- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Mormons overcoming hurdles
Survey: ‘Mixed picture’ of acceptance from LDS members
Question of the Day
U.S. Mormons say that they are still not fully accepted in America, especially by evangelical Christians, and believe the entertainment media - from the Broadway play, “The Book of Mormon” to HBO’s “Big Love” portrayal of polygamy - aren’t helping improve their image.
These are a few of the findings in a first-of-its-kind survey released Thursday by Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.
The Oct. 25 to Nov. 16 telephone survey of 1,019 Mormons “is the first one we’re aware of that consists entirely of Mormons and is focused on Mormonism, by a non-LDS organization,” said Gregory Smith, the senior researcher.
Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), make up 2 percent of the U.S. population.
The survey found something of a “mixed picture,” Mr. Smith said. “On one hand, many Mormons tell us that they feel misunderstood by others,” he said, noting that 62 percent of those surveyed said their fellow Americans know “nothing” or “not too much” about the faith, and almost half say they face “a lot of discrimination.”
“On the flip side of that, there’s a sense that this might be changing - there’s a sense of optimism,” Mr. Smith said. Sixty-three percent of Mormons say they believe that they and their faith are becoming more accepted in American society, and 56 percent believe the country is ready to elect a Mormon president.
Compared with the general public, he added, Mormons are much more likely to be devout, satisfied with their lives and communities, and politically conservative. For instance, only 25 percent of Mormons have a favorable view of President Obama, half the rate of the public as a whole.
Some 86 percent of Mormons who are registered voters said they had a favorable view of Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, the survey found. This favorable view jumped to 94 percent among Republican-leaning Mormons, but also represented a clear majority (62 percent) of Democrat-leaning Mormons.
Mr. Huntsman, a former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China, gets a more mixed review. Just half of Mormons say they have a favorable view of him, 26 percent didn’t know him and another 24 percent have an unfavorable view.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat and the highest ranking of the 15 Mormons in Congress, also fares poorly with 51 percent of Mormon voters having an unfavorable view of him.
Paul Mero, an LDS member who runs the Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City, said Mormons can be described as having mainstream values, strong work and cultural ethics, ambitions to be “at the top of the list” - Utah has twice been praised as the best-managed state - “and we like that,” he said.
“We are still peculiar as an orthodox faith,” Mr. Mero added, but “we know who we are…and when Latter-day Saints put their shoulders to the wheel, good things happen typically, whether it’s disaster relief or the [2002 Winter] Olympics” in Salt Lake City.
Other highlights of “Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society”:
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Mississippi abortion law can't be enforced
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- Events honoring 20th National Parents' Day reaffirm family
- '50 Shades' movie trailer outrages anti-porn groups
- Tougher clinic rules lead to drop in Texas abortions
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Inside the Beltway: Immigration rage festers on all sides
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Hillary Clinton: I was indeed 'dead broke,' but shouldn't have said so
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world