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Innocence of Mormons

How two cultures respond to criticism.

Oct 8, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 04 • By JOHN PODHORETZ
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But in this case, they chose their target wisely. How have Mormons greeted The Book of Mormon? In a word, nicely. The church’s official statement was this: “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.” Asked about it in December 2011, Mitt Romney said, “I do want to see it, sure. It’s a Tony Award-winner, big phenomenon—yeah, I want to see it someday. But I don’t have a lot of time for Broadway shows.”

In his equanimity, Romney expressed not a thousandth of the horror at the blasphemy tossed at his faith that has characterized the Obama administration’s reception of The Innocence of Muslims. The repetition of the words “reprehensible” and “disgusting” in relation to the YouTube video by the president and secretary of state and others suggests that there was, and is, something uniquely awful about The Innocence of Muslims that demanded their outraged intercession. 

The Book of Mormon demonstrates that there was, and is, nothing uniquely awful about it. It’s just a sustained assault on people whom the creators feel no need to appease—in this case, a small number of Americans toward whom Barack Obama and those like him in the American cultural elite—aggressive in their demands that minorities be respected and honored—feel no commonality and no common civic responsibility whatsoever.

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, is The Weekly Standard’s movie critic.


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