Most of the time, I try to be positive and uplifting with my blog. However, this time, I hope you get a bit riled up.
I am writing this blog on July 24th. In Utah, it is state holiday called Pioneer Day. In 1847, Brigham Young and others entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24. This is a state holiday to commemorate those pioneers. However, this year, I have heard and seen the day referred to as “Pie & Beer Day”.
May be this was done as a laugh. May be not. Either way, I am offended on two levels.
First, not using the correct title is discounting the work and sacrifice of 60,000 to 70,000 pioneers who walked or rode to the Salt Lake Valley. Once here, they worked hard making the “desert bloom like a rose.” Worst yet, such playful renaming makes light of the 1,900 pioneers who died along the way. This number doesn’t include those saints, from Europe and other areas, who died on the ocean or before starting their journey west.
This holiday honors those individuals who with broken backs and bleeding hands, etched out a living and paved the way for what is now a world renown beautiful city and surrounding areas. Many of us live in the Intermountain West because of the pioneers who blazed the way.
Secondly, if Pioneer Day is perceived as a religious holiday, which it is not, then calling it “Pie & Beer Day” slaps at one of the tenets of our religion. The Lord commanded that we do not drink beer and we obey. Are some individuals, who perceive the day as a religious holiday, finding humor renaming a so-called Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s holiday with something we choose not to partake of?
Maybe I am reacting too strongly to some light fun. I don’t think so. Many derogatory hurtful discriminating things have been said under the cloak of humor. In my youth, the N word was part of a nursery rhyme and a description of a Brazil nut among other hurtful statements. This was wrong because we should never make fun of a fellow child of God just because we can. Jesus never would and we shouldn’t either.
In today’s world of heightened awareness of discrimination, we need to make sure our call for religious freedom is not drowned out. Like the pioneers, we need to stand tall and walk into the public square with “faith in every footstep”.
Saints are not asking for special treatment. We only ask for respect like we give to others.
What do you think? Too sensitive or right on?