Many have noted the inconsistencies in church discipline. Kate Kelly has been exed, and it looked like John would as well. As noted last week, it doesn’t appear that Tom Phillips has been excommunicated, despite calling Thomas S. Monson a fraud. Many have noted the double-standards of church discipline–letting John and Tom off easy, but going after Kate Kelly. Currently it seems that there is no discipline imminent for John Dehlin. How do you explain the discrepancies in discipline?
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KK made a public spectacle of putting the Church in a bad light.
JD claims to want to help people work through faith issues.
John and Tom both know people directly or through others. Having those connections means any ‘sin’ they do is taken in good faith. Kate didn’t have those connections, and thus she was an easier scapegoat.
You can blame sexism, which the system encourages, or you can blame lack of networking opportunities.
Each stake president and bishop magnifies his own calling, as he understands and feels the Lord’s direction.
I’d understood that John’s SP merely asked him if he wanted his name removed and John didn’t. There wasn’t a disciplinary issue to begin with.
As for Tom…. Sheesh.
I think Kate’s situation is pretty clear even though she is loathe to admit her advocacy for her issue publicly. John is a very different case because even though I an never seen anyone go back and forth on their Church membership like John, not sure he has actually done anything to warrant Church action.
There wasn’t an option for “all of the above” so I chose the most egregious: misogyny.
I don’t think Kelly was more insubordinate to the church hierarchy than Phillips was in bringing a public lawsuit. I don’t think Kelly was more heretical in her push for ordination than her husband who counseled her, help set up Ordain Women, had an OW profile and appeared at all the OW events. Furthermore, other women who merely had OW profiles have also been called in to church discipline while I haven’t heard of a male supporter yet who has.
I don’t doubt that the church is trying to avoid the appearance of a wholesale purge like September Six but the misogyny of it all resting on the shoulders of women is difficult to miss. …unless you choose not to see it.
1. Leadership roulette. I think there is a combination of decision making happening at the top and bottom.
2. Level of agitation. Kate has brought a ton of scrutiny to the Church as of late. John is slow but consistent.
Personally, I’m not convinced that no action will or already has been taken against John. He has been rather quiet on the issue after meeting with his stake pres in late June, this after been very vocal before given interviews to all who´d ask. Maybe the stake pres put him on informal probation and specifically asked John to keep this confidential, so if he talks they will hold a council asap. Maybe his stake pres is considering the issue still whilst seeking advice from his own leaders (area authorities and the responsible pres of the 70)
However my gut feeling is that it is more likely than not that they will eventually excommunicate him, especially after his last two podcasts. But it is also more likely than not that his stake pres dropped some cojones after all the publicity and he is waiting for things to cool down a bit , since it´s painful to lose a cojon that way!!!
Or maybe he is trying to work out how to excommunicate someone who is clearly a non-believer, which he can´t do, so this would be my fall back guess if the above is wrong. .
–Let’s be blunt–Kate Kelly didn’t engage the disciplinary process; she fought it and attempted to marshal public opinion against it. The outcome in her case was entirely predictable.
–John Dehlin appears to have requested an extension–which was granted–and to my knowledge, has been (relatively) tight-lipped since then. It might still be coming, or he might actually be “repenting”–time will tell.
–Tom Phillips, unlike Kelly and Dehlin, hasn’t been presenting himself as an active and believing Church member; and no Mormon who is aware of his recent antics could accept him as such. It would be (uncharitably) gratifying to see him excommunicated, but let’s be honest–his ostensible “church membership” isn’t really lending him credibility the way it was lending Kelly and Dehlin credibility. Moreover, Phillips could deploy an intriguing (if unpersuasive to me personally) argument: that the Church, having bestowed temple blessings on him unconditionally as part of the Second Anointing ritual, has no authority to revoke them). That could draw unwanted public attention to that particular ritual, and may even be grounds for a legal action (is a club in breach of some sort of contract if it expels someone that it previously accepted as a “life member”?). The Church may feel that, for the time being, it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie. But if Phillips starts turning up at meetings, insisting on taking the sacrament, demanding a temple recommend, etc.–things could get very interesting indeed.
John seems willing to talk with his church leaders. Kate seems only willing to claim she used to be willing to talk, or she would be willing to talk if they were in her new ward, (or if they are high enough up in church hierarchy), etc. I still wonder what would have happened if she were the type to show up to her church court rather than hold a vigil.
I haven’t been following the Tom situation closely.
Adding KK’s husband to the mix, who publicly supported her, did the same stuff she did, etc, I can only think the brethren don’t like a woman attacking their priesthood… I feel perhaps that should be the real comparison. One can’t compare apples to oranges. Sure JD has supported things the church is against, but it’s a broader range of things, plus he claims to want to help people with faith transitions, and so he walks the line…
I really can’t figure out why they haven’t ex’ed TP. I don’t see the logic in leaving TP, but exing KK, who professed to still believe. The only explanation I can think of for this is that the church sees a threat from within being better able to cause problems than a threat from without. Maybe they can convince people to write TP off as ‘anti’, as my FIL did after listening to his interview, but if KK still attends and believes, then people are more likely to listen to her…?
