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Thread: Political/Cultural Chit-Chat

  1. #511
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    I think this is probably true. For many white Americans, it's a lot easier to be charitable toward blacks knowing you're in a position of unquestioned dominance, with a president who looks like you and - for some - is at least is perceived to give the Klan a pass. For many of these same folks, when Obama was the President, a primal anger arose within, an alienation, a personal offense.

    The chatter I hear from members of the AA community (through my better half) - at least those who stay abreast of what Trump says - ranges from ridicule to acute distress... but it is anything but "neutral", or normal, or positive. There is an unquestionable sense that it's a period of danger, things are going backward, civil rights could be curtailed, or maybe even reversed.

    "Right now they're going after Roe and the immigrants. Next it could be us."

    I overhear chatter about why it's important to support an old white guy - Biden - if he's the nominee. "Now is not the time to be pushing a woman or another person of color". (Granted, the audience are not millennials, they're seasoned folks.)
    I will quibble with you based on this: the study used "a population-based sample of Americans between 2008 and 2018." Obama's presidency may have had more to do with the results than Trump's.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
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    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
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    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #512
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I will quibble with you based on this: the study used "a population-based sample of Americans between 2008 and 2018." Obama's presidency may have had more to do with the results than Trump's.
    I appreciate the quibble. Seriously. I think for many white Americans, Obama helped heal a long standing wound, an uncomfortable past. Certainly, for many his inauguration was a national release and kind of celebration of how America could overcome historic problems. Others saw it differently, of course.

    From the abstract:
    We find that via most measures, white Americans' expressed anti-Black and anti-Hispanic prejudice declined after the 2016 campaign and election, and we can rule out even small increases in the expression of prejudice. These results suggest the limits of racially charged rhetoric's capacity to heighten prejudice among white Americans overall. They also indicate that prejudice can behave like an issue attitude: rather than being a fixed predisposition, prejudice can respond thermostatically to changing presidential rhetoric and policy positions.
    My sense is Trump's ascent provided satisfaction and some degree of relief to some significant portion of whites, a reversal of subconscious anxiety from Obama's presidency, certainly on philosophical and political grounds, but also in a tribal way. "Now that we have a president who represents 'us', things are going in a better direction, and we don't have to fight the fight ourselves. Things are in good hands."

    For this reason, I think it's quite possible Trump has reduced racism from whites toward non-whites . Things are going in a better direction, the hype about whites becoming a minority in X years is counteracted by the strong advocacy and stated desire to MAGA, fight China, fight Mexico, fight immigration, condemn NFL kneelers, etc. The ship is steering away from the icebergs.

    (Put a different way, imagine the reaction if it was Obama's voice in the Access Hollywood recording, 8 years earlier. Instead, there's plenty of forgiveness from evangelicals... because of the deeper kinship.)

    When people feel secure in their identity and the health of their "tribe", they're more comfortable being charitable toward others. I think there's some loose analogy in what happened with the Cougar-Ute Forum. The other "tribe" unquestionably had a longer term, unequivocal loss of status, and civility/good will suffered. If/when we lose to those guys, their satisfaction will greatly outweigh our disappointment... which would make them even more angry.

    If there is less racism, that's a great thing. My non-citizen Indian colleague who reacted so strongly against the notion of Kamala Harris as the next Democratic POTUS nominee surprised me, as well, but I have to admit that angle has significant merit, though it is uncomfortable.

  3. #513
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post

    For this reason, I think it's quite possible Trump has reduced racism from whites toward non-whites . Things are going in a better direction, the hype about whites becoming a minority in X years is counteracted by the strong advocacy and stated desire to MAGA, fight China, fight Mexico, fight immigration, condemn NFL kneelers, etc. The ship is steering away from the icebergs.
    I, for one, believe that this is just a temporary steering away from the iceberg. When Trump needs to make himself feel good, he cannot help but attack those who are weaker and marginalized. This fuels those who are inclined, consciously and sub-consciously, towards racism, homophobia, etc. to speak and act on those beliefs. Admittedly, this is a small minority of the overall population, but it is a minority that is willing to take an automatic rifle/firebomb to a Synagogue, Mosque, Black Church or drive a car into a group on the sidewalk. Living in San Diego part-time has curiously made me more optimistic about people in general. Unlike Utah, San Diego is much more diverse in every measurement possible. This diversity by force of nature demands that we walk, work, eat and play with people who do not look like us and do not share all of the same beliefs. It is refreshing for me to be in this environment. I am sad to report that one group that seems to be more interested in not participating and instead becoming more isolated, is the LDS community. Very few LDS people are involved with the greater community and while the drive to proselyte others into the LDS community is significant, the willingness to participate in shared community activities (charitable and recreational) is lacking.

