August 29, 2012

Romney and the Mormons

I actually like Mitt Romney, but I have no idea if he'll make a good President. 

One concern I've heard is the notion that he's a prime product of the general healthiness of Mormon culture. Mormons try to set up their lives to have a lot of good influences from other Mormons around them. But it gets pretty lonely in the White House, and it's a new set of challenges. (Also, despite his looks, he's not young anymore.)

By way of analogy, think of the late Neil Armstrong. He was a prime product of the general healthiness of mid-20th Century American culture (which Mormons continue continue to espouse, which is why they are considered so weird and creepy today). American culture had systems in place that produced a lot of competent, brave, altruistic, and modest people, few more so than Armstrong. And part of that modesty was that he didn't much mind being viewed less as a unique superman and more as proof that the systems worked. He didn't run for President.

Today, we have a sense that our society's general systems don't work that well, so we are more invested in longshot hopes placed upon space oddities like Obama.

58 comments:

Bazooka said...

I would like to see Obama reelected, America and Americans deserve what is coming...

Anonymous said...

I am hoping (unrealistically perhaps) that Romney will be able to better resist the Israeli lobby because he is deeply rooted in his own religion. Also, despite his talk now, I am hoping that he will severely cut the military budget. We don't need it and can't afford it, and maybe he is the Mr. Fixit who can do it.

Anonymous said...

A lot of Romney supporters see the image he projects and think of the middle class 1950s, but all his policy proposals, advisors, funding sources, and business career stories suggest he wants to accelerate the transfer of wealth to the very top and make America look more like a third world dystopia.

Mac said...

It shows how much our society has degenerated when being part of a nuclear family is seen as creepy or "weird".

Hapalong Cassidy said...

If conservatves are stupid enough to hold Romney's Mormonism against him, then they truly deserve what's coming to them. In general I don't care much for Romney, but his Mormonism is a big plus on my ledger. I say that because every Mormon I've ever met has seemed like a friendly, kind person. Indeed, I owe my present job to a Mormon job networking group that helped me get back on my feet after an extended period of unemployment. They were gracious, helpful, and never once tried to convert me.

Peter A said...

Why do you like Romney? He actually doesn't seem to be all that culturally Mormon. He's not modest, he's not altruistic, he's not particularly brave (not a risk taker, made Bain Consulting hedge his downside when he started the Private Equity practice, went on cushy mission to France, etc. ). He is yet another child of privilege who believes his birth entitles him to high office. Romney, to me, symbolizes what has gone wrong with America since the 1960s. George Romney was a real product of the mid 20th Century culture you're talking about - he had entrpreneurial spirit and he built things, and he cared about the future of the nation in general. Mitt, like so many of his contemporaries, channelled his intelligence towards finance, i.e. milking the system for whatever he could get.

Anonymous said...

Steve, being a Catholic you don't understand that Evangelicals that based their faith on the bible or the Nicaean Code see Romney as a heretic. Evangelicals are less nominal among whites than Roman Catholics are so Romney and Mormonism are not right. The left probably is the one that see Mormon practices as creepy the right becomes its heretic.

Anonymous said...

Another thing is Mitt and the Republicans use bad California and good Texas. We all know the big mistakes of California but Republicans could have use Florida. Florida while higher unemployment than Texas has more housing affordability and even their Latin american is more diverse and less lower income. Their poverty rate is lower than Texas but the big housing crunch took Florida out. So the Republicans were left with Texas. Texas while not stagnant like Christie state of New Jersey now has home ownership of 64 percent for Texas versus 66 for New Jersey. New Jersey is high tax and people who are older leave for Florida. Also, Virginia has moved to the Democratics another low poverty and better wage state and good housing affordability except for the Northern Part of the state which is expense.

Anonymous said...

Not all but some of the so called swing states like Virginia are doing better than red states or blue states.

Mr. Anon said...

Mormons have always struck me as being largely humor impaired. They lack the meanness required to be really funny.

They also tend to be highly conformist. Despite their straight-arrow micro-culture, which puts them at odds with so much of contemporary America (which I admire about them, by the way), they tend to conformity: their opinions never seem to diverge much from the conventional.

I guess this makes Romney the ideal Republican candidate: sober, diligent, humorless, and utterly conventional in thought. The perfect man to manage our nation's decline into a future of opulent poverty.

