Stick Up the Wazoo Award–Our first of the year

Our first 2007 Stick up the Wazoo Award goes jointly to Kaysville (Utah) City Councilman Gil Miller and Ryan Price of SLC. You will note the kinder, gentler language I am using. Becoming aware of the young readership I sometimes attract, I am attempting to avoid swearage. It’s my New Year’s resolution. I’m sure it will last until at least the Utah State Legislature meets.

At any rate, Mormon Miller decided to mandate that no Kaysville-city sponsored events will be held on Mondays, because most Mormons want it that way. Of course, he didn’t say Mormons. He said:

“…most of his family-oriented constituents want Monday evenings free. And, he says, city-sponsored sports get in the way.”

How cute. Everyone KNOWS that Mormons hold Mondays sacred as “Family Home Evening,” mandated by the Church. His wording fools no one. But he’s been very careful, of course, to avoid offending anyone, or say MAKING EVERYONE WHO LIVES IN KAYSVILLE LIVE BY RULES SET DOWN BY THE MORMON RELIGION. By God, no, he didn’t do that.

He says his decision, which was backed up by fellow council members, has nothing to do with the Mormon Church’s practice – he’s a member – of asking members to reserve Monday nights for Family Home Evening.

“Over the past 20 months numerous people have approached me about Monday practices,” Miller said, estimating that Kaysville is about 90 percent LDS. According to LDS church records, 68 percent of Davis County’s population belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I believe I understand what the folks in Kaysville are after,” Miller said, carefully avoiding any direct link between his beliefs and the city’s new policy.

Not only does Miller have problems with MATH, but he also has every intention of making EVERY Kaysville resident, Mormon or not, abide by HIS BELIEF SYSTEM. This will, according to other Kaysville politicos, be a detriment to the Kaysville City budget and all the young people involved in city sports, which, despite what Miller thinks, have NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. We aren’t asking you to run the sports on Sundays, you doehead. But Mondays? That’s your religion, and your choice, but you DON’T get to make an entire city live by YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEF. You’ve been living in Utah too long, and apparently do not have ANY idea what the division of Church and State means. If you don’t want your kids to play sports on Mondays, that’s your call, but you DON’T get to mandate what MY KIDS do.

And to say it’s NOT because of the Mormon belief of Family Home Evening. Carefully word your way to the Celestial Kingdom, nobody is that STUPID. It’s about YOU thinking ONLY MORMONS live here. How arrogant and un-Christlike is that? Fortunately for you, you have supporters. And thus, you get to SHARE your award with a Public Forum writer in The Salt Lake Tribune.

Dear Ryan Price said, in his Tribune letter:

People are not the church
Public Forum Letter
Article Last Updated: 01/04/2007 07:58:11 PM MST

In his letter, “Church and state,” published in the Dec. 29 Public Forum, James Oshust takes to task the LDS Church for Kaysville’s decision to not have certain facilities open on Mondays, as well as having their New Year’s celebration on the 30th.

He tells the LDS Church that only once that organization is willing to pay the costs of these facilities can it then impart their “specific morality.”

Mr. Oshust is quite obviously bitter about the LDS Church. What he fails to understand, or is simply unwilling to understand, is that the LDS Church, as an organization, has nothing to do with these kinds of decisions. Were there LDS members who made the decision? Yes. But Mormons in Kaysville making public policy decisions are not the LDS Church. People, please try to get those distinctions straight.

Ryan Price
Salt Lake City

Ryan, are you REALLY that stupid? The only reason MORMONS in Kaysville are trying to MAKE that particular public policy is because THE MORMON CHURCH teaches it as POLICY. They didn’t pull it out of their wazoo, unlike this stupid letter you wrote to The Salt Lake Tribune!

If the letter writer he is referring to is bitter, it’s no WONDER! If Gil Miller was NOT Mormon, and did not believe in Family Home Evening on Mondays, he would not be trying to tell every other resident of Kaysville that THEY cannot play sports on Mondays because HIS CHURCH doesn’t want them to.

I was raised Mormon. I know VERY WELL how much pressure is put on people to impart THEIR religion on others. YOU make the distinction, Ryan. When the LDS Church writes a letter, telling Miller that he should not try to enforce public policy based on his religious belief, then I will agree with you that PEOPLE are not the Church. Until then, you and I BOTH know that Gil Miller is only doing what his Church wants him to do. Probably sanctioned by his local leaders, and possibly even Church headquarters.

Until we hear otherwise, this is just a fact. If you’ve lived in Utah more than ten minutes, you know this.