  4. #514
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    Very few LDS people are involved with the greater community and while the drive to proselyte others into the LDS community is significant, the willingness to participate in shared community activities (charitable and recreational) is lacking.
    I'm curious, are you speaking about your current LDS community, your former one in SD, or the LDS community at large?

    I ask because I feel like in recent years -like the past 15-20- I'm starting to see the opposite. Of course this may just be the culture of my past couple of wards, but there is a major focus on inclusion. My current ward host neighborhood parties, clean-ups, watches and even a community garden. A recent thing has been community education where people get together and share their knowledge and expertise. The notion really has been to get out of the proselytizing mode and just be kind to everyone. If through those friendships interest in the church comes great, but more importantly we need each other as friends.

    Now, this is Utah, so it isn't like the diversity of SD, but I also live in an area with quite a mixed demographic for Utah. I'll also note that LDS people are in the significant minority in this neighborhood so maybe that also leads to a need to be inclusive.

    But I've felt for a long time that has been a tonal shift among Latter-Day Saints, whereas when I was young I think we were far more insular. So I'm not questioning your thinking just curious on the specifics of your experience.


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  5. #515
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I'm curious, are you speaking about your current LDS community, your former one in SD, or the LDS community at large?

    I ask because I feel like in recent years -like the past 15-20- I'm starting to see the opposite. Of course this may just be the culture of my past couple of wards, but there is a major focus on inclusion. My current ward host neighborhood parties, clean-ups, watches and even a community garden. A recent thing has been community education where people get together and share their knowledge and expertise. The notion really has been to get out of the proselytizing mode and just be kind to everyone. If through those friendships interest in the church comes great, but more importantly we need each other as friends.

    Now, this is Utah, so it isn't like the diversity of SD, but I also live in an area with quite a mixed demographic for Utah. I'll also note that LDS people are in the significant minority in this neighborhood so maybe that also leads to a need to be inclusive.

    But I've felt for a long time that has been a tonal shift among Latter-Day Saints, whereas when I was young I think we were far more insular. So I'm not questioning your thinking just curious on the specifics of your experience.


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    I'm talking about participating in events and activities not organized by the LDS ward.

    My Holladay Ward started hosting very similar "neighborhood" activities about 20 years ago and they were well attended. We thought we were really being inclusive. However, they were never followed up with any real social relationship building. Few people went to dinner or a movie with or hosted non-LDS members in their homes. Parents consciously and sub-consciously continued to encourage their kids to play and associate with other LDS kids. My wife and I encouraged our kids to be friends with everyone. When our youngest boy was 5 -10, there were about 10 kids in our Ward boundaries of the same age, evenly divided between LDS and Non-LDS. We invited all to participate in Cub Scouts and since my wife was Den Leader and I was Cub Master, it was easy. However, the people who replaced my wife and me did literally nothing to keep it going and in many ways acted to discourage participation by non-LDS. The LDS boys, other than my son, left the little soccer, Jr. Jazz and baseball teams to play on teams with other LDS kids in the Stake. Parents consciously and sub-consciously encouraged their kids to play and associate with other LDS kids. There is a real divide at Olympus Junior and Olympus High School. I saw it as a sophomore football coach. I believe the result of all of this for those who have lived in the area forever is that LDS folk are only inclusive to the extent the non-LDS are willing to play on their fields. They don't see it as a sincere effort at becoming friends.

    My San Diego Ward is very similar in terms of having activities although it is much more difficult to host "neighborhood activities" when your neighborhood covers 20 square miles and multiple different communities including Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Bird Rock and La Jolla. Participation by LDS members in Ward activities is good, participation by non-LDS almost non-existent. Participation by LDS members in the community activities is minimal at best. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that many activities are on Sunday. Most seem unwilling to join a neighborhood picnic at the beach on a Sunday. We are not.

  6. #516
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    I'm talking about participating in events and activities not organized by the LDS ward.