Whiskey said...

I would for one, not like to be punished for the sins of long-dead White people, so I'd like Obama bounced.

Romney would be a decent President, he's a NUMBERS GUY who is convinced by data, will do things to turn around a failing institution, and has numerous examples of personal generosity and kindness mixed in with a fairly ruthless organizational restructuring. Out of all the potential Republican candidates he's the only one who understands the fiscal/political crisis: America's government has ran out of money, is unsustainably borrowing, to pay for the immigrant/NAM wave that is totally dependent upon White wealth transfers.

Since I am conservative and prefer marginal but sub-optimal reform rather than a crisis that may or may not produce optimal reform but could get me dead and/or poor, I prefer Romney.

Anonymous said...

The modern Mormon church is perfectly compatible with the modern Republican party only in that they are both run wholly by and for a tiny crust of hereditary plutocrats who maintain their grip on power through constant, unending lies - lies that they tell so often that they believe with no reservations.

The lie that they pulled themselves up through their bootstraps is only one of the many lies. I was raised as an LDS Republican, and I can tell you, their facade of "general health" and wholesomeness is nothing more than a smokescreen for clannish narrow-mindedness and the most relentless incuriosity possible.

They do make excellent accountants, public school teachers, and engineers, but electing one President is going to be a catastrophe.

MC said...

"He actually doesn't seem to be all that culturally Mormon."

Don't be ridiculous. I am Mormon and Mitt is as Mormon as they come. Mormons laugh at how Mormon he is.

pat said...

I think you're missing some of the important counter trends.

When I was a hippie living in the Haight-Ashbury around the time of the Summer of Love, I went with friends one day to the park. The wife of my buddy remarked on how beautiful the day was. My buddy responded while looking at people cavorting with their kids, "How many babies do you think were killed today by Americans".

He wasn't even very political. That was just how everyone talked in those days. Every soldier was a "baby killer".

When we watched an old WWII movie on our small black and white TV, we would see and hear expressions of patriotism that seem very strange and far away. I thought that we had experienced a permanent cultural change.

But today if you go to that park and see a soldier in uniform people will mutter things like "thank you for your service". They will talk about the "Wounded Warriors" and they will get all teary about the flag and country.

I find modern patriotism astounding. I didn't see it coming and wouldn't have believed it possible.

Romney is too corny for electorate of my youth but he seems to fit in pretty well in today's climate.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Bazooka said "I would like to see Obama reelected, America and Americans deserve what is coming."

Well, as an American I would like to say f**k you. America's ruling class deserves what's coming to them. I can honestly say I hope something bad happens to you and whatever 2nd rate craphole country you are from.

Paul Mendez said...

... he wants to accelerate the transfer of wealth to the very top and make America look more like a third world dystopia.

I'd rather see my wealth transferred to a few smart people at the top, than to teeming masses of fecund savages.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Romney would be a decent President, he's a NUMBERS GUY who is convinced by data, will do things to turn around a failing institution...

The numbers are hopeless, unless he starts booting entire Cabinet Departments and shutting down the Afghan conflict. Then it's on to step two: means-testing entitlements. Good luck.

Even if Romney does all that (and he won't), the economy will sharply contract, like it's going to do anyway.

I say re-elect Obama and let it blow up on his watch.

Paul Mendez said...

"I was raised as an LDS Republican, and I can tell you, their facade of "general health" and wholesomeness is nothing more than a smokescreen for clannish narrow-mindedness and the most relentless incuriosity possible."

TRANSLATION: "I'm gay."

Power Child said...

"A lot of great things happened when people were like me."

-Hank Hill

Anonymous said...

"Mitt, like so many of his contemporaries, channelled his intelligence towards finance, i.e. milking the system for whatever he could get."

Not just for himself. I remember seeing on TV two guys who wrote a biography of him and who seemed like liberals being stunned by how much he's always donated to his church. I'm not a Mormon, but I respect that.

