Saturday, December 17, 2005

This Divided State

This Divided State

My wife and I watched This Divided State tonight and we both really enjoyed it. I have never lived in Utah (unless you count my stay in the MTC) so I really had no idea what the political climate is like there. Sure, I knew it was conservative, but not that conservative. Here are some of my thoughts while watching the film:

1) Kay Anderson is a creepy guy. Did anyone else catch that vibe? Sure, one could say the film makers purposely portrayed him that way, but I think they didn’t have to because the guy is such a nut job. You could tell he was just seething inside to see that people didn’t think like him. He’s definitely proof that the black/white dichotomy in the Church can have bad consequences. You could tell he was afraid that his perfect little Mormon world would fall apart if Michael Moore came to speak. While I was watching, I was getting angry watching him make a complete ass of himself and in the process making the Church look lame. Now, while writing, I feel sorry for him. It makes feel sad that a person could be so closed minded and so fearful of other ideas. The guy is in his own world. In the “Extras” on the DVD, they interviewed this guy about how Mr. Anderson tried to get the director of Student Affairs excommunicated because he let Nelly sing at UVSC. His grounds for motion for excommunication? Nelly said f*** a couple of times and Kay Anderson could hear it from his house. (It was an outside concert). First, this guy needs to take a civics class and refresh himself about the first amendment. Second, who in the heck motions for someone to be excommunicated in the middle of Elder’s Quorum? The scary thing is three people raised their hand in support. I found it ironic that in his crusade to squash conflict, Kay Anderson only created more contention.

2) Utah Mormons need to get a damn clue. Specifically Provo/Orem Utahns. I’m not saying that all Utah Mormons are weirdoes, but after watching the film I came to the conclusion that a large proportion are. It’s like they’re in their own little world. The intolerance I saw was crazy. Several people made a great point about the hypocrisy that was taking place during this whole ordeal. We as members of the Church send thousands of young people all over the world to share a message. All we ask is to be listened to and treated with respect and tolerance. But when someone with a different idea comes to the conclave of Mormonism asking for the exact same thing, members did the opposite of what they asked for their missionaries.

3) There are some really cool Mormons out there. I often feel like I don’t fit in at Church. I don’t view the gospel or the Church like most members. I often spend Sunday School or Elder’s Quorum biting my tongue so not to make comments that would probably disturb a lot of people. But after watching the movie, I felt so excited that there are members of the Church who feel the same way I do. The highlight was an interview with a professor from UVSC. He’s a convert with a thick New York accent. He was talking about how when he lived in Brooklyn there was a black member who had been in the ward ten years. One day, a sister told this professor that she found it amazing that each year the black brother was getting a bit lighter. This of course in reference to the false doctrine that righteousness will some how turn someone’s skin color white. His only response was “What are you? From outta space!?” He said he learned quickly that there was a lot of cultural baggage in the Church. I loved his statement, “I was converted to the gospel and not the culture. I don’t need another culture.”

This was a good movie that really did a great job capturing the political climate during the 2004 elections. I think it would do a lot of members a great deal of good to watch it. Hopefully they’ll be as disgusted as I was in the way which members of the Church demonstrated such deplorable intolerance.