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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

Perspective on the religion card

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The Mormon Church engages in overt political activism, and as such it deserves the same muckraking scrutiny as any other advocacy organization (HCN, 10/27/08). Its claim to foster moral leadership shouldn't exempt it from critique.

Ray Ring's revelations about the "underbelly" of Rexburg are relevant to the investigation of a politico-religious institution that clearly aims to extend its moral example beyond a voluntary congregation. The rest of the world might like to know more about the aspirations of the church, especially when it's our choices they aim to curtail.

Those who claim that the Mormon Church deserves to be left alone -- or, in the words of BYU-Idaho, that its opponents are motivated by anti-religious fervor -- should consider the example of a certain Salt Lake City-owned block that the church managed to appropriate a few years ago, thanks to some intense (and intensely questionable) leveraging by the church. Actions like these affect all of us, not just the faithful.

Michael Kirkpatrick

Religion Card
Steve Chambers
Steve Chambers
Nov 11, 2008 03:58 PM
I assume Mr. Kirkpatrick is referring to the purchase by the LDS church of a portion of what was formerly Main Street in Salt Lake City and turning it into a plaza between two church owned properties. It was a hotly debated and divisive matter that was ultimately resolved by a negotiated settlement between the city and the church while a court ruling in favor of the acquisition was on appeal. What Mr. Kirkpatrick and many Salt Lake City residents failed to appreciate is that the purchase of the street had its genesis in a "Second Hundred Years" plan set forth by the Salt Lake City fathers in the mid-1960s. Mr. Kirkpatrick and others seem to think the LDS church somehow strong-armed the land away from the city when in reality all it did was follow a plan developed over 40 years ago. In any event, how that plays into Proposition 8 escapes me, except as a "the Mormons are horrible" ploy.

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