What? Naked Mormon Missionaries?

Naked Mormon Missionaries. Now that's not something you hear every day. Well, any day, for that matter. I don't particularly enjoy hairless pretty men and I don't particularly care to purchase the 2008 calendar that, in local/regional news, rivals the shot heard around the world; but I also don't particularly care to boycott the calendar either. I'd much rather sit back and watch the flailing beast this little project has unleashed. I'm utterly confused by the controversy and outrage** this publication has stirred; however, the naked missionaries were anticipating, in fact hoping for, the uproar.

In their own words: "The shock value of what these traditionally conservative young men have helped to create has the power to build a dialogue that encourages people across every belief system and walk of life to defy stereotypes and embrace tolerance." Wowzah. The power to build a dialogue. All these years I've been approaching social justice in such a naive and shallow way. Turns out I should've just taken off my shirt years ago. All that time. Wasted.

I tease these young idealists with floppy hair and greasy chests, but whether or not I agree that topless calendars will change the world, I do respect their thought process (ie: they have one) and their desire for change (again, they have one). In their own words: "
The Men on a Mission calendar is intended to be a light-hearted and fun spin on a social taboo. Far too much fear, hatred, anger and violence is committed in the name of religion. By showing these missionaries as regular people, we hope to build a common thread that can break down some of the barriers that have been built up."

** While Googling this phenomenon I stumbled upon these choice comments posted to the blog "This Mormon Life"
  • What have you done, Elders? How can you possibly justify this? The damage that will come from this type of ridiculous behavior will totally negate any type of good you have done on your mission and what you could accomplish now.
  • Please---this is the beginning of pornography without a doubt---and then to have it done by our own return missionaries who have made covenants to dress a certain way---c'mon we can have fun without demoralizing our bodies in the name of a "calendar" so sad to see how satan creeps into every situation.
One of the men featured in the calendar posted this in response: "Wow, thank you people for reminding me why I posed for this calendar. Holier than thou mormons like yourself place judegment upon anyone and everyone. Thats exactly why people leave the church after joining because of people like yourself." Spot on.

Make up your own mind...
& enjoy the gay disco tune brought to you by a savvy marketing team.

Congratulations & Bon Voyage!

The Duke of Earl in the D.C. Metro