Not an American, I would love to be counted among the sheep and say sign me up
for such a society which frequently comes at the top of the league when
measuring all that is good. As a political animal, its a real pity
your remaining presidential campaigners did not highlight such positive
political points as they opposed Mitt Romney.In a so-called free
society where discrimination is not cool, it is still cool to be anti mormon.Could someone send me the missionaries? Please? Pretty please?Baaaaaaaa
Um..SLC'er, you are right that Mr. Jefferson used the phrase "a wall of
separation between church and state", but not for the purpose of expelling any
thought of religion from our government. A small denomination of Baptists
wrote to Mr. Jefferson fearing that if a state religion was set up by the
government they would loose their rights to worship as they wanted to. In his
answer to their letter, Mr. Jefferson quoted a famous Baptist minister, Roger
Williams,who used the phrase "a wall of separation..." knowing that using the
words of a famous minister that this little group revered would help ease their
fears. In the letter you refer to, Mr. Jefferson wasn't saying that there could
be no religious people in government, or no religious language, or symbols or
even religious influence in government. He used the phrase to assure these
people that our government would never create a state run church, which it
hasn't. The headquarters of a church is here in Utah and naturally many of our
government leaders belong to that church, so that may influence their
decissions,but there is no state run church in this state or country.
Well we differ on opinions then. Thank goodness for the 1st amendment and for
these forums where multiple viewpoints can be expressed. I agree that the
Church does not tell people how to vote, nor does it punish anyone for voting
contrary to the Church's position. But I find it hard to argue that the
Church is by far and away the biggest policy setter in the state and that many
politicians vote in line with the Church's stated (or unstated) policies. You
are right, these arguments could go on forever, we have our differences of
opinion, I respect yours, good debate.
A lot of people in Utah do not feel heard by their government;they feel that
their values are not being represented by their state legislators. So they feel
unfairly taxed. What is even more frustrating to them is that
someone would just look at the financial bottom line and deem the state to be
superior to other states, when in their opinion it is not. They feel the state
is actually mismanaging funds by not meeting the needs of ALL the people. They are also upset that those lucky few who do feel their interests are
being nurtured are self congratulatory by an award which does not represent the
whole picture. They might say that Utah might do well at balancing
the checkbook, but dinner is burning and the baby has been left out to play
naked in the street.
I'm sorry, I just don't see how asking alco-pops to be sold only in state liquor
stores is a big issue. I think the point was to protect kids. And as for the
skybridge, I actually think the Church attracts more scrutiny. If a developer
were going to put $2 billion into downtown, the city and state would be bending
over backwards to keep them happy. As for immigration, we don't have the time
to get into the minutiae of SB81 or HB171 and it would be difficult to apply the
Church's 'position' to it because the position is so general. We could go
around and around with this, but I will just reiterate my point that I made
earlier: I have never known the Mormon Church to instruct any member to vote
one way or another on ANYTHING, nor would the Church take any action against a
member based on their voting record. I don't know what more can be said.
Mexico will take this land back. So get use to your darker friends. We are here
to stay. If you don't like it than go back to Europe!
To many cops looking for trouble and you are it.It is called a quotaThey all have to arrest someone and lie about the arrest.Aparently they
are paid for prosecutions and percentage of the finesFines are out of site
in UtahYou would think this is Calif. with high paying jobs.The
State is a Milker and you are the Milkee
If there were Democrats in Utah, Utah would not be ranked as high.
Re:SLC'er, how are those issues mentioned not substantive? While I might not
drink those beverages, and i'm assuming you don't, it is the Church throwing its
weight around and affecting other individuals' lives. And while I appreciate
the Church's investment in downtown, that doesn't mean that leaders should sign
off on their business plans, simply because they are the ones investing. I
imagine a private business owner would be subject to much more scrutiny.
Finally, to immigration - ah that topic that gets these blogger's hearts beating
like 2 full bottles of Mt. Dew. Tell me how political leaders differed with the
Church? The Church's only statement was asking for "compassion." We've hardly
heard a peep about immigration during this session. Sounds like the legislators
took the Church's advice.
Please explain how the immigration bill is a "good indication of Church
involvement." The Church has simply asked that lawmakers remember we are
dealing with real people here. I don't see any detailed policy statements or
any indication whatsoever of what the Church might be advocating, except
compassionate treatment of others, which is perfectly in line with their role as
a religious organization as they "attend to their congregations" and all
mankind, for that matter. This argument could go in circles for quite a while.
