Life among the Utahliban


Tehran West (as one academic once characterized Salt Lake City to me)


Mormonism is disdained by many “progressives” as a retrograde, reactionary, corporate faith.  Some even maintain that hatred of others (e.g, of minorities, different religions, and women) is one of its signature characteristics.


This is, of course, flat nonsense.


And here’s an article suggesting that Mormon-dominated Utah may not, actually, be hell on earth:


Posted from Deer Creek Park, Provo Canyon, Utah



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  • Tyler Bushre

    This argument conflates two very different things, religion and politics. I do not think many progressives view our church that way. On the contrary, many of the progressives I know are very tolerant of our religion. There is no causality, that just because someone is progressive they dislike Mormons.

    It would be more accurate to say some people view our faith that way. There is not one group of people solely responsible for those accusations. It could even be argued that it comes more from the Conservative side. Generally conservatives are more religious and thus hold strong views against our religion. As far as SLC, I hear more negative stuff from Mormons about SLC then anybody else.

  • jrs

    And yet your political rants on your blog seem to indicate a clear disdain for us “progressives,” which is certainly something I have felt during my too-frequent forays to Utah. Of course, Utah is (thankfully) not the Church. (Fwiw, I am LDS.)

    • DanielPeterson

      Yes, Utah is a conservative state. And yes, Utah is doing very well. (I don’t believer that to be coincidence.) Sorry.

      And no, I don’t “disdain” “progressives.” I disagree with them. (Some people, I freely grant, don’t understand the distinction. For example, I suspect that, if my political comments aligned with your own political sentiments, you wouldn’t dismiss them as “rants.”) And, on the whole, I don’t actually think that they’re “progressive,” either. I regard them as reactionaries. (See, on this, Jonah Goldberg’s wonderful book “Liberal Fascism.”)

      • Guest

        Maybe that’s because our so-called “conservatives” look so much like radicals…..

        • DanielPeterson

          To whom?

  • joseph peterson

    i feel like your argument here is fairly reactionary. First of all, where is the allowance of so-called ‘progressive’ mormons, who don’t have disdain for the church but do worry that for a religion it can feel rather corporatized at times, or that culturally the church is still a bastion for traditionalists and bigots of all stripes?

    • DanielPeterson

      The terms “reactionary” and “progressive” function as question-begging rhetorical weapons by which leftists seek to handicap their opponents and grant themselves unearned advantage. I regard them as essentially illegitimate and largely meaningless.

      And, of course, I did indeed allow for “progressives” who feel otherwise. If I had intended ALL progressives, I wouldn’t have said “many progressives.”

  • Lucy Mcgee

    Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” offers the premise that religion is and has been a force in many of the planet’s societal problems. Belief in supernatural agents, Dawkins asserts, is a major factor causing humans to commit a variety of harmful actions against others, and that if religion was minimized, many of our societal ills would be greatly reduced . Harris and Dennett offer a similar view.

    I nearly bought in until I considered a summer/fall spent working in Brigham City, Utah, one of the best and most memorable summers of my youth. I then considered the life of one of my very best friends, a non religious person who prospered in Salt Lake City for thirty years. He found the Wasatch Front incredibly accommodating with some of the best quality of life attributes in the West.

    Quality of life studies rank Utah at the top, or near the top of the best places to live. It is hard to argue with such data.

    Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens should have spent time in Utah. Their books would likely have had a different tone.

    • DanielPeterson

      I agree, and I think that there are plenty of other good religious people and communities, as well.

      The “new atheists” regularly overstate the evils of religion and minimize its positive contributions. I don’t regard them, by and large, as very serious thinkers. Christopher Hitchens, in particular, was a gifted writer and wit, and obviously very bright. (I met him, and he was in person just as he came across in his writing.) But a deep and careful thinker he was not.