Kate Kelly In The Matrix


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Today, is a very sad day. The founder of the Ordain Women group, Kate Kelly has been excommunicated.

As I read her statement asking people to stay in the Church, an overpowering feeling of sadness took over me as I pondered the despairing and terrifying consequences she will have to face along with her family.

She will not be allowed to wear her temple garments, contribute tithes and offerings, take the sacrament, have a calling, offer public prayers in behalf of the congregation, and vote in the sustaining of Church leaders, without even start mentioning the eternal consequences that come along with excommunication. It is the severest form of discipline in the LDS Church.

When I read the news, I quickly went online to see what people are saying about it and it saddened me to read that the most disparaging, judgmental and insensitive comments were coming from people who claim to be LDS. It’s like a phenomenon: A member gets excommunicated for something we think they did wrong and instead to feel sorrow that one of our brothers or sisters in our Church is no longer part of our congregation, we seem to have the need to crash them like a swarm of ants even though they’re already down.

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Regardless of how you feel about her cause, where is the hand that lifts? Where is the “Mourn with those who mourn”? There is nothing to celebrate here. The excommunication of ANY member of the Church isn’t something to feel good about, no matter who they are or what they have done. There is really no need to show our sanctimoniousness, superiority complex that says””I would NEVER do this. “I would NEVER do that”. Yeah, we know you would NEVER…. Do  you want a cookie for that?

But what to do when you feel so passionate about a cause and you want to desperately be heard and feel validated? What about when others feel the same way about your cause?

Sometimes, it feels like we are in one of those Latin-American nations back in the 1970’s where citizens were subjected to many restrictions, including countless human rights violations. A curfew, restricted conversations, no political affiliations against the government was allowed, and government critics were sent to prison for many years (The lucky ones), the unlucky ones were tortured and then put to death.

We don’t have prisons in the Church but we have excommunication and of course, depending on the severity of the offense, I would say it is necessary. We have excommunication for the man or woman who rapes, we have excommunication for the pedophile who has been abusing children for years, for the serial killer who was caught with several dismembered bodies inside his fridge oh”and we also have excommunication for those whose opinions are different and dare to share their views.

What to do when you are in Kate Kelly’s shoes? Do you give up your cause in order to maintain the status quo? Or do you continue pressing on? One thing is for sure: Ordain Women was just made stronger by her excommunication and the organization and the people involved aren’t going anywhere.

Is it really against Church doctrine to seek female ordination? Is it against Church doctrine to want to meet with the Church and talk about it? Is it against Church doctrine to seek equality in the Church? A whole bunch of men say there is equality, yeah I know, the irony.

Do you take the blue or the red pill? Do you embrace the painful truth of reality (Red) or just forget all about it and live in ignorance and illusion (Blue)?

Kate chose the red pill. I don’t blame her. I would have probably done the same thing.

9 thoughts on “Kate Kelly In The Matrix”

  1. When I read Kate was excommunicated the first thing that came to my mind was, who is next? I love this Church and I try my best to support my leaders and serve but I find this sort of discipline to be excessive. How is Kate being an apostate just because she wishes to engage into a dialogue to discuss women having the priesthood?

  2. Cheeky, some of us aren’t celebrating that Kate was excommunicated but we’re glad that action was taken because we don’t wish others to be led away from the Church of God. “It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief”. Hope Kate decides to return to the Church soon.

  3. Your blog post reminds me of all the things members of the Church shouldn’t be doing: Supporting apostates and letting them spread among the true Latter-Day Saints. Thank God the Church took action, people like that doesn’t deserve a place among our midst, they’re so wrong and blind that their hearts are as hard as a rock and only excommunication could bring some hope into their lives.

  4. For me, honestly, there is a bit of a feeling of validation. I thought long and hard about OW in its early days, because frankly–while I shy away from the title of “Feminist”–I did sympathize with some of their ideas. I like the idea of mothers pronouncing blessings by laying on of hands. I would love to have had Just_A_Girl standing in the circle when my babies were blessed. And while I’ve always been leery of female ordination to offices in the AP or MP, I would love to know whether the status quo actually has a revelatory basis at present.

    Frankly, I considered hopping onto the OW thing in its early days, and got a clear warning: *stay away from this*.

