In Utah or of Utah
As fate would have it, I currently have two coworkers with ties to Utah. One grew up there and one has a parent who lives there, although I don't know if he ever lived there, himself.
As far as I know, neither is Mormon, although I guess either one could be Jack Mormon-ish. (Religion hasn't come up and I'm not particularly interested in prying.)
This has led me to an interesting observation, namely, that I don't feel any sort of common connection with people who are from Utah but aren't Mormon. (Mind you, I don't mean that I shun them on the basis of their non-Mormon status, just that our friendship is based on other things.)
This leads me to wonder why I feel a connection to other Mormons but not to other Utahns who aren't Mormon. I have a couple of theories:
1. The Mormon / non-Mormon divide in Utah is so pronounced that the two groups effectively live in parallel worlds which don't actually have much in common.
2. Utah is largely defined by its Mormon population, but there are other significant aspects of Utah culture, such as skiing, exploring the national parks, and the general Western mindset towards life. However, I'm not terribly outdoorsy (or, arguably, terribly Western), so this aspect of the culture doesn't make for common ground, either.
I've thought of some other reasons, but they tend to boil down to variations on or combinations of the above. Thoughts?