Reed Cowan, a Miami film maker has produced a documentary on the Church and it’s involvement in the Proposition 8 campaign, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. It apparently premiers today at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT.
I suppose it depends on how you define documentary whether this particular film fits into that category. If you define it as does Webster as being factual and objective, then this film probably doesn’t make the documentary cut. Of course, I haven’t seen the film; but, have seen the You Tube clip and read a few articles, as well as briefly looked at the official website. I’d have to say it’s more of a hit piece on the Church, filled with hyperbole and hysteria, which typically accompanies Proposition 8 discussion.
The promo photo of the website, pretty much says it all, depicting a book of scripture, emblazoned with title 8 The Mormon Proposition, with dollar bills protruding from the pages. This is probably the first clue, Mr. Cowan isn’t interested in a well documented, balanced discussion about gay rights, marriage, or Proposition 8.
As Church spokesperson Kim Farah noted:
Church officials have seen the trailer and other online materials about the film, LDS spokeswoman Kim Farah said, and “it is obvious that anyone looking for balance and thoughtful discussion of a serious subject will need to look elsewhere.”
The MSNBC article says Cowan begged the Church for participation in his endeavor. Why on earth would the Church do that, given the tenor and tone of Mr. Cowan’s presentation?
There really isn’t much new in the articles I’ve read or even what his website portrays. It’s pretty much the same tired arguments we’ve heard made against the Church by other gay activists with an axe to grind and a political agenda to promote.
Predictibly Cowan ignores several facts:
1. Proposition 8 isn’t/wasn’t the Church’s Proposition–the People of California placed it on the ballot, and voted in favor of it. Yes, Mormons (individually) contributed vast sum of money toward the proposition–so that makes them bigots and hateful because they exercise Constitutional rights of religion, expression and voting?
2. California couples can and do register as domestic partners under one of the most sweeping domestic partnership laws in the country. Under those laws they enjoy the same legal rights as married persons in California law.
3. The Church was only one of a plethora of churches supporting the proposition.
4. The Church does not teach anyone to hate anyone else, under any circumstances.
5. The Church supported Salt Lake City’s first gay right’s ordinance--and rightly so; however, they were not obligated to do so, and without the Church’s support may not have eventually passed.
These are just a few which come to mind. Mr. Cowan has every right to produce any type of film he wants; but, it’s important to recognize he clearly has an agenda, is not supportive of the Church’s stance on Proposition 8, and uses highly charged emotional extremes in his documentary “so called.” He unfairly characterizes the Church’s motivation, mission, members and marriage, not only as it relates to Proposition 8, but overall.