    In the intervening months, I’ve seen:

    1) Two pre-planned media circuses on temple square;

    2) A moving target as to the movement’s true objectives;

    3) Accusations that those who don’t support female priesthood ordination must be spiritually incurious, or lazy, or otherwise inferior (Or, as you suggest in this very post–“Liv(Ing) in ignorance and illusion”);

    4) Outright misrepresentations of the historical record;

    5) An attempt to introduce naked legalism into what should be revelatory
    Processes–in doctrinal exposition, in Church management, and most recently, in the Church disciplinary process;

    6) The release of “Discussions” That, in some situations, resort to open mockery of either LDS leadership themselves or ideas embraced/taught by LDS leaders;

    7) And now, it’s beginning to appear that Kelly has deceived us about the frequency and nature of her contact with her local priesthood leaders throughout much of the last seven months.

    In the face of all that, the bloggernacle acts like it’s all perfectly normal and, when I or like-minded conservatives suggest that something’s not quite right here, suddenly deploy the big-eyed “Why [Yes] pickin’ on me?” (Or, better yet–“The Patriarchy?! The Patriarchy?!”) on us.

    Kelly’s and/or OW’s passive-aggressive behavior has been maddening to watch, and the Church’s silence has frankly caused me to second guess the confirmation I thought I had received many months ago. So, while I feel bad for Kate (I’ve been on informal probation myself, and I go to a twelve-step group weekly where I routinely hear the experiences of others who have been excommunicated and are working their way back).

    Yes, to my shame, the Church’s action in this case does bring a feeling of “Validation” That may be expressed in some impolitic ways.

    Under the circumstances, though, I don’t think a measured “I feel bad for her; but this situation is really of her own making” Is excessively cruel.

    And that’s been the tenor of the vast majority of comments I’ve seen to date.

  5. Meagan, that’s the question I am asking myself.

    John, hyperbole with that scripture?.

    Chosen, hope you are just a troll otherwise this is exactly the kind of comments I was talking about.

    Just_A_Guy, excellent points, Chosen’s post is just one of the few examples I was talking about. I never had an interest in seeking female ordination, it is not something that appeals me but quite the opposite.

    Having said that, I empathize with those who feel differently than me. The Church at first seem quite okay knowing about this group and to be honest, the letters of excommunication took me by surprise somewhat because of it. I thought the Church would handle it very differently. I was wrong. I feel bad for Kate and her entire family.

  6. I like your post Cheeky Mormon and I have a question. Where are the top ranking Church leaders? In statements and interviews about this issue I’m only seeing public relations officers who can’t even answer the questions presented to them. Why aren’t we hearing from the seventies or even the apostles?

  7. This is an answer to Paul: The Church has PR people to handle all that. Seventies and Apostles rarely intervene.

    Just_A_Guy, you expressed very valid points but I still wondering where the idea that only men are allowed to have the priesthood comes from? I don’t know of any scripture that states such thing.

  8. If we believe our leaders are inspired by G-d, if we believe our leaders speak to G-d directly, if we believe they receive revelation from G-d, where is room for questions or doubts? That’s my point…where people like me with questions and concerns go to if we can’t openly talk about it?

    The bishop or stake president? I don’t know how members see it but for me the message is clear: You either conform and shut up, leave quietly or we kick you out.

  9. iMatthew

    Comments: During the recent weeks with Kate’s excommunication, I have cast my mind back many times to the days I participated in disciplinary councils in the role of a clerk. I was not there to offer any judgment or share any opinion, I simply kept the minutes.

    I think these disciplinary councils are awful things that are absolutely needed. In my experience, these councils occur as a last resort, not as a quick punishment. I always felt sorrow for what the individual was going through. I don’t mean the council. I mean the struggle with their own testimony and obedience (Where actual offenses occurred).

    How anyone can read Kate’s excommunication letter and not come away with feeling the genuine love her priesthood leader had for her, I don’t know. I support the death penalty, but I take no joy in anyone being executed. It’s not a happy moment. But it is a needed moment. Justice demands it.

    I sincerely hope that Kate Kelly does all she can to return to full fellowship
    In the church as soon as possible.

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