Chapter

The Mormon Monster

Patrick Q. Mason

in The Mormon Menace

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199740024
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894666 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740024.003.0006
The Mormon Monster

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In addition to polygamy, anti-Mormon authors frequently targeted LDS doctrine and the church’s alleged theocracy. Southerners portrayed Mormonism as essentially anti-American, anti-democratic, and heretical. Their opposition to Mormon doctrine and politics did not in themselves lead southerners to violence, but they provided additional evidence that helped justify behaviors that were primarily constructed as a defense against Mormon licentiousness. By demonstrating the dangerously heterodox nature of Mormonism on questions of theology and politics, anti-Mormons marginalized the religion and its members to the point at which violence and coercive legislation against it became not only tolerated but virtually mandated. Through formal democratic bodies, civil society mechanisms, and informal and raw democratic expression, southerners dictated that Mormon polygamy, politics, and theology lay outside the realm of what was popularly sanctioned in a Christian society.

Keywords: doctrine; theocracy; politics; theology; heterodox; civil society

Chapter.  11448 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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