Monday, November 5, 2012

The Religious Test (2012): Mormon Movie Reviews

 A few days ago we posted a picture in our Mormon Memes section of our Facebook Page.  It was a fun picture of Mitt Romney saying, "Top of the Mormon to ya!"  The comment we made was, "The only thing that I think is more silly than people who only vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon, is those who won't vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon."  We got a huge number of "Likes" and shares, and even some great comments.  I am not sure if what motivated people was the picture itself, or my comments, but people are certainly interested in Mitt Romney and his Faith

   The Cultural Hall Podcast asked us to review a movie for them about how Mitt Romney's faith effects his campaign for president.  Documentaries are not normal fare for us, but the theme was really intriguing.  The Religious Test is a feature documentary film that explores why roughly 20% of Americans have said they would not support a Mormon (a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) for President of the United States. It attempts to inform viewers about perceptions and misconceptions regarding Mormon faith and culture. The film avoids dogmatic discussions and does not seek to promote any belief system. This independent production is not affiliated with or endorsed by any church or political candidate, party, PAC, or caucus.

   The Religious Test pulls some big names to discuss a range of topics from religious freedom to divisive social issues.  Even Us Senator and former Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman gives a positive view of the role of a candidates faith.  

   The interviewees come from several backgrounds.  Many or not of our faith, or are members who have more liberal views.  They are all very respectful.  I enjoyed the comments from an Evangelical couple who have used this moment to better understand their Mormon neighbors.    

   One the interviewees brings up a great point when discussing a sort of open season when it comes to Mormons in the Media.  He speaks of how horrified people would be if we were to substitute Jew, Black, or Muslim with some of the headlines we see in mainstream media.  In fact Hilary Clinton called the trailer for the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" "disgusting and reprehensible," yet didn't say a word when she saw The Book of Mormon musical on Broadway.

   Another interviewee explains that if you want to find a good taste of anti Mormon sentiment, find any major news
source that has posted a mildly complementary story.  You will find an explosion of views that are just awful, and not fit for civilized company.  I read a recent CNN article about the change in the missionary age.  Just about every comment is disparaging about the Church.

   The narrative of the documentary is a little hard to follow.  Although the film is separated into themed segments, there seems to be a lack of direction as there is not a narrator guiding us through the story.  

   The final segment of the film really gives a great perspective on the result of the gallop poll.  We should not see the results as 20% of Americans would not vote for a Mormon President, but that 80% of Americans would!

   The content of the Religious Test is completely safe for all audiences.  The interviewees are respectful to our views, even though some might not agree with them.

Mormon Media Reviews gives honest and frank perspective on movies, music, shows, and other entertainment from an LDS perspective. Ratings are given based on the Quality of the media and the appropriateness of the Content.  If you would like to read more of their reviews you can read them here at The Cultural Hall or at  

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