To Tom Hanks: From An American Mormon Fan

Dear Tom,

What were you thinking?! You must have been temporarily impaired. It could happen. After all, you were having such a good time celebrating your recent “Big Love” Executive Producer success, maybe it was just too easy to lose track of the refills. Alcohol does that to people. Open mouth – drink booze – insert foot.

I’d like to offer some sort of excuse for you, because quite frankly your latest comments calling Mormon’s “un-American” seem awfully out of character. Of course, you have so many. Characters, that is. Which one were you impersonating last Wednesday night?

To be fair, I know you are only human. You’re just a guy. A human guy who happens to have a lot of money, talent and connections, and therefore your comments get a lot of attention. In the grand scheme of things, you aren’t any more important than anyone else, and (I hate to break the news) your opinions don’t actually matter. Still, I’ve always thought of you as my friend. I’ve known you for so many years of my life. We grew up together.  We even “went to different schools together”! You’ve been one of my entertainment heros for as long as I can remember. We’ve made so many wonderful memories! I’ve survived being stranded on a desert island and in an airline terminal with you. We experienced dangerous space travel. We suffered incarceration and dying from AIDS. We shared the joys and sorrows of being born with special needs. We fell in love with Meg Ryan in Seattle, and New York. We solved crime with a messy dog. We captured our childhood, and played baseball, and toys together (twice). We even had a marvelous adventure traveling to see Santa Claus! Bottom line; you’ve made me laugh and cry, and love you. I gladly paid my hard earned cash to collect all of these memories. I’ve also eagerly shared the adventures with my family and friends, so that they could have the same memories, too.

I’ve not only admired you for your exceptional talent, but also for your family values, and your long-lasting marriage to Rita (an especially noteworthy acheivement in your line of work). I’ve admired you for choosing to live as far away from Hollywood as possible, because you once stated it’s an “unhealthy bubble”. I’ve admired your wise choice of film roles that promote wholesome family values, tolerance, friendship and patriotism. You’re considered Hollywood’s consumate gentleman.

Therefore, as your friend, I have to say bluntly that your recent meanspirited comments about Mormons are baffling, and really let me down. Do you realize that you have offended several million of your devoted fans? You’ve accused us of being “un-American” because of our religious beliefs, and our voting preferences! As Seinfeld would say: “What’s up with that?!” In case you need a reminder, calling names is never a good way to win friends and endear respect. Criticizing a friend’s voting choice is pretty offensive. But, slandering them due to their religious beliefs is just about as low as you can go! In fact, it qualifies as “un-American” behavior, Tom. Because in case you have forgotten, the United States of America was specifically created to be a haven for religious tolerance and freedom.

In 1998 you were (deservedly) nominated for an Oscar award by dramatically humanizing the soldiers who fought to preserve American freedom in World War II. You were acting, of course. There were no real bullets. The explosions and mayhem were carefully choreographed. Your gaping wounds were simulated. You were able to wash away the dirt and grime in your fancy trailer each night. Your life was never in mortal danger. But for my grandfather, Commander Dallis J. Christensen of the U.S. Navy, it was reality. He lived those dark days. He is one of the real heroes that your film was honoring. Dallis put it all on the line. He sacrificed everything he had in order to secure freedom for you and I. He also instilled love and loyalty for his country into the heart and soul of each of his five children, 20 grandchildren, and 13+ great-grandchildren. Dallis is a true American hero. He is also a faithful Mormon. If he could have, he would have voted YES for Proposition 8, not because he has a vendetta against homosexuals, but because he knows what the definition and meaning of Marriage and Family is.

When you die Tom, (and someday, it will happen even to you), there will be thousands of photos and movies and interviews left behind to remind people what you looked like, how much talent you possessed, and what you said. It’s ironic that the photos, and scant home movies, and words of wisdom of my grandfather, Commander Dallis J. Christensen, a great American hero, will never be remembered by the masses. However, his quiet, valiant service will stand forever as a legacy. He represents all of those who lived and died so that you, Tom, could stand on American soil, live the American dream, make millions of American dollars, and choose to sip your American (or imported) champagne while expressing your opinions. You were even given the freedom to slander and demean the very people who made it all possible for you.

