Shirtless Mormons

Reason #8723423 to be an atheist.

When a Mormon creates a calendar featuring scantily clad male models (called “Men on a Mission”), he has to deal with a “disciplinary hearing and possible excommunication because of the project.”

A takeoff on calendars of firefighters and returned U.S. servicemen, Hardy’s project debuted with a 2008 calendar featuring 12 returned church missionaries in mostly modest poses, minus their trademark white shirts, ties and black plastic name badges. It has sold nearly 10,000 copies.

“You see more in a JCPenney catalog,” said Hardy, 31, who once worked for Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller and now has his own entertainment company. “I just feel like my right to free speech is being violated.”

The calendar was designed to shake up Mormon stereotypes, Hardy said. The pages include photos of the men dressed in standard missionary garb. In biographical sketches each missionary talks about his beliefs.

Yet, when atheists put out the Skepchick and Skepdude calendars, there is no real backlash at all. (In fact, you should go buy them now if you haven’t already.) No one’s telling you what to do or not to do. We trust you to make your own decisions and live life as you please.

(via Skepchick)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    I remember reading an article about a town in Utah which just ended its ban on bikini’s at city pools.

    Of course, for Mormons, what did they expect would happen? Modesty is a pretty clear value in their culture and faith. Part of what the “magic underwear,” or temple undergarments help with is determining what clothing is appropriate, or modest enough.

  • EKM

    I think religion in general is pretty dumb, but I can’t see why this guy is upset. If you want to be part of the Mormon Church, you have to play by their rules.

    Although, he does say that he is no longer active in the Mormon Church. A lot of Catholics consider themselves Catholic even if they have not been to church in years. Are Mormons the same way?

  • Matt
  • Ron in Houston

    Yeah, I saw also where he was excommunicated.

    I guess if you want to be a member of their secret club you need to play be their rules.

  • http://mnatheists.org Bjorn Watland

    Well, excommunication isn’t a permanent thing. There wouldn’t be very many Mormons around if that were true. They encourage you to come back, talk to a bishop, establish a means to repent, then you can receive communion again, and go to family events at temples and the like.

  • stogoe

    I don’t think he understands free speech. The government can’t shouldn’t interfere with your right to say unpopular things, but that doesn’t mean the private clubs of which you’re a member won’t sanction you for crossing their line.

  • Old Beezle

    You’re only mormon if you’re active in the LDS church. Cultural mormonism doesn’t really exist because of all of the established rules. You either follow them and stay in or you don’t and you no longer participate. Your inactivity won’t stop them from keeping you on the books and including you in their membership stats though. :)

    This Chad Hardy fellow was excommunicated because he refused to cease production of the calendars when the church leadership asked him to. There were some threads over at exmormon.org about this.

    I think he just knows that bad press is good press in his case and since he’s been inactive for 6 years the excommunication is really just a formality.

    So where’s Lindsey Kirth lately?

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    I had a feeling this news story would get picked up here.

    The articles in the SL Tribune were pretty well laid out and detailed. This guy wishes no harm or ill against the church and he’s just trying to do something different. The church here in Utah is pretty powerful. I wish for the day when they get to pay taxes and be called a business, since that’s how they operate here.

    Good luck to Chad Hardy and his endeavors as a non-Mormon.


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