Nominations: Boggs-Doniphan Gentile of the Year Award 2011


Disclaimer: not the actual B-D trophy.

2011 may be the Year of the Mormon, but in keeping with tradition we will still condescend to acknowledge one lucky person outside the faith this year. Yes, it is time for nominations for the fourth annual Boggs-Doniphan Gentile of the Year Award!

The award recognizes the non-Mormon who had the greatest impact–for good (Doniphan) or ill (Boggs)–on Mormons or Mormonism this year. The past winners are:

This nominations thread is now open!


  1. Trey Parker and Matt Stone. There is no contest. The entire “Year of the Mormon” thing couldn’t have happened without these two guys (plus Robert Lopez) taking their vulgar affection for Mormons and Mormonism and turning it into an award-winning Broadway musical. Their actions and successes provided the frame within which nearly all mass media discussions of Mormonism and Mormon politics and Mormon theology took place this year, so much so that it ended up at least in part framing discussion of those matters amongst us Mormons ourselves. Far more so than the previous years’ winners, who were minor stories at best, in this case there really WAS a gentile that had a major impact on Mormon life and thought and culture, and Parker and Stone are it.

  2. RAF is probably right.

    I’m just trying to think of who else would deserve mention.

  3. Robert Jeffress.

  4. (Um, wow RAF, way to kill a thread with the first comment….)

    I’d have to agree

  5. Cynthia L. says:

    Dude, this is the nominations thread, not the final voting thread. Way to harsh the mellow right out of the gate, RAF!

    Also, I beg to differ re: Judge Vaughn Walker being a “minor story at best.” But you’re right about the other two.

  6. Steve Evans says:

    Jeffries is a strong contender, forcing Mormonism right back into the political spotlight.

  7. I think that’s an exaggeration about Parker and Stone, Russell.

  8. What about Rick Perry and his anti-Mormon milking — er, political — machine. A bit of a Huckabee redux, I acknowledge, but as these are just nominations…

  9. It is to be seen whether Perry will impact the race the way that Huck did. Maybe in 2012…but not 2011.

    Russell may well be right, but now I have to brainstorm some other contenders because I am loathe to have any award, good or bad, go to them.

  10. 8 comments in and nobody has nominated Diddy? Come on!

  11. Weren’t Parker and Stone born Mormon? Are their names still on record? I think we need clarification of the term “gentile” to even the playing field here.

  12. They weren’t born Mormon. They just grew up in Colorado, surrounded by many Mormons.

    For the purposes of the award, “Mormon” is interpreted broadly (so non-Mormon is interpreted narrowly). We want to recognize a true outsider, not somebody who is arguably Mormon (unconventional Mormon, former Mormon, non-LDS Mormon, etc).

  13. I’m also nominating David Boies and Ted Olson, even though the topic already got a nod last year with Judge Vaughn Walker. Boies and Olson continue to argue the case at the appellate level, where a ruling is expected early next year.

  14. observer fka eric s says:

    I worked for the same firm as Ted Olson. I was in the office where he works one day and literally bumped into him. He looked at me and said, “with that haste, you must be headed to the bathroom.” I replied and said, “No, I’m just trying to get off this floor because I don’t have a tie on.” (The appellate floor was rumored to be a bit high brow and required ties 24/7/265.) He sort of gave a “punk associate” chuckle, and I just kept walking. I was visiting, and he had no way of finding out who I was. That was my brush with greatness.

  15. Parker and Stone

  16. If Mitt goes on to win the GOP nomination–or really, even just that he continues to be the conventional-wisdom favorite at this point–suggests that while RAF may indeed be right that “The Year of the Mormon” couldn’t have taken place (in the same way it did) without all of the help from Parker/Stone, there are some other things to think about here.

    The comments from Robert Jeffress, Rick Perry’s weak distancing of himself, and Anderson Cooper’s shredding of Jeffress a few nights later, combined to create a situation that I don’t think has ever, ever existed for Mormons: For most of the media, both liberal and conservative, it was actually in poor taste to slam Mormons for being Mormons.

    During a few months there in the late-summer and early-fall of 2011, I felt like I was living in some kind of alternate universe where suddenly Mormons were no longer “a joke” that was considered fair game for anyone and everyone, and there were clear public image consequences for being–or even appearing to be–an “anti-Mormon.” It wasn’t universal, obviously–Hi, Bill Maher!–but in my eyes, there was a real shift in the public acceptability of making fun of Mormons.

    Did that start because of Parker/Stone? Yeah, probably. But I think that you have to give “The GOP Candidates and their Staffers and Associates” a strong consideration.

