Mormon Church Draws Line in Sand, Excommunicates Feminist

by W.F. Price on June 24, 2014

A woman who has consistently defied church elders, doctrine and repeated orders to stop pushing her agenda has just been excommunicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The decision by the Mormon church to excommunicate the founder of a prominent women’s group marks a stern statement at a time when the church is under pressure to recognize gay rights and allow women into the priesthood.

Experts believe the move essentially draws a line in the sand to show church members how far they can go in publicly questioning church practices.

The ousting of Kate Kelly is rare and brings down the harshest punishment available on a church member who created an organization and staged demonstrations in a push to permit women to join the faith’s lay clergy.

“It does more than excommunicate Kelly,” said Jan Shipps, a retired religion professor from Indiana who is a non-Mormon expert on the church. “It warns everybody.”

Shipps said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is implementing “boundary maintenance,” using Kelly as an example to show people how far they can go in questioning church practices.

The message seems to be that “organizing pressure groups, and trying to cultivate a following for such groups, crosses a line that will trigger disciplinary action,” said Armand Mauss, a retired professor of sociology and religious studies at Washington State University.

I’m not a Mormon, and obviously not an LDS leader, but if I were the decision wouldn’t have been a tough one. Give her a pass and more will be encouraged until finally one gets her foot in the door, then it’s bye-bye Mormon Church, just like the Episcopal Church. Sometimes, you just have to draw the line, and anyway, since she doesn’t seem to have much faith in other Mormon decisions and doctrine, I doubt she even puts any stock in an excommunication. Just think of it as an eviction notice so as to keep her from disrupting other Mormons.

But what always gets me about these attempts to push this or that church to “reform” is the fact that anybody – women included – can start his or her own church in the US. Ms. Kelly could start her own Mormon offshoot called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Goddesses” or something like that. For some reason, however, churches started by women don’t have a very good track record in the US (not to mention the world). To me, this says that the churches should hold firm and ban females from the priesthood if they want to survive, although I’m sure that feminists think it’s the patriarchy or some other Lord of Darkness holding them down. The only female church I can think of that had any success over the years was the Shakers, and that’s only because they managed to use 19th century child custody laws to gain adherents, but today they’re down to about four members.

Still, that shouldn’t stop Ms. Kelly from giving it a try. Maybe she’ll be the first one to make it work.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Jedidiah June 24, 2014 at 10:20

1 cor 14:34

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BatCountry June 24, 2014 at 11:26

Bucking established systems gains attention. Starting your own church is boring and few notice. Breaking up any male organization is fun, but putting in the work to create your own, well…. that’s just work.

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keyster June 24, 2014 at 11:32

In the Church of LDS there is a Biblical distinction between men and women. Women are wives and mothers, while men are leaders and providers. Male parishioners are “elders” and females are “sisters”. She would have to change church doctrine from the bottom up, and the sisterhood would resist changing it from within. Women can lead other women and often do. It’s the LDS culture more than anything else. It will adapt socially from outside pressure if it has to to survive; such as outlawing polygamy and allowing blacks to join.

Trust me the wives of deacons and bishops and stake leaders have more influence over their husband’s decisions than they would if they had power to themselves…much like times of yore.

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Paul A'Barge June 24, 2014 at 11:56

Kelly’s goal is not to gain a church that meets her expectations. As you point out, she could do that in a fraction of a second by starting her own church.

Kelly’s goal is the ruin of the Mormon Church.

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

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Jeremy June 24, 2014 at 12:39

Kelly is behaving like a politician. She wants political power over people, saw a potentially divisive issue in the CLDS, and all their existing followers and said to herself that she would try to use the issue to put herself in a “morally superior” position to the church leaders on her divisive issue. She got bitch-slapped out into the cold like she should have been.

You want political power from a position of moral authority Kelly? Go out and earn it yourself by preaching what you believe and gaining followers. Don’t try to take over someone else’s flock with what you think they should be believing in. That’s just f-ing common sense.

