The Media's Mormon Fixation
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
What's the deal with the mainstream media?
These days they seem to be infatuated with two subjects: Anna Nicole Smith and Mormons.
Their questions come in headlines and TV segment titles:
"Are you a Mormon?"
"Would you vote for a Mormon?"
"Would you date a Mormon?"
Why is there suddenly with such a negative subtext a focus on a person's religious convictions?
Didn't the same mainstream media force-feed us the idea that Congressman Keith Ellison's Muslim religion should be of no concern?
And if the Minnesota representative wanted to use a Quran instead of a Bible to be sworn in, that was his business. And that his faith was in no way going to interfere with his ability to carry out his duties or ably serve his constituents.
Apparently, for the mainstream media, the same principles do not apply to Mormons.
Could it have something to do with Mormon voting patterns? After all, it's about as common to find a Mormon who doesn't vote Republican as it is to find a "Dennis Kucinich for President" button.
I guess in the eyes of a typical reporter, who can't imagine voting for anyone other than a Democrat unless the person hails from the Socialist Workers Party, Mormons aren't particularly progressive.
Even the godless New York Times has gotten into theological commentating. Now here's a headline for you: "Mormon Candidate Braces for Religion as Issue."
What's next? Will we see the "man on the street reporter" asking folks, "Whose statues are cooler, Catholics or Mormons?"
Personally, I think we need to show more religious tolerance. Let's agree to accept the idea that someone can hold high office in this country and be of the same religion as Donnie and Marie.
This narrow-minded coverage has got to stop so our Mormon Majority Leader Harry Reid can do his job in peace.
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Copyright © 2007
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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