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Thursday, October 25, 2007
posted by Beth Barnat | 3:22 AM | permalink
I must credit the title to Steve over at

I quote from the comment that Steve made in his own blog over at when he refers to John F. Kennedy, as the first American-Irish Catholic running for President:

“People were worried about Catholicism in the White House. Catholicism has been around for a while and is fairly well understood. It was “old scary” for a lot of people. The LDS church, or Mormonism as it were, is “new scary”. In my experience, I would bet it’s about 80% of the people I’ve encountered still believe that polygamy is a Mormon practice. It’s been well over a century since that has been true, but people remain ignorant.

So the fear of having a religious man in office still exists, a man that belongs to a mostly misunderstood religion is the number one reason why a lot of people will not even take the time to figure out what his political stances are before they write him off.”

So this is what we’re facing -- “the new scary.”

Perhaps it’s part of the maturing process of America - to learn to accept the ‘unacceptable’ - the un-understood. After all, isn’t that what is at the root of prejudice* -- lack of understanding?

I’m just old enough to remember when John F. Kennedy ran for president.
I lived in Massachusetts then, and, of course, my parents were conservative Republicans and were going to vote for Nixon. I was perplexed, as one of my classmates (in 1st grade) told me: “Well, I’m voting for John Kennedy. He’s cuter!”

Well, that was true -- he definitely was cuter. And he got elected as President that year.

But his Catholicism, at the time, was a big deal. It was a huge obstacle.

Many people may not realize it now, but a lot of Protestants believed that Catholics were going straight to hell and … a lot of Catholics believed that Protestants were going straight to hell. (Ireland, anyone?)

I dated a lot of guys who qualified as “pond scum” when I was in high school in the late 60s. My father interviewed every one of them. They all passed -- they were Protestants. Except one … Jim Lowe.

Jim Lowe was one of the nicest and most moral guys in my high school.
But this guy, Jim Lowe, was a Catholic, and he was forbodden. I could not date him. No. Not ever.

Well, when my parents told me I couldn’t date him, I ran away (to my girlfriend’s house) and eventually got my way and dated Jim Lowe.

Today, my mother (still Protestant) works with Jim Lowe’s mother (still Catholic) in the Right to Life endeavor in my home town in Indiana.

They have found a common bond. They are now united in that bond.

I tell you this story because it is extremely relevant to what is happening today.

Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Orthodox Jews, and other people of various faiths who hold the value of human life in high esteem can all find a common denominator.

America is in the process of getting educated … once again.

I implore my Mormons friends to be patient with the Protestants of today.

I have come to believe that my job, as a conservative political activist, is one of education.

People are so poorly informed. It is human nature to form quick opinions about things we don’t understand. It’s a survival mechanism.

But when we start to talk to people, and really listen to people and then have the opportunity … we can inform people about the way things really are … then we have a done a tremendous service for our country.

I implore you, Mormons and non-Mormons, those who are supporting Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination -- Be Patient!

Fear is a real thing for many people.

Listen. Ask questions.

People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.

I see Mitt Romney living this out in his campaign. He is an amazing man.
He understands that people are afraid. Afraid of what they don’t understand.

And, as you can see, the more people get to know him, the more they rally behind him.

*From the American Heritage Dictionary: prej·u·dice (Noun) An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts. A preconceived preference or idea. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.
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Wow, Beth - awesome post!! Thank you very much!

Great post Beth.

To help get informed:

check it out. Its goal is one of education (not necessarily apologetics) and it is well done.

Very Poignant.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 25, 2007 at 2:42 PM  

So in this election, is Hillary the "Old Scary"?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 26, 2007 at 2:09 AM  

bjalder26 - I would say Hillary (and Bill, her cohort in evil) are the old and the new SCARIEST!

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