The EFM Feature

In the May 2007 issue of the Focus on the Family magazine Citizen, Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy for Focus, writes:

Romney has the misfortune of being Mormon, something the media, stroking its collective beard, found alarming. The headline in USA Today thundered: “Will Mormon Faith Hurt Romney?” Other news outlets used words like “cult,” “unorthodox,” “controversial” and “odd.”

There is indeed something odd about Mormonism and the media, but it’s not what reporters think it is. It’s the uneven attention they give it. We already have a Mormon—Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada—in a prominent government position—majority leader of the U.S. Senate.

I searched online for articles about Reid and Mormonism, and I found only about a third of the stories that I found for Romney and Mormonism. But Reid has held public office six times as long as Romney. And the coverage of Reid’s religion isn’t nearly as negative as the Romney coverage. You will look in vain for a USA Today headline that has ever asked: “Will Mormon Faith Hurt Reid?”

Two things are clear from all this hypocrisy. The first is that reporters really don’t much care what religion a politician adheres to, as long as he is Leftist in his views. Reid is reliably so, and his religion gets a pass. Romney, on the other hand, is ominously conservative, so the puppy dogs of the press will pull and tear and growl about him until they scare voters away.

He concludes:

What we need instead are bedrock values like courtesy, civility and respect for all people—principles found in the words of Jesus. Within simple passages like the Golden Rule, the Second Greatest Commandment and the story of the Good Samaritan lies the root of human dignity for Western civilization. Without it, culture corrodes. Already you can see how bad it has become.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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