Sunday, January 27, 2008

Quoted on Religious Humor

I got quoted in "No laughing matter? When comedy and religion collide," by Elaine Jarvik, Deseret Morning News, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008:
Provo humorist Chris Bigelow is the creator of The Sugar Beet, a Mormon version of the national satirical magazine The Onion. So he's given a lot of thought, over the years, to the invisible, wiggly line he has tried not to cross.

Like Washburn, Bigelow's first answer about what's on the other side of that line is "the temple." But then he adds that actually The Sugar Beet once pictured the Provo LDS temple as a rocket blasting off. "We thought we were mocking something more cultural, the outside architecture," he explains. "But not everyone saw it that way."

Lampooning the LDS culture is OK, he says, but lampooning sacred practices and beliefs isn't. However, he adds, "it's not always clear where the theology and worship ends and the culture begins."

He soon learned that using the name of a real LDS authority in fake stories made some Mormons upset. For the most part, though, he thinks his satires were received with the tone he intended: affection.

If you're interested, here's the link to the whole article.

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