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HBO to Air Controversial Big Love Endowment Episode

HBO to Air Controversial Big Love Episode Despite LDS Outcry

Thank goodness the show will go on, because I could not take one less of the two Big Love episodes left this season. What's the problem? Sunday's episode will feature a ceremony sacred (and kind of secret) to the mainstream Mormon church.

In the episode, Jeanne Tripplehorn's character, notorious do-gooder and wishy-washy polygamist Barb, goes through an endowment ceremony when she's threatened with excommunication. I hesitate to describe what endowment is because I'll probably get it wrong. But it's like an adult baptism with the water and the oil, and unlike it in that participants are taught gospel laws, given key words they'll need in the afterlife, and tested afterward.

Probably the most accurate depiction you'll find outside a Mormon temple is Sunday's episode. An adviser who is familiar (yet nameless?) with temple ceremonies advised Big Love's producers so they could get every detail right. He even remained on set during filming. HBO has half-heartedly apologized, saying, "Obviously, it was not our intention to do anything disrespectful to the church but to those who may be offended, we offer our sincere apology."

From the church's point of view, HBO is breaking its earlier promise to focus on polygamy and stay away from mainstream Mormonism. But the only legal promise HBO ever made was a one-time disclaimer that aired in the series premiere, stating the modern-day church did not support polygamy.


Join The Conversation
T-S T-S 8 years
Becky, my understanding is that the church poured $20 million into the prop 8 campaign, a campaign which spread lies to scare people into voting for it. So I stand by my original assertion--they can suck it. No organization that large will be able to keep its rituals secret. It's just not possible.
DiannePearce DiannePearce 8 years
Check out this website to see videos about the temple rituals: I went through the temple in 1975. Even if some of the rituals have been removed - they happened - and they were supposedly from the True Church at the time. How come they had to be removed it they were so sacred? Check out my blog to see the Mormon cartoon that depicts the afterlife where Mormon men will have multiple wives with whom they have eternal sex so as to populate their own planets:
stephley stephley 8 years
I think pretty much everything the Catholic Church does has been shown in movies and or t.v. and I don't really see a reason that writers or film makers would be obligated to keep a church's secrets. It doesn't put anyone's life in danger to depict what goes on, there should be no reason to fear the church somehow would be damaged by the depiction.
beckydoodledoo beckydoodledoo 8 years
It's a joke they say, "Obviously, it was not our intention to do anything disrespectful to the church but to those who may be offended, we offer our sincere apology." By showing the endowment session, they ARE being disrepectful. I'm LDS and this makes me mad they would exploit this. Do we know what every other religion does in private or in their temples? No, because it's sacred to them and would be disrespectful to show it publicly, Not just Mormon temples. Also, the LDS church gave less than %10 of money to prop 8, and the LDS people are a minority in California, so it was more of the california people VOTING that passed prop 8. People voted, not just LDS. Its not our fault, but I'm glad it passed.
AdriNicTrax AdriNicTrax 8 years
Im obsessed with this show. But I hate the there are only 2 episodes left.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I understand where the church is coming from, because sometimes people want to keep private and free from ridicule that which is sacred to them. However, it just isn't realistic to expect it never to be replicated. I think the show has handled the religious stuff with a lot of dignity, and I get the feeling this ceremony was shot to look beautiful, not outrageous.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Really? I've seen Showtime stuff on there....:ponder: Maybe it's just HBO?
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Yea Hulu doesnt have it cuz you have to pay for HBO. Booo! I used to just watch it on ONDemand but they dont have it here so I have to go to the HBO website and see when it airs and then make sure I'm home then! Ugh! Sucks!
T-S T-S 8 years
Hulu doesn't have Big Love. Haus, I'm going to PM you about how you might be able to watch it.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
And I never really got into OnDemand, I've always just had a DVR. :shrug:
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I'd think Hulu would show it haus. :)
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I just cant beleive this town doesnt have OnDemand. I cant even tell you how much I miss that service!! I may have to break down and get a DVR.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
Haus just look it up on youtube! I'm going to miss this sundays and im hoping to catch it on there.
T-S T-S 8 years
For sure. That's why the church can suck it, not necessarily all members.
erinflower erinflower 8 years
"Erin, LDS can suck it for sinking millions of dollars into a campaign to deny rights to a minority." Okay understood, just for the record not all LDS members supported 8 (me being one of them)
T-S T-S 8 years
Agreed on that point. I just started getting into this show and now I looooooove it.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Though this season of Big Love was only 10 episodes or so! And that makes me want to riot!! :mob:
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I think the Tonga people rioted, not the Mormons. It seems the Mormons were there to help them fight back against human rights abuses. Not the same thing as the riots because of the Danish cartoon even at all. I'm confident no one will die from HBO showing this part of the Mormon church.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
What were they rioting about?
T-S T-S 8 years
Probably by plane or by boat? And yep, they sure did. Erin, LDS can suck it for sinking millions of dollars into a campaign to deny rights to a minority.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
How did Mormons get to Tonga? Did they really riot??
erinflower erinflower 8 years
"But it's like an adult baptism with the water and the oil" Not really, but since they have an expert on the subject I'm sure they will get most of it right. I'm not happy about it being played on TV but what can I do? It's sacred not secret. I miss having HBO and really did enjoy this show, I'll have to wait for it to come on to dvd. True Song what the heck, why should the LDS church suck it?
T-S T-S 8 years
Actually Mormons rioted in Tonga. But regardless, the church of LDS can suck it.
zeze zeze 8 years
not condoning the violence Haus, but to be fair, you have to admit the cartoons and that Dutch politician movie, which brought about riots from some Muslims were intended to be inflammatory and offensive...unlike this, which is a depiction of a secret ceremony...I think there is a difference. Add to that the social/economic/polical climates the two groups live in and you can begin to understand why one group riots and the other does not.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
You know whats interesting though? Mormons won't riot and kill people at the depiction of something sacred to them. Hmmm... :ponder:
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