- So we don't repeat past mistakes.
- History has a lot of good and interesting stories.
- A common set of knowledge.
- To understand how we got to where we are.
- So we understand what the reporters on the news are talking about.
- So Jay Leno doesn't make us look like stupid Americans in a street interview.
- History helps us understand people and society.
- Knowing history is important for good citizenship.
- To understand what adults are talking about.
- To improve our reading and comprehension skills.
- History provides a cultural identity.
So, as I think about what happened in Idaho and why some of the members of the Marsing, Idaho Followers of Christ church decided to leave and migrate to Oregon City, I ask myself why it's important. This happened in the 1930s and 1940s. Most of the people involved are no longer living (probably all of the folks are, in fact, dead). So, why bring it up? Why is it important?
It is an important question to me because I want to understand the confusion and lack of direction, lack of understanding, and most importantly the lack of hope that I grew up under. Why couldn't we go to Idaho and get baptized? Why couldn't one of the preachers from Idaho come to Oregon City to baptize people and provide leadership?
As a child, I had the feeling that the entire state of Idaho was pure evil. Whenever Riley and Glenford spoke of the Idaho church, it was to warn us to stay away from their evil ways. The only answer I could get on what was so bad about Idaho, was the vague idea that the Idaho church encouraged young people to "sow their wild oats" before getting baptized, getting married, and settling into a serious pursuit of the faith. I don't know if there was truth to that claim, but I have heard that this sort of thing still goes on over there.
I've also heard that the split was over the issue of women's hair. The Idaho group (the one that we in Oregon City thought were so sinful) believed women should not cut their hair. The Oregon City group allowed women to have hair cuts.
I'd love to hear comments from folks who know more about why the Idaho-Oregon City split happened.