Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Separation of church and state

There are many, many good reasons for it, not the least of which is that when the lines are blurred — like, I don't know, 80% or more of the legislators in your state belong to the same religion you do -- eventually, church goes down too.
I've never had a problem with this before. I live in Utah, which is largely Mormon, but I have no problem wrapping my brain around the idea that Mormons can be bad people too. Most of the crime committed here, most of the corruption, most of the cheaters, most of the __________ (insert bad thing here) are Mormon. It's a simple statistical fact. And I get that. And it's never bothered me. My neighbor being a bad person while also being a Mormon (caveat: nothing against my neighbor, who I don't actually know. It's just an example. I'm sure my neighbor is fantastic.) doesn't affect what kind of person I am.
But the latest round has just socked me in the gut. The problem is, I lost my faith in the state a while ago; I don't really trust any of them to do anything I agree with. I honestly can't remember the last time someone I voted for was elected. I think it was in 2008, right after my mission, and in New Mexico I voted for a healthy mix of Republicans, Democrats and third-party candidates. One person for whom I voted won.
But with HB 477, about which I'm sure I've exhausted people in my what I think is righteous anger, is just too much. All I can see are a bunch of immoral people who have sought power and then predictably been corrupted it. And they have sought it in such a way so as to eliminate any sort of checks and balances (Question: What would have to happen for a Democrat to be elected in Utah County? Answer: The Republican to be indicted -- and even then it would be close) because the Democrats provide a somewhat vocal and theoretical opposition, but there aren't enough of them to do much.
And that means all of those good Republicans, who I could one day see in the temple or heaven forbid be asked to sustain not as a secular leader but as a religious leader, can do, and have done, about whatever they want. And it hurts. I wonder how we can have the same morals, which they obviously feel they do have. I wonder how they can not see the whited sepulchres that I see when I look at them. I wonder how they can say they are honest with their fellow men when they are sneaking through legislation, throwing flares to distract from the real point and using emotionally charged stories that are actually irrelevant to their arguments to dishonestly sway opinions.
To be fair, sources probably wonder how I can consider myself a good Mormon. The thing is, I have zero problems with the gospel. It's the other people who profess to believe the same gospel that give me pause.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I've been thinking about this since you brought it up, and I'm pretty sure there are people who would think we're bad Mormons (just wrote bed Mormons . . . :) for going to the rally. And even though no one's said that to me (not that I've told anyone we went), it irks me a little.