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This election as voters take to the polls, they may be facing two Mormons, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, fighting to reach the White House presidency.
The emblematic Times Square in New York City has a new ad with the motto “I´m a Mormon” this week. In order to let the people know that Mormons are just like everyone else, the ad shows the slogan surrounded by a dozen people riding motorcycles, climbing mountains or just smiling.
Nowadays some Mormons occupy high political and cultural positions in society, such as the Democratic Senator Harry Reid and actress Katherine Heigl, possibly best known for her role on Grey’s Anatomy. The American author, Stephanie Meyer, known for her vampire romance Twilight is also Mormon.
There are more than six million Mormons living in the U.S., however many still consider them to be sectarians, and even polygamist despite the fact that this practice was forbidden at the end of the 19th century.
According to the latest Gallup poll, one in five Americans dislikes the idea of voting for a Mormon politician, such as the republican candidates, to the American presidency.
Though still, as columnist George Will recently said at The Washington Post, the GOP has only five “plausible” candidates for president, and two of them happen to be Mormons.
Despite the fact that being Mormon might make these candidates a less popular choices for Commander in Chief (in a 2007 Gallup poll, 22 percent said that being a Mormon was an undesirable characteristic for a president), the odds might actually be stacked in their favor, as Mormonism seems to be having a good moment.
Some church data reveals that with great perseverance, Mormons have become the fourth-largest religious denomination in U.S., constantly growing with one million new members every three years.
Almost 200 years after the Mormonism’s creation at the West New York communities, the Church of the Latter Day Saints is ready to conquer the heart of the United States where less than half of all Mormons live.
Many Mormons hope to change the bad image of polygamy that some TV chains have spread with shows such as the HBO series Big Love. This is why they created the advertising campaign in Times Square to show the pride of about 30,000 Mormons through several billboards, ads on buses and on 24 American states channels.
Building up a more positive image won’t be easy due to the negative reaction that has caused some chapters from the Book of the Mormon, which is satirized in a successful Broadway musical of the same name.
Smoking and drinking alcohol or coffee is not permitted for Mormons. They also have to fast the first Sunday of every month and most of them usually wear special underwear designed to protect the Mormons from what they call the temptation and evil.
Mormon faith means economic sacrifices; around the 10 percent of their annual salary must go toward helping the Mormon religion. Thanks to this economy support from believers, the Mormon Church has raised its inheritance over $30.000.000 since its creation
If Mitt Romney wins his bid to get into the White House, he would be the first Mormon president.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/texasgovernor/5766168342/