WillySteed*ChristineMarie*KolleneSnow*AudienceMember*EdKociela AuthorPlygsAnswersQuestions *JewelryAtGuilt* DickJaneFlipbook*Spoilers*Tweets*RebeccaMusser*My5WivesGreat Stories*BuyTeamKolleenTshirtTodayDon'tMissOut!!!Review!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Washington Post: Study Portrays Mormons As Outsiders Looking In



By Daniel Burke| Religion News Service, Published: January 12

In some ways, Mormonism is the ultimate American religion. Born in America, it was unveiled by an American prophet who believed the Constitution was divinely inspired and the Garden of Eden bloomed in Independence, Mo.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown from six members gathered around a charismatic New Yorker named Joseph Smith in 1830 to nearly six million believers in the U.S. alone. Richard Ostling, a religion expert and co-author of the book “Mormon America,” calls it “the most successful faith ever born on American soil.”

But even as a devout Mormon leads the GOP field for the presidential nomination and the award-winning musical “Book of Mormon” plays to overflow crowds on Broadway, a new survey portrays Mormons as strangers in their own land.

The vast majority of Mormons believe that Americans do not embrace Mormonism as part mainstream society, and most say Americans know little about their religion. More than half worry about discrimination, according to a survey released Thursday (Jan. 12) by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

“Clearly this is a population that sees itself as outsiders looking in,” said Gregory Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum.

The survey — called the first of its kind conducted by a non-Mormon organization — interviewed 1,000 American Mormons between Oct. 25 and Nov. 16, 2011, by telephone, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

“I wish the public could see us for our day-to-day doctrines, devotions and practices, which are just like other devout religions,” said George Robinson, 63, a cardiovascular surgeon and local LDS leader in Gadsden, Ala. “Instead, the public either hears pejoratives about us, or focuses on differences, many of which are rarely brought up as part of our religion.”

Still, Robinson and many other Mormons remain upbeat, saying that American attitudes toward their faith are changing for the better.

Nearly nine in 10 Mormons say they are happy with their lives and judge their communities as excellent or good places to live. More than half say the country is ready for a Mormon president.

But most Mormons also say that popular entertainment damages their public image. In recent years, a number of TV shows, such as HBO’s “Big Love” and TLC’s “Sister Wives” have featured polygamous families who belong to offshoots of Mormonism. According to the Pew survey, 86 percent of Mormons believe that polygamy, which the LDS Church banned in 1890, is morally wrong.

Perceptions of anti-Mormons animus are likely also fed by the presidential candidacy of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, despite his front-runner status.

While three in four Mormon voters identify as Republican or lean conservative, less than 40 percent believe the GOP is friendly towards Mormons, the Pew survey found. The hostility directed at Romney’s Mormonism by some evangelicals — a key GOP constituency — reinforces that perception, Smith said.

Most evangelicals do not believe Mormonism falls within the Christian fold, according to a separate Pew poll, and some have been outspoken about opposing Romney’s candidacy on those grounds. Half of Mormons, according to the Pew survey released Thursday, pick up an unfriendly vibe from evangelicals.

“It’s frustrating that some people are trying to build a hedge of deceit around the church so that people won’t decide to take a look for themselves and find out what our church is all about,” Robinson said.

Most Mormons do not deny the differences between their faith and mainstream Christianity, the survey found. While 97 percent of Mormons believe their faith to be a Christian religion, less than half say it is similar to Catholicism or evangelical Protestantism.

And yet, Mormons remain firm in their religious commitments, even to practices and beliefs that set them apart from mainstream Christianity.

For example, 94 percent believe that the president of the LDS Church is a prophet of God, and that ancient prophets wrote the Book of Mormon. Nearly the same percentage believe that families can be eternally bound in temple ceremonies, and that God the Father and Jesus are separate beings. (Traditional Christianity calls them unified, along with the Holy Spirit.)

