Welcome back! Hope everyone’s Christmas was very merry.
Just wanted to put up a few interesting links that may show the beginning of a trend: Mormons getting sick of being everyone’s favorite punching bag.
First, Mormon quiz show phenom Ken Jennings op-eds in the NY Daily News. Headline: “Politicians and Pundits, Please Stop Slandering My Mormon Faith.” He follows up with a punchy and persuasive case supporting his request.
Second, Mormon journalist Joel Campbell writes in the Publisher and Editor, taking note of the imbalance of reporting about Mormonism in the media. One nice example he highlights is Maureen Dowd’s sole reliance for information about Mormonism on noted Mormon-basher Jon Krakauer. Campbell appears to be starting a blog on the subject. Developing . . .
Third, Mormon law professor (and religious blogger) Kaimi Wenger enters the fray with a thoughtful response to Lawrence O’Donnell. You may remember O’Donnell for his off-the-handle rant about Mormons on the McLaughlin Group. What you may not know is that O’Donnell not only stands by those remarks, but followed them up with what appears to be a sincere attempt to substantiate them, a very lengthy column on the Huffington Post. Professor Wenger shows that O’Donnell’s reliance on hundred year old isolated quotations from Mormon leaders says nothing at all about Mormons in 2007, leastwise Mitt Romney. Wenger also has a nice write up on his Mormon-focused blog regarding some of the questions coming up about Mormons and Racial issues.
All in all, I do think this constitutes a trend, and I think it’s only the beginning. As Mormons continue to feel spat upon by evangelicals, leftist secularists, and journalists-with-an-agenda, they’re speaking up and defending themselves. This is not exactly a sleeping giant, but there is a huge number of intelligent, articulate, even influential Mormons out there, and once provoked, they could have a real impact on the current public debate about the place of Mormonism in America. Welcome to the fray, everyone.