Friday, July 11, 2008

Really Fox News? LDS disciplinary meeting is newsworthy?

To further prove my point that US news is no longer "news" but entertainment, picked up this article by and the Associated Press about a church member facing discipline for publishing a calendar with semi-dressed men that are purportedly missionaries.

The article makes Chad Hardy, the publisher of the calendar, into a martyr. Of course church leaders did not comment about the situation as all such situations are confidential and never disclose those proceedings. The disciplinee is free to disclose that, which it appears Hardy has done here.

Of course in the middle of this "breaking news", during which Hardy claims that he feels his right to free speech is being violated (ignoring the fact First Amendment Rights protect us from government actions, not church government actions), the AP discloses this astonishing revelation about the case:
"A returned missionary himself, Hardy acknowledged he has not been an active
member of the church since 2002."
Not that active membership is a standard by which one is a good member or not, but I admit I would have been more surprised if he said that he were still active now. Perhaps the most disappointing part of the article comes from the end, which may just be Hardy embellishing the numbers:

"The 2009 calendar — which drew 100 inquiries from interested missionaries — will be released in September."

Really? Assuming that this is even true, what current missionary would even consider that? It is probably not that debatable whether an endowed member taking off his garments for something designed for sexual feelings is violating covenants. But that's not really the point here. Hardy can do what he wants because there have been worse things done towards the church's image and life hasn't changed. It's obvious that he is using this opportunity to get more publicity to sell calendars.

The actual question I want to pose is why this was a feature article on the front page of Is there really nothing more important going on in the world? And we wonder why people outside of the US think that we are ignorant of what goes on around the world. Can we trust our news if it is designed as entertainment and focuses on garbage?


Jeremy said...

Sadly, Hardy's "conduct unbecoming of a member of the Church" (as quoted in his disciplinary action letter) likely has little to do with the calendar. What is also unfortunate is the blatant disregard of the sacred temple covenants these young men have trampled under their feet.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;" (Gal. 6:7)

God will not be mocked...does that ring a bell to these people? I wonder if the "active" members of the Church who thought this would be a good way to soften the Church's image would have thought the same if there were 12 scantily-clad Sister Missionaries representing the months of the year...

Hans said...

One of the things I love about disciplinary councils is that they are only publicized by one side. Usually it isn't made known by that person unless they want the attention.

It is astounding what some members think needs to be done to the church's image. If this is what they think it takes, then wow, I don't know what to think.

Nate said...

I don't think a council would have ex'd him just based on the calendar. The first story I saw on this said the guy had been inactive for a while. (I didn't read the one your posted, it's probably there too).

There is actually a story on Fox right now about this. It is kinda strange...if ever there is a goofy story on Mormons, Fox runs it.

Hans said...

I just read that he got ex'd yesterday and commented again about it. If he was going to be subject to discipline, surely going to TMZ didn't help his case.

Anonymous said...

i personally think it is INSANE that this was made into such a BIG DEAL!! my goodness....

People PLEASE! Get Real!

There are WORSE things going on in this world....

But hey...just think...if THIS was the worst thing that FOX NEWS coule come up with about we MORMONS, then that is actually a COMPLIMENT! :)

and about him getting Excommunicated...well....I think there is a LOT more to the story of this guy that no one else knows about....except of course his local church authorities.

Just my thoughts....♥

Hans said...

Hi Merrianne,

I definitely agree with you that there is much more going on than we know of for the excommunication. Obviously that should be kept confidential but we don't know what was said, etc.

My intent in the post was not to blast the guy or stand in judgment, but to complain about news organizations and what they deem to be newsworthy. It could be worse about us, but I think it just goes to show how ridiculous things can get and that the media is entertainment first, and information second. Objectivity went out the window a long time ago. For example, can you see an example of a national news program without an American flag flying? Not that I'm unpatriotic, but because we as a country are imperfect, why not approach the story from a neutral standpoint?

I guess that was the intent of my post, but the excommunication hooplah really hit home the point.