J. Spencer Fluhman, an assistant professor of history at Brigham Young University, is the author of the forthcoming book A Peculiar People: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in 19th-Century America. Fluhman writes in The New York Times about Mitt Romney's campaign and Anti-Mormonism:
"Making Mormons look bad helps others feel good. By imagining Mormons as intolerant rubes, or as heretical deviants, Americans from left and right can imagine they are, by contrast, tolerant, rational and truly Christian. Mitt Romneys candidacy is only the latest opportunity for such stereotypes to be aired."
"Many conservatives, in fact, seem more concerned with Mr. Obamas political heresies than with Mr. Romneys religious ones. It may be that Mr. Obamas unpopularity will prove a key factor in Mormonisms continued mainstreaming. With politics and religion so inextricably linked in our culture, a Romney presidency would entail lasting effects for Mormonism and its image."