My point is this - I have never known the Mormon Church to instruct any member
to vote one way or another on ANYTHING, nor would the Church take any action
against a member based on their voting record. I don't know what more can be
I didn't like the way business was done in home country and I moved to THE US.
If SLC'er feels that Utah has too many sheep he/she should move to any
other 49 states that might have more wolves. How about go to Cuba? There, state
and church is totally separated.
Touche SLC'er. Now I look a little foolish. Thanks.My main sticking
point, one that I probably could have stated clearly and with a little less
arrogance, is that while the FF had a concept of "Seperation" it doesn't appear
to be to the same severe degree that we project upon the concept today. There is
ample reference to God and "Christian" ideals in the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution. I do not think they intended Christianity to be pushed
upon all US citizens but I also don't believe they would have agreed with the
utter abolishment of religion from every whit of public life. Which is why I
think the phrase is often used cavalierly and frequently misapplied. In the end,
while I agree with the intial concept, I don't like it's misapplication by those
pushing a personal agenda (I'm not implicating you, SLC'er, in that
statement).However, it still appears nowhere in official written
State documents except the Supreme Court Majority Opinion.
Congratulations! I wish my state were as well managed as Utah, at least
fiscally. On the other hand, I'm delighted to pay higher taxes to live in a
state with a culture of open-mindedness instead of all those outdated and weird
Utah traditions that stifle both members and non-members of the majority
The immigration bill is a good indication of CHURCH involvement. What a shame!
Church leaping noses need to attend to their congregations and stay out of
Skybridges and alco-pops? Let's move to something a little more substantive.
Say, for example, the immigration debate. I don't see that the legislature has
aligned at all with the Church's position on this issue. Your reference to
Amendment 3 is also without much substance - at least ten other states also
passed a similar amendment. Is the Mormon Church also controlling things in
those states? Also, if the Church is going to dump nearly $2 billion into giving
downtown a much needed facelift, I don't think pushing for a skybridge equates
to influencing public policy. As for Leavitt's 'scripture study', I personally
don't agree with it, but you still haven't identified specific instances of how
those meetings affected public policy. Please provide something substantive.
We have more sheep than you do and we could surely use some of what you got!!Our government is so poorly run the place is falling down around us after 9
years of left wing hate of anything decent! Read more if you doubt me.Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
move somewhere else, yeah right. your only renting till you move to MISSOURI!!
the report found that "the level of coordination between the governor's office
and the Legislature goes beyond party loyalty."perhaps they
all have something else in common... which is ofen derided and cursed in this
Look around. The kids are taking Geometry in 8th grade! That is leaps and
bounds above other states. Someone that says math has been dumbed
down since they were a kid hasn't been in a classroom lately. They are probably
getting their info from Jon Stossel when he shows a school in ghetto NY and
claims that is what is happening at our local schools.
My point wasn't whether Britain was a theocracy or not, but that the idea of
separation of church and state was there, even if not written word for word in
the Constitution.The issue in Utah is not so much of a theocracy,
but rather the way our republic is set up. Go to any part of this country where
it is predominatly Mormon, Jewish, or whatever-- and you find that many laws
coincide with their religion. This behavior is often misunderstood and thought
to be a violation of "church and state" but in reality it isn't. That is where
the confusion exists--the lack of understanding how our republic form of
government works. This is where people get really technical, especially the
Re:SLC'er, first of all, thank you for your assumption. Secondly, the point of
view I presented was not fact, more of a subtle hint of sarcasm that is edgy
because it borders on truth or fact. Fact: The Governor, Utah State
Legislature, and Utah Supreme Court and numerous local government agencies are
the ones that truly ('really run') run the state. So, you are correct, that I
can't provide examples of the LDS Church actually passing a bill or signing a
veto or writing a majority opinion. However, it is also a fact that the Church
is involved in many political decisions and that the majority of politicians set
in motion the Church's desired policies. Or similarly, local politicians try to
inject Church values and policies into state policy. Although everyone here
knows its true, if you need some specific examples: Gov. Leavitt's 'seminary
meetings'to inject scripture into public policy, the Church's interest in the
skybridge, the Main St. Plaza fiasco, Amendment 3, Alco-pops. Those are some
off the top of my head. Re-SLC'er, I'd love for you to provide some specific
examples of when the Church has taken a position and Utah politicians haven't
pushed it through.
