Mormons move to mainstream

October 1, 2010
By tomsander

Flickr photo by MM Goode

According to Religion News Service:

“Mormons have been making headlines across the nation — from HBO’s Big Love to California’s Proposition 8, from American Idol wannabe David Archuleta to Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to conservative icon Glenn Beck.

Church spokesman Michael Otterson writes essays for The Washington Post and Mormonism is included in an important new book, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. Two more universities are poised to launch “Mormon Studies” courses.”

…[T]he church-owned Deseret News laid off nearly half its Salt Lake City staff and plans to tap a stable of “correspondents” as it charts a new future beyond Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.

And the RNS article doesn’t even mention Mitt Romney (the former Massachusetts Governor who organized the Winter Olympics in 2002 in Salt Lake City and unsuccessfully ran for president in 2008).

The Religion News Service article also cites American Grace co-author David Campbell (Notre Dame):

“I’m not sure BYU’s move is a deliberate part of any strategy to get a national presence for the church…It’s already not just a Utah-based church.”

It also remains to be seen whether Cougar games can attract the promised audience on ESPN, Campbell said. “Notre Dame does have a national constituency, and that is based on people’s tie to the school’s mystique.”

Among other sections, American Grace has interesting descriptions on how various religions perceive Mormons, a rare inside look at a Mormon church in Utah and how politics and church involvement intersect at that church (in ways one might not expect), and descriptions of the unusually strong links between religiosity and civic engagement in the LDS church.

See “Mormons Catch a Glimpse of Life in the Big Leagues” (Religion News Service, 9/30/10, Peggy Fletcher Stack), reprinted in the Huffington Post.


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