Woe, Revised

July 20, 2008 | 69 comments
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But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for San Francisco, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Provo! woe unto thee, Bountiful! for if the mighty works had been done in Berkeley and Las Vegas, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Berkeley and Las Vegas at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Salt Lake City, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. (Luke 10:13-15, modernized)

69 Responses to Woe, Revised

  1. Ugly Mahana on July 20, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Brilliant. (Although I do wonder if the curse holds under a 24-hour news cycle.)

  2. Ardis Parshall on July 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Um, what brought this on?

    /s/ Salt Laker

  3. The Right Trousers on July 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    While I sympathize with the general sentiment, I’ll wait until I hear it from a prophet before I accept it. With all due respect (and it’s a lot), it’s not your place to pass judgment.

    Something like this in Sunday School as a modern application of scripture to serve as a warning is entirely appropriate – in Utah. On the Internet, it reads like good old-fashioned Utah bashing. For better effect in this context, try substituting some Bloggernacle sites and places like Slashdot and 4chan.

  4. Ivan Wolfe on July 20, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    try substituting some Bloggernacle sites and places like Slashdot and 4chan

    Let’s see:
    But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Daily Kos, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Times and Seasons! woe unto thee, By Common Consent! for if the mighty works had been done in Little Green Footballs and FireDogLake, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Instapundit and The Daily Dish at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Millennial Star, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

    Nope. I don’t see it.

    Not that I’m sure at all what Julie is getting at. It seems way over my head.

  5. Dan on July 20, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Amen!

  6. queuno on July 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Can I give mad props to the Central Time Zone, the land of milk and honey and home to the best cities in America?

  7. StillConfused on July 20, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I dn’t consider this Utah bashing as much as I consider it bashing of those who have better-than-thou attitudes in their self-proclaimed holy places looking down on those they deem bad. it is hard for me to explain to visitors from the South why Utahns are so much less neighborly than those from the Bible Belt area.

  8. Huston on July 20, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Julie, clever. Being a Las Vegas native myself, though, I can tell you that we’ve seen plenty of miraculous, spiritual blessings, and have yet to do much statistically significant repenting, in sackcloth or otherwise.

    Not to nit pick, however: I totally agree with your point. Those who aren’t getting this aren’t getting that Jesus was reproaching the chosen people for not living up to their extra degree of light. Your update isn’t necessarily condemning Las Vegas or Berkeley or SF, but suggesting that, say, Provo might rightly be condemned for not being proportionately more righteous than the places that have that much less gospel knowledge, in general. I would only add that Las Vegas is, actually, just as deeply Mormon as some of those Utah towns (believe it or not!), and as such, might be due for its own accountability report…

  9. queuno on July 20, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    StillConfused, thank you. I spent a week in Salt Lake City recently and was utterly APPALLED. Now, I realize that the Avenues wards are struggling, but still. Even more insulting were the looks from said Saints in the Avenues who make comments to my wife like, “You poor dear, living down there where the Church isn’t so strong.” Come again?

    We’ll take your 30-child primary (with 2 nursery children and no leader) and your 4-elder quorum and pit it against our 180-child primary and our 40 elders in attendance (10-12 of whom show up for moves regularly). We’ll take your preening gospel doctrine class (“We’ll now have a reading from a man whose father used to be a real important someone in the Church”) and replace it with our own thought-provoking, often tear-inducing class. We can’t get SLC to approve new meetinghouses, and yet we saw thousands of dollars being spent to renovate the landscaping around the statues in one meetinghouse yard.

    Down in Provo, where a sibling is a YM president, he complained about how he couldn’t find anyone in his stake to be a scout unit commissioner — and followed it up with this gem: “We’re (meaning Provo) the center of light and knowledge in the Church. Why is this so hard?” Gaaack.

    The biggest problem with the Church in Utah is that they’ve forgotten what it’s like to be the persecuted minority.

  10. Nat Whilk on July 20, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    @7: “it is hard for me to explain to visitors from the South why Utahns are so much less neighborly than those from the Bible Belt area.

    Maybe the reason you’re having a hard time explaining it is that it’s not true. (I’ve lived about 20 years in the Bible Belt and 20 years in Utah and found people to be about equally neighborly in both places.)

    As for the OP, likening the scriptures unto ourselves doesn’t license arbitrary substitution of one person or group of people for another in scriptures.

