My kids love to watch Studio C. For those of you unfamiliar with Studio C, it is a sketch comedy show on BYU-TV, and they also publish comedy routines on YouTube. It definitely appeals to the pre-teen, teen crowd, but adults will find some of their routines funny too. Here’s one where Sleeping Beauty has bad breath.
Another where nobody takes good yearbook photos.
One of the funniest sketches they’ve ever done was this video of Scott Sterling, getting pummeled in the fact in both soccer, and volleyball. (I’m amazed at the special effects.)
The show was even featured on Conan O’Brien’s show for the clean comedy routines. Conan even says his kids watch it!
But what got my attention was the following sketch. BYU and the LDS Church has long had a history of discouraging interracial marriage. Imagine my surprise when I saw this sketch. (Note, you may or may not find this funny, but I was just struck by the portrayal of the interracial marriage, even holding hands!)
Has the church turned a corner with regards to interracial marriage?
I do not know if it has “turned a corner,” so much as that the Studio C couple is an acknowledgment that the differences culturally between interracial couples have blurred greatly over the last couple of decades. The original disapproval of interracial marriage was partly because of the priesthood ban, but not all. The church leaders have consistently promoted the idea over the years that it is better to marry someone with whom you share similar cultural backgrounds, beliefs, preferences, etc.
In decades past, there were sharp differences in cultures between the different racial cultures in the U.S. The Caucasians, the Hispanics, the Italians, the Germans, and the Afro-American community had a lot of sharply different cultures. Often people from a different country would settle near each other and form pretty tight knit communities, maintaining a microcosm of the culture of their “old country.” It could be jarring for a person from one of those cultures to try to become part of another. That is also true of religious differences, especially where both parties are devout in their beliefs and the religion(s) are conservative/strict.
Even among people of like racial backgrounds, cultural differences and lifestyles have been a clashing point in marriages. Deep South people have had troble sometimes adjusting to people from the North, or west.
However, these past few decades have seen a blurring of the lines between a lot of cultures as verbal and visual communications and more mixing of different races in the communities has helped to homogenize our culture a lot. And I believe that is a good thing, and that is why we are seeing something surprising to some on Studio C.
I haven’t heard any church leader speak to the issue later either, and that, to me, is an indication of where the leadership is on the subject. Accepting the changes as long as the changes do no conflict with the Gospel.
Can we really use anything put out by BYU productions as church policy?
I remember reading in some missionary manual or hearing it from some authority while I was serving that we were very much discouraged from returning after the mission to marry someone from that country/culture because of the poor success rate of those kind of marriages. The cultural difference was too much, or something like that. I know of a couple missionaries that did it anyway, but I don’t know how they are doing now.