Over half (56 percent) of Mormons surveyed say America is ready for a Mormon president, according to a Pew survey just released. In the same survey, 62 percent of those same Mormons said Americans don’t know what Mormonism is. (Do the two stats go hand-in-hand?) Fox News reports,
America could be standing on the precipice of the “Mormon Moment,” according to a new survey that says most members of the religion believe the country is ready to elect a Mormon president.
The just-released Pew Survey, “Mormons in America,” overall shows a mixed bag of ideas and feelings Mormons have about how the general public sees them. Sixty-two percent of Mormons surveyed say the American people are uninformed about Mormonism. And nearly half (46 percent) say they face discrimination. . . .
Dr. Randall Balmer, professor of American Religious History at Columbia University, agrees somewhat with the survey findings. “The fact that most Americans don’t understand Mormonism is absolutely true,” he said.
Mormonism has tried to mainstream itself with it’s media campaign, “And I’m a Mormon,” which has been widely parodied on YouTube. While most Mormons surveyed think acceptance of their religion is improving, it’s not so clear.
A nearly unanimous number (97 percent) of Mormons surveyed describe themselves as Christian. But a Pew survey in November showed one-third of non-Mormon U.S. adults said Mormonism is not Christian, and 17 percent were unsure.
“Mormons think they’re more fully mainstream than other Americans think they are,” Balmer said. “I don’t question their status in American society but there are vestigial prejudices against Mormons, particularly from Conservative Evangelicals.”
Balmer adds that when it comes to the presidency, ”Many evangelicals were willing to set aside principle for pragmatism,” thinking Romney may have the best chance at beating Obama.
Some Mormons on the other hand see this as their moment of arrival: ”A lot of Mormons I know see Mitt Romney as a test case for them as their full acceptance in society,” Balmer adds.