Mitt Romney is set to be the first Mormon to become a major presidential nominee—so it's inevitable that we'll be hearing a lot about his religion. And as conservatives coalesce around his candidacy, they'll want to make his Mormonism off-limits for attacks. That means that soon, "everyone who has ever made a 'magic underwear' joke will be declared an intolerant liberal bigot," writes Alex Pareene at Salon. So steel yourself: The general election will be filled with "a lot of manufactured umbrage over nothing, because that is what modern campaigns are largely built on."
The National Review has already begun sniffing out anti-Mormon bias; MSNBC has been labeled bigoted. To be sure, there is real prejudice against Mormons. But fake outrage will "trivialize actual damaging or hateful anti-Mormon bigotry by making every dumb joke a vicious slur," Pareene notes. And "a conservative movement that is going to celebrate Mohammed cartoons can’t also object to the mocking of Joseph Smith." Pareene certainly isn't going to stop: If a would-be president believes these are the End Times, "I shall feel free to mock, because that is stupid and dangerous." Click here for Pareene's full column. (Read more Mormonism stories.)