Monday, October 6, 2014

Gay Marriage is Legal in Utah, Again!

So the big news for today is that gay marriage is legal in Utah, again, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, the politicians in this god-awful state are vowing to "fight on," whatever the hell that means. Instead of just admitting that it's a losing battle and directing that money to improving the absolutely shitty school system in this state, lawmakers and the governor are going to forge ahead with their relentless efforts to "protect" us all from the scourge of gay marriage.

Why just today, I heard from five different friends that they are getting divorced. That's right, five friends in one day. Each one said that the fact that gay marriage has come roaring back into the state was the factor that made their marriage die. Yesterday they were completely happy in their union with their significant other, then the fact that Bob and Steve down the street got hitched just absolutely destroyed their marriage.

In case you don't get it, that was a joke.

So I'm sure that Tommy Monson, the "President" of the Mormon church, is probably livid about the fact that gay marriage is here to stay, for now at least. I would be shocked if there isn't some secret plan that probably was already formulated long ago to somehow try to undermine the law. The Mormons have a history of doing that, including practicing polygamy long after it was outlawed and even trying to skirt civil rights laws.

Now, a change of pace. Some people have been asking what happened to me. I was off the face of the planet, at least when it came to social media, etc. for the entire month of August. My books weren't available, this blog was shuttered, and my social media accounts were closed. I was the target of a campaign to shut me down, which started with the forceful closure of my Twitter account. I had been warned in the past that too many people had complained about my tweets, but I had been able to get my account reinstated before. This past time, though, the Mormons were successful in shutting me down. I considered just throwing in the towel, so I took a break and thought about things. In the end, I decided that I shouldn't let those people tell me to shut the fuck up just because what I say makes them uncomfortable. So I'm back, and already I've been called all sorts of things, including being told that I'm delusional and self-important because I said that my old Twitter account was shut down.

Yeah, Mormons can be such nice people who always turn the other cheek.

So that's what happened to me.

Now, go attend some gay weddings! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mormon Modesty Put on Trial!

Every once in a while I have people send me emails with tips on topics I can write about. Some of them are pretty boring, others are bizarre or twisted, and then there is the occasional gem. I just got such an email and just had to share with the rest of you what I learned.

My source sent me a link for a Young Women Standards Night. For those of you who don't know, the Young Women organization is what Mormon denominations use to teach and organize girls who are ages 12 through 18. They are held once in a while (each year? I can't remember since it's been so long and I've tried to scrub them from my memory) at night and are designed to "reinforce" the Mormon church's standards for young women.

So what are those standards? You are to marry a nice young man who has returned from a mission, in the Mormon temple in a weird-ass ceremony, then wear the weird-ass (literally) magical underwear called "garments." On top of that, no drinking alcohol, smoking, shooting up heroin, or abusing pain medications like the bishop does. You also can't touch yourself, look at dildos online, or certainly engage in "heavy petting" or having a guy touch you under your clothes (I just took mine off). And you also absolutely could not have sex in any way. Period.

One of the biggest focuses of Young Women was to dress "modestly." When Mormons talk about "modesty" they're not talking about being humble or reasonable (although I wish they would talk about that as much). No, the modesty talks were all about how women need to cover up so men don't have bad thoughts. Because, as we all know, it's my fault that my teenaged neighbor is jerking off into his pillow case because I wore workout clothing to the grocery store. Mormon girls are taught not to wear shorts that come above the knee, wear any "low cut" shirts (and that usually meant wearing shirts that didn't even come close to showing any cleavage), wearing tank tops, wearing anything sleeveless, and wearing bikinis. I literally had friends who refused to play basketball because the team uniform consisted of a tank top and shorts, and the coach wouldn't let anyone wear a while t-shirt under it.

In any case, this link that someone sent to me was for a Standards Night that features what I'm calling a "modesty trial." You can see it by clicking here. It's a mock legal trial that basically puts the Mormon modesty standards on trial, but the whole thing is rigged since the judge is the bishop. If such a trial were put together for real, some pretty tough questions would be thrown out there by people like me.

Of course, at the end of the activity, the people there had to partake in an ice cream bar, because that's just one of the many ways Mormons deal with such messed up shit. I should know, because I went to these god-awful things and drowned my sorrow in a number of different ways.

Perhaps if Mormons got outside of the prescribed thought processes when it comes to tough subjects like how women should act and be treated, they might come to some tough realizations. Instead, as you can see from the link, they pour that effort and energy into creating meaningless activities and cute little decorations, leaving the thinking to others.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gay Marriage is Legal in Utah!!

