In her Flunking Sainthood posts, Jana Reiss has summarized some fascinating findings about Mormon attitudes toward the LGBT community. These statistics represent wide-scale shifts in attitudes in a very short period of time as well as double digit differences in attitudes between generations. I’ll review the findings from her posts below, but I recommend you read them yourself here and here.
Let’s start with the older data, from October 2016. This data was about the attitudes toward the Nov. 5 Exclusion Policy, nearly a year after its release. This was, for me, the most discouraging data set.
Two-thirds (71%) of active Mormons agreed (either strongly or somewhat) that church members who enter a gay marriage are apostate and should be subject to a disciplinary council.
- 47% said they “strongly agreed”
- 18% said they “strongly disagreed”
The generation gap for “strong agreement” is very telling. The Silent Generation (those who number among the apostles are in this group) is much more strongly aligned with this position than the Millenials, and each generation has a reduction in agreement with a 13% drop between Silent Generation and Generation X (mine) and another 5% drop in the Millennials group.
This generation gap correlates with strong feelings that homosexuality should be accepted by society. Only 38% of Silent Generation agree with that statement, but 56% of Millennials do (Gen X is in the middle at 47% agreement).
When it comes to the second facet of the Nov. 5 Exclusion Policy: barring children of gay couples from baptism and blessings, the enthusiasm and support for the policy drops across the board by 11 points while disagreement rises by 9. Interestingly, there is a strong divide between men and women with more women disagreeing with the policy to exclude children. In all, 42% of active Mormon women disagree either strongly (28%) or somewhat (14%) with the policy.
No surprise that Republicans are twice as likely to strongly agree with this policy (46%) than Democrats (23%).
Another unsurprising finding is that 63% of former Mormons strongly disagreed with the policy, and another 14% somewhat disagreed with it, for a total of 77%. The survey did not assess whether this was the reason they left the church.
Policy aside, there has been a significant shift between 2015 and 2016 in how Mormons feel about whether small businesses should be allowed a religious exemption from providing goods & services to gay couples, and now the (slim) oppose allowing a small business owner to refuse.
The Next Mormons Survey designed to measure generation gaps in attitudes and beliefs within Mormonism shows that twice as many Millennial Mormons support gay marriage (40.2%) than their age 52+ counterparts (20.3%). In similar findings (PRRI survey), we can see the shift in acceptance that was measured in just one year (2015-2016):
Our Shifting Gerontocracy
One thing I noticed in the data is that the Boomers were lumped in with the Silent Generation. I decided to look up some census data on these generational groups to put things into perspective. Here are a few interesting comparisons:
- Silent Generation (born 1925-1945) were raising their children between 1946 and 1985. As parents, they saw Kennedy’s assassination, the Vietnam war, Watergate, the sexual revolution.
- Boomers (born 1946-1964) were raising children between 1967 and 2004. As parents, they saw oil price wars, increased reliance on technology (microwaves, TV channels, and eventually cell phones), the ERA and bra burnings, and the fall of communism.
- Generation X (born 1965-1980) are still raising children, starting in 1986 and going through 2020. As parents, we saw the emergence of the 24 hour news cycle, the continued rise of global terrorism, the inception of the internet, the beginning of the tea party and increased polarization of political parties, and an increase in global awareness and connection.
- Millennials will be parents from 2002 – 2037 and it remains to be seen what they will experience.
Although the Silent Generation is the smallest of all these groups by far (only 60% as many people as Generation X, for example), the Q15 comprise mostly (2/3) of this group, and now a handful of Boomers (1/3):
- Silent Generation: Nelson (1924), Monson (1927), Ballard (1928), Oaks (1932), Hales (1932), Eyring (1933), Holland (1940), Uchtdorf (1940), Cook (1940), Christofferson (1945).
- Boomers: Andersen (1951), Rasband (1951), Bednar (1952), Renlund (1952), Stevenson (1955).
Apostles are generally called between age 55 and 65, with a few outliers (as young as 53 or as old as 70). Given that target range, and an average age of 88 for apostles at time of death, here’s what the future looks like in terms of generational shift among church leadership:
- Boomers will continue to be called as vacancies occur as late as 2029 and will generally continue to serve for 23-33 years.
- The first Generation X leaders may be called around 2020 (age 55 for the oldest among the Gen Xers). Prime apostle calling age for Gen X is from 2020-2045.
- Millennials could called to apostleships between 2036 to 2062.
Looking ahead, we see that due to increases in life expectancy, the Silent Generation will have had a completely disproportionate representation in church leadership as compared to total populations of these four generational groups.
