I’m pissed. A few days ago I wrote a lovely piece about my father I intended to upload this weekend. I’ll still upload it, but I’m pissed and I need to tell you why. Several months ago I allied myself with a group on the internet and Facebook called Ordain Women (OW). I’ve written about this before and about my concerns if the general authorities of the Mormon church decide to come down hard on these women.
The war has begun. On June 8, 2014, Kate Kelly, the founder of Ordain Women, received an “invitation” to answer charges of apostasy (see NYT article here). Likely the evidence will include the belief on the part of the church that Ordain Women and its members and supporters are directly questioning the authority of the “divinely” inspired leadership of the church. The fact that these women always speak softly, dress in their Sunday best whenever they perform some sort of public action and only ask that said leadership ask God the question “Has the time come for women to be ordained?” means nothing to these men in charge. They see these women as questioning the laws of God. The LAWS of GAWD, for heaven’s sake. (And remember that this is a church that was founded on the principle of “ask and it shall be answered.”)
Silent vigils are planned for the day and time this “disciplinary council” is scheduled to meet (June 22, 7 p.m. ET). Sister Kelly, who, as an attorney, knows how to answers these fools and refute their charges, will not be present. Knowing that Ms. Kelly has just moved from Virginia to Utah, her “former” bishop has ordered the meeting to take place in Virginia in a ward (a small community of church members) to which Ms. Kelly no longer belongs and to which she will be unable to travel (especially at the tail end of a weekend). She will be allowed to send a written statement, but no phone or internet will be allowed. Either show up or shut up.
To the wonderful women of OW who are reeling from this betrayal, I say, be strong. Be not afraid. I don’t believe in God as you perceive him, but I believe that there’s something out there which, when petitioned, will send you the strength and courage you require. The bigwigs of Mormondom may have fired the first salvo and the wounds may feel deadly, but the recognition you seek as human beings of equal value to me is a worthy cause. I know that often one of you will quote a line or two from “Come, Come Ye Saints,” but I choose to end with words from the Finale of Les Miserables.
“Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!”