It's been a crazy holiday season, but I've finally gotten to my computer instead of just my phone so I can finally write this. As you've probably heard, gay marriage is now legal in the most notoriously conservative state in the country, Utah. For those who don't usually follow my blog, I live in Utah, although I didn't grow up here. And no, I'm not Mormon and I'm not conservative, although I was raised strictly to be both.

Many people are surprised to learn that there is a pretty healthy homosexual community in Salt Lake City. I've known quite a few members of the community, and I can say most are decent human beings. In fact, some of my neighbors are homosexuals, and they are some of the best neighbors I have. There was huge excitement around here when the federal district court judge threw out Utah's traditional marriage law, for many reasons.

I was excited for the people who love each other so much and want to enjoy a union recognized by the government. Now nobody can deny them their basic rights as a couple. I was also excited since this is a major blow to the strangle hold the Mormon church has exercised on politics in Utah. With the exception of here and Park City, most Utah citizens vote blindly for Republicans who are also Mormon, and those politicians do what the church wants. I am for anything that breaks that religious grip on local politics, because I think it's dangerous in so many ways.

I also was excited since this ruling will undoubtedly spur more states to adopt laws that legalize gay marriage. The whole case is showing that the legal arguments against gay marriage are tenuous, at best. There's no legal argument for outlawing it. Despite what some fucking morons think, this is NOT a Christian nation but instead one built on a secular document called the Constitution, so arguments that the Bible outlaws homosexuality are irrelevant. Besides, the Bible also says women should learn in silence and that it's okay to own slaves and beat them as long as you don't kill them.

So far a bunch of stays from the state have been denied. It pisses me off that my taxpayer dollars are being used to fight something that should just be left alone. So many people here will vote to keep gay marriages illegal because the Mormon church tells them to, when in reality I'll bet most of them don't think it really hurts anyone. And now the Mormon church's spin doctor PR people are calling the judge's ruling "judicial tyranny."

All of this is happening after Mitt "Loser" Romney's run for the White House and the Mormon church putting together a website that was supposed to build bridges with the homosexual community. It's pretty fucking obvious that was all just cheap talk, lip service to help grease the wheels so the Mormon church could get what it wants. Everything will change when the church's not-for-profit tax status is threatened by its bigotry, just like in 1978 when it finally allowed blacks to have the priesthood. Like I've said before, to understand the Mormon church and Mormonism in general, follow the money because it is the thing that truly makes everything flow.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Why I Stay in Utah

I live in Utah. I've lived in Utah for a while now. When I first moved here I was an active member of the Mormon church, but now I'm not. I have friends who continually ask me why I still live here since I'm no longer Mormon. I read reviews of my book where strangers ask the same question. People email me and ask me directly why I stick around Mormon Mecca. Some fucking morons have the balls to call me "stupid" because I live in Utah.

Gee, I'm so glad Mormons aren't the only narrow-minded assholes in the world. Sadly, some of the most closed-minded, bigoted and nastiest people I've met recently are ex-Mormons. That doesn't mean that I think the church is good because these people turn into pigs once they leave the organization. Instead, I think the Mormon church slaps a suit and tie on a pig, but it's still a pig.

In any case, back to what I was saying. People want to know why I still live in Utah, the center of the Mormon universe. My answer isn't simple and it is full of my opinions. If you have a problem with strong opinions, first of all get your panties out of your rectum, then go get a spine so you can realize my opinions don't weaken your convictions. You've been warned.

First off, my family heritage is here in Utah. Sure, I grew up in a different state, but my relatives, ancestors, etc. were from here, so I have a connection to here. I've also set roots down here, I have kids and I don't think it's cool to just tear that up so I can try to insulate myself from the Mormon church. I know some people move from here to keep their kids from the church's influence, and I can see why. I hear from stupid-ass Mormons on a regular basis as they whine "why do you live here if you don't like Mormons? How about you just leave?" To those asswipes, I ask, "Why the fuck don't you leave?" It's just as legitimate of a question, because last I checked this was not Nazi Germany (despite the efforts of the Tea Party).

Second of all, there are worse places to live. I know because I've live in worse places. There's actually a lot of culture here, but most of that is not tied to the Mormon church. I'm not talking about just bars and stuff like that, but there is also an excellent symphony, ballet company, museums, art galleries, etc. here. There's also a lot of outdoor things to do like skiing, hiking, and the like. In some parts of the country everything is as flat as a pancake and you have to "hike" in farmland among cow shit. No fun.

