While the Huffington Post may traditionally be known as a liberal media outlet, in the religion newswriting community their reporting has a growing (and good) reputation. They cover a broad range of issues and religions-- as evidenced in their top stories of 2011 which released last week.
Their top eleven included:
- The Muslim Spring
- The Dalai Lama Steps Down
- Mormons in Politics
- The Muslims Are Coming, The Muslims Are Coming
- The End of the World
- Presbyterians Acknowledge Gays and Lesbians Can Be Ministers
- The Struggle for the Soul of Yoga
- A Jewish American-Israeli Rift?
- Occupy Faith
- The New Mass
- Interfaith Secularists
View the Huffington Post's Top Religion Stories of 2011 for the details. Also, if you are interested in reading news reports and commentary from a range of religions, I would visit the Huffington Post Religion Page.
With Mormonism becoming a major topic of discussion, about a year ago LifeWay Research decided to ask Protestant pastors their view. According to our random sample, most pastors feel strongly Mormons are not Christians. After several reporters asked if we had some data, I decided to release it. You can download the full report here: Protestant Pastor Views of Mormonism.
The survey polled 1,000 American Protestant pastors asking them to respond to the statement, "I personally consider Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) to be Christians." It's a forthright question some will find offensive, but it will be an increasingly important question.
Three-quarters of Protestant pastors (75%) disagree with the statement, "I personally consider Mormons... to be Christians," including 60 percent who strongly disagree and 15 percent who somewhat disagree. Just 11 percent somewhat agree, 6 percent strongly agree and 9 percent do not know.
In other words, the view that "Mormons are not Christians" is the widely and strongly held view among Protestant pastors. That does not mean they do not respect Mormons as persons, share their values on family, and have much in common. Yet, they simply view Mormonism as a distinct religion outside of basic teachings of Christianity. Many of these pastors may know Mormons consider themselves Christians, but Protestant pastors overwhelmingly do not consider them such.
Our research itself was not the story. The real story was when pastor Robert Jeffress publicly stating that Mormons were not Christians and were a "cult." His comment, related to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, is what ignited the media frenzy and brought our research to the forefront.
Any thoughts or reflections on the HuffPo list? Feel free to weigh in.