Comments about ‘Letter: Pioneer Day is about religious freedom for all Americans’

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Published: Tuesday, July 15 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT


It's clearly about celebrating the Mormon pioneers' arrival into Salt Lake City.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Ok, it about "religion"
Why not Rash Hosanna,
Ash Wednesday?

BTW --
Utah also had another unique holiday in October called; "The Deer Hunt"

seattle, WA

I really doubt most non-LDS'ers know that Pioneer day is an ecumenical celebration.

I can certainly understand its celebration by Utah citizens, not unlike Alamo day in Texas. However, to call Pioneer day a celebration of religious freedom is a bit of a stretch. And furthermore, did anyone ask if the Native Americans wanted to celebrate the day?

Far East USA, SC

"The early state legislators recognized the sacrifices made by people of all faiths for religious freedom and chose to set this day aside as a state holiday beneficial to all Utahns."

Cmon Greg. At least be honest.

Pioneer day is a Mormon themed holiday.

"They should ask their employers to grant them the right to honor this day and give it the respect it deserves."

Actually, when I lived and worked in Utah, I did exactly the opposite. I petitioned the company to remove Pioneer day as a holiday and replace it with a floating day. Our employees agreed and a change was made.

I saw this as a win for everyone.

Huntsville, UT


Utah doesn't believe in "religious freedom" for "all Americans". If they did, they wouldn't be fighting tooth-and-nail against the right for LGBT Americans (many of whom are Christian) to marry. Many churches believe that marriage for LGBT couples is fine and are more than willing to perform them in their church. Utah's fight against the religious freedom of these churches blows your argument completely out of the water.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You want employers to give their workers a day off? Isn't that socialism?

Salt Lake, UT

Most employers do not recognize Pioneer Day as a holiday. I will working on that day just like any other work day, but I do appreciate the sacrifices made by the pioneers to settle this state and create the wonderful place we live today.

salt lake city, UT

The writer's position is a stretch to say the least. I will enjoy some pie & beer and watch the locals set the valley ablaze with fireworks.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

So now the entitled want Pioneer Day off? Will it ever end?

If you don't want to work Pioneer Day, then don't! But why should more any government intervene? If government can't force corporations to provide health care then why should government force corporations to provide days off?

I remember, back in the good ol days, people worked all day everyday. Now the lazy and entitled want health care, salaries, breaks, and days off.

Sheesh. It's amazing that this country hasn't imploded already. Days off? This ain't France, hun!

Huntsville, UT


Native Americans had already "settled" this state and created a wonderful place to live long before the pioneers arrived.

American Fork, UT

Greg...nice try. But no, it's not about religious freedom for all Americans. Don't even bother trying to make that point.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

To paraphrase a hero of mine...Mayor Rocky Anderson: It is astounding what people are willing to do and say in the name of religion; when it's THEIR religion!

In my opinion, the LDS leadership has chosen to discriminate and ostracize by disallowing "certain" participants. I will avoid the parade and all festivities.

I will avoid the parade and all festivities associated with it.

Freedom of Religion will NEVER be at stake in this Nation. What is at stake is the freedom to not be religious.

Everett, 00

Can Hobby Lobby make up a holiday, and celebrate under freedom of Religion?

If they can not even support women's healthcare,
they surely will not give their employees time off with pay....

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You're dang right. You don't have to be LDS to appreciate what the pioneers did.

They left the United States to find Religious Freedom (they were being murdered, raped, and had an official state sponsored "extermination order" out for them in the United States. Pioneer day is VERY MUCH about Religious Freedom.

They left for good reason. By the time America caught up with them again, American had matured a bit, and could tolerate the Mormons again. Otherwise... we wouldn't have become a State.

You SHOULD have complete Religious Freedom in Utah (and I think you do). Nobody's keeping you from going to ANY church you want, or persecuting you for living your faith.


To all those who think Pioneer Day is a huge travesty... Massachusetts has legal holidays for Patriots Day (April 21) and Bunker Hill Day (June 17th). They have parades, fireworks, family gatherings, Boston Marathon, etc, these holidays (just like we have on Pioneer Day).... Are these anti-Pioneer Day people just as anti-Patriot Day? Or is it just an anti-Mormon thing for these people??

Every State has their heritage and their holidays to help us remember our heritage.

Orem, UT

@ 2 bits

As someone who studies and teaches history for a living, I find your version of history quite unfounded and actually pretty disturbing. America's maturation? Huh? So our nation has been maturing with the years? What about now? Our congress seems less mature than a class of jr. High schoolers!

