Monday, June 13, 2011

I am a Mormon, & DANGIT!

Tony awards were last night. BOM won 9 out of 14 nominations.
I'm sure we've all heard of the BOM Musical.
But have you heard anything from it?
Quick synopsis: Mormon Missionaries are sent to a poverty/AIDS ridden part of Uganda where a War Lord is murdering a ton of people.
(From last night's Tony's...)

For the most part it seems pretty factual, right down to the hair cut.
Personally, after watching many interviews (below) with the writers & listening to the soundtrack, I wasn't really offended. I can see why people think we're a little weird. I understand why this musical would be funny & fascinating to people. I admit, I laughed a ton...but I can see why people would be offended. Particularly one anti-God song sung by the Ugandan people who in the musical blame God for (their) AIDS, rape, murder, poverty, starvation, & genital mutilation...Yeah, I couldn't listen to that again (but that was more offensive to Ugandan's than it was Mormons) It really wasn't as bad as everyone is making it out to be (at least the music wasn't, I haven't heard the spoken dialogue.)

In the interviews I've seen they always seem to praise Mormons for our family values, optimism, & happiness overall. One of them said (talking about the song 'I believe' above) that although to outsiders our beliefs seem so silly, they're amazed at how deep we believe & defend & shout them from the rooftops (which is kind of the ending message of the musical - we don't care what people think of us, we're strong in our belief & we are a happy, positive people because of it...we'll even walk into a War Lord's camp & proclaim "I BELIEVEEEE!")

What do you think? Is it offensive? Would you see it?


  1. i love that "i believe" song! i watched the tony's last night at a little theatre-friend get together and all of them were asking me questions about the church and how realistic the songs are to true mormon 'doctrine' and all that.. and that song is compeletely factual, it just mocks the church a bit in the way it words things [i.e. they all asked me what the deal was with everyone having a 'planet'... any takers on how to explain that one to your non-mormon friends??]. i talked to our ward missionaries last night about it [as it was favorited to [and did] win best musical] and they said even with talking with their mission pres. he says 'any publicity is good publicity' because it invites even more questions and discussion on the topic. my [non-mormon] theatre friends were saying that the lds church was 'practically encouraging' people to see it, but i don't know how true that really is. personally, i think it's a great way for people to be exposed to the mormon church/doctrine/ etc., especially since everyone seems to think we're so 'secretive' all the time as mormons in general. i don't know that i'd see the musical myself [or necessarily recommend anyone else to] until i learn more about it, but just watching 'i believe' at the tony's last night, i wasn't offended or anything like i thought i would be. the end.

  2. okay now that i've done a bit of research, i definitely think that this is [obviously] more mocking the church than anything else. watching 'i believe' a second time, i can see that while i might think that it's just cute and kinda cheesy [kinda like "single's ward" or something], to the rest of the world that is seeing this production, they don't know anything about the church and this can easily misconstrue their perceptions of the church in general.

    Michael Otterson, the public affairs representative for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote in a recent piece in the Washington Post. "The danger is not when people laugh but when they take it seriously."

    In response to news media requests, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following statement regarding the Broadway musical entitled The Book of Mormon:

    The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.

    Satire, like blasphemy, is not supposed to be crowd-pleasing entertainment. It is supposed to be discomfiting. Instead of inspiring religious debate, The Book of Mormon has mainly inspired a lot of self-admiration from pop culture mavens, people who evidently believe that singing Mormons and starving Africans are now retro-cool.

    and, apparently, it's more offensive to ugandans than mormons. basically if i cared to look more into this, i would. but there are other things to be done and people will talk about it and such as it gains popularity and everything will work out in the end. i'm curious to hear what you guys think though!

  3. ..and sorry for leaving the longest comments on earth. bye.

  4. i think that guy has stellar voice.
    he should use it somewhere else.
    that's all.
    well i think other things too. i can see how people might be a bit bugged by the musical. the problem with this is that its gonna make people question what we think, which on one hand is a really good thing if they actually ask questions, but i'm sure a lot of people will just believe everything they hear and have really negative feelings towards the LDS church. it's one thing for Mormons to make fun of themselves, but a whole different story when people who don't understand us make fun.

  5. i started writing a post but then it got erased. basically i think it's interesting. it's good for people to talk (but scary if they blindly believe everything they see). it's just kind of uncomfortable for me to watch someone sing about our doctrine while i can hear people laughing at it in the background.

    not WITH it. AT it.

    that, to me, is the difference.