Soap Box: Sept. 21-27 | Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Soap Box: Sept. 21-27

CW readers comment on Midvale comeback, Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, national politics and more.



Cover story, Sept. 21, "Call it a Comeback"
I grew up in the Avenues off of Main Street and have seen the demise of Midvale down there. It would be nice to see it brought back to life again, but I honestly don't think it is possible to keep that old town look and feel.
RoAnn Francom Overall

News, Sept. 21, "Full Disclosure"
This does point out that reporting laws should be looked at. But what stands out most is the two pitiful losers that will go to any length to be Sandy's mayor. Forbush runs for everything and always loses. The other is so incredibly desperate that he's looking for a technicality to put himself in the mayor's chair. Bradburn has never been involved in the city in any capacity. He only wants use the position as a launching pad for his political career. How compliant is Bradburn when he can't even follow sign laws?
Joaquin Cinco

With everything going on in the current administration, isn't what he's doing par for the course?
Victor Adam
Via Facebook

News, Sept. 14, "Taking the Plunge"
Happy to see this article about the history and possible future of an intriguing spot. I live in Rose Park, and the new life here is just what the north area of the valley needs. Thank you, City Weekly and Mr. Harris.
Pamela B Holman

When are the open houses? I've lived in the area all my life and would love to come experience the history. Great article—fun read!
Alex Carr

Soap Box, Sept. 21, "CW readers speak their mind about Sugar House development"
Grew up in a working class area of Sugar House. Those areas exist. Or did. Namely, around the Fairmont Park area. Gentrification happened.
Via Twitter

The Beer Nerd, Sept. 21, "Gourd Almighty"
Love the Epic Pumpkin Porter aged in a whiskey barrel.
Via Twitter

Music, Sept. 21, "Return Trip"
Great interview. Well put! I have always considered Ride much more than just a shoegaze band. A great band!
Via Twitter

Political mess
American politics today is like a blue-collar thief and a white-collar thief taking potshots at each other. Unfortunately, Americans are light-headed enough to take sides in this debate.

Democrats and Republicans are both in the wrong. Both sides are stealing history from the people. Both are stealing the American Dream from the people. Both are stealing the Constitution from the people.

History shows a way out of the mess, so the pot shooters work hard to keep the past out of the picture. The American Dream has been shattered, so both work hard to force Americans to forget their dreams. The Constitution made American goodness, technology and military strength happen, and made everyone a winner. In order to have winners and losers today, the Constitution must be buried deep in the dead-letter file.

The agencies that report on or support all this potshooting—big media, big culture, big corporations and big government—want the debate to stay right where it is. Why? Because they can rush in and pick away at the new loot that hits the ground when one thief pulls ahead of the other.
Robert Kimball Shinkoskey,
Woods Cross

DACAs were brought illegally by parents committing three felonies to get jobs. Parental criminality inflicting pain on children is "cruelty"—by the parent, regardless of nationality.

DACAs can prove they love America and become law-abiding by returning home and applying to participate in President Trumps' immigration based on the needs of America's economy. ...

Compassion, mercy and forgiveness are virtues performed by individuals toward their abusers. Governments must enforce their laws to maintain order and safety for citizens. We are supposed to be a nation based on constitutional laws. Rep. Barbara Jordan emphasized the first responsibility of a nation is to control who enters. Congress has a responsibility to make immigration laws. Obama's petulant ukases (executive DACA orders) circumvented Congress and are illegal and unconstitutional. His non-enforcement of immigration law has created more international gangs, human trafficking, drug smuggling, job loss for American workers and murders such as Kate Steinle killed by a five-times-deported felon. We should enforce U.S. Code 8 1324 to penalize employers hiring illegals and U.S. Code 8 1182 to deport foreigners.

DACA "compassionate" supporters demanding they be accepted are like prohibition-era speakeasy patrons engendering today's organized crime. ...

Please ask President Trump to install this win/win solution.
Vicki Martin,

Chameleonic twist
Whatever happened to the old Mormon God? While the church's leaders are giving impassioned talks on eliminating racism, sexism and nationalism in our society, the church's ever-present past is lurking in its basement. It is worth looking at its history, and, even more important, to address the lingering racism, sexism and nationalism that are at the core of the religion.

Let's start with Apostle M. Russell Ballard, who, in his Sunday afternoon conference talk (Oct. 1), extolled the virtues of Jane Manning James, daughter of a freed slave. He described her as "a remarkable disciple," but he failed to mention that she had been officially adopted into the Smith family as a servant, and was later sealed to Joseph Smith in the Salt Lake Temple, by proxy, specifically as his "servitor for eternity." At some future juncture Manning became disenchanted with the sentence of permanent servitude; she petitioned the church to let her get her own temple endowment, but was refused.

Manning, was indeed, as Apostle Ballard put it, "a remarkable disciple," since she never renounced Mormonism and Joseph Smith for her less-than-shabby treatment. It was only after the rescission of the black ban on the priesthood—along with the church's disavowal that the ban had ever been a matter of doctrine—that Manning was, once again by proxy, allowed to receive her own temple endowment. It is more than interesting that, while white Mormons were promised the rewards of godhood, this black woman became a permanent example of the church's attitudes and policies toward the blacks. This matter is well documented in Mormon history, so, which is it?—a god who is a racist or the one reinvented by modern church leaders.

Ballard's remarks also decried sexism, but there is no question in anyone's mind that the LDS faith relies on the elevated status of its men. For, it is the men, alone, who can have the priesthood, and there is still that lingering remnant of the old temple ceremony: "Women, obey your husbands in righteousness." While that wording has been changed, Mormon women are impressed with the lifelong understanding that a good and worthy man is their only way to reach the highest degree of post-mortal glory, and that they will be blessed to bear the children of those men in order to populate worlds of their own. So much for Ballard's assault on sexism.

Last in Apostle Ballard's list is the matter of nationalism. No matter how Mormon leaders characterize it, its members have been drilled with the idea that the U.S. is, indeed, God's chosen country—that he was responsible for its establishment and that it was essential to the "restoration of God's church on Earth." The cry of "God Bless the USA" is very much a Mormon mantra, marginalizing all other nations and anticipating that the Mormon God will bless America, even at the expense of all others. As the Mormon church has focused its efforts on converting foreigners, how can it explain to potential members that America is the chosen land? If that isn't nationalism, I'm obviously misunderstanding the concept.

In a nutshell, Mormonism can't have it both ways. It can't profess a non-racist, non-sexist, non-nationalistic mindset, while all three are very much alive and well. If we look at the Mormon God of Joseph Smith's and Brigham Young's day, and the one that seems to now be at the church's helm, no one can ascribe the definition of God found in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 10:18, "For He is the same yesterday, today and forever ..."

No one can anticipate what measures will be taken to obscure history from the Mormon mainstream. But, do we dare ask why the first printer's handwritten manuscript of the Book of Mormon was just purchased by the church for a cool $35 million?
Michael S. Robinson,