Controversy is brewing about Mormonism again as the beginning of a new HBO show draws close. "Big Love" is a series about polygamy in Utah and has some muscle behind it. With Tom Hanks as a producer and Bill Paxton in the lead, it may prove to be a popular show. At the same time, it raises the traditional question, what is the relationship between Mormonism and polygamy?
Yesterday's Guardian included the article, "The march of the Mormons," with the following subheading: "The Latter-day Saints are on the rise in the US, and a Republican named Mitt Romney has hopes of becoming the first Mormon president. But the church has one serious image problem: polygamy. Which is why HBO's new drama, about a man with three wives, is stirring up controversy." Additionally, today's Deseret News (an LDS owned newspaper) contains "LDS Church rejects polygamy accusations." It reports:
[LDS Church spokesman Mark Tuttle said,] "For decades, the church and its leaders have spoken out against the illegal practice of polygamy and most recently, the reports of child and wife abuse emanating from polygamous communities today."
Tuttle said President Gordon B. Hinckley has addressed the LDS Church and polygamy in previous addresses, stating "categorically that this church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy."
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