This coming Sunday, August 9, Richard Dutcher will be speaking at the Summer Forum 2009 at First Unitarian church. That's the awesome-looking church up by the University of Utah, near the corner of 1300 East and 500 South. The talk begins at 10:00am and will last about an hour and a half. Anyone interested in going? I'm definitely planning to be there.
Richard Dutcher is a talented filmmaker who basically started the "Mormon cinema" genre with his film God's Army in 2000. Interestingly, that film played a fairly significant role in my decision to join the LDS church as a 22-year old convert. That's a story for another time; I plan to post more about my complicated religious journey fairly soon. But I vividly remember sitting in the theater with my wife and her family, thinking, "You know this is true. You know this is true." That was the closest thing I ever got to an answer to Moroni's promise. Apparently it was good enough for me at the time.
Anyway, Dutcher has since left the LDS church, as he stated in an open letter published in 2007. It seems that many of the questions he raised in his films led him to unexpected answers, and "a spiritual path which may ultimately prove incompatible with Mormon orthodoxy". Because his talk on Sunday is entitled "A Spiritual Journey Through Film", he will probably be talking about his experiences of the past several years, and I'm very interested to hear what he has to say. I would guess he's traveling along a similar path to many others who have left or are leaving the LDS church. Which is to say, he must have been offended and left because he wanted to sin. Right? Right?
If you're interested in attending, post a comment, or send me a private note, or just show up. Try to find me if you like. I'll be the one wearing clothes. Hope to see you there.