I think that was a very good response by the Church. I think the listing of the
wonderful humanitarian efforts done in Africa (and in reality all over the
world) underscores what it seems the majority of my non-LDS friends and
colleagues claim they feel about the Church. Almost to a person they positively
acknowlede what we DO while finding very strange what we BELIEVE.This gap will always exist for some. LDS have long been regarded as solid
families, neighbors and community members. But what we BELIEVE will always be
mocked or at least not understood by the majority.
If we have the truth, and we know that eventually we'll be a great benefit to
the world and will eventually prevail in building a totally just and merciful
city, then certainly we should have much thicker skin than we usually do.The Angel Moroni said Joseph's name would be had for good and evil among
all men, but he didn't give any indication as to what that process would entail,
which, to me, suggest it could entail parody and gentle (even painful, at times)
ribbing.Just think, we've gone from being uttering ignored, to
having the phrase "Book of Mormon" on a marquee on Broadway.I don't think Joseph is at all scandalized by this turn of events. In fact, I
think he probably finds it all ironic and quite humorous.
The assault against mormons and people of religious belief continues.As long as there is ignorance there will be intolerance towards religion.The people who manufacture these types of assault, are simply trying to
line their pockets at the expense of others.
LDS leaders need to stop trying to convince everyone of their good deeds and
just help out to help out... How many times do we need to hear them claim the
numbers behind their humanitarian efforts.Constantly stating how
much they've given or done goes against the true principle of it all.
In total, I have probably seen roughly 3 minutes of South Park in my life. It
is not as if all of a sudden I am going to be induced to start watching. It
does nothing for me. However, I do know that there are going to be those who
actually take this seriously. In the interest of those who might misunderstand,
I am glad that the church briefly and lightly commented on it. No further
comment is necessary.
I don't like it when people parody faith. Not mine, and not someone else's.I believe such things speak poorly of the person producing the parody.
That they lack the ability to put understand someone else's views.This is not to say that within the community of faith there are not problems
or things which could be improved. But minor foibles need to be looked over (in
all settings) and major problems are not typically settled on the field of
parody.And to the inevitable question, do I think this applies to
other Christian denominations, or to Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. Yes.
Timp - the reason I think is because of what I stated in my earlier post. The
church struggles both internally and externally with some of our more unusual or
hard to accept beliefs/history. It is actually quite smart to highlight the
things that can be accepted. The church naturally wants to grow and just like
any organization that wants to grow it highlights the things that will help it
grow and minimizes the things that will not. As a member, I
personally struggle with that at times but when looking at it objectively it
really is the smart way for the church to communicate to the world at large. The
church has a very good and sophisticated PR arm and you see it doing it's job
well through this article.
As one who knew about this production years ago from an individual who worked
with Lopez; it's all about the almighty $$$ (his wife writes for Disney FYI).
LDS was an easy target in their minds. He wrote 'Avenue Q' which is hardly good
theater and it won best musical. What, in my opinion, is more tragic is that
this production will likely be nominated for a Tony Award. It's a high-priced
road show at best, not a production worth the accolades of theater's highest
honor.It goes to show how far American culture has fallen.
Timp: the Church does "help out just to help out." The huge majority
of service and sacrifice in the Church are made without any kind of recognition
or fanfare. But sometimes it helps to contrast the reality of what the church
does with the caricatures that the critics portray.
Who makes up the rules?They wouldn't dare do a Broadway play called
"The Koran" and poke fun at Islam.But somehow Mormons are fair
game.Who makes up the rules?
Timp - "How many times do we need to hear them claim the numbers behind
their humanitarian efforts."Fact of the matter is the great
majority of true charity done by the LDS church is not reported or talked about
publicly. Smetimes however when there is ridicule we just need to be reminded
of a little of the positive. The church could sue and stop the production as
this does constitute copyright infringement but no, they choose to accentuate
'I don't like it when people parody faith. Not mine, and not someone else's.' -
Twin Lights | 12:17 p.m. I do! ESPECIALLY my own! Humor has been used through out the centuries. As a peaceful and yet
pointed way to bring up the things that many of us would find offensive in
common conversation. Just look at SNL. Much of the time we smile,
laugh and then perhaps a 'Oh yyyeaaaahhh!' My example?
