The Mormon faith has been in the news quite a lot; first, the Mormon religion was in the spotlight because of its fundamentalist polygamist offshoots, and more recently because of presidential candidate Mitt Romney bid for the Republican nomination. Of late, fundamentalist Christians have labeled the Mormon religion as a cult, while others have called for religious tolerance. An Op-Ed piece by Harold Bloom in The New York Times recently posed an interesting question in a recent article asking whether or not the election would serve as a breakthrough period of time for the Mormon Church.
Bloom didn’t spend quite as much time answering his own question in the article as he might have. He did, however, mention that if Mitt Romney won the Republican nomination and had to run against President Barack Obama, the president would probably avoid the issue of religion much more than the Republican contenders have thus far.
In Bloom’s piece, he also detailed a few of the criticisms and interesting facts that he and others from non-Mormon backgrounds have about the Mormon Church.
- Members of the Mormon Church believe that they, one day, will become Gods like their founder Joseph Smith, who was killed at the young age of 39.
- The Mormon Church still has many secrets that the rest of us “Gentiles” are not privy to; Bloom’s contention is that the amount of secrecy may affect Romney’s decisions if he becomes president of the United States.
- Mormon Fathers can hope to ascend to godhead after their death where they apparently each get their own planet.
- Joseph Smith was actually a religious genius whose original story about being visited by Moroni was the genesis of one of the fastest growing religions on the planet.
How do all of these facts add up in terms of the popularity and the political influence of the Mormon religion? I’m not exactly sure. I have a feeling that if Romney is elected to the presidency, he will be watched much more closely than anyone else and won’t be allowed to just push through legislation that is of importance to the Mormon Church. The problem may be that many fundamentalist Christians will be forced to choose between a black man and a Mormon in the next presidential general election in November of 2012.