- The Silent Generation has had 13 apostles, despite comprising only 50 million total Americans.
- We currently have 5 apostles who are Boomers, and we can expect another 6 to be called as vacancies occur. That’s 11 total compared to a 76 million person generation.
- Due to these quirks in life expectancy, we can expect only 8 vacancies to be filled by the largest generation, my generation, Generation X. This is the first generation to demonstrate a strong shift in acceptance of gay marriage.
- The Millennial generation will likely fill 10 apostle vacancies, compared to their population of 75.4 million.
That means policies, doctrines, teaching materials, and to a large extent cultural mores and attitudes will have been set by that smaller yet long-lived generation.
- The Silent Generation will have had 2.5 times the per capita representation of the largest population group, Generation X.
- The Millennials will have half the representation per capita that the Silent Generation has had.
Of course, not all Silent Generation are in lock step on these issues either, just a majority. Everyone is still an individual with his or her own hobby horse topics.
The survey results are revealing of a growing chasm between church leadership and their generational cohorts and the up-and-coming church members. How you interpret these results probably depends on your own perspective, given the differences between the sexes, generations, and political lines.
- What, if anything, in this data did you find surprising?
- Do you think this portends an inevitable shrinkage in membership?
- How do you predict change in member attitudes will come over the next few years?
- Will change come too slowly for rising generations?
Thanks for this comprehensive treatment of the data.
What I see -at least here in Australia – is that the following
1. Those new people called (locally in wards and Branches) from younger generations hold views more consistent with the older generations – thus perpetuating the status quo. And in some cases – and I think Elder Bednar is an example – we are going backwards.
2. There is a trend to discount liberalism as the evil of the generation and a sign of the times.
3. Those with more liberal views tend to either leave church activity or have less of an impact socially in the church setting. I was socially ostracised for my liberal position on SSM.
I tend to agree with LDS Aussie. My experience with the Australian saints is that leadership is called from those who are socially conservative and are, to a degree, “church broke”!
Also the vocal minority in most church units tend to be those who are less liberal. So the outcome is that any views that are outside the correlated norm are shit down pretty quickly. I am reminded occasionally by a particular member that I keep teaching false doctrine. I don’t and am very careful not to teach outside the approved material. However this member took exception to something I mentioned regarding translation in one of the essays and they have not forgotten!!
I will be interesting to see how the next decades will influence church policy and direction. I have a sense of optimism but I believe any positive change will take a long time.
First, LDS_Aussie, there is nothing that makes me more sad than to hear you were socially ostracized for your position on SSM. Hopefully things are/or will improve in your neck of the woods.
A great book to read to understand the political makeup of the Mormon Church in the United States everyone should check out is “American Grace.” It covers how between the 1960’s and the early 2000’s religious people and non-religious people began voting in blocks. Our current Q15 reflects this trend and there is not a single registered democrat among them (whereas, the opposite trend can be seen in more secular heavy institutions, they all vote democrat.)
However, the book also states that this trend is beginning to change on the national level. Jana Riess’ work is showing that this change is also happening in Mormonism.
To me the problem is not a generational divide. Whenever I read a post on “generation gaps” I feel like it is a red hearing that prevents us from discussing the real issue which is that for many church members the Q15 leans too conservative. But if there was an option to release say Elder Bednar (65) and Elder Christopherson (72) and replace them with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (78) and D. Michael Quinn (73) (or Armand Mauss, or the Bushmans probably would be in this category too) the same people publishing papers and posting blogs about the dangers of age would enthusiastically back this move in spite of the fact that it would raise the dreaded “average age of the apostles.” (In fact, sure millenials supported President Obama, but they also supported Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders. Two super old white guys. Ideology, not age drives these issues.)
So, let’s focus on the real issue: the political/ideological diversity of the Q15. As demographics in the church change, that will change. The church is already much less conservative then when I was growing up in the 80’s (yes I am a dreaded millennial). The church takes open positions that are contrary to the Republican platform (immigration and refugees), there are no anti-communist rants, more talks about social justice, tolerating those of other faiths or opposing ideas, calls to CES teachers to actually find historical answers to tough questions. Again, we are still a right of center church, but as church demographics have moved so have positions. The Q15, though slow, will always shift to represent the church at large. Right now is a particularly difficult time because the church membership attitudes made huge changes in the last 4 years and bureaucracies are always going to be slower than individuals on the ground. But I think much of the friction that exists today will be reduced between 2020-2022. Though as always, I could be wrong.
That is probably “shut” down? Or is the useage different?
I was surprised just a bit at the change within a year.