I hope that once your hangover wears off, and you escape the “unhealthy bubble”, you will reconsider your words. I hope you will spend some time being embarrassed. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. We all say stupid things from time to time and we all embarrass ourselves. I would like to give a friendly suggestion that now would be a good time for you to offer a humble and sincere apology. As your Mormon fan and friend, I would certainly appreciate it. I realize that my years of loyalty actually mean nothing to you. The several hundred dollars I spent supporting your career are a pittance in your bankroll. Quite honestly, you may think that I don’t deserve your apology. If so, my life will certainly go on no matter what you choose to say or do. I will just chock you up as another ignorant victim of Hollywood. However, I believe my grandfather does deserve your apology. And, if you are a true American, Tom, I think you will agree.

Sincerely,

Your forgiving fan, an American Mormon Soprano

12 thoughts on “To Tom Hanks: From An American Mormon Fan

  1. I am a non-Mormon Utahn. Here’s what I think:
    (1) Not all Mormons support proposition 8
    (2) Not all people living in Utah are Mormons.
    (3) There are other religious group other than Mormons support proposition 8.

    Why do everyone pick out Mormons?

    But anyway, I respect everyone’s freedom of speech:)

  2. Interview Request

    Hello Dear and Respected,
    I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Internet surfers. I am Ghazala Khan from The Pakistani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan in the world. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the webosphere. Our aim is to foster peace, progress and harmony with passion.

    We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you don’t mind. Please send us your approval for your interview at my email address, so that I could send you the Interview questions. We would be extremely grateful.

    regards.

    Ghazala Khan
    The Pakistani Spectator

    http://www.pakspectator.com

  3. MoSop:

    I am glad you wrote this piece so that I do not have to. I too was appalled by Hanks’ comments. Normally, I am a great fan, but his comments were over the top.

    My LDS father served in the Army in the European theater of WW-II. There were lots of Mormons there. My Mormon son now serves in the Army and recently completed a tour in the Middle East.

    Yes, we LDS have opinions, but one of our greatest opinions is that when America needs soldiers we will stand-up ready to serve — giving Tom Hanks all the freedom he wants to slam us. We so serve happily and loyally. But, we do have one demand: WE reserve the right to express ourselves and vote!!

  4. CoolKid – thank you for your non-LDS perspective. Your comments are insightful, and spot on.

    Ghazala – Now there’s an interesting proposal I’ve never heard!

    S.Faux – Thank you for sharing your family stories. What wonderful and loyal American service you have all given.

    Clean Cut – I appreciate your support

  5. I completely 100% agree with your comments. I had not heard his comments yet either but am very disappointed by them. Interesting how discriminatory his comments were when that is exactly what he was berating us Mormons for. I am proud of the stance not only the LDS people but the majority of Californians took in supporting Proposition 8. Let’s not forget, its not the Mormons alone who supported Prop. 8 in protecting the sacredness of the family.

  6. I hadn’t heard of these comments before I read it here. But I agree with you. I think it’s absurd that “inclusiveness” has come to mean “everybody who shares my own particular left-wing world view.” I have two grandfathers who fought in the Navy in WWII. One is an ordained patriarch, and the other is not a member of the Church. One was standing next to his best friend on ship when his friend took a shell to the head. The other, in a submarine, made one of the last kills just minutes before learning of the Japanese surrender. Both lived through the Depression, and one lost his mother then. Both love their country and have laid their lives on the line to defend the Constitution. Neither live in California, but both stand staunchly and decidedly in favor of the traditional family. And I think that the majority of the “greatest generation” is quite the same. For an actor, no matter how talented, who has been so richly compensated by a country for which he has truly done very little, in contrast to those who gave all and received almost nothing—for him to call them un-American is insulting.

    Tom Hanks, after you have bled and suffered for your country, then come back and lecture me on what is un-American.

    And while I’m ranting, isn’t it funny how a celebrity can make a completely innocent comment that is mis-construed by some hyper-sensitive activist group or another, and within 24 hours he is falling all over himself to apologize and checking into sensitivity rehab or something. But let Tom Hanks call us un-American, actually intending all the offense that could be taken, and there is not a peep of remorse.

  7. Pingback: Apology Accepted, Tom Hanks « MORMON SOPRANO

  8. Thank you for your words! You are amazing at how well you just say the perfect thing I am feeling. Thanks for sharing your great God given talent. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it and enjoy your website! Thank you,Thank you, Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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