If you want to raise revenue in Utah, tax Jello and Diapers instead of
cigarrettes and alcohol
First of all to people like Philly, there is no need to shout. Utah is not your
state anymore than it is mine. How dare you tell someone to move. We can all
be here, and no one has claim to the land more than another.That
being said, I agree with you. I moved here from CA, and I got a raise in my
take-home pay. I also pay less for gasoline tax and most other taxes, though I
do pay a higher sales tax because groceries are not exempt here.But
seriously. I'm a tax accountant and that's no laughing matter. My research on
Checkpoint shows that 19 states have higher income tax rates than UT, 14 have
lower, and 15 have about the same. I know, that only adds up to 48 + UT makes
49. Oh well. TX isn't part of the union anyway =)Bottom line: UT
is nowhere near the top of the taxing states. Not even close. And this is only
income. Try living in Cali, where the property taxes are outrageous (because
the values are so high) and you have to pay CA state disability. Also, no city
income taxes here.
I lived in a state with no income tax, but I paid close to 10% sales tax. My
vehicle registration fees were the highest in the country for a while (may have
changed by now), and my property taxes were 1/3 higher. I took a $200/week cut
in take-home pay, but my standard of living went up. I think the vast majority
of those ripping on the state are either lashing out at the influence of the
dominant religion or are just opposed to all taxes and would complain anywhere
SLC'er, I will assume that you are an educated person who wouldn't present a
point of view as fact without strong supporting evidence (see SLC'er's first
post). Please provide SPECIFIC and VERIFIABLE evidence for your claim. I truly
am curious to hear your response. Yes, many Utahns have similar views on issues
because of the religion to which they belong, but that is a far cry from your
statement that our "state government is really run by a certain church". Again,
please provide support for your claim that the Mormon church "runs" the state.
ALL OF YOU RIPPING ON UTAH SERIOUSLY NEED TO MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE. I never paid
a third or more of my paycheck to taxes and other "state/city" fees until I left
Utah. My property tax is three times as much, car registration is twice as
much, there is no food tax, but everything else is subject to state and
community taxes at a much higher rate.My career will probably never take
me back through Utah again, but it was a pretty great place to live while I was
there. This recognition is only what some of us have known for years. This
being that the state may not be perfect, but go ahead and try to find a better,
less corrupt place anywhere.
I don't know...I get irritated every time the laws dictating how much flavoring
liquor can go in my mixed drink are made up by people who don't drink. It would
be nice if the religious majority at least consulted a bartender before deciding
how my Margarita is made when I go to a Mexican restaurant. Plus.. we have
a mindbending conflict of interest problem in the legislature here in Utah that
everyone seems to like to pretend isn't happening.
Hey Jan Gates and Anonymous @ 11:42, thank you for your imput. I have been born
and raised in the Beehive state. I'm 'dang' proud of it too. My ancestors were
pioneers and arrived here in 1847. So I really don't think anyone has a right
to tell me to leave. I love Utah and was simply criticizing the enormous
influence that the Church has on public policy in Utah, to the extent that most
local politicians look to the Church for guidance on various secular issues.
Additionally, AbeFroman - Jefferson was the one who coined the
phrase "building a wall of separation between church and state." Jefferson
isn't a founding father?? I think I did my research.
Born and raise for 25 years in Utah. Lived away from Utah for the last 20
years. There is a stark difference in the economy in Utah (for the better)
compared to where I live now and in other states around me. Moving back in the
next year if I can sell my house in a state with an extrememly depressed economy
with hurricane season fast approaching. My husband is alreayd in Utah with his
new job and is kissing the ground he walks on because of the relief he already
feels financially.If you live in Utah and are tired of the LDS influence,
perhaps it's time to look for a place where you "think" the grass is greener. I
dare you to try and find it.
One should always be extremely suspicious of any group of people that believes
in taxing food.
About a year ago I bought a vacuum cleaner because consumer reports by its
criteria said it was the best vacuum available. It was great at picking up dirt
and even had a light to indicate if there was still dirt being picked up in the
carpet.I wasn't very happy with the vacuum however. It was gear
driven rather than belt driven. When my wife picked up a large object that
caused the brush to not rotate, it damaged the gears. I thought no problem, I
will replace the belt, but of course couldn't do it. What normally should have
taken a few minutes for me to fix, I instead had to take it in for repair. Also
the vacuum was very heavy, my wife didn't like it.My point is, it is
possible for Utah to appear the best governed, and we are based upon the
criteria used, however if we actually are is debateable.Math
education in Utah given our demographics is the lowest in the nation. It is
significantly lower in quality than when I went to school. People at work who
have moved from out of state say Utah math is too easy for kids.
