A group of LDS women are planning to attend the men-only Priesthood Session of the CoJCoL-dS General Conference, and it has been an adventure!! First off, the CoJCoL-dS refused the give any tickets to women because attending General Conference is an important father-son bonding moment.
(Aside: When I was a young teen, I had bonding moments with my dad doing stuff like playing catch, or hobbies like computers or photo-developing — so I guess getting excluded from this super-boring meeting has its perks…?)
The church also decided to broadcast the meeting (so if the ladies really want to watch it, they can do so without getting in the way), then promptly warned the men that they had better get on their suits and ties and bond with their sons at the conference center — not at home watching it together on their couch — presumably because the leaders would look pretty stupid bouncing the women if the conference center is full of empty seats.
The church also explained that the women have their own “parallel” meeting. And if the meetings really were parallel (eg. women preside over the men’s meeting, give the keynotes, choose the other speakers, etc.) I’m sure this batch of feminists would consider that a perfectly acceptable compromise. As it is, women are planning to stand in line to see if they will be admitted. I’ve got my popcorn ready!!
Reactions are as you’d expect: The women are causing contention (which is of the devil!) or, alternately, they’re pathetic for fighting for such a dubious privilege. And the people fighting for this issue are hurt and annoyed by the criticism. It’s complicated. It’s about power. Some are supportive despite reservations and complexities. This problem naturally gets linked with the criticisms of excluding family from LDS temple weddings. A great riff on a famous Bible story about women’s roles. Women face challenges getting leadership positions in other religions as well. My favorite response was the petition from the Brolief Society:
The group clarifies that they â€œare not against the Church or its leadersâ€ but instead â€œwant to show all of Godâ€™s children we all can receive the same blessings of living the Gospel.â€ And indeed, these men are true, faithful members of the churchâ€”many of them having much knowledge of the Churchâ€™s doctrine.
â€œOur right to true fatherhood has been almost eliminated from our lives,â€ said Barley B. Bratt, a founding member of the group. â€œOf all titles given to God, He has chosen Father. I am tired of my children calling me Bishop, since I only see them for Temple recommend interviews.â€ He points out how fatherhood is more important than everything else, including priesthood responsibilities.
In LDS church watch, Ren discussed some of the consequences of sending out younger people as missionaries, Denver Snuffer described how the current hierarchy of the CoJCoL-dS isn’t very much like where it was at in Joseph Smith’s day, some stories aren’t as uplifting as their tellers seem to think they are, and school is hard enough all by itself, so I’m really glad I’m not sending my kids to this school:
They spent a lot of time on the dress code: â€œGirls, listen up, because our dress code violators are almost always girls. Nothing sleeveless at all. Even if itâ€™s not a tank top. If it doesnâ€™t have sleeves, youâ€™ll be wearing the scrubs. If your skirt or shorts are more than five inches above your knees, youâ€™ll be wearing the scrubs. Some girls last year used to think that it was okay to walk around looking wearing leggings, looking like Kim Kardashian or Buddy the Elf, but if you wear leggings this year, youâ€™ll be wearing the scrubs. Same with sheer tops, even if you wear a tank top underneath. â€ Cheerleaders (in tank tops and tiny skirts) shared the stage with the administrators as they explained the policy.
Remember Bill Hess, the guy who posts amazing photos of his Alaska lifestyle, including shots of his Native American family and stuff related to his Mormon heritage? Well, it turns out that if the Republicans succeed in blocking Obamacare, he will have a serious problem getting needed healthcare due to his “pre-existing conditions” — and I know he’s not the only one in our community in this boat.
In books, Donna Banta has just released the sequel to The Girls from Fourth Ward: False Prophet. I am really looking forward to reading this one — it’s next on my pile! I’m also looking forward to reading Latter-day Virgin (see this new review) not to mention Daymon Smith’s new books. Global Mom looks interesing (more Mormons in Switzerland…? Why haven’t I met them?). Oh, and getting book recommendations from your Bishop can be an interesting experience.
In grab-bag, read a banned book, watch out for Glenn Beck and David Alvord, not all that is pink is actually helping breast cancer patients, Kuri is giving God a chance to prove He exists, and here’s how to celebrate an American-Chinese autumn!!