  11. Nat Whilk on July 20, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    @9: “We’ll take your 30-child primary (with 2 nursery children and no leader) and your 4-elder quorum and pit it against our 180-child primary and our 40 elders in attendance (10-12 of whom show up for moves regularly). We’ll take your preening gospel doctrine class (”We’ll now have a reading from a man whose father used to be a real important someone in the Church”) and replace it with our own thought-provoking, often tear-inducing class.

    For the life of me, I can’t imagine why Salt Lakers had trouble making friends with you.

  12. queuno on July 20, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    (I am willing to concede that my two Utah samples are the Avenues and Provo. It’s probably a better situation in the Oquirrh Mountains Utah North By Northeast River Trails Paradise Lost Stake. :) As Ms. Stack pointed out, there’s great flight out of SLC.)

  13. DCL on July 20, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    This reminds me of the interpretation of Jesus’ parables that they are meant to shock us into a new way of thinking rather than to teach simple morals. It’s too easy to abstract these scriptures away when they speak of foreign cities in distant times.

  14. queuno on July 20, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Nat – it’s the built-up frustration of a decade and a half of the same things visiting SLC Avenues wards. Of course, maybe if all those Salt Lakers would stop moving South and telling us how better run the Church is in Utah, our tic would go back into submission.

    Methinks that SLC is headed for consolidation as one stake, with the East Bench Ward, the Avenues Ward, etc. I’m told the Ensign Stake has only two wards with a functioning primary, and anyone with children is assigned to attend one of those wards, regardless of where they live.

  15. Nat Whilk on July 20, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    @8: “Those who aren’t getting this aren’t getting that Jesus was reproaching the chosen people for not living up to their extra degree of light.

    Some of us who you think aren’t getting it simply think Jesus was a bit more qualified to identify unrepentant communities than Julie.

  16. Todd Wood on July 20, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    So I am not the only preacher in bloggernacle . . .

  17. Ardis Parshall on July 20, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    queuno, I know you weren’t visiting MY Avenues ward, because we don’t have anywhere near that many children. But had you visited here, you would have been instantly spotted as a visitor, introduced and welcomed, and probably invited to dinner if you weren’t already staying with someone in the ward.

    Nor do we talk about other places the way so many from other places talk about us. Instead, we’re excited to have guests or new ward members from other places, whether from Zimbabwe or over the mountain from Bountiful.

    Utah, Salt Lake, and the Avenues aren’t perfect, but come on, man. It’s tiresome to be the object of so much undeserved scorn.

  18. Jim F. on July 20, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Thinking that the scriptures like this apply to those of us who live in “the center of Zion” is a good idea. It is less than a completely good idea, however. When the resulting call to repentance comes from someone outside those to whom it is addressed or from someone who is not a prophet called to make that call to repentance, we have the right to ask “What brought that on?” Since Zion is now everywhere we find the Saints gathered, wouldn’t the call be better rewritten so as to apply to all of us rather than to some geographic area? I think so. This rewriting comes off more as smugness and self-righteousness than it does as a call to repentance.

    I don’t mean by that to say that I think Julie is being self-righteous. I think, rather, that she didn’t think long enough about what she posted, though I think it is difficult not to read some smugness in her rewriting. Many of the comments, however, move quickly from Julie’s perhaps slightly smug call to us to think about who we are and what we have been given to full-blown self-righteousness. Thanks, but . . .

  19. Ardis Parshall on July 20, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    And yes, Mormons with money are moving everywhere BUT central city areas like the Avenues. But is that any reason to sneer at those of us who do live here and are active and doing everything we can to support and build up the Church? That’s singularly unbrotherly.

  20. Steve Evans on July 21, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Jim, even if it was a little smug, this post was definitely good fun and not a bad poke in the brain. Thanks JMS.

  21. Lupita on July 21, 2008 at 12:10 am

    I love Utah but I haven’t lived there in a over a decade. From visiting dear friends who live there, I’ve gathered that there is a decline. Two friends are anomalous in their neighborhood because they are heterosexual and parents. I recently spoke to a seminary teacher who no longer has enough students (in release time!) to work at one school full-time. Anecdotal I know but surprising nonetheless.