Or else, it’s just about the biology….
I put other. Despite the podcasts, the interviews, etc.”Why i still Stay” something or other, John still believes.
Excommunicating John would bring issues to the media and public that the church does not want to draw attention to. I think the church wants those on the fringe to stay out of the general memberships eye. Imagine the Mormon Moment if all of John’s ideas and questions were aired and debated in the press and then among members as Kate Kelly has been debated. As a believing member Kate Kelly has never disputed truth claims and has always publicly declared her unwavering testimony. John as a doubting member has never claimed and unwavering testimony, so he would be excommunicated for a number of unorthodox beliefs and numerous doubts that the church would rather not openly confront.
Kate is female and a leader among women. She’s educated and is a women’s rights attorney. She’s confident, happy in teaching about finding greater equality while respecting the process of those who hold keys are the only ones who can seek revelation for the church. She wasn’t afraid to “agitate” since Pres. Hinckley said there had been none for ordaining women. She believed his literal comment and took it to heart. Some believe she stepped way beyond the mark. Some believe she was inspired and guided by the Spirit. But I think a liberal man is far more tolerated than a liberal woman who speaks up, advocating for equality in a church that has it’s own private definition of equality as separate, but equal. I think that in general, men claim they don’t understand women, so how can they “know and understand” Kate? But they “get” John Dehlin. He’s a guy, and guys get guys.
Plus John has been talking to his local leaders for a long time. Perhaps StayLDS is a result of past discussions with local leaders. Kate emailed Bishop Harrison multiple times to inform him of every agitating/advocating step she was taking. He did not respond. Either he didn’t know what to say in response, fearing he would misspeak, or he was too busy and didn’t see any problem, or was in over his head. He sounds like a terrific, smart, kind Bishop. But again, does he “get” women? Why didn’t he meet with her several times over the 15 months as John’s leaders did to try to understand her attitude, goal, hopes, intentions, and her testimony? Why wasn’t she asked about her testimony? Her scriptural foundation for the oppression of women? Was the Spirit guiding her? Does her patriarchal blessing guide her actions? WHY weren’t these things discussed long before May, 2014? Especially since her eternal covenants are at stake?
JD is being “handled” far more thoughtfully. Kate was ambushed.
John is a semi-active or inactive member who spends a lot of time badmouthing the Church while doing his subtle best to make it look as if that’s not what he’s doing. What he has not done is come right out and say that he supports a particular position and wants the prophet to pray until he agrees. One of the big differences between them is that Kate actually believes, whereas John does not. The Church can handle a non-believer who talks about historical and doctrinal issues, although (IMHO) Dehlin is a wolf among the flock who probably should be dealt with. A believer who openly challenges the authority of the Church leadership – who claims to have been granted divine confirmation of a needed change that has not yet come to the prophet – that was doomed to be dealt with, whether or not that believer actually had received such a revelation.
Trying to attribute the difference in action to Leadership Roulette or to simple good ol’ boy sexism is quite a stretch, comforting as it might be to believe that.
Difficult to understand or explain
Maybe they don’t ex Tom Phillips because they want to make sure he ends up a son of perdition.
John knows the right words to say to seem reconciliatory. Kate also knows, but has hardened to her own non-reconciliatory choice.
To those commenting that Kate didn’t engage/participate in the disciplinary process, can I just point out that she did in fact participate in writing, one of the options offered to her.
It seems on the face of it that Dehlin’s leaders have been far more prepared to talk to him on an ongoing basis over a long time, whereas Kate seems to have been left more or less to get on with things – why would she have anticipated a problem, they could have talked with her much sooner and didn’t. And when they did (I refer to Dec 2013) they don’t appear to have made clear that there was an actual problem to be addressed, as opposed to differing viewpoints.
You seem to do what many TBMs do… you shoot the messenger. John Dehlin may point out historical facts that the church refuses to. He may criticize the way the corporation handles things. But he isn’t making things up. When has pointing to truth equal to a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s not John’s doing in covering up history. The Church is having a faith crisis. It is slowly trying to come clean bit doing it way too slowly to stop the hemorrhaging of good committed members from its roles. He provides a place for those like me, who ate abletoo learn to turn anger from deceit into a reason to stay. His podcasts and advice have helped my marriage, my family relationships, etc survive the Church’s faith crisis I happened to uncover while preparing for a Sunday School lesson. I turn you to youtube for 2 videos that may help you if you do have a desire to understand Join Dehlin and those of us in his position “5 myths why and facts why committed LDS members leave the church” and mormonstories.org “why I stay. ” Inform yourself before judging John or your fellow saints who are injured or casualties of church history we didn’t invent.
