Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Donny Osmond Decries Hollywood's Cultural Pollution, Specifically Criticizes Lady Gaga For Using Profanity, Sexual Exploitation, Nudity And Graphic Violence

During the Saturday evening Priesthood Session of the 181st Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held on April 2-3, 2011, President Thomas S. Monson took issue with cultural pollution in contemporary society. In his address, entitled "Priesthood Power", President Monson noted the following:

"...We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an 'almost anything goes' position.

I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed much of the metamorphosis of society’s morals. Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.

Many movies and television shows portray behavior which is in direct opposition to the laws of God. Do not subject yourself to the innuendo and outright filth which are so often found there. The lyrics in much of today’s music fall in the same category. The profanity so prevalent around us today would never have been tolerated in the not-too-distant past. Sadly, the Lord’s name is taken in vain over and over again"...

On May 18th, 2011, KSL Channel 5 reports that LDS entertainer Donny Osmond has picked up on President Monson's counsel. During a May 16th appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan program, Osmond also took issue with the upsurge in cultural pollution, specifically citing Lady Gaga as a prime example. He criticized the controversial singer for her 2010 music video "Telephone", saying that the video with Beyonce contains "profanity, sexual exploitation, nudity and graphic violence". According to National Ledger, Osmond also said "I wouldn't want my child to watch this video. Would you? What do you think? Should these two extremely gifted female role models for millions of young girls, maybe, have given a little more thought to the effect it might have on their core audience?"

Osmond does acknowledge that Lady Gaga is brilliant as a marketer, a writer, and an artist, characterizing her as a "Madonna incarnated". But he's clearly repulsed by a lot of the shock elements used by many artists nowadays just to get that initial burst of publicity.

Donny Osmond is to be commended for speaking out publicly on this issue. When a prominent public figure like Osmond speaks out against cultural pollution, it gets more public attention than when an LDS General Authority speaks out. Furthermore, if decent folk like us fail to speak out, extremist elements are likely to take action that could bring discredit upon us all. Case in point: On Sunday April 17th, 2011, a group of well-intentioned French Christian nationalists invaded a venue in Avignon, France where the works of artist Jose Serrano were displayed and vandalized the infamous Piss Christ depiction. The Piss Christ depiction is a photograph of a crucifix immersed in urine. But while their spirit was commendable, their actions were illegal, and they will be prosecuted if caught. So far as I know, the Twelfth Article of Faith has not been repealed; we're still counseled to being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. Vandalism is still a crime.

A poll run by KSL on the story page shows respondents agree with Donny Osmond. In response to the question, "What's your take on Donny's comments", 2,900 people have weighed in so far:

-- He's spot on: 63 percent (1816 votes)
-- He makes a point, but it won't make a difference: 31 percent (892 votes)
-- He's out of touch: 7 percent (192 votes)

Actually, it can make a difference -- if we take action. We need to speak out against cultural pollution when prompted by the Spirit. More importantly, we need to quit buying offensive products and patronizing offensive artists -- use the power of the purse.

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