We have the LOWEST tax rates of any of the states I have lived in.I
LOVE it here!
Utah is one of the highest taxed states in the country. So much for true
The Establishment Clause does prohibit Congress from establishing a national
religion. However, a national religion does not mean a theocracy as implied by
those who misuse the "seperation of chruch and state" phrase. True in Britain
the King ran both the country and in finality, the church. However, Britain
could never be considered a theocracy (a gov't run by religious heads) - it was
a monarchy. The Establishment Clause was instituted to protect the gov't just as
much as it was to protect religion. To say the state of Utah needs to honor "the
seperation of church and state" because of the LDS church implies a church
interferring in matters of state - not establishing a national, or state - if
you will, religion. Thusly this is, and arguments like it are, out of the realm
of The Establishment Clause.
Isn't it interesting that throngs of people move to the Great State of Utah
every year, to raise their families, get good jobs, enjoy a family oriented
culture etc.; then once they move here they start complaining about the very
things that created the environment they CHOSE to move TO. Once
they are here, they begin a process to change this state to be what they just
Best managed if you can manage to ignore the corruption and conflicts of
If we're run that well, how come we're one of the highest taxed communities in
the nation? That's not good government to me.
You need to do your research. The Establishment Clause is what "separation" is
all about. Basically the FF DID realize t his as they wanted to avoid a
government (in Britain) at the time was congrolled by the Church of England. The
Establishment Clause prohibits Congress from ESTABLISHING a national religion.
Thus the "separation of Church and State." While you are correct
that there is no such wording in our documents, the concept was there.
They obviously didn't talk to any of the rank and file state employees. . .
Here's a novel idea (sarcasm). Maybe it is the people of the State who do a
good job at taking care of the State. Maybe it is that Utah ranks second lowest
unemployment in the nation. Once again government leaders are there to
represent the people. I am from Idaho but I say Kudo's to the people of Utah
for living responsibly, working to better their State, and voting in responsible
representatives. Is it any wonder the 2 more conservative States in the nation
(Idaho and Utah) also have the lowest unemployment? If you work as a whole, the
whole will be prosperous. Go Utah
It could be worse, you could live in Taxifornia.
Great!This is good news!I think the whole world should pack up their
bags and move to Utah.There's plenty of room and good jobs for
everybody!Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
Being ranked the best governed state by Governing magazine should be like being
ranked the number one crime family by the FBI.Government does not
give one anything without taking it from someone else.
It's funny all this discussion about the "seperation of church and state," it's
funny because that phrase appears NOWHERE in the US Consitution or the
Declaration of Independence. What?!?!? Yeah, do your research. The widely used
phrase appears in a Majority Ruling written by the Supreme Court. It was not a
concept that existed in the minds of the founding fathers.
Of course stuff like this will bring out those against a church or any
established religion and anything good that they stand for. Where was the
church even mentioned in the article? Who are the sheep now? Baaaaaaaaaaa!
Let us not forget that a well managed state comes from a government perspective.
The simple translation is they take more money from taxpayers to pay for
government programs than other states. We need to take a look at a possible
correlation between a well managed state and high bankruptcies, high taxes, low
wages, etc. I would prefer to have a prosperous people who are self
sufficient, than a world class capitol building or soccer stadium simply to gain
the praise of the world elite.
I am not from Utah, but I was perfectly happy lving in Utah until my job took me
to Michigan. Now, I long for the days of living in a state where every other
house is not for sale, businesses are not closing up and moving elsewhere, and
my neighbors are not losing their jobs. Meanwhile, the gov't is raising taxes.
My property taxes are already 5x what they were in Utah as are my utility
bills.On the other hand, as an member of the LDS church, I do not
miss the constant criticism of my religion. And how those not associated with
the LDS Church seem to constantly whine about the influence it has in Utah.
Noboday treats me any differently in Michigan. My religion is respected like
any other.Seperation of Church and state??? Since when is it
illegal to not be member of the LDS Church in Utah? Are children forced to take
a Book of Mormon class? Are stores forced to be closed on Sunday? Yes, the LDS
Church has influence in Utah becasue the majority of the population agree with
the doctrine. But the LDS Church is not a legal entitiy in Utah.
I live in Texas and pay 8.8% and food prices are probably double what I paid in
Utah. No complaints about no state income tax but they get you somewhere else
(Property Tax). Lastly, if I remember the scriptures correctly, I don't
remember Christ ever referring to sheep (his followers) in a derogatory manner.
