One aspect of The Book of Mormon musical that is particularly interesting is the LDS Church PR department’s reaction to it.
A friend visiting NYC, mentioned that one of the first things he saw was a sign atop a cab showing a man and his falcon with the caption “I’m a Mormon.” The next taxi-topper he saw was an ad for a gentlemen’s social club (think nudie bar).
Apparently, in Time Square there is a large video screen showing various (non-representative) church members affirming that “I’m a Mormon.” And something similar is showing in assorted cabs throughout the city.
When my friend returned to JFK airport, he was again confronted with an “I’m a Mormon” cab sign. This time, it had a man and his motorcycle.
If you want to advertize religion, I suppose this is the way to do it. Try and capitalize on the success of a hit Broadway musical. After all, “any publicity is good publicity.” Right?
But the $64K question is: Should a religion advertize at all? If you do, you are out there with a whole variety of fairly obnoxious enterprises. Is advertizing religion in this fashion appropriate? For me . . . NO! Particularly the saturation campaign that the LDS Church is launching in NYC.
The next, but equally important, question is: Is it disingenuous to say you dislike or disapprove of something, and then try and capitalize on it? Or is the LDS Church just trying to counteract possible bad information from the South-Park-gang musical?
Instead of blowing all this cash on advertizing, why not just give the money to LDS Humanitarian Services? They will be put it to far better use.