Sunday, November 08, 2009

thoughts on life in a small, rural, mormon town



Torrey is one of nine towns in Wayne County (WC), Utah. It is inarguably the most "liberal," "open-minded," "accepting" of all the towns here. Why do I use quote marks? Because, dear readers, your definition of those appellations and WC's definition probably vary wildly.

Torrey, as I may have noted before, actually has three churches, as opposed to the other towns only having the dominant LDS (Mormon) church. Torrey is home to an eclectic pile o' people, including hippies, artists, ranchers, Mormons, grubby outdoorsy types, writers, photographers, horsemen and -women, rich folks, poor folks, in-between folks, and many deliciously diverse more.

Torrey is also, as is most of Utah, a very red town, as in Republican. In the election one year ago, however, for the first time in its history Torrey voted blue! There are plenty of Obama supporters here, and they voted. The local paper, The Insider, very grudgingly noted Torrey's left-leaning sensibilities as my little home ripped itself away from the dominant majority. Heh. (Doesn't really matter if you supported Obama or not...my point is that for once the majority was toppled by the determined, and very few, votes of the lesser-represented.)

In last week's election, we voted for Mayor and Council members. My neighbors on my little street (called, very tongue-in-cheek, Morningwood Drive) both won their respective runs. Adus Dorsey is the new mayor of Torrey, and Jennifer Howe is a new councilwoman. They each take up their duties in January.

Neither one is particularly aligned with the majority religion in WC...they won't be mouthpieces for it. Have I mentioned before that there is little separation of church & state in Utah?

Now, this is NOT an anti-LDS rant. It is merely an observation of the mores and morals (or sometimes lack thereof) in my teeny rural adopted homeland. I will note, however, a conversation the other day with a woman who lives here with her two kids, both of whom are in the WC public school system, and none of whom are LDS. Last year, her son's teacher told his class that anyone supporting Obama was a terrorist! (The kid's eight, for crying out loud.) This teacher also supposedly pushes her pro-LDS sentiments in the classroom...of course, the debate over such behavior from a teacher goes on ad nauseum. I say, no sirree. You'd better not push your values on my kid, lady. You're supposed to be teaching them readin', writin', and 'rithmetic.

I digress. Hmm, this might be just a bit of a rant.

Back to my impressions of my little town. I love Utah. Its gorgeous landscapes have stunned me since I first beheld them ten years ago. I am in favor of difference of opinion, diversity, and honest expressions of one's beliefs. I also happen to believe that there's a time and place for all things! I like to believe in our democratic process...though I also often have my doubts.

Ah, too much to think about. What do YOU think about belief systems and sharing said beliefs with others? What have you experienced in your lifetime, good, bad, or downright ugly?
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1 comment:

Ryan said...

Senator Scott Brown (R) becomes Senator of a state that has been Democratic since 1966??? My point is that again, just like in Torrey during the Obama Election.... the majority was toppled by the determined, and very few, votes of the lesser-represented.

Touche'