Friday, December 21, 2007

Mornons and media

I had intended to get right to some useful content, but a medical emergency interrupted for a couple of days.
One of the things that I've observed is that while religion doesn't get a whole lot of play in the press or in world history, in reality it is one of the more important influences of society. Changes in the leadership of various sects and denominations don't get nearly the attention that changes in the leadership of foreign nations do, for instance.
So, just for a couple of comments,
Joel Campbell, in a recent column in "Editor and Publisher" claims that the media, which is dominated by Eastern liberal types, often publishes reports or opinion pieces about Mormonism that are based on lazy web searches or convenient sources, without bothering with thorough reporting, good sourcing and fairness. This kind of sloppy reporting about Mormons has always been an irritant to Mormons, though the candidacy of Mitt Romney for President has brought it forward.
Rod Dreher, a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, led his piece published in the Salt Lake City Tribute with the oft-repeated opinion that Mormons are not Christians. Many Mormons find this puzzling and offensive. After all, they point out, the Mormon Church is actually named the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints", and believe the Bible as far as it is translated. The response of many evangelical Christians is that the Mormons are counterfeit or pseudo-Christian, since they believe in a "different Jesus", and that their beliefs differ so markedly from traditional orthodox Christianity (normative Christianity, as Dreher puts it), that they don't qualify at all. But this has been has been debated ad nauseam, and for now I'm not going to try further to either summarize the debate or resolve it.
But the remainder of the observations of this article, points 3-11, seem to be reasonably agreeable.

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