In a Secular Country

In a Secular Country

The Town of Cardston, mere kilometres away from Calgary, was founded in 1887 by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Therefore, it’s no surprise that over eighty percent of the population today is Mormon! Having recently visited Cardston for the first time just weeks ago, it was impossible to ignore a strange characteristic; the town held zero alcohol whatsoever, including home essentials such as hand sanitizer. The religion and its dedicated adherents have always disproved the use of contaminant substances and activities, including the ingestion of alcohol. Last month, local business owners encouraged the non-binding plebiscite that would limit the sale of alcohol to restaurants. Of the approximate 3,000 citizens in the town, near 1,500 residents voted. The vast majority voted to continue the ban, with a towering advantage of 1,089 voting yes, to 347 voting no. Some believe that this unique prohibition makes the town special. Alcohol from neighbouring cities, such as Fort McLeod, less than a twenty minute drive away, is permitted within city limits for home consumption. Despite the blow to the restaurant and service industry’s profits, the ban has been nothing if not beneficial. Some state that it is ridiculous to not have the option of acquiring drinks, since people are able to choose whether or not to drink alcohol. These people may feel out of place in the closely knit and religious community of Cardston. Although, others may view Cardston as uselessly stuck in the past.
Worldview is defined by Vidal as a coherent collection of concepts allowing us to construct a global image of the world. When comparing the worldview of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with other western perspectives, it is important to remember that although some self-identify as Christian, many beliefs differ, even if they seem minor. They are essentially a restorationist movement of the 17th century, founded in Joseph Smith’s primal experience; an encounter with an angel who guided him to form the church. The Mormon world view varies greatly depending on how committed to the religion’s rules the members are. Especially with today’s society growing more and more tolerant, younger generations of Mormons in Calgary tend to be more open to the thought of alcohol flowing through the city. The traditional perspective may intimidate travellers, newcomers and outsiders due to their own personal habits. Unfortunately, Mormons are frequently seen as strange because of the differences between their beliefs and those of the Roman Catholic Church we are used to today. I believe, even though they are a minority, the Mormon community should continue to take a stand for their beliefs, despite the various world views today’s society has gradually been imposing on their lives, while helping note that religion will always be incorporated into political views.

KMH #200


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