It’s just awful when the LDS Church interjects itself in immigration politics … unless the church is on the immigrants’ side. Quorum of Seventy member Marlin Jensen may have saved Utah from a raft of disastrous anti-immigration laws with his public statement asking lawmakers to “slow down” on illegal immigration and take “a more thoughtful and factual, not to mention humane, approach.” It will be up to Utah’s Senate to slow the anti-immigrant train as Utah’s House—ignoring a church message delivered privately before the legislative session—has found its own religion of playing on the fears of voters with bills to strip undocumented immigrants of cars, college education and jobs. Oh, for the good old days when the church shouted and lawmakers jumped.
Future tourists to the Beehive State might begin with a tour of Red Rock country to see nuclear power plants, then drive to the Great Salt Lake for a glimpse of the Spiral Jetty as framed by two oil-drilling barges. A Canadian company plans to begin drilling within five miles of Robert Smithson’s most famous work. That’s despite a 2006 agreement that put 100,000 acres of the lake off-limits to drilling in order to protect shorebird breeding grounds. The lease owned by Canada’s Pearl Montana Exploration and Production predates the agreement, but Utah officials still have it in their power to cancel it to preserve a public trust. If the Spiral Jetty doesn’t count, the birds certainly should.
Forbes magazine recently crunched numbers to find America’s most sinful cities and found Salt Lake City making the list for three of the Seven Deadly Sins. Utah’s capital city scores in the top 10 for envy and lust and ranks No. 1 for pride. Forbes measured plastic surgeons per capita as a proxy for pride, but the article notes plastic surgery is associated with obesity. Envy was measured in amount of property theft; Salt Lake ranks seventh. The real gold mine for Utah’s tourism office is in the lust category: Cities were ranked by per-person purchase of condoms. Salt Lake City women purchased 186 percent more than would be expected for the market size. Talk about Life Elevated.