Monday, June 23, 2014

Kate Kelly's Excommunication

I'm not surprised that Kate Kelly was excommunicated. No one should be.

I think about a store owner who has a rule posted that the person who doesn't wear shoes into their store will be kicked out. Some barefoot customer walks in and is immediately asked to put on shoes or leave. The person refuses. The store owner follows through and the customer is then kicked out.

Should that surprise anyone?

This Kate Kelly thing isn't about whether women should or should not be ordained into the Priesthood. This is about rule-following, plain and simple. She belonged to a church that has a specific set of rules, which brings a specific set of consequences. She broke the rules. She received said consequences.

I'm not a feminist, although sometimes I do see the inequality in the church, or life in general. I wish things could be different at times, but I'm not a passionate feminist and that's okay. If Kate Kelly, or the women who share her beliefs want to see changes in the church... well, okay. Do your part. Speak up. Do the work. But please, PLEASE don't be surprised when you receive the discipline that you were told you would receive if you commit such an act. Yes, she was told what the expectation would be of her as a member of the church. We all were.

I was excommunicated (twice) for homosexual behaviors. Do I wish the church had a different point of view on homosexuality? ABSOLUTELY! Do I wish I could be a member of the church and still embrace every part of what it means to be gay? Ah hell yes. But I knew what the consequence would be if I acted on my sexual desires with a woman. I knew what would probably happen if I had an affair while I was married. I had the knowledge and I made my decision. Although I continue to be deeply saddened by the outcome (excommunication...twice) I will not pretend that I'm surprised by it.

Just like a store owner, the church gets to have a set of rules that members need to abide by, should they want the full blessings they believe they'll receive in doing so. The church is not at fault for following through with the promise of discipline when the expectations are clearly stated for all members.

Kate's excommunication is not about women and the priesthood and whether or not that should happen. My excommunication(s) weren't about whether or not it's "right" what the church feels about, nor how the church deals with homosexuality. Let's bring it back to the basics. A rule was broken and a consequence was given. I don't understand why that's hard to understand.

I have a feeling my view isn't going to be very popular, and that's fine.

With all of that being said, I truly believe that we need to speak up about our truths. We need to make a stand. Change will not happen if we remain silent. It may never happen anyway, but if our passionate pleas are never heard, we will most certainly never realize the changes we hope to see. While I don't really have an opinion on whether or not women should have the priesthood, I do support that concept of standing up for the righteous desires of ones heart. For this, I applaud Kate Kelly and the women like her who feel the same. I'll continue to stand and proclaim my love for my Savior and for my desire to be accepted into a church that has thrown me away (twice). I will continue to pray for change and pray for love, knowing that my dream may never become a reality; I will also recognize the limits and consequences should I cross those lines.


Edward Morgan said...

Interesting post. I don't agree with everything you say but I get your point. The thing that tripped me up is your saying that you are not a feminist. I thought feminism was about women getting equal rights and a feminist is one who supports that. Do you mean that if a man and woman have the same job, but the woman is paid less only because she is a woman, you are okay with that because you are not a feminist? And if you do have a problem with unequal pay for the same job solely based on gender, does that not make you a feminist? Even a little bit? What is your definition of a feminist?

Kelly slash FindingMyWay said...

I suppose what I meant by "I'm not a feminist" is that I don't stand up and insist on equality. I would prefer equality, but I don't generally do anything about it. I guess I am a feminist, and also lazy.

Jess said...

Really surprised by your reaction here.
I feel there should be room for everyone in the church.
You are not a feminist? Of course you are.

Would you be willing to peruse through the Ordain Women website, read some articles/history/profiles then write another blog post about what you learned? Book report stat!

Kelly slash FindingMyWay said...

I'll have to answer when I get home. I did peruse the site last night. I do have more to say but no time.

Homework, bestie?! Really????

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more

yeti said...

I'm a little surprised by your response as well, but I can appreciate it, and I think it is a view that needs to be shared and heard, a perspective that needs to be remembered. Thanks.

Kelly slash FindingMyWay said...

My response is ONLY that we shouldn't be shocked that she was excommunicated. Under the CURRENT church rules, what she did was wrong. Under the CURRENT church rules, what I did was wrong. We should have both been excommunicated because we knowingly went against the church.

However, OF COURSE I think there should be place for ALL people in the church. In any church. And not just "you're welcome to come any time, but don't expect the same benefits as righteous people" stuff. I think we should all be able to make a stand and try to make changes. I think it's our right and I think it's our obligation. If we don't speak, there will never be the change we desire in the church, or society.

As far as being a feminist, gosh... I guess I am. I don't like inequality. I'm just not one to make a stand in that particular area. I should, but I don't.

I do believe the church should be open to change. I believe a lot of amazing people are denied when they shouldn't be. This is why we need to keep sharing our ideas, our issues, and our hearts. Maybe one day we'll enjoy the change.

Kelly slash FindingMyWay said...

I did not mean that morally "What she did was wrong." I meant that the church views it as wrong at this point and that's why there should have been a consequence. Am I making sense here??

Kelly slash FindingMyWay said...

I did not mean that morally "What she did was wrong." I meant that the church views it as wrong at this point and that's why there should have been a consequence. Am I making sense here??

yeti said...

I get what you're saying. I even referenced your post in my blog.

Trevor - INSIDE gay Mormon said...

Great post, thanks.

I think it is interesting that people believe Kate Kelly was excommunicated for believing women should get the priesthood. That's not the reason. The reason she was excommunicated (as I understand it) was because she was securing a following of people who believed in her points of view and was using that as pressure towards the church. Her beliefs are not on trial (in a sense) but her actions are.

The Church accepts all points of view, but its the actions against the church that are not accepted.

Much like your (and my) attraction to our same sex. The attraction is not the "sin" but the act of following through (ie: sex). Do I agree with that, no. But that's what it is.

So Kate Kelly was not excommunicated because she believes women should get the priesthood. She was excommunicated because she was enlisting a following (through her website) and using it as a force to change the church.