Bread for Religious Ed
What better time and place to talk about religion than now and in Utah? The Deseret News was so gleeful about the latest Supreme Court decision that it devoted its front page to this: "Court ruling could help reverse rising secularization." The ruling gave religious schools access to state funds, but whether that opens the door in Utah to the tired voucher debate is still a question. But really—reverse secularization? "No rich country prays nearly as much as the U.S., and no country that prays as much as the U.S. is nearly as rich," an Atlantic reporter writes. The D-News story posits that a lack of religious education is causing the secular pivot. The Atlantic says it's due to "the association of the Republican Party with the Christian right, the end of the Cold War and 9/11." In other words, citizens simply expect a more robust division between faith and politics. And who knows, the ruling may further secularize the country.
Fools Rush in
Comic relief is always good—especially during the unrelenting drumbeat of the pandemic. Enter the anti-mask flash mobs. Oferfun! Their website defendingutah.org alone is enough to throw you into an epileptic fit. "Giving tyrannical powers to your mayor," "selling out your freedoms," and "whistleblowers reveal lies behind the fake pandemic." The United States has long been an exceptional incubator of conspiracy theories, but the anti-mask movement puts it in comical perspective. The "flash mob" has a set time to line up and enter grocery stores. The KUTV 2 story shows men pushing empty shopping carts they have obviously never pushed before, and women joyfully taking selfies because it's so much fun. Everyone is smiling because they're going to teach the government that they can do whatever they want. So, this is freedom from what?
Beware of Bogeymen
Did you know that Utah celebrated Victims of Communism Day? As if we don't have enough trouble with fascism, the Legislature wants you to focus on the nonexistent if impotent far left in the state. Socialism, lawlessness, America-haters. How's that working for you, GOP? Well, it apparently worked in the 4th Congressional District where the Republican primary chose Burgess Owens to face U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams in November. Owens is raising the specter of Marxism, among other bogeymen. Meanwhile, the governor is walking the precarious line between action and surrender in the ever-politicizing face-mask debate. Why, you might ask, is he tuning out physicians, chambers of commerce and "experts?" He told the Deseret News he doesn't want things to get too divisive. Maybe he's been holed up too long.