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So they end up muddling around generalizing about how dominant religions should behave, which (no surprise) amounts to being very, very considerate of smaller denominations and playing as small a role as possible in the public sector.

I wonder if they would remain consistent in Georgia where the rolls are reversed.

That's a good question, JS. Some denominations or religions have a geographical center place: SLC for LDS, Rome for Catholicism, Mecca for Islam, Jerusalem for Judaism. But most Protestant sects don't have such a place; there isn't anywhere where they are "the dominant religion."

Thus it is easy for Protestants to criticize the whole "dominant religion" situation as somehow inherently wrong. To Protestants, the ideal is a free market in religion with no dominant denomination, although the reality up until recently was de facto establishment of Protestantism as a whole: only mainstream Protestant sects were accorded equal status, whereas outsiders (the earlier list: Catholics, Jews, Mormons, and anyone else) were marginalized or even attacked.

It is terribly difficult for Protestants to own up to their history. Remind them that the KKK was essentially a Protestant organization and see what kind of response you get!

I originate in Jacksonville, Fl, where they boast Nathan Bedford Forrest High School (predominant attending race: black) and, as of the early 90's, the 8th largest Baptist church in the country (Hi First Baptist!). The incongruity of things like that (or lack thereof) do not cease to amuse me.

To Protestants, the ideal is a free market in religion with no dominant denomination,

I can see how this would be the case with mainline Protestants. However, the evangelization of the South yields a different dynamic (at least from my exposure). Whether it is the Assemblies of God in Southern Missouri or the Baptists in Georgia, there is an extraordinary push to have religiously wielded political leverage. The whole stickers on science text books seems to be a great example and like you said the KKK is another (albeit less than contemporary) example.

Dave: Bagley's account of the sale of the Trib is silly and needlessly conspiratorial. There was no Mormon master plot, as much as he wishes that there was. The bottom line is the the Kearns family got greedy and tried to avoid a whole bunch of tax liability in a way that their own lawyers told them was risky. (Not in the sense of being illegal, but in the sense of losing control of the paper.) They rolled the dice and lost. As a result, AT&T ended up with a newspaper that it did not want. (Why does AT&T want to be in the newspaper business?!) The Church could have baught the paper but decided not to. Indeed, the Deseret News's beef with the Trib was ultimately not about content but about the refusal to let the News publish in the mornings. The anti-Mormon faction of the Kearns family went beserk convinced that their was a Mormon conspiracy afoot and ended up making some really dumb litigation decisions. (Asking a judge to recuse himself on the basis of religion?! Not going to happen and simply going to piss off the judge. If my lawyer did that I would sue him for malpractice. If my client asked me to do that I would tell them that they were being collussally dumb.) If they had wanted to keep the paper, they should have simply paid their taxes when they sold their cable business to AT&T.

and that's ... the rest of the story. Thanks for the info, Nate.

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