I enjoyed 'Spamalot.' I'm not sure, but I doubt this makes fun of
the humanitarian aid the LDS church gives, rather some of the quirks, or 'inside
jokes' might be the only REAL milicious intent. Also, I would like
to point out this is not the FIRST time these producers have made material about
the LDS faith. 'And especially learn to laugh at yourself. Because
if you don't, everybody else will!'
Good comment Pagan. If we would stop being defensive and sensitive for a minute
and step back and really look objectively at some of the unique and quirky
things we LDS do (or don't do) and believe - we probably couldn't help but
chuckle (or even groan) a bit ourselves.But I also get that it is
much easier to laugh at ourselves than to be laughed at.
A few years ago the South Park people created an Oscar nominated song called
"Blame Canada" that said "Everything's gone wrong since Canada
came along." Of course nobody believed that Canada was the cause for all
the worlds problems. People in Canada probably didn't like it much, but I think
people who watch South Park don't take things very seriously. For that reason,
I think the approach of the Church is right on. the Church would probably
rather not have it done, just like Canada would rather have not have had the
song sung on Oscar night, but the effects are pretty minimal.
TIMP - I agree with your idea of 'not doing your alms before men.' But I would
suggest that pertains to individuals. From the church's perspective and
responsibility the requirements on the church are different.Say No
to BO - Why are Mormon's an acceptably persecuted minority? It's because we
don't play the 'victim card'. Choosing to be a victim incorrectly justifies
anger retention and diverts from the path towards forgiveness. Anger is a sin.
To withold forgiveness witholds forgiveness. You can't cling to mercy with one
hand and demand the execution of justice with the other.Since we
rightfully refuse to be victims - the self-proclaimed protectors of the
defensless don't jump to our assistance. Our self-confidence defers the need.
"Constantly stating how much they've given or done goes against the true
principle of it all."First of all, it's not constant. Second, I
think the way they do it is appropriate. If they didn't, you would have people
accusing them of being secretive, which they already do.Given the
misconceptions about the LDS church that they are a self-serving,
money-grubbing, secretive institution, I think they are more than justified in
pointing out the good they do. I don't really see it as tooting their own horn
so much as disclosing their activities in order to give the public an accurate
picture of what they are about. The LDS Church can't win. If they
disclose how much they give, it's perceived as bragging. If they don't disclose
how much they give, they're accussed of being secretive.
I think this will probably be a similar situation to what happened when
"The Godmakers" was distributed throughout the world. Many who saw it
decided to look into the Church and many were converted. I believe many who see
"The Book of Mormon" will also investigate the Church and decide to
join. The guys who wrote this as a vehicle for ridicule will have to face the
Saviour at the judgement seat. But, the play may well lead to a few good
things. Let's see how it goes.
PR for the Church has it's purpose. Seeking publicity for a 'Day of Service'
project to give the Church visibility in an area where it isn't well understood
or very visible is a good thing. I would feel quite uncomfortable
wearing a yellow helping-hands shirt when I fulfilled a home-teaching assignment
however. It seems contradictory to avoid recognition for personal
efforts but support publicity for the Church in a group effort. It's really not.
Michael Otterson has threaded a very delicate needle here. He defends the
Church's efforts in Africa without condemning the gentlemen who wrote and
produced the musical. Impressive.
Believing in things that can't be proven is a considered a sign of foolishness;
bad science; poor policy; etc. Unless you call the belief "faith" and
put a spiritual twist on it. Then the belief in something that can be proven is
considered a great virtue.
@Moxley. Believing in only things that you can prove is what I consider foolish.
