I was surprised the other day when, going through the news, I saw a headline saying that one of the stars of the new Book of Mormon musical was worried to take the role because he thought he would be killed for portraying Mormonism in that way.
Here's what he said: "I called up my agent when I first heard. They sent me a demo with a
controversial number on it that's still in the show to this day and I
said I really love Trey and Matt...but I don't want to die. ...I don't
want to get shot and I fell like feel like this is intense material.'" (Click here to see the article.)
I can understand that he thought Mormons would be upset, but TO BE SHOT? "What sort of people does he think Mormons are?" I thought.
Days later, I'm still a little dumbfounded, but it also has me wondering if this is just a misunderstanding of religion in general. There have, in fact, been times when people have been threatened or killed because of their portrayal of a religion or religious figure. So is it surprising to react fearfully? Aren't we Mormons sometimes reactionary toward groups we misunderstand, fearing reprisal for what they see as disrespectful or hateful?
But I also think (or thought) we've done a pretty good job of showing we're pretty ordinary Christians, not fanatics. Maybe we're not there yet.
What do you think? Is this symptomatic of a misunderstanding of Mormonism, or of religious groups in general?