The last day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., represented a “mainstreaming of Mormonism,” according to an expert on religion and politics.
“Last night was a really dramatic shift from the way Romney has handled the issue of his Mormon faith,” Brian Kaylor tells in a Skype interview the day after Mitt Romney’s RNC speech.

Kaylor, assistant professor of communication studies at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and a contributing editor to, says Romney “really has shied away from talking about Mormonism and his faith. It was only just this month that he actually allowed reporters to follow him into church on a Sunday for the first time during this campaign.”

Kaylor says most of the convention offered references to Romney’s “church” or “faith,” but never used the M-word: Mormonism. Only Ann Romney had actually used the word Mormon from the podium.

But Kaylor notes that before Romney spoke Thursday evening, several members of his Mormon church in Boston spoke.

“Thursday night at the convention was that ‘Mormon moment,’ that mainstreaming of Mormonism that a lot of people thought was going to happen and had not come out until it finally came out at the convention,” says Kaylor. “So that was a really important shift.”

“Last night at the convention really might have done more in the long term to help the Mormon church than to help Romney’s campaign,” says Kaylor.

Watch the interview with Kaylor at

Visit Brian Kaylor online at

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