Friday, April 10

Basic Division

This should technically be called "Why I love/hate blah blah blah blah #4, blah blah" but I got bored of that format. It does link back to the original Love/Hate list, though. Also, I don't know how detailed this particular post will be, so I may come back to this topic again.

Those of you who have talked local politics are aware of this particular frustration of mine, but I doubt I've fully gone in to detail with most of you. There is, in my beloved state, a solid, nigh impassable barrier. You can't see it, taste it, or smell it, but when you run into it, you'll know it is there (I'm still working on a creative name, but all the good ones are taken).

This is the line between those who are Mormon and those who are not. It shows up everywhere; in politics, in city planning, in idle conversation, at work, at church, in coffee-shops, and in the minds of friends, family, and neighbors.

The Mormons founded Salt Lake, but they are pretty industrious and founded cities all over the country, from Prattville (AL) to Las Vegas (yes, really) to several cities in California, and dozens (hundreds?) of places in between, particularly along the 1-15 corridor.

It didn't take long for Non-Mormons to show up, though. Many Christians flocked here, actually, as it is/was considered to be a "safe" place for children to be raised. The Catholics had a large presence quickly, as did the Masons (one of the greatest arguments in Masonic history is whether or not Mormons qualified to worship the Big G). The origins of the divide date back over a hundred years, and the passing of time has solidified the line, rather than clearing it up.

Having spent my Two Years on the other side of this particular barrier, I find it frustrating, infuriating, and baffling. Fundamentally, what happens is this. If someone finds out that the person they have been talking with is on the other side of the fence, they shut them out. The conversation ends. Both parties leave, slightly irritated, and then go complain to someone on their side about how awful the other side is. They don't associate. They don't go to the same parties. They don't keep the same friends. It is like the two largest cliques at school have a blood feud, and refuse to work with anyone on the other side, except that it infects the entire city.

There are exceptions of course, good people on both sides who don't care, but theirs is a constant battle to simply maintain the status quo and prevent backsliding.

I only hope that I can be an exception, and that everyone (regardless) can be equally comfortable around me.

2 comments:

  1. I hope I am one of the exceptions. I try to be friendly regardless. In fact, most of the people I smile at, at work, I have no idea their affiliation. On the other hand, there is a group I used to sit with, who started using a lot of bad language, and I am not comfortable with that. So I found another group to hang out with. So part of that 'divide' may just be level of comfort with different standards. I still smile at these ladies, and greet them, but I rarely sit with them.

    (you wouldn't guess from this posting that I actually edit people's papers for grammar and construction and they get A's.)

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  2. Utah native, Mormon convert. I hear you man. That's why we don't want to move back to Utah. Way to polarized.

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