Monday, November 21, 2005

Oversensitivity

Political discourse in this town often gets dicey when you point out the obvious. Over at Ethan's I had to respond to responses to what I thought was a pretty tepid post about the Dist. 3 Council race. My point: people who go to church together establish personal relationships. People who have personal relationships with a particular candidate often vote for them.

However, when thrown into hyper-drive hyper-sensitivity, I somehow become Dick Boggs. The whole thing reminded me of a gem of a quote from then-D-News columnist LaVar Webb:

“This is about people who hate the church finding an opportunity to kick the shins, gouge an eye and thumb their noses at the biggest, most powerful institution in the state … Unfortunately for the mayor, he’s now the champion of the ACLU and the Mormon haters.”

No, the quote above was not referring to Mayor Anderson's assault on the Saints at Haun's Mill. It was referring to the months of compromise-searching that resulted from the 10th Circuit's decision on the complicated and poorly-lawyered Main Street Plaza case. The plaza deal, no matter how you slice it, was, at least from a strictly legal standpoint, a precarious thing to begin with. It was obvious that it was back to the drawing board and the Mayor's office is charged with making sure that the City's interests are protected. Unfortunately, what's good for the Presiding Bishopric is not always what's good for the City. A reasonable view, I'd submit. However, in over-sensitivity hysteria, this view somehow is construed to be one of "mormon-hating."

The point is that over-sensitivity, not bigotry, is often the root of this so-called divide that we face here in this state. It's pretty ludicrous to think that if someone is a member of a church that happens to have business before a civic body that one is a member of, that person will have absolutely no bias towards that church. Even if it isn't overt, there is a trust factor there that doesn't necessarily exist for non-members. However, just because it's there doesn't mean it isn't benign to the point of irrelevance. In any case, if we don't acknowledge the elephant in the room, then we can't be assured that the bridge over the divide can support its weight.