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Friday, June 24, 2011

"Forget about it Jake - It's Chinatown."

Earlier this week the producer of a local television show came across my blog and asked if I would be willing to be on the show for a segment about raising non LDS kids in Utah.We'll be talking (honestly) about raising non-LDS kids in Utah." she wrote. I must admit I was thrilled to have an opportunity to finally express to a wide audience the challenges my family and so many others face on a daily basis. The day before the show, I requested an agenda so I could be prepared for our discussion. The segment was to be only 6 minutes and I wanted to be sure I could fairly and succinctly express my experiences. When I received the agenda I was shocked!!!!! The topics to be discussed included(and I quote):

"--the religious saturation is not unique to Utah"

"--get the LDS perspective on interaction between groups"

"--talk about the benefits of the LDS culture"

I was a bit confused to say the least. Remember, this segment was meant to be 6"honest" minutes about raising non LDS kids in Utah. I was flabbergasted that we could not go just 6 minutes without having to give the LDS perspective. Don't we Utahns get that every day?

And although there are benefits of the LDS culture which I have written about here in this blog, I don't think that belongs in this very short segment. So.... I called the producer and shared my concerns and said I really was not interested in participating in the discussion if this was the direction she wanted to go. She was very nice, and explained that they were just concerned about this being one sided and so the panel would include one of their other producers who was LDS. What??? Should I be on a panel about raising kids with disabilites? I think not as I don't personally have any experience in that area. To ask an LDS mother about raising non-LDS kids is comical!!!! It was clear there was not going to be anything "honest" about this round table.

The next day I watched the segment in hopes that maybe I was wrong about the shows intentions. Sadly, the 6 minutes were what can only be described as "fluff" which portrayed the issue as almost a non existent problem. If us outsiders just go to Primary and LDS camp we will be just fine and accepted by our neighbors. What a load of crap! It is so sad that this show was afraid to be "honest" and inform people how hurtful some behavior can be.

My desire to go on the show was never to say anything bad about LDS people - it was only to educate them that sometimes outsiders have hurt feelings about exclusion and judgements whether intentional or not. If they could have focused on those issues maybe some changes could take place. Instead, as usual, the issue was glossed over and down played. I felt sick after I watched the show! Still I was relieved I had not participated. First of all, I would have looked like an idiot as my mouth would have been hanging open and my eyes bulging. Secondly, anything I might have said would have looked like I was putting a damper on the perfect world these people described.

Anyway, I guess for now Utah society will continue to ignore others and their feelings and opinions. Maybe that will never change...

Forget about it Jill - it's Utah!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"How Dare You! She's a Nice Lady!"

Today's Op Ed section in the Salt Lake Tribune included a typical self rightious letter from yet another judgemental Utahn. Have a read:

Unhealthy "Idol" Music

"I watched the recent finale of “American Idol,” and I am happy about the two finalists Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. Both are winners in my eyes, for their music and wholesome personalities.

Nevertheless, I was shockingly abused by much of the emotionally unhealthy music presented during the show, and by all the immodesty and erotic dancing. I hope Americans realize that immodesty is visual profanity.

“American Idol” blocks out verbal profanity. Sure wish it’d have the sense to block out the visual profanity, erotic dancing and unhealthy music.

Better yet, I wish it forbid them in the first place.

“American Idol” is as out of control in its moral values as Congress is in its deficit spending! '"

Merlin Ross

Really???? How many judgements can one human being make in a few paragraphs. I do agree that both Scotty and Lauren are lovely young people with loads of talent and I also enjoyed their "wholesome personalities". However, that is where Mr. Ross and I part ways. He was "shockingly abused"??? How exactly was he abused??? Last time I checked he could change the channel on his television set anytime. I guess someone must have had him chained to his couch and made him watch the "emotionally unhealthy music...immodesty and erotic dancing". Just curious...what exactly is emotionally unhealthy music???

Mr. Ross believes immodesty is "visual profanity". Huh??? I suppose he must be an authority on what is "immodest". The beehive state loves to spout that "Modest is Hottest" and is often critical of those who choose clothing with bare shoulders or exposed thighs. Clothing is a personal choice and it really is not appropriate nor nice for others to make assumptions about someone based on those choices.

Mr. Ross also claims the show had "erotic dancing". He must be referring to Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga. Both performances were fabulous in my opinion and I don't expect Mr. Ross to agree - that is what makes the world an interesting place. What I do find offensive is his moral judgement of these artists. Anyone who has watched Idol this season has seen that Jennifer Lopez is an overwhelming kind and caring human being. Furthermore, anyone who knows anything about Lady Gaga also knows she is abundantly generous and loving to ALL her fellow men and women. It seems clear whom is behaving badly and it is not any of the women on American Idol. So, I say to you Mr. Merlin Ross,