1,000 years ago, there was no way to prove the earth was round, no one beleived
it was round. Anyone that said it was anything other than flat was flying in the
face of conventional wisdom and considered foolish. Yet we know better now. They
didn't have the ability to prove what was actually true, regardless of their
opinion or ability to prove it. Of course, as we progress we gain the ability to
prove things that we couldn't before. For the sake of arguement, lets assume the
human soul may live beyond mortality. If you find yourself "on the other
side" one day, facing God and he says (to quote a South Park episode),
"the Mormons were right," you will discover that your ability to prove
something has just increased. I cannot prove to you that this will happen. You
cannot prove to me that it won't. Neither of thoses facts make it true or false.
It will be what it will be. I've had enough experiences in my life to at least
be willing to give it consideration.
Moxley - did you leave out a negative? Not sure I follow.Faith is not a
belief, a creed, a bias or a grouping. It commonly get's treated as such. A belief without proof is unfounded - not foolish, just unfounded. It isn't
bad science, it is the essence of the hypothesis in the scientific method.Faith is exactly the scientific method of going about and testing your
hypothesis. Faith is to act on the belief. People without faith, therefore
choose to remain ignorant as they are satisfied with their original belief /
prejudice but are too lazy to test it.Maybe you don't see the
results / proof of the hypothesis. But millions have. 50,000 missionaries in
essence are teaching a hypothesis and challenging people to experiment on the
hypothesis by exerting their faith.
ReadAbook, I dare say this production will garner more than a mere Tony
nomination. I think the critical consensus in the theatre community is that it's
a front-runner in more than half a dozen categories (best musical, score, book,
direction, choreography, leading actor, featured actor and featured actress),
and unless Tony voters veer wildly from what reviewers thought, it's easily the
best bet at this point to win best musical. That's not to say it's appropriate
material for everyone -I myself won't be seeing it - but despite it's
controversial, blatant and purposively offensive material, its craftsmanship is
Moxley - please tell us all what you believe in that can be proven? The bible
sure can't, so it shouldn't surprise us that the Book of Mormon can't be proven
I thought the prophet Joseph had gone to great lengths to copyright the name,
"The Book of Mormon?" How could these producers get away with using
that title? It hurts my sensitivities when I see their frivolous marquee using
those words which are so dear to us. Did the Church go passive on that issue
just so it wouldn't stir up publicity for the show?
As far as parody's go, I liked "Provo Utah Girls." That was funny!
When the "kids" who write and produce South Park get nerve enough to
take on the Muslims, I will respect them, not before.
I for one, am so glad he mentioned the good done in Africa. I recently stopped
donating LDS Philanthropies because there is little data on where the money goes
and how it is spent. I switched to organizations that openly account for their
spending. I understand the concept of alms and not knowing what the
other hand is doing. But I also feel like it's important that I be a wise
steward of the gifts God has given me.
Good question Raymond fan,Why isn't the use of the name "The
Book of Mormon" copyright infringement?
I won't be seeing it, either. Because it's on Broadway, and I'm not. If I make
it to NYC before it closes...maybe.
i'm not active L.D.S., but the church is handling this admirably. The church, as
with most denominations do alot of good around the world, so if i were you,
active L.D.S. members, i would take this with a grain of salt. Trey Parker and
Matt Stone make fun of alot of subjects, and for the most part, it is harmless.
i don't know if i am going to see the play, but if i do, i will take it for what
it is, parody.
Ballplayer you said " 1,000 years ago, there was no way to prove the earth
was round, no one beleived it was round."The Greeks during the
time of Alexander provided proof that the earth was round due to the differences
in shadows of identical pillars observed in Greece and Egypt at the same time of
day. It is actually a myth that in Columbus' day that everyone
thought the earth was flat. Many people were coming around to the idea, even
sailors as they noted the ocean appearing to disappear in the view was a sign of
the actual curvature of the earth. These are some excellent points
to show that man has speculated/known and even proved ( the shadows example
above) that the earth was round many years ago.