I do think this is getting a bit more critical and actions of the upper leadership will determine if the change isn’t managed well. I think the trends among the members is inevitable (unless the rate of progressives leaving really ramps up). Move too fast and the older/more conservative folks are pushed either out or they line up with fringe groups. Move to slow and the younger/progressive folks leave. Right now it seems the top leaders are leaning towards riding the “we welcome gays”, but having many things that disagree with that. I can’t tell if they have a plan beyond that and send many mixed signals.
“older/more conservative folks are pushed either out or they line up with fringe groups.
That is EXACTLY what’s been happening in the RLDS (Community of Christ) Church for decades. Once progressives had enough support and votes in Conference, they began a laundry list of changes to doctrine. When the conservatives began to question and exercise conscientious objection (you know, the things liberals were known for) , they were basically told “get with the program, or get out”. So much for tolerance and diversity.
And here’s the real paradox. Progressive thought rules the Community of Christ. You would think its members that worked so hard to enact these changes would be continually supporting the church to keep it healthy. But they don’t. The members that are Generation X and Millenials largely do not pay tithing, forcing the church to cut programs/budgets.
The real effort has always been to get rid of beliefs/standards that were painted as “fundamentalist”. As a victory would be proclaimed, the focus is on “what’s the NEXT thing we can change?
My siblings and I fall within generation X (the youngest only just), and we are all over the spectrum politically. A couple of US-right rhetoric Bensonite conservatives at one end, and a liberal me (I’m the eldest) at the other end, others in between. I don’t really know where all our kids (the millenials) fall politically, to what extent they are or are not influenced by their parents’ political persuasion, but my own kids are left-leaning liberals interested in social justice and equal rights.
It’s hard to tell where the church here will be headed. On the one hand at a stake level I can see the stake try hard on the women issue – stake auxilliary leaders (that includes sunday school) get speaking assignments with the HC, and we see a lovely proportion of women speaking in our stake conferences. I don’t how it goes down in council meetings, but from what I can see, they seem to be doing everything they can. I hear black and white views from some adults in the stake and more nuanced views from others. an in brief conversation with a member of the stake presidency he did indicate that in area meetings they do get to question things, though what that questioning would look like in practice I do not know, and imagine that area meetings are a council without women also…
So far as ward level leaders (Bishops / Branch President) I have observed, they seem to be very caring from a pastoral sense, and that’s a good thing, but also very obedience driven in carrying out their duties, unlikely to show too much initiative at adapting the handbook for local conditions, or to question any GA statement. It doesn’t seem they’d be likely to express any dissenting view. Also for the most part they would seem to be pretty clueless when it comes to the issues causing problems that are regularly discussed on the blogs. Though I suppose I might be misjudging them on that.
Our Bishop took the YW lesson on the priesthood the other week, and my daughter reported she’d been quite annoyed since he advocated that women shouldn’t go out to work unless they have to, because it hardens their natural nurturing natures! Along with other gender essentialist nonsense in the same vein. (These are the very sentiments taught in church that drove me insane 30 years ago, and they haven’t gone anywhere it would seem).
Great post with lots of fascinating evidence. My takeaways:
1. Yes, I think that the church will continue to shrink in active membership. I work with YSAs and most of them (upwards of 90 %) don’t attend in our stake. A lot of that is due not only to things like the exclusion policy, but also to what young people see as an absurdly narrow definition of family and therefore of community. I don’t see this trend reversing much unless massive changes are made across the board. And I just don’t see that happening. I think one thing that might get the younger folks re-engaged is a renewed emphasis on service and outreach. Those are things that young people care about a great deal. But again, the church seems instead to have doubled down on obedience and any number of poorly constructed naval metaphors (the Good Ship Zion, etc.) in order to get people to follow in lock step rather than really helping them to expand their consciousness and empathy. That’s a recipe for failure, not success when it comes to young people.
2. I love Jason B’s comment, but I’m not sure I’d quite agree with everything. I’m with you, Jason B, on the politics of the 15 and on the lack of diversity of political/social views, but I actually think the problem is even deeper and more pervasive than that. I think the problem is the fact that most members connect conservative ideology directly with God’s will. This, of course, is an absurd, unsupportable and deeply flawed thing to do, but nonetheless, this is where we are. Most members I know locally (I’m in the Southeast U.S.) believe that God approves of conservative principles and that liberal/progressive politics are literally (yes, literally) the tools that Satan uses to deceive and confound people. THAT is the main problem, I think. Politics is merely politics, and Christ’s few words on the matter seem to indicate that a believer shouldn’t have much to do with political ideologies of any sort and instead should just spend time taking care of the poor and needy. But that, of course, does not fit with the conservative agenda of melding God and militant patriotism into one another so that one becomes indistinguishable from the other. The problem, in other words, isn’t the lack of political diversity of the leadership; the problem is that one end of the political spectrum is seen as being of God and the other end is seen as being of Lucifer. Until that bifurcation is dismantled, we’re going to continue literally going backwards as a church in terms of our leaders. And I don’t see anything changing much, in part because Mormons are very good at mistaking belief for certainty. It’s one of the worst things we do and it’s what’s caused this mess in the first place.
