The views of our readers Not a sport
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

To the editor,

Holy Horse!

Rodeo is not a sport!

From Dillon to Dawson, last week’s Tribune (unfortunately) celebrated rodeo.

Many, many Beaverhead County friends warned me not to write this letter because it would be too upsetting for rodeo participants and fans. And most likely I would become the least liked person in the county.

I repeat: Rodeo is not a sport!

At best, rodeo traumatizes animals. At worst, rodeo terrorizes animals.

Even the Las Vegas National Rodeo Finals (NFR) won’t televise parts of choked-down and flipped calf-roping because of the event’s violence!

Rodeo champions a culture filled with unnecessary, gratuitous harm.

In steer wrestling, the steer is cork-screwed, twisted to the ground. In calf roping, the calf is choked-down flipped and then tied down. In team roping, the headed-healed steer is stretched. In goat tying, the trapped goat sees a full-speed humongous horse where the dismounted rider flips-ties the goat. Bare-back, saddle bronc, bull riding, sheep riding, wild horse racing, and chuck wagon racing—all traumatize animals for some humans’ viewing pleasure.

Recently a state legislator stated: “Rodeos are modern-day gladiator games—blood sport masquerading as entertainment…. Rodeo events are not family-friendly entertainment.”

Rodeo events are not Christian-friendly entertainment!

Let us recall Christ’s call-to-action (James 2:17): “So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good works is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.”

Good works involve preventing pain and suffering of God’s creations, especially animals.

For Beaverhead County religious leaders of all faiths, an ethical-moral teaching opportunity exists by inviting your congregations to discuss actively the compatibility of traditional Rodeo events with Christ’s teachings and actions.

On Earth and in Heaven, there are no places for inflicting pain and suffering on animals.

“How did you treat all animals?” may be the first question posed to enter Heaven!

Let’s give new meaning to the toughness of Cowboy Up! and Cowgirl Up! by reducing and ultimately eliminating unnecessary, gratuitous harm of traditional rodeo events.

What would Jesus do? What will you do?

Randy Piper Dillon