A Utah hip-hop artist canceled an event he says he hoped would promote the idea that “everyone is equal in God’s eyes” after contentious comments on Facebook.
James “Jamesthemormon” Curran said he organized the Sunday afternoon event outside the Provo City Center Temple to “stand united and proclaim to the world ‘Every human is #treasure'”. Curran released a music video, “Treasure,” on Friday, May 13, inspired by a song by Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn. Glenn once considered himself a gay Mormon but has recently spoke out against the LDS church and released a song, “Trash” in which he appears to be trashing the church.
Inspiration for the event came after a friend challenged Curran to write a response to Glenn’s song. Curran hoped to reach out to those who are hurt and promote the idea that “everyone is equal in God’s eyes.”
“Let’s stop treating people like Trash, and start treating people like Treasure,” is the message in Curran’s music video “Treasure.”
But the musician canceled the event just hours prior to its start after backlash on Facebook.
“The reason … we are not holding the event is … it is being perceived as contentious, and I am not comfortable with being part of that at all,” Curran said in a video posted on Facebook.
His live stream video canceling the event drew a lot of responses from fans and detractors on Curran’s Facebook page. Some expressed disappointment that it was canceled, while those who were against the event thanked him “for doing the right thing.”
“Your maturity and pure intentions in canceling the event are clear and by being there for those who may have misunderstood your message … I think this was a wise move and shows your integrity,” Chelsi Archibald wrote.
Most people against the event said Curran does not understand Glenn’s side of the story, or his pain.
“There is nothing wrong with your message, what is wrong is calling it a compassionate answer to one gay man’s painful treatment by the Mormon church,” Mitzi Melville wrote.
Curran is responding to many commenters on Facebook and tweeted that “This song is not about LGBT. It’s for all people hurting. Let’s not make it about one group, let’s show everyone compassion.”
“I have reached out to Tyler and know his story — I recognize the pain he is feeling,” Curran said in a response to one comment. “This phrase (one man’s trash is another man’s treasure) has been used for years and will continue to be used. My goal here is to ensure everyone knows they are treasure, including Tyler, because we are ❤️ have a great day!”
Glenn has not yet commented on Curran’s song.