Mark Hemingway

Harold Bloom, Mormons and spleen-venting

Harold Bloom, America’s Greatest Living Literary Scholar™, wrote an essay for the New York Times over the weekend titled “Will This Election Be the Mormon Breakthrough?” The title doesn’t seem terribly ominous, Bloom has famously written a book on American religion, and he’s known for having a fascination with Mormons. What could go wrong?

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Mitt Romney's faithful life

Being that he’s arguably the country’s best known Mormon and much has been made of the political impact of his religion, there has been comparatively little reporting on how Mitt Romney has actually lived his faith. To some extent this is because it’s easier for reporters to reduce Romney’s faith to just another variable in the political calculus. But it’s also true that reporting on someone’s religious life is a deeply personal matter, and it requires great effort and understanding to do it right.

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Is Jon Huntsman a Jack Mormon?

I wondered back in March whether or not the fact that we had two Mormons running for President would create an “LDSapalooza” in the news coverage. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, in part because Jon Huntsman is polling just above Pat Paulsen. Even though Romney is the nominal frontrunner in the GOP primary his faith was quite heavily covered in 2008, and this time around the media seems far more interested in covering — or ginning up — the controversies surrounding Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. I bet Romney’s pretty happy about that.

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J-politics and Islamist terrorism reporting

It’s been a while since I’ve contributed regularly around here, and I’ve changed jobs in the last few months so it’s probably best I give a quick update. I’m the online editor at The Weekly Standard where I write online and on dead tree pulp about everything from unions to mercenaries to graveyards. So that’s where I’m coming from, these days.

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More Mormons pursuing the presidency

When Mitt Romney ran for president in 2008, his Mormon faith and the extent of its cultural and political acceptance generated quite a lot of ink. So now that former Utah Gov. and Chinese Ambassador Jon Huntsman is also considering throwing his hat in the ring, the possibility of two credible Mormon presidential candidates could create a veritable LDSapalooza.

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Getting cute with Father Cutie

Remember Father Alberto Cutie, a.k.a. “Father Oprah”? He was the, ahem, “hunky” and popular Miami priest and media personality who was caught in some rather compromising tabloid photos gallivanting on a beach with one of his parishioners. It was a big scandal at the time — it even made the New York Times. Well, guess what — he’s back!

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Got news? Freedom, China and Lausanne

With the election finally over, I’m slowly emerging from the bunker at my newspaper in Washington, D.C. I work for an editorial page, and while I don’t strictly cover politics, obviously it has dominated the news for the last few months. I’ve been wanting to discuss something here for a while, but I’m just now getting around to it.

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A scout is... Christian?

This week, the Charlotte Observer reported Christ Covenant Church, an evangelical Presbyterian megachurch in North Carolina, rejected two parents who had signed up as Cub Scout leaders. The father was even a former Eagle scout. The story ended up grabbing national headlines. Why?:

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