…and I’m not even religious.

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Clarence June 24, 2014 at 12:56

I think this is one of those times that TFH and PMAFT talk about, where women (some) see something in a male-founded or led organization that they want and attempt to impose female (or feminist or both) values on it.

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Jaego June 24, 2014 at 13:53

A few were excommunicated a few years ago for supporting and/or posing in a nude Mormon calendar. I thought about it and realized the wisdom of the Elders. The Mormons aren’t puritanical (neither were the Puritans per se); they allow sports, coed swimming, cheerleading in short skirts, couples dancing, etc. They draw the line at gratuitous display – and where they draw the line is wise and life affirming. Men can still look at pretty girls and pretty girls can still enjoy being looked at. And they can meet and go out. But all in a retrained way with an eye towards marriage and family.

If you look at the birth records of Old Massachusetts, many of the births are less than nine months into marriage. The Puritans had a horror of divorce and adultery, pre-marital sex not so much. A failed courtship could be lived down, not so easily a failed marriage. Thus girls and their parents didn’t want a man who didn’t have the goods. And perhaps the men didn’t mind sampling the wares either. And if pregnancy resulted, all parties agreed that the marriage was definitely on.

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Wilson June 24, 2014 at 14:22

Probably just a “setback”, the Church will reverse itself or maybe even the government will intervene to end discriminatory practices. Being told “No, you are wrong” energizes the perverse like nothing else. When homosexuality, illegal immigration, atheist socialism, etc. become a culture’s highest ideals, female priesthood is just common sense

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a. nony mouse June 24, 2014 at 14:44

Let me correct some misconceptions here. The only Mormon males called “Elder” are either active missionaries or Apostles. “Elder” is the lowest rank in the adult priesthood, and most Mormon men hold that rank but are normally addressed either as “brother” or by some other title they may hold. Also there is no specific doctrine barring women from the priesthood. In fact, they used to perform several priestly duties and still do in the temple. Joseph Smith ordained a number of women to the priesthood, albeit in conjunction with their husbands, but the records nevertheless show ordinations. Even today, in the Second Anointing, women are made queens and priestesses and have priestly functions to perform to complete the ordinance. There has been a hardening of church attitudes since the Correlation movement, which got started in the mid 20th century. The Relief Society was once a powerful and independent auxiliary, as were other auxiliaries, but under Correlation all was brought under a central priesthood authority. Accounts of what Kate Kelly and the Ordain Women organization have done have been blown far out of proportion by a church authority anxious to protect its modern turf. Mormon women voted long before the 19th amendment and could get divorced in Deseret far more easily than in the states. They often ran businesses and managed farms and ranches, especially when their husbands were fleeing prosecution for polygamy. They could own property and manage it themselves. For example, when Annie Clark Tanner’s husband demanded that she sell her home and give him the money for his ranch in Canada, she refused. Mormon women often were highly educated, often professionals and intellectuals, and very outspoken and active compared to their non-Mormon sisters. Correlation has taken all that away and reduced Mormon women to a caricature of Fascinating Womanhood (written by a Mormon women). The past is not always what we think it was.

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Ray Manta June 24, 2014 at 17:31

a. nony mouse wrote:
Also there is no specific doctrine barring women from the priesthood.

Hmm, I suggest the church fathers get off their asses and make a specific doctrine ASAP. Once a male-oriented domain gets invaded by women, it tends to go to hell in a handbasket.

They often ran businesses and managed farms and ranches, especially when their husbands were fleeing prosecution for polygamy.

That’s one thing the mainstream Mormons have done right – they lost the polygamy. If they hadn’t, they’d likely have gone extinct. And no, those strong independent wimminz that you gush over wouldn’t have been able to do diddly-squat about it.

Accounts of what Kate Kelly and the Ordain Women organization have done have been blown far out of proportion by a church authority anxious to protect its modern turf.