  22. Hans on July 21, 2008 at 12:56 am

    I find that we are first, human, and second, LDS or other _____(fill in how you like). That means that LDS are as guilty or not of being arrogant or friendly, neighborly or lazy, etc. Overgeneralizing from our limited situations isn’t fair to the good nor does justice to the bad in the areas where we are. While going to church in Tacoma, Provo, Concord, NH, Bulgaria, and Phoenix, it seems like there are great people, bad people lazy people, and believe it or not, the non-members are about the same, that is to say, Human.

  23. Ivan Wolfe on July 21, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Those who aren’t getting this aren’t getting that Jesus was reproaching the chosen people for not living up to their extra degree of light.

    No, I get that. I wasn’t getting WHY Julie was doing it. As Jim F. said in #18 – it seems a little too self-satisfied and smug for someone from Austin, Texas to write a post like this.

    Not that I think Julie is smug, but this post makes her seem like it.

  24. sister blah 2 on July 21, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I recognize the Utah bashing = tiresome points, but I also think maybe a bit of “lighten up” is in order. I think this post wasn’t taking itself very seriously.

    I am a little confused by some of the comments that seem to be equating decline in numbers in Utah/SLC, with actual decline of anything meaningful. If more non-LDS are moving to Utah, but the camaraderie and spirituality of what members are there is maintained or increased, is that a bad thing? (I can’t speak to whether the latter part is true or not.) If those of us outside Utah bash it for being too homogeneous and insular, and in the same breath for having a declining percentage of LDS, poor Utah can’t win for losing.

  25. Cicero on July 21, 2008 at 2:28 am

    I might point out that the specific point Jesus was making was that he had been sent to His chosen people and they had rejected Him and were going to crucify Him.

    Are you suggesting that the people of Provo and Salt Lake are so corrupt that if Jesus came to them they would reject Him and crucify Him? While San Francisco and Las Vegas would not?

    And seeing as President Monson is Christ’s current representative on the earth, which cities exactly are welcoming and respectful to him, and which are the ones that mock him?

    Understand, I am no Utah native, and the… shall we say… selective hearing on the part of Utahans for the prophet’s instructions can be annoying- especially when they say something to you about how they don’t have to follow first presidency counsel on something because they know how things work in Utah. (Yeah, I had a Utahan mission companion say that to me). However, they are in no way comparable in rebelliousness to the Jews who crucified Christ.

  26. Zat on July 21, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Can someone explain what “the Avenues” is for those of us who don’t know?

  27. john f. on July 21, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Zat, meet Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Avenues%2C_Salt_Lake_City%2C_Utah

    The Avenues, by the way, are an absolutely wonderful old neighborhood immediately adjacent to downtown Salt Lake City. Those who knock it simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

  28. Ardis Parshall on July 21, 2008 at 7:41 am

    The Avenues is a residential neighborhood in downtown Salt Lake City, next door to Temple Square and the Church Office Building. (It gets its name from the east/west streets: 1st Ave., 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave. … ) A hundred years ago and up through the 1940s, before the sprawl of Salt Lake, many of the church leaders had homes in this neighborhood, often large Victorian style homes and later tiny bungalows. Beginning in the 1920s, the aging neighborhood began to go downhill, with the larger homes being subdivided into rentals. The Avenues really became the pits in the ’50s and ’60s, with most church leaders long since moved to new homes in the East Bench neighborhoods (the foothills in the northeast part of town). The Avenues has since gone through another typical phase of urban residential areas: gentrification. The surviving old homes are being restored, and property values, even in this market, have gone sky-high. It’s become *the* place, at least by reputation, for couples-with-no-children, artsy types, homosexuals, and the politically liberal. Church membership has declined drastically because if you have the money to buy in the Avenues, you really prefer to go to the suburbs where your money will buy a backyard and a garage, and where there are neighborhood schools for your kids (there are so few kids here that the local schools have been closed).

    People who don’t live here like to pretend that we still think of our neighborhood as The Place Where The Church Leaders Live So We’re More True Than Your Neighborhood. Baloney. My ward is made up almost entirely of people in their 80s and 90s who live here because they bought their homes back when it was a crummy, slummy place with affordable housing, or because they are interns at LDS Hospital (within our ward boundaries) or because they are UofU students living in rented basements. I live here because I can no longer see to drive and it’s within walking distance of the church archives. Believe me, none of us has any illusions about being LDS royalty, and we’re as delighted by a new face at church as any branch anywhere in the world.

