If you think religion isn't playing a part in this campaign cycle, check out this list of articles just from the last few days-
- Priest to profit: How the Mormon church teaches priesthood holders to lead (Washington Post, May 13, 2012)
- If Harvard Business School were a religion, it could be Mormonism (Washington Post, May 11, 2012)
- Why Mitt Romney shouldn't hide his Mormon leadership (Washington Post, May 11, 2012)
- How Mormons like Romney cultivate business savvy early on (Christian Science Monitor, May 14, 2012)
- Prominent Mormon leaders beyond Mitt Romney (Washington Post, May 10, 2012)
- London Calling for teens at Mormon prom (Washington Post, May 14, 2012)
- Pat Robertson: Romney's faith not an issue (USA Today, May 14, 2012)
Five articles in four days just in the Washington Post alone. Now it must be mentioned that most of them were in the "On Faith" section of the WaPo, and that at least three of them were written by Mormon Church members. (I can personally identify those members, but I cannot say for certain about the other two.)
In fact, Mormons and Mormonism are now in the news so often that the LDS Church official public affairs office has dedicated a portion of its blog to "Mormonism in the News: Getting it Right." Every time a news organization reports on Mormons- and gets it right (which not all organizations do), the www.mormonnewsroom.org site actually provides a link to the story. Doesn't mean it had to be a flattering article. It just had to actually get the facts right. (And at least once, they have called out a news organization for getting the facts just plain wrong.)
The fact that there is even a need to commend news organizations for getting their facts straight is rather ridiculous, don't you think?
It goes without saying that Mitt Romney's run for office has definitely made a major impact on the Mormon church's public profile. (He has not in anyway actually made an impact on the actual teaching and beliefs of Mormons.)
Last week, completely unrelated to religion, I noticed that on the "Anderson" daytime TV show, that there were 3 different major segments on different Mormons (Elizabeth Smart, the "Sister Wives" who are not LDS, or members of the mainstream Mormon church, but are "fundamentalist Mormons," and are a gray area, but I'm counting them anyway, and Stephanie Nielson of the "Nie Nie Dialogues."). I can remember as a child when it was a big deal when ANY Mormon appeared on TV. We stopped everything to watch a Mormon on TV. (We watched a lot of Steve Young football.) Now it happens so very often that no one breaks out the phone tree to alert their friends that a Mormon will be on TV!
I was probably just naive and optimistic when I thought that the religion issue would be dropped when Romney emerged as the presumptive nominee. Silly me.