Enjoy your stick.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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7 Responses to Stick Up the Wazoo Award–Our first of the year

  1. T. W. says:

    Having also grown up in a quiet little country town in Utah awith a population of about 6500, I do know the pressure the predominant religion can put on the community.

    At the risk of being offered a stick for wazoo placement, when I originally read about this story, I just wasn’t quite as indignant as Natalie. It seemed relatively harmless not to schedule games on Monday nights. I’m certain they don’t schedule games on Sunday — and that has been going on for years. A predominately Jewish community probably wouldn’t have any games on Saturday. When a city provides a recreation program for its citizens, it wants to encourage participation, not discourage it and such a policy could be seen as an attempt to increase participation, should the faithful be of such numbers.

    Given my prophetic Mormon heritage, let me make a prophesy: Games will continue on Mondays in the land of the Clover Club Potato Chip. Why do I think I’m prophetic? Because of a couple of lines in the Salt Lake Tribune Article quoting the Kaysville recreation programs leader: ‘Right now we’re using all our locations Monday through Saturday, and this will require more fields and facilities,’ Willey said. That could mean added costs and increased fees, Willey said. ”

    Nothing trumps religion in Utah like the almighty dollar. The city council will bend down and worship the Monday night games and practices or I am a false prophet.

    Like

  2. Alicia says:

    “Nothing trumps religion in Utah like the almighty dollar.” I thought the LDS Church WAS a business, so isn’t it really the same thing after all? You can enjoy your family in the afterlife anyway, why waste time with them now if you’re losing money on it?

    Like

  3. Hi. I’m Lindalee, an exmormon who reads TBTM regularly. I too was not as upset as Natalie. I don’t believe it should be city policy but do think not wanting to schedule activities on Monday night is just a way of trying to not have events when people won’t attend. I have lived in the “Bible Belt” (in my case grew up in Missouri and lived most of my adult life in Kansas-but I did live three years in Utah) most of my life. Around here, one doesn’t schedule activities on Wednesday night-a night that most Baptist churches have some kind of service-if one wants to get the most people to attend. What I find amazing is how inflexible the LDS church is when it comes to Monday night family home evening. In this area, it would be better if Mormons could have FHE on Wednesday nights-that way they would be more likely to not have a conflict with any other scheduled activity. But no matter what it’s like where you live(someone in a primarily Jewish area might find less conflict for FHE on Friday evening after sundown), the LDS FHE is Monday evening-period.

    Like

  4. Cele says:

    I read Natalie’s post yesterday and didn’t comment (you know me I always comment) because I wasn’t sure I had anything to add. But now with the three comments I have to say – Wow, my eyes are opened up in a new way.

    Except for a two year stint in Germany, I have always lived on the west coast, where no specific religion rules. Oregon has/had our religious loons and oddities most recently in Eldridge Clever and the Baghwan Shree Rashneesh (boy they were a colourful group. And well California is notorious for it’s religious fanatics and deepend lunatics) But no religious group has run the state, told the people what they could or could not do and when they could or could not do it. Woah, you guys live under some pretty extreme people and most of you conform and think little of it (see I didn’t say nothing, because you all do feel something about it.)

    When is playing or watching your kid play a sport that is not a FAMILY event? If it’s not, then parents WTF are you doing when your kid is playing ball, dancing in the ballet, or acting in the local theatre? What I ask you? Family night shouldn’t mean scrabble and Bible study, it should mean family participation and support. I’m not downing Bible study, but I am downing religous mandated “Family Night” every activity regardless the time of day that includes one or all of your kids should be family time. Yes, your life calls, yes you’ve two – oh wait this is Utah – seven children and get split between games or activities, But parents find ways to make it count, and then tell the CHURCH

    Like

  5. Cele says:

    (OPPS cut off) to get out of your life and ask Jesus back into your life.

    Like

  6. Jacob Werner says:

    Hello, my name is Jacob and I was raised in Kaysville. I’m not LDS in fact I’m a born again believer. Growing up in Kaysville I felt like the only non mormon in Kaysville. However, I was usualy welcomed with open arms by neighbors and friends. Kaysville without a doubt is mostly LDS believers. So I agree that Monday night may not be the best night for youth sports. I agree with not having Monday Night Youth Sports due to the fact that most of the population has Monday Night Home Evenings. In no way do I find it wrong to not have Monday Night Youth Sports.

    Further more, if you want to make a bigger influence to your LDS friends it’s not by Bashing their beliefs. After all what do you think Paul would have to say for this behavior. Being a good friend who stands strong in their own belief system is a much more useful witness. I don’t agree with the LDS Beliefs but I will not bash them in any way. How would you feel if the LDS Missionaries picketet your church?

    Like

  7. Dear Jacob,

    I don’t picketet anyone.

    Like

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