On the EDge: Hatch as hypocritical going out as he was coming in

Sen. Orrin Hatch, stock image.

OPINION – It’s disingenuous to offer up a solution for a problem when you are part of the problem.

Of course, most of what Sen. Orrin Hatch has been up to in his farewell tour of service in the Senate, has been disingenuous.

His latest missive, a press release shotgunned to the media after a blast on the Senate floor, is a curious bit of business. Hatch, on the surface, seems to have finally become aware of the damage being done to youth – particularly in Utah – via the persecution and exclusionary attitudes of religious zealots and bigots who turn their vile behavior toward members of the LGBTQ community.

Or, has he?

Last week, Hatch took to the Senate floor and addressed the continuing problem of suicide, particularly among members of the LGBTQ community.

“No one should feel less because of their orientation,” Hatch said from the Senate floor as he addressed the issue of an alarming increase in suicide numbers, particularly among LGBTQ youth. “They deserve our unwavering love and support. They deserve our validation and the assurance that not only is there a place for them in this society but that it is far better off because of them. These young people need us and we desperately need them.

“We all have family or loved ones who feel marginalized because of gender identity or sexual orientation, and we need to be there for them.”

Hatch also said gender identity is not a choice and added, “these young men and women deserve to feel young, cared for, and accepted for who they are.”

This is in stark contrast to comments he made when supporting the Defense of Marriage Act or a recent Supreme Court decision that sided with a baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. And, in its coverage of the speech, the Salt Lake Tribune reminded us that Hatch once tried to deride the Democratic Party by calling it “the party of homosexuals.”

There was a glimpse, of course, of the good old Orrin Hatch we have all come to know and deal with over the years when he also said “Regardless of where you stand on the cultural issues of the day, whether you are a religious conservative, a secular liberal, or somewhere in between, we all have a special duty to each other,” Hatch said. “That duty is to treat one another with dignity and respect. It is not simply to tolerate but to love.”

He didn’t mention secular conservatives or religious liberals, of which there are plenty, but he did manage to take what had its origins in two very serious topics – LGBTQ rights and suicide – and turn it into a dig against liberals who he seems to simply tolerate, most assuredly does not love and believes are all going to hell in a handbasket because of their secular beliefs.

He could have added to his street cred had he called out his Mormon church elders who have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to the LGBTQ community. As we all know, the church has come down hard on LGBTQ members and their children. It has instructed lay leaders to consider Mormons in same-sex marriages as apostates and will not baptize their children until they reach the age of 18.

Of course, the church also stands in opposition to parents who have had and raise children but are not married.

And, don’t forget the millions of dollars and man-hours spent on a California ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage, an effort that drew support from a number of other religious organizations as well, although none ponied up the big bucks and personnel the LDS church sent to fight the proposition.

This speech and press release by Hatch don’t reconcile with his religious beliefs, but I’m sure the senator has an explanation.

Or, maybe not.

Hatch has a habit of contradicting himself.

During the last presidential election, when the “Access Hollywood” controversy surfaced, Hatch described Trump’s comments as “offensive and disgusting” and said “there is no excuse for such degrading behavior. All women deserve to be treated with respect.” Yet, he did not rescind his endorsement of the Trump candidacy, which, through its hypocrisy, invalidates his comments.

So, maybe his statement was one of those out of left field, bizarre press releases Hatch is known for tossed out there for effect with little meaning attached to it, sort of like the one he issued not long ago about medicinal cannabis that was laced with stupid drug jokes and stoner references. It was, in its ignorance, an insult to a very important topic just like this press release, which came to my email box under the subject of “All You Need Is Love.” I am pretty sure that The Beatles would not appreciate Orrin appropriating one of their songs to make a point. Maybe he thought he was just being clever. Trust me, it wasn’t.

We will never really know if Hatch’s statements were sincere, politically motivated or an attempt by an old man to get his house in order before knocking on heaven’s door.

So, here’s the deal, pure and simple, minus the political, religious or intellectual pontification: Suicide is the leading cause of death for Utah youths ages 10 to 17. The state’s suicide rate for all ages is more than 60 percent above the national average.

Whether you are Mormon or Muslim, Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, this should make you angry. Very angry.

If you value human life, dignity and have respect for your fellow man and woman, this should make you angry.

The fact that so many religious leaders from many churches would preach the gospel of “Do unto others” and “Love thy neighbor” while condemning fellow travelers on this orb for their sexual orientation should make you angry.

I don’t know about your God, but mine is loving, forgiving, embracing of all people, period.

And, remember, do not judge lest you be judged, for in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

Hey, if it’s good enough for God, then it should be good enough for the rest of us.

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • No Filter June 19, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Same old story, the only time conservatives actually sound like they care is when they are leaving office and don’t need your vote in the next election.

    • John June 19, 2018 at 5:11 pm


      • mesaman June 19, 2018 at 8:47 pm

        Ed. He will die as boring as the day was he was born.

    • Tyler June 19, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      Steers and queers

    • No Filter June 19, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      Maybe I should write a weekly opinion piece, I seem to be becoming very popular these days.

      • John June 20, 2018 at 7:00 am


        • No Filter June 20, 2018 at 7:46 am

          I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and crap a better argument than yours.

      • John June 20, 2018 at 7:46 am

        Don’t flatter your self, PUTZ!

