Saturday, July 30, 2011

Data on anti-Mormonism

So I ran into some interesting data on anti-Mormonism from How Americans View Mormonism.  They asked the question of why people didn't trust or support Mormons in positions of leadership 45% of Americans were able to answer that question.  And there answers basically amounted to: I don't know enough about the religion and what I know I don't like, but it was all about the religion:

25% Ignorance -- Don't know enough about Mormons to trust them
9% Different Beliefs -- Non biblical beliefs.
8% Polygamy -- Belief that this practice is still widespread though secret.
6% Non Christian -- Openly don't like non Christians and don't consider Mormons Christian.
5% Fear of unknown -- People don't know enough about Mormons and thus fear them.
5% Book of Mormon -- Disapprove of making your own bible
4% Joseph Smith -- Believe he is a false prophet
4% History -- racism, polygamy....

Conversely I did an article a few years back with corresponding numbers for Evangelicals relative to people under 30s (includes Christians) and you can see the stark differences:
  • antihomosexual 91%
  • judgmental 87%
  • hypocritical 85%
  • old-fashioned 78%
  • too political 75%
  • out of touch with reality 72%
  • insensitive to others 70%
  • boring 68%
There was no complaints what-so-ever that people didn't know what Evangelicals stood for.  The Mormon list is primarily defined by knowing Mormons and elsewhere on the site they comment quickly on how knowing any Mormons drops the antagonism of these issues down.  Their religions doctrines seem to create opposition, and some level of fear.  But other than polygamy and history there is a complete lack of stuff Mormons have done that irritates people.  I was actually shocked proposition 8, or the anti-ERA position didn't show up.  I think in both cases the LDS took a strong political stand and then backed off when they started picking up enemies on the left faster than they were making friends from their activism.

This contrasts strongly with evangelicals where depending how you could only a single issue of doctrine is on the list, antihomosexual.  Rather everything else comes down to some variant of obnoxiousness.  And the percentages are much much higher.  Which is something I'd also point out to Mormons who seem intent on joining evangelicals.  This looks like a perfect case of out of the frying pan into the fire.

As an aside the authors give an example of where Mormonism becomes non-understandable , which I found interesting. The claim to be the only restored church is viewed very negatively.  Quite simply the vast majority of people are unable to even understand the claim that Mormons are making. Slightly rephrasing to this triple:
  1. Christ organized a church.
  2. Men changed it.
  3. It has been brought back.
Brings to light the vast majority of Christians are not rejecting #3 but rather have never considered #1 before.  Once the position is understand 48% agree immediately with point #1.  Of that 48%, 74% agree with point #2 immediately.  And that probably corresponds to a all but a few percent of non-Catholics,  And then from there 1/2 the people that agree to points #1 and #2 are willing to consider the Mormon claim for #3.  Once this is understood as 3 separate claims:
  • 17% -- Maybe Mormons are right
  • 36% -- Mormons are probably wrong
  • 29% -- Mormons are definitely wrong
  • 18% -- No opinion
Without the need for anything more than a 3 paragraph explanation.


See also

  • Poll on American attitudes towards Mormons from 2011 (link)


Jettboy said...

Just want you to know I finally wrote a blog about your conservatives and Mormons question:

Amelia Day said...

I just wanted to let you know, I'm Mormon and this is extremely hurtful so please don't post stuff like this ever again! Would you want to see this mean things about my religion to my face? Besides, we have FREEDOM OF RELIGION!!!

CD-Host said...

Amelia --

The article and the blog for that matter is mildly pro-Mormon. Would I, if I were having a conversation about anti-Mormonism, tell you to your face what the major components are and how they are different from anti-Evengelical opinions. Yes I would do that. If you are interested in that sort of thing then noting that anti-Mormonism looks nothing like anti-Evangelicalism is important. In fact its the sort of thing I would think would be covered in training for a mission.

Certainly more importantly the fact that a slightly more details presentation of Mormon leads to a reduction in anti-Mormonism is important for Mormons to know. So that's the sort of thing I'd discuss not just one to one but in front of a group of Mormons.

I'm not sure what post you read but as I mentioned the one you are responding to is if anything slightly pro-Mormon.