'We need to talk about Mormonism,' New Yorker columnist contends
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Recommended by Joseph Walker, Deseret News
Published: Thursday, May 24 2012 8:37 a.m. MDT
A New Yorker editor says Mormonism should be part of the national discussion because "the story is complicated, fascinating and utterly American."
A New Yorker editor contends "we need to talk about Mormonism because we need to talk not about what religion each of us should be but about the country we ought to be."
While acknowledging the potential pitfalls of allowing religion to become a talking point in the dialogue of presidential politics, Amy Davidson, senior editor of The New Yorker, suggests "perhaps the rest of us should (talk about Mormonism), because the story is complicated, fascinating and utterly American.
"It would be absolutely wrong to vote against Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon, rather than because of his political position," Davidson writes. "At the same time, it is hard to see what would be lost by anyone, on either side, if we were to seize this moment to talk about a faith whose history is a narrative of change, tolerance, exploration and reinvention."
The column refers to several other sources – including Romney himself – to illustrate the point that "one can't properly tell the story of the American West, or firmly grasp our political and intellectual history, without (a discussion of Mormonism).
"We need to talk about Mormonism because we need to talk not about what religion each of us should be but about the country we ought to be," Davidson concludes. "Romney has presented us with the right moment."
Mormonism is an interesting study in American history and a social study of how myths are born and reinvented to evolve into religious doctrine. Mitt Romney is an interesting parallel study of how he is reinventing himself to be legitimate to public appeal. Both are master works of converting reality to modified social/political man made promotional marketing models. It all goes to show the great American dream: if one has enough money and the talent of great advertisers She/he or it can be made to seem to be all the things they are not.
9:49 a.m. May 24, 2012
I would love to see the day where major newspapers really bring to light past prophets, quotes, doctrines, etc and really drill the church on the issues. The answers given by Hinckly and Romney in official interviews were vague. They weren't answered directly, as always, and you get the run around.
If you have the one true church then talk about it publicly! Stop being shamed by the past and avoiding it's discussion.
10:35 a.m. May 24, 2012
Los Angeles/LA, CA
The only objection to discussing Mormonism (or the LDS faith if you prefer) would be by those who would not want it discussed in an unfavorable light, otherwise why does the Church of LDS send out waves of young missionaries to all corners of the globe?
As an atheist, I am saddened by how those who feel they'll have an eternal afterlife, rationalize their dismal treatment of each other in.
In my mind, Mitt is a poster boy for this sort of myopic worldview.
11:41 a.m. May 24, 2012
LanceThruster if an eternal afterlife is predicated on being an honest, true, benevolent person who espouses "faith, hope, and charity" and in following the "golden rule" (do unto others as you would have others do unto you) and mourn with those that mourn, and bear one another's burdens, and clothe the naked, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and follow all the teachings of Christ - how is this "dismal treatment of each other"?
Maybe you're hangin' out with the wrong crowd....
1:02 p.m. May 24, 2012
What in Tucket?
Looks like some of the bloggers would not be the ones to discuss the Restored Gospel with. I can never understand why these people even comment. If they don't believe it why bother.
1:55 p.m. May 24, 2012
If, as you say, "an eternal afterlife is predicated on being an honest, true, benevolent person who espouses 'faith, hope, and charity' and in following the 'golden rule' (do unto others as you would have others do unto you) and mourn with those that mourn, and bear one another's burdens, and clothe the naked, feed the hungry, heal the sick..." well, then I and 99% of my atheist friends and family qualify!
The presumption that atheists are not "honest, true, chaste, benevolent, etc." - "good people" is the most arrogant and damaging presumption that I constantly run into among my LDS friends, family members, and acquaintances! And most of them are so blind to it!
2:14 p.m. May 24, 2012
Salt Lake City, UT
Kudos to Ms. Amy Davidson of the New Yorker who is encouraging respectful dialog and consideration of the many positive aspects of Mormonism when looked at in the light of Americanism itself. She is not recommending investigation as a religion one must join or even to have to believe in, but rather simply as an excellent example of American "entrepreneurship" if you will, hard work, patriotism, building and strengthening families and the nation, and exemplifying fortitude under pressure. All characteristics of what Americans want and need in a Presidential leader.