John’s consistently better at playing the game and working with people. Ironically, Kate was a stronger believer. I’m not sure whether it’s outright sexism (the lack of action against her husband seems to indicate that it is in the case of her SP), but being a woman creates both an advantage and disadvantage in church discipline. An advantage in that women may be held less accountable by a sexist leader who sees women as subordinate to men and not entirely free agents. A disadvantage in that they are forever outsiders to these power structures, misunderstanding them and misunderstood by them. John definitely “gets” how to play the game more than Kate.
For those who thinkKKs agitation was the reason she was exed, let me tell you about some activities in our neighbourhood.
5 years ago someone decided to disband a polynesian ward, and have them attend their geographic wards. The majority of them refused, set up their own ward, gathered tithing and used it to sue the church, the stake president, and their new geographic Bishops for racial discrimination, they were not successful, and appealed to a higher court and again failed.
This strikes me as orders of magnitude more agressive, apostate, or whatever than KK!
6 months ago the Area presidency met and had dinner with this group, and since that meeting, the Bishops and Stake presidents who were sued have all been released, and replaced with polynesians, and just this weekend, a new Tongan ward has been formed.
This same Area presidency have just published on LDS.org.au a letter they are sending to all polihticians in Australia, state and federal who may be considering marriage equality. They are also responsible for New Zealand, and in fact are based there. NZ has already legalised marriage equality.
The church seems to have given in to the demands of people who were much more agressive than Kate, so why did she need exing?
Geof, it’s about time they sorted that out, although its only a drop in the ocean. Those language wards were all closed down because of the embedded racism in the church in Australia. However those Tongan members were only fighting to have their ward reopened, they weren’t trying to change mormon doctrine nor did they march on church offices in Carlingford with the media in toe, as Kate did in general conference.
I’d say that Kate’s main problem was that she was the leader of the group who tried to gatecrash the priesthood session with the media there looking on. After that little episode they had to do something to stop her recruiting more women to her gatecrashing events during general conference. If she’d kept things within the website only they’d probably wouldn’t have done anything just to avoid giving her more free publicity, and recruiting more women. .
If causing unflattering news stories is the problem I think you’d have to at least consider that the church is the all time champion on that score: continuing to permit the baptisms for Holocaust victims after agreeing not to, the ongoing scandal of the cost of City Creek Mall, numerous zoning fights over the construction of temples, withholding the ordination of Black men until 1978 and Prop 8 in CA and the subsequent disclosure of deceptive reporting on monetary and in-kind contributions come to mind though there are probably others.
Re. #21, I’m hardly a TBM. You haven’t been paying attention. If you’ve been able to use Dehlin’s lies and half-truths as reasons to stay engaged in the Church (as opposed to “reasons to stay engaged in the Church to plant seeds of doubt with other members”), then more power to you. The fact is that Dehlin has consistently misrepresented his position and his beliefs so that he could protect his membership, so that the wolf in sheep’s clothing can remain among the flock and not be cast out. Good luck. You obviously have not been reading carefully.
If you seriously see Dehlin’s poor excuse for “truth claims” in a bad light, then you have no excuse other than the inability to read simple English. I’m a convert of 28 years and in the pre-Internet age, encountered and dealt with all of the things that seem to come as a shock to the “dyed-in-the-wool” Utah Wasatch Bubble Saints and still got an unmistakable testimony which has nothing to do with being a “TBM.” You should have been better informed decades ago. You have no excuse but youth and inexperience.
JD…friends/family in high places, tall, handsome man.
KK…no friends in high places and….well…she has a sweet spirit.
TP…can’t unseal a second anointing.
Re. #28: Dehlin has family in high places? Like that helped Fawn Brodie, or John W Taylor, or Matthias Cowley, or . . .
KK got exed because her stake pres doesn’t think she’s hot? Say what? Or is it the FP that doesn’t think she’s cute enough to “retain”?
TP – let me refer you to Matthew 16:19. If they have the power to seal, they have the power to unseal.
The words of former member Chad Hardy and creator of the ‘Men on a Mission Calendars” come to mind as they echo the journey of Kate Kelly and Ordain Women:
“Hardy said the purpose of the 2008 calendar was not to tear down the church or its 13 million members”. “The project is about stepping outside the stereotypes and stepping outside of the image,” Hardy said. “Not everybody fits the image and I let them know we’re not trying to portray an image for the entire church.”
I believe one could say that Hardy’s calendars did not technically violate any of his covenants, but it was the “tone” of his calendar.
SP to Chad: During our visit, I mentioned to you that the calendar was inappropriate and asked that you give careful consideration to terminate its publication. It simply does not represent the Church or Church missionaries in the right way.
Chad to SP:We are standing behind the project, its message and philanthropic purposes.
Outcome: He was excommunicated by a council of Las Vegas-based church leaders. Officially, the loss of membership was for conduct unbecoming a church member.
What about the models that were hired to pose for the Calendar?
“Some of the 12 models have also been called to disciplinary meetings, but none were punished”
But I have to admire Chad for his outlook:
“I have no ill feelings toward any of those people,” Hardy said of the church council. “They did what they believed was right and I really do feel it was the best decision for both of us.”