Friday, November 21, 2008

More Prophesying about Salt Lake City

As a person who is quite interested in what I term "latter-latter-day developments" and who is writing a novel set in near-future times, I have some more thinking that I'd like to float out there and see if it could be plausible. Personally, I find it quite therapeutic to turn to literature—both reading it and trying to write it—to parse complex problems.

Regardless of what a person feels about individual gay situations, it's clear that we have some intense gay activists out there who may no more represent the outlook of most gays than terrorists represent most Muslims or polygamists represent most Mormons. Nevertheless, I'm not the only one who thinks this gay activism could lead somewhere quite dark quite fast. Here's an interesting article in which Newt Gingrich says, "I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion."

I have spoken before about the future fate of Salt Lake City. Since I was quite young, I have always felt that when some new form of evil arose in the latter days, it would make Salt Lake its world headquarters. I used to think it would be some kind of new drug or occult power somehow tied to Salt Lake, but now I have another idea. There is some spiritual logic to this: If Salt Lake is the headquarters of God's kingdom, wouldn't Satan be working as hard as he could to counterfeit and counterbalance that?

Now, I am not saying that being homosexual is innately evil. However, like most human impulses and institutions, the gay movement is surely subject to temptations and the influence of the devil—heck, even Mormonism is at times, if you look at things like the Mountain Meadows Massacre. So I'm not singling out gays due to homophobia or something, just focusing my attention on them right now because of recent events. Homosexuality itself is not the "new evil" I'm talking about, but certain elements of the modern-day gay movement—the fascist anti-religion elements—could represent that new evil.

Here's what I think is going to happen both in real life and in my novel: militant gays will take over Salt Lake City.

I'm not talking about uniformed gay armies marching into Salt Lake with guns on their shoulders. I'm talking about a cultural takeover of the city. As I noted earlier, Salt Lake City proper is already fast moving away from Mormonism and swiftly moving toward the most liberal, progressive "worldly" values and outlooks. I'm not saying those values and outlooks are necessarily or 100% bad, but this process is creating a vacuum in Salt Lake proper as the old Mormon hegemony sloughs off and something else arises to take its place. When the pendulum has been as far right as it historically has been in Salt Lake, it's natural that, once loosened, it would swing way over to the left.

Salt Lake City is already known for having a surprisingly large and active gay population, and I think we will see more gays flocking here, especially those who are militant against Mormonism. It will become the ultimate "we're here, we're queer" trend to move into the shadow of the Salt Lake Temple and practice their alternative lifestyle. I think we'll see a gay mayor of Salt Lake within a decade. And it will be all the more fun for the participants knowing that the city is a gay doughnut hole surrounded by suburbs where the Mormons are cowering. "You take our rights, we'll take your city." Church HQ itself will become, essentially, a fortress in the midst of it all.

The momentum is already moving toward Salt Lake City becoming the main focal point of the national gay activist agenda. For instance, there's a huge nationwide march on Salt Lake being planned for this next March. Check out this article from Salt Lake City Weekly about other plans and outlooks gay activists have regarding Salt Lake.

Wickedest city the world has ever known? If you get a critical mass of people who are openly fighting against God's kingdom and true church and doing a lot of willfull, in-your-face glorying in lifestyles opposed by the prophets, then yeah, I could see where Salt Lake could become a real pressure cooker of wickedness and depravity on a scale not seen before, not just sodomy but other carnalities too. Again, I don't think all gays are wicked and depraved, but if you get enough of the kind who are wicked and depraved together, you could have a real party. Heteros can be just as wicked and depraved as gays, of course, but gay activists have another factor focusing them and galvanizing them and contributing to their momentum: a so-called civil rights movement.

So anyway, in my novel I'm going to have those who refuse to renounce Mormonism be driven out of portions of the West Coast where the gay agenda has succeeded in taking over the culture and the government, with all church property destroyed or confiscated within those zones (including some temples). And at the same time I'm going to have gay activists successfully establish a Utah beachhead by taking over Salt Lake City culture and government, and one of the key places of friction and conflict will be the Church's new billion-dollar shopping center downtown, which the gay activists will gleefully attempt to co-opt.

I'm working on it as fiction, but I think things are going to play out at least somewhat along these lines in real life, too. Anyway, the way I have it right now in the novel I'm working on, all this stuff happened before the novel even opens, along with the New Depression. My novel opens after biological warfare from the China-led Asian Union has already wiped out 90% of the population of the western United States, which due to the Chinese-engineered hypervirus is quarantined from the eastern U.S. at the Mississippi. (And yes, my reasoning follows the Book of Mormon pattern; due to the West Coast's wickedness and rejection of the Saints, God has withdrawn his protections and permitted the Lamanites—er, the Asians—to make drastic inroads and humble the nation; and by the way, in my story the eastern U.S. does not persecute the Mormons as much or expell them, and it is preserved from the hypervirus by the quick, inspired action of the White House to throw up the firewall at the Mississippi).

