Comments about ‘Chris Hicks: Take high road with Parker and Stone's musical’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 17 2011 5:00 p.m. MST

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Charlottesville, VA

Stone and Parker's portrayals of Mormonism usually depict it as a ludicrous religion based on obvious fairy tales--but Mormons as nice people. But in pointing out how such a patronizing message is definitely negative towards Mormonism and only slightly less so towards Mormons, I hope not to stir controversy. I wholeheartedly agree that the correct approach to this is to ignore this and not encourage the South Park boys with any more attention than they deserve.

Santa Monica, CA

Mr. Hicks--your high road taking seems to be seething with fetid anger just beneath the surface. It's like you are typing the words--it's just a Broadway musical-with your teeth tightly clenched and beads of sweat dripping down your brow. If you REALLY want to take the high road, why don't you wait for it to come out, go see it and THEN comment on it. Hopefully, with a good sense of humor. But with good humor or not--we really should SEE the things we are writing about, shouldn't we?

Seek to understand
Sandy, UT

bgl - I cannot fathom that we both read the same article. Mr. Hicks' piece had no angry undertone whatsoever. Do you know about "projection"? This is where you take your own emotions and attribute them to someone else. This must be a classic case because no where in the article does anger appear, even in tone or implication.

An no, he doesn't need to see what he is writing about. His point of view (I know they don't teach this in the schools anymore so I don't expect you to know it) was related to how we should respond to this musical in the most productive way. He didn't need to see it to discuss that topic.

bgl you appear to be someone who has some anger of your own to deal with.

Woods Cross, UT

From what few articles I have read about the play, by I assume non-LDS columnists who have seen a few scenes, preview (whatever), the play sounds boring and puerile.

Bountiful, Utah

Of course they have been there and done that! But as long as people are willing to pay to see the humor, they are going to keep on keeping on here! I think we should all just lighten up and not make any big deal out of it.

Makanda, IL

Well, I seem to have read the same article as bgl. I think that Hick's reviews are usually insightful and give a good feel for the value of a production - not the case here. To grouse at Parker and Stone's 'obsession' of LDS, despite acknowledging that they have satirized many different groups over the years, some at much higher intensities, just comes off as lame and the antithesis of thought he typically puts into his reviews. Maybe the production will be turn out to be "boring and puerile", but at least that would have been a more worthwhile review than the complaining that we LDS are being persecuted via musical.

my slc
Newport Beach, CA

Perhaps "South Park" and "Book of Mormon" writers are not as anti LDS as you believe? A quote from South Park, "All about Mormons"

"Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life. And a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don't care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that's stupid, I still choose to believe in it.

The reviews from the January preview are indicating that The Book of Mormon promises to be a funny and great show.

my slc
Newport Beach, CA

Seek to understand:

"An no, he doesn't need to see what he is writing about. His point of view (I know they don't teach this in the schools anymore so I don't expect you to know it) was related to how we should respond to this musical in the most productive way. He didn't need to see it to discuss that topic."

That is one of the most frightening things I have read in a long time.

You don't need to see it, read it, etc to respond? Just respond in the way "we should"?


Miami Area, Fl

Must agree with myslc.

I saw the southpark episode.

Was there any areas that you (LDS) felt were outright false about your beliefs?

There is plenty of fodder in the LDS faith. The episode could have been much more demeaning.

The episode quote from the earlier post is really not that denigrating, is it?

City, Ut

"...do seem to have a strange fixation with the LDS Church that they just can't get over."

They and so many others.

If the LDS and their church are just a bunch of nut cases, who have always invented, made up, and believed such ridiculous drivel--you have to ask yourself then WHY IS IT that everyone from atheists, satirists, and public figures all the way down to those who claim they couldn't care less about the church as well as ex members who have chosen to leave the church CAN'T seem to just LEAVE IT ALONE??

That STRANGE FIXATION that they JUST CAN'T GET OVER in and of its self ought to be enlightening.

Springville, UT

The more folks are defensive and scream about the play, the more attention it will get. Plays come and go all the time in NY, and the vast majority of them never get that much attention. Shut up about it and it will likely fade away unless it is really good, which I doubt. There's just too much competition and out of towners are looking for something more spectacular. So, if you object to this play, just shut up and let it ride out.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I agree that "He didn't need to see it to discuss that topic".

I haven't seen it and neither have any of you.. but we are discussing it. If we shouldn't discuss it until after we've seen it then done of us should be commenting about it here.

You're all ridiculously spouting off your "feelings" of love or hatred for the Church.

Move on children.

SLC gal
Salt Lake City, UT

Stone/Parker have always treated the church with what I like to call affectionate disrespect. And South Park episodes in general usually end with some type of moral/lesson learned.

I think if anything, it's going to bring in at least a few members driven by curiousity if nothing else

Santa Monica, CA

I know that, at the Tony Awards--the musical numbers of the shows nominated are the highlight of the evening and one of the most widely talked about moments of the awards season. If this musical is nominated--that alone could bring a huge amount of attention to this production. This show is already receiving Tony buzz. Would watching the Tony's be taking the high road?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

If its true why is everyone so embarassed about it? They never make anything up, they've always followed right along with the history, good or bad.

Salt Lake City, UT

I think for all the statements about how the LDS Church's response was "dignified" and "taking the high road", something needs to be realized: Just like mentioned in this article, the church rarely makes an official statement on negative media portrayals, this musical and Big Love being some of the few exceptions. The Church issued no statement on "8: The Mormon Proposition", probably cause it was poorly made and few people saw it.

Which is my point, the fact that the Church made a statement, no matter how terse and dismissive it tried to be, shows that they are genuinely worried about it, just like they were with the Temple Ceremony episode of Big Love.

The LDS Church was afraid of the Big Love episode because it showed an aspect of LDS belief and practice that is generally unknown, especially to new and potential converts, and is seen as potentially dissuasive to converting and retaining new members.

What exactly it is about this musical that has the LDS Church worried is anyone's guess, as few know the exact details yet. But these guys are film makers and the musical could get made into one, with mass release.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I don't think the Church is all that worried about this production. We've had these things happen since day one.

The fact is, we usually get a lot of converts from these sorts of things. People get interested and look into to it. They find out the things they have seen and heard are either gross distortions or out and out lies and they end up joining the Church. This has happened time and time again.

When the Mountain Meadows Massacre movie came out a few years ago, some members were worried. In fact, the movie was a terrible disaster, got terrible review and was a big flop. This musical might do the same thing.

Whatever it is, we should just all ignore it and go on. Christ will not allow his work to be destroyed. The Church will continue to thrive.

South Jordan, UT

I'm always happy when a portrayal of Mormonism hits the national stage. Many times someone who might not know much about the church then has questions and are interested enough to want to find out more.
I don't think you'll hear many missionaries grousing about the publicity.

Sarah B
Bountiful, UT

I watched the Big Love episode while living in Cali b/c I had a lot of non-member friends and neighbors, some of whom had asked me about the Temple. I wanted to see exactly what was portrayed so I could refute anything that was erroneously depicted. I've had friends tell me of outrageous lies they've heard about what goes on in the Temple. While I don't think it was appropriate to air, I will say it was handled beautifully and accurately. It made me cry b/c I'd never seen it from an outsider's perspective. My response to my friends questions "Yes, and isn't it beautiful, I feel so blessed." Negative publicity doesn't hurt the church, in fact quite the opposite.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Just leave it alone, it'll amount to nothing and it'll have zero effect on the Church, unless we help it have effect.

Joseph Smith:
The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.

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