Well I bet more people will read the Book Of Mormon out shear curiosity and find
out what it real is all about.
While I personally am choosing to ignore the musical, rather than garner any
offense from it, I can't help but wonder if Rabbi Hirshfield would feel the same
if, for example, a musical was produced making fun of the fact that in many
apartment buildings in New York on Saturdays, the stairs are much faster,
because elevators have to stop on every floor, since pushing buttons is against
the Jewish faith. Having not seen the musical, I can't make a direct
correlation, but I can't help but recall the times where people have been
accused of being "anti-Semitic" when something derogatory has been
said about the Jewish faith. If the question, "Can't you take a joke?"
has to be asked, chances are the joke wasn't appropriate in the first place.
This merely seems like an immature chance to bully another group under the
premise of humorous entertainment.
Much ado about nothing. Long after the irreverent musical closes on Broadway
(who knows how many years hence after its long run?) the book will continue to
live on and defy its most ardent critics. I remember the outcry over Jesus
Christ Superstar, and He lives on. . . so will The Book of Mormon.
I'll choose to refrain from seeing this, not because it's Mormon related but
because the content is obviously so disgusting and immoral that even mainstream
media sees it as such.From Sunday's DesNews, story titled 'Is the
'Book of Mormon' musical accurate satire?':According to the
musical's complete book and lyrics, those Ugandan characters utter plenty of
swear words. The production contains at least 49 instances of the
"f-word," and approximately 26 additional expletives. It
also includes sexual innuendos, references to HIV, rape, genital mutilation and
homosexuality.Newsweek, in a cover story on Mormons last week, wrote
that "...the Book of Mormon may be the most obscene show ever brought to a
Broadway stage."The New York Times review of the play made a
similar statement, calling it "more foul-mouthed than David Mamet on a blue
I was just wondering had the subject matter been the Jews or Blacks, would the
production been given so much praise? Were it about illegals would we see the
humor and honor the producer? I think nearly everyone who will admit it knows
that this production was designed to punish the Church for it's position on
homosexual marriage. It is a warning shot. Things will get worse if the Church
continues it's present moral perspective on this issue. Maybe we need to have
a national holiday for Joseph Smith or Brigham Young...or at least Jimmer.
In situations like these the Church usually chooses to just ignore or downplay
the vehicle, thus denying it any further publicity. It then usually dies a quick
natural death. (Think here of something like "September Dawn"). What I'm most pleased about with "Book of Mormon: The Musical"
is that it's become such a phenomenon, apparently the Church CAN'T ignore it. If
it was simply bad, and of no consequence, they would be taking that approach,
but since it has some wit and excellence and hits more than a few satirical
bulls-eyes, they don't really have that option. The Church and its faithful
members would love to control, as much as possible, the Church's public image.
Unfortunately for them, their control only extends so far and they should just
accept that. Rail against the musical if you'd like, but it will only add fuel
to a fire you want to end sooner rather than later. Anyway, I
ordered my copy of the soundtrack on Sunday and it should arrive any day now.
Looking forward to it.
I believe that Professor Renyolds is right. Too many of us Mormons are too eager
to try and appear "cool", and like nervous puppys scamper around
looking for approval from the current cultural elite. We especially have a hard
time admiting that some people, like the writers of this play, really do think
we are ridiculous. The play gets away with one.
The article makes a good point: For too long, Broadway has pandered highly to
their support base. Of course, this is good business, but the danger is that
they have distorted the truth along the way.Case in point:
"Evita". The musical sought to rewrite history by portraying the
Perons as more callous than they actually were. The reason for this portrayal?
The Perons were anti-semetic, and Webber and Rice were afraid that painting the
Perons too positively would anger the Jewish donors who were essentially keeping
Broadway alive at the time (this is by Webber & Rice's own admission).
Unfortunately, many people took the 'history' contained in "Evita" as
fact when it is not.Maybe if Mormons were more involved in the
theater, writers would be kinder to us.
Where are the approval recommendations. Practically nil. No Wonder since the
show is uninspired and full of Vegas type vendettas against the Resoted Kingdom.
I wondered why Broadway went for it. Now I know from the reviews. Lucifier has
his hand in it. I will guess it would rate seventy percent "ugly" and
"30 percent good" in it's reflection of the real truth. This would
make it very popular on Broadway. Nothing to make some peoples day like taking a
swat at our Creator and making lots of money while doing it, at the same time.