  29. john f. on July 21, 2008 at 8:07 am

    People who don’t live here like to pretend that we still think of our neighborhood as The Place Where The Church Leaders Live So We’re More True Than Your Neighborhood.

    Ardis, I think that many LDS who criticize the Avenues these days aren’t doing it for that reason anymore but rather because they perceive it as having too many gay couples.

    As Ardis has pointed out, over the last twenty years, major gentrification has been occurring in the Avenues as the wonderful old late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century homes are being carefully restored and as the tree-lined streets are cleaned up to restore the hometown feeling. It is true that the yards are smaller and many houses don’t have two-car garages. The neighborhood is attracting people for whom those things aren’t so important so if that provokes Latter-day Saints to premature judgment of those peoples priorities and desires, then it does not speak well for us as Latter-day Saints.

    It is true that Latter-day Saints will move out of the Avenues or away from Sugarhouse or 15th and 15th once the third child comes along. Still, more are deciding to stay these days and to learn to live with more modest homes (i.e. smaller) that have some history and character in neighborhoods where the houses are closer together.

  30. Tatiana on July 21, 2008 at 9:04 am

    I still don’t understand what prompted this post just now. Can someone please explain?

  31. Huston on July 21, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Perhaps the tenor of these comments is unfair to Julie. After all, she isn’t explicitly damning any place as much as she’s suggesting that gospel-heavy places could be even more righteous than they are, which is always undeniably true (and very much along the lines of what Jesus was saying).

  32. Mark IV on July 21, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Paging Dr. Rorschach…..

    Good post, Julie.

  33. rd on July 21, 2008 at 9:17 am

    queuno,

    two anecdotes do not a culture make. Grew up in Salt Lake and loved it. Not pining to get back, but I loved it. And those who knock it so should spend an entire youth running 15 minutes from 6 canyons and get back to me. The culture differs, but aspires no less to be good. And vapid church-based egos abound globally.

    The original post was kind of cool, though. I always give that scripture more of a personal (i.e. where much is given much is expected) kind of reading. I think we can collectively, in any stake of zion, do some introspection when reflecting on this scripture theme.

  34. Ardis Parshall on July 21, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Ardis, I think that many LDS who criticize the Avenues these days aren’t doing it for that reason anymore but rather because they perceive it as having too many gay couples.

    If that’s the reason Mormons from Texas criticize Mormons in the Avenues, it’s even more petty than I thought. So queuno doesn’t like to go to church here because we haven’t run the gay couples out of the neighborhood with pitchforks and there are just too many of them sitting in the pews with him? Naw, I don’t think that’s it.

    Julie, why did you paint a target on Salt Lake and Provo with a big red arrow that says “spit here”?

  35. Julie M. Smith on July 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Oh, good grief.

    The *only* point of this post was to say this: we have *no idea* how to read Luke 10:13-15 because we have no idea what the “reputations” of cities like Tyre and Sidon were. By substituting the names of modern cities, we get a feel for what Jesus was saying. As some of the comments on this post show, we have no idea how incredibly inflammatory these words are because we don’t know what it feels like to have Jesus naming cities that we know/like.

    I have absolutely nothing against any UT cities. You are welcome to comb the thousands of comments that I have made in the bloggernacle and see if you can find anything that even moves into the neighborhood of Utah bashing–I’ve never done it because I don’t believe it.

  36. MikeInWeHo on July 21, 2008 at 9:59 am

    re: 25
    “However, they are in no way comparable in rebelliousness to the Jews who crucified Christ….”
    Christ killers? Yikes. Haven’t heard that old canard in a while.

    I’ve got to spend some more time in SLC. It’s just fascinating. Still can’t figure out why I had to join a private club to have eggs benedict one weekend morning, though. That was really weird.

  37. Nat Whilk on July 21, 2008 at 10:07 am

    @36:”re: 25
    “However, they are in no way comparable in rebelliousness to the Jews who crucified Christ….”
    Christ killers? Yikes. Haven’t heard that old canard in a while.

    You don’t have the scriptures on tape, eh?

  38. Blake on July 21, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Truly weird Julie. However, it cannot serve as true condemnation until you include Harvard. “Wo unto all that are at Harvard, for they think they are learned . . . .” Need I go on? Further, Jesus was in Jerusalem when he gave his imprecations. Come to SLC and say and at least risk being stoned!

