Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Who are the real “religious bigots”?

The whole blow-up over Robert Jeffress calling mormonism a cult has been driven by the media to paint evangelicals as intolerant religious bigots. See, those evangelical Republican voters are bigots! You should stay clear of them!

Here is the awful truth the media doesn’t want you to know. There are a lot of people who would be less likely to vote for a candidate if he/she was a mormon. They just aren’t conservative evangelical voters. Two news stories today show us where the real religious bigotry is found. The first article is in the Wall Street Journal, The Cult of Anti-Mormonism
Partly this has to do with white evangelicals, who are an important bloc in the Republican coalition. Thus many stories on the issue of Mr. Romney's Mormonism invoke a striking May survey from the Pew Research Center. According to this survey, 34% of white evangelicals report themselves "less likely" to vote for a Mormon for president.

That's fair enough as far as it goes. The same Pew survey, however, shows something much less reported. This is that, overall, more Democrats than Republicans are hostile to a Mormon candidacy (31% to 23%). More interesting still is Pew's finding that when it comes to this particular animus, "liberal Democrats stand out, with 41% saying they would be less likely to support a Mormon candidate."

As disappointing as these attitudes might be, far more alarming for Mormons are the attacks on Mormon property and Mormon livelihoods just three years ago that registered barely a peep among the same media now so obsessed with Mr. Jeffress. These attacks happened during the 2008 campaign in California over Proposition 8, a state referendum to ban same-sex marriage. When opponents of the measure found that Mormons had contributed heavily to its passage, ugly attacks followed.

Well that is not exactly how this story is being spun. Turns out there is plenty of religious bigotry from the supposedly open minded liberals in America. There has been an awful lot of media attention about the use of the word “cult” by a Rick Perry supporter to describe Mitt Romney’s mormonism but precious little attention to the attacks on mormons following the Prop 8 vote.

The other story came from across the pond from my friend Christopher Dryden who sent me an article from The Telegraph, The new, ugly debate about Mitt Romney's Mormon faith will only push him closer to the nomination. Here is the same information…
True, there is a small but significant minority who say they would never vote for a Mormon. According to Gallup, it’s around 22 percent of the population. But opposition to Mormonism doesn’t come from conservative Evangelicals or Catholics. On the contrary, Gallup’s polls show that it’s a liberal thing. Only 7 percent of Baptists and Catholics wouldn’t vote for a Mormon, compared with 32 percent of gays and 49 percent of atheists. Amusingly, the figure is also much, much higher among Mormons, at 22 percent. That’s right, 22 percent of Mormons would never vote for a Mormon. Perhaps they know something we don’t.

So yeah, religious bigotry is alive and well in America. You just are more likely to find it on the left rather than the right. That doesn’t play well for the media so you are unlikely to hear that from them but the truth is easy to manipulate when you conveniently leave out pertinent facts.

Facts can be awfully inconvenient....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This kinda stuff just irks my chain

Sad we can not all just get along.