Sunday in Outer Blogness: They did it edition!
Yes, they did it. They excommunicated Kate Kelly. For asking questions and for her “tone”. And perhaps John Dehlin will be next. They even have this helpful “steadying the Ark” story from this week’s Gospel Doctrine lesson to back the leaders up on this, and Jesus isn’t as helpful as one might hope for the downtrodden.
The amazing thing is to see people blaming Kate Kelly. Because maybe if she’d groveled a bit and promised to sit silently in the back of the chapel for the rest of her life instead of insisting on this crazy self-respect thing, then she wouldn’t have cruelly embarrassed the church by making it excommunicate her. Fortunately someone wrote a poem about that idea, here’s a taste:
If only she had been more meek
If only she had been more bold
If only her tactics had been this
If only her strategy had been that
If only she had changed the way she thinks
If only she had changed the way she feels
If only she had become a unicorn
To me it seems astonishing that the CoJCoL-dS can choose to do something completely rotten and stupid, and yet when the church looks bad for doing it, that is somehow magically everyone else’s fault. (And the farce that the leaders welcome your questions is just embarrassing.)
But that’s the way it works: If you believe the church is perfect, then if something goes badly for the church, then it must on principle be someone else’s fault. Basically if you are capable of holding in your head the idea that the leaders of the church are wrong on some particular issue that you can name, then the church would like to direct you to the exit door. They have enough members who will believe the church leaders are right no matter what (and that option has its selling points), so you are expendable — and, really, it’s better if you’d hit the road and avoid giving any ideas to the obedient members.
I was going to say that accountability is just for the young women (and this leadership chart was starting to look pretty accurate), when — in a surprise move — the actual “prophets, seers, and revelators” who are theoretically leading the CoJCoL-dS actually released a statement (obliquely) making reference to the issue at hand! So many people have analysed it.
Even if the magic is not real, and leaving and ends up improving your life in the long run, excommunication can be a horrible experience, and the “love” rhetoric adds insult to injury. The church has incredible power to define sins that can destroy people’s lives.
Now, aren’t there other things going on out there? Some mishies committed a crime and signed their names to it. Some more scripture study. Here’s a simple idea for bringing power, water and shade to Navajo country (and elsewhere). More about the life of the real-life gay mishie who performed in the Book of Mormon. Marriage equality returns to Utah. And some very positive experiences bringing a girlfriend home to meet the Mormon folks:
At one point she honestly said, “We were really nervous to meet Leigh but then again we are always nervous when you girls bring anyone home.” (The “anyone” she meant were the boyfriends and son-in-laws that my sisters have brought home over the years.) It was nice that she was not separating my homo relationship from my sisters hetero relationships.
And don’t forget the Sunstone Symposium is coming up! I can’t attend myself, but I spent my afternoon preparing my MAA Books ad for the program (and I’m still not done, grr…). If anyone here is going, please mention it in the comments!