    My Holladay Ward started hosting very similar "neighborhood" activities about 20 years ago and they were well attended. We thought we were really being inclusive. However, they were never followed up with any real social relationship building. Few people went to dinner or a movie with or hosted non-LDS members in their homes. Parents consciously and sub-consciously continued to encourage their kids to play and associate with other LDS kids. My wife and I encouraged our kids to be friends with everyone. When our youngest boy was 5 -10, there were about 10 kids in our Ward boundaries of the same age, evenly divided between LDS and Non-LDS. We invited all to participate in Cub Scouts and since my wife was Den Leader and I was Cub Master, it was easy. However, the people who replaced my wife and me did literally nothing to keep it going and in many ways acted to discourage participation by non-LDS. The LDS boys, other than my son, left the little soccer, Jr. Jazz and baseball teams to play on teams with other LDS kids in the Stake. Parents consciously and sub-consciously encouraged their kids to play and associate with other LDS kids. There is a real divide at Olympus Junior and Olympus High School. I saw it as a sophomore football coach. I believe the result of all of this for those who have lived in the area forever is that LDS folk are only inclusive to the extent the non-LDS are willing to play on their fields. They don't see it as a sincere effort at becoming friends.

    My San Diego Ward is very similar in terms of having activities although it is much more difficult to host "neighborhood activities" when your neighborhood covers 20 square miles and multiple different communities including Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Bird Rock and La Jolla. Participation by LDS members in Ward activities is good, participation by non-LDS almost non-existent. Participation by LDS members in the community activities is minimal at best. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that many activities are on Sunday. Most seem unwilling to join a neighborhood picnic at the beach on a Sunday. We are not.
    I have some nieces and nephews who have gone to Oly, my son is about to go there this next year (we live right on the boundary of Highland and Olympus and my wife went to Olympus so she encouraged it). My observation of Olympus is a lot of the parents and kids at Olympus are messed up. The cliques, the obsession about wealth, etc. Its pretty different from when my wife went there.

    I didn't realize the cliques were along religious lines, I thought it was more of a money thing.

    Where I grew up if my parents were to block me from having friends from other faiths I would have had almost no friends at all. Same for my kids today. I know it happens but just can't wrap my head behind the logic behind that kind of exclusion. Hard to get the pioneer blood out of some folks I suppose.

    Many of the neighborhood things I described have been taken over and are now mostly spearheaded by just regular members of the community so I am hopeful for their longevity and inclusiveness.


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  7. #517
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post

    I didn't realize the cliques were along religious lines, I thought it was more of a money thing.

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    I think it can be both, but my observation is the very wealthy LDS kids are a clique unto themselves. I would really encourage your son to go to Highland. Unless he has a lot of friends who he will be going to Olympus with, he will find it difficult to break-in to cliques that have existed since pre-school. My daughter was a kindergarten teacher at Howard R Driggs. She said that it was amazing to her how the cliques had already been established when the kids started school and that she had to spend a lot of time on being inclusive and being nice.

  8. #518
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    I think it can be both, but my observation is the very wealthy LDS kids are a clique unto themselves. I would really encourage your son to go to Highland. Unless he has a lot of friends who he will be going to Olympus with, he will find it difficult to break-in to cliques that have existed since pre-school. My daughter was a kindergarten teacher at Howard R Driggs. She said that it was amazing to her how the cliques had already been established when the kids started school and that she had to spend a lot of time on being inclusive and being nice.
    We have heard frequently a similar concern from friends who have or are anticipating their kids going to Olympus. I can’t say whether or not there is any validity to it. I have 2 kids currently at Highland. They have both loved their experience to this point and seem to have a broad group of friends. They have both participated in sports (football/b-ball/soccer) which has likely helped foster those associations.
    "Don't apologize; it's not your fault. It's my fault for overestimating your competence."

  9. #519
    Quote Originally Posted by hostile View Post
    We have heard frequently a similar concern from friends who have or are anticipating their kids going to Olympus. I can’t say whether or not there is any validity to it. I have 2 kids currently at Highland. They have both loved their experience to this point and seem to have a broad group of friends. They have both participated in sports (football/b-ball/soccer) which has likely helped foster those associations.
    My niece goes to Highland. Seems like, if you can't go to West, Highland is a good second option.

