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The Politics Of Mormon Christianity

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Renee Bright
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Scholar Terryl Givens says Mormonism is a radical alternative to mainstream Christianity. So why do LDS Republicans sound pretty much like all the other conservatives on the Christian right? This was the question that reporter Lee Hale wanted to answer.

RadioWest divider.

Givens told us that Mormon theology is so different from other Christian traditions that, in some sense, LDS beliefs aren’t really Christian at all. But, according to Givens, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been so concerned with achieving acceptance in mainstream Christianity that it’s downplayed the very beliefs that their faith apart. Givens believes this is partly why we’re hearing LDS congressmen like Chris Stewart and Mike Lee defending President Trump, even when his morals seem out of step with LDS beliefs. Lee joins Doug, along with Givens and former Chris Stewart-staffer Emily Coleman, to make sense of this peculiar Mormon political identity. 

GUESTS

  • Terryl Givens, the James A. Bostwick Chair in English at the University of Richmond. Visiting fellow at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute of Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. 
  • Emily Coleman, former congressional staffer, and marketing professional. She is the engagement coordinator for Republican Women for Progress and the author of Call the Halls: Contacting Your Representative the Smart Way
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.