Parker on Excommunication

Natasha Parker, who blogs at the Mormon Therapist has written several Facebook posts that I think are spot on.

  1.         In regards to the recent Mormon excommunication: the main pushback I’m getting from LDS members who disagree with me is that we should be willing to follow the Lord – His will, not thine or mine, be done. I think that comeback misses the point because I sincerely think we are all in this religious community trying to do exactly that – Kate Kelly included. This is not about how we follow the Lord. This is about how we follow the men who have access to priesthood authority in our church who represent the Lord to the best of their abilities. So do we sustain them through the principle of obedience? Or do we sustain them through the principle of engagement? I think as a culture we tend to value obedience more than other principles – but I think a balance between the two I mention here would be beneficial to all. Otherwise, one gives up all personal authority to another mortal being – and that is not a healthy way to develop spiritually in one’s life. It’s not even doctrinally supported. So let’s please stop assuming that when we differ in our engagement with church leaders – that somehow this means we are not willing to serve or sacrifice for our Lord and Redeemer.
  2.         Another comeback I’d like to address: “why then don’t men ask for the capacity to have babies?” This “ordain women” movement is not about asking for the capacity to ejaculate sperm. This has nothing to do with female or male anatomical functions. This is about having the same power, rights and privileges to offer service, administration and ordination within a religious community.
  3.         Another comeback I’d like to address: “I’m a Mormon woman and I don’t want the added responsibility of having the priesthood.” This one is really confusing to me, because as Mormon women we have TONS of responsibilities. I don’t see us as any less busy than the men. And since when are Mormon women shirkers? These are some of the toughest, hard-working, sacrificing and service-oriented women I know. And since when would we turn away from powers from on high that would help us with the duties we already engage in, as well as be willing to engage in new administrative duties that would balance gendered concerns? I think we just say this as a cultural cop-out in order to make sense of something that doesn’t – because it’s not how we act.
  4.         I promise, my last one tonight: Since when is excommunicating someone via email a loving gesture? That’s worse than breaking up with your significant other via text. And we all know what a ridiculous faux pas that is. I have actually been witness to loving disciplinary action where the person involved was very much part of the process, felt heard, validated and saw the procedure as part of a cleansing and rebirth. This is nothing of the sort.

I think she is spot on.

4 comments on “Parker on Excommunication

  1. Re: #4. Please realize that the council offered to reschedule if necessary for her to come in person, also offered secure video conference. But Kelly claimed she couldn’t afford the trip (the only lawyer that can’t afford plane fare) and had to care for a sick mystery relative (who apparently she neglected with a week full of interviews, writing newspaper columns, and attending vigils for herself. Don’t buy into her victim spin!

  2. Kelly chose to move without having her records moved. A tactical choice on her part. She wanted the action to take place at a distance so that she could appear more the martyr. She knew her actions would lead to possible excommunication.

  3. Why do you all continue to blame the victim? Regarding the letter from her bishop (and what you guys are saying) she said, starting at 3:20,

    Kelly, “The language that is used to talk about the process that happened to me is classic abuse. You know my mom is a prosecutor and she works with special victims and has for over 20 years, and she works with victims of domestic violence, victims of sexual assault, and a lot of what happens in that dialogue is that the perpetrator of the abuse describes the abuse as something that the victim made them do. Why did you make me hit you? Why did you make me do this? Or, I’m doing this because I love you. I’m doing this out of love. So in our society, the most violent situations against women are often shrouded in a cloud of disingenuous love.

    [my editorial comment: Court of love is convened out of love, right?]

    Reporter, “And that’s how you see this action against you?”

    Kelly, “Absolutely consistent with abusive, manipulative, patriarchal situations.

    You can see the whole interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFHf1UZGne8

    She’s saying this excommunication is violent, much like BiV did in her post about the Mormon Pointy Stick: Excommunication as a Model of Violent Dominion Theology.

  4. Kramer–she asked to have her records moved, and the bishop refused.

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