Thursday, September 26, 2013

LDS Church Stands Strong Against Radical Feminists; Backlash Erupts Against Ordain Women's Plan To Crash The Priesthood Session Of The LDS General Conference

The plan by Ordain Women to crash the Saturday evening Priesthood session of the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has bumped up against a big STOP sign by the Church itself and a growing manifestation of backlash by rank-and-file Church members. The LDS Church plans to stand strong and refuse admittance to these radical feminists. Here's the full statement released on September 24th by the LDS Church:

"It is the hope of the Church that the Priesthood session will strengthen the men and young men including fathers and sons, and give them the opportunity to gather and receive instruction related to priesthood duties and responsibilities, much the same way parallel meetings are held for sisters, such as the general Relief Society meeting. It's for these reasons that tickets for the Priesthood session are reserved for men and young men and we are unable to honor your request for tickets or admission".

Good response. Just as the women have the right to their own meeting, so we men likewise have an equal right to our own meeting. Diversity and equality do not require that everything be equally kaleidoscopic. The fact that the First Presidency shows up at both the General Relief Society Meeting and the General Young Women Meeting doesn't make these meetings any less of "women's meetings"; the First Presidency is merely exercising their obligation to preside over the Church when they show up at the women's meetings. The women's meetings are actually conducted by the respective women's presidencies themselves.

However, the LDS Church did try to address Ordain Women's concerns part way by also announcing that for the first time, the Priesthood Session will be broadcast live on television and online on BYUtv, as well as on and the Mormon Channel. However, the announcement may have come too late for cable companies to pick up the additional broadcast; check to see if your cable company has added the Priesthood broadcast. In the past, the Priesthood session was only broadcast live from the Conference Center in Downtown Salt Lake via satellite to LDS stake centers and the Tabernacle on Temple Square, although the session eventually appeared on Conference archives and transcripts of talks published in the Ensign magazine. Mormon Momma believes the two announcements are related, and they could be right.

In response, representatives of Ordain Women said they still plan to wait in the standby line at the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City for tickets to the session. One of the lead organizers, Kate Kelly, who is also a so-called "international rights lawyer" from Washington DC, sees this as a continuation of them asking, seeking and knocking, and demonstrating their willingness to receive the priesthood and to accept the responsibilities that come with it.

Willingness? It's more like impetuously "demanding it". And their tactics have attracted backlash. Most of the backlash has been triggered by the confrontational tactics of Ordain Women and their coven of supporters. There's even some disagreement expressed on the Ordain Women Facebook Page, with Lindsey Kenison writing "No it wouldn't! We have the priesthood through our husbands. We don't need it. All you women are crazy. If God wanted us to be ordained then it would happen". On the Millennial Star, Joyce Anderson reminds us of 3 Nephi 11:29, which quotes Jesus Christ as stating "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.". She also considers Ordain Women's form of protest to be disrespectful of the leaders of the Church and the council system of the Church. While she has had issues with men in the church, she believes these issues were the fact that they were just men with weaknesses making themselves manifest, and not because they were men exercising their priesthood wrongly. She also reminds us that the blessings of salvation are available to ANYONE who is willing to humble themselves regardless of gender.

On Small & Simple, Eric Nielson cites Doctrine & Covenants Section 107 as a reason why women's ordination will not occur in the near future. He notes that Section 107, which addresses priesthood ordination at length, uses terms like "man", "men", and "he" throughout. Although he acknowledges that the scriptures frequently use the term "man" in the generic sense, he doesn't believe it be the case here, because he feels the examples given in this section are exclusively male, and the exclusive male pronouns seem to complete the case for a male only priesthood quite powerfully. He suggest it would take a significant clarifying revelation to overturn what seems the only reasonable interpretation of this important section. Interesting, but the reasoning is a bit weak.

Daniel Peterson also weighs in on Sic Et Non:

There’s not a question in my mind that women are, on the whole, at least the equal of men, spiritually speaking. And I have no doubt that they would administer church matters as well and effectively as men do. I can think of no earthly reason for not conferring the priesthood upon them. I would be perfectly content, even happy, if they were ordained.

The only objection that I can think of is that the Lord hasn’t sanctioned, let alone commanded, the ordination of women. I have no idea why. But that seems to me a lethal objection. Moreover, I would have no interest in belonging to a church in which the decision to ordain women came as a result of committee discussions, surveys, politicking, and protests, rather than by revelation.

Should God decree the ordination of women, I’ll be perfectly fine with it. I don’t anticipate that, but it’s logically conceivable. Pending that, however, I guess I’m resigned to be called a sexist, a misogynist, and an advocate of patriarchal oppression, as well as to continue to try to treat women with respect and charity — as the Lord has, in fact, decreed.

Even more progressive LDS bloggers are pessimistic about women's ordination. On Peculiar People, David Howlett cites four reasons why he believes LDS women will not have the priesthood conferred upon them:

-- The current LDS leadership forms a fairly conservative, white male gerontocracy (naturally, a progressive wouldn't be a progressive without playing the race card), and as people age, they tend to become more socially conservative.

-- The increasing internationalization of the LDS Church makes women’s ordination unlikely. Howlett sees no major international movement that even approximates the support for women’s ordination among a tiny minority of LDS members in the US.

-- The trend towards “correlation” at all levels of the LDS Church, which is intended to ensure to same Gospel principles are preached everywhere in the world, works against women’s ordination.

-- Peer pressure and a desire for acceptance by other social conservatives makes women’s ordination unlikely. By "allies", Howlett is referring to what is called the Religious Right, which includes conservative American Catholics and conservative evangelicals.


In The Doghouse said...

I am not voicing my approval for the action that these women are taking but the response from the Church to them when they requested tickets left the door wide open for them to do what they are doing. The response for the request only stated that those seats were reserved for men and boys. If there are left over seats after all the men and boys are seated what will prevent the women from gaining access from the stand by line?

Anonymous said...

There won't be any seats left - there never are,