The Oregonian screenshot
A guest opinion column in The Oregonian poses a question regarding "The Book of Mormon" musical.

Earlier this year, "The Book of Mormon" musical came to Portland’s Keller Auditorium. Allen Alley, who is a former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party and a former candidate for governor of Oregon, was among those in attendance and said that along with “the rest of a packed house,” he “laughed, cheered, applauded and even choked back a tear at times.”

However, in a guest column for The Oregonian, Alley explains that as the show went on, he began to think more about what he was experiencing.

“I have known and worked with many Mormons. They are some of the most kind, caring, honest and community-minded people I have known. In politics, the Church of the Latter Day Saints members are beacons of integrity, honesty and grace — something that I find sorely missing in politics today,” Alley wrote. “An example of their grace was on the full-page ad on the show's program that roasted their religion and beliefs. The LDS Church ad simply said, "Our version is sliiiightly different. The musical is entertaining. The book? It's life changing." That simple, sincere, classy reply reinforces everything I have come to know about my Mormon friends.”

As his column progresses, Alley says the play led him to think about what we collectively condone or condemn.

35 comments on this story

“Through their raucous affirmation, the thousands of people joining us at the Keller were condoning a clever, entertaining, bawdy and very graphic roasting of some really nice people,” Alley said. “So I thought, what if we switched things around a bit? What if instead of roasting the beliefs of a conservative, teetotalling, caffeine-free group of super nice people, we were watching a play called, ‘The Koran.’ ”

Alley concludes by saying that he is not advocating censorship or a ban of “The Book of Mormon” musical but rather is asking, “What if Muslims were roasted and belittled as mercilessly as the Mormons?”

Read Alley’s entire column here.