Also by the time my novel opens, Latino survivors from Central and South America—where the hypervirus spread unchecked—have banded together and marched north to take over several depopulated western U.S. cities, including Salt Lake (however, the Latinos did not win the battle of Denver, and that's where the LDS Church headquarters is now hunkered down). My novel revolves around a group of Mormons who have turned the Provo missionary training center into a fortress against the two gangs running rampant in the area, and then Cain himself rears his head and enters the picture...


Anonymous said...


This is a fascinating topic; I'd like to be one of the first to read your novel.

Having left the greater SLC area almost 20 years ago, I can't say I'm an authority on the local culture. My impression of what SLC is like today is based mostly on interactions with members of my wife's side of the family. From what I recall, they used to be indifferent and rather tolerant of the dominant Mormon culture. However, over the past decade I have perceived a rather dramatic shift in their attitudes -- I think the best word to describe it is contempt. In fact, I found a recent visit with them to be a decidedly unpleasant experience. I doubt I will subject myself to that anytime soon. If this is the direction things are going, perhaps people will follow suit and voluntarily withdraw to outlying communities or neighboring states. Ironically, you and I were part of a great Mormon migration from California to Utah starting in the 1970's. Perhaps we'll see a great Mormon exodus from Utah in future years, who knows (it would be the second Mormon exodus in church history). Sounds like a good name for a book.

In any event, as an outsider looking in, the trend I detect is that SLC is becoming increasingly polarlized and divided along social, cultural, and political lines. If the counter-culture rises up and overtakes the current dominant culture, I tend to think it won't be as benevolent and accommodating as the Mormons have been. Then again, maybe the Mormons have been terrible, I don't know. I do remember some complaints about not being able to buy beer on Sunday.

Anyway, very interesting premise, your book. Do you wonder, though, if a possible unintended consequence is that your book ultimately serves as a calatyst to the changes you write about, thereby becoming a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy? People get a lot of kooky ideas from books and movies, you know.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to bleak pictures, ol' bean, you sure can paint.

But as I read your Soylent Pink (yes, you may use it) scenario, it reminded me of back in the day when the mudslides threatened Salt Lake, and in a couple of hours the Church mobilized an army of brethren to sandbag and stave off destruction. If unruly mobs of malcontents push themselves harder-- and I have to believe there'll be at least one attempt at Kristallnacht (with a lemon twist)-- heaven help them if the Church declares Rameumptom and cuts loose its attack dogs.

Anonymous said...

It has started, Chris. Last Sunday as I was walking home from church in SLC's Avenues, a car came up from behind and a man shouted very angrily and very loudly, "You think you're effing BETTER THAN ME?" followed by some foul threats. He had a rainbow flag waving from his window.

The only hint that I can think of that I am a Mormon woman is that I was wearing a dress. I wonder how much longer it's going to be safe for me to walk in my own neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great Chris, except Denver? Come on. Aren't we supposed to hunker down in Jackson County?

What is NOT "evident" on the surface of society in Utah is that the "faithful" aren't afraid. They won't cower in the burbs if gays overtake the city. They are "prepared" and a lot of them are armed and they'll burn the temple to the ground personally before they'll let ANYONE take it this time.

Seriously. David's right. True Saints aren't oblivious and they are watching and aware...more so than those who are less-than-saints could possibly know.

Anonymous said...

Is this a joke?

(I'm asking seriously.)

Anonymous said...

ME TOO, Ardis! I was coming home from church and this gay guy pointed an ASSAULT RIFLE in my face and said, "You try to make me follow your beliefs, I make you act on my beliefs!"

Then he turned me around and sodomized me.

Actually it was pretty sweet.

Anonymous said...

My god, you write like you live in Provo. Look, I love Salt Lake - and every since I was a teenager (back in the 80s), I"ve been going there to score drugs and basically have a good time. But to imagine that it will *ever* be anything close to San Francisco or New York (or Chicago or Los Angeles) is just plain delusional.

What is happening is that mormons are becoming more and more removed from mainstream society. Their anti-gay views are just the tip of the iceberg, and the flourishing of a gay population in SLC is just the sign that's most visible to them. But I assure you, it's not unique to Salt Lake. Visit Boise, Portland, Sacramento or any of a dozen mid-sized cities within 1000 miles and you'll see the same thing: a flouring gay population. What you won't see: a large population of religious extremists who fantasize that their state/city/whatever is gay-free.

Again, what's unique here is the large number of mormon reactionaries who are increasingly distant from the rest of society. Gay society is flouring everywhere. That you've noticed it lately says more about you than you might imagine.

Anonymous said...

"Gay society is flouring everywhere."

If you meant to say "flourishing," I have to laugh out loud. If you meant to say "floundering," I would agree.

Anonymous said...

Embarcadero seems to be the only sane one.

Christopher Bigelow said...

No, this is not satire. But I acknowledge hat it is certainly letting my Mormon imagination run wild...