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.
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.
- 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.