I used to work for a department of BYU that printed annual academic calendars and took them around to other campus offices. One year, as I recapped here, (seriously, go read it, I had a super fun workplace) there was this big kerfuffle about the group of smiling multicultural people featured on the calendar. After we'd already delivered them, someone (I do not know who, but they must have had power) complained about the immodestly dressed models. Next thing we knew, the calendars had been Photoshopped, reprinted, and then we had to go redeliver them, throw away the originals, and not actually tell people why they were getting a new calendar. I think we were told to say that one of the dates was wrong or something.
The changes? A little girl had sleeves added to her sundress and the skirt lengthened. The white tank top peeking out beneath a woman's v-necked necked shirt was colored to match her shirt lest people think this woman was running around flashing garments. The same woman was wearing open-toed sandals and her toes were colored in because her toe cleavage was offensive.
Nuts, right? Except I think some of those Overzealous Immodesty Police may have ended up over at the Ensign magazine. Take a look at what Heather over at Doves & Serpents just noticed when she compared this Carl Heinrich Bloch painting as printed in the Ensign to its original. (I'll wait while you read her description of the changes.) They didn't just remove the wings, they also made the angels robes more modest (and also: ugly).
Does anybody else think that maybe we are going a little bit nuts about the modesty, here? Why insult an artist by choosing to use his work but then removing everything that does not reflect our own current religious or cultural standards? If that's the new rule for art, I'm sure there are plenty of crappy painters out there who would be willing to paint religious scenes and be sure to put Shade shirts and close-toed shoes on everyone and make sure all the guys are clean-shaven with really short hair.
Also. Sorry to be crass, here, but do we really think some teenage boy is going to take the Ensign into the bathroom with him and then blame the church for putting angel porn right in front of him like that? Really?
I suddenly feel like I'm in the middle of a Weekend Update: Really?!? segment with Seth Meyers. (Note: Does anybody else have a total crush on Seth or is it just me? It should be allowed, look at how modestly dressed he is here. Assuming, of course, that he's wearing pants.)