  39. Researcher on July 21, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I recently said something in a discussion that could have been taken as Utah bashing (although I meant it as a jab at those who ignorantly blur the lines between religion and politics) and was called to repentance by no less than Alison Moore Smith.

    Ah…the joys of blogging…

    (One of these days I’ll say something that will make Ardis call me to repentance and then I’ll know I’ve made my mark on the world.) :-)

  40. Julie M. Smith on July 21, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Had to switch computers; let me finish:

    (1) The ‘good grief’ was not directed at Ardis but at the tenor of some comments here.

    (2) The *only* reason that I picked the cities that I did is because if you polled most LDS and asked, “Which cities have reputations for being the most righteous? Which cities have reputations for being the most wicked?” I think this is about what you would get. You can’t “get” that Jesus is making the point that “where much is given, much is expected” if you don’t “get” that he is talking about cities with strong reputations for virtue/vice.

    (3) I think that Utah bashing and Utah defending is always silly and stereotypical and uncharitable and I’m bummed that this post contributed to it when my only intention was to shine a light on what Jesus was saying *to his original audience* and not to imply that his hyperbole (which was even hyperbolic when he said it) is directly applicable today. Lesson learned: do not post and go to bed without monitoring comments.

  41. Ray on July 21, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Holy Cow, people. #35 is a great explanation of a great post. Many of the parables are watered down in our modern interpretations specifically because we don’t understand the cultural foundation of that time. Putting in cities we know and can defend for many valid reasons makes it personal and forces us to confront “why” it might be appropriate.

    I grew up in Utah County in a rural town that was 99% Mormon. I loved my upbringing and wouldn’t change it for the world. I also would understand if Julie had substituted my hometown instead of SLC or Provo.

    Great post, Julie.

  42. Ray on July 21, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Obviously, I hadn’t read #40 when I wrote #41. Julie’s #2 is precisely why the original passage was so powerful.

  43. John C. on July 21, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I have no idea why but Julie’s calling me to repentance (although implicitly) is much more effective than other recent calls to repentance I have received. Not that Julie is calling anyone to repentance, of course.

  44. Nat Whilk on July 21, 2008 at 10:56 am

    @40: “You can’t “get” that Jesus is making the point that “where much is given, much is expected” if you don’t “get” that he is talking about cities with strong reputations for virtue/vice.

    (1) What is your evidence that Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum had strong reputations for virtue?

    (2) Jesus evidently felt that these 3 cities had rejected Him. Don’t you think this should have been taken into account in constructing your modern-day parallels?

  45. Julie M. Smith on July 21, 2008 at 11:03 am

    John C., *I* feel called to repentance by my “modernization” of Luke 10:13-15 even though I have never lived in SLC or Provo in my life. Jesus isn’t talking about cities (Do you think Jesus meant that every single resident of Capernaum was going to outer darkness? I don’t.), he’s using their ‘reputations’ to make a point about a certain kind of person who also has that reputation.

    And as a temple-recommend-holding church member, I *am* SLC even though I don’t know where “the Avenues” are or why they are important. This passage (original or my remix) is calling *me* to remember that where much is given, even more is expected. It is calling *me* to remember that the single mother downstairs who smokes and curses is Las Vegas: if she’d been party to the miracles I’d seen, she’d be a much better follower of Christ than I am right now.

    All: I do regret not providing some context in the original post. I thought my point was obvious; I guess it wasn’t. I will try not to make that mistake again.

  46. Researcher on July 21, 2008 at 11:35 am

    It’s interesting that the text of this scripture, modernized and localized, was linked in a number of minds to the item on the sidebar (“Mormon flight?”) about a possible exodus of church members out of Salt Lake City. And by others on a modern tension between a religious center and those who live outside of it (“Utah bashing/defending”).

    I don’t remember the context of this scripture (to whom this passage was originally given), so now after this interesting little exercise, I’m wondering how the people who heard the original words responded.

  47. Mark B. on July 21, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Perhaps you would have had better luck, Julie, if you had done a takeoff on Matthew 23:

    “Scribes and Pharisees, Mormonites” has a nice ring to it, and nobody would have thought that you were lowering the boom on any specific place in the Church.

  48. Jonovitch on July 21, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Julie, I got the point. But for those who don’t have ears to hear (*snicker*), your comments in 35 and 40 would have served as a good preamble and clarification before things got misinterpreted. (Irony?) Either way, you’ll always stir up a tempest between Utah-bashers and Utah-defenders.