I’m a Boomer, and I’m offended that I’m being lumped in with the “Silent Generation.” I’m anything but silent. And I have far different views of the world than my father, who is indeed in the Silent Generation. My mother is even more silent, since she passed away a few years ago.
A couple of nit-picky items: “twice as likely . . . than”? And Millennial has two n’s.
Jason B: “So, let’s focus on the real issue: the political/ideological diversity of the Q15. As demographics in the church change, that will change.” Agreed, but very hard to get this kind of data, clearly.
“The church is already much less conservative then when I was growing up in the 80’s (yes I am a dreaded millennial).” I strongly disagree with this statement for two reasons: 1) I think the cold wars may be over, but the church is far more entrenched in culture wars than it ever was when I was growing up in the 80s–that stuff was introduced by President Benson, or at least the current wave was–and then solidified with the Proc, and 2) if you were growing up in the 1980s, you are not a Millennial, dreaded or otherwise, but a Generation Xer. My sons, born in the 90s, are Millennials.
I think it’s an astute point that bureaucracies are a much bigger issue than age. I’ve posted elsewhere on some of the surprisingly progressive views of Elder Oaks (who is nevertheless quite conservative obviously, and even has some odd views that align with the tea party, which I think is accidental rather than deliberate).
Franklin: I agree that lumping the two generations together is problematic. That’s what the source data showed, but as I pointed out, these two generations have had very different life experiences and attitudes historically, and the Boomers are a much bigger generation. The “twice as likely” is clarified by the 46% vs. the 23%. I’ve fixed the sp on Millennials, but it still seems less efficient. I think we should kill the extra “L” also; Milenials are all about simplification.
Brother Sky: Trying to get people to see that Jesus isn’t a Republican is a whole ‘nother problem. No idea how to solve that one because it’s so idiotic that I mostly just shake my head.
Markag: I agree with you that the RLDS split was as you describe and is not the solution either. I tend to think we should work harder to keep ALL politics out of church, but the problem is that people see religion through their political lens and not the other way around, so it’s nearly impossible for them to separate the two. It seems to be getting worse and not better, but I am encouraged when I talk to people that there are very few who line up 100% with a specific party. That’s the tiny little port in the storm.
– What, if anything, in this data did you find surprising?
That the % of “active” Mormons disagreeing with the POX was so high. In my ward (Scottsdale), they certainly don’t speak up in SS and HP classes with any such liberal/progressive thoughts–the culturally/socially-enforced silence is *almost* palpable. So much so, that I stopped doing it as a futile “you can’t teach a pig how to sing and trying just irritates the pig.”
-Do you think this portends an inevitable shrinkage in membership?
Notable, and apparent, shrinkage has been happening for 10-20 years due to the Church taking so long to address, let alone adapt, to the wider culture. Given our dear leaders are so close to God, I guess it isn’t good for us to use artificial birth control, respect blacks, respect women appropriately, love and accept LBGTQ people…etc. That rate of shrinkage, therefore, will increase.
-How do you predict change in member attitudes will come over the next few years?
In response to specific issues, such as the POX. That galvanized/catalyzed a response (including members resigning) like no other more vague issue before it.
-Will change come too slowly for rising generations?
Yes, and at an increasing rate. Millennials and those younger grew up as personal computers, the Internet, Google, cell phones, etc. came into the culture. Compared to previous generations they have both enormously more information available and enormously more interest in acquiring it–and way too much of it brings into doubt what their Church has been telling them/indoctrinating/acculturating them to.
At least the current wisdom of the church is willing to move with the times. Women may now wear pants in the COB. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865683828/Pants-for-women-parental-leave-for-all-LDS-Church-employees.html
You’re absolutely right that politics should be kept out but it’s difficult when religious views get politicized and political views collide with religious standards. I’m not sure in the LDS who drew first blood in this struggle, but for the RLDS it was definitely the progressive viewpoint. Conservatives were busy being “non-Utah-Mormon” while the progressives were busy being “non-RLDS”
Not able to read all the comments, but I would say my intuitions are that, as LDS_Aussie says, the church will not replace conservative leaders with progressive ones, but will select as many conservatives as they can. So, having a 40% millennial strongly agree for disciplinary councils/apostasy means they still have quite a pool of people to replace the leadership ranks with.
