We were deeply disturbed by the cartoonish religious imagery and sensationalist headlines Bloomberg Businessweek used to illustrate the cover story on Mormon Church-owned businesses ("How the Mormons Make Money," July 16-22).
The depiction of the moment when John the Baptist appeared before Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, as instructing him to "build a shopping mall and own stock in Burger King …" is insensitive and offensive, particularly to those of the Mormon faith. There are certain subjects that should be beyond the bounds of satire; the deeply held religious beliefs of others should be one of them.
The nature and scope of the Mormon Church's business holdings and finances may be a legitimate subject for a business magazine. But the sensationalist branding of your story, with headlines such as "Holy Holdings" and "Latter-Day Lucre," gives the impression that there is something inherently nefarious and illegitimate about the church's business dealings, and supports the notion that the LDS faith is primarily motivated by greed for money. The cover imagery compounds the problem by seemingly mocking the church's core beliefs and founding prophet.
There can be no justification for being so tone-deaf to the sensitivities of those who practice Mormonism by delegitimizing and mocking the founding tenets of their faith.
The Anti-Defamation League
Media Watch ADL monitors electronic and print media reports about the Middle East