Using the word 'cult' to describe the LDS Church

As part of the rhetorical warfare that has come to characterize modern American political discourse, it was only a matter of time before someone once again used the term “cult” to describeThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We saw it often during the 2008 presidential campaign. It surfaced more recently when Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) was fighting to retain his Nevada Senate seat (his opponent’s pastor accused him of belonging to a cult that “pretends to embrace Christianity”).

And in the past few weeks the term has appeared in articles in the Economist and The New York Times, and also in other newspapers that carry less intellectual heft.
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