Utah Needs Social Change

Utah Needs Social Change

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In April of 2016, Gary Herbert, the Governor of Utah, made national headlines, and not necessarily in a positive light. He declared porn to be a “health hazard”, and introduced education programs for the state to solve the global dilemma. The issue became a trending topic on Facebook, where the move was ridiculed around the world, and brought about many questions about the governor: Does he have a porn addiction? What type of porn is he into? Is there a looming sex scandal that will engulf him, which has been the fate of many of his fellow Republican comrades? And is it time for a change at the Governors position in the state of Utah?

Herbert began as the Governor of Utah in 2009, after Jon Huntsman was offered to be the ambassador to China by President Obama. He has seen a lot of change occur throughout his term. For one, Utah has become to be recognized as one of the country's hidden gems, as there has been thousands of job opportunities that are opening up across the state. The air pollution has also improved, though admittedly not at the pace that will fix the issue entirely. The state also took a surprising stand on Syrian refugees too. While many Conservative states have rushed to block migrants from entering their land, Utah has decided to keep their doors open to them. It is an impressive social stand for the state, but most other issues involving social policy have been far behind the modern day America.

One of his major social battles has been against gay marriage, which has occurred throughout his reign as governor. In 2013, a U.S. district court legalized same sex marriage in Utah, which made Herbert have a hissy fit. He declared that he was “ very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah. I am working with my legal counsel and the acting Attorney General to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.” Following decisions in other states that struck down gay marriage bans, he called the move a tragedy, and a step towards anarchy. Eventually, Utah passed an anti discrimination bill based on gender and sexual orientation in 2015, which was actually a major step forward for the state. As some states are moving backward with anti LGBT bills, Utah is surprisingly one of only nineteen states has a bill like this that protects females and the LGBT community. Herbert is still making many anti LGBT moves, as he spoke for a group last summer that opposes gay marriage, premarital sex, and abortion.

Herbert has also been a strong opponent of Planned Parenthood. Herbert has defunded Planned Parenthood for the state, which has led from local outcry. Herbert's reasoning involved the P.P. videos that were leaked last summer, which were found to be extremely doctored. Planned Parenthood ended up suing the Governor, and suit is still ongoing. As the organization pointed out in their press release announcing the lawsuit, Herbert is only focused on the doctored videos, along with the fact that defunding them would destroy many sex ed courses that they provide across the state. Unfortunately, what the Governor misses about Planned Parenthood is that they provide fantastic amount of sexual education, and provides contraceptives to lower income communities in order to reduce the amount of pregnancies and abortions that occur. It is ironic that most of the highest pregnancy rates in this country occur in area who have no Planned Parenthoods, which leads to a lack of access to contraceptives.

One of the most concerning stories about Herbert came out this year involving his campaign fund raising tactics. A leaked tape showed Herbert desperate to gain money for his twenty sixteen campaign. He called himself available at any time possible to meet with lobbyists, in order to gain money and donations for his campaign. Both challengers from the Republican and Democratic side criticized Herbert’s rhetoric, which they claim showed his corruption and inability to lead. Herbert apologize to what he said, but proclaimed that what he did was not illegal.

Is it time for a change? In my opinion, it is. In spite of the fact that Utah is becoming a hotspot for business, there are many problems that need to be addressed. Socially, there are many groups that are being persecuted, and this will not change anytime soon. Air Pollution is still a massive problem during the winter, and Herbert has yet to develop an effective plan to eliminate the problem. Utah has two choices for replacing Herbert. He is running against Jonathan Johnson, who is a board member on Overstock.com. Johnson’s platform is based on less state government intervention, barring Syrian refugees from entering Utah, second amendment rights, no new taxes, and opposition of common core. The candidate that I will be voting for is Mike Weinhold, who is part of the Republican Democratic party. He is focused a lot on social issues, such as women's rights, tax increases for the top 1.5%, solving Salt Lake City’s air pollution problem, protecting water, expanding Medicaid, and improving the education system. These types of proposals are completely foreign to the state, and are initiatives that Utah will need to become a influential state that is pressed down by Conservative values.

Cover Image Credit: King of Wallpapers

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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