Another reason I stay in Utah is to stick it to the Mormons who really want to just take over the state. The percentage of Utah that is Mormon keeps dropping as more and more people who aren't Mormon realize there are some great reasons to live here. Rather than tuck tail and run to somewhere else, I'm standing and fighting. I'm sticking it to the Mormon church up close and personal. I can do more here on the ground than from far away. So I'm fighting the power and sticking it to the man in the state, which is actually kind of fun. I'm like a mix of Batman, a masked crusader that is fighting against the injustices done in the state of Utah and Eminem who says things that piss people off but really get them thinking about things they otherwise would've just taken for granted.

One big reason to live in Utah: on Sundays I can go to the movies and not have to deal with a bunch of people with crazy, rude kids. I can go to restaurants and I don't have to deal with rude asses that act like they own the joint. I can walk around Target with my Starbucks on Sundays and not receive any dirty looks or have anyone shove past me as they mutter about my coffee and me going to hell. I go to stores here on Sundays and people are really pleasant. I have to admit, where I have lived before it wasn't like this on Sundays. Of course sometimes I'll be sitting in a restaurant or be in a store on a Sunday when a bunch of people who obviously just got out of their Mormon church services come pouring in. They're rude, obnoxious and often they look nervous like someone is going to recognize them.

Perhaps the biggest reason I still live in Utah is that my husband has a job here. He's tried to get a better job  elsewhere, but it always seems to not work out. The one time it did his job in another state was hellish, to say the least. We live in the northeast portion of Salt Lake County, which is the best area on the Wasatch Front to not be Mormon or to be an ex-Mormon. Living here makes being in Utah not that bad since this area is not flooded with Mormons and mindless conservatives. 

So that, in a nutshell, is why I still live in Utah. If you don't like it, that's fine. If you want to call me an idiot for staying here, fuck you. Don't enjoy what I'm doing here as I wage my Mormon Rebellion right in the Mormon Heartland and on the other hand criticize me for staying where you don't want to live. I'm a big girl and I can make my own decisions and live with them. Now if you want to help with the rebellion, I say welcome and let's get to work!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mormon Women are Shut Out in the Cold

In case you missed it, this past weekend was General Conference for the Mormon church, a time when the faithful flock to Mormon Mecca or watch the addresses on television. It's a time when many Mormons get excited because they get to hear directly from top-brass leadership, including the president of the church, or the prophet. Directives are handed down in no less than five different meetings spread out over two days.

One of these meetings takes place on Saturday nights, and it has been exclusively for priesthood holders. And in the Mormon church only men and boys 12 and older than have the priesthood. Women are not invited to the priesthood party.

Until recently this fact has just been accepted by most Mormon women. In fact, many women have a girls' night out as the men and boys go to their meeting, and often they go shopping. The men lead the church and the women get retail therapy, and thus everyone is happy, right?

Wrong. The big "surprise" is there are Mormon women who have a problem with this setup. I remember growing up in the church, being called a "feminist" was about the worst thing you could say to a girl or woman. If girls in my church classes said anything the least bit progressive, they would at the same time declare they were not "one of those feminists." Why the fear of being labeled a feminist? Mormons, both men and women, have been excommunicated for sharing feminist ideas. The last big housecleaning of that sort took place in the early 1990s. Feminism is caustic for the Mormon church hierarchy since it is a good ol' boys' club. You must have a penis to join, so women get to stay on the outside as the men direct how everything in the church is run.

You can read about how a group of women decided to speak up and tried to attend the priesthood meeting this past Saturday night, but were stopped by church officials (including a PR spokeswoman, for obvious PR reasons). Click here for the story in the Salt Lake Tribune. And click here to read the rest of the story, especially the part where church officials used a garbage truck to keep the women from entering the meeting (I shit you not!).

I've tweeted about this whole event and have received a mix of responses. Of course there are the mad-as-hell Mormons who rabidly attack anyone who doesn't shower their church with praise. Then there are people who are shocked or enraged by the news. Other people say it's a pretend issue since the priesthood is not real and therefore does not come with any power. A fair amount of people have asked me why I even care about the situation, which is a fair question consider I've left the church and so personally don't want to attend priesthood meetings, serve in a bishopric, etc.

Just because I left the Mormon church doesn't mean I don't care about what happens to the people in it. I have friends who are still faithful Mormons, women who are deeply hurt that the men in the church behave in controlling and downright abusive ways. They struggle to marry their educated minds with the archaic religious system to which they subscribe and sincerely feel is divinely inspired of God. It's simple to ask why these women don't just leave the church, but the reality is it isn't always so easy. My own falling out from the church was a long process, and along the way I often felt like these women as I grappled with the high levels of cognitive dissonance raging in my mind. It's not a fun position to be in, it's one that brings with it a high level of guilt and self-pity.

