Interstate 15 carries a culture all of its own.
1. In Idaho Falls this week, you could hear Mitt Romney rallying the Republican bastion.
2. Down in Salt Lake City this week, you could mingle with a very large crowd protesting against a LDS Apostle.
3. Heading further down to St. George, you could try connecting together with a ‘lost boy‘ in a coffee shop.
The I-15 Corridor is one of the most unusual hot spots in America. Deserts. Mountains. Snow. Sunshine. Patriotism. Sensationalism. Capitalism. And Religion. All mixed into one pot. And it is all hard-core.
Believe me. It is an exciting place to live.
For 40 years, I have loved this home.
Can you even imagine how the next 40 years will unfold?
It is the last culturally conservative stronghold in America.
There were a few things that surprised me about the Otter rally with Romney. I attended the rally to cover the story for my internship. Romney came (in my opinion) because Democratic candidate Keith Allred is doing well among conservatives, particularly among LDS voters across the state. Allred has been an LDS Bishop twice, served a full-time mission and is an active Mormon. Otter knew that could be potentially damaging, and so he brought aboard a few high-profile Mormons to boost his own campaign like Mitt Romney, Frank VanderSloot, Mike Crapo, Tom Luna, and Mike Simpson. At the rally in Boise the same day, VanderSloot claimed that Allred was using his faith to get votes and responded…”Harry Reid is a Mormon too.”
A few of Romney’s comments stuck out for me. For one, he didn’t like that Allred wasn’t ‘clearly’ Pro-Life or Pro-Choice when it came to abortion. All I could think was…well Mitt, you’ve got a lot of nerve to criticize someone for their position on abortion, particularly considering your statements during the ’94 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. He then criticized the country’s moves toward national health care (Obamacare anyone?)…while he spearheaded a similar program as Governor of Massachusetts. Otter supporters proclaimed their reverence for the humility of many of the Founding Fathers while smearing Allred as being “inexperienced” when it came to politics.
Protests in Salt Lake probably made the participants feel better about themselves, but its not going to change Boyd K. Packer’s position…or the LDS Church’s position. Its the second time in two years that a major protest has occurred. Nothing really new that we didn’t already know.
You’re definitely right though Todd. Its an exciting and beautiful place and time to live. Driving back to Rexburg from Idaho Falls this afternoon during a good rainstorm was ironically the “highlight” of my day.
Todd writes: “It is the last culturally conservative stronghold in America.”
Uhm, Todd, when was the last time you were in South Carolina? The last time I was in the I-15 corridor, the only real difference I noticed between here and there was in terms of climate and geography.
Tyler, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head re: Mitt Romney.
Regarding the protest, I am pretty sure that the LDS Church will never change its positon vis-a-vis homosexuality, but is Packer the best choice for spokesman on this or, in actuality, any other issue? I mean, he kinda reminds me of Spiro Agnew, if you are old enough to remember him.
1) As I was driving to the church building on E. 1st St. Wednesday night, the double rainbow in the sky caused me to park the car and gawk.
2). Yesterday evening, the sunset took my breath away. Long, brilliant beams of white light in the clouds.
God makes His mark everyday in the Corridor.
Tyler, your comment is the front page of today’s local paper.
Now everybody knows what Idaho Falls multimillionaire Frank Vandersloot thinks. Do you think that he has ever used his LDS faith to his own advantage?
I second Father Greg’s comment re South Carolina. I was just there and there were churches everywhere, people praying over their meals in public and signs of cultural conservatism all over the place.
I can guarantee you that there are LDS businessmen and politicians that are using their faith to their advantage. My perspective is that true faith, that is, the faith that Jesus taught, is the kind of faith that you don’t have to wear on your shoulder. If people ask you about it, you’re welcome to talk about it. Too many people make a show on the “outside” but aren’t where they need to be on the “inside.” This is not to say that many who have participated in this year’s elections are not deeply committed Latter-day Saints, however I do not think that one’s religious affiliations should be a consistent target of discussion in a political forum. This plagued the Romney campaign from the get-go. With every step forward, they’d take two steps back and talk about Romney’s faith instead. His political aspirations were moot…people wanted to talk about his religion.
Unfortunately, the “Mormon question” is just as alive in the State of Nevada where the recent comments of a “Jeremiah Wright” nature by Sharon Angle’s unabashedly anti-Mormon pastor may very well steal another six years for Harry Reid. It never ends my friends. Politics as usual.
the firestorm, eh –
Church Officials just held a press conference in response:
Perhaps the American people might be interested more in hearing from one of the GA’s rather than Otterson.
And, Tyler, I am thinking they will eventually lose the battle in our American culture.
Joelmartin, I like your avatar. Is that Isaac of Syria?
Not sure that public prayer before meals is what I had mind. Nor the number of churches, for that matter. I guess I was thinking of less positive things which are not necessarily “conservative” or “traditional” theologically but are certainly so politically and culturally.
Otterson only acts as the official spokesperson, in a similar manner to the White House’s Press Secretary. Everything he has said has been previously approved by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve. The battle between good and evil has been going on since the dawn of mankind. While there are those who have inclinations toward certain temptations, I do not at any point see the LDS Church changing its position regarding same-sex marriage and the law of chastity. Overall, I think Otterson did a wonderful job distinguishing the fact that Christ taught with love, not with cruelty. We do a disservice by polarizing the issues and playing the persecutor/victim game. Yet I trust in God enough to know that some “battles” may be lost culturally, but that victory is His.