He seems far more moral than the average guy privately and amoral professionally. What if he saw a professionally advantageous political stance that was harmful to his church? If the two worlds collided, which one would he choose?

jody said...

he will be 1000 times better than obama, and that's all that matters. although, one has to ask themselves, DOES it matter anymore at this point? obama's first term was so catastrophic for the US it's hard to imagine things getting much worse. most people will not immediately see the colossal damage obama inflicted on the US, but the precedents established and the policies set into motion, especially in 2012, will escalate quickly over the next couple years.

it's hard to fathom what an astronomical success obama has been for all haters of straight european males, creators of our society. they talk about obama being a disappointment or even failing, but from a liberal's perspective, obama succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in dealing a final, crushing, total defeat to straight european males culturally. pat buchanan sees the writing on the wall. old america is finished. this is the new america.

i'm boggled by the idea expressed even in the HBD world that obama and romney are the same. barack obama directly attacks europeans. over and over and over. romney won't. how much clearer could this be? even if they are identical in all other policy positions, this is such a big difference it's hard to believe i see otherwise intelligent commentators missing it.

jody said...

"The lie that they pulled themselves up through their bootstraps is only one of the many lies. I was raised as an LDS Republican, and I can tell you, their facade of "general health" and wholesomeness is nothing more than a smokescreen for clannish narrow-mindedness and the most relentless incuriosity possible."

wow, they really sound bad. i guess we should stick with the communist, anti-american racist and liar, barack obama, who never worked a day in his life, and don't know anything about anything.

we certainly can't trust this romney guy. no way. he has 10% of the wealth of the bushes. nobody who has 10% of the money that the bushes has could possibly be president. that's way too much money. nobody named bush was ever president. remember how effective all those democrat campaigns were in the 80s, 90s, and 00s, slamming the bushes for being too rich, and hence too out of touch, to possibly be presidents? those worked well and kept those rich bushes out of office.

mitt romney may not be rich enough to OWN A MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM or an oil company, but he's way too rich to be president. obama told me.

back to reality: what planet are we living on here, where mormons are the enemy and the problem? the television news media have brainwashed americans so much over the last 20 years, now barack hussein obama is the logical, safe, smart choice over the "extreme" romney. obama actually said that. romney has "extreme" positions. mitt romney is the most moderate, wishy washy guy in a while, but he's way too "extreme" to be president according to the actual enemy in charge.

after living in nevada for 4 years and dealing with mormons, i found that on average they are friendly, hard working, slightly smarter than average for euro americans, dedicated family people who get married and stay married, have a lot of kids, and wherever they go, they start businesses and make their communities better. my god, they're evil. we can never trust these kind of people in the white house. far, far better to stick with the kenyan in chief. chicago politics are vastly superior and beneficial to america's future.

DaveinHackensack said...

Judging from Romney's comments on China, he seems more willing to question some of the dogma responsible for the status quo than Obama. The US trade deficit is a cause of a lot of what ails the US economy: the decline in the number of high-paying manufacturing jobs (though automation has played a role here too), the build up of debt, the bloating of the financial sector, the increasing dependence of low-wage workers on government, etc. In fact, he seems more willing to do so than some of his advisers.

Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School dean, was on Bloomberg yesterday when Trish Regan asked him whether labeling China a currency manipulator would, horror of horrors, "risk a trade war" with China, and Hubbard gave some spurious explanation of how China would be better off if it changed its policy. Romney's own explanation during the debates made much more sense, "We sell China this much stuff (indicating a small stack with one hand). China sells us this much stuff (indicating a much larger stack with his other hand). Do you think they want a trade war with us?"

Balancing the trade would go a long way to correcting other imbalances in our economy and fiscal situation. Romney is more likely to address this than Obama.

And I don't think that's because Obama hates America or isn't intelligent; I think it's because he and others on the left have always assumed the US economy can take whatever burdens they throw on it, so their focus has always been how to redistribute its bounty rather than how to keep it healthy.

Anonymous said...

I met many Mormons when I lived in upper Manhattan. There were a great many Mormon families there, strangely enough, who had moved from Utah, central CA, etc. in order to pursue dreams of show business success that were orders of magnitude less realistic than even the run-of-mill fantasicalness of such moves by average theater or musical types.

One man had moved his family of five to NYC in order to produce a Mormon-themed musical he had written. He and his wife raised money from their large families and friends, and lost all of it. Another Mormon actor with 3 kids had moved here from the Sacramento area, but told me he "didn't audition well," so he preferred to get called upon for roles.

Another guy had decided to be an opera singer in his 30s, and his schoolteacher wife was paying the bills while he took lessons, etc.

These folks were incredibly nice, and were very active in the local school. One time a family of Mormons came to my apartment Christmas caroling, with bags of treats...we are Jews, incidentally.