That’s your interpretation. My interpretation is that it’s heartening to see a church kick a woman to the curb for misbehavior. Maybe the Mormon church has a small chance of not becoming a hollowed-out shell of its former self.

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cxj June 24, 2014 at 18:10

Ah, one of my favorite passtimes: watching two groups I despise (Mormons and Feminists) fight each other.

I’ll hang a point on the scorecard for Mormons this time. How will the feminists counter?

My guess: more bitching.

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sestamibi June 24, 2014 at 18:20

Um, you forgot about Christian Science, founded by Mary Baker Eddy.

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geographybeefinalisthimself June 24, 2014 at 18:38

“How will the feminists counter?

My guess: more bitching.”

When feminists are unsuccessful at anything, this is always how they counter. I’ve never heard of such a thing as a feminist who was gracious in defeat about anything. I think that if I lost nine of my fingers, I would have more fingers left than the total number of feminists who were gracious in defeat on even one occasion. Ideally I would still have one of my middle fingers left so I could still flip them off.

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3DShooter June 24, 2014 at 21:27

Here in ID, the momo’s are almost as controlling as they are in Utah and they completely dominate the ‘family kourts’. If you are not a ‘momo’ you’re pretty much screwed if you are a father – so this doesn’t surprise me.

However, if your are old enough, you might remember when the ‘Mountain Medows’x’ folks had the same issue with blacks. Not surprisingly there was a ‘revaluation’ when the IRS took an interest – look for the fembots to take the same path Maybe they have hoisted themselves on there own Petard – again.

There are some good momo’s – but Mormon is a business first and foremost.

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Zen June 25, 2014 at 00:12

Just a few clarifications gentlemen…

It is LDS doctrine that women will, at some point in eternity, receive the priesthood, but that is certainly not in the cards for this life. Yes, women have been given callings, or jobs, but no LDS prophet has ever given them the priesthood.

Why are some people so anxious to downplay what Kate Kelly was doing? I suspect it is because they really want to be on her side. You can have questions and crazy ideas all over the place. It is just public advocacy and disrupting things, and being obstinate about it, that gets you in trouble. Actually, excommunication for heresy is exceptionally rare. She pushed them to it, and they didn’t blink.

And no, the Mormons are not in control of the courts in Idaho. What next, the Jews rule the world? Family courts just suck in most places period.

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Ray Manta June 25, 2014 at 00:35

sestamibi wrote:
Um, you forgot about Christian Science, founded by Mary Baker Eddy.

From the Wikipedia article:
“Headquartered in Boston, the church has a worldwide membership of about 85,000″.

Not my idea of a wildly successful religion. I’d say that the rule that men build, while women invade and undermine is a valid generalization.
It’s true for activities as disparate as religious denominations, the military, and open source software.

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Paul Murray June 25, 2014 at 02:56

Good on ‘em. At least someone actually believes the stuff they say the believe.

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a. nony mouse June 25, 2014 at 03:15

What Zen said is not correct. Don’t take it from me, hear it from former Mormon males who were in a position to know.

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Cyclotron Majesty June 25, 2014 at 06:37

This is very happy news. I think if women need anything its social ostrasization. They are too central in our culture, too primary. The attention they get from men is not supposed to be institutionalized , as then it doesn’t woo them because they get accustomed to it.

Men should be the centerpiece of society women should be only considered as important in relation to men.

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Wally June 25, 2014 at 08:03

Feminist leftist women like Kate Kelly are the biggest threat to the Mormon Church. If the Mormon Church wants to know what women like Kate Kelly can do to a religion, just look at the American Anglican Church-led by a female leftist lesbian. The American Anglican Church of 2014 isn’t even recognizable to Anglicans of the 1800′s.

