The media have spent a lot of time the past couple of days not on Mormonism, but on one pastor’s critique of it. David Murray is asking why the media have been so disinterested in the religion itself. He’s writing as an outsider looking in, and I think he’s on to something here. He writes:
I’ve been reading Latayne Scott’s The Mormon Mirage over the past few days, as I prepare to interview her on the Connected Kingdom podcast. I must confess that, with most of my Christian life and ministry having been spent in the Scottish Highlands, I’ve not needed to know much about Mormonism and I’ve had very little contact with Mormons themselves. That’s why The Mormon Mirage has been such a frightening eye-opener for me. As I discovered more and more about the Mormon’s bizarre and outlandish beliefs, practices, and leaders, the question kept popping into my mind: Why are the mainstream media almost completely silent on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism?
I look at the media’s brutal, ruthless, and merciless treatment of political leaders with any kind of evangelical Christian faith (e.g. President Bush, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, etc.). But when it comes to Mitt Romney – silence! In fact, even more intriguingly, we find increasing numbers of the media, and even of Democratic opponents, praising him! Something very suspicious going on here.
Here’s my theory.
Democratic strategists know that they can use Mitt Romney’s Mormon “faith” to destroy him in a general election campaign. Therefore, keep the powder dry, help Romney get nominated, then repeatedly connect him with the utterly weird religion he is associated with…
So, here’s my prediction. If Romney is nominated, the media who seemed to support him will suddenly discover he’s a Mormon, and they’ll quickly and easily render him unelectable.
I will take exception with one item here. I don’t think Romney’s Mormonism will be as big of an albatross as Murray seems to think. That being said, it will be a factor. It remains to be seen how much of one. I think Murray is right in his prediction. The media will suddenly awaken to the Mormon issue if Romney gets the nomination. What the media are criticizing Robert Jeffress for right now, they will be doing themselves in a matter of months.
(HT: Tim Challies)
Murray is right Denny in that it will be a bigger factor in the general election than you seem to think. In fact in the WSJ today a poll shows that Democrats are even LESS likely to vote for a Mormon than Republicans.
So while this is somewhat of a big deal in the primary, it will be a huge negative for Romney in the general where he will have even more of a difficult time attracting moderate Democrats and independent voters. If you want to know how nasty it will get in the general, just look at what the Left did to Mormons during the Prop 8 debate in CA back in 2008. They were so cutthroat they got people fired and picketed temples.
Murray may be right, but they also know that Romney is not a conservative at heart. They’re hedging their bets. As an alternative to Obama, Romney doesn’t seem so bad. His pragmatic conservatism probably won’t last past election day.
I cant seem to go a day without hearing about Romney being a mormon. I dont understand why we we think the media needs to get into the details of Mormonism. I dont want them to do that with Mormons, Catholics, Evangelicals, Liberal Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc… Do we really have any confidence the media can rightly represent any religion? Heck no.
Romney is a politician. It was dumb for the media to go after Bachmann and Huckabee’s COMP views and it would be equally dumb for them to get into the details of Romeny’s Mormonism.
They need to stay out of it altogether.