Acting like Scrooge, we’re giving the LDS website MormonsAndGays.org a thumbs-down. Sorry about that. It was a good try, and we understand that you just want to be loving and inclusive and haven’t changed your position at all. As many noted over the past week, the LDS Church wrapped homosexuality in a pretty bow, and even trotted out a former lesbian spokesman, Laurie Campbell, who says she’s now happily married with three kids. Good for her. She obviously didn’t like being gay—or rather, doesn’t like being gay and has reconciled her lifestyle for her church. But at the same time, a teenage boy committed public suicide after being bullied and called gay. Whether he was or not, it doesn’t matter. The message shouldn’t be one of suppression. That didn’t work well with teen pregnancies, either.
Salt Lake County made a huge statement about neighborhood aesthetics in the past week by placing reasonable restrictions on electronic billboards. Immediately called anti-business, the ordinance grandfathers existing “message centers” until they need to be replaced and mostly allows the flash in commercial and industrial areas. The ordinance, shepherded by Councilman Jim Bradley, calls for longer holds between flashes, basically eliminating animation. And that’s what Yes Electric Sign Co. says billboards need. People want animation! It’s the latest in technology, they say. How else do you know if there’s a sale or a deal on something? Well, we wonder if they’ve asked Trader Joe’s about that. Seriously. If you want animation, how about watching the Cartoon Network? And do we really want drivers watching cartoons on the roads?
As The Salt Lake Tribune runs its heart-warming series on charities, it’s good to note just who is giving in the Season of Giving. A recent study by Philanthropy.com showed that people with lower incomes consistently donated more than rich folks. People making $100,000 or more gave 4.2 percent, while those making $50,000 to $75,000 donated 7.6 percent of their discretionary income. Examiner.com, a network of independent writers, went so far as to conclude, “A new study shows the mythical talking point of the richest individuals being the most generous, and therefore the most worthy of tax breaks, to be false.” The study, which followed donation patterns in all states, showed that donations tended to fall as incomes rose. Apparently, you have to feel the pain before you try to get rid of it.