This week on Utah NOW - Has Mitt Romney's presidential campaign unmasked a subtle form of religious bigotry in American culture?
Take the question further by bringing it back home - is there a sentiment of anti-Mormon intolerance here in the capitol of Mormonism?
Studio guests include Dr. Robert L. Millet from Brigham Young University and Dr. Robert Goldberg, Director of the Tanner Humanities Center.
Also on the program, Harvard Law School Professor Noah Feldman. Professor Feldman wrote the article "What is it about Mormonism?" in the January 6th edition of The New York Times Magazine.
We'll also hear from The Salt Lake Tribune's Robert Kirby and Bill Allred from the Radio From Hell Show on X-96 will be our Speak Out editorialist.
I am very interested in watching this program.
I moved to Utah from Maryland August 2007.
When I first got here people "warned" me about the attitudes that LDS have towards "outsiders" like me.
I choose to take it all with a grain of salt. In fact I viewed thier warnings as bigotry against Mormons.
I prefere to be open minded. In September I began working at a small middle school in Kane County where I am working with many LDS people. I have lived and traveled many places and I must say I never felt quite like this before in other work or social situations. My first reaction was that the warnings were true, I felt very alienated, lonely and angry. I know they already have a tight knit circle through church, but I felt that they should make a point of being more welcoming if they want people to feel good about LDS and thier community, maybe I would be interested in visiting thier church one day had I not felt so left out. I was friendly, but most of them weren't in return. As time went on I came to the conclusion that they are just a lot more cautious about warming up to new people and none Mormans. I have even heard from LDS that come here from other parts of the country that the Utah mormons alienate outsiders that are not LDS. My conclusion on the matter is that often bigotry is a two way street. We should all take a higher road. As for LDS bigotry outside of Utah, yes it is growing. I don't think it was helpful for the promotion of the church for Mit Romney to talk about his spiritual believes, I don't think it was right for him to be asked. If people want to learn about the church talk to a missionary, there are plenty out there. Mit Romney is running for office not biship, lets stick to the political issues. I understand that he did not want to appear to deny his faith and I am sure this pleases many mormons, but I don't think he should be in the possition of be asked about his religion any more than anyone else applying for a job should. I come from a blue state, with many different spiritual paths. People don't want politics mixed with religion. This is no reason to be a bigot. Bigotry is based on fear and they are afraid he'll act as a mormon in office and not as the voice of the people. This fear is no reason to behave poorly to mormons. I, myself will not tollerate bigotry in any form. Thanks for exploring this issue.
Posted by Kali Cornelis, Friday January 11th, 2008 @ 6:40 pm
The LDS Church, from the very beginning, stated that their religion was the only true Christian religion, "all other beliefs were wrong and an abomination before God." This is a statement from the very founder, Joseph Smith, and the LDS Church even to this day. As a non-LDS Christian, I am offended by the LDS Church's assumption. I am not bigoted against the LDS Church. Presbyterians don't say that Baptists are an abomination before God.
Posted by Ronald Patterson, Friday January 11th, 2008 @ 9:17 pm
It is disingenuous to explore bigotry against Mormons, soft or otherwise, in a discussion about voters rejecting a presidential candidate based on religion, without even mentioning the other side of the coin, the vast number of Mormons who support Romney because of his religion. There is an argument to be made that it is the propensity to vote as a block and then impose their religion on an unwilling populace that makes many people nervous, and that it was that propensity, rather than the actual tenants of the faith, that sparked the animosity and resulting persecution in Missouri. While fear is often the underlying root of bigotry, and nothing justifies persecution, or bigotry, anyone living in Utah for any amount of time will understand the valid concern regarding how this voting block will influence the most powerful man in the world, particularly when his biggest campaign contributor is the state that is home to his religion. Most voters well understand the impact of campaign contributions on policy. I think we as a nation have been justifiably made wary of religious presidential influence by the current occupant’s close ties with the evangelicals and their resulting influence on policy.
Posted by Jackie Anderson, Saturday January 12th, 2008 @ 1:27 pm
The LDS Church, from the very beginning, stated that their religion was the only true Christian religion, "all other beliefs were wrong and an abomination before God." This is a statement from the very founder, Joseph Smith, and the LDS Church even to this day. As a non-LDS Christian, I am offended by the LDS Church's assumption. I am not bigoted against the LDS Church. Presbyterians
don't say that Baptists are an abomination before God.
Posted by Ronald Patterson, Monday January 14th, 2008 @ 9:56 am
We just watched the program regarding Mormon bigotry. We found it very informative. Thanks for airing it.
Posted by Jean Ann Hutchings, Monday January 14th, 2008 @ 3:30 pm
I just watched Utah NOW and I thought it was very good. Thanks for airing it. I wish he would have told the hunting joke. I wish this could go nation wide.
Posted by Christine Roach, Monday January 14th, 2008 @ 3:31 pm
I thought the program was very interesting and informative. What is the punch line to Allred’s joke? Thanks for the program.
Posted by Marshall Eastman, Monday January 14th, 2008 @ 3:32 pm
I understand Ron Patterson's sentiment and appreciate his candor. I am less concerned about a view of 1840; more concerned, as Ron expressed, that/if the Mormon's exclusionary view continues today. - I hope less over more. Part of the misunderstanding may pivot on changes of history, matters of speech and vocabularies of different personalities over history; something like comparing two U.S. Presidents, the crass toughness of Andrew Jackson and the relative polish of Teddy Roosevelt. In closing, the human condition effects all peoples worldwide; there is plenty of room for all good people to advance their own flavor of goodness.
Posted by Steve Parkin, Wednesday February 13th, 2008 @ 12:43 am
I don’t have a problem with Mormons just Utah Mormons. Their most dominate trait is intolerance which in my experience comes from their sense of self-righteousness. They’re kind of like Americas version of the Taliban. They’ve attacked the gay and lesbian community, people of color, the Baptists, the Catholics as well as the evangelist, Billy Graham, just to name a few. I’ve heard my LDS coworkers refer to the Catholic Church as the church of the devil when they know a fellow catholic coworker is in the room. Another glaring trait is their stupidity. Despite the fact that their numbers are miniscule compared to the likes of the gays, the Baptists, and the countless other groups they have picked fights with they still single out group after group to focus their intolerance toward. Then when 37% of America indicates that they won’t vote for a Mormon president they are stunned by this revelation and take the victim stance that it’s nothing they’ve done and attribute it towards bigotry.
Posted by Allen Jeffries, Friday September 4th, 2009 @ 5:09 pm
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