The history of this issue is pretty clear. Mormons were driven out of the United States for their rejection of traditional marriage and practice or what was deemed as perverse, polygamy.

It wasn't until the Utah territory agreed to end the practice of polygamy that Utahns were granted statehood into the United States. I have several websites that can teach you about this if you wish. Just let me know and I'll give you their names (since I can't post any links).

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Yes, I think America has "matured" since 1847.

We are WAY more tolerant today.... More tolerant of Mormons AND polygamy (which are not the same thing).


You study and TEACH history for a living!... and you are "DISTURBED" that anyone would think America has matured and is more tolerant? I am disturbed that someone like you would be TEACHING history to my children!

You seem to actually know very little about history (that doesn't support your anti-LDS agenda). America HAS matured since the 1800s. We ARE more tolerant of other people (other faiths, other races, other nationalities, other lifestyles, you name it, we are MORE tolerant than we were back then).

WHAT are you teaching our children???

That "Mormons were driven out of the United States for their rejection of traditional marriage and practice or what was deemed as perverse, polygamy"???

Polygamy wasn't the reason mobs were assaulting and killing Mormons and burning their homes and businesses. Polygamy wasn't why Gov Bogs issued the "Extermination order". It was their FAITH. A faith that is so well tolerated in 2012 America that a MORMON can run for President... and almost win!

L White
Springville, UT

My, my, but there is no religious tolerance in Utah. After reading some of these comments I might have thought that I was transported back in time to Illinois or Missouri. The Mormons were driven out of those States. They didn't leave their farms and homes willingly. They were driven out at gun point.

For the doubters who believe that they can mock and persecute people who believe in God, they might want to read the history of Stillman Pond given by President James E. Faust in "The Refiner's Fire". Brother Pond lost nine of his eleven children and his wife after being driven out of Nauvoo at bayonet point.

Now we sit in comfortable homes. We drive on beautiful streets. We enjoy everything that those pioneers built for us - and some of those living in Utah seem to wish that they could drive out the Mormons again.

Nauvoo had a population larger than Chicago's. Nauvoo had brick homes and well managed farms. Nauvoo also had envious neighbors who wanted something for nothing.

Things do not change much, do they?

Sandy, UT

For someone who teaches History, you sure missed the boat with why the Saints were forced from "The United States"

They were not forced to leave because of Traditional Marriage, they were forced out because of their religious belief which includes that God, Jesus and the Holy spirit is three different personages. That the "Mormon Block" would undo their loosen their Political Power both on the state and federal levels. The LDS members were a bit exclusive and never really made efforts to include the non LDS people in their gatherings(with some good reasons). But most of all, they were forced because the Saints cultivated, and developed producing farms that "Some" inhabitants of the states wanted for themselves.

The issue of Polygamy never came up until Brigham Young asked for statehood in around 1857 or so. Then because of the Anti Mormon feelings still felt, they made the Edmunds Tucker act.

But I do agree with you that America was not maturing like 2 bits originally mentioned, far from it... Johnson Army comes to mind of the top of my mind.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

@ 2 bits

Contrary to what you believe, teachers don't teach whatever they want. We actually follow the Utah State Core. If you wish to educate yourself in what that is, google "UEN." There is nothing in the state core that describes the westward expansion of then Mormons as being triggered unfairly by Mormon faith. If you have a problem with this, then please, contact your local representative.

Lastly, as a history teacher, I believe in teaching history from credible sources. Unfortunately, for you, what you've heard in Sunday school is not a credible historic source. Is it fine to find personal religious comfort in these teachings? Absolutely. But as public educators we are bound to stick with credible historic sources and not let our personal religious beliefs interfere with our teaching.

After taking several history courses from BYU and UVU, I have yet to find a single peer reviewed and credible source which indicates that Mormons were kicked out for their "faith." Their faith included a marriage practice that was illegal by American law.

That is fact.

Their agreeing to end polygamy, not to stop practicing their faith, led to their statehood.

Huntsville, UT

@2Bits, Confused & L White;

You really don't know your own history very well. Many Mormons STAYED in MO and had no problems with the locals at all (Think Emma Smith and her group, the RLDS). They had no problems because they rejected polygamy. If the rest of Mormonism had done the same, they'd have had no problems as well. You also forgot to mention the atrocities that Mormons were involved in at the time leading to their "being driven" out.

Of course, with all the white-washing that Mormon history got up until recently, it isn't surprising that your knowledge of your history is somewhat skewed.

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