Oktoberfest Suit

A Comment Regarding the Oktoberfest Suit

By Ken K. Gourdin

Back in March, a family allegedly assaulted by a group of purportedly-intoxicated, unruly patrons at the Oktoberfest celebration at Utah’s Snowbird ski resort filed suit. Sans any evidence regarding Plaintiffs’ religious leanings, commenters were quick to dismiss the suit as simply the work of uptight Mormons who demanded that others conform to their standards, even at an event at which such standards were very unlikely to be the norm. See Salt Lake Tribune coverage of the suit here (last accessed August 3, 2016:


It’s true that the Word of Wisdom, the Church’s health code and a covenant entered into by its most faithful members, forbids the use of alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, harmful drugs, and prescription drug misuse. As such, are there members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are experts in self-righteousness while being novices in the art of living and letting live when it comes to the conduct of those whose standards differ from our own? Sure there are. I think, though, that such a description is inapplicable to the vast majority of Mormons. While I don’t claim that such a sample is in any way representative, it certainly doesn’t apply to most of the Mormons I know. And this whole discussion might well be moot, because, as I point out in my comment, there is no evidence beyond supposition, assumption, and conjecture that the Plaintiffs in this case are even members of the Church of Jesus Christ.

I commented:

I’m glad we’ve solved the biggest mystery underlying this case, that a bunch of uptight Mormons simply went to Oktoberfest and demanded that people whose standards clearly are different from theirs adhere to their standards anyway. Do we have a source for Plaintiffs’ religious leanings, other than that “this seems like just the sort of thing a bunch of uptight Mormons would do, to go to an event, the standards of which are very likely to be very different from their own and demand that people adhere to their standards anyway” (my phrase)? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, particularly in light of the fact that most Mormons I know would simply avoid Oktoberfest anyway, for that very reason. And does one really have to be Mormon to not want people to swear in front of one’s children? Huh. Who knew?

And are the people who are defending Defendants’ alleged conduct in this case also members of the “next to nobody drinks to get drunk” crowd? If so, why are they defending Defendants’ conduct in this case when it clearly appears to have crossed that threshold?


About kenngo1969

Just as others must breathe to live, I must write. I have been writing creatively almost ever since I learned to write, period! I have written fiction, book- and article-length nonfiction, award-winning poetry, news, sports, features, and op-eds. I hope, one day, to write some motivational nonfiction, a decent-selling novel, a stage play, and a screen play.
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