Any time writers take on an issue in a public forum, they often receive feedback from their readers. Sometimes the feedback is of gratitude and praise; at other times it can be critical or even worse.
I started writing for Mormon Times more than two years ago and have received my fair share of honest, heartfelt, often eloquent, passionate and supportive e-mails and calls. The feedback I received from last week's article about the Marriott's decision to do away with porn in their hotels was especially telling and insightful, as well as unusually unanimous.
Due to the large volume of responses, I will not be able to share them all, but I have chosen to share a few that represent the majority of your sentiments. I hope you'll read and enjoy.
1. "I completely agree with your recent article. I, too, agree that they should discontinue this practice immediately, or at least sooner than five years. As a convert to the church and not wanting to be judgmental, I was surprised and disappointed that this type of material was available in their hotels.
"While it is an individual's decision whether to watch this material, why would a reputable business, such as Marriot, support the porn industry?"
2. "I, too, like you am disappointed in the reasoning. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Period."
3. "I totally agree. ... If Marriot is such a great place to stay because of all the services they offer, then getting rid of the porn option ASAP would only make them better. It is disappointing that they would mask their move because of money instead of morals. BE a leader, Marriott, and stand up for what is right!"
4. Thank you for your insight as to this matter. I couldn't agree with you more. ... I am gravely disappointed, and I personally would choose to stay ay an OMNI hotel for their proper choices. Thank you for the insight.
5. "Ten to 15 years ago, when I was traveling heavily and usually stayed in Marriotts due to frequent stayer awards, I twice wrote the company expressing my surprise and disappointment that a company that was so distinctly associated with the Mormon church — Book of Mormon in the room, the well known story of the Marriott father and son, etc. — would offer such entertainment. I was, and still am, disappointed they never so much as acknowledged receiving the letters, which really surprised me. I think that people judge a organization by its members. Marriott, in allowing adult films in its rooms, regardless of the reason, and the owners letting the world know they are Mormons sheds a bad light on the church.
"We as members know we have our agency, and the church does not tell us what to do or not in our business dealings other than being honest with our fellow man, but non-members still relate what we do back to the church, and thus judge the church by our actions. This in itself should have the Marriott stopping the movies regardless of the profit or non profit. The best thing would have been for them to be like the other hotel chain and just do what is right because that is what good human beings do, regardless of what religion they are. Also we do not know, we assume the Marriott's have a controlling interest. But if they do not, it might not even have been their decision, it might have been the Board's decision; still looks bad for the church to people who know the Marriotts are Mormon."
6. "Recently read your well-written column on Marriott phasing-out porn on their in-room televisions. As a result, I contacted Marriott via e-mail to suggest they flash-cut to 100 percent porn-free immediately. Also called their customer service number, and just as I did in the letter, FIRST thanked them effusively for taking the first step and then urged them to please not wait five years to complete the second step. Corporate bigwigs (like most people) like getting thanks. So, why not thank them? They are doing a good thing. Here is the e-mail website I used: https://www.marriott.com/suggest/suggest.mi
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