I’m going to be posting, from a pioneer viewpoint, about four ethnic groups in Utah. While these groups are primarily defined by their spiritual perspectives, I’ll have a view more sociological than theological.
I certainly do not intend for the labels to be in any way disparaging.
The Mormons are certainly the dominant ethnic group in Utah (the label LDS seems preferred; however, I will reserve that for the religious body rather than the ethnic group).
The Catholics, both Anglo and Hispanic, form the next largest coherent grouping thought nearly an order of magnitude smaller than the Mormons.
For want of a better term, I’m using David Brooks’ portmanteau of the words bourgeois and bohemian, Bobo, to refer to the ethnic grouping that likes Utah specifically in spite of the Mormon dominance and which is largely antagonistic to traditional Christianity.
Finally, I’m using Baptist as a label not for just that branch of Christendom but for the ethnic grouping whose understanding of ‘church’ is almost exclusively local in organization.
My perspective is: whatever the coherence of Mormon religion, they have worked long and hard to develop what folks living in Utah can now enjoy; moreover, it is refreshing to be where Bobos are not in charge. On the other hand, the more important a matter, the more reason to trust what is time-tested and for matters of life, death and eternity a millenium or so is needed.
In general, I think persons are more important than religion, and religion is more important than politics.
While the Mormon baptismal rite refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Mormon beliefs about the identity of the three persons is so different from Catholic and mainline Christian belief that “one cannot even consider this doctrine to be a heresy arising from a false understanding of Christian doctrine.”