I remember an old Rodney Dangerfield bit about the Mormon church motto. It was something like, "I don't care how you bring 'em, just bring 'em young." HBO's new series Big Love has drawn the ire of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The new series shows the life of Bill Henrickson, played by the always flamboyant Bill Paxton [sarcasm], who lives in Salt Lake City with his three wives [just a quick note: how interesting of HBO, hitting it big with a show about a mafia family, and deciding to follow it up with a show about polygamy]. HBO and the show's producers have gone to great lengths to distance the show from Mormonism but it's difficult to believe that the two aren't connected.
LDS officials are angry because they've worked hard to separate their faith from the practice of polygamy. They even posted the following press release on their website about Big Love. Among some of the objections they raise is that placing the show in Salt Lake City, the headquarters of the LDS, blurs the lines between Mormonism and the family in the show. HBO has tried to cooperate, showing LDS leaders the script and allowing them to screen a few episodes of the show. While they are appreciative, LDS leaders would prefer the show not air.
I don't have HBO, so I don't plan on watching Big Love, but I find the whole controversy interesting. The problem is, despite how much the LDS want to distance themselves from polygamy, their church history is based on it.
In 1890 the LDS made polygamy illegal, calling for the excommunication of all violators. But during the first six decades of the Mormon church, it was a way of life. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, wanted to restore Old Testament traditions, especially the practice of taking more than one wife, so he collected thirty-three himself. I'm wondering how he spent his days . . .
So here, in the inspiration of an HBO series, is the problem with Mormonism. It's roots are severely tainted. Joseph Smith was a lunatic wanting to start a religion that would serve himself well [L. Ron Hubbard said the way to get rich was to start your own religion]. Despite the efforts of LDS church reformers, it's virtually impossible to reform crap.
And as for me and polygamy, I can barely handle the one I got, so why would I want any more?
Um, I love you, Kelly. *some information cited in this post is found here.