Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Following Faith
Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

» Peggy Fletcher Stack E-mail

» Subscribe (RSS)




Three kinds of Mormons? Catholic priest is one kind of wrong

This so-called "Mormon moment" has spawned lots of stories by folks who consider themselves experts on the Utah-based faith but may know very little.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Take the case of Father Dwight Longenecker, priest of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, S.C.

In a column posted at Catholic Online, the good father asks if "Mitt's Mormonism matters"?

He starts by dividing the 14 million members in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into three categories: maniac, moderate and modernist.

The maniacs, Longenecker writes, are "weird extremists" like convicted pedophile/polygamist FLDS leader Warren Jeffs. Note to Catholic columnists: Most Mormons do not consider Jeffs and the other "wide-eyed and wild fundamentalists" to be Mormons at all. They have, in fact, been barred from the Utah-based church to which Romney belongs.

The moderates, he says, are nondrinking, tithe-paying followers of every edict given by church leaders who ask no questions about the faith's "laundered version of Mormon history."

By contrast, Longenecker writes, modernist Mormons eschew the supernatural in favor of being "nice people, having good manners, helping the poor and doing good. ...This is the Mormonism of smiling families in slick advertising campaigns, clean-cut all-American values and an apple pie utopian dream of America as the prosperous and peaceful promised land."

Modernist, he insists, is where Romney finds himself. And, given such logic, that is why the candidate's faith doesn't matter because, well, "it's not really a religion. It's a set of table manners. It's a part of a respectable facade."

Sorry, Father. Those categories don't work for observers with a better sense of the Mormon population.

If you want to come closer to understanding Latter-day Saints, check out Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby's "Five Kinds of Mormons."

They are: liberal Mormons, genuine Mormons, conservative Mormons, orthodox Mormons and Nazi Mormons.

Those categories may exist in Catholicism, too, but Kirby would be unlikely to make such a claim.

Peggy Fletcher Stack



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
 
Jobs
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.