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SDSU Professor And ‘Mormon Girl’ Talks Romney, Mormonism

There were a lot of Mormon speakers highlighting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's faith at last night's closing of the Republican National Convention.

Audio

Aired 8/31/12

She's Mormon. She supports same-sex marriage and isn't afraid to talk about religion and politics.

San Diego State University professor Joanna Brooks, also known as "Mormon Girl."
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Above: San Diego State University professor Joanna Brooks, also known as "Mormon Girl."

Here's one more: San Diego State University professor Joanna Brooks, also known as "Mormon Girl."

Brooks sat down with KPBS to discuss two things she isn't afraid to talk about: religion and politics.

Aside from chairing SDSU's English and Comparative Literature Department, she's the author of the blog "Ask Mormon Girl" and has written a memoir titled “The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith," which hit the shelves nationwide earlier this month.

"Reading and teaching American literature for decades now, I became aware that there were very few books on what it actually felt like to be a Mormon, I hungered for those books when I was a little girl," Brooks said.

Brooks, a feminist and strong supporter of same-sex marriage, said that as the American public comes to know Romney as a potential president, they also hunger to learn more about Mormonism.

"We've seen a remarkable transformation in the last year in the way Mormonism has been talked about in the media," she said. "It was one year ago a Baptist pastor from Dallas made the rounds on all the morning news shows calling Mormonism a cult."

Now, she said, the news coverage has turned away from focusing on random doctrine from Mormon history to covering Mormonism from the perspective of everyday people living a demanding faith.

She also stressed the amount of growth the Church of Latter Day Saints has experienced over the years and dispels some misconceptions about Mormonism. She says not all Mormons march lockstep on every issue, as some may think.

As for whether she'll vote for Romney, Brooks said she's part of the small percentage of Mormons who won't support the first Mormon nominee for president on a major party ticket.

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