Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mormonism Fears

As the caucuses draw closer (three weeks at this writing), we're beginning to see evangelical Christians, falling in behind Mike Huckabee, questioning/criticizing Mitt Romney, a Mormon. Take a look at this cartoon - supposedly banned by the Mormon Church, and being distributed widely via emails and blogs. It's pretty over the top:

There are three responses to this ridiculous cartoon posted on YouTube. I'm not going to post all three responses here, as they total nearly 30 minutes. But take a look if you want to see a rebuttal.

The point of all this is to look at the cartoon for it's message of fear, a clear attempt to portray the Church of Latter Day Saints as outside real "Christianity," and to therefore influence the political discussion currently taking place. It's even gotten to the point that Romney had to deliver a speech defending his church. Mind you Article Six of the Constitution declares that "No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office title." Of course, Romney tried to compare himself with John F. Kennedy's Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, but then, to paraphraase the late Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Mr. Romney, you're no JFK.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

AIDS Strikes Fear

I picked up this video from one Dan Savage's recent blog posts. (Under the title "Effective HIV/AIDS Education," posted 10.10 at 10:30 am.) Savage writes: "Some gay bloggers, according to Queerty, are calling this ad “fear-based,” which is what folks always call ads that touch on the reality of HIV/AIDS and don’t just hammer away at vapid “safe sex is hot sex” messages that most gay men tune out. I wouldn’t call it “fear-based,” more like “reality-based.” This is what it’s like when you do something stupid and then have to go get your ass tested—you worry, it’s scary, and you decide, sitting in that chair in the HIV/AIDS clinic, that it wasn’t worth it. Why shouldn’t this be part—part, not all—of the safe-sex message?"

This brings up the question with which I will begin the semester: Are fear appeals ever good? Watch the clip and tell me what you think.