Newsweek is worth picking up this week just for the great photoshop of Mitt Romney on the Book of Mormon Musical poster that graces its cover. But the article inside is pretty read-worthy in and of itself. According to Newsweek, Mormons rock, and we’re all having a “Mormon moment” right now. This, of course, is in addition to the moment we had during the Salt Lake Olympics, the moment we had last time Romney ran for presidency, the moment we had when HBO decided to do its Big Love series, and many other moments that have popped up over the years. For better or worse, though, it seems that there are getting to be more and more Mormon moments.
(Michael Otterson, Head of Public Affairs for the church, just posted an op/ed letter in defense of Mormons running for office in the US–it’s a letter I highly recommend reading.)
What’s really interesting to me is how social media seems to have brought Mormons out of hiding in many cases. Maybe that’s just because I follow Mormonism more closely than other “lesser known” religions. People are discussing their faith online more, and sticking up for what they believe in. Thankfully, I haven’t seen too much of the “we’re right and you’re all wrong” variety, which I worried might happen if/when Mormons flooded the internets. Perhaps some of this has to do with the self-selecting process of who actually blogs or goes on line frequently. You’ve got a group of younger generation of Mormons blogging and writing about their beliefs. Then again, I might just be getting a warped view of the internet landscape, since I tend to be limited to see only stuff that pops up in areas that I frequent. Is someone else out there seeing something else?
The church is really trying hard to establish itself as being more normal. Less fringe. There’s the mormon.org ad campaign going on right now, where members are encouraged to create profiles of who they are and what they believe, in an attempt to show some of the diversity of backgrounds and personalities of the membership. (In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve made a profile, but for some reason it has yet to be approved. Maybe it’s the beard. There’s diversity, and then there’s *diversity*.)
In any case, if you haven’t read those two articles, I encourage you to do so. The Newsweek one because I think it gives a fairly balanced view of Mormonism today, the Post op/ed because I think it’s an excellent defense of religion as it relates to politics.
Other than that, I don’t have a whole lot of time to discuss the two articles today. But if you have any points that pop up as you read and want to post them for some discussion, I should be able to come back in a while and add any thoughts I might have.