blame Christians :)

Great NYTimes article today on Mitt dropping out of the race. Why didn’t his campaign go anywhere?

Put another way, those dreaded secularists – whom Romney himself criticized in his off-tune and hugely miscalculated speech on religion in December – were far more likely to vote for him than were the most devout Christians.

Take home lesson: seculars are less prejudiced than non-seculars?


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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11 Responses

  1. Guy Noir, Private Eye says:

    simple: too much ‘style’, not enough / the right substance….

    that just wouldn’t be a result of him being LDS…would it?
    Hmmmm gotta think this one over for a while.

  2. Seth R. says:

    Guy, “insincerity” and “flip-flop” are just code for the way a lot of Evangelicals view ALL Mormons. For a lot of them, the words are synonyms with Mormonism.

  3. Guy Noir, Private Eye says:

    if u wanna hear/know about that (yes, any others) get my email from MainStreet Mods.
    what I have to say about basic Christian values & LDS Inc… will blow ur Socks Off….

  4. dpc says:

    profxm: (I love the new moniker)

    Take home lesson: seculars are less prejudiced than non-seculars?

    I think that Evangelical is a better term than non-secular.

    I think as far as Mormons are concerned, seculars are less worried about them than they are about Evangelicals. If you ask your average secular if they would vote for Mike Huckabee, chances are they wouldn’t.

    Mormons appear to be a lot more moderate than evangelicals. The only place where they are ‘conservative’ is that:

    1. They oppose gay marriage and gay civil unions (though not other rights based on sexual orientation)
    2. They don’t allow women to hold the priesthood
    3. They haven’t apologized enough for denying those with African ancestry the priesthood.

    Other than that, the Mormon church is moderate on a pretty much any other issue.

    And even though the Church is moderate now, I think that it is not inconceivable that the church leadership may receive revelation concerning item #2. Item #1 is less certain because of Mormonism’s afterlife theology. And #3 is unlikely to ever occur, although I suspect at some point it will become a non-issue.

  5. Guy Noir, Private Eye says:

    dpc: It’s actually a bit more complicated than that…
    a)LDS culture & ‘doctrine’ (such as it is/isn’t) are Hopelessly intermixed/intermingled….
    b) there has “Never” been an instance when the overly zealous are reigned in…
    c)LDS, Inc. NEVER apologizes or even acknowleges that someone went too far. Half-truths & ambiguity Rule!
    when ‘good’ things happen, it’s a credit to the church; bad are labled responsibility of members…

  6. chanson says:

    I like the take on this from fMh and the Council of Fifty.

    The one thing that jumps out from that post is the line “the Republicans’ complacency on Utah being a Red State but without reciprocal loyalty to its Utah Mormon base.” If you just assumed they would reward your loyalty with return loyalty, then I’m glad you got this wake-up call.

    One of the best discussions of this was posted here:

    For half a century — since the Ezra Taft Benson era attempts at a building an alliance between Mormons and Southern Segregations against blacks and civil rights — Mormons have tried desperately to ally politically with Christian fundamentalists. Conservative Mormons argue that the logic is there and that both “values” groups hate all the same things: women’s rights, social libertarianism, gays, science, etc.

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend!” plead Mormon conservatives, without ever getting their would-be suitors at all. Christianist fundamentalists, in their quest to distort the US constitution and make America a theocracy, hate all those things certainly…but they also hate Mormons. Like Islamists abroad, Christianists don’t want freedom of religion. They want the government to impose a religion on America: their religion — their narrow (and frankly uninformed) interpretation of Christianity. For these theocrats, Mormons are as much the enemy as self-realized women and gays and they always will be.

    Because Mormons will always be a minority religion in the US, their true allies are the people who believe in freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is tolerance for pluralism through the separation of church and state. In the wake of Romney’s defeat, conservative Mormons need to wake up and understand that their natural allies are secularists, agnostics, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and other religious minorities. As such, they need to stop promoting the right of government to dictate religious values and proscribe social norms and they need to start promoting social libertarianism. In short, they need to stop gussying themselves up shamelessly for the boy who will never take them to the prom and recognize that as a minority their true allies are the members of the Democratic coalition and they ought to vote accordingly.

