'm sure. Everytime they would talk about McCain vs. Romney (before Super Tuesday when there was still a chance for R.), they spoke fairly positively about Romney, but then would only cover McCain's press confrences, or whatever was going on with him. They hardly ever showed Romney.

It's irritating what a big role the media plays. I'm annoyed today at MSNBC for the negative Obama headline. Grrrr.

I do think mormonism played a big role in his loss, but he had other problems as well.

I didn't love the Meridian article-I think, even though Romney didn't make it further it was still a good thing for the church. Biases change so slowly and I think in the long run it will be a positive thing-more people will find it easier to talk about our faith because of it.

Cocoa said...

The media does play a big role in what people hear and conversely focus on.

Growing up in Georgia I got many questions from friends who were Baptist or Methodist. I knew when they'd had their 'cult' sessions because I'd get soooo many questions from my friends, "My preacher said Joe Smith found some gold book in a tree. Is that true?" The questions got to be so numerous that my Lit. teacher decided to have me give a presentation on my beliefs for a whole class period. Did it do any good? I don't think I'll ever know. I do know that I gained more respect after that from not only my peers but from teachers as well.

Calandria said...

Gabriela, we only think deep thoughts here. :-) Hopefully not the SNL variety. I think you are right that it takes a long time to change biases and ignorance, too. (Although I think in many cases it is willful ignorance. That would take even longer to change.)

Cocoa, I can totally picture you doing a presentation on your religious beliefs in your high school lit. class! I wish I had pictures of it. You don't happen to, do you?

David said...

I couldn't agree more. As bad as Huckabee and the relatively few and vocal anti-Mormons have been, they's been cheered on for over a year now by the media.

The coverage of the Romney campaign incessantly mentioned his religion and the self-fulfilling prophecy that it would be an issue.

Auntie Lee said...

Why is it that Romney is getting so much flak for his religion when he is not making it a point and Huckabee is not getting as much flak for his religion and he IS making it a point? Ultra hypocracy in the American press.

By the way, here’s something for ya.
When the nazies invaded the Netherlands in 1940 the first thing they did was have everyone go to their local town hall and fill in a card with their names, birth dates, employment, address and religion. The Dutch did it without much resistance because hey, what’s the big deal right? Then a year later the nazies started rounding-up the Jews. Since they had everyones religion and addresses, it was easy to do.

People don’t think about little things like that. It is easier to loose your freedom than it is to gain it back.

Leave religion out of politics. Integrity does not come from a religion it comes from within the individual.