Some people on Twitter have responded to the news with witty, funny follow-ups that insinuate that the women are better off without having the burden of being leaders in the Mormon church:

Others made the argument that ordaining women to the priesthood would lead to men being forced to do "women's work" in the church, which of course would be disastrous:

And then there have been some interesting, deep interactions on Twitter about the situation:

Enough of the Twitter shit; now it's time for me to rant in my own special way. Ready? In the Mormon church you're wanted against "seeking after" positions of power, because that of course is vanity and is wrong. It sounds great and all, but let me tell you it's utter bullshit. I noticed on my mission and my husband has confirmed that virtually all guys who were called to leadership spots were actively seeking what they got. But the societal pressure was to get up when you were first called to a leadership position and say how humbled you were about the position, that you never wanted it, and that you would try your damnedest to live up to the expectations of the position.

Growing up as a girl in Mormonism you have hammered in your head just how God-awful feminism is. Seriously, feminists are regarded on about the same level as Nazis. They destroy the church, try to turn things on its head, and are no-good troublemakers. We would have big-time church leaders show up to our ward to talk about how women were not to work outside of the home, about how doing that would mean all the children would become drug pushers or porn starts or some bullshit like that. And just this past weekend there was a Mormon "apostle" saying this same bullshit again. This is real people, women are growing up in this group that makes them feel bad for wanting to be masters of their destiny. They must "respect" the men by following what they say without question.

What do the women get out of this? Quite a few Mormon women I know have said they don't want the priesthood because it would mean more responsibilities, like that's a bad thing. What, are we 15 years old? Other women say that with the cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children they wouldn't have time for more responsibilities. Maybe, just maybe, Mormon men should help cook, do laundry, clean the fucking house and raise kids! Of course their time is much too valuable to be spent doing women's work. They need to go to church leadership meetings with a bunch of other overweight men where they all fart up a storm in a room with painted cinder block walls, secretly shit-streaking their underwear because they had three helpings of the pot roast their wife slaved over the day before, while also chasing their six kids around the house and keeping everything looking spotless like a good little fucking wife. Oh, and never mind having to be there to satisfy their husband's appetites, because he gets so horny hearing the teenage girls in the ward confess their sexual "sins" as they're supposed to.

These women think that it's "respect" to be put on a pedestal where they are kept from power and authority. Mormon men say they revere women for their ability to bear children and turn the other cheek as the men act like manipulative, abusive little assholes. Women who speak up against the situation are belittled, told to get back in line, and eventually are thrown out of the group if they don't shut their fucking mouth. It's a disgusting scenario that puts so many of the women on antidepressants as they try to tell themselves it's what God wants for them, that the men really do respect them, that they must set the example of forgiveness by not complaining about the abuses they suffer on a daily basis.

Educated women of the Mormon church have become even more enraged as they have uncovered through research that in the days of Joseph Smith women had the priesthood and quite a bit of power. Sure, there was polygamy, but it was practiced very much underground. When it was practiced out in the open once Brigham Young was made head of the church, that's when women could no longer have the priesthood. Young thought women were meddlesome unless they had a collar around their neck and could be controlled. That attitude has continued on in the modern Mormon church, although the tools of suppression have changed over time.

What these women don't seem to realize is that unless they have a penis they cannot have the priesthood. For many Mormon men the priesthood is their phallus, their sword and symbol of outward power and control. And as we know, women aren't supposed to have one of those things, because they're women and they need to wait for the priesthood phallus act upon them, entering them to make them feel warm and loved by God himself, whether they want it or not. And these women must take all of this with a smile on their face, because that means they have faith in the church and God, which is much more important than their psychological health, as we all know. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fuck the Mormon Church!

The Mormon temple in Salt Lake City
I took a little hiatus from blogging to get my shit in a line again, but I'm back! I don't have much time to post something but wanted to let you all know I'm not dead in a ditch somewhere.

Some funny news I read yesterday: The Utah Underwear Run might be held on the Mormon church's Conference Weekend! The run would take place right across from Temple Square and Mormons are livid! The run has not been approved by the city yet, so we'll see if the Mormon church still has Mayor Becker in its pocket. If you want to read more about the run, click here.

Update - the Underwear Run is on but it will be taking place later in the day, after conference is over. See the announcement here

A war is raging here in Utah and a growing number of people want to rise up and tell the Mormon church to fuck itself. I can't buy a goddamn bottle of wine on a Sunday, for crying the fuck out loud! As more and more people move in from out of state, there will be an increase in the clamoring for change. Add to that the fact that the Mormon church is losing members in a huge orgasm of apostasy, and the pressure is on for the church to back off its total control of downtown, etc.

