Thursday, December 19, 2002

A Loud, Silent Protest

Anyone that lives in Utah, especially in the SLC metro area has heard about the conflict going on over the “Main Street Plaza”. If you’re not in the loop, just go to the Deseret News and do a search and you’ll get plenty of background.

But in a nutshell, a while ago, the church bought a one block part of Main street from the city a year or so ago, and closed it off, building a beautiful park-like plaza there. It connects the church office buildings and the temple.

That’s all well and good, but the problem comes in because the church doesn’t want to allow people to make loud and angry protests on the property. This has become quite the conference week tradition. I can see their point. It’s a very relaxing scene, and it’s not fun to have that all messed by someone shouting and waving signs, especially when you’re trying to take some beautiful wedding pictures and enjoy family after the ceremony in the temple.

Others say that since it used to be public property, for the church to buy it and then restrict its use constitutes violation of the constitution. No free speech, etc…

As the debate has raged with proposals and counterproposals back and forth there has been a lot of noise generated, and frankly most of it has been anti-church.

Now, I know a good deal of the SLC metro population is LDS, and much of the outlying areas, too. But I haven’t heard of or seen much of those that favor the church’s position. Except as I talk one on one with people I meet.


What if the members of the church were to do a bit of demonstrating of their own?

What I propose is not a radical shouting and sign-waving mob, but rather a quiet protest.

What if we, as individual members of the church were to go to the plaza and sit there en masse quietly reading our scriptures. Not picking fights, not making noise, just a big group of people sitting on the benches, reading our scriptures.

What a loud statement of support THAT would be!

So, let’s do it. Let’s spread the word via email, and go and do it. Just sit and read in the shadow of the temple, or by the bright Christmas lights for an hour or two.

Sometimes the quietest protests can be the loudest!

Mark Hansen

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