Mormons Clash With Women’s Rights
Mormons are members of the Church of Ladder Day Saints, which was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830. Mormons have a doctrine of continuous revelation, which allows them to add to their holy books (http://huff.to/1zP1egW).1 An article written on Huffington Post discusses the excommunication of a female member of the Mormon community.2 Apparently, Kate Kelly was excommunicated from the church due to apostasy, which is defined as the repeated public advocacy of teachings that oppose church teachings. Kelly is the founder of a women’s group called Ordain Women, which pushes for women to be aloud into the all male clergy. The group even goes so far as to stage protests outside of Mormon churches.
Religion is evidently quite a sensitive subject, and especially the smaller details such as the gender of the clergy, are difficult to fairly discuss. The reason that this seemed to become such a large issue is that, in our current society many women’s rights advocates are pushing for the equality of men and women on many levels. It would seem that Kelly’s case is not much different. The problem arises though, in the fact that it is a religious group that has spiritual beliefs and perhaps hidden meanings, behind the way that it functions. Thus, we cannot claim to fully understand why it is such that a religion should be at fault for the way that it is structured. It is clear though, that since our current society is working towards gaining equality for men and women, a religion is not exempt and is likely to be challenged as well. Nonetheless, it is clear that this religion does not accept women as part of the clergy, and they do not desire to change that. Also, if a member of a religion is openly protesting against that religion, it is understandable why members of that religion would not be comfortable with that. As we can see, this issue has many layers, and what lies at the core of it is the structure of the religion. Quite often, religions have set beliefs that do not change as society does. For this reason they may clash with current societal issues, just as the concept of an all-male Mormon clergy does. Unfortunately, I cannot claim to understand or even give much of an opinion to say whether or not this action was appropriate for either party. All that is clear is that it seems as though there is a clash between the current fight for women’s rights, and the Mormon clergy.
1 Concise Dictionary of Religions, Irving Hexham.151.