        • No Filter June 20, 2018 at 8:12 am

          Getting under your skin I see. It’s like dangling a string in front of a cat. You go along now and continue to watch Fox and Friends, you wouldn’t want to miss any new orders from your dictator.

          • John June 20, 2018 at 6:23 pm

            I’m sorry but I don’t imagine you being a PUTZ! That’s a fact cloggy, your’e a clueless useless PUTZ!

        • John June 20, 2018 at 8:48 am

          not at all PUTZ! just entertaining watching you make a total butt out of yourself!!

          • No Filter June 20, 2018 at 9:17 am

            Must be fun living in your imaginary world. You seem to be the only one who thinks I am making a “total butt” out of myself. I pity your narrow minded thoughts old man, it must have been hard growing up in the white trash slums. I am glad you have almost grown into a man. Keep working at it and maybe, if your lucky, you will become a man before you die. P.S. Tell your wife to stop texting me!

          • Tyler June 20, 2018 at 6:19 pm

            Hahahaha no filter… always after Eddy…

          • John June 20, 2018 at 8:04 pm

            no filter, you are a PUTZ.. GET IT? PUTZ = a stupid, foolish, or ineffectual person : jerk. Fits you to a TEE. hahahahahahaha! A clueless PUTZ..cloggy the PUTZ

  • NotSoFast June 19, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    ‘YEA, stone the old man. He’s going to die soon anyway’. Right?
    One other thing, When is St. George going to get their own DO DAH Parade celibration like they have in Southern California every year?

  • ladybugavenger June 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    History has shown zero Presidents get arrested for crimes. Even Nixon didnt get arrested. I know some of you are waiting for Trump to be the first President arrested in office. I dont really care, if he is or isn’t. But if he is, then Hillary needs to be imprisoned too.

    I have no idea what Trump is doing unless it’s being said on St George News. ?

  • ladybugavenger June 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    A bomb could hit my house and I’d be totally fine, not waking up to this mad mad world. A tornado could come and whisk me away and I’d be totally content if I dont survive. Like I tell my kids, love me while I’m here and dont be sad when I’m gone. But rejoice that I’m in heaven ?

    It’s very peaceful to not live in fear

  • ladybugavenger June 19, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    If someone comes in my house to rape or kill me….well….I’ve got a bullet waiting for them. And my husband has bigger bullets,than I do, loaded and ready, waiting for he/she/ them.

    I’ve got all angles covered ?

  • tcrider June 19, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    good article Ed,
    Like many of the church or should we say state Leaders? (can’t really see the difference)
    are made up of self righteous, and ever judging and like to use selective Christianity for
    all their criticisms, for example who can be on the ballot to run for a leadership position,
    what can be on the ballot to vote for, and so on.
    The selective Christianity just seems to be a lot more prevalent with the GOP and then you
    throw in some pedophiles and massive hypocrisy and it all points to the selective Christian
    policies of this state, or should we say church.

    • John June 19, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Saying ed wrote a good article doesn’t say very much for your cognitive reasoning big wheeler, unless you like stuff written by a pothead in crayon..

      • No Filter June 20, 2018 at 9:31 am

        Considering that Ed has won numerous awards by the AP and has published several books and you cannot write a comment with correct grammar, I would say you have no idea what good writing is. Your are spoon fed your thoughts by the twitter rants of an imbecile with a bad spray tan and the morons at Fox News. Must be to much inbreeding in your family, Sad!

        • John June 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm

          and you probably won a lifetime supply of draino and refuse to use it….PUTZ! Damn your’e stupid! All Progessive always gives awards to those who appeal to clueless leftards while writing in crayon..

  • Tyler June 19, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Another worthless opinion given by SoUts favorite stoner…

  • Utahguns June 20, 2018 at 5:56 am


  • Wolverine June 20, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Pretty accurate view of Hatch, no matter what you think of Ed. Hatch is only “making nice” now that he’s on his way out and needs to try to prove that the GOP has feelings of inclusion towards groups he’s bashed in the past, before the upcoming Nov. Elections. He had an agenda the entire time he’s been in office, and it was far from inclusive, which is obvious by his track record and statements he’s made. His time is over and he’s trying to make it look good for the party now. Sorry leopard, you cannot change your spots by spouting some seemingly heartfelt drivel at this point in the game. Only the fools will believe you, and if they believe you, then they deserved you.

  • bikeandfish June 20, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I think skepticism is definitely in order regarding Hatch’s statement. That said, it does highlight an interesting dilemma. At what point to honor and recognize a change in heart and values? I’ve known a ton of folks who have changed their opinions and behaviors in regards to treatment of LGBQTi+ individuals over the last two decades. And that has been the hope and goal. The standards for Hatch are clearly different as a public servant with such a ling recors but I am conflicted in this one.

  • !!! June 20, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Although I didn’t read the article because I’m familiar with the authors worthless opinion’s, I’d like to thank Mr. hatch for a job well done, and his dedication to Utah, Congrats on your retirement, real Utahn’s will miss you!!

  • Steve June 20, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Excellent OP As always Ed. I always find your perspective refreshing and thought provoking.

    • mesaman June 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      See you next week Mr Ed, the talking horses ___. Seeing your latest photos I have a question; are you going through a transgender crisis by any chance?

    • Tyler June 20, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      Hahahaha… Steve… Ed’s bong buddy

    • John June 20, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      Steve, if it had any merit it would be over your head, good thing special eddy writes in crayon

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