    (I bolded that last bit because I think his metaphor really nails it.)

    dpc — are you suggesting that secularists favoring Obama over Huckabee (who favors amending the Constitution to bring it in line with Biblical laws) is somehow evidence that secularists are “prejudiced”? You’ve got to be kidding me! Are you really so loath to admit anything remotely positive about secularists and atheists? You can’t even imagine cooperating with minorities who don’t fit into the “symphony of faith”?

    Prejudiced against what? Against Christians (like, say, Obama)…? Please read my endorsement of Obama where I specifically talk about identity politics and separation of church and state issues.

  7. chanson says:

    p.s. I was just reading the comments on that “Council of Fifty” post I linked to, and found another very good point:

    Liberal Massachusettes could accept a mormon governor- but the ‘Christian’ south could not.

  8. profxm says:

    Okay, I’m going to kick myself for this, but I will admit that dpc has at least one good point: liberals (in the case of the study below, it’s really the highly educated, who tend to be extremely tolerant) are generally tolerant of everyone… except Christian fundamentalists (Bolce, L., and G. De Maio. 1999. “Religious Outlook, Culture War Politics, and Antipathy Toward Christian Fundamentalists.” The Public Opinion Quarterly 63:29-61.). So, technically, we can all be right: seculars are more tolerant of basically everyone else (Jews, Catholics, blacks, gays, Mormons, etc.) except one group: Christian fundamentalists. I interpret this as saying, basically, “I’ll tolerate all sorts of behaviors and beliefs, except those behaviors and beliefs that want to prevent me from existing – like Christian nationalism (i.e., the idea mentioned by the person quoted in chanson’s #6 comment – turning the U.S. into a “christian” nation).

    As for some of the other points… Are Mormons more moderate than evangelicals? I’d have to say “no” on that, but I would say they are more moderate than Christian fundamentalists (I fine distinction, yes, but an important one). Mormons are basically Christian evangelicals in almost every respect (including the heterogeneity of belief, as described by: Emerson, Michael O., and Christian Smith. 2000. Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America. New York: Oxford University Press.) except the “personal conversion to Christ.” Fundamentalists take this further by claiming Biblical literalism (which is true of some Mormons, but not of a lot of them).

    As for the three points where dpc said Mormons are “conservative” (better stated, “rigidly intolerant”), I again agree. I even agree with dpc’s assertion of what may happen in the future.

    (Not sure what happened here – change my name and suddenly I sound like dpc? Weird…)

  9. Guy Noir, Private Eye says:

    at least the Crash & Burn of MR’s campaign.. is one thing conservatives can’t blame on the ‘evil democrats’….

  10. dpc says:

    chanson said:

    dpc — are you suggesting that secularists favoring Obama over Huckabee (who favors amending the Constitution to bring it in line with Biblical laws) is somehow evidence that secularists are “prejudiced”?

    Answer: No. As a moderate, I would prefer Obama over Huckabee for many of the same reasons that secularists would. If anything, I would say that secularists are ‘prejudiced’ against Christian fundamentalists, but only because they are perceived as a threat to the separation of church and state. I’m sure that secularists would feel the same way if Osama Bin Laden were running for the presidency by rallying fundamentalist Muslims with rhetoric of jihad and adopting the Sharia.

    “Are you really so loath to admit anything remotely positive about secularists and atheists?”

    No. Some of my best friends are atheists. 😉 I just like to point out the other side as I see it. More than being right, I value being fair.

  11. chanson says:

    dpc — Okay, cool. I was going to say prejudice means “pre” judging — that is before seeing how the person will behave. That’s not the situation between secularists and Huckabee, as you correctly point out.

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