Stop the Cycle of Discrimination
My wife and I are that interesting Utah combination of formerly Mormon and never Mormon—I being the "never Mormon."
Having grown up never Mormon in Utah, and now having two children being raised never Mormon in Utah, I and a great number of people I know have been witness to and victims of Utah's silent bigotry: the 8-year-old ostracism. I am talking about those parents who stop their children from befriending or continuing friendships with children outside of the faith once they reach 8 years of age and are baptized into the LDS faith.
It's a sadly common occurrence, but I wonder how often those in the fold speak about this vicious cycle of hate and discrimination. My wife—who was raised Mormon—understood, in theory, that it existed but had never seen it herself. She was raised in a community where it didn't matter what religion you were, and many of her friends were of other faiths. When I spoke of it, my wife would become furious at "those Mormons" for behaving so badly.
Then it happened to our daughters.
Children suddenly weren't allowed to attend our daughters' birthday parties or come to our house, because their parents didn't know what we were like and had no desire to find out. Our oldest was coming home with tales of battles over my wife's honor because not only do we drink coffee, we drink alcohol and have tattoos. No one should have to be defended by a 9-year-old because her "friends" are telling her that her parents are going to hell for their choices.
Having daughters of my own, I recognize the desire to protect children from bad influences. Yet teaching children to judge others solely on their faith seems to me as something from which Mormons once were forced to escape by trekking across the country on foot, pushing their belongings in carts.
Stop the cycle. Teach your children to judge others by their social and moral values (which even atheists have).
Teach them that we live in a world that is filled with 7 billion people and a multitude of faiths, colors and ideas, and individuals need to be judged based on their actions, not their belief systems—especially when those belief systems are not of their own choosing, but of their parents.
It Doesn't Hurt
Someone needs to correct Allison Oligschlaeger's sidebar at the end of her story talking about foreskin restoration ["Circumcision Decision," Sept. 17, City Weekly].
Non-surgical foreskin restoration is not painful, and while one cannot get back everything that was lost, it can be quite effective—both in its ability to increase pleasure and its ability to make a man look intact.
Just talk to the many men out there who have undergone restoration or check with nonprofits such as the National Organization of Restoring Men (Norm.org).
The restoration process may take many years, but it is no more difficult than wearing braces to straighten one's teeth. If it is causing pain, you are doing something wrong.
Corrections:The location for Alex Caldiero'sOct. 9reading of "Howl" as part of the Utah Humanities Book Festival ["Coming of Page," Oct. 1,City Weekly] was incorrect. It will be performed at the Salt Lake City Main Library.
The price to purchase a lute ranges between $2,000 and $20,000. An incorrect price range was listed in the Five Spot interview with Sterling Price [Oct. 1,City Weekly].