Change is coming, you can be on that.

Be scared, Mormon church, be very scared.

People are waking up.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Salt Lake City: Suburbs Versus the Urban Lifestyle

This is how Jesus would have to fit in the SLC suburbs.

Salt Lake City is a weird-ass city in many ways, but not just in the ways some of you might expect. Despite what some people think there are bars, pubs, coffee shops and even stores that sell lingerie and sex toys. One of the strangest quirks to me is the fact that the suburbs of Salt Lake City are largely pretty ghetto, awful places to live. Allow me to explain.

I grew up not in Utah but in a big city in the western United States. Where I grew up it was the suburbs and it was pretty nice. By pretty nice, I mean really nice. Okay, it was fucking rich. Yes, boys and girls, I grew up in a pretty damn exclusive part of town where pools, tennis courts and three car garages were the norm. Where I live in Salt Lake City is quite different. You see, I live near downtown in a little house with a small yard, no pool, no tennis court and with a dinky little garage.

At first I hated the living arrangements in this part of town, but tolerated it. When we were newlyweds my husband wanted to stick around the part of town he grew up in, and since he had a nice place of his own I complied. I figured later when we had kids we would move out to the 'burbs where we would have more space, but my husband absolutely refused. After a while we moved out of state for my husband's work and ended up in a large city in the suburbs. The area was nice, fairly affluent and reminded me very much of where I grew up in many ways. After a few years we moved back to Utah, again following a job. We had acquired so much stuff living in the suburbs that we decided to move into the suburbs here. That was a huge fucking mistake.

One of the most obvious things about the suburbs here is that the percentage of the population that is active Mormon is dramatically higher. I kid you not, just about everyone on our block got up on Sunday morning, got all glitzed up and headed off to church, the same church, at the same time. Every. Fucking. Sunday. It was like living in Stepford, except the fashions are much better in Stepford and the houses are much nicer. There were Mormon meetinghouses EVERYWHERE. They would start a new subdivision and the first thing that would be built would be a Mormon church. So if you are moving to Salt Lake City from out of state and you aren't Mormon, I would tell you to beware moving to the suburbs where you will stick out like a sore thumb. Of course some areas are worse than others, but overall it is just a bad idea.

The whole Mormon majority thing was annoying but not very shocking, honestly. What was shocking was the fact that overall the suburbs around Salt Lake City are fucking ghetto! There are a few areas that have large homes with pools, tennis courts and such. Many of those areas are revolving doors where people move in, living for a short while and then move out swiftly (usually with a bank owned real estate sign in front of their house, if you know what I mean). The rest of the suburbs here are full of shitty houses (many that are split entry) with chain link fences, garbage cars parked everywhere and shit falling off the houses all over the place (like peeling paint or falling rain gutters). Where I live now houses are old, but they are all kept really nice. There were quite a few people in the area where we moved that I strongly suspected did not give their kids much food and those same children wore the same few outfits constantly. I don't have anything wrong with people who aren't rich, but I was shocked that the suburbs here are largely pretty damn poor. Of course there are a million kids in the suburbs, so ironically the people who can't afford to have large families, have large families.

A little while ago I was reading an article all about how in some cities poverty is rising rapidly in the suburbs. Salt Lake City was one of the prime examples used in the article. The article talked about how the recession caused a shift in wealth, leading to increased poverty in the 'burbs. The article did not mention that this problem has been around in Salt Lake City for some time.

Where I live, near downtown, is pretty liberal. People display quite a few signs and banners supporting Obama or Hillary (again). There are quite a few homosexuals around here and most people don't give them any shit. And yes, Mormon churches are far less numerous. There's quite a bit of art as well, which doesn't seem to exist much in the 'burbs here, unless you count bland Jesus pictures and church piano music as art. There's more of a sense of community here than in the 'burbs, where if you aren't part of the local Mormon ward group you are pretty much left out of a lot of the social activities. Here people have block parties or holiday parties and really do invite everyone in the area. Nobody really gives a damn what group you belong to, because you belong to the neighborhood and so are a part of "the group." People walk around, say hello to each other and do things nearby instead of driving everywhere. My neighbors are doctors, attorneys, professors and business owners instead of the millions of contractors and "sales people" (people who sell scan investment coaching packages over the phone or something shady like that) I was surrounded by in the 'burbs.

Most Mormons really hate the area where I live because there are "those liberals" who live here. I guess they like living in areas where people aren't very social, things are shitty and everyone pumps out a bunch of kids because they're supposed to. As for me, I'll keep my old house in a well-kept area where I can walk a few minutes to get a coffee and a sandwich instead of climbing in my car.