Letter to the Editor: Marketing overstepping the lines

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    Dear Editor,

    I agree completely with the article “Marketing leeches smother LDS audiences” and would like to add a few observations of my own with respect to some of the things mentioned. First, Harry Potter is read for one reason — it’s popular. (Apologies to the one percent who would read it regardless of its popularity) It is the bandwagon mentality that motivates so many, young and old, to flock to the shelves to buy it. Whatever level of entertainment it might provide does not account for the phenomenal sales and cult-like following it has received.

    To those who are thinking “I read it because it’s entertaining and good literature,” I say, “YEAH RIGHT!” Why aren’t you reading Dickens or Shakespeare or Tolstoy, who exceed Harry Potter in every way? Because it’s not cool and popular to read them.

    Second topic is the Mormon merchandise and paraphanelia. If you are new to BYU, you have probably not yet had too much exposure. Go to the Bookstore men’s department and take a look at our efforts to sell righteousness and religion for a price. There you will find T-shirts that mix the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the newest, coolest, most popular catch phrase or gimmick from the world’s favorite TV shows and beer commercials. This is done for two reasons: to make religion popular and to make money. Why do we feel the need to mix our religion with the latest fads and gimmicks? Are we not comfortable enough with it to simply let it stand on it’s own merit? Isn’t the world and its ways enough of an influence on us without letting them invade and manipulate our worship? Is it right to use phrases from beer commercials to advertise and promote truth? To what levels will we stoop to make money? And, finally, what is the difference between this and priestcraft?

    Mark A. Mathews

    Kingwood, Texas

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