News & Information

The Sinister "Mormon Octopus" and Modern Religious Intolerance

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Oct 25, 2017 11:00 pm
  • 22:26

Guest: Anthea Butler, PhD, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania A little more than 100 years ago, a Baptist missionary group published a pamphlet that featured an ominous map. On it, the Western United States are covered by an inky-black octopus centered over Utah. “Like a huge octopus, the Mormon hierarchy is fastening its tentacles throughout the Rocky Mountain States, and is sapping the very life-blood of American freedom,” read the pamphlet.  Who are these Mormons really loyal to – the United States, or their own church leaders?, the pamphlet asks. What will become of American democracy as Mormon settlers and missionaries fan out across the country?   Looking back, such alarm might seem silly. But if you replace the word “Mormon” with “Muslim,” or “immigrant” or “refugee,” this ominous octopus pamphlet could have appeared on your Facebook feed yesterday. Read The Mormon Octopus here.