Comments about ‘New study confirms many LDS stereotypes’

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Research does not offer startling new info about Mormons

Published: Thursday, Dec. 15 2011 12:07 a.m. MST

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BroJoseph
Ogden, UT

Excuse me....but there are more LDS members outside the US and they happen to represent the Polynesian and South American and Islanders and Europeans that do not tend to be "mostly white", not financially well off and would find Republicanism quite "unethical"
For instance in Australia where there is over 200,000 members,most are appalled that Americans fail to assist the poor and needy when it comes to medical assistance regardless of income.
English, Canadian and Australian members enjoy health cover for all regardless of income status. Someone please look beyond the Utah Republican mentality and look to the whole too see the the bigger picture!

ECR
Burke, VA

"A new study coming out of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., indicates that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are predominantly Republican, overwhelmingly white, well-educated, prosperous and have larger-than-average families."

In this season of joy, I hate to be persnickety, but the opening statement of this article is somewhat misleading. Later in the article we read the actual name of the article "The Mormon Population of the United States 1990-2008: An Analysis of Socio-Demographic Trends and Regional Differences,"

So, what the study is about is Mormons in the United States, not just "members of the Church of Jesus Christ" in general. Certainly the vast majority of church members in the Mormon rich countries in Central and South America would not be considered "white" and many of them, perhaps a majority, are not well-educated or prosperous. And of course, they would not be "Republican" nor would their political views nessecarily be considered as conservative as American Republicans.

I guess my hope is that the Deseret News is not trying to use a study done about American Mormons to describe ALL Mormons. That's all. Thanks for listening and Merry Christmas.

Esquire
Springville, UT

The stereotypes are holding back the progress of the Church and will continue to do so until the Church becomes more diverse, particularly politically. This over identification with the GOP is, I am certain, a product of events in the last 30 years or so, and really took flight with Orrin Hatch and the GOP using Church affiliation as a measure of being a good Church member for their own political purposes. The leadership can continue to empathize with the GOP, or they can be more assertive that the GOP is not the preferred political party in order to advance the interests of the Church and spread the Gospel. Inaction is a choice to stay the same.

windsor
City, Ut

I would counter with the opinion that I bet there are way more American members of the LDS Church who consider themselves independent voters.

The Republican affiliation might have been true in the past, but I personally know so many, myself at the top of the list,who have seriously distanced themselves from being associated with so much of what is considered 'Republican' these days--or anything to do with the Tea Party, or Glenn Beck, or talk radio personalities,or evangelicals and others who believe they own and speak for the Republican Party,or rabid illegal alien haters, or those rabid on other topics....

I could go on and on.

Count me as an Independent.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

Some of those stereotypes are not correct.

Mormon women in Utah have had to work outside the home for decades because Utah's pay rates are generally lower than outside the state, but the cost of living here is on a par with many other states. Having lived here all my life, I've seen this firsthand.

Many Mormons are well educated, yes, but certainly not an "overwhelming" number of them. Which demographic was surveyed? Only those with college educations? There are just as many blue collar workers here in Utah as there are in other states and religions. Who is it that you think waits your tables, unclogs your toilets, checks you out at the supermarket? These people are certainly not all non-Mormons; they're probably a ratio of Mormons/non-Mormons that matches the state's diversity (appx. 57% Mormon, 43% non-Mormon).

This study is interesting, but I don't think its entirely accurate.

NT
Springville, UT

@Esquire - ever consider that the Church may not be looking for "progress" as you and the rest of the world might define it?

m.g. scott
LAYTON, UT

Folks, don't you all realize that it is the Christian religion that identifies with conservative values. The Mormons are not the only religion to be strongly with the GOP. It is the liberal secular anti-religious values and attitude emaninating from the Democrat party that has driven many religious people to the GOP. Mormons and Christians find it hard to get cozy with the party of pro abortion, pro same sex marriage, and pro just about any human behavior that might offend the senses of average God fearing people. You guys have put the cart before the horse. If the Democrat Party wants conservative religious people to support them then the party has to become less liberal. It is the Democrats who have been on the move in America and that move is Left. Meanwhile, we religious people just stay where our values have always been.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

I am a Mormon and I have never been told or asked to vote Republican by any church leader! Perhaps more than anything else, this study says something about how Mormons view themselves, their family values and the values of the different political parties? Merry Christmas!

PGVikingDad
Pleasant Grove, UT

Esquire, you're just plain wrong. The Church has been, is, and always will be silent on the topic of political affiliation. I have never been asked my party of preference by any member of Church leadership nor as qualification for any position or benefit within the Church. Not once. Ever.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'At the same time, the findings suggest "the Mormon community has an above average interest in politics," with a higher percentage of Mormons (90 percent in Utah and 84 percent overall) registered as voters, compared with 78 percent among non-Mormon adults.' - Article

Gasp!

