6 comments on “My response to HBO about their decision to air an LDS temple ceremony on the air

  1. Have you seen the facebook group, something like Mormons against stopping HBO from re-enacting an LDS temple ceremony?

    It’s so clear that this is about getting viewers through controversy. Have you ever seen the show? I watched half of the first episode; it’s just Sex in the City, Mormon edition. Soft porn. Smutty McSmutsmut.

    Alas, everything we hold sacred is all on the internet, in words anyway. And as offensive as reenacting a temple scene on HBO might be, I hate censorship even more. If you’re offended, say so, don’t watch it, don’t support the companies who advertise with the show, but there are people out there who want to see it and it’s not going to hurt anybody, technically.

    SO, while I agree with what you have said here and the way you are going about it, I can’t support groups in favor of censorship.

    And by Jango, you better not Tivo that episode to satisfy your morbid curiosity. Or so help me …

  2. You must define censorship very differently than I do. I hate it when people call private individuals or groups protesting some form of media censorship. Why should HBO get its first ammendment rights but not groups or individuals who dont want them to air such material. I could see the censorship arguement if it were the government telling HBO they cant air this but it is in no way censorship for private citizens to band together to get certain content not in the public sector.

  3. No, I agree that if the government is telling HBO they can’t air it – that is true unconstitutional censorship, and that is definitely something that I would fight against.

    It is a mile away from “artists” who want to be commercially marketable and so they choose to engage in self-censorship due to pressure from sponsors. You can show whatever you’d like, but if you make enough people mad and those people threaten your financial backing, there are consequences.

    Maybe you’re right and I’m off, Daniel. But it still feels wrong to me to try to make something some people want to see completely unavailable for everyone because some people are offended by it.

    What if it was General Conference people wanted to ban?
    Some people find our teachings highly offensive. Is being offended by something reason enough to try to have it taken away completely? Or can we just ignore stuff we don’t like/find distasteful/annoying and change the channel?

    I’ll have to think on it further.

  4. that is why the first ammendment not only includes freedom of the press but freedom of religion. that is a guaranteed right in the constitution.

    i would honestly have no problem with any private individual or group trying to get general conference off of the air so long as they werent trying to get the government to stop it. the government would not be allowed, just like the government ought not be allowed to stop HBO from showing our temple ceremony.

    however, there is a point that its entirely appropriate for the governernment to censor both religious speach and and content from the media. i will admit that this is getting into some gray area but there is a black and white point on some things the government has a responsibility to censor.

    i assume you do not have problem with laws and restrictions on pornography. just because people WANT to see something and someone is willing to show does not give them a RIGHT to such content. i would also assume you have no problems with shutting down churches that call for jihad or any violence.

    so, thats my two cents, sorry to long.

  5. Interesting discussion. I certainly wouldn’t approve of the government censoring HBO or General Conference. I would approve of HBO realizing the decent and respectful thing to do is to not show the ceremonies. I also think people have a right to express their opinion to HBO in whatever peaceful form they want.

    @Daniel: “i assume you do not have problem with laws and restrictions on pornography. ”

    I actually wonder how different the world would be without those laws. Imagine a world where movies or TV could show, say or do anything they want, without restriction. How careful would you be about turning on the TV? Would you even own a TV or subscribe to cable? How much easier do you think it would be separate the wheat from the tares?

    I actually think such a world would engender more responsibility on the part of the parents to decide what is right and wrong, in terms of media. No longer would the standard of “if it’s on TV it’s okay to watch” prevail. No longer would we outsource the decision of right or wrong, in terms of viewing, to the MPAA, the FCC or anybody else.

    I think of censorship as a form of responsibility-shifting. It affords a great deal of trust to a group or body who, in my case, in no way share my opinions or standards. I say let people do, say or show anything they want (as long as it’s not physically harmful to another). It makes it easier to know who’s who.

  6. i agree with you that our present system is not good, however i dont want to open it up to a free for all like you are talking about, at least not in the public arena. i dont think people should be able to put up bilboards with pornography or swear words, i think the same applies to broadcast tv and radio. now cable or internet or movies, i agree, get the government out of all of it.

    “I say let people do, say or show anything they want (as long as it’s not physically harmful to another).” you think people ought to be able to have sex at the local public park with school children there? people absolutely should not be allowed to say, do or show whatever they want, whenever want to whomever they want. in their own home, go for it, in the public square no way.

    i voted against the smoking ban that was passed in washington a few years ago because it infringed on the rights of individual property owners. however, i would have voted for a smoking ban in public parks or any other public arena, that to me is the vital difference and i think the same applies to our first ammendment rights except for religious and political speech, and like i said before, even those have their limits. the public arena belongs to us and we get to decide what is or is not appropriate there.

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