Sunday, November 26, 2006

Christianist prejudice will come home to roost

I've known many Mormons and, as a person who had to track faith like it was a fugitive, I've read the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price. I've never met a devout Mormon who wasn't willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and respect the fact that my beliefs are different than theirs. If a Mormon candidate held the same political goals as me, I'd have no problem supporting a Mormon's candidacy for president.

Right wing fundamentalists, however, have built a political wing on the belief that they should be voting for people who share their religious beliefs exactly. So I think the answer to Time magazine's question, is no, religious conservatives will not vote for a Mormon. I honestly don't think Mitt Romney will make it out of the Republican primary.

When Romney begins his run for office in earnest, the beliefs of the Mormon church will come under scrutiny and, when Southern Baptists and "nondemoninational" fundamentalists find out the Mormon version of the Trinity is more like a three-person council, there will be some recoil. The right wing God Machine also won't look too kindly on the Mormon belief that no one got Christianity right from the time of Christ's death until Joseph Smith was directed by the angel Moroni to transcribe the golden plates which became the Book of Mormon.

Romney's doing his best to appeal to conservative Christians--especially by showing that he can really, really hate gays--but I just don't think it's going to work. A community built on a single-minded adherence to a restrictive view of faith won't bend without also threatening to break altogether.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard one of the cable talking heads (probably Jonathan Alter), refer to the introduction of Romney's beliefs into the mediastream as "undergarments week."

While the undies thing is pretty strange to most Americans, I think that sort of superficial stuff can be shrugged off by a lot of people. However, the beliefs that make Mormonism pretty much a non-Christian belief system (like the trinity issue you refer to, or the quasi-reincarnation-on-a-planet- of-your-family's-own, etc.) will really stick in the craw of the rightwing religious crowd.

I get the feeling that, if their beliefs were fully aired, basically only Mormons would say that LDS is Christian.

So let's hope undergarments week is just the beginning.

Note that I don't like it that people are discriminated against because of their declared religion, but the Christianists have basically made belief a political issue. Anyone running to head the theocratically oriented political party is going to have to deal with that.

Speaking of discrimination due to religious preference, there'll probably be an openly Mormon president before there's an openly atheist one, and that's s shame right there imo.

1:45 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Well, as I said, I've never had an LDS member treat me badly, so I would hope that issues like the "garments" don't get played for ridicule by those who disagree. Me, I couldn't care less if someone wears a symbolic (and symbol-covered) garment or a hairshirt beneath their clothes as long as they agree that faith should focus us more than anything on feeding the sheep.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Free Thinker said...

You are making an assumtion of logical coherence on the part of right-wing christian fundamentalists... they are not logical and are absolutely capable of holding two completely contradictory thoughts in their heads at the same time.

They will have no problem with Romney if their leaders give the nod and wink, as they don't really think for themselves.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous The Heretik said...

Logical coherence and politics don't mix.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right less often than you are coherent but you have accomplished both in this analysis.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm happy your experience with persons of the Morman faith has been positive. Mine has not been so happy. The Mormans with whom I've had dealings are not so open-minded. They have been just like the Christian fundies who do not think for themselves. They simply do what they are told by their leaders.

More Kool Aid drinkers.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Madame Defarge said...

Evangelical Protestants have been making nice with conservative Catholics and Jews, both of whom they used to despise. So I wouldn't be so quick to write off Romney's candidacy on religious grounds.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...


One thing that evangelicalc protestants have been pushing for years is the need for understanding their church's history. Their view of that history is somewhat slanted, I think, but it definitely appreciates the role that Judaism and Catholicism played in Christianity. What they won't like is being told that their history and that the traditional view of a Jesus who is "one in being with the Father" are both slanted. These are core issues which would seem to disconnect Mormonism from the family tree of Christianity as it's understood by Catholics and protestants alike.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm confused. I've been told that the trinity is "like a three-person council" by a very devout Catholic.

Granted, I've also been told that the trinity was the manifestation of one God in three images (not verbatim quote), but the former explanation made much more sense.

Should I just disregard anyone who claims to understand the trinity?

5:09 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

No. You see, Catholics and most Christians see the Trinity as it was famously (and, probably, mythically) described by Saint Patrick. He supposedly said the Shamrock has three leaves, but it's still a single entity and God is the same. Mormons believe the Trinity is three separate entities who work together.

9:04 PM  

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