Mormon love and compassion–giving a new spin on "tough love"

The Deseret News story about Chad Hardy’s excommunication has brought the arrogant Mormons out in droves. This is when the “ugly” side of Mormonism rears its ugly head. Usually in a venue that is a “gang” type of atmosphere. I thought I would share a few of these “Christian” comments with you, but I’m not sure that would be fair use, so you are going to have to go to the Des News site to read them.

For the record, there were also a few comments from Mormons that were very even-handed and fair. But they were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the angry, hating comments. (Note: After spending some more time reading the comments, I think it is actually a mix of both. The first comments were from angry Mormons who thought Chad Hardy was the Liberace Anti-Christ, but after that it became a mix.)

Most interesting thing I saw in the comments was that a great many people speculated that there was “more” to his excommunication. Why they think there needs to be more is beyond me, but they are speculating about his sexuality, among other things, because it is a “beefcake” calendar, and not a “cheesecake” calendar. This never even occurred to me. Maybe because I don’t really care. Not sure. But occur it did not.

Casting stones, Jason said:

Jason | 7:38 a.m. July 14, 2008
Looking at the picture of this dude & the fact he decided to make a Mormon missionary beefcake calendar rather than one of returned sister missionaries makes me wonder if there isn’t more to this excommunication then just the calendar. My guess is he may have some sort of “alternative” lifestyle that had more to do with his excommunication than anything else (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Regardless, I think it is safe to say the guy is using this whole thing to get PR for himself and his calendar. The last thing is concerned about is excommunication and his family.

You got that from a picture? He didn’t look that nicely dressed to me! Just saying, is all…..


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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16 Responses to Mormon love and compassion–giving a new spin on "tough love"

  1. Renee says:

    At least he said “not that there is anything wrong with that”. But I agree, I didn’t think he was dressed all that awesomely (is that a word?)


  2. Tracy says:

    Do you think the boys in the calender will face disciplinarian action or excommunication?

    I hope not. It wasn’t a distasteful calender.


  3. Kris says:

    I just think the whole darned thing is down right funny. It’s like these people have nothing better to worry about in their lives but someone elses’ excommunication. SO SO sad!



  4. Renee says:

    I read some of the boys have been “talked to” by the powers that be, but no one’s been punished other than this guy.


  5. Justme says:

    According to Mr. Hardy, the excommunication was about the calendar – nothing more, nothing less. I suppose you can beleive what Mr. Hardy said or not. Apparently if he had moral indiscretions of whatever variety, that was not brought up during the excomm…just the calendar. Interesting read.

    Cheescake calendar…funny! Never heard that one before. 🙂


  6. sn says:

    re: “Most interesting thing I saw in the comments was that a great many people speculated that there was “more” to his excommunication. Why they think there needs to be more is beyond me”

    It’s silly for commenters to speculate on what more he did, but the article itself states it wasn’t just the calendar: “Regional church leaders who called the meeting raised three concerns with Hardy during the meeting: the calendar and his failure to keep some church covenants.”


  7. Todd says:

    This really is very funny…

    I liked the DN post by “Common Sense” that alluded to the church doing Mr. Hardy a big favor by ONLY ex-ing him. If I use my company image and logo to profit for myself, I’m pretty sure my company would sue me for damages, after firing me.

    I’m sure the church has financial damages associated with this calendar. Think of the tarnished image, fewer converts, reduced donations, etc. Not to mention all of the PR costs to manage the situation.

    But then again, on the flip side, maybe the image of the church is actually improved as a result of this calendar with substantial positive returns. There has been a bit more publicity, etc. That can’t hurt you know…

    Hey… Here’s one for all you consipiracy theorists. Maybe it’s a win-win for both Mr. Hardy and the church. Mr. Hardy sells more calendars at $14.99 a pop; while the church’s reaps positive returns in terms of converts, etc. Holy cow that’s it! They colluded on this deal for publicities sake. That’s brilliant!

    It does raise an interesting question about who “owns” the missionary image, and could the church sue for damages and win.

