That's right, I'm putting this in writing. I'm sick of Utah culture and I've held my tongue at many times and tried to pretend that this all seemed so normal. But, now I've decided to just take a match to it. Really at this point in the game, I don't have much to lose. So, without further adieu: What the fuck is up with Utah?
Utah is a haven for religious zealotry, religious bigotry, sexism, blatant homophobia, latent racism, and close minded conservativism with no real thought process behind it.
In Utah, the Church is the Law. The Church must give its stamp of approval for any major legislation to pass. The Leaders of the Church speak, and the matter is no longer up for debate. It doesn't matter what they say, it doesn't matter how absurd it sounds, or how much it flies in the face of science or reason. The ecclesiastical leadership in the LDS Church particularly in Utah is nearly completely unchallenged by its members. Surely God must have chosen and be guiding each of them. This is a dangerous mentality. I personally held this belief until the day I realized that my bishop is just a man with no better judgment than anyone else. I went to my bishop I had when I left the Church, Bishop Medsker, and told him that my father was cheating on my mother, physically abusing both her and me, and mentally abusing every member of my family. He did NOTHING!!! Well, I guess that's not true, he did gossip with others in the ward what he knew. But he did nothing that would actually help us. That is not divine guidence!
And God help you if you're not a member of the Church in Utah. You will be subjected to constant efforts to convert you. You will always be on the fringes of society. You'll never penetrate the social strata. You will be an outsider.
Utah, for all the women leaders we've had in the legislature and other political officials, is a sexist paradise. Women are told both overtly and covertly that their place is in the home. They should be superwomen that should make June Cleaver look like Courtney Love. Women are not allowed to hold spiritual or temporal authority to their husbands. Women are taught that they are second fiddle to the man. They are made for man and the most important thing they can do is to get married to a worthy man and have children. They must be chaste and virginal until marriage. In marriage they should satisfy their husbands, but maintain a Victorian demure towards sex. A woman's entire identity is centered around her reproductive ability. This is said to be her greatest gift and asset.
And where there is sexism, there is homophobia. I've been nearly beaten up for being gay. I've been insulted, put down, and verbally abused for the fact that I'm gay. I've been compared to a pedophile, been called sinister and unnatural, and even compared to malicious vampire for being gay. I've personally known men and women who have had sexual relationships with members of the same sex and admited that they are gay and yet enter into marriages (often temple marriages). In what kind of fucked up culture is it better to get married and potentially destroy countless lives rather than admit that you are gay and try to live as openly and honestly as possible? I saw the suicide of a gay teenager because of the pressures and expectations in this culture, yet no one around him seemed to learn much of anything from this. It is attrocious that the second most senior member of the Church can say that homosexuality is an abomination and that you need to pray for change immediately following a string of gay suicides and I can log into Facebook a day later and see people posting things supporting this kind of biggotry. It's sad that there is a whole part of my life I have to keep private from my brother and other members of my family (all of whom know I'm gay) because it makes them uncomfortable.
In Utah, you can be racist, as long as it's not overt. I am sick of hearing jokes about Mexicans. I am sick of hearing about how "those darn illegals" are ruining things. I'm sick of hearing about how "they" should just go back to where they came from. Followed immediately by the phrase, "I don't hate them. I know plenty of them. I'm even friends with some." If you want those "damn Mexicans" gone or you feel some sort of superiority to those who are Hispanic, I have news for you, you're a racist!
Also, I still find it racist and troublesome that dark skin is considered a punishment and a mark of an evil ancestry. Also, the idea of white skinned Jews from the 7th century B.C.E. is at best absurd.
Finally, Utahns don't think for themselves. They are spoonfed every answer to life. Most Utahns I've met are staunch Republicans. Those same people have never thought out why they are Republican, can give no logical answer to it, and pretty much go along with whatever the Pary says feeling that they know best. I don't care if you're Republican. That's part of American diversity and we need to have wide diversity in our political spectrum. But for God's sake, at least have reasons for being a Republican that you have thought out by yourself.
Utah has gorgeous scenery, low crime, and is a good place to raise a family provided your family meets certain criteria. But, along with that comes a horrid culture that makes life her unbearable at times. I hate living here and can't wait for the day when I finally leave. It is not the place for a liberal-agnostic-gay-Democrat.