  10. #520
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    I think it can be both, but my observation is the very wealthy LDS kids are a clique unto themselves. I would really encourage your son to go to Highland. Unless he has a lot of friends who he will be going to Olympus with, he will find it difficult to break-in to cliques that have existed since pre-school. My daughter was a kindergarten teacher at Howard R Driggs. She said that it was amazing to her how the cliques had already been established when the kids started school and that she had to spend a lot of time on being inclusive and being nice.
    Unfortunately at this point all of my son's friends are going to Oly, so it would be a hard transition. The good news for him is he is kind of oblivious to that stuff and just a generally liked kid who doesn't offend or get offended. He's just like his mother, so he'll probably do just fine. I do think I may encourage Highland for my daughters though.

  11. #521
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I have some nieces and nephews who have gone to Oly, my son is about to go there this next year (we live right on the boundary of Highland and Olympus and my wife went to Olympus so she encouraged it). My observation of Olympus is a lot of the parents and kids at Olympus are messed up. The cliques, the obsession about wealth, etc. Its pretty different from when my wife went there.

    I didn't realize the cliques were along religious lines, I thought it was more of a money thing.

    Where I grew up if my parents were to block me from having friends from other faiths I would have had almost no friends at all. Same for my kids today. I know it happens but just can't wrap my head behind the logic behind that kind of exclusion. Hard to get the pioneer blood out of some folks I suppose.

    Many of the neighborhood things I described have been taken over and are now mostly spearheaded by just regular members of the community so I am hopeful for their longevity and inclusiveness.


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    I graduated HS almost 25 years ago. I was pretty much out of most every group because I wasn’t LDS.

    I don’t have anyone from HS I’m still friends with.


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  12. #522
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    I graduated HS almost 25 years ago. I was pretty much out of most every group because I wasn’t LDS.
    This is completely counter to my HS. Where were you? Sounds awful. We had more traditional cliques and barriers - rich/poor, grunge/cowboy/prep/granola, smart kids, drama kids, jocks, gangsters, etc. There was a group of LDS kids who hung out at the seminary building, but they were just another group.

  13. #523
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    This is completely counter to my HS. Where were you? Sounds awful. We had more traditional cliques and barriers - rich/poor, grunge/cowboy/prep/granola, smart kids, drama kids, jocks, gangsters, etc. There was a group of LDS kids who hung out at the seminary building, but they were just another group.
    Cottonwood.

    There were the typical groups of course, but religious lines were pretty obvious


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  14. #524
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Unfortunately at this point all of my son's friends are going to Oly, so it would be a hard transition. The good news for him is he is kind of oblivious to that stuff and just a generally liked kid who doesn't offend or get offended. He's just like his mother, so he'll probably do just fine. I do think I may encourage Highland for my daughters though.
    If he has a group he belongs with, he will be fine.

  15. #525
    We moved to Olympus my son’s freshman year. He’s now a junior. He’s fine. It’s fine. You guys crack me up.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

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  16. #526
    Quote Originally Posted by mUUser View Post
    We moved to Olympus my son’s freshman year. He’s now a junior. He’s fine. It’s fine. You guys crack me up.
    that's great.

  17. #527
    Quote Originally Posted by mUUser View Post
    We moved to Olympus my son’s freshman year. He’s now a junior. He’s fine. It’s fine. You guys crack me up.
    In my brother's family he has/had three kids go through Olympus. The oldest didn't fit in any of the cliques and had a miserable soph year and transferred to Skyline and did much better. The next oldest did just fine. The last one is doing okay as well, but he is an athlete and has his group. The youngest will be going there with my son next year, she is a little more reserved.

    A girl we carpooled with in jr high (a year older than my son) is a sweetheart and just a top notch person. She had a miserable first year and got nailed by the cliques. Most other kids in my neighborhood have done just fine.

    But our first exposure to Oly has been humorous. We were shocked to see people dressed to the 9s for different events, a lot of the wealth cliqiness seems to be driven by the parents. They're all probably leveraged to the hilt which is common for that type of person, so we just laugh.


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  18. #528
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    In my brother's family he has/had three kids go through Olympus. The oldest didn't fit in any of the cliques and had a miserable soph year and transferred to Skyline and did much better.
    That could have easily happened the other way around as well. I had a tough 9th grade year. I had just moved into a different ward, and it took me years to feel like a fit in there. In school, I was trying to belong to a group of rich, popular kids, and I never really made it into the friend zone with them. That summer, I had an epiphany and started hanging with people more like me. The rest of high school was relatively easy socially. In a weird twist for SLC, none of my high school friends turned out to be LDS.

