Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I saw a news report about a movie that's coming out on June 22 called September Dawn (click here to go to September Dawn's official website), a supposed "historical fiction" that appears to be more fiction than historical. Its about the mountain meadows massacre that happened on September 11, 1857. According to Wikipedia it is directed by Christopher Cain, is described by a press release as fictionalizing the "point of view held [by] direct descendants ... that the iconic Brigham Young had complicity in the massacre, a view denied by the Mormon Church." [Press release (2007-03-26)]

Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_Meadows_Massacre. There is no evidence that Brigham Young ordered the attack, on the contrary, there is evidence that he order the local Mormon settlers to do nothing. The problem was that the local militia didn't wait for a reply from Salt Lake. By the time the reply came the massacre already happened. No, there is still a lot of controversy over this, especially with a TV movie coming up. If you look at the Wikipedia discussion and history on this article you'll notice there has been a lot of debate. Some believe that the LDS church did a cover up. People are entitled to their opinions, as am I.

What bothers me the most about September Dawn, is that they make some pretty big claims about Brigham Young's involvement that aren't provable. On the website for September Dawn it says, "On June 22, the truth will be revealed". This infuriates me to no end! When you have no evidence for the assumptions you are making then you cannot claim the truth! Just because Christopher Cain is sure Brigham Young was behind this doesn't mean he is! Can Christopher Cain write history??? This movie makes Brigham Young look like an 19th century Osama bin Laden. I'm not saying the massacre didn't happen. It was a sad dark day, but it wasn't directed by Brigham Young. I hope people will realize this movie is not what happened, but what someone believed happened. They say they did their research, but they sure have filled in the holes with some anti-Mormon propaganda.

It is true that the massacre occurred. Yes, these Mormon settlers did this. But I wouldn't say the Mormon church did this. On the Wikipedia discussion page under "Pretty Good Article" this comment is made:
In Iraq, members of the US Military raped a woman and killed her whole family. It was, in fact, an official squad of the US Army. However, they did not operate upon that unit's rules of engagement and did not take orders from the military directing this action. So, I would not say that the US Army raped that woman and killed her family. I would say it was the individuals who did that.
This was a horrible thing that happened, but don't blame the LDS church, especially when the evidence is incomplete or missing.

I also wonder about the timing of the production of this movie. This is going to have a great effect on Mit Romney's presidential campaign. The movie was written and filmed before Romney declared his intentions to run for office, but it seems convenient if you want to put a barrier in front of his way. People are really looking at his religion, which is stupid. Just because Mit Romney is a Mormon is no reason he shouldn't be elected into office. People should decide to vote for or against him on the political issues. Yet, how he handles this film will be very important for his candidacy.

1 comment:

Clint said...

Bob- I agree with your assessment of the Mountain Meadow's massacre. I just came across this post on one of my favorite LDS blogs:

http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2007/05/new-mmm-book-on-it-away-local-church.html

Memo to critics of the LDS Church: Your argument is old, stale, and stinks.