Religious bigotry is unacceptable. Statements which distort and belittle Mormon belief in order to marginalize Mormons are evidence of such bigotry. To combat it, MormonVoices has compiled this list of the top ten anti-Mormon statements made by public figures in 2011.
1. "By any standard, Mormonism is more ridiculous than any other religion." Bill Maher, October 15, 2011, George Washington University, as reported by Maureen Dowd in The New York Times, October 18, 2011.
2. "[Mormonism is] one of the most egregious groups operating on American soil." Christopher Hitchens, Slate, October 17, 2011.
3. "The theology comes across as totally barmy. We can become gods with our own planets! And the practices strike me as creepy. No coffee and tea is bad enough. But the underwear!" Michael Ruse, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 30, 2011.
4. "The current head of the Mormon Church, Thomas S. Monson, known to his followers as 'prophet, seer and revelator,' is indistinguishable from the secular plutocratic oligarchs who exercise power in our supposed democracy . . ." Harold Bloom, The New York Times, November 12, 2011.
5. "That is a mainstream view, that Mormonism is a cult . . . Every true, born again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian." Robert Jeffress, Values Voter Summit, October 7, 2011.
6. "I believe a candidate who either by intent or effect promotes a false and dangerous religion is unfit to serve. Mitt Romney has said it is not his intent to promote Mormonism. Yet there can be little doubt that the effect of his candidacy—whether or not this is his intent—will be to promote Mormonism." Warren Cole Smith, Patheos.com, May 24, 2011.
7. "Yes, it is my opinion that an indoctrinated Mormon should never be elected as President of the United States of America." Tricia Erickson, CNN.com, July 7, 2011.
8. "Mormonism is not an orthodox Christian faith. It just is not . . . it's very clear that the founding fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths." Bryan Fischer, Focal Point radio show, September 2011.
9. "Can you name the candidate that's running for president that believes that if he's a good person in his religion he will receive his own planet? . . . Would you vote for someone for president who believes in their religion, if he's a good person, he'll get his own planet? . . . Do you want to get your own planet?" Ben Ferguson, Fox 13 News, Memphis TN, July 6, 2011.
10. "The Christian coalition, I think [another candidate] could get a lot of money from that, because Romney, obviously, not being a Christian . . ." Ainsley Earhart, Fox and Friends, July 17, 2011.
It is our hope that this list will help others identify and oppose the ignorance or malice that formed these remarks.
Note: MormonVoices is not a political organization and has no position on any candidate or campaign. Many statements included here concern politics, but are included only because of their relevance to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Explanation and references for the items above:
2. This obvious hyperbole slanders 6 million American and 14 million worldwide Mormons.
6. Calling Mormonism "dangerous" and Mormons "unfit to serve" is plainly false and bigoted. Responsible journalists have recognized that Mormons are thoroughly mainstream in their modes of living and ideas.