This past Saturday the LDS-owned Deseret News published a partial list of the retailers that will be in the controversial LDS-owned City Creek Mall. Property Reserve, the LDS Church’s commercial real-estate arm, has funded the multi-billion dollar project. This company functions like the LDS Foundation, which gets its money from the profits of church associated companies like Bonneville Communications and Beneficial Life as well as dividends and interest from other investments.
Although tithing money collected by the LDS Church is not funding the project, we believe the church still has the moral responsibility to its members to act in line with its teachings on modesty and chastity, which brings us back to the Deseret News article. Today we read that the ever-offensive, abhorrent, blatantly over-sexualized teen clothing store, Abercrombie and Fitch, will be renting a space at the City Creek Mall (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865550910/Whos-coming-to-City-Creek-Take-a-look.html?pg=2). This angered us to no end.
If you are not up to speed on the controversies that Abercrombie and Fitch occasionally finds itself in, read this 2002 CNN article about thong underwear for 7-year-old girls (http://money.cnn.com/2002/05/22/news/companies/abercrombie/). In a 2011 study on the sexualizing of girl’s clothing, the study found, ” ‘Tween’ stores like Abercrombie Kids had the highest proportion of sexualizing clothing” (http://www.springerlink.com/content/1v535414815328t8/). Are you upset yet?
We do not believe the church is acting responsibly. As active,”card-carrying”, tithing-paying members of the LDS Church, I have the responsibility to voice my concern. If you too see the hypocrisy, go to the following link and voice your concern: http://www.downtownrising.com/index.php/city-creek-public-comment. We also encourage you to send a letter to the editor of Deseret News. We attempted to find an email address for the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church, but failed to find one.
Feel free to copy and paste one of the following letters. Cathy and I will be sending out a letter everyday to City Creek for the next week. If you feel the letters could be better written, please e-mail us your version.
Mike and Cathy Barker
Here’s the letter:
I wish to voice my concern over the recently released list of retail stores at City Creek, specifically the clothing store Abercrombie and Fitch. Abercrombie and Fitch has shown itself over and over again to be the antithesis of decent teen clothing. Their overtly sexualized advertising geared toward teens as well as the inappropriate clothing it at times carries (thongs for girls as young as seven years old) has led me to raise a loud voice of concern.
It is inappropriate for a Christian organization such as the LDS Church to lend credence to and profit from such an abhorrent retailer as Abercrombie and Fitch. This retailer has shown little concern for the objectifying and over-sexualizing of teens. The LDS Church will appear duplicitous if it condemns immodest dress, but receives rent from a tenant who actively seeks to sexualize our society.
Please reconsider your decision to have Abercrombie & Fitch as a tenant. They have consistently tried to hyper-sexualize our youth, including the sale of thongs for 7 year-olds. It would be unfortunate for Property Reserve to be receiving income from such a retailer. The appearance to the rest of the world would be that we say one thing and do another. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Don’t forget to put your name at the bottom of the letter