Saturday, May 9, 2015

The wild west wears many hats!

Utah throws extremes our way, and, to my mind, conflicting values. We can't buy wine in the grocery stores, but customers walk by us with guns on their hips. We find the landscape calm and meditative while the freeways are a lethal, yet legal, 80 miles per hour. Eyes glued to the road, knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel, holding our own at 65 mph, feels anything but meditative, as huge trucks overtake us at deadly speeds.

FS Maple Grove Campground, Utah, Highway 50

But, hey, it's Utah and the wild west!  Open range, don't fence me in kind of stuff, with most political views leaning toward libertarian.  Until, that is, they circle back around to the church, and then family values hold tight and firm, with laws enacted to support them.

What's an overpass for, if not moving cattle?

We all have our own set of values, of course, and pretty much, without fail, we believe they are solid and true.  But, here's the rub.  While some of us are willing to let government into our lives, respecting it and working with it, we refuse to do the same with the church.  While others will let the church into their lives, but not so much government. 

A mixture of these values appear on our streets with the laws we make -- guns, speed, liquor, sex, gambling, marital rights -- having been pounded out in a messy government-church mix. One state, will bring more church, another state will bring more government. Our national ideal of church and state separation is weaker or stronger depending on locale, but there's always a push-pull mix. It's a messy mix, but hey, that's the beauty of government order and church doctrine tied up with state's rights. And, for an added complication, it all takes place under our nation's constitutional umbrella.

Love it or leave it, as they say!

As we drive into Nevada I chuckle. Talk about contrasts. How in the world did Nevada and Utah become neighbors? The wild west wears many hats!

"Most of all, differences of opinion are opportunities for learning."
- Terry Tempest Williams
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

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