My takeaway from these interactions is that Mormons are diligent, kind, hardworking people who have a delusional sense of their own competence and potentiality.

Matthew said...

"A lot of Romney supporters see the image he projects and think of the middle class 1950s, but all his policy proposals, advisors, funding sources, and business career stories suggest he wants to accelerate the transfer of wealth to the very top and make America look more like a third world dystopia."

Yep - he might do that. There's a very good chance of that, in fact. But what we also know is that Obama is doing that.

I'll take a possible traitor over a certain one any day.

The best we can hope is that what Romney wants, beneath the multiple layers of flip and flop, is what's best for this country.

"Steve, being a Catholic you don't understand that Evangelicals that based their faith on the bible or the Nicaean Code see Romney as a heretic."

I have lots ofl evangelical friends on Facebook who have already "liked" Mitt Romney, including one who has made one or two nominally anti-Mormon posts. Evangelicals have grudgingly accepted that he is the Republican nominee, and they dislike him and his religion a wole lot less than they dislike Obama.

Anonymous said...

Once Romney, and the RNC, refused to let Ron Paul make a speach at the convention it was over for me and Romney. I won´t vote for Obama, but I´m not rooting for Romney either...

Anonymous said...

"I actually like Mitt Romney, but I have no idea if he'll make a good President."

Like him how?

Okay, he's a good-looking guy but he's one of the most two-faced, dishonest people I've seen in politics. He reminds me of Richard Spencer, another shifty-minded snake.

MC said...

"TRANSLATION: 'I'm gay.'"

Most accusations of homosexuality on the internet are stupid, but that one made me laugh. So many disaffected Mormons are either gay or have tons of gay friends.

Kaz said...

Romney is a clean guy and I respect him for that.

But I get the idea he has no issues sending people in our military to die for a useless cause while he sits comfortably safe. Not to mention waste a ton of resources.

He did the same thing during the Vietnam war, and he promises to do it this time. I don't understand why he's doing it, is it really the money, is it the power? Is it because he feels Republicans want it because they're idiots?

a very knowing American said...

Quote "I met many Mormons when I lived in upper Manhattan. There were a great many Mormon families there, strangely enough, who had moved from Utah, central CA, etc. in order to pursue dreams of show business success that were orders of magnitude less realistic than even the run-of-mill fantasicalness of such moves by average theater or musical types. ...

My takeaway from these interactions is that Mormons are diligent, kind, hardworking people who have a delusional sense of their own competence and potentiality."

An extreme version of this syndrome is "Plan 9 from Outer Space" (1959), often cited as the worst movie ever made, which director Ed Wood got some very naive Mormon businessmen to finance. They did not get their money back. (The movie "Ed Wood," starring Johnny Depp, directed by Tim Burton, tells the story). Let's hope some of Romney's foreign policy team don't end up playing Ed Wood to his naive Mormon.

Truth said...

"Okay, he's a good-looking guy but he's one of the most two-faced, dishonest people I've seen in politics."

Mittens has this totally unique capability I've never experienced before of sounding like he's lying EVERY TIME HE OPENS HIS MOUTH, with the exception of when he talks about Ann.

That guy's stammering and meandering are truly disconcerting.

Anonymous said...

Christians killed the founder of Mormonism. By definition (the Nicene Creed) Mormonism is not Christianity. So it is a very significant development that the bible-thumping Republican Party has chosen as its leader a Book of Mormon thumper.

I predict a surge in conversions to Mormonism...

Anonymous said...

I get it that most of you hate black people so much that you would vote for Satan if he ran against Obama. How does that make Romney's only apparent skills - manipulating the tax code and wrecking existing businesses to transform a huge pile of daddy's money into huger pile for his kids - even remotely useful for a President?

Anonymous said...

Not a very apt comparison. Neil Armstrong was a humble civil servant who constantly gave credit to the thousands of people who made it possible for him to get to the moon. As for who Mitt Romney is, take a look at Matt Taibbi's just released Rolling Stone feature - he's made his career wrecking well functioning institutions by exploiting loopholes to line his own pocket, and doesn't have an ounce of noblesse oblige toward regular Americans.

Anonymous said...

The evangelicals are in decline and fading away. Finally.

The Republicans have now thankfully rejected bible thumpers in favor of number-crunchers.

