(Photo: REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni)
Frontman singer of the Killers Brandon Flowers is the latest face of the “I’m a Mormon” national media campaign that first launched in New York and has since expanded to 12 other cities around the country.
His recent video entitled “A Fire Still Burning” adds to the growing number of people who have been featured by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, showcasing stories of faith in the everyday lives of Mormons.
Flowers is the first celebrity to headline the campaign, which has up to now used regular common people to promote their message.
Hoping to generate curiosity while at the same time dispelling misconceptions and addressing stereotypes, the campaign has purportedly made being a Mormon look “irresistibly cool,” as joked Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert joked.
In the latest video published by the LDS church, the message is clear – being a rock star doesn’t make you any less Mormon.
The top-selling artist spoke about his life, grounded by the church, and doing what he loved without compromising his values.
“There are a lot of connotations that come along with popular music or rock music and it’s usually very sex-driven and money-driven and I realized early on that that wasn’t the road for me,” Flowers shared in the video. “And that may be because of the foundations that were laid in my life from my mom taking me to church that I wanted to take a different route I guess.”
The lead singer admitted that having a wife and three sons – Ammon, Gunner, and Henry – at his age, 30, wasn’t very normal in the business.
“I guess for me it all heads back to my roots and the examples from my parents. You know they were married for 44 years and there was always a happiness in my home and that’s what I want.”
Though he couldn’t deny his love for his music and his career, Flowers shared that having a family was the most important thing to him. “In a lot of ways I guess it’s kind of surpassed the music for me.”
“It’s hard booking tours,” the lead singer revealed. “I get in arguments every now and then with my booking agent if he puts us out on the road too long and we come home and Ammon’s going to be like [in a grown-up voice] ‘Hey Dad.’ I don’t want to miss out on things.”
In addition to being a family man, he also hoped to be a good example to others. As he has grown older, he has become more cautious in his lyrics, “I feel like I want to be a positive force in the world and I want to uplift.”
Throughout the video, Flowers never explicitly shares about his faith, what he believes in, and his experience with the LDS church. He does, however, vaguely suggest that there is still “a fire burning” somewhere in his heart.
“A lot of people love to come up to me and tell me they were raised in the church and they expect there to be this camaraderie about ‘oh we’ve outgrown it now and we’re smart enough now to not be in it,’” he stated. “And it started happening so often that it really made me take a look at myself and I realized I was raised in it and I still ... there’s still a fire burning in there.”
Only until the last sentence of the video did viewers actually hear his explicit connection to the LDS church. “My name is Brandon Flowers and I’m a father, a husband, and I’m a Mormon.”
The latest ad was launched as Americans hold negative views of the Mormon religion. A 2007 Gallup poll found that 46 percent of Americans say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Mormon religion in general. A more recent poll by Lawrence Research this year also found that nearly half of Americans associate Mormonism with polygamy.
Though the LDS church is looking to recast its image, some have expressed concerns about the ad campaign.
Ex-Mormon Carma Naylor, author of A Mormon’s Unexpected Journey, told The Christian Post earlier that the campaign could confuse Americans about what Mormonism stands for.
With many of the “I’m a Mormon” videos featuring people speaking about God, Naylor commented, “For me to see them trying to convince the world that they are the same as Christians is deceptive; they are great people, but they do not believe the same principles as Christianity.”
Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll argued this week that by definition, Mormonism is a cult. The fact that Mormonism claims Christianity while subtly subverting it in both practice and theology is what makes it a cult, Driscoll stated in his blog.
This year marks the second year of the campaign, which intends to run through March 2012.