Having finally seen the runaway Broadway hit, ‘The Book of Mormon,’ I must say it lives up to the hype.
As someone who does not enjoy musicals at all, I absolutely loved this one. Between the sets, the cast and the music, I was completely mesmerized (as, apparently, are all Mormons who buy into the rather unusual tenets of the world’s fastest-growing religion).
I won’t dwell on the play’s content but, rather, the ‘measured’ response to its content by the Church of Latter-Day Saints. In the official reaction, a Church spokesman said, ‘Parody isn’t reality. The danger is not when people laugh, but when they take it seriously.’ Bravo, Mr. Mormon! Encore! Encore!
Compare the Mormon Church’s reaction to, say, that of the Islamic faith when a Dutch newspaper ran a cartoon poking fun at the Prophet Mohammad? Or, how about The Catholic League’s absurd overreaction to the Empire State Building’s decision not or light the building blue and white in honor of Mother Theresa’s birthday?
I believe organized religion is the root cause of all evil in our world. For centuries now, fundamentalist sects of Islam, Judaism, Catholicism and, of course, Evangelical Christianity have steamrolled countries and wiped out entire populations (solely in the name of their one, true religion).
The Mormon faith may take the cake for the weirdest set of beliefs ever, but I’m genuinely impressed with the way in which they’ve managed their image and reputation (in light of a highly critical parody).
The difference between the Mormon response and that of every other conceivable religion seems to come down to this: Mormons have a sense of humor. Find me one member of al Qaeda or Opus Dei who would do a 10-minute set at the New York Comedy Club. I’ll bet the Mormon spokesman quoted earlier would not only do a set but, indeed, probably be up to MCing an entire show.
I’d continue my silent applause for the Mormon faith, but I’m about to audition a roomful of women. For some, strange reason, I’m suddenly interested in the whole concept of plural wives.