The Mormon Question

Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America

Author: Sarah Barringer Gordon

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 0807875260

Category: Religion

Page: 352

View: 7999

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From the Mormon Church's public announcement of its sanction of polygamy in 1852 until its formal decision to abandon the practice in 1890, people on both sides of the "Mormon question" debated central questions of constitutional law. Did principles of religious freedom and local self-government protect Mormons' claim to a distinct, religiously based legal order? Or was polygamy, as its opponents claimed, a new form of slavery--this time for white women in Utah? And did constitutional principles dictate that democracy and true liberty were founded on separation of church and state? As Sarah Barringer Gordon shows, the answers to these questions finally yielded an apparent victory for antipolygamists in the late nineteenth century, but only after decades of argument, litigation, and open conflict. Victory came at a price; as attention and national resources poured into Utah in the late 1870s and 1880s, antipolygamists turned more and more to coercion and punishment in the name of freedom. They also left a legacy in constitutional law and political theory that still governs our treatment of religious life: Americans are free to believe, but they may well not be free to act on their beliefs.
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The Mormon Question

Utah and Statehood : Irrefutable Facts and Figures : a Strong and Able Argument

Author: Jeremiah Morrow Wilson

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Utah

Page: 4

View: 9204

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The Mormon Image in the American Mind

Fifty Years of Public Perception

Author: J.B. Haws

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199374945

Category: Religion

Page: 424

View: 5132

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Winner of the Mormon History Association Best Book Award What do Americans really think about Mormons, and why? Through a fascinating survey of Mormon encounters with the media, including such personalities and events as the Osmonds, the Olympics, the Tabernacle Choir, evangelical Christians, the Equal Rights Amendment, Sports Illustrated, and even Miss America, J.B. Haws reveals the dramatic transformation of the American public's understanding of Mormons in the past half-century. When the Mormon George Romney, former governor of Michigan, ran for president in 1968, he was admired for his personal piety and characterized as "a kind of political Billy Graham." When George's son Mitt ran in 2008, a widely distributed email told hundreds of thousands of Christians that a vote for Mitt Romney was a vote for Satan. What had changed in the intervening four decades? Why were the theology of the Latter-day Saints and their "Christian" status mostly nonissues in 1968 but so hotly contested in 2008? For years, the American perception of Mormonism has been torn between admiration for individual Mormons-seen as friendly, hard-working, and family-oriented-and ambivalence toward institutional Mormonism-allegedly secretive, authoritarian, and weird. The Mormon Image in the American Mind offers vital insight into the complex shifts in public perception of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its members, and its place in American society.
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