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MoTab Rant

I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (#MoTab) as much as anyone, maybe more so. But I have to say, I'm highly disappointed by their effort today. Supposedly the idea was to celebrate tomorrow's Martin Luther King Day by having a special program. But they pretty much blew it from the beginning. They unwittingly provided a classic example of White folks just not getting it, and set my readers up for a Tracie rant.

Example 1: Calling it a special "Heritage Day Celebration". I'm sorry, but who the heck calls it "Heritage Day"? Not one of the other 49 states. It's only here in Utah apparently that we can't call a spade a spade and celebrate a day devoted to celebrating the legacy of a black man by actually using the black man's name. For shame.

Example 2: A bunch of uptight white folks trying to sing African-American Spirituals is about as joy-inducing as watching the smog roll in. Heaven forbid that we LDS should actually show some sort of enthusiasm when we praise the Lord. In the African-American tradition, enthusiastic and audible praising is meant to show glory to God and gratitude for his blessings. So if you're going to celebrate, then CELEBRATE! Not all praising is irreverent! 

Example 3: We can invite the all-white handbell choir to participate, but we can't invite any of the local African-American church choirs (who are incredible, I might add) to participate? What could have been a perfect opportunity to mingle and rejoice together and find common ground was totally blown. Double shame.

Example 4: As a lifelong Dodger fan, I love and honor Jackie Robinson as much as anyone. But he's a pretty safe example to use in the Spoken Word message. So I find it disappointing that Brother Lloyd Newell couldn't share stories from the life of Martin Luther King, or quote from his speeches, or his Letter from Birmingham Jail. Heaven knows he was a flawed man, but he was also heroic, and by they way, flawed people are often quoted from the pulpit. That's kind of the point - we all sin and fall short of the Glory of God, but we're all still trying to come to Him anyway, and we try to help each other get there.

Ok, rant over. But man, what a long way we have to go, even in the Lord's true church. For now, I wish you all a happy and meaningful MARTIN LUTHER KING Day tomorrow. Here's hoping we can all get closer to his dream this next year. #MoTab #ItsCalledMLKDay


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