Even with polls showing there’s an anti-Mormon bias among voters — especially Democrats, more than a quarter of whom say they wouldn’t vote for a Mormon — I hadn’t given the issue much thought. But this video of a Memphis Fox affiliate ridiculing Mitt Romney about his religion is a real wake-up call (h/t Ben Smith). The whole news segment appears to be about Mormonism and the 2012 election, but skip ahead to the 3:20 mark for the worst of it:
Poking fun at religion is one thing, but skewering peoples’ religious beliefs during a news analysis segment is pretty outrageous. Imagine if a reporter had instead been mocking some of the stranger aspects of Judaism, Christianity or Islam?
That said, I’m not sure whether this video hurts Romney or helps him. On the one hand, getting attacked by a reporter about your religion is pure gold for most Republican politicians, and this clip could certainly help Romney win sympathy and support from the conservative base. On the other hand, the video does portray Mormonism negatively, and it highlights some religious beliefs Romney might not want circulating.
I didn’t expect Mormonism to become part of the election, but if videos like this keep popping up, then it might become an issue Romney will have to address.