So one of Seattle Weekly's sister papers, OC Weekly, had a pretty brilliant idea for its Election Day issue. The minds that guide the OC Weekly put a cartoon of Mitt Romney as the Angel Moroni on the cover, "heralding doom and gloom," according to OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano. With Mitt being a Mormon, and the Angel Moroni an important player in the Latter Day Saints theology, it was both obvious and hilarious.
Thing is, Mormons haven't exactly been cool with the decision, leading to something of a backlash - a backlash that's nearly as entertaining as the cartoon itself.
Arellano describes the situation this morning on OC Weekly's Navel Gazing blog:
We published [the controversial cover] on November 1, to a lot of nice comments. Then, last Wednesday, Mormons finally found out about the cover and have been whining to the Weekly ever since, demanding an apology.
Starting on Wednesday and continuing ever since, Mormons from across the country but mostly centered around the Newport Beach LDS temple have called and written in to complain that our cover is offensive to their religion, that Romney is a good man, that Mormons have never hurt anyone (tell that to folks affected by Proposition 8), that they're going to stop their subscription to the Weekly, that we would never mock Muslims that way (we did, by printing an image of the Prophet Mohammed back in 2006, and Muslims didn't give a shit because they understood the context), that they're never going to read the "Register" again (please follow through on that!), and that they're going to start an advertiser boycott unless we apologize for the cover.
So will the OC Weekly be apologizing? Don't count on it.
More from Arellano:
We're not going to apologize, because while Moroni might be a sacred part of the LDS, Jesus is even sacred-er--and we've depicted him as everything from a pothead to a businessman to hanging out with aliens to worse, and far more gratuitously than the spot-on satire that is Romney as Moroni, with the beautiful pun of "Moron!" thrown in (by the way, don't think I'm humblebragging here: this is all the genius of Coker). What's good for the Nazarene is good for some angel, no?
Here's the cover at the center of the controversy: