Monday, November 21, 2011

Modern Mormonism: Just Another Protestant Sect?

I found the following quotation from Yale professor Harold Bloom in an opinion piece he wrote the other week for the New York Times:
I recall prophesying in 1992 that by 2020 Mormonism could become the dominant religion of the western United States. But we are not going to see that large a transformation. I went wrong because the last two decades have witnessed the deliberate dwindling of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into just one more Protestant sect.
What do you people out there think? Note: Bloom does go on to charge that Mormonism is "not even monotheistic" and includes "other secrets also, not tellable by the Mormon Church to those it calls 'Gentiles,' oddly including Jews"; he adds that "the Mormon God is not a creator", and he raises concerns about the fitness of any devout LDS politician for office (while also taking some rather mean-spirited cracks at the "anti-intellectual and semi-literate Southern Baptist Convention"). Is Bloom's assessment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here accurate and fair?

As you contemplate an answer to that question, worth reading is this reaction to Bloom's piece: "Harold Bloom, Mormons and spleen-venting".

EDIT: More recently, also see James Olson's Times and Seasons post "Why Bloom, et al are wrong" - though with regard to Olson's early endorsement as "succinct and accurate" of Bloom's claim that most mainstream American denominations deviate as strongly from historical Christianity as do both Mormonism and Islam, I must call this not simply wrong but bafflingly wrong.


  1. A Mormon Mommy Blogger responds to Harold Bloom:

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Jenny! I enjoyed reading your post on Bloom.

  3. well.. Im a simpleton so I will give a simpleton answer. :)

    The mormon church is the 4th largest church in the US as of now. And is growing at about 250k-500k a year depending on the year. Just in my lifetime I have seen the church grow big, with tons of new stakes and wards. In fact the town I just moved from had 5 wards in it (and had grown from only 2 wards in 10 years). I call that impressive.

    Check out this youtube video..

    Look how much the church has grown just since the 1940's. So by 2020, I really dont think it will be the number 1 church in the US but definitely top 5 still :)

    Now onto why I think that all churches are struggling to retain and convert....

    I think for every church out there the dividing line between good/evil is getting ever more apart. What use to be not acceptable is now acceptable and religion and faith have taken a backburner to worldly things.

    It's been talked about that in the last days Good things will be seen as bad and bad things as good. I think this a reason why every church out there is seeing less and less conversions. It takes a humble soul to really convert.

    I think the closer we get to the second coming, the more we are going to see evil ideas being ok, desensitisation to things and the more people will turn away from our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. It is foretold throughout the scriptures.

    anyways that my take on his quote. :)

  4. I will say I think he is funny with what he wrote. He acts like he he the ultimate authority on the Mormon church lol. Just makes me laugh because I bet he has never stepped a foot in a Mormon church. :)