    Great post.

    Jon

  49. Martin Willey on July 21, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I think Julie’s post was thought- and comment- provoking. Which means it was good. I think many of the comments made reveal that the next passage for consideration perhaps should be, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”

  50. matt w. on July 21, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Julie: I am of two minds on this.

    First, this sort of guilt ladden comment to the saints, saying they are worse than the vilest of sinners, is very dangerous.Misapplied and messaged in te wrong way it can create a painful sort of dis-satisfied perfectionism.

    My second thought is that the challenging message here is also very much needed. Perhaps the trick is to give te message in a way that our modern culture is inspired to be better, but without the guilt or self-righteousness.

    How you do that, I have no idea.

  51. Ivan Wolfe on July 21, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I think many of the comments made reveal that the next passage for consideration perhaps should be, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”

    Physician heal thyself.

    For myself, I was more confused than judgmental. I read a lot of the supposedly “attacking” comments as mere bafflement. Perhaps those who are cheering Julie’s post on need to be less judgmental as well.

  52. MikeInWeHo on July 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    re: 37
    Ouch, harsh. But rest assured, I am familiar with NT anti-Semitic proof texts and their historic consequences. Scriptures on tape, no, but I do keep the Standard Works on my iPhone.

  53. Snow White on July 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I got it, Julie.
    The Avenues sound great, though. I love big old houses. How much does a 3-4 bedroom run?

  54. Nat Whilk on July 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Re: 52

    It’s not just the NT. See 1 Nephi 10:11, 2 Nephi 10:3, Moroni 7:5, etc. What Cicero said was previously said by Lehi, Jacob, and Mormon. So why the “Yikes”?

  55. Mark IV on July 21, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Nat,

    Mike can speak for himself, but I also thought comment #25 was unfortunate. The New Testament contains warnings to those who would crucify Christ afresh and put him to an open shame. Jeffery R. Holland has interpreted that verse to mean any sort of lightminded transgression, especially of a moral nature. Anybody who think he is above that is fooling himself. I understand a statement that says “Well, at least we’re not as bad as the Pharisees” as an indication that we actually are quite corrupt.

  56. Ardis Parshall on July 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    53: A million or more. The 2-bedroom next door to me sold for $750K, without a working furnace. Maybe that’s our preferred brand of obscenity.

  57. Nat Whilk on July 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    @55: “Mike can speak for himself, but I also thought comment #25 was unfortunate. The New Testament contains warnings to those who would crucify Christ afresh and put him to an open shame. Jeffery R. Holland has interpreted that verse to mean any sort of lightminded transgression, especially of a moral nature.

    In the commentary from Elder Holland I’ve seen, he’s applied Hebrews 6:6 specifically to violations of the Law of Chastity. Unless the strongholds of Mormonism are world leaders in fornication, I don’t see how one gets from Elder Holland’s remarks to the moral equivalence of Bountiful and the apostate Jewish nation of Jesus’ day, which Jacob said was “the more wicked part of the world” and the only “nation on earth that would crucify their God”. And judging from MikeInWeHo’s comments elsewhere, I doubt that he thinks that promiscuity is what’s got Salt Lake joining Capernaum on the Express Train to Hell.

  58. Ray on July 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Nat, if you want to argue technical correctness, Mike is correct.

    “The Jews who crucified Christ” is not accurate, since it was the Romans who crucified Him. Also: That’s not a discussion that is relevant to Julie’s post, especially since 1) the passage was stated by Jesus prior to his crucifixion and, therefore, didn’t include that crucifixion as a reason for its utterance and 2) it wasn’t the Jewish population in those cities (Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum) that actually crucified Jesus – and there’s no scriptural statement that those people would have crucified Him. It was the leadership in Jerusalem who made that decision, not the general populace in the cities mentioned.

    The actual passage does not condemn them for being “killers”; it condemns them for not repenting. There is a huge difference.

    Frankly, I hope this part of the discussion ends. It simply isn’t relevant to this thread.

  59. Nat Whilk on July 21, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    @58: ““Nat, if you want to argue technical correctness, Mike is correct. “The Jews who crucified Christ” is not accurate, since it was the Romans who crucified Him.

