One Manâ€™s Religion Is Another Manâ€™s Mainstream Cult
One could say that all religions are, by their very nature, cults of a kind. Some cults, however, view other cults as, well, more "cult-ish". Mormons and Catholics are two examples. When the Catholic Church announces that they're going all-out to beat the Devil, and increase their cadre of priests who practice exorcism, that's just weird, and reinforces the religion-as-cult stereotype.
Since Mitt Romney announced his presidential bid, there's been a lot of gnashing of teeth in the fundamentalist Christian community over Romney's religion (Mormon). And, ASZ has even opined previously that the Mittster is basically unelectable in the GOP, because the Republican fringe fundamentalist "base" views the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints as little more than a polygamist cult - albeit, a hugely successful and monetized cult.
Many online opinionators (and print and broadcast pundits) have wondered aloud how the candidacy of John F. Kennedy would have gone over had there been such a fevered religious pitch back in the late 50's and early 60's. Protestations to the contrary by the fundamentalist community, many of them view Catholicism as a cult also - albeit, a hugely successful and monetized cult.
The Roman Catholic Church does little to overtly dispel this notion. And, at least as long as the fundies in both the protestant and papist organizations have some common cause in U.S. politics and conservative social discourse, there's no reason for the protestant fundies to kick up much of a fuss. After all, whether or not they agree with the core beliefs of the Catholic church, they are allies against the abortionists and gay marriage enablers.
So, then, jump in your time machine and ask yourself what the fundie protestants would have been saying about JFK, had they had the following story on which to hang their cult hats: