The musical The Book of Mormon portrays two naïve Mormon missionaries in Uganda proclaiming that “in 1978, God changed his mind about black people.” The joke isn’t mere whimsy; the LDS Church is widely perceived as racist. The irony is that had the church followed its initial trajectory, by now it likely would have become the most racially integrated and progressive church in America.
latter day saints
Romney's faith, like Obama's, is distinctly American yet often misunderstood. And campaigns are rarely an occasion to increase understanding.
An annotated list by the author of Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction.
The LDS canon's four books carry equal weight of authority. All are read as historical witnesses to God's promise of salvation.
It has become fashionable to narrate the lives of books. Paul Gutjahr offers a brief and readable account of the Book of Mormon's history.
The 19th-century Mormon kingdom emphasized the common good. Later came a shift toward personal morality as the mark of saintliness.
"Between now and Election Day," writes Peter Beinart, "anti-Mormonism is going to be the Democratic Party’s constant temptation for one simple reason: there are votes in it." I'm not sure I'd call it the party's "constant temptation," but Beinart is certainly right that bigotry against Mormons remains a politically potent force in the U.S., and that the Democrats aren't above exploiting it. But is Beinart right that the Democrats have a bigger religious bigotry problem here than the Republicans do?
John F. Kennedy's famous Houston speech on church and state during the 1960 presidential campaign elicited Rick Santorum's after-the-fact disgust. Though Santorum misrepresents the speech in some ways--Kennedy didn't say anything about limiting religious institutions and leaders from speaking on public issues--he is right to find the speech theologically lame.
Mormons are in the familiar situation of being on the defensive theologically and politically. But they are also in terra incognita: they are viewed as leading the way in preserving family values.