Authority, Equality, and the Words We Tend To Confuse them With

Even though I’ve long since left the church, I still feel a connection to it, and I follow its current events. I don’t mean I watch General Conference, when the leaders of the church speak publicly to church members across the globe. And I don’t mean I read the Church paper. But I do follow the impact the church has on the rest of us human beings. I follow the church as an outsider. So, if you are Mormon, please understand, I am not tell you what to believe. I am simply pointing out how other people perceive your church.

The recent excommunication of the leader of the “Ordain Women” group has, of course, peaked my attention. I recently found this blog post on my Facebook page by a Mormon woman. “The Style of Being: Mormonism, Feminism, and being snarky” Her response is pretty standard for a Mormon (not just a Mormon woman, but any Mormon really).

I didn’t read the who article, because I couldn’t get past the following statements:

“And as mormons, we truly believe that the church is operated by Christ himself, in a person-to-person link with latter day prophets. So yes, opposition to doctrine is opposition to God, according to our own beliefs. There is no vote.”

Right, so you can question all you want, but in the end your questions are moot because there is no vote. The Mormon church leader is always right. He not only speaks for God, but apparently he might as well be God. Oh, and he will always be a man.

“But equality is an important issue just in general these days, so why shouldn’t it come up at church as well as everywhere else? And yes, we need to discuss it. Especially when so many women are torn between what their faith tells them and what they hear on the 6:00 news or read on sister so and so’s blog.”

So what you are saying here is that women don’t think for themselves. Really? You really think Mormon women are torn between what other people are saying and are incapable of thinking this through on their own? Really?

“And I refuse to believe that I am the same as a man. . . . I have never in my life been so offended, in the true sense of the word, than when I had other women trying to sell me the idea that my value as a person lies in how closely I resemble a man.”

No you are not the same as a man. You have a vagina and can bear children. You have breasts. You are physically very different from a man. But that is not the argument. You are confusing the word “sameness” with the word “equality”. Do I need to define these words for you? We have dictionaries for that.

“It’s 2014 ladies, and men are not telling us that the roles of wife, mom, teacher, and caregiver are submissive and demeaning. They are not telling us that they are better or more powerful or more righteous because they hold God’s priesthood.”

You are right. Men are not demeaning wives and motherhood. (I don’t see how teacher and caregiver are more closely related to women than they are to men so I won’t comment on those). And you are right; men are not saying they are better or more righteous. And perhaps they are not directly telling us they are more powerful. In fact in some contexts women are just as “powerful” as the men. But again the argument isn’t really about power. It’s about authority, and it’s obvious that men have more authority in the Mormon church. Men lead the church. Men carry the authority to officiate. It is the man who speaks to God. It is the man who leads his congregation. I’m not an idiot. Men carry the authority. What they say goes. So question if you like, but don’t challenge the man’s authority. You will risk being excommunicated.

Again, I am not trying to attack anyone’s beliefs. My purpose is simply to point out my understanding of things.