    There are hard transitions, difficult cliques, awkward moments, loneliness, etc at all schools. I'm sure Oly will be as good/bad as any other place. It's really a miracle that anyone makes it out of the teenage years alive.

    I was thinking more about Diehard's experience today. I think part of the problem is that everyone is awkward. Once I grew my own LDS faith as a teenager, I wanted to be good but didn't know how. I look back on interactions I had in high school and realize I could have been a better at pretty much everything.

    I work with the youth in my ward, and I'm glad that none of them are cool. We have 15 active young men, and they are all various varieties of dorks. This makes it pretty easy for them to all get along well.

  19. #529
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    That could have easily happened the other way around as well. I had a tough 9th grade year. I had just moved into a different ward, and it took me years to feel like a fit in there. In school, I was trying to belong to a group of rich, popular kids, and I never really made it into the friend zone with them. That summer, I had an epiphany and started hanging with people more like me. The rest of high school was relatively easy socially. In a weird twist for SLC, none of my high school friends turned out to be LDS.

    There are hard transitions, difficult cliques, awkward moments, loneliness, etc at all schools. I'm sure Oly will be as good/bad as any other place. It's really a miracle that anyone makes it out of the teenage years alive.

    I was thinking more about Diehard's experience today. I think part of the problem is that everyone is awkward. Once I grew my own LDS faith as a teenager, I wanted to be good but didn't know how. I look back on interactions I had in high school and realize I could have been a better at pretty much everything.

    I work with the youth in my ward, and I'm glad that none of them are cool. We have 15 active young men, and they are all various varieties of dorks. This makes it pretty easy for them to all get along well.
    Yeah, I think we can all agree as adults that life is what you make it. It is hard to understand when you are a teen that in life you really only need a couple of good friends. When the groups that you try to connect with reject you it is hard not to feel overwhelmed.

    I'll also note that it is interesting to me how respective grades will have their own personalities. Ask any teacher. That can have an effect on a teenager too is simply the year they were born and the personality of that ruling class of that grade.

    However, being involved in a couple of the local high schools (Highland, Oly and Skyline) in general Oly seems to put the highest premium on wealth. It can also be a good lesson for kids not to give a rip about wealth.


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  20. #530
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Yeah, I think we can all agree as adults that life is what you make it. It is hard to understand when you are a teen that in life you really only need a couple of good friends. When the groups that you try to connect with reject you it is hard not to feel overwhelmed.

    I'll also note that it is interesting to me how respective grades will have their own personalities. Ask any teacher. That can have an effect on a teenager too is simply the year they were born and the personality of that ruling class of that grade.
    The micro cultures and accumulation of the individuals in classes can vary widely school to school, year to year. I've met several classmates from high school much later in life who said they hated that time, didn't feel connected at all, were eager to move on. Some didn't even finish. I was checked out and pointed to college, personally.

    10 years after escaping HS, my mom - who was in the school district upper management and had read a ton of educational & educational psychology research - said my HS was known to have a significant problem with kids feeling disconnected. "There are the jocks, the popular kids, the parking lot gang, and then there was a large amorphous group who all felt they didn't fit in. The teachers, counselors and principals all felt there was a serious problem".

    My kids went to the same HS, had different (better) experiences. Some parts of these school micro-cultures persist over multiple years, but you're right, the makeup of individual classes can vary dramatically.

  21. #531
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Political/Cultural Chit-Chat

    All my kids went to high school in one high school in the Los Angeles suburbs. It is a great high school, annually considered the best public high school in California, and with over 4000 students – the size of many small colleges. So I can’t offer much about the current state of high schools in Utah.

    My own high school experience was long, long ago, at a time when the Latter-day Saint group was probably more dominant than it is now. All four of the children in my own nuclear family (my siblings and I) attended Highland over a span of 17 years, and we had four different experiences. My own friends were evenly split among various faiths, maybe because I was involved in a bunch of stuff— sports, debate, the seminary choir, the literary magazine. I had a great experience and actually learned a lot about other faiths and how others kids who grew up in Salt Lake City and were not members of the dominant faith saw the world. (One of them is here on this board.) So for me, high school was an eye-opening experience, because the other children I grew up with in my small neighborhood were all LDS.

