Thursday, November 15, 2007

On Morning Edition November 15, 2007

Yesterday as I was reading my bloglines accounts, I noticed that there were a couple of posts about Pushing Daisies and the oblique Mormon references. I read the posts and thought about how the adjustment myself and my fellow Mormons are making to seeing more and more Mormon references in the media. The past couple of years have been a transition to be sure. There's a front-runner Republican Candidate who is LDS, HBO's Big Love, the PBS documentary this past spring called, "The Mormons" and a sprinkling of LDS characters on prime-time shows.

Personally, there's only been a few articles in the past little while that have gotten Mormonism completely wrong in the mainstream media.
Although the Mormonism is becoming more and more commonplace, we're not "main-stream," compared to Catholics and many Protestant religions. There's still a lot of misconception about the faith, and I'd dare say most Mormons have a bit of a "Mormon Persecution Complex," myself included. I'm a little uneasy when Mormonism is discussed in mainstream media, mostly because I'm not quite used to the attention. That being said, I usually give the reporter the benefit of the doubt. Plus, if you look at the Judeo-Christian beliefs from a purely analytical perspective, it's pretty fantastic to say the least. Moses parting the sea, a perfect man born to a virgin etc. Pretty wild stuff.

Anyway, as I was thinking about the limits of my own "mormon persecution complex," I settled in to work and turned on Morning Edition on NPR where the lead story was "Romney Faces Questions over Faith in S.Carolina." I silently groaned, especially when the first couple minutes of the interview was quick quotes from Evangelical South Carolinians stating gems like "I have a little background, know a little about Mormonism, and there's absolutely no way I could vote for Mitt Romney because of it. It's a cult." and "You know they wouldn't even allow black people in their church until '78." Yeah, the normal things you come across.
However, the piece includes a great interview from Kathleen Flake who is diplomatic, and addresses the questions raised in the first few minutes of the piece. She then goes on to say, "Catholics and Protestants in this country have the benefit of 200 years of a conversation on those subject so you can talk in shortcuts but Mormonism have never had the benefit of a calm of a calm conversation about its beliefs."


San Diego said...
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ChelMo said...

Well said. I feel the same, but have had less luck with explaining my feelings. It's weird. I'm still torn on whether or not Romney's candidacy is a good thing so far as publicity goes. Amazing how a single person running for president can alienate 6 million people in the country. Or perhaps liberate them. We'll see which way it goes.

Of course, Marie Osmond being on DWTS is probably a bigger deal than Romney! We're just everywhere!

plainoldsarah said...

i like it when you blog about good npr discussions. i love them but rarely remember to find or listen to them on my own. thank you!

DebraPants said...

I know what you mean about feeling uncomfortable with Mormons in the media (whether actual or fictional characters). One part of it is that a Mormon is a fallable person, not perfect. But like some people view people first and foremost by race or ethnicity, those who know me as a Mormon view me first and foremost that way and then adjust how they interact with me accordingly. Secondly, there are "facts" that are taken out of context, misconstrued, or just plain wrong.

I've mostly enjoyed the Mormon guy on House this season (and he's black and a single father too-- my guess is it's the writers' way of shooting down some of the Mormon myths). But when he started whispering some weird sort of healing chant or something in someone's ear, I just rolled my eyes and said, "Oh brother!" But it did bother me.

Sherpa said...

Chels, Thanks.

Oh yeah, Marie on DWTS. I totally forgot (intentionally blocked) that out of my mind!

Yeah, maybe its time now in the Country for a civil discourse about Mormonism. Maybe its happening now?

Sarah-No problem.

Deb-Yup, We're all fallible and it gives people looking for a little tu-quo-que action to dismiss or redicule the church. Its frustrating but we can't do more than just civilly talk about our religion. Oh and be good examples etc.