So there have been several pieces about what affect the Romney run has had on Mormonism. One of them even ran before the election and included quotes from your humble bloggers. Some of them are generally positive, but grinding a few axes. I have no doubt that inside Mormonism the discussion will get very interesting as liberal Mormons use ROmney;s loss as a cudgel in their efforts to change the church.
Expanding on my quote from the piece above and some of the work we have been doing here, I will say that while I do think that Mormonism improved its position in the community of faith in the nation, that community taken as a whole lost ground. I do not blame Romney or Mormonism for that general loss. The reasons are myriad and the “Open Letter” series the beginnings of which are linked in the paragraph is designed to explore this in depth. A flip, sound bite explanation; however, would be that the divisions within the community of faith and particularly bias against Mormonism served to feed and fuel the “close minded fool” image that so many have of the faith community.
Which brings me to the…
CNN’s Belief blog carried a post by Mark Osler,professor of law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, in which Prof. Osler contends that government gridlock has religious roots. The good professor sets up straw man after straw man in an effort to make his point and yet all he really does his reveal a total lack of understanding of the topic about which he speaks. I find it absolutely fascinating that CNN does not tell us what Mr. Osler is a professor of. At any rate, let me give you an example:
For many (though certainly not all) Republicans, the root of knowledge is a bedrock certainty about the inerrancy of a literal reading of the Bible. This provides them with clear, absolute answers – that gay marriage is wrong, that modern science is suspect, and that much of what we see on earth is a struggle between good and evil.
Whoa, even with his caveat, “certainly not all,” this is so far off the mark it’s not even funny. A literal inerrant view of scripture is a minority position in the Christianity. The authority of scripture is little doubted, but literal inerrancy is a different thing all together. In this assertion Prof. Osler reveals the kind of over-generalized simplistic thinking that he accuses the faithful of.
Religiousity is not the absence of thought, but the root of it. Further, it is thought grounded in substance and not merely in desire. The world would be a far worse place without it.