A Different God? Mitt Romney, the Religious Right, and the Mormon Question

As can be expected from a book published by Greg Kofford, Craig L. Foster’s A Different God? is well researched and engaging. This book begins by examining the rise of the religious right and the power it exerts on the current political landscape. Foster presents a good deal of information that most Latter-day Saints will not be well acquainted with, such as the difference between evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, the emergence of the charismatic movement, the rise and fall of the Moral Majority, and the subsequent establishment of the Christian Coalition. This background is particularly pertinent to the majority of Mormons in the western United States who align themselves with the Republican Party.

Foster also gives a concise but surprisingly comprehensive summary of the political history of the Latter-day Saints. Because official Church curriculum does not address in detail the period from about 1850 until World War II or even later, most Mormons are rather uneducated regarding their political past, particularly the theocratic era that prevailed until the Edmunds–Tucker Act precipitated several changes, including the Manifesto in 1890 and the disbanding of the People’s Party in 1891. The fact that most Mormons at the time gravitated toward the Democratic Party might surprise some of their modern descendants.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 49:1
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