Words & Deeds

Stick this in your pipe and smoke it, Utah! Idaho is one of least sinful U.S. states

One of the only irritating aspects of Idaho citizenship is having to endure morally superior smiles from our goody-two-shoes neighbors to the southeast.

So let’s crack an O’Doul’s and raise a toast to Utahns: Go jump in a Salt Lake.

Idaho is the nation’s fifth least sinful state, according to a WalletHub ranking of “2019’s Most Sinful States in America.” The only better-behaved states than Idaho? Nebraska, North Dakota, Maine and the least sinful state, Vermont.

Utah is the country’s 43rd most sinful state — or, conversely, its 8th least sinful. That’s three spots more depraved than Idaho. So buzz off, smug Beehive Staters — with all due respect, of course, friends.

Nevada, that wicked gambling mecca, is America’s biggest sinner. I’m sure the entire population is already grinding each other’s laps at a Las Vegas strip joint to celebrate. Nevada was followed by Florida, California, Texas and Tennessee.

WalletHub, a personal-finance website, has pumped up Idaho egos several times before. Last year, Boise was ranked the 9th best city for recreation. For the past couple of years, Nampa has been America’s best-run city. (Boise is No. 3!)

These metrics-based reports are silly. Still, there must be a grain of truth to Idaho’s fifth least-sinful ranking.

Is it because of Boise’s nudity ordinance, which makes the infamous Torch Lounge strip club nothing more than a bikini bar?

Is it because we aren’t allowed to legally sip a cold beer while floating the Boise River?

Is it because of the city’s smoking ban? Or because Idaho voters rejected last year’s initiative to allow those gambling machines that allow people to bet on recordings of horse races?

Our infamous adult store in Garden City is even named Over 19 Adult Shop — not Over 18, the legal age.

To complete its study, WalletHub used “seven sinful behaviors: anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.”

Utah actually fared better than Idaho in four of those behavioral categories. And let’s be clear: When it comes to vices, no state beat Utah in “least excessive drinking.”

But Idaho’s overall finish pushed us past our neighboring state.

Careful, Utah! Better stifle that anger, hatred and jealousy. You don’t want angelic Idaho to clobber you again in next year’s rankings, right?

Michael Deeds is an entertainment reporter and columnist at the Idaho Statesman. Since joining the newsroom as an intern in 1991, he has been a sportswriter, features editor and entertainment editor. Deeds also co-hosts “The Other Studio,” a one-hour music show, at 8 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.