The article is inspiring. I agree with Everest.
Trey and Matt poke fun at every religion -- atheism got particularly rough
treatment, it was brutal, lol -- but I have long been curious as to why Mormons
seem to always come out on top in the end, after all the lampooning is done. So
I looked up as many interviews as I could find where they discussed it -- and
basically, they think Mormons are the nicest people in the world, and if one
religion is going to take over the world it ought to be one that teaches people
to be kind to each other, even if it is based on nonsense. Thus the worst thing
Mormons could do is to get all defensive and hostile when these guys make
another show that pokes fun at Mormons. We can be grateful for the Mormons who
responded to their teasing with kindness, since reacting with venom could have
changed all that. Matt and Trey promote the church in the weirdest backdoor
Buckdazey: The guys who write South Park have already taken on
Islam. They even made a Muhammad character -- that they put in a bear suit. As
you would expect, they received death threats. The Network was too scared to
air it again and removed the episode.
I wouldn't see it for the same reason that as a Latter-day Saint I would be
offended if someone did the same thing to the Catholics or Protestants or Jews.
My pitiful little dollar will be spent doing something of worth or being donated
to a cause that rescues people not put them down. Half truths are dangerous.
I saw it. It was great. Clever, witty, irreverent, hilarious, touching, and
well-played. I highly recommend it, especially for Mormons who take themselves
way too seriously.
We LDS are taught from infancy to "be reverent" and not to mock or
profane that which is holy. Reverence is taught in other religions, as well, but
it is currently out of fashion in many countries and cultures, including the
U.S. Crude and bigoted humor has certainly existed over the centuries, but it
was far more accepted in private venues than in public ones. These days,
calling a performance "irreverent" is paying it a compliment. We LDS
can laugh at ourselves, but "insider" attempts at "Mormon
comedy" have largely proven just not that funny. We don't laugh at what is
sacred. Often, non-LDS don't see the difference. I recently read the comments
of a thirty-something woman who said, "I don't see why any religion should
be exempt from ridicule...I am tired or pretending that religion is
sacred." I sat with mouth agape, as I imagined generations turning in
their graves. Mockery is one of Satan's sharpest tools. The Savior reacted to
it with silence and meekness. We need to do the same -- especially with a
production that is seen by non-LDS as gentle parody.
Timp - I take a different view . I personally like to hear the good things that
the LDS Church has done, That Catholic Charities have done, that a Baptist
Disaster Crew does, and yes even the good things that my city or country
does.I doubt if I will ever see the musical & I didn't like
"The Flying Nun" either just because of its title, but I guess it was
"successful" for many years. I think there are TV shows that I won't
waste my time on, but there are others that I enjoy viewing. I hope that for me,
I am making good choices.Maybe I am different.
If its ok for these people to lampoon The relgion and beliefs of the LDS Church.
I would love to see them Lampoon the Quran and Islam and see the recation they
get. I say If one relgion is hands off. Then all are hands off!
To AlaskanLDS: One thing to remember is that once the money leaves your hand
and is given to a member of the Bishopric, it is no longer your money. It
becomes the Lord's money for him to do as he sees fit. You want to know where
your money goes then here is an accounting:All tithing funds go to
Salt Lake City and is used to build chaples, temples, print lesson manuals,
church publications and ward/branch, stake/district budgets.Fast
offerings stay in the ward to assist those who are in need of assistance
locally. At then end of the year if any are left over, the Stake takes the
funds to assist other units. If the Stake has funds left over it goes to Salt
Lake for Church use.Humanitarian Funds are those mentioned in the
article. Perpetual Educational Funds goes to assisting those who need it with
loans for an education. Hopefully they can pay it back. Temple, Book of
Mormon, Missionary Funds are specialized and go where needed. Ward Missionary
funds stay in the ward to assist the missionary efforts in the ward.That is how those funds are used.
Yes. I too am concerned that this musical would potentially cause free-thought.