“Mormons want acceptance, but not assimilation,” LDS spokesman Michael Otterson wrote in The Washington Post on Thursday. “No church leader I have ever heard preach has suggested that Mormons should drop their distinctiveness — the very characteristics that the Pew study identifies — in order to become more popular with the world at large.”

In fact, Mormons are among the most committed religious groups in America, according to the Pew survey. More than 8 in 10 say they pray daily; three-quarters attend weekly religious services; and 82 percent say religion is very important in their lives. Only Jehovah’s Witnesses approach Mormons’ religiosity, Smith said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/study-portrays-mormons-as-outsiders-looking-in/2012/01/12/gIQAJgcNuP_story.html
______________________________________________________________________________

So if 86% of the Mormons polled for this survey believe polygamy is morally wrong, does that mean Kody Brown's LIV crew followers are only made up of the remaining 14% that think it's OK? Are they looking the other way and ignoring the fact he is a polygamist?

Or is it a case of who cares as long as a minor reality celeb like Kody Brown can still bring in a crowd to occupy that bottom rung of the MLM pyramid in order to make money for the few at the top?

What are your thoughts?

27 comments:

  1. Although Mitt and John are divided religiously they are more importantly united by their excess wealth and the idea that the rich not pay actual taxes...
    On a side note how come most Christians be it Evangelicals or Mormons side with the Republicans who are so the opposite of what Christianity is supposed to be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could argue that thesis for hours but won't because you seem to have a belief, as opposed to a fact based opinion.

      Delete
    2. Well I could argue your "thesis" for hours and hours but I won't because clearly you haven't stated anything. Bring it on! Refernces and APA format pleeezzz.

      Delete
    3. Not recommended to argue with the Border Collie. You will end up being herded.

      woof!

      Delete
  2. I was very surprised to read that the Browns MLM employer was Mormon owned. You would think that the owners would be ostracized for supporting the Browns. But maybe it is more of the silent support that it seems like you see in Utah where the authorities seem to turn a blind eye to the polygamists in general.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What does the acronym MLM stand for?

      Delete
    2. Multi Level Marketing. Business model where you buy product to sell to others who you recruit to buy your product stash to sell to others who will recruit still more to buy and sell to for the same purpose and so on.

      Kind of interesting that the Mormon heartland is also the MLM mecca.

      Delete
    3. Lobotomized Frontal LobeJanuary 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      Mormons have kids that they send on missions to recruit more Mormons to have kids to go on missions....and the eternal marriage thing....in afterlife, husband gets a planet to populate with children who then get born (go on missions) and enter into celestial marriage have kids and die and then get their own planets to populate etc.

      Delete
    4. Anon 12:06 thank you. I know what it is, just did a brain misfire and not attach the acronym to the term. As soon as you said, Multi Level Marketing I went and hit my noggin against the wall.

      Delete
    5. Is MLM the same as a pyramid scheme?

      Delete
  3. not surprising at all, Anon. Utah (specifically provo, orem area) is the MLM mecca of the world. And it would be illegal for them to discriminate against someone's religion so, there's no ostracism involved in simply abiding by the law on the owner's end.

    also, mormons have a hard time explaining that they believe polygamy's morally wrong when it's still clearly stated in their own scriptures as a God-given commandment - D & C 132. ;')

    ReplyDelete
  4. D & C = Doctrine and Covenants. they have 4 sets of scriptures - The KJV Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price.

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh pleeeze--check out the group "The Christian Left" on facebook. Lots of Christians don't side with Republicans and find their views on wealth and the poor, etc to be abhorrent.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The LDS church funded much of the Prop 8 vitriol in California so it's quite ironic to hear they just want "tolerance" and "acceptance" from other people themselves. Pot meet kettle!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Honestly, I can't wait for the "magic underwear" style questions to Romney.

    My cousin married a Mormon, and none of us could go to the wedding. None of us have ever forgotten that, and lots of people have experiences like that. That's what we mean by "secretive" and "cult." This church doesn't even realize how estranging its own actions are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because you are not a mormon, they would not allow you to go to the wedding? Really?
      Wow, I didn't know the separatism was that extreme. Astounding.

