The same week that Kate Kelly was excommunicated from the LDS church, my congregation named me “Minister Emerita”, one of the highest honors that can be granted to a Unitarian Universalist minister.
They did this even though I am a woman and a lesbian to boot. My faith tradition is not only open to the gifts that women and LGBT people can bring, we actually celebrate diversity in our ministry and in our congregations.
Kate was excommunicated, but frankly, she wasn’t asking for very much. Although her group is called Ordain Women, ordination in the LDS church is very different that what it is in most other faith traditions. Virtually ever 12 year old Mormon boy can be ordained into their priesthood. Catholic women who are working for ordination want women to be in a priesthood that really has a special status. The Pope has not excommunicated any of those feminists for their activism.
No, the Pope instead said last week that the mafia was excommunicated.
I don’t know Kate personally, but from everything I have heard, she is a fairly nice person and not a criminal by any stretch of the imagination. Has John Swallow, the disgraced and likely to be convicted ex-attorney general of Utah, been excommunicated? Will he be? I doubt it and I also suspect there are many Mormon men who have committed serious crimes, including rape and domestic violence, that still have their temple recommends.
Patriarchy stinks. It just does.
I have a lot of respect for Kate Kelly and the other women (and men) in the Ordain Women movement. But if they get tired of beating their heads against the temple walls, I hope they know that there are other churches that would welcome them with open arms, churches that would be grateful for the gifts of the spirit they have to offer. We won’t ordain them, unless they attend an accreditted seminary, get a Masters of Divinity, and successfully get through the intensive fellowshipping process, but the same is true for their husbands, brothers, and sons.
It is all about the difference between the love of power and the power of love.
Upon hearing that two faithful Mormons are being threatened with excommunication from the LDS church for daring to question the heirarchy’s policies on GLBT people and women, I thought immediately of the reading below:
Read NY Times news article (here)
Cherish your Doubts, by Robert T. Weston
Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth.
Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery.
A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error,
for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.
Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.
Let no man fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it;
for doubt is a testing of belief.
The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing;
For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure.
He that would silence doubt is filled with fear;
the house of his spirit is built on shifting sands.
But he that fears no doubt, and knows its use, is founded on a rock.
He shall walk in the light of growing knowledge;
the work of his hands shall endure.
Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help:
It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the handmaiden of truth.