No! (Sarcasm)

*'LDS Church's in-kind donations to Prop. 8 total $190K' - By Lynn Arave - By Dsnews - 02/03/09

'Proposition 8 was a ballot measure in California last November that changed the state constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry.'

That being said...

one should not use stereotypes...

as a basis for individual relationships.

Be Practical
Sandy, UT

As long as the Democratic Party is perceived as emphasizing Choice over Life and Entitlement over Self-Sufficiency, most Mormons will continue to identify with the Republican Party of their own volition.

kokua
KAYSVILLE, UT

Hey Chet & Char cool to see you and the kids, nice way to get out of sending Christmas Cards !

It appears that this rather narrow study has gotten under the skin of some hyper-sensitive LDS members. It is curious to me how some small anecdotal sampling of the LDS faith can get a rise out of folks.

Oh well some peoples kids.

J-TX
Allen, TX

Windsor: Me, too.

I find it REALLY hard to believe that this survey of 50K people in the 48 contiguous states is accurate. Certainly not a 0.5% margin of error. That is ridiculous! We need some details on the mechanics of the survey. To be most accurate, the same percentage of the population in each state needs to be surveyed, not hte same number of people. Also, Excluding Alaska and Hawaii, a predominately LDS state skews both the racial and the political numbers. Are they no longer in the USA? What about Puerto Rico? They are American Citizens, and I bet the majority of Mormons there are not white.

Finally, this passage cannot be confirmed with such a small sample size:
" According to the survey, 3.2 million Americans identified themselves as members of the LDS Church in 2008. Official LDS Church statistics indicate that number was actually about 5.9 million. The difference is attributed to the fact that the church counts total members on record, while the researchers only count those who actually identify themselves as church members."

It occurs to me that this might be some Stats students doing a bad job on a term project.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'As long as the Democratic Party is perceived as emphasizing Choice over Life and Entitlement over Self-Sufficiency, most Mormons will continue to identify with the Republican Party of their own volition.' - Be Practical | 8:05 a.m. Dec. 15, 2011

As such, they would then...

*'Fox News host: Romney not Christian' - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News - 07/17/11

*'Rick Perry backer decries Mitt Romney, Mormons' - By Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News - 10/08/11

" (Robert) Jeffress described Romney's Mormon faith as a 'cult,' and said evangelicals had only one real option in the 2012 primaries. ... Asked by Politico if he believed Romney is a Christian, Jeffress answered: 'No.' "

...Live with that consequence.

John20000
Cedar Hills, UT

As an academic (social science) survey study, it was fine. It is what it is. Get to know a mormon, if you want to know what mormons are really like.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

This survey reeks of a badly-written master's thesis.

Over 50% of LDS Church membership is non-white. And I'm certain that well over 50% of LDS Church membership is not "prosperous". Nor is the majority of LDS Church membership Republican (in the countries where the majority of latter-day saints live, there is no Republican party). In the U.S. this might be the case, but the survey didn't say that. If this study was intended to be a demographic analysis of just American LDS, it should have stated that.

And why did the survey stop where it did? No statistics about Jell-o consumption or minivan ownership?

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

John20000 | 8:23 a.m. Dec. 15, 2011
Cedar Hills, UT
As an academic (social science) survey study, it was fine. It is what it is. Get to know a mormon, if you want to know what mormons are really like.

@John, I would suggest you get to know several mormons if you want to know what mormons are really like -- since we are talking about statistics! And get to know them on a day other than Sunday. People are often very different on church days than the other 6 days of the week (and that applies to other religious groups as well).

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Pagan | 8:05 a.m. Dec. 15, 2011

The LDS Church teaches chastity and moral cleanliness. Correct me if I'm wrong but that was also what Jesus taught. If Jesus walked the earth today his teachings would be unpopular with many who consider themselves Christians.

LDS
Cedar City, UT

If this study and interpretation are accurate, then we Latter-day Saints have a lot of work to do.

With such a large majority of US Saints identifying with the Republican Party, there is an obvious disconnect with the advice of the leadership. We are advised often to maintain a neutral position regarding US politics. That is for several reasons:

We are a worldwide church and we must live at a Gospel-level, not a national political level. We must embrace social and economic assistance to those in need. That should come from self, family, GOVERNMENT, and lastly Church. We support government assistance programs.

The Gospel teaches how enslaving materialism becomes. Examples are the meetinghouse parking lots full of expensive SUV's and Mitt Romney's 3 mansions and incredible wealth. The Saints worldwide are far more modest, and even impoverished. We must give away our wealth that others can be provided for. Meeting their basic needs (food,shelter,medical) is essential to liberate their spirits so they can embrace the Gospel.

No political party or movement represents the Gospel teachings. Yes, there are certain elements aligned with our teachings, like the GOP opposing abortion or the Democratic party supporting social assistance. But no party reflects the Teachings.

Thus we need to rise above party identity and think and act aligned with the Gospel.

GoGetter
Sandy, UT

This Trinity College needs to work on their researching techniques... there are more mormons outside of the US than inside it.

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