    Yours truly,


  8. K*tty says:

    Todd, I think the church quit when it was ahead. Any more publicity and the church would just look foolish. The calendar was good for Mr. Hardy AND the church. It showed that Mormons, while in their geekish attire on missions, were in fact normal red blooded young men. The pictures were hardly salacious. Mr. Hardy also portrayed their missions as positive and in fact, each were representing their missions. Some of the profit actually went to charities. Now this might be the real sore subject with Salt Lake. They are not in control of the money and gosh darn, why didn’t they think of IT? I will follow this story with interest, one because I live in Vegas and two, because I wonder what the punishment will be for the future missionaries who will be posing. But then again, how hard would it be to find 12 Mormon men who have left the church because and in spite of their mission? The Men on Missions is not a trade mark infringement of the church. I would think the church would be more concerned about the tarnished reputation of a few missionaries here in Vegas, charged with child molestation. It is hard to trade mark imperfect people. In mho, the church should have just left well enough alone and save the big guns when it really matters.


  9. Todd says:


    I’m with you. The church doesn’t have anything to gain by pursuing Mr. Hardy.

    But, I still like the larger question around trademark infringement, because it has further reaching implications. For example, should a movie producer be able to portray missionaries in a bad light, negatively impact the church either financially or by reputation, and profit from it? Could the church sue and win?

    I recognize that you can’t trademark a person, but couldn’t you trademark the missionary look: conservative dress slacks, white shirt & tie, black badge? Too generic? Not specific enough to Mormons?

    You would almost expect the church to fight back in order to put a damper on that sort of thing. Quite frankly, I’ve not thought much about it. It’s likely that the costs of litigation and the negative publicity more than outweigh any benefits, which is why the church usually takes the moral high ground.

    As you indicate, there are much bigger fish to fry. Do your thing, get it out of the news, and move on.

    Cheers from TX,

    P.S. My oldest son is in Vegas for the summer. He’s complaining about the heat, and he grew up in Houston!


  10. K*tty says:

    Todd, I am complaining about the heat, too. But it is almost over. The few months of summer are worth the great weather for most of the year. Hats off to the people who perfected air-conditioning.


  11. Natalie says:

    LOLOLOL. Very funny, Todd.

    “You would almost expect the church to fight back in order to put a damper on that sort of thing. Quite frankly, I’ve not thought much about it. It’s likely that the costs of litigation and the negative publicity more than outweigh any benefits, which is why the church usually takes the moral high ground.”

    In one sentence you say the cost of litigation and negative publicity outweigh the benefits, then you say the CHURCH USUALLY takes the MORAL HIGH GROUND. Muwwahhhaahhhaaaa. It’s really all about the bottom line, isn’t it? They take the moral high ground when the cost is too high. ROFLMAO. Ain’t that the truth.


  12. Todd says:


    I figured someone would see the humor in that. I’m glad it was you.

    Of course “costs” aren’t necessarily about the bottom line. It’s great to be led by men and women who understand risks and rewards.

    Maybe more appropriate phrasing would have been: the church ALWAYS takes the moral high ground, ESPECIALLY when the risks exceed the rewards.

    (ROFLMAO thinking about you ROFLYAO) :o)

    Your friend,


  13. Natalie says:

    Well, Todd, you’ll probably find I see the humor in MOST things…. 😉


  14. Susan says:

    The church has every right to defend its moral position. Chad knew the standards of the church and chose to ignore them. He knew the consequences. I do not understand, however, why the returned missionaries that posed were not excommunicated also. But that is not for me to say or not say. The leaders of the church have a responsibility to make sure the members uphold the standards of the church. If the members transgress the law and do not repent, they are cast out. The body is a temple of God and should not be exploited in such a manner.


  15. Renee says:

    I’m starting to like Todd more and more.


  16. KM says:

    I think Susan is right that the church will, and should be expected to enforce its own rules. I had a hard time believing that Chad didn’t know his actions weren’t going to win friends in the church. But now that he’s excommunicated he can live life to the fullest without worry of mormon retribution. Good for him.


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