Anonymous said...

I've known many Mormons over the years, some of them very well. And I am glad to know and have known every one of them.

But Mormonism is creepy, and not because of the practical and positive values that Mormons wisely encourage among each other. They have been extremely successful at both growing their numbers and their collective prosperity. They have taken common sense and run with it in a whole host of areas. We can all learn a lot from them. No, it's not 1950s values that make them strange.

Have you ever looked at Mormon art? The most ambitious temples look downright sinister. Mormon paintings (often of Joseph Smith) exhibit an unpleasant realism and sameness that reminds me of Soviet propaganda (except that Soviet propaganda was much easier to look at). Try stepping into a Deseret Book store the next time you're in Salt Lake City. The strangeness is palpable.

I'm only an outsider looking in, but the time that I've spent this year in Utah (which is doing extremely well right now compared to the rest of the country) has made me less comfortable about voting for Romney, though I'm sure that I would like him if I knew him. (I'll vote for him.)

Incidentally, the Mormons have had their eye on the White House for a long time. Joseph Smith ran for president in 1844.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans have now thankfully rejected bible thumpers in favor of number-crunchers.

It's about time, too. The end of the Cold War decimated the "number crunchers" i.e. the secular Right. Now about to make a comeback....

Anonymous said...

Secular right? You mean like the neo-cons?

Anonymous said...

Secular right? You mean like the neo-cons?

No, the Cold War Right. There was nothing secular about the neo-cons.

Anonymous said...

Certainly Romney plays the part of an LDS Stake President to the tee. He was born for it. One can only imagine the weird unanimous votes he presided over.

Anonymous said...

take a look at Matt Taibbi's just released Rolling Stone feature

You know how I know you're clueless?

Eg:

Despite what Romney claims, the rate of return he provided for Bain's investors over the years wasn't all that great. Romney biographer and Wall Street Journal reporter Brett Arends, who analyzed Bain's performance between 1984 and 1998, concludes that the firm's returns were likely less than 30 percent per year, which happened to track more or less with the stock market's average during that time.

He's claiming a thirty percent per year rate of return isn't all that good! During that time the S&P went up by about a factor of 6; at a 30% per year return over 15 years would have meant Bain increased their capital by about a factor of about 160. Thirty percent a year is a sell your wife and children into slavery rate of return. That's a happily sign a pact with the devil rate of return.

I hit that part of the article, laughed out loud, and stopped reading. He hadn't distinguished himself up till that point, either.

Anonymous said...

It was sarcasm. There's no such thing as the secular right anymore. Are evolution and abortion really worth pissing off the only real mass movement on the right? You guys have high IQs right? just use condoms or emulate Whiskey and talk yourself out of your ability to get chicks altogether.

Anonymous said...

Mormons or Morgons?

Matthew said...

"I met many Mormons when I lived in upper Manhattan."

How can you tell when someone's lying? When they start a story off by saying they met many Mormons while living in upper Manhattan.

Sure you did.

To the extent you might have met Mormons there, few of them (and fewer still of the married ones) would have been pursuing careers in show biz.

Matthew said...

Some Mormons believe in creepy things - multilevel marketing scams, conspiracy theories, etc., etc. Those are the really naive Mormons - you know, just like there are Catholics who worship the Virgin of Guadalupe, or speaking-in-tongues Protestants, whatever. But the typical Mormon doesn't believe anything crazier than the crazy stuff that has become the CW in American society over the last 4-5 decades.

Romney's Mormonism doesn't, de facto, make him weird.

My experience living among Mormons is that there are a lot of old school Mormons of long lineage who stick with the faith possibly because they believe it but probably because of family tradition and because it "works" for them - i.e., their life is going well with it, so why change it.

Studies have shown that while many religions tend to lose their best educated to inactivity, with Mormons it is the reverse - the better educated tend to stay, while the mor epoorly educated are the ones who leave.

Steve Sailer said...

80 years ago, Mitt Romney's mom turned down a contract with MGM to marry George Romney.

kaganovitch said...

"My takeaway from these interactions is that Mormons are diligent, kind, hardworking people who have a delusional sense of their own competence and potentiality."

It's perfectly reasonable to base your take on mormons in general and mitt romney in particular on three showbiz mormons you met in upper manhattan otherwise known as salt lake city east. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise

Anonymous said...

