Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I contemplated doing it myself...

This is an article I read in the news yesterday:

PLAIN CITY, Utah – Police in Utah say a 7-year-old boy led officers on a car chase in an effort to avoid going to church.

Dispatchers received reports of a child driving recklessly on Sunday morning. Weber County Sheriff's Capt. Klint Anderson says one witness said the boy drove through a stop sign.

Anderson says two deputies caught up with the boy and tried unsuccessfully to stop the Dodge Intrepid in an area about 45 miles north of Salt Lake City. The car reached 40 mph before the boy stopped in a driveway and ran inside a home.

Anderson says when the boy's father later confronted him, the boy said he didn't want to go to church. The boy is too young to prosecute and no citations were issued, although police did urge the father to make his car keys more inaccessible to children.


I feel for the boy. If he were my kid and we were living back in Utah, I probably would have gone along for the ride.

You know why? Because it was Pioneer Day weekend.

Pioneer Day is a State holiday in Utah, celebrated on July 24th. It commemorates the bravery and perseverance of the Mormon Pioneers who trekked across the U.S. from New York to Salt Lake City, being persecuted and enduring hardship after hardship along the way.

Now, there's nothing wrong with celebrating this. It's Utah's heritage.

But really, you want to avoid church that Sunday at all costs. Or at least I do.

Every talk is pretty much a brag session about being related to the pioneers. And the pioneer the speaker happens to be related to had it harder and was more brave than your pioneer ancestor.

And it's especially tedious for people like me who are not only converts but are also from the East Coast and have nary a pioneer anywhere in their lineage. Because, you know, having pioneer heritage makes you more righteous. I'm sure people have come here and read my blasphemy on this blog and left thinking, "She obviously doesn't come from pioneer stock," while shaking their heads in sadness over the state of my soul.

I thought maybe living away from Utah would be different. Yeah, not so much. Instead I've gotten to hear about how living in "The Mission Field" (otherwise known as anyplace outside of Utah and sometimes Idaho) made them feel so much closer to their braver-and-more-persecuted-than-yours pioneer ancestor.


So, I totally understand how that kid felt on Sunday.

I must say, though, that I got lucky this year. Pioneer Day came and went here in the Deep South without a single mention at church. It was rather refreshing.

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