      Delete
    2. Even if you are Mormon and not in good standing you cannot go. You have to have a recomend to even get into the temple. Anyone can go to a wedding in a regular LDS church but not the temple.

      Delete
    3. OMG...I love the "magic underwear" question for Mitt!!!! Unfortunately when he was our govenor he skillfully bobbed and weaved around direct religious questions!

      Delete
    4. A highschool friend had two ceremonies. One for everybody and another at the Temple.

      Delete
  8. Curious. Check "love times three" for the Darger's opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kathy and Goji---good comments both of you. YES!

    ReplyDelete
  10. CJ asks "So if 86% of the Mormons polled for this survey believe polygamy is morally wrong, does that mean Kody Brown's LIV crew followers are only made up of the remaining 14% that think it's OK? Are they looking the other way and ignoring the fact he is a polygamist?Or is it a case of who cares as long as a minor reality celeb like Kody Brown can still bring in a crowd to occupy that bottom rung of the MLM pyramid in order to make money for the few at the top?"

    I actually wrote to the LIV CEO and asked how he could justify using the Browns to promote his business, in light of his church's views on polygamy and breaking the law. Never got a reply - what a surprise!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Border Collie - non Mormons can't go to the weddings because they take place place in Mormon temples. No one but "worthy" LDS can go inside. "Non-worthy" Mormons can't attend either - those allowed in need to be full tithe payers (10% of their income paid to the church), live the Word of Wisdom (no tea, coffee or alcohol) live a moral life, and support the President of the Church without reservation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is sure news to me. Of course, my church is the great wide world, but me mum likes to visits houses of worship when she goes places. She was welcomed in a Buddhist temple and turned away at a mosque. I can save her the embarrassment of being turned away at a Mormon temple by warning her, but she won't be pleased. Thank you commenters for your education today. :)

      Delete
  12. the only time the public can go inside a temple is when they hold the OPEN HOUSE for a newly built one for a few weeks before the temple is dedicated as a house of the Lord. After the dedication event(which the public is not allowed to attend) then you must be a mormon with a current temple recommend to be allowed to enter. During the actual wedding ceremony, non-members and unworthy members can wait inside in a special waiting room tho. It's located near the entrance tho and you're not allowed to wander anywhere else. Most of these people who would be showing up to wait are there for the family pictures taken outside in front of the temple after the ceremony. Otherwise, most of them would skip that waiting room part entirely. You can imagine how sad it is for the parents of the bride or groom to be left down in the waiting room or standing outside the temple like a lot of them do. Also, brothers and sisters that are too young to hold a TR don't get to witness the event either.

    as far as holding two separate wedding ceremonies, that is greatly frowned upon - even if to accommodate the sad parents that can't attend their own child's wedding. If the couple marries in a civil marriage first, they must wait a whole year to go be remarried and sealed in the temple. That is greatly discouraged and thus rarely happens. Some couples do hold kind of a low-key and short ring exchange ceremony after the temple event to appease family/friends that couldn't witness their temple wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was born and raised Mormon. I do not practice anymore and have a strong view of the religion. All my sisters have been married in the Temple and my mother is being sealed to my father who passed a little over a yr ago. I will not be able to be there when she is sealed to him because I am divorced and engaged to a catholic. It use to bug me but I don't care anymore because heavenly father loves me no matter what and no religion is going to tell me how to run my life or my family. Growing up we were very active and my father could not hold the priesthood when we first became members because he was Chinese but later be did. That left a bad taste in my mouth and I just left. I don't dislike the church at all but I do like to have my own opinions and don't want those taken away. I feel like sometimes if you don't agree with them then you are against them and that is not true.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This thread has really been interesting and informative.

    I'm non-Mormon and admittedly ignorant of much about Mormon beliefs.

    Thanks to you all for sharing your knowledge. :))

    CJ and group, Love this Blog...!!!!

    ReplyDelete