  17. Cynthia L. (13),
    Not only are Olson and Boies completely and utterly unknown to 99% of Mormons, but the sum total of their work in 2011 can be described as “worked on an appeal that won’t have any impact on anything until next year.” Not exactly inspiring as a resume.

    In fact, if you want to nominate someone from that “arena” then you really have to consider Andy Pugno (Catholic, I think), the GC for Protect Marriage. In terms of notches on posts, the Protect Marriage group clearly had more during 2011, as they won the right to keep fighting. Without Pugno’s efforts, Olson and Boies wouldn’t even be doing anything right now, so I don’t think that you can independently consider them.

    Regardless, I think that “Prop 8” in general had zero impact on Mormon life or Mormonism during 2011. Tons of influence historically, and possibly in the future, but not during the past 12 months.

  18. clarkgoble says:

    For most of the media, both liberal and conservative, it was actually in poor taste to slam Mormons for being Mormons.

    I think that will change once Romney gets the nomination. I expect a lot of nasty attacks on Mormonism more akin to this Hitchens piece Slate seems to “suggest” at the bottom of most stories about Romney.

  19. clarkgoble,

    I agree that it’s likely to be short-lived, but I don’t think that the Hitchens piece deflates what I am saying precisely. What I mean is that, I think that without Jeffress and the subsequent events, the Hitchens piece wouldn’t have been seen as particularly nasty. It only looked nasty in light of the numerous positive articles and defenses of “being Mormon,” which didn’t exist in earlier periods.

  20. I nominate Nancy French who has been my favorite Gentile since she created “Evangelicals for Mitt” over five years ago. She and her husband David have been outspoken witnesses of Mormons as decent people. Nancy is a well known Mommie blogger with Six Seeds, et al. David enlisted for service in Iraq in JAG office and the army awarded him Mormon Elders as legal assistance. As a constitutional attorney and contributor to political publications he is a formidable ally in the minds of honest citizens.There is nothing questionable about their character. For my second witness check out EvangelicalsForMitt dot com They are true to their name and worthy of nomination. If someone would like to amend the nomination to include David, I would not object.

  21. We can argue the minutia, but Parker and Stone are the most clearly recognizable choice- they’re known to nearly everyone, and their work reached the world, thus, thrusting us into the spotlight before the rest of the media, the “I am a Mormon” and presidential campaigns did.

  22. Cynthia L. says:

    Boiseleon, I’m glad to see a nomination of a woman for a change. Thanks.

  23. Agree re. Parker and Stone. Is the BDGOTYA something real? Like, can we actually mail them some kind of plaque? I bet they’d like it.

  24. Cynthia L. says:

    We could commission a plastic trophy like the one in the picture.

  25. I think they would like the picture better than an actual trophy, given their senses of humor. You could send a note explaining that, as Mormon volunteers, you’re all too cheap to pay for an actual trophy.

  26. What ray said.

  27. This one is a no brainer. Parker and Stone.

  28. Parker and Stone may be a no brainer for the award, but for the life of me I can’t figure out whether that makes it a Boggs year or a Doniphan year.

  29. Ardis, it makes it a Dooggs year….

  30. Mommie Dearest says:

    I’ve been designing the B-D GoY Award trophy in my head. Hand-crafted of course. It would have a gilt figure on it, but I’m debating the merits of the SLC temple or the angel Moroni with trumpet. I guess if they make stickers and tie tacks and tourist tchotchkes with those images it’s not over some kind of line.
    It’s Christmastime. I’m in a cynical mood.

  31. Ardis,

    Boggs in a non-violent kind of way.

  32. Parker, Stone, Lopez (don’t leave off Lopez).

  33. Paul is right. Without Lopez the play wouldn’t have happened.

  34. Cynthia L. says:

    With a little work, it could be the coolest trophy EVAR. Instead of those aqua-colored columns, 12-oz jars of homemade jam. Moroni on top. Favorite scripture verse for the engraved plague part, just like the missionary plaques.

  35. I love it, Cynthia.

    Now, where could we get suggestions for an appropriate scripture verse?

  36. John 11:35 if you want to cut expenses.

  37. Cynthia L. says:

    Boiseleon, that is such a perfectly Mormon Sunday School attending teenager answer I don’t even know what to say, except: awesome.

  38. I feel so humble. I’m not worthy.

  39. Parker and Stone – too obvious. I nominate Matt Rhoades – Romney’s campaign manager. He probably has the greatest single non-Mormon influence on how our most high profile Mormon fared in 2011. Actually if Romney gets the nomination he should be the slam dunk pick for 2012 so maybe it is a bit premature….

%d bloggers like this: