Friday, December 13, 2013

Book of Mormon (finally saw it)

Before i give my (spoiler alert: FAVORABLE) review of the show, let me say:

1. I know that faithful Mormons cherish their faith.
2. I know that AIDS has devastated many lives (and ended far too many).
3. I know that these areas are off limits as entertainment topics for some people.

Now ~ I also know that
1. The creators of South Park wrote BOM. So, you know, gas stations sell gas, bars sell booze...sometimes you just know what someone is peddling. It rings a little hollow to walk into a bar and feel victimized that they are selling an addictive substance.
2. Most religions have beautiful and empowering truths to share and can uplift people, AND, religion can be used to intimidate, exclude, marginalize, and infantalize people. So, those of us who wish to be religious should work to make our religions more relevant and healing and we ought to have a sense of humor about it all.
3. I am both a spiritual person and a person who has personally been affected by HIV. I take both seriously, and sometimes, I deal with both with laughter.

So, fully aware that BOM is NOT politically correct in the least, I must nevertheless admit to loving it!!!

There were some profound moments amongst the satire ("It's a metaphor" says a recent convert to another about a story that would be ridiculous if taken literally..."It's a metaphor", by the way, is a phrase that should be said repeatedly in ALL religious education classes!).

The show wasn't as harsh toward the LDS as I expected and even the gallows humor often made political points (including the not entirely unbelievable conspiracy theory that the US has the ability to cure HIV but is waiting to release the cure until a "latter day"); but mostly, it was the sort of ribald hilarity that isn't mean spirited if it is otherwise insensitive. It also showed in a light-hearted way how religion can both oppress and liberate and how innately, if not intentionally, racist and imperialist missiology is. But even with the serious and intelligent subtexts, what BOM is primarily (to my delight!) is fun music, good dancing, and sophomoric humor. So, you know, THUMBS UP!

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