With not one but two mormons running to be the GOP nominee for President, there is increasing interest in mormonism, a topic many people have an opinion on but few know much about. CNN posted an article purporting to be "10 facts about mormonism" in an article titled: Explain it to me: Mormonism . Several of them are pretty straightforward (what is the official name?) but some are quite a bit off the mark. Here are the items in question with comments...
2. Mormons consider themselves Christian but their beliefs and practices differ from traditional Christianity in key ways, including belief in sacred texts outside the Bible and practices like posthumous proxy baptism and wearing special undergarments.
Those things are true but that is not the big issue. The big issues have to do with heretical views of God, of man, of salvation, of the church, of...well pretty much everything of any importance. Mormons are not Christians with magic underwear and some weird practices, it is a completely pagan religion from top to bottom. The PR machinery of the mormon church is desperate to blur the distinctions today. I am a bit nostalgic for the days of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith where at least they were open and honest about their heresy.
3. There are about 14 million Mormons today, which more than half living outside the United States.
To clarify, there are perhaps 14 million names on the membership rolls of the mormon church but in terms of actual adherents the number is much smaller, perhaps half of that figure. No one outside of Salt Lake knows thanks to the cultic secrecy that pervades the hierarchy of mormonism. Got keep the sheep ignorant so they don't start asking questions. Hopefully as the light shines on mormonism more brightly, we will get more in-depth examinations of mormonism that go beyond ten snippets about a very complex cult.
5. The Church of Latter-day Saints has outlawed polygamy since 1890.
Sort of. The mormon church has outlawed the practice of polygamy but the doctrine of the "new and everlasting covenant" is very much still in force. It has to be, otherwise it might raise questions of just how prophetic the early prophets really were.
While in some ways I think a mormon President would help normalize mormonism and be a huge boost to the mormon church itself, I also think that in increase in scrutiny might expose more people to the quirks, oddities and outright heresies of mormonism. I am not a huge Romney fan, nor a fan of Huntsman, so I am hoping neither of them wins!