TONY AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL “THE BOOK OF MORMON”: Insightful, stupid, blasphemous — or what?
Since 1949, “Tony” awards have been given annually for musicals judged the best of the year.
Some famous winners include “Sound of Music” (1960), “Man of La Mancha” (1966) and “Phantom of the Opera” (1988). Some others have been pretty forgettable.
This year’s top award-winner is a musical called “The Book of Mormon”.
Its theme is mockery of organised religion.
Blended, however, with a dash of feel-good tolerance and empathy for the heroes — a couple of muddled would-be Mormon missionaries . . . .
The story’s take-home message is that religion can do good — so long as we disregard whether it is true . . . .
Questions of God, eternity — and any purpose to life beyond worldly ones — are to be strenuously ignored.
This musical thus throws religious believers a bone — in the hope that they will accept the mockery in good spirit — and in the process compromise their faith . . . .
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Media reviews have varied from it being the “funniest musical ever” to being merely “slick and smutty”.
Spokespersons for the Mormons themselves have tried to play it cool and not over-react.
One official response was, “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of Scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”
From a Christian point of view, the musical may or may not be blasphemous — depending how seriously one takes it — but the Mormon Church’s response is definitely blasphemous.
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Christian teaching is so incompatible with Mormon teaching that one must reply that reading the Book of Mormon can only lead people AWAY from Christ.
The founder of the Mormon religion (Joseph Smith) taught about a “plurality of gods”. He claimed that God was not always God, but became God.
Smith claimed that he himself would become God: “When I get to my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father . . . and I will take his place, and therefore become exalted myself”.