New Study Asks, Will America Elect a Mormon President?: News Roundup

Apologies for the delay in posting – last week was a big one for us!

In Tanenbaum news, our annual Award Ceremony was Monday, May 21st at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental in New York City. We were proud to honor our president and founder Dr. Georgette F. Bennett with the first-ever Visionary Award, and PBS correspondent Ray Suarez with the Media Bridge-Builder Award. Pictures will be up on the website soon; for now, you can check out the coverage on Lifestyle + Charity magazine. Thanks to all who attended and supported this year’s event, which broke Tanenbaum fundraising records!
On the election trail, Republican hopeful Mitt Romney’s Mormonism continues to make headlines.  The Deseret News reports on a new study:
"Our results suggest that Romney’s religion will remain a potential political stumbling block," Monson wrote in tandem with his co-authors, David Campbell of Notre Dame and John Green of the University of Akron. "However, the application of our analysis extends beyond Mitt Romney, and even the electoral viability of Mormon politicians more generally. … Our results suggest that sustained contact across religious boundaries — interreligious bridging — fosters religious tolerance in the political sphere."
Meanwhile, television pundit Bill Maher posted a tweet calling Mormonism a “cult:”
"Why even listen to #MittRomney on foreign policy? His entire FP experience is 2 yrs trying to brow-beat Frenchmen into joining his cult"
The Obama camp quickly distanced itself from Maher. Obama senior strategist David Axelrod told CNN's "State of the Union" that Romney's faith was "not fair game" and said the campaign "absolutely" repudiated any effort to inject religion into the race, as UPI reported.
Workplace discrimination issues were also top of mind last week, as several new lawsuits were announced and one pending piece of legislation made headway in California:
  • Sheldon Reichstein filed suit against Youth Advocate Programs Inc. in Texas, claiming that colleagues made derogatory remarks about his race and religion. (Southeast Texas Record)
  • A Time Warner employee is suing, alledging that he was terminated on the basis of religion after complaining about co-workers viewing pornography at work. (Reuters)
  • A New Jersey lingerie store employee is claiming that her Orthodox Jewish employers terminated her for dressing too provocatively. (ABC News)
  • In California, the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which would offer more protections to employees needing to wear religiously-mandated clothing or headwear, moved forward in the state assembly. (IndiaWest)
In Education news, a coalition of educational and religious groups issued an 11-page pamphlet on bullying, harassment and free expression in schools. (Huffington Post) This comes on the heels of a contested Illinois anti-bullying bill to which religious groups objected; the bill eventually failed amid concerns that it was promoting a same-sex lifestyle.
Following in the footsteps of our own Peacemakers in Action, an international interfaith delegation headed to Nigeria to promote peaceful coexistence among Nigerians of all faiths.