The idea that polyester-attired preachers will be winding hayseed congregants into a fit of anti-Mormon hatred because Mormons believe Jesus Christ has a wife is a myth, although it will continue to be pushed.
Somewhere, in a trailer in the Panhandle, a Bubba preacher is mulling over whether he should burn a Koran or call Mitt Romney an agent of Satan. Over at MSNBC, Ed Schultz is trashing Mormonism, and by extension, Mitt Romney. So are Lawrence O’Donnell and Chris Matthews. In other news, evangelicals in South Carolina and Florida are ready to easily boost Romney to wins in the South Carolina and Florida primaries. Tales of evangelical hostility to a Mormon presidential candidate (read) are way too hyped. The group that is most likely to oppose Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon are liberals.
Romney will win the Republican Party nomination. He’s at 40 percent nationally in one poll, 37 percent in Gallup (read) and it’s ludicrous to think that evangelical, Tea Party-ish conservatives are more annoyed with Mormonism than the policies of the Obama administration.
Opposing a candidate because he is a Mormon, or a Muslim, is on its way to becoming as despised as opposing a candidate because he or she is a Jew, or black. But last year, more Democrats than Republicans said they’d oppose a Mormon. (Read) I think that disparity will get wider as Romney gets closer to winning the nomination.
Is the liberal problem with Mormonism the result of bigotry? No. Or who God is or whether we can become gods? No. It derives from the battle over gay marriage, particularly Proposition 8 in California, where Mormons played a role in anti-gay marriage campaigns. It also involves perceived LDS positions on various other morality issues, anywhere from abortion, school prayer, religious expressions on public property, etc.. On these many issues most evangelicals are allies with Mormons, who have angered liberals by institutionally opposing gay marriage, etc.