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Streaming video

Title Foreign Correspondent: USA
Published Australia : ABC, 2011
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Description 1 online resource (streaming video file) (27 min. 25 sec.) ; 165692322 bytes
Summary Who would have thought that the Church of the Latter Day Saints would ever become this hip? There's a multi award-winning Broadway blockbuster based on Mormon missionaries, two TV series featuring polygamous families, a slick new advertising campaign aiming to demystify the religion and two Presidential candidates who also happen to be of the faith. It all adds up to what's being called "a Mormon moment". But popular culture success may not be enough to overcome the deep suspicions many Americans still harbour towards what some regard as a heretical, secretive cult. Is America really ready to vote for a Mormon President?It's a defining moment in the history of the Mormons in America. Suddenly, a church that used to be thought of as a cult has become a cult hit. Mormonism is everywhere.It's in popular culture, in the form of "The Book of Mormon", a musical by South Park's creators and the biggest Broadway hit in 50 years, "Big Love", an HBO TV series exploring polygamy, and "Sister Wives", a reality TV show featuring a polygamous family. It's in the news, with two prominent Mormons - Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman - vying for selection as the Republican Presidential candidate for the 2012 race. And it's on TV and computer screens across the US as "I'm a Mormon" - a clever advertising campaign that sells Mormons as being ordinary folk just like everyone else.Unfortunately for Romney and Huntsman, the Church of the Latter Day Saints is also associated in many voters' minds with some more controversial values, such as polygamy - even though the official church outlawed that practice decades ago."We haven't practiced polygamy for over a century ... and it's a little frustrating to have these fundamentalist groups resurface." Jeffrey Holland, Mormon ApostleThe perception problem for Mormonism is that many Americans who still call themselves Mormons do believe in plural marriage, and they live out their faith. They regard themselves as the "true" Mormons, and say that it's the official church that has sold out."I have three separate sexual relationships with my wives, there is absolutely no kinkiness." Joe Darger, author of "Love Times Three", partner to Vicki, Alina and Valerie, and father to 23For this fascinating look at what Mormonism means today, correspondent Michael Brissenden sets out from Salt Lake City, Utah - the centre of the faith and for the world's 15 million or so Mormons, the equivalent of Mecca for Muslims, or the Vatican for Roman Catholics. His journey takes him deep into the desert and the spiritual heartland of self-styled "fundamentalist Mormons", where he spends time with families who believe in multiple wives and are happy to explain their way of life and their beliefs to Foreign Correspondent. We also meet those "everyday" Mormons the church is so keen to promote - ordinary mainstream families who eschew polygamy and who say their faith is largely irrelevant to their political beliefs. With Mitt Romney currently ahead in polls for the Republican nomination, his political spinners will be praying that voters, if they think of his faith at all, choose to hum along with the hit songs from "The Book of Mormon" and the harmonies of the Tabernacle Choir, rather than dwell on the more contentious issues of polygamy, gay marriage, and the church ban on full participation by blacks that was only lifted in 1978
Event Broadcast 2011-10-18 at 20:00:00
Notes Classification: NC
Subject African American Mormons.
Book of Mormon stories.
Elections -- Political aspects.
Mormons -- Political activity.
Polygamy -- Law and legislation.
North America.
Form Streaming video
Author Brissenden, Michael, host
Cawley, Michael, contributor
Cawley, Rose, contributor
Lichtman, Allan, contributor
Newton, Kathy, contributor
Newton, Sam, contributor
R. Holland, Jeffrey, contributor
Wilde, Anne, contributor
Willcox, Kendall, contributor