Monday, July 19, 2010

Ooh, A Ruckus

Rumor has it that Max Spatig, who is in a spat with the Madison County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the discovery of hazardous chemicals on his Madison County property, is taking his message to the masses.

Or at least is trying to. Or threatening to. Nevertheless, local representatives of the LDS Church have a plan in place. Spatig, the rumor says, wants to target the open format of the LDS Church's Fast Sunday -- the first Sunday of the month in which, for the first hour of church, anyone in the congregation may bear their testimonies or otherwise hold forth at the microphone -- to preach against the evils of the MCSO and EPA. Instructions, the rumor says, for local church leaders
if this were to happen would be to immediately cancel church for the day and send everyone home.

Cheekily, I kinda hope this happens.

Weirdness is often a part of LDS Fast Sundays. I've heard it used to issue calls for repentance by folks willing to use names of church members they feel have sinned, by folks who want colognes and perfumes banned from church buildings, and other such ruckus-rousing behavior. Most of the time, Fast Sundays are good Experiences, with people sharing their love of Christ, their love of the prophets, their love for their fellow beings and such. Sometimes, however it's a ruckus. Mormons are, above anything else, intensely human human beings, with all the good and bad, ego and humility, that entails.

So if Spatig shows up and truncates our traditional three-hour church block, I won't complain. I am, in fact, sorely tempted to bring the video camera next Fast Sunday, just in case. In fact, I'd feel kind a bad for folks who have Sacrament Meeting last and thus, with a Spatig sighting, wouldn't get the church truncation benefits of folks, like us, who have it first in the three-hour block.

I should go on record here saying that while Spatig deserves to be heard, hijacking a church meeting isn't the best way to go about it. It won't help his cause -- although there is enough anti-government sentiment in some Mormon circles to make this approach logical. I don't support his storage of chemicals on his property, in the open, in the weather. If he wants to keep them, that's fine. But warehouse them and store them in a fashion that if, heaven forbid there is a leak or spill, it's properly contained. And if you're upset with the tactics of the local Constabulatory or the feds, take it up in the papers and in the courts. Taking it into the court of public opinion directly to the masses is only going to accomplish one thing: A one-week vacation from church.

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