There's a definite coolness toward Mormons among non-Mormons in Idaho, a new survey says.
But members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints themselves have more favorable attitudes toward non-Mormons than non-Mormons have toward them, the survey says.The survey of 444 Idaho residents, commissioned by the Idaho Commission on Human Rights and the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, was released in Boise Wednesday.
The sponsors said the results are encouraging but show there is much work to be done in Idaho to erase racial, ethic or religious tensions.
"As citizens of this great state, we Mormons want to do our part in helping eliminate prejudice, bigotry and intolerance," said Ted Johnson, spokesman for the LDS Church in the Boise area.
"We know they cannot be eliminated by ignoring them. The efforts of the Human Rights Commission in leading out are appreciated," he said.
Johnson said it has been natural for Mormons, a religion that has been under attack for most of its existence, to have a "circle the wagons" attitude toward those attacks.
"Instead of circling the wagons, perhaps we should be building some bridges," Johnson said.
Boise State University officials who conducted the survey said it should be accurate within 5 percent.
The survey was broken down by regions, and showed Mormons have the lowest acceptance in the Ada-Canyon county area. Not surprisingly, it showed the highest acceptance in eastern Idaho, a region heavily Mormon.
The report showed people from Southeast Asia and Hispanics have the lowest acceptance in Idaho, and whites and American Indians have the highest acceptance.