When we were thinking up of a cover for our Election Day issue and came upon the idea of having Mitt Romney as the Angel Moroni heralding doom and gloom, I had to stop for a second. Surely some other publication, whether dead-tree or blog, had done that already, no? It's so damn obvious: Mitt is a Mormon, and Moroni is part of Latter Day Saints theology. But I couldn't find any proof of such an editorial cartoon, so we commissioned Romney as Moroni, with my only critique of the fabulous end product being that we couldn't make Mitt's shit-eating grin even more shit-eating.
We published it 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.
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?
The most reassuring words I can tell you Mormons who have written in angrily is that we are equal opportunity offenders here, and we've barely even ever paid any attention to Mormons in OC in the first place except for asshole Garden Grove mayor Bruce Broadwater–and we blame his assholery on the fact that he's an asshole and not his religion. Ustedes should be happy that Romney wasn't a Catholic or a Chuckie-bot from Calvary Chapel, as we would've been ruthless, and I would've responded to complaints from those faithful with a big HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Mormons? Meh…