Wolves in "sheeps" clothing is another matter.
I am happy for that report.And I am happy with Governor Huntsmans good
governing. (Thank You)I am happy living in Utah with the dominating
religion.Being a sheep isn't so bad...it just depends on who the master
One of the best parts about the Utah government not mentioned by the article is
that it is against the constitution of the state to have a state debt. Therefore
the budget is always balanced. I wish our nation would adopt a similar measure.
now i can use it in my business class, now if some of those hick counties with
the high child ratios would just do the tighten up too! Let's all do the
TIGTHEN UP and completly cut off the raises of our most important resources THE
TEACHERS...YOU KNOW MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!!!
"And the sheep say 'baaaaa'," almost made me spray coffee on my computer! Er, wait until the big quake hits, though, then Utah will rank 50th.
Perhaps it has something to do with a state income tax rate of over 7%. Other
states I have had to pay taxes in. or lived next door to, have had income tax
rates from 0 to 3.5%. It is a lot easier to manage when you have everything you
need, and certainly gives you a lot less to argue about.
How well a state is run as little influence on quality of life. See this, I will
remain in California were the government is dysfunctional and the climate is
better. It's so nice not knowing the religion of your neighbors.
obviously SLC'er has no concept of the idea of separation of church and state
beyond the ability to spew the phrase in an effort to mask personal intolerance
I love to live in a state rated #1. Those who are not happy to live here and say
we are sheep, just go to another state, because we will be better off without
them. This is a free country, people should love where they like to.
Why do so many people think that "separation of church and state" involved the
independent states? The phraze does not exist in the U.S. Constitution.The first amendment simply states that the federal government (all branches)
is not to interfere with religion while while it gives individual states (10th
amendment) unlimited freedoms to govern. And, of course,laws differ from state
to state as does the management of state governments.
If there were a violation of the separation between church and state, which is
unconstitutional, then I would suggest taking it up with the court system. If
you are complaining that Utah is embued by Mormon culture, and that is a bad
thing, then try living in states (which I currently do) imbued by a secular left
ideology, or some other ideology. Not necessarily bad things, but Utah has it
good compared to other places in the country that are struggling a great deal
with budgets, unfunded mandates, and so-far unkept promises for retiree health
state is related to a certain church or not. As long as it is the best state.
That is why all my three children are living in this best state.
Congratulations Utah! From a sheep not living in Utah. Baaaaaaa!
It is a report on how effective the government is run. It is not a report on
how well the people are served. Do the Native Americans in Utah have adequate
housing? What is the unemployment rate for the Indians? How many illegal
immigrants are working in Utah and how come the number is that high?Effective cost-spending accountability is one thing. Solving social problems
that are so apparent is another.Be careful what you make of the
one more comment please, its too good. Please look at Separation of Church and
State on wikipedia and then look for the LDS section underneath. Ohhhh the
irony. Obviously I didn't post that (and i know that wikipedia is not to be
taken as a serious source) for all you questioning that.
folks, I was making a point about how the 1st Amendment and a little phrase
known as "separation between church and state" don't seem to exist in Utah.
Thank you for pointing out that most of the constituents are fine with that
un-American viewpoint. That, my fellow Utahns, is why you are sheep.
So the state is ranked at the top of an independent, un-biased study and that is
your response? That the state government is taking care of the people of Utah
(both sheep and non-sheep) and planning for the future is somehow bad? That
money is being spent with accountability and acumen is a result of some link
with the majority of the states population and that is unacceptable? I am a
legal resident of Utah, speak a foreign language, have a degree in fine arts and
live in Africa. Yeah, we are a bunch of sheep.
It's not because of Huntsman, that is for sure. It's the house majority leader
Dave Clark that has really taken on all the tough challenges the last few years
if any of you haven't noticed. I hope he runs for Congress!!!
God. So no wonder it's doing so well!If the people were a little
more perfect, the grade would be an A.(Yes, this is a
tongue-in-cheek response to the first comment.)
You wonder why we are the best run gov't and then try to make it sound
negative?If the church is at the head of the gov't then we should be
thanking them for putting us on top of the nation!Count me as a
sheep if I am following the best.BAAAAAAAAA.
I'd hate to live in one of the badly run states. Wow! They must be REALLY
Hmmm . . . I wonder why? Could it be that our state government is really run by
a certain church? And the sheep say "baaaaaaaa."