Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Religious Bigotry and Stupidity in SLC Mayoral Office

It's been pretty typical for Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson to put his foot in his mouth. Many times in his career he's said bad things about the LDS Church, and just about everybody living in Utah outside of Salt Lake City. He's been kicking into overdrive lately, though.

First off, he staged a political protest against President Bush. The President was the keynote speaker at a VFW convention. The irony here is that Mayor Anderson wants to encourage conventions coming into Salt Lake, and was happy to take the VFW's money, all the while using his mayoral office staff and materials to organize a protest against them. I don't have a problem with Rocky Anderson protesting as a private citizen. People should speak their mind. It's a part of the Bill of Rights, for heaven's sake. What I object to the Mayor of Salt Lake City protesting a speaker at an event that Salt Lake City takes in money from. If Rocky wanted to go out and scream and shout and protest, fine. But he used tools and materials provided by Salt Lake City taxes to further his personal agenda. Others have been fined or impeached for things like that.

Next, it turns out that Mayor Anderson is a bigot. Not a racist, mind you, but a full blown bigot when it comes to religion. A lot of his staff members have been resigning because of it. In this KSL article Deeda Seed, his former Communication Director, is quoted as saying, "I'm very relieved I don't have to deal with that any more. Rocky creates [a] hostile work environment, uses foul language, berates people...He's a religious bigot." In a separate radio program I heard, he apparently likes tells off-color jokes belittling members of the LDS Church, including members within his own staff, as well as just being a general pain in the derriere.

While he and other staffers are are defending him, I tend to think that Deeda Seed is closer to the mark. He got elected on a vaguely anti-LDS platform to begin with. Of course, he's always happy to take the Church's money when they do things like rebuild and revitalize structures in downtown Salt Lake. He just wants them to go away, and leave their money on the doorstep.

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