In Religion Dispatches today Kathryn Joyce addresses the possibility of a political partnership between conservative Christian denominations and the Mormon church.
Glenn Beck’s efforts to transform himself from Fox News demagogue into a religious leader for Tea Party America has a lot of commentators discussing the feasibility of a Mormon convert leading a wary evangelical and Catholic right in a faith-driven cause. While there are significant roadblocks hindering Beck’s quest for leadership in the Christian Right, he wouldn’t be the first Mormon to advocate a right-wing alliance that stretches across faiths. Beck follows hundreds of Mormon “pro-family” activists who have united with conservative Catholics and evangelicals to form a common front in the culture wars.
Since 1997, when Beck was just a baby Mormon, a coalition of mostly-U.S.-based religious right groups, the World Congress of Families, has attempted to rally religious conservatives at international “pro-family” conferences to transcend theological differences to unite against common enemies: feminism, homosexuality, liberal attitudes towards sexuality and reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state.
Our latest PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll found that 64% of Americans think that Mormons have different religious beliefs from their own, and among evangelical Christians the numbers rise to 68%. However, only 17% of Americans know that Glenn Beck is Mormon, and his favorability among white evangelical Protestants is 49%, the highest of any religious group.