Utah: A Shining City on a Hill

Utah: A Shining City on a Hill November 9, 2016

Utah Mormonism's Gift to Amurrica
Utah Mormonism’s Gift to Amurrica

I was wrong.

I wrote just last week that the 2016 election would show, finally, that the USA is not a “Christian Nation”, as Little Prince Pumpkin’s preposterous campaign finally goes down in flames, drawing his callow Evangelical Christian supporters into the fires of hell after him.

I grossly underestimated the will of so many U.S. citizens to drop their drawers and dump on decency. Yes, email servers and Benghazi and Obamacare and foreign trade and blah, blah, blah. It seems to me that the simplest explanation is the most accurate: a stunning number of Americans seized the opportunity of this election to thrust their racism, misogyny, homophobia, and plain ol’ hatred onto the rest of the country where it belongs.

It turns out that we’re all living in a Christian Nation, after all.

And above it all sits Utah, the state in which I grew up. Utah, that City on a Hill, that Bushel-less Candle, the Mountain of the Lord unto which nations will flow. Utah, the home of LDS-Mormonism, that radical American experiment with religion in which I grew up. Utah Mormonism, the restorer of True Christianity, the cradle of “family values”, the not-gambling, the not-drinking, the not-having-extra-heterosexual-marriage-sex, the not-even-allowing-sensitive-sexual-topics-in-public-schools culture. Utah and “Modest-Is-Hottest”-LDS-Mormonism, that holy partnership, formed to save a weak, withering nation from the wiles of Satan. Utah, dear Utah, the Freaking Hope of Israel.

The LDS-Mormon people of Utah’s New Jerusalem stepped out of the Shadows of the Everlasting Hills last night to cry unto the nations: Actually, We Love It When Dirty Old Men Grab Pussies. Let’s Mainstream that S–t.

60% of Utah’s population is LDS-Mormon.  Perhaps 42% of Utah’s population is really LDS-Mormon, in the sense of actively living, on a day-to-day basis, what is currently defined by the LDS church as orthopraxy.  I certainly didn’t anticipate that Utah would go blue, but I’m disgusted and disgraced that 45% of Utah’s population, apparently, voted for Little Prince Pumpkin.  Perhaps more than 50% in the neighborhood of my childhood home.

I can’t say exactly how the 42% overlaps with the 45%, but it’s clear that in big numbers, Utah-based LDS-Mormons set all their high-falutin’ morality aside to affirm the privilege of white, male power to debauch its way through the world.

The mainstream populace of the religious institution that taught me to avoid the very appearance of evil, and that labored with great energy to stigmatize any departure of my life from its tight-assed prescriptions and proscriptions—the people who urged me over and over and over to choose the right, and who assured me over and over and over that my every choice would impact my worthiness before a god who could not look on sin with the least degree of allowance—that self-righteous populace, in this election, shouted from the rooftops:

God will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit [or build a wall] for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.

I was wrong—oh, so wrong—that this election had forced LDS-Mormons to find their feet, and to turn their backs on the cultural cancer of Polingelical Christianity.  Instead, last night, my Utah-LDS-Mormon people put a match to their integrity and proclaimed: We Can Equivocate as Well as Any American Christians!

I suppose it was probably a lie, all along. The vision of a restored Jesus community was never going to work. The ideal that a people, as a people, could live well and with integrity was never going to be more than a dream. The hope that a community could put goodness first—first, before tradition, first, before economic self-interest, first, before political opportunism, first, before power and pride—has always failed, and, I suppose, it was bound to fail in the LDS-Mormon case.

But, let me note it, anyway. The great, raging hypocrisy of Utah’s LDS-Mormons shames me, genuinely. After last night, it’s only because I’m not, any longer, a Utahn that I don’t kick the whole Mormon sham into the bin. It’s not politics that irks me, not the loss of one political party or another, nor any of the convoluted issues of this particular election.  It’s the shamelessness with which a people, who have shrieked hysterically about ‘morality-this’ and ‘morality-that’, can so callously sell out their ideals and equivocate themselves into ordaining a degenerate reprobate.

Avoid the very appearance of evil, my a$$. The Mormon City on a Utah Hill is beaming evil across the landscape. If I still was, up to last night, I’m no longer with you now, Utah Mormons, nor with any of the rest of you paper Mormons who so desperately, decadently want to exchange Jesus for power. Y’all have surrendered any moral authority that I might have recognized as a youth.  Middle-class, heterosexual white guy that I am, I’ll throw my lot in with the disenfranchised and downtrodden, as much as I can, and I’ll try to stay out of their way, as much as necessary, with as much love as I can muster.

The shallow, self-serving, duplicitous, obsessive, vainglorious, and morally bankrupt culture of Utah’s LDS-Mormonism be damned. If there ever was a whited sepulcher full of rottenness, it’s Utah’s LDS-Mormonism.

As it is, my Mormonism is my Mormonism, and still an ideal that’s not subject to any authority so unprincipled as thrives these days in Utah, presuming to set the standard for the Mormon world. My Mormonism rejects you and also Little Prince Pumpkin’s fatuous depravity in favor of a worldview that is eager to be informed by kindness, generosity, and knowledge, as divine qualities.


Addendum, for clarification: If you’re a Trump-Voting LDS-Mormon, you have, yourself, made such a joke of Mormon orthodoxy that you no longer have the bona fides to raise any objection to my support for ordaining women and for legitimizing same-sex marriage. You have crossed that bridge.

Addendum 2: Harry Reid on the election of a sexual predator. The evidence that some Mormons have some freaking common decency does not absolve the baffling numbers who clearly don’t.

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