    In the narrowest technical sense, I guess the only person who crucified Jesus was the guy who pounded in the nails. But Mike’s objection was to the notion that the Jews of Jesus’ day were “Christ killers”. A person who hires a hitman is still guilty of murder. Mormon said Jesus was “slain by the Jews”.

  60. MikeInWeHo on July 21, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    “And judging from MikeInWeHo’s comments elsewhere, I doubt that he thinks that promiscuity is what’s got Salt Lake joining Capernaum on the Express Train to Hell….”

    Ouch again. You guys started playing rough while I was away on vacation. Yes, that’s me, defender of promiscuity. How on earth did I even get drawn into this conversation?? I just wanted to make the point that scriptures regarding the Jews killing Christ have been used to support horrific anti-semetism over the centuries. When I saw similar language used here afresh, I found it a bit jarring. That’s all. And didn’t we all, in a sense, kill Christ?

  61. Ray on July 21, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Nat, we can argue this forever. “The Jews” can mean many things, but the most accurate definition as it relates to this post does not include those people living in the cities mentioned in Luke 10:13-15. Those Jews most certainly did not kill Jesus; they rejected him and failed to recognize the marvelous works done among them.

    Bringing up “the Jews who crucified Christ” in this context is not accurate, as those who played a part in his death were not part of the focus of this passage. That was the connection made in the original comment (#25) – that Julie was equating modern residents in the Utah cities with people who would crucify Christ.

  62. MikeInWeHo on July 21, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    (oops, make that anti-Semitism)

  63. Nat Whilk on July 21, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    @60: “Ouch again.

    I’m sorry if I’ve misrepresented you. If you accept the Law of Chastity, I must have you confused with someone else.

    I just wanted to make the point that scriptures regarding the Jews killing Christ have been used to support horrific anti-semetism over the centuries.

    That doesn’t make Cicero’s assertion a “canard” (i.e., “an extravagant or absurd story circulated to impose on people’s credulity; a hoax, a false report.”)

  64. Nat Whilk on July 21, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    @61: “we can argue this forever

    Yes, and for someone who claimed to “hope this part of the discussion ends”, you’re doing a good job of keeping things going!

    ‘The Jews’ can mean many things, but the most accurate definition as it relates to this post does not include those people living in the cities mentioned in Luke 10:13-15. Those Jews most certainly did not kill Jesus.”

    Jacob refers to the Jewish “nation” as killing Him. Did the nation not extend into Galilee?

  65. NOYDMB on July 22, 2008 at 8:19 am

    I’m all for some good old fashioned Utah bashing.
    But, many people in Utah repent and forsake their sinful ways.
    Some so-called Mormons think it is OK to revel in sin, and force the government to place its stamp of approval on the sin.
    I don’t agree, and find this interpretation offensive, and notice how Julie is wresting the scriptures.
    Sad, really.

  66. NOYDMB on July 22, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Blake: “Come to SLC and say and at least risk being stoned! ” Beautiful.
    #49. Martin, While Julie has since explained that she wasn’t meaning to be condemnatory, I think she now recognizes that without explaining her assumptions, it is very easy to see a condemnation. What I find ironic, is that you condemn others for being judgemental, of Julie’s post which was perceived as being judgemental. So following your logic, it is OK for group a to judge group b, but not OK for group b to judge group a back? It is OK for the mormoliberalbloggocrats to judge TBM’s for supporting the prophet about SSM, but not OK for TBM’s to judge the mormoliberalbloggocrats for fighting against the prophet? This kind of foolish double-standard makes conservatives have headaches. Either be fair, or admit that your unfair, but don’t claim to be fair, and then act unfair. It’s hypocritical. And Jesus had something to say about that too, right Julie?

    I think Julie’s post was thought- and comment- provoking. Which means it was good. I think many of the comments made reveal that the next passage for consideration perhaps should be, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”

    Comment by Martin Willey — 7/21/2008 @ 12:31 pm

  67. Joseph D. Walch on July 22, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Just another attempt towards sensationalization ending in ridiculosity.

    If I were to use the Buckley Criterion and choose 100 people from any city randomly chosen to be governed by, I would happily choose Provo over San Francisco. END OF STORY.

  68. JimD on July 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    In the narrowest technical sense, I guess the only person who crucified Jesus was the guy who pounded in the nails.

    But isn’t there a line somewhere about people who would “consent to His death”?

  69. Ryan Bell on July 25, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Julie, I very much enjoyed this post.