I love and adore musicals. I have seen a lot. But I am also LDS WITH a sense of
humor, but I will never attend this one. I am very mad. I don't make fun of
anyone else's faith.I am a follower of Christ and I want to get along with my
fellow Christians. This musical, makes us look like a bunch of koolaid drinking
robots. I was also shocked to hear Thomas S Monsons name being mocked in "
I Believe"..this is a sad sad day. I am really sad that people have stooped
I haven't seen the musical but watched the Tony Awards and was amused by what I
observed. Although it is a little uncomfortable seeing your beliefs belittled
on national tv, it is also flattering that people have an interest in finding
entertainment in your culture. Taking other peoples sacred beliefs and turning
them into entertainment and subjecting them to ridicule is not my idea of
something that is appropriate but I think it is better than what our ancestors
went through e.g. tar and feathers, persecution, expelled from Missouri, run out
of Nauvoo, Illinois in winter, etc. What the talented writers and creators of
the musical have done is create another venue where people who don't know
anything about our religion will have more curiosity and interest which will
create something we pray for daily---a missionary opportunity. Thankyou for
this opportunity to share our faith. Kimball Hawkins,
eighth generation Mormon and steadfast believer in the church
I am a little confused by Professor Thislethwaite's argument. Am I to understand
that her attitude toward women as they have struggled for equality and to be
free from ridicule as women would be: "Note to [women]: Welcome to the
American mainstream. Now, in order to join this fraternity, you need to go
through the hazing."Sad.
I've gotta go with the official Church statement -- the danger is not that
people will laugh at the play, it's that they won't -- that they'll take it
seriously.I can't believe there's much real danger of that,
particularly given the patently racist way in which the play portrays Africans
in general, and African Saints in particular. Or the play's warmed over
"white man's burden" plot, in which African's are portrayed as too
ignorant, violent, poor, or diseased to have any goals and aspirations beyond
their next meal, victim, or AZT pill.On the other hand, like all
cheap shots before it, this play will get people asking, "Is what they said
about Mormons true?" Which is the world's best segue-way into a discussion
of the truth.And, that can't be all bad.
Many liberals love to criticize, condemn, denigrate, or deny religious faith in
general. They seem to be less open when it comes to attacking a
specific faith, but as was shown by the left's attack on Mitt Romney's faith in
2008 (studiously ignoring their pal Harry Reid's nominal Mormonism). This despicable "musical" is just a continuation of the
anti-religion crusade, and the anti-Mormon focus is because it is an easy target
mischaracterized by ignorant people as "a cult" or "not
Christian". Clearly, if they get away with this demeaning of
Mormons they will move on to other faiths.However, it would be
interesting to see what the "tolerance" and "celebrate
diversity" crowd (not to mention the believers) would have been if
"Muslim- The Musical" was introduced.Although not a Mormon
myself, I think that this play is despicable, but free speech guarantees allow
people to do such things, and must be protected.
"Many liberals love to criticize, condemn, denigrate, or deny religious
faith in general."Not true. I just want you to keep your
religion to yourself. I will not ever, ever be part of your religion and I'm
annoyed that you try to legislate it into my life.
Sorry folks. there can not be anything that makes one "pleased" about
this production when it contains 49 Fs and 26 others and deals humorously with
rape and genital mutilation and then openly brags about its obscenity and its
foul-ness. What possible good can there be.It is really a sad commentary
when such a disgusting, revolting show can be accepted by the public. (And I
haven't even started on the sickening adaptation of the holy Scriptures.) You
mentioned Superstar, and I say it was irreverent and disrespectful, and so is
this. How can anyone get enjoyment from it?
Puny hand, meet the mighty Missouri river...DN Subscriber | 7:35
p.m. June 16, 2011 Cottonwood Heights, UT "Many liberals love
to criticize, condemn, denigrate, or deny religious faith in general...as was
shown by the left's attack on Mitt Romney's faith in 2008"If I
recall, Mike Huckabee, sworn conservative, had unpleasant things to say as
well.Bebyebe | 9:01 p.m. June 16, 2011 UUU, UT "I
just want you to keep your religion to yourself. I will not ever, ever be part
of your religion and I'm annoyed that you try to legislate it into my
life."Both sides can make this argument. In the not so distant
future I'm sure I;ll be forced to tolerate things I find immoral. And yes, I do
We now live in a very different kind of world. Secularism and homosexuality with
the all vulgar language is the new norm. The entertainment industry
has no concern for one's religion or beliefs. It has become a godless
industry.The authors of the Book of Mormon new exactly what they
were doing mocking the LDS Church. While having fun with the book; they had
total disregard for Jesus Christ, the foundation of the Church not to mention
the Holy Ghost. Their hurtful approach has touched many members
[Holy Ghost] souls.Matthew 12: 30-32 is very specific about this kind of
blasphemy.I hope with all profits from the musical they might pay
tithing to the Lord.
I have NO qualms about laughing at my faith or people laughing at it. We
Mormons are quirky people, and our faith, from the outside world's point of view
(and even from the inside) can seem very far fetched.What offends me
are the cursings toward God Himself. But I don't have to answer for that one,
so let 'em go for it if they want.My friend who is not LDS saw the
musical when he was in NY, and even he---who is quite liberal---was offended.
And for the same reasons I am. I still think the over-all impact is good,
however, and I say, "let it go."
