Get Religion has a short post discussing the WSJ op-ed piece I talked about in my prior post. The GR post also gets around to discussing the term "anti-Mormon," a term which likely means something different to a religion reporter not terribly familiar with the Utah beat than it does to practicing and cultural Mormons. Of course, the term means different things to different Mormons as well. I sometimes think the FARMS Review sees an anti-Mormon behind every tree. I think that's the flip side of the coin of exaggerated zeal. I myself think a true anti-Mormon is a fairly rare bird (if not quite an endangered species). Maybe I'm zeal-impaired. I suspect these viewpoints define the two ends of a spectrum of opinion on the prevelance of anti-Mormons or, equivalently, of a spectrum of definitions of the term "anti-Mormon."
So what did Mollie Ziegler (author of the GR post) think? First, she said that "it is not necessarily anti-Mormon to say Mormons are not Christian." Check. Next, "[o]ne can believe that Mormons are not Christian and still donate gobs of cash to Mitt Romney for President." Well, such a belief (for a Christian) probably makes the donation less likely, but I'll happily sign on to the idea that one's political actions and votes shouldn't be determined by one's religious views, although those views surely have a general influence on the choices voters make.
Next, she notes that "it’s not just those on the 'religious right' who don’t consider Mormons to be Christian." Sounds like Ronan. She makes the fine observation that the rebaptism issue really acts to set the LDS Church apart from the non-Evangelical mainline denominations, who accept each others' baptisms. Note that this problem is rooted in the longstanding LDS policy of not accepting non-LDS baptisms more than in any independent Christian animus directed at the LDS Church, its clergy, or its members. The rebaptism issue doesn't get discussed much in LDS circles, which is odd given how much attention is given to baptism in LDS missionary work and how annoying (to Mormons who do consider the issue) is the refusal of other Christian denominations to recognize LDS baptism as a valid Christian baptism.
Finally, Ziegler notes the "difficulties in understanding which statements from the church’s authorities are ex cathedra, so to speak, and which are just personal thoughts." Yeah, that's a problem, especially when every GA gets a big red chair.
A final aside: Three interesting observations on the Church in three short paragraphs. Wow, bloggers (who often take ten paragraphs to express one or even zero good ideas) could learn a lot from journalists. Get Religion posts are invariably five to seven short and polished paragraphs on an interesting topic with a good picture or two thrown in. Wish I could write like that.