Yes, it’s time for Mormonism’s main holiday: Pioneer Day! Time to remember the Mormons’ arrival in the Salt Lake Valley for better (here’s a travelogue of the company one of my ancestors travelled with) or for worse:
The frustration for LDS Native Americans must be the overwhelming privilege afforded to white stories and myths of religious heroics at this time of the year at the expense of their own truth. Yes, I know – its not just a Mormon thing, to remove Natives from their own geographies, to efface their histories and languages, and then render them ciphers in their homelands. But there is an appalling irony in holding a celebration for a settlement that did to the Shoshone, the Goshute, the Paiute and the Utes in part what the Mormons experienced in Missouri and Illinois; a forced removal, political, economic and cultural marginalization, violence and the appropriation of their property and resources. You would have thought that their hardships, so much a part of our religious narrative might have bred a consciousness and sympathy for the condition of others.
On a related note:
Mormons, in particular, should understand bigotry and denounce the voices of confusion that encourage it. Though certainly not on the same scale as slavery, historic oppression is hitched to us, raising dust as it drags behind. The religious persecution—the expulsion, the extermination—that our ancestors endured is part of our psyche even though we didn’t experience it, even though our neighbors didn’t inflict it on us.
My future grandbaby will not be able to hide. The dust of his or her racial history—slavery, disenfranchisement, immoral and unlawful persecution—will be in the eyes of all who can see. We can’t erase that any more than we can change the hue of someone’s skin. The world is not colorblind, nor should it be. My grandchild’s psyche will be infiltrated with an awareness that people who look like me once enslaved people who look like him or her.
In other Mormon culture notes, thinker of thoughts explained Mormon friendliness.
In interfaith interactions, Facebook is again helping family members insult and alienate each other.
The US election is again/still in the news thanks to the RNC, so I dusted off my personal blog to describe what I learned back in 2000, and the Expert Textperts have compiled a list of tips on dealing with the Donald.
Well, I guess that wraps it up for this week! Time to get back to playing Pokemon Go. 😉 Happy Pioneer Day!