Wednesday, June 22, 2011

how rare a possession, now with postscript!

i have been on my soap box for a while now about the broadway musical "the book of mormon."

basically, it leaves me fuming.

from what i can tell it is vulgar and rude and mocking and i like to think i would be just as offended if it was a play about someone else's religion.

i am particularly peeved that the creators claim they actually love mormons, which is why they wrote and produced a play that makes light of everything we hold sacred and dear. sort of like when you mom tells you that boys make fun of you because they secretly have crushes on you.

well, i am here to say that no boy who ever made fun of me turned out to have a crush on me and the creators of "the book of mormon" are full of crap. if they love us so much, why don't they just leave us in peace?

i also take issue with the media attention the play is getting, since every article written about it quotes a token, open-minded mormon who says there is nothing wrong with the play and actually it's hilarious! when actually those people are almost always a non-praticing unbeliever who just holds on to the title of mormon because it brings them notoriety and keeps them relevant and shocking in moments just such as these.

so, imagine how pleased i was when AWD forwarded me this article, media coverage and from a non-mormon no less, saying just what i think and feel about the stupid book of mormon musical.

nice to know i have at least one ally out there.

postscript: i would like to clarify one thing (thanks, julia!). and that thing is that there are plenty of people who are fully practicing, believing mormons who have no problem at all with "the book of mormon" and i don't think there is anything wrong with that, or with them. i just don't happen to be one of them. i still maintain, however, that there are some media mormons out there who are cashing in on the whole hoopla and making us offended mormons sound like leave it to beaver-era prudes with no sense of humor. and that's pretty offensive, too.

i probably should have also mentioned originally that i really liked the church's official response to the musical which was, basically, that "the book of mormon" musical might entertain you for a few hours, but the book of mormon the book will change your life forever. plenty of people with plenty of room in their lives for both, but i am just going to stick to the one.

postpostscript: i've never done a postscript before. how was it?


Julia said...

So while completely respecting the fact that you feel offended and outraged by the show, I take some issue with your characterization of those LDS members who are not offended. I am fully practicing LDS member, not holding onto the title just to gain notoriety or maintain relevancy - and I am not outraged by the show. I don’t think an individual’s seriousness of faith worship should be called into question because of expressing an opinion unrelated to the religious doctrine itself.

The first question I ask when someone is offended is if they have actually listened to the soundtrack or read the lyrics. Most of the time this answer is no and I wonder if they are doing the same thing that we discourage non-LDS people from doing about LDS doctrine - making judgments about something without going to the source. I also know that there are some who have gone to the soundtrack and are still offended which is fine because the opinion is based on the facts. I was perturbed by the idea of the musical at first. After listening to the soundtrack, vulgarity aside (which has nothing to do with the religion), I do not find the content overly disparaging of LDS doctrine and I make similar jokes poking fun at my religion. Yes, if individuals take satire seriously, some attendees will come away with a somewhat distorted view of LDS doctrine. They may be the same people as those who get history lessons from Sarah Palin and news from Michael Moore (or a view of the LDS dating world from Singles Ward).

Would I recommend far and wide that all should see the musical? No. Do I think that it is taking advantage of the (correct) assumption that the LDS church and other supporters will not vehemently take to the media to call them out? Absolutely. Is that wrong? Hazy at best.

I’m not saying that all Mormons should openly embrace this musical or even that people shouldn’t express their outrage if they so choose. I just ask that they do so with the full picture and without questioning the faithfulness of those who disagree with you.

That said - love you Frances!

Mom said...

I'm likely to go see it when it makes its first out-of-town performance in Denver this fall. I'll let you know after that.