This post actually has nothing to do with being gay. It does have to do with being Mormon. This Sunday, I worked. I don't normally work on Sundays, but this week, I did. I work downtown, just minutes away from temple square. On any given day, you will pass quite a few homeless people. Some are in groups. Some are taking a nap on the grass. Some hold signs hoping for some money. Others will just approach you and ask if you could get them a burger from mcdonalds. Some are old. Some are young. Some are mothers, and there are those that are just kids. Ever since I started working downtown, it bothered me. But Sunday it really bothered me.
I made it to work in my fastest time. As I drove out of the neighborhood I live in, cars were filing into church parking lots and families were entering the buildings all dressed up. Sunday is a good day to drive in Utah because everyone is at church. But while everyone was sitting in church, I was driving by the homeless that wander the streets around temple square. And maybe it was just my imagination, but there sure seemed to be a lot more out there on Sunday. It seems so backwards to me. Why are there homeless people in a state where so many Mormons live? But more than that, why are there masses of visibly homeless people surrounding temple square?
Meanwhile, the church is building the 3 billion dollar city creek center across the street from temple square. A massive project that includes luxury condos and an upscale mall with a retractable roof. I don't care were the money is coming from, no church should be putting money into an upscale shopping center before taking care of the homeless and needy that surround its very headquarters. In Jan. 2006, from the Church PR department, (Deseret News Publishing Company): Edgley said, “that since 1984, the LDS Church has donated nearly $750 million in cash and goods to people in need in more than 150 countries. I wouldn't have believed that the church would spend more money on a mall than on over 20 years of humanitarian aid.
Some will argue that it is only costing 1 billion dollars... my answer would be, only? And this IS the number the church initially reported... actually, it started at $800,000. However, take a look at this article from DESERET NEWS, and you will find that indeed, "City Creek Reserve is spending more than $1 million a day on construction, and the project ultimately will cost around $3 billion, said Chris Redgrave, a KSL executive who also chairs the Salt Lake Chamber's Can-Do Coalition." Mind you, this number was given in November 2009. Costs tend to rise on these things.
Sorry for venting. I just don't get it. Am I missing something here? The way the church is choosing to revitalize downtown is to provide another place to buy a new outfit? Should I not be worried about this? Someone please make sense of it for me.