One thing's for sure: the Democrats cannot claim the intellectual high ground against Romney-Ryan as they did against McCain-Palin.

Anonymous said...

Well, Obama had rich friends in Chicago manipulate things were they made money and blacks were out on some housing project. Obama's staff had a tax dodger and Democratics are supposed to love paying taxes. He also give millions to Fisker to make electric cars that were built cars actually eventually in Delaware they are still being built in Finland. Dems and leftist are corrupt too.

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Romney would be a decent President, he's a NUMBERS GUY who is convinced by data, will do things to turn around a failing institution,..."

A "numbers guy" would be concerned about immigration, where the numbers don't look good. Romney isn't. A "numbers guy" would be concerned with our vast imperial overreach. Romney isn't.

Mr. Anon said...

"Hapalong Cassidy said...

If conservatves are stupid enough to hold Romney's Mormonism against him, then they truly deserve what's coming to them. In general I don't care much for Romney, but his Mormonism is a big plus on my ledger. I say that because every Mormon I've ever met has seemed like a friendly, kind person."

We really don't need a "friendly, kind person" for the office of President. I'd prefer someone who was less friendly to the various interests that run our government, and not so kind with my money.

Bill said...


Anonymous said...

Have you ever looked at Mormon art? The most ambitious temples look downright sinister. Mormon paintings (often of Joseph Smith) exhibit an unpleasant realism and sameness that reminds me of Soviet propaganda (except that Soviet propaganda was much easier to look at). Try stepping into a Deseret Book store the next time you're in Salt Lake City. The strangeness is palpable.

This! When I visited Salt Lake, I was just gob-smacked at how heavy, downward-pressing, and oppressive their sacred architecture was. It was, like, Karnak-creepy.

Then, at the end of some guided tour, we were standing in the Salt Lake Temple Visitor Center at the foot of their (very famous) Christus statue. And it just completely creeped me out. It was like the uncanny valley in robotics. What is up with that?

NOTA said...

Anon 517

White nationalists and such are probably never going to vote for a black guy. (And for what it's worth, Romney certainly isn't going to be getting much of the black vote this time around, either.) But it's worth noting that Cain did okay in the primaries, till his bimbo eruptions caught up with him, despite not having all that impressive a performance in his campaign or the debates. He was rather well liked amng the Tea Party types, for that matter. There's racism in both parties, and surely more in the GOP than the Democrats, but it's worth remembering that the full picture is a whole lot more complicated than "Republicans hate blacks and won't vote for them.".

Obama is going to lose in-play states he won in 2008, and will probably get less of the white vote than he did in 2008. It's hard to ascribe that to racism, assuming we didn't all become more racist in the last four years. Perhaps a lot of voters are not actually all that happy with how things are going, and hope for some kind of change in direction. For what it's worth, I don't see Romney/Ryan providing a change in a particularly good direction, but I'm also one of those white voters Obama got in 2008 and won't get in 2012.

Geoff Matthews said...

Bill,

The Christus statue is actually a copy of a rather famous Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen.

Truth said...

"But it's worth noting that Cain did okay in the primaries, till his bimbo eruptions caught up with him,.."

Cain was torpedoed by either Mittens whom he ha a good chance of defeating, or by The Dems, because there is probably no way in hell Barry defeats a Republican who gets 15% of the black vote. They knew this.

Anonymous said...

"How can you tell when someone's lying? When they start a story off by saying they met many Mormons while living in upper Manhattan.

Sure you did."

Look, I agree it sounds implausible, but it is true. There are a bunch of them up there in Inwood (north of Dyckman Street.)

There are indeed a lot of Mormons in show business...look it up. They love it.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

There are indeed a lot of Mormons in show business.."

Mitt Romney, for example.

Mr. Anon said...

"Bill said...

This! When I visited Salt Lake, I was just gob-smacked at how heavy, downward-pressing, and oppressive their sacred architecture was. It was, like, Karnak-creepy."

On a family trip to Utah - this was many years ago - we took a tour of "The Beehive House", the house where Brigham Young and his favorite wives lived (the rest of his wives were housed elsewhere). The tourguide told us that the beehive was chosen as the symbol of Utah (Mormons often referred to Utah as "The Beehive State"), because, like bees in a hive, everyone has their place within the society.

Creepy, indeed.