The New York Times received criticism from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about the obituary published by the media. According to the writer he think that the obituary is faithful and it focuses on prominent issues that President Monson had encountered throughout his lifetime.
“I think the obituary was a faithful accounting of the more prominent issues that Mr. Monson encountered and dealt with publicly during his tenure. Some of these matters — the role of women in the church, the church’s policy toward homosexuality and same-sex marriage, and more — were widely publicized and discussed, and it’s our obligation as journalists, whether in an obituary or elsewhere, to fully air these issues from both sides. I think we did that, accurately portraying Mr. Monson’s positions as leader of the church, and those of the faithful and others who questioned church policies.”
William McDonald, the obituaries editor for the New York Times had also answered the netizens why he refer President Monson as Mr. Monson than his title in the LDS Church.
“No disrespect was intended. We might have referred to him as “President Monson” at least once, in keeping with our stylebook, but that book also says, “Mr. and Dr. are also appropriate. In any case, “Mr.” is a common honorific in our pages for ministers (we’re obliged to say “Mr. Jones” on second reference, not “Reverend Jones”) and even presidents of the United States (you’ll find plenty of “Mr. Trump”s in our pages). Incidentally, I noticed that the Deseret News in Utah used “President” on each reference to Mr. Monson, but that The Salt Lake Tribune — like almost every other American publication — dispensed with any honorific altogether. To my ear, “Mr. Monson” sounds far more respectful than just “Monson.”
In the end McDonald defended his publication of the said issue. The editor said:
Still, on balance, I think the obituary makes clear that he was a man of strong faith and convictions, who stood by them even in the face of detractors, while finding ways to move the church forward.
There is an ongoing petition on Change.org urging to rewrite the Obituary of Thomas S, Monson that prompts the New York Times to respond to the growing criticism of the article. The petition have more than 180,000 signatures.
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