Essence of Mormonism missed in Broadway plays, Matthew Bowman says

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  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 1:31 p.m.

    Americanization? I see the point, but I think it is more accurate to say that the development of Mormonism has actually mirrored the progress of American culture. We started out on the frontier, in a theologically adventuresome place, pushing the boundaries of what people thought to be proper religion. We were carving out a spot for what was certainly very radical at the time. That was awfully American.

    It's been a long road, but here we are at last, in lock-step with modern America: A "franchise" religion with cookie-cutter chapels, a portfolio of trademarks, business-suit preachers, and a billion-dollar global supply chain where God and Mammon have finally been made to collaborate! A complete economy exists around correlated curricula, dumbed down ("made plain and simple") to the level of the typical adolescent, standardized through emotive formulas replete with mawkish glurge ("bringing in the spirit"), and distributed to a home-grown consumer base. The recipes are apparent. It's the ultimate McChurch: a wholesale endorsement of modern American values, subculture Mormon. It's 2012; what could feel more normal than that? And what's more: This formula is destined for success, especially in a world preoccupied with Americana. Inspired!

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    Ć¢Americanization of a radical religious movement, that radicalism survives, however muted, in the vision of Zion pronounced by Joseph Smith and preserved by modern-day Mormons."
    I respectfully object to the use of the word, radical, in this instance.

    If it is meant to indicate a belief or doctrine that is different or unique, then OK, I can buy that. But most of the time, when the word, radical, is used in combination with religion, it has a negative connotation, one of fanaticism.

    If the word means the former, then I agree that the church does have different or unique doctrines. I respectfully disagree with the latter. Perhaps it is just semantics. But worthwhile to point out I think.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:18 p.m.

    Right on, windsor!

    Virgin birth, transubstantiation, infallibility, etc. must all be considered "normal" beliefs. Or, maybe it's that non-Mormons just don't try to live "normal" lives. :)

  • windsor City, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    artice--"are missing the essence of the Mormon dichotomy: trying to live normal lives with abnormal beliefs."

    Mormons hardly have a lock on this. Everyone has some abnormal beliefs.

    It would be impossible to find one human anywhere who is not doing exactly the same:
    trying to live normal lives with abnormal beliefs.