On the Road with Tunes ‘n ‘Toons (May 2002)

Squaring Off at Temple Square

An “UnHoly Trinity”: Steve Clark, who heads the Salamander Society; cartoonist and former Mormon Steve Benson; and Foundation staffer Dan Barker, in front of the aptly named Temple “Square” during the April General Conference weekend in Salt Lake City.

Entertaining at Ex-Mo’s Expo

Taking Mormonism by storm: Steve Benson and Dan Barker, seated by a “disclaimer” at the Salt Lake City Public Library, where the two performed their inimitable cartoon-music revue, “Tunes ‘n ‘Toons,” on April 6 and 7–blasphemously coinciding with the Mormon General Conference. But no disclaimer was needed for this crowd–the program was sponsored by the Salamander Society, made up of irreverent ex-Mormons.

Steve, a Pulitzer Prize-winning daily editorial cartoonist, is the grandson of the late Ezra Taft Benson, the former Mormon president. Dan, a piano-player and songwriter who used to be an evangelical minister, is public relations director for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Rubbing salt into Salt Lake City, the two included several new parodies of Mormon-style hymns.

The two performances before “Latter-Day ‘Aints” give new meaning to the term “Mormon missionaries.”

Pardners in Crime, Dallas-Style

Dan and Steve entertained the Atheist Alliance annual convention in Dallas over Easter “Unholy Weekend” in late March, with their fusion of cartoons and musical commentary on religion and state/church relations. The Dallas program spotlighted commentary on former Texas Gov. George Bush, and the discriminatory Boy Scouts of America, headquartered in nearby Irving, Texas.

That “yellow rose of Texas between two thorns” is Foundation officer Catherine Fahringer, of Texas.

Freedom From Religion Foundation