    My siblings had a different journey. One of my sisters had a “meh” high school experience and wasn’t able to find a group to hang out with. My other sister just got through it in a sort of happy go lucky way, and my older brother, Who was a very serious, sober-minded student in high school, doesn’t seem to care much about his high school experience.

    About Salt Lake City.... Cultures are hard to change, but i believe it’s worth the effort because of the individual lives that can be positively affected by even trying to change. I now split my time between Salt Lake and Los Angeles, and the more time I spend back in my home town, the more I see how profound the division is between the LDS community and others. That tension, and the poor behavior on both sides of the divide, are things that I did not miss about living in Utah. Now that I am back, I am resigned to putting up with those things, but I think it is much worse than it was 37 years ago when we left. I hope it gets better. There have been some pretty good efforts, such as this general conference talk by Elder Ballard of the Quorum of 12:

    Doctrine of Inclusion

    https://www.lds.org/general-conferen...usion?lang=eng

    A snip:

    Occasionally I hear of members offending those of other faiths by overlooking them and leaving them out. This can occur especially in communities where our members are the majority. I have heard about narrow-minded parents who tell children that they cannot play with a particular child in the neighborhood simply because his or her family does not belong to our Church. This kind of behavior is not in keeping with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot comprehend why any member of our Church would allow these kinds of things to happen. I have been a member of this Church my entire life. I have been a full-time missionary, twice a bishop, a mission president, a Seventy, and now an Apostle. I have never taught—nor have I ever heard taught—a doctrine of exclusion. I have never heard the members of this Church urged to be anything but loving, kind, tolerant, and benevolent to our friends and neighbors of other faiths.

    The Lord expects a great deal from us. Parents, please teach your children and practice yourselves the principle of inclusion of others and not exclusion because of religious, political, or cultural differences.
    I think we LDS folks need to do a lot better this, and I hope we hear more about it over the pulpit.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 05-20-2019 at 09:48 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  22. #532
    All this talk (and maybe this should be migrated out of the political category) actually reminds me of what I think is a pretty humorous story from my youth regarding religious divides. I mentioned the neighborhood I grew up in despite being in SLC was largely not LDS. Legend at the time was that it was marketed and known by realtors as such and that they told people that the Mormons wouldn't bother them there. To give you an idea of the makeup of kids my age, my core group of friends through elementary school to high school kids consisted of me and two other LDS kids, and 10 kids who weren't. Like I said, I would have been a pretty lonely kid otherwise, at least through Jr High.

    One of my very best friends was Baptist, and he was very active in his church. Throughout our younger years (before high school - and even a little bit in high school) we would invite each other to our respective church activities. I don't think either of us had a motive behind it, it was more just wanting to hang out together. We were pretty oblivious to what the adults were doing. So I'd invite him to the primary carnival, and he'd invite me to a church bbq and stuff like that. His parents and my parents were friends, his dad was my soccer coach, his mom was a second mom, etc.

    I can't remember exactly how old I was, but it was somewhere between 12-14 and he had invited me to a BBQ his church group was having up Millcreek Canyon. I remember that he and I were playing in the creek, stacking rocks to make a dam or something when an adult came down to us and said to me that, I believe, the church elders wanted to talk to me. I had a brother on a mission and so I thought they meant missionaries or something, but as i went up to where they were having the BBQ there were three older guys sitting around in camp chairs and invited me to sit down with them, but not my friend. Still not knowing what was going on I plunked down in a chair.

    They started to ask me questions, they knew my dad was a former Bishop and a few other things about me and my family. They asked me how I felt about the Mormon church and I remember kind of shrugging and saying that I liked it. One of the guys said to me, "Well, you need to understand the truth about your church..." and went into this long talk where he kept calling Joseph Smith a charlatan. I remember that because I didn't know what one was, other than one of my other brothers had a tape from a band called "The Charlatans UK" and so to me it wasn't a negative word. So again, I was just kind of oblivious to what they were talking about. Then he told me about how the Book of Mormon was false and that I needed to believe in the Bible. Again, ignorant to what they were talking about I remember saying that I did believe in the Bible, which upset this one guy, and so he started repeating, "What you believe is all false, it is all false!"

    At this point I was highly uncomfortable, and another guy leaned in and said, "You need to give up your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior." Again puzzled I kept saying to them, "I do accept Jesus..." and the angry guy kept alternating between, "You are not saved" and "You believe in the wrong Jesus." Which again was puzzling because I was wondering if there were TWO or something, and being 'saved' wasn't a common term used in my church so I had no idea what that even meant. Finally they gave up and the angry one said that I was too far brainwashed, which I remember did actually bother me, but again 'brainwashing' was more of a cartoonish thing to me.

