MORMONS are outing themselves. In 2010 the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to counter
“misconceptions” about the religion, and last October it was vastly
expanded. Billboards have now gone up in a dozen American cities,
featuring real members. “I’m a Mormon,” say lawyers, scientists and
surfers, smilingly directing viewers to the church website. There the
curious can chat with a missionary, or browse some 80,000 profiles to
find Mormons who are like them. Over the past year, according to the
church, people have initiated about 1m chats via the site, often asking
about the Mormon record on gay rights, or other controversial things.
And since the launch of the October campaign there have been 30,000 more
Mormon profiles to look at.
Some might think this unnecessary. In 2010 the church added some
400,000 converts and babies, pushing worldwide membership above 14m. If
Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, there may be a Mormon
president soon enough. In a January poll of Mormons from the Pew Forum
on Religion & Public Life, 63% reckoned that acceptance of their
religion is rising.
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