Anti-Mormon bias persists in presidential politics

On June 27, 1844, vigilantes cornered a man who claimed to receive messages from God and gunned him down in an Illinois jail after his arrest.

At the time of his death, Joseph Smith Jr., founder of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was an announced candidate for U.S. president.

Today, 167 years later, as two of Smith’s adherents eye the nation’s highest office, religious discrimination remains an obstacle for Mormon political candidates for president and a vexation for church members.

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