    But really, my greatest defense to this (what I now view as highly inappropriate) onslaught was I was just completely clueless as to what they were even driving at. Up to that point, I didn't really get the nuance of what they were saying, so I in my mind it was, "I believe in Jesus, you believe in Jesus, we all believe in Jesus!"

    The rest of the night was a little awkward for me and my friend, even though I don't think my friend was in on it or anything. So I went home and asked my parents if there was more than one Jesus or something and spilled the beans. I remember that my dad laughed and asked me if I had given up my sins and accepted Jesus. I laugh now because my parents were surprisingly dismissive of the whole incident. With helicopter parents these days it would have likely been WWIII. A few days later, when my friend's mom got wind of what happened she came by and apologized to me and my parents profusely. I think because of my parents basic non-reaction to it, I remember thinking her apologies were really over the top an unnecessary.

    Anyway, I'm sitting her laughing about it. We are all pretty stupid and insensitive human beings. As an LDS missionary in the bible belt, I felt like the evangelical religions were particularly cruel to people outside their faith, and particularly exclusive to the LDS kids in the area (about half of the makeup there was evangelical christian, the other half was mostly non-practicing Catholics). It took me some time to realize that really when there is a group that is massively dominant in an area it is really rough on the minority group.

    So I'm always sad to hear about Diehard's high school story because that is members of my faith doing that sort of garbage. Elder Ballard's snippet above in LA Ute's post does need to be preached more from the pulpit, especially in LDS dominant areas.
    Last edited by Rocker Ute; 05-20-2019 at 10:30 AM.

  23. #533
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    About Salt Lake City.... Cultures are hard to change, but i believe it’s worth the effort because of the individual lives that can be positively affected by even trying to change. I now split my time between Salt Lake and Los Angeles, and the more time I spend back in my home town, the more I see how profound the division is between the LDS community and others.
    My wife and I both grew up in SLC and attended Skyline and the U. I attended my first year of law school at USD in San Diego and then transferred and finished at BYU. This was done solely for financial reasons. My first job out of law school was with a large San Diego law firm. I was approached by a SLC to move after a year and after weighing pros and cons, we decided to return. The driving force was for our kids to be close to their grandparents. The LDS Church and our participation in it were definite cons for returning. It had been refreshing to live and work and play in a place where the LDS Church was, for the most part, irrelevant. We have been dividing time between Park City and San Diego the past 2 years and I experience the same things I did 30 years ago. I don't think it will get better before it gets worse. The LDS Church has the power to immerse itself in every political, social and moral issue that arises. More often than not, its position prevails. We have seen some recent issues like medical marijuana where the public went against the LDS Church. However, the Church could not leave well enough alone and exercised its power to motivate the elected officials to disregard the will of the people. Although it has every right to do what it does, in my opinion, it would be better if it sometime simply restrained itself. Actions always speak louder than words, and it is hard for those not in the LDS Church to take statements made from the pulpit serious when the actions tell a different story.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 05-20-2019 at 02:03 PM.

  24. #534
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    It took me some time to realize that really when there is a group that is massively dominant in an area it is really rough on the minority group.
    That's part of what makes SLC lousy right now (SLC is great in so many ways, but the inversion and the religious aspect are two big negatives) - the LDS group was massively dominant at one point, and now the tables have turned. LDS populations in all SLC high schools are much smaller than secular populations. Turns out the secular populations aren't doing a better job of being the majority than the LDS populations did back in the day.

    I think it's much easier to be an LDS youth in Colorado than in SLC. Here, the religion is just some quirk - maybe even an endearing one. In SLC, the religion carries a lot of baggage. And high school kids, as we've pointed out, haven't figured out how to deal with each other well yet.

  25. #535
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    That's part of what makes SLC lousy right now (SLC is great in so many ways, but the inversion and the religious aspect are two big negatives) - the LDS group was massively dominant at one point, and now the tables have turned. LDS populations in all SLC high schools are much smaller than secular populations. Turns out the secular populations aren't doing a better job of being the majority than the LDS populations did back in the day.