If a church allowed women leaders, only a certain type of women would want those leadership positions. As we see in American Protestant churches, the women who want leaderships positions are almost always leftist, feminist, and/or lesbian. The conservative women generally don’t want those positions of power over men. So the overwhelming majority of women who would gain power in the church would be the feminist, leftist women. Many of the those power hungry women would also be lesbians. The lesbians would immediately work to make church doctrine pro-homosexual. The female lesbians would argue in favor of lesbian and male homosexual clergy.

If the Mormon church wants to preserve what it represents today, then it will have to excommunicate more of these type of leftist feminist women in the future. Any traditionalist organization cannot allow these feminist leftists women to gain power.

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Mann Fuga June 25, 2014 at 09:53

Feminist theologians are pushing very hard to morph biblical teachings into something that allows feminists more control in the church and over men, which will in turn further the breakdown of the family and the church. It’s as simple as that, but don’t expect any feminists to admit to it. It will all be carried out under the guise of gender equality, when in truth it’s all about power and control. I smell law suits.

It’s not called a gender war for nothing.

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continent June 25, 2014 at 11:37

cxj June 24, 2014 at 18:10

Ah, one of my favorite passtimes: watching two groups I despise (Mormons and Feminists) fight each other.

Why do you despise Mormons? They have good family values while Feminist have none.

Strong families make a strong nation.

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George B. June 26, 2014 at 02:56

“For some reason, however, churches started by women don’t have a very good track record in the US (not to mention the world). ”

That’s because when men form churches it’s to organize society by restraining the more destructive parts of male and female sexual nature by promoting such things as marriage, monogamy, etc.
But when women form churches, or take over churches, it’s to make their own hypergamous utopia and female sexual dreams come true by completely unleashing women’s female sexual instincts and morally legitimizing it in their doctrine, while shaming male believers about everything so they become completely submissive and foot the bill of female believers’ unsustainable batshit insanity. It’s really as simple as putting women on top and screw everything and everyone else (including children) and men have to pay for it while we bash the sh** out of them.

It’s what women did when they got the vote and what they did in government, and it’s what they do when they are in power in a religion. Women don’t have many ideas, it’s really the only idea they have, that’s why they’re very predictable.

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Dire Badger June 29, 2014 at 22:48

@a. nony mouse-

Oh yes, good old ‘ex mormons’ with a bone to pick and a book to sell.

Tell you what, I am an ‘Ex mormon’ and I can tell you those books are completely full of shit and sensationalism. They exist to validate the hurt feelings and egos of their writers, get them paid, and for no other reason.

Those who leave the mormon church usually have a bone to pick, and often it is because the religion does not validate their feelings of superiority. I left because my conscience would no longer allow me to swear faith or bear testimony to a deity I do not believe in, not because I got into a fight or a political or financial reason.

And I can tell you that mormons are GOOD PEOPLE. They are of course human, and have their usual dosage of asshats and criminals, but in general they make far better neighbors than ‘athesists’ do. I have lived many places in my life, and strongly religious communities, especially mormon communities, make far, far better neighbors than the ‘intellectual elite’ ever will.

I still live by most of the ‘religious suggestions’ despite my inactivity, because both it and some of the Kosher laws are just smart. Don’t smoke, don’t overindulge in alcohol, don’t eat raw pork, don’t fuck around too much, don’t rip people off, and especially don’t let women lead men.

Just common sense, really.

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Dire Badger June 30, 2014 at 12:44

1 Timothy 2:11, 12

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Allen Hill July 5, 2014 at 17:23

Slight correction. The Shakers didn’t last because it had women in charge. It didn’t last because it believed in abstinence. Not just before marriage, but your whole like. They seemed to believed that sex was wrong under any circumstances.
It’s kind of hard to survive when you can’t make any baby Shakers.

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Nate July 10, 2014 at 10:52

Zen, it’s not really clear what priesthood women will hold in the next life (in Mormon doctrine). Being a priestess “unto your husband” is different than being a a priestess “period”. Otherwise, why is the phrase “unto your husband” needed? And likewise, why is God’s wife absent in all scripture?

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