Here are a few things I've learned from the media about Mormons:
Mormonism is a cult
Mormons are polygamists
Mormons think it is okay for men to be controlling and abusive
Mormons hate gays
Mormons worship Joseph Smith
Mormons are not Christians
Just one problem: all of these things are absolutely false.
I understand the fascination with Mormons. We're quirky. We like jello. We stay away from alcohol and premarital sex. What else can be said but that we are peculiar?
Thus, I have no problem with someone having a laugh at my expense, as long as it is not malicious. Lots of things about Mormons must look completely absurd to the passing eye (of course, the same could be said for any religion - just because we don't understand certain ceremonies or traditions of Muslims, for example, doesn't make them or their religion innately ridiculous). But there is a difference between pointing out the quirks of a particular religion (all in good fun) and making a mockery of everything its members hold sacred.
Either way, have a go. Wasn't it Brigham Young who said, "Every time you kick Mormonism you kick it upstairs."? Well, we're getting a lot of help with our stair-climbing these days, courtesy of shows like Big Love, which has the irritating habit of grouping Mormons in with polygamists (the Mormon church does not practice polygamy and excommunicates those who do) and showing our sacred religious ceremonies to boost ratings.
If that weren't sensational enough, now you can head to Broadway for an evening of song, dance, and The Book of Mormon, as told by foul-mouthed South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Really, who better to tell the story of a clean-cut, straight-laced religion than a couple of guys who never grew past their own adolescence?
Like I said, I have no problem with someone having a laugh at my expense. But mockery is different. A little ribbing is to be expected and can be appreciated, but a full-on assault on my religion (or, in the case of Big Love, a complete misrepresentation of my beliefs)? Classy.
Think about it: if this were a musical about Muslims or Jews or Hindus, there would be international outrage. Since it is about a Christian religion (yes, Mormons are Christians), and a misunderstood one at that, it's fair game.
Well, you'll have to excuse me if I withhold my applause.