    I think it's much easier to be an LDS youth in Colorado than in SLC. Here, the religion is just some quirk - maybe even an endearing one. In SLC, the religion carries a lot of baggage. And high school kids, as we've pointed out, haven't figured out how to deal with each other well yet.
    My sister who lives in CA who was here recently was surprised by the vitriol. She said that in CA most people are indifferent to what you believe or don't believe and there is a general 'live and let live' attitude. It was pretty troubling for her to see things as they are here.

  26. #536
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I think it's much easier to be an LDS youth in Colorado than in SLC. Here, the religion is just some quirk - maybe even an endearing one. In SLC, the religion carries a lot of baggage. And high school kids, as we've pointed out, haven't figured out how to deal with each other well yet.
    My kids all grew up in an environment where their religion came up only rarely, and almost never in a hostile light. They've all gone to school in SLC and all were surprised and very put off at the us vs. them situation. I view it as one of the tradeoffs of living in Utah, especially SLC. When parents from California talk to me about sending their kids to the U., I always urge them to prepare their kids for a different "Zion" than the one they expect or remember. I still think it's a good place to go for an LDS student but like all college experiences it's not for everyone.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  27. #537
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    My sister who lives in CA who was here recently was surprised by the vitriol. She said that in CA most people are indifferent to what you believe or don't believe and there is a general 'live and let live' attitude. It was pretty troubling for her to see things as they are here.
    Exactly.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  28. #538
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I'm back in what Ma'ake calls my "J.D. Williams" mode. Here's something J.D. might have passed out in class:

    Three Reasons Flawed Capitalism Is Still Better Than Perfect Socialism

    https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/...fect-socialism

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  29. #539
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I'm back in what Ma'ake calls my "J.D. Williams" mode. Here's something J.D. might have passed out in class:

    Three Reasons Flawed Capitalism Is Still Better Than Perfect Socialism

    https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/...fect-socialism
    Hi J.D... I mean, LA.

    Backbencher here....

    I propose an amendment to Godwin's Law where if anyone brings up Venezuela in the context of talking about "Socialism" as defined by Sanders and AOC, they automatically lose the debate.

    No Ruby Stick Pen for YOU!

    Seriously, what Hugo Chavez did to the Venezuelan economy is gross economic malfeasance. Dramatically expanding social programs while state petroleum companies were awash in profits because of high oil prices was bound to have negative consequences, sort of like how running 5% of the US GDP on US federal deficit spending during an economic boom will eventually come back to bite US citizens.

    If Hugo Chavez was a Social Democrat, in the Norwegian model, he might have much more conservatively used the public oil largesse to establish trust funds, instead of blowing it like a drunken sailor. Venezuela today is neither socialist, nor democratic, and certainly not social-democratic. Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro were/are neither economists, nor democracy-respecting politicians, but were/are authoritarian dictators who looted oil revenue for votes.

    AOC and Sanders are in the Scandinavian mold, and need to educate the electorate on what that means, which is a 21st century reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt's "Square Deal", which helped save US capitalism from something far worse, as was happening in Russia.

  30. #540
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Political/Cultural Chit-Chat

    What’s the constituency the Democrats are trying to reach with the Equality Act? Martina Navratilova and two others:

    Pass the Equality Act, but don’t abandon Title IX

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...879_story.html

    In its current form, the Equality Act would do significant damage to Title IX and to the Amateur Sports Act, which governs sports outside of educational settings. The new legislation would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act by redefining “sex” to include “gender identity.” Without an exception, the definition would apply to all amendments to the 1964 act, including Title IX. Most schools, colleges, the NCAA and the Olympic Committee would be affected because they receive federal funds and operate in interstate commerce.

    The legislation would make it unlawful to differentiate among girls and women in sports on the basis of sex for any purpose. For example, a sports team couldn’t treat a transgender woman differently from a woman who is not transgender on the grounds that the former is male-bodied. Yet the reality is that putting male- and female-bodied athletes together is co-ed or open sport. And in open sport, females lose.

    Some Equality Act advocates argue that this is hyperbole and outdated stereotype. They say, as the ACLU has, that there is “ample evidence that girls can compete and win against boys.” They are wrong. The evidence is unequivocal that starting in puberty, in every sport except sailing, shooting and riding, there will always be significant numbers of boys and men who would beat the best girls and women in head-to-head competition. Claims to the contrary are simply a denial of science.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 05-21-2019 at 08:07 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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