Thursday , June 05, 2014 - 12:00 AM
Approximately 62 percent of Utah is Mormon, give or take since those numbers are outdated by years and the secret is out to neighboring states — Utah is awesome (except when we Photoshop sleeves on girls). Either because of or despite of, I decided to write a column on women holding the priesthood, a very controversial topic with many passionate points of view. My email was flooded with dozens of emails written by mostly respectful people willing to discuss their religion, answering my questions, and basically giving me a whole new outlook on my readers and the LDS faithful. It was really cool.
Fast forward a few weeks when I’m grooving a feisty mood, listening to some Tori Amos, and sitting to write my column on Disneyland. I was warned. My childhood friend told me you don’t mess with Disneyland lovers. Her direct quote, ”Do you think you will get more hate mail for this than the guns article? I think I would rather mess with the gun lovers than the Disney fans!”
She warned me.
Only a few messages popped up in my inbox, a few littered with absolute disdain, anger, and wielding a knife aimed for the jugular. I was called “abusive,” told I was destroying my kids’ childhood, one woman even wrote I have a pathetic life in need of counseling by Dr. Phil. I mean, I do, but not because I hate Disneyland.
Allow me to set the record straight. I don’t actually tell my 5-year-old, my 2-year-old, and 1-year-old Mickey is a killer. If you actually take a breath one would realize my small children don’t even know what a serial killer is; they probably hear “cereal.” End of story. I was in fact being satirical.
This is a tough world, even tougher outside the borders of the U.S. and Utah, so why do we feel inclined to attack those who live just miles from our front door? Debate and discussion are healthy of a community, people willing to discuss ideas, swap feelings, and perspectives make us a more tolerant neighbor.
When I get an email I look the name up on Facebook, I learn who you are, where you live, and what your favorite TV shows are to watch after dinner. I even see “friends” we have in common. Social networking may have expanded our community, but it also makes the world an even smaller place. When I get a nasty message from a person who is a friend to the girl I do yoga with it’s a bit of a slap in the face. This person and I share one degree of separation and yet she threatens a call to social services because they disagree with my viewpoint.
I’m not asking for world peace or even a nice email message. What I want are readers who want to discuss issues, to debate, to laugh, and to let me know I’m miles off the mark to the point I’m not even on the same planet without calling me names.
Thank you to readers who make me think; to Bob, Cheryl, David, Vaughn, Elsa, Sylvia, and the many others who took the time to swap perspectives, make me think, and make me a better person. It’s responses like that which keep me coming back to this keyboard instead of alcohol.
For future reference, emails over Disneyland were WAY tamer than those sent after my gun article.
Meg Sanders fell down the rabbit hole of motherhood several years ago, quitting her job as a news producer. Now she spends her days grasp ing onto her sanity, striving to be a good person and fighting the urge to eat her young. She can be contacted at megssol firstname.lastname@example.org.
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