Deseret News: Gay marriage issue, national elections lead to civility fight
You might say the Mormons and Obama made him do it.
Mark DeMoss, a prominent evangelical, was disappointed over the way he thought Mormons were treated during the 2008 presidential campaign. “I had been working with Mitt Romney as an unpaid advisor,” said DeMoss, president of the DeMoss Group, a public relations firm that works with some of the biggest names in Christianity like the American Bible Society, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Liberty University. “In my work with Mitt Romney, I saw a very ugly side of the treatment of the Mormon faith. Sadly, most of it was coming from evangelicals. And that bothered me.”
Then, after Romney was out of the race, DeMoss was bothered by the attitudes and rhetoric aimed at Barack Obama that questioned his faith and his love of country.
The final straw for DeMoss was how some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were treated by opponents in the aftermath of California’s Proposition 8, including vandalism of some Mormon chapels and people losing their jobs.
The level of incivility of political discourse in the U.S. was unacceptable to DeMoss — and most Americans agree. The Allegheny College Survey of Civility and Compromise in American Politics in April 2010 found that a whopping 95.4 percent of Americans believe civility in politics is important for a healthy democracy. The study also found that 87 percent of Americans believe it is possible to disagree respectfully.
But the reality that DeMoss saw in 2008 didn’t reflect the public’s aspirations for civility.
So he decided to do something about it.