To DN Subscriber | 7:35 p.m. June 16, 2011 Certainly there are
liberals who "... love to criticize, condemn, denigrate, or deny religious
faith in general."But liberals do indeed exist in The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they certainly do not have a monopoly on
criticizing, condemning, denigrating, or denying religious faith in general.In fact, from my perspective, the conservatives have excelled in
criticizing, condemning, denigrating, and denying religious faith in general by
taking the hard line they have against their brothers and sisters primarily from
south of our borders, whether such brothers and sisters are fellow members of
the same church or not.It will be interesting to see how many ultra
conservative LDS will heed and support the First Presidency's recent stated
position on the immigration issue in this country.As a devout member
of the LDS Church, I submit that the serious immigration issue these United
States face far and away exceeds that of Broadway's Book of Mormon play fiasco,
mostly in coming to realize what it actually means to be "brothers and
sisters in the gospel of Jesus Christ."
It is such a shame that in much of today's society, the crude, the vulgar and
the irreverent rule. People are indoctrinated by movies, television and other
media sources, such as music, that crudeness, violence, and vulgarity are part
of being sophisticated.There are people who never mature enough to
realize that such things are offensive to their own souls, and eventually will
kill any speck of spirituality they possess. They wallow in the mud of filth
they have created, consistently telling each other that they have reached a
level of maturity in which this is acceptable.The BOM musical is
only one of many offensive dramaturgies. Even our Savior, Jesus Christ has been
mocked and derided on modern theater.The world is the kingdom of the
prince of darkness, and those who let him rule, belong to him. But as for me,
and my house, we will serve the Lord and stay true only to Him. He is in
charge, but people make their own choices.
Do we need another article written by Mormons about this topic? This whole
thing has gotten more coverage from Mormon journalists than by anyone else as
far as I've seen. And no doubt, this article will now be syndicated in all the
other Mormon news emails I get for the next week and a half. Can we please
forget about this junk and move on with life?
To sanpaco:So what are you paying attention for?
I listened to the entire soundtrack the other day, from which the gist of the
storyline may be gleaned. I must admit that it was profane and shocking. But
it was the innocence of the Mormon missionaries set against the harsh realities
of life that, even in a somewhat humorous context, left me thinking and gave
artistic value to the musical. I don't think it can fairly be criticized as an
attack on Mormons, even though it does make fun of some of the more unusual
beliefs tied to Mormonism. I didn't come away thinking less of Mormons, I came
away thinking that we are all a bit naive or intentionally blind to the real
problems of the world. I think that was the most profound message of the play.
There are roughly two views here. The first, and minority view, is the Rabbi's,
who optimistically and in good humor believes that it is important to laugh at
oneself and he extends this to religious communities. The second and most
popular on this comment board is that the musical mocks the LDS faith and that
this is bigotry. Both are wrong. Rabbi Hirschfield is mistaken:
the musical mocks religion - it does not make it look attractive. While BOM
musical is specifically about Mormons, the point could equally apply to any
religion. Everyone else (just about) is wrong to think that the attacks
conatined in the musical are bigoted. Race and ethnicity are qualitatively
different than religion. It is not bigoted to mock a belief, especially if it
it ridiculous, as the beliefs of Mormons (and Christians in general certainly
are. You can't read something into a person based on their skin color, country
or origin, sex, or sexual orientation. You can about someone who subscribes to
dogma. Nothing prejudiced about that. Prejudice means prejudging. Pointing
out and acting on your disagreement with someone is not prejudging, it's
post-judging. This is not a difficult point to understand.
@ EnolaCan we attribute the same "artistic value" to
lighthearted, comical musicals with subject matter that includes the Holocaust,
the events of 9-11, immigrants dying in the desert attempting to escape poverty
and political unrest, those that live alternative lifestyles with incurable
diseases? I suppose it's all in good fun.
To answer the question in the title: Modern Minstrel Show.I
downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes, thinking it would be fun to listen to
with my children, who are interested in Broadway musicals. Unfortunately, I
quickly deleted most of the songs because of the profanity-laden lyrics and
offensive disrespect of God, Jesus and Joseph Smith, including very vulgar
sexual references about each of them. Not funny, and definitely not for
If the play starts to tour around the country it will be interesting to see if
it will do as well as it's done on Broadway. Certain plays like
"Wicked" can do well almost anywhere, but I'm sure there are a lot of
places that the BOM play would BOMB.
I've downloaded and listened to every song in the musical - at least five times
now - and I'm not convinced that this show is mocking Mormons, Mormonism, or the
Book of Mormon. In fact, I think the show's writers, directors, and producers
LOVE Mormons. If all they were doing was mocking Mormonism, the show would be a
huge flop. And we all know, it is anything but. Having grown up in Utah, I
understand that in general, Mormons feel that unless you're praising their
faith, you're bashing it. This is not necessarily so. And in this case, for most
"Book of Mormon" theatre goers, the show is heartwarming.
To harrylaven: Prejudice has nothing to do with pre-judging or post-judging.
It has to do with judging without all of the facts - thus in a person's judging,
without all of the facts, he or she is actually not being truthful, even if in
one's own mind one thinks or feels he or she is being truthful. I cite in point
some born again Christians who hear half truths from some church leaders and
make statements based upon those half truths they have heard, without themselves
researching those statements. That is prejudice.
Heartwarming?...Did you say Heartwarming?How can a production of any kind
that uses such filthy language that it has to be deleted from ones playlist, or
ridicules and debases anyting, much less religion in the name of entertainment
be called heartwarming.