A syndicated editorial by Dallas Morning News columnist William McKenzie entitled "Time to shatter Mormon myths" was posted on April 23, 2012, and picked up by newspapers across the
McKenzie began his editorial by reminding his readers that "few Americans outside of the evangelical world had any idea" what it meant when "Jimmy Carter started talking in 1976 about being `born again.'" He also reminded us that "evangelical Protestantism then was a subcultures of Bible churches, small study groups and parachurch organizations" but are now a "thriving force within our society."
The columnist also reminded his readers that "John Kennedy brought Catholics into the mainstream" by speaking "little about his faith, but he demystified it by being the first Catholic to win the presidency. No longer could whisper campaigns … stop a Catholic from breaking out of their own subculture of rituals, hierarchies and orders."
McKenzie continued his column, "You probably see where I am going with this. Mormons have a teachable moment with Mitt Romney…. A candidate's religion should neither qualify nor disqualify him for office, but, by all indications, Mormonism remains misunderstood…. So here's the chance to break down the misperceptions, which will benefit our society….
"So far, Romney has chosen the Kennedy model. He talks little about his beliefs. Instead, by being so integrated into American life, he's showing Mormonism is not the cult some think it is."
McKenzie wrote another column the next day, April 24, 2012, entitled "Texas Faith: TheMormon Moment." Since Mitt Romney is now the presumptive GOP nominee, McKenzie believes there is a "Mormon moment." "Mormon leaders, understandably, may be wearying of that cliché. But it is true that church members have a teachable moment before them.
"Specifically, they have a chance to demystify elements of their faith, which polls show is still not very well understood by many of us. In my book, this is best done … in a friend-to-friend, neighbor-to-neighbor, pew-to-pew way. That approach allows for more candid conversations and helps build bridges."
McKenzie then asked the question of the week: "What issue would you most like to discuss with a Mormon about their religious faith?"
I found both of these columns very interesting; I encourage you to read them with an open mind. The second one has some good answers from both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and non-members. In my mind, the "Mormon Moment" is not a new thing for members of the Church as well as their religion has been much in the news for many years. The only difference now is that people are more interested in learning about Mitt Romney and what kind of a President he would be.
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