Newsweek Cover: “The Mormon Moment” And Mitt Romney

No question the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “having a moment.” Not only is Romney running again—this time, he’s likely to be competing against his distant Mormon cousin Jon Huntsman Jr. The Senate, meanwhile, is led by Mormon Harry Reid. Beyond the Beltway, the Twilight vampire novels of Mormon Stephenie Meyer sell tens of millions of copies, Mormon convert Glenn Beck inspires daily devotion and outrage with his radio show, and HBO generated lots of attention with the Big Love finale. Even Broadway has gotten in on the act, giving us The Book of Mormon, a big-budget musical about Mormon missionaries by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q writer Robert Lopez that, with 14 nominations, is expected to clean up at the Tony Awards on June 12.

But despite the sudden proliferation of Mormons in the mainstream, Mormonism itself isn’t any closer to gaining mainstream acceptance. And nowhere is the gap between increased exposure and actual progress more pronounced than in politics. In recent weeks NEWSWEEK called every one of the 15 Mormons currently serving in the U.S. Congress to ask if they would be willing to discuss their faith; the only politicians who agreed to speak on the record were the four who represent districts with substantial Mormon populations. The rest were “private about their faith,” or “politicians first and Mormons second,” according to their spokespeople.

The evasiveness extends even to presidential candidates. In late 2007 Romney traveled to Texas A&M to soothe evangelicals with a speech that downplayed the distinctiveness of Mormonism. “It’s important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America,” he said, “we share a common creed of moral convictions.” Since then, Romney has rarely commented on the subject.

The more moderate Huntsman, meanwhile, has repeatedly deflected attention from his Mormon roots, telling NEWSWEEK in December that religious issues “don’t matter” and that the LDS church doesn’t have a monopoly on his spiritual life. He and his wife “draw from a lot of sources for inspiration,” he said. “I was raised a Mormon, Mary Kaye was raised Episcopalian, our kids have gone to Catholic school, I went to a Lutheran school growing up in Los Angeles. I have [an adopted] daughter from India who has a very distinct Hindu tradition, one that we would celebrate during Diwali. So you kind of bind all this together.”

 

Can A Mormon Be Elected President?

I just do not see how rock solid Baptists, and evangelicals support a Mormon for President.  While the policy issues that impact the nation and world are separate from the idea of each devout Mormon man getting his own planet to rule with many wives after death, I think many born-again Christians would have a problem voting for someone like Mitt Romney.  Many may not be honest to pollsters about their underlying views, but I think a negative view of Mormons is larger than this poll below presents.  Rightly or wrongly, that is how I think the average voter truly thinks.

While this poll shows liberals have a problem with Mormons it should be noted that the harsh view of woman and gay people in the Mormon church are but two reasons that this religion is highly politicized.  Also the question is generic, but everyone knows this religious matter deals directly with Mitt Romney, and he garners much opposition on his policy views.  As such, there is a blending of views and thoughts when these poll questions were answered.

A substantial majority of Americans (68%) say it would not matter to them if a presidential candidate was Mormon. A quarter (25%) says they would be less likely to support a Mormon, while 5% say they would be more likely to support a Mormon candidate. These opinions are little changed from February 2007 (64% said this would not matter, 30% less likely, 2% more likely).

Politically, more Democrats than Republicans say they would be less likely to support a Mormon candidate. Liberal Democrats stand out, with 41% saying they would be less likely to support a Mormon candidate. Only about a quarter or fewer in other groups say this.

There also are differences by religious affiliation. About a third of white evangelical Protestants (34%) say they would less likely to support a Mormon candidate, compared with 24% of the religiously unaffiliated, and just 19% of white mainline Protestants and about the same percentage of white Catholics (16%). These opinions have changed little since 2007.

Marie Osmond Likes To Reuse Her Men

The world needs some lighter news.

No less crazy perhaps, but lighter.

With that I offer the dysfunctional family (or is that being redundant) of Marie Osmond.  At least with Marie Osmond, and her situation, we do not have the problem of her not understanding the need for gay marriage.  She has a lesbian daughter, and has stated she is for civil rights for everyone.  After this story she better be……..

Marie Osmond just married her first husband—again.

Osmond, who married Stephen Craig 30 years ago—and then divorced him three years later—re-tied the knot with him in Las Vegas today.

Osmond and Craig have one son, Stephen, now 28, from their original union. After their divorce, Osmond went on to have seven children with her second husband, Brian Blosil, whom she divorced in 2007.

The concept of re-marrying an ex-spouse is a perplexing blend of hope and stupidity. Is this a case of the ultimate triumph of a relationship’s progress—that after a split, a couple can once again fall for their ex’s good qualities, rekindle the spark that drew them together, and yet have successfully worked through the problems that, previously, drove them to divorce court?

Or is this the ultimate duh! and the same problematic dynamic that forced a couple to split the first time around is sure to still be in play to wedge them apart once more? Is remarrying one’s ex the triumph of hope and maturity—or the inability to learn a lesson the first time?

In the celebrity world, at least, it seems to be the latter. Remarrying an ex tends to lead to the same event the first marriage led to: divorce. Second time is not the charm.