Andrew S: Yes, that thought occurred to me too. *sigh* I mean, really, where do we get 40% of Millennials agreeing with the POX? Rural Idaho? They must not know any openly gay people to feel that way. They must live somewhere that “gay” is still a slur, and where homosexuals still hide in closets and behind beards.
“Rural Idaho?” Yep. But try 80% instead of 40% and include pretty much all of Eastern Idaho in that equation. My EQ in Eastern Idaho scapegoats gay people on a regular basis, complains that “they’re even on TV now!” and bashes the younger generation (teenagers) for not having a problem with gay marriage. These aren’t rural farmers either–they’re computer programmers, hospital administrators, etc. My estimates for Generation X are even worse–well over 90% of active members out here. On a positive note, though, quite a few of the teenagers have entirely different views.
The Church will continue to lose the rising generation not just because of its LGBT policies, but also because:
1.) inoculation as teens doesn’t work if primary still teaches inaccuracies. When I mentioned treasure digging and a seer stone in a hat, my teen’s response was basically, “WTF!?!?”
2.) youth lessons are terribly boring. Sunday School is entertaining for my wife and me though as my son sends memes of how he’s feeling about the lesson. My favorite is still Kermit the Frog hanging himself.
Huh, I was always told I was a millennial. I was born in 85, so maybe I’m using the phrase “growing up in the 80’s” a little too literally. But I proudly claim the 80’s! Even if that makes me a Gen Xer be it!
Aside from that I largely agree with your comments, and my comment was aimed at the amount of focus on age that the bloggernoccle/Mormon progressives place on it. Your posts on bureaucracy were excellent.
I said literally, but I meant LIBERALLY. I may have been using the phrase growing up in the 80s too liberally.
Hey now. .. I am from rural Idaho, and I am a rural farmer. I know exactly what you mean though.
Jason B: Well I’m not sure ages 0-5 entail enough awareness of how conservative the church was or wasn’t. Coming from my much earlier end of Gen X, I stand by my observations. But maybe you are an early Millennial. I don’t consider them dreaded. That’s the Harry Potter generation. As mother to two of them I’m quite fond of them. I could do without the veganism and anti corporation lectures though.
As father to five Millennials, there’s a lot of it I could do without, but I think that a lot of their inherent skepticism they have gotten from me. While I look at my two youngest and realize that, despite my strong belief, testimony, and current (mostly) orthopraxy, they seem to have picked up on my hesitation to drink the Kool-Aid and taken it too far, I can also see that they’ve done a lot of thinking on their own. My older children are also independent thinkers, despite having been raised by a much less openly questioning “me.” I guess I taught them to think. I can only hope they eventually come around, because the point of the Church is not the Church per se, and it’ll never improve if they flee the ship and leave it to the martinets.
I am surprised but also heartened by the speed of the change. I’m reminded that change came relatively quickly on the heels of the (racial) civil rights movement, without a radical change in the actual or generational makeup of the 1st Pres and Q12. I think a great deal of the heavy lifting, theologically speaking, has been done; all we need is a Kimball moment. A couple of questions remain – how long will it take? how many good people will we lose first? and which prophet will be the one? I could see the Thomas Monson of yore being the man, but the current impaired and weakened version seems unlikely.
I give it an uncomfortable, raucous, very difficult 10-15 years. I hope I’m too pessimistic.
Conservative, liberal, who gives a crap? They could be fascist anarchists and it wouldn’t change the fact that the Q15 can’t get a revelation.
Do I detect a Ferris Bueller reference..?? Love it..!!
I’m curious of the geographic make-up of the 700 Mormons used in the study. It seems to me that the geographic distribution of that number could have an impact on the views espoused by that sample.
I also appreciated the comments about the continuing pool of young conservatives from which leadership is drawn. I see that in my neck of the woods.
Jana Reiss puts anyone born in 1980 or later as a Millennial. That’s a pretty generous definition.
Like others have said, I’d think the lower percentage of young people who stay in the church are more conservative than those who leave. Not sure we should be expecting a host of progressive leaders out of this group.
Angela C- Thanks again both for the thought provoking article and responding to my comments.
“Well I’m not sure ages 0-5 entail enough awareness of how conservative the church was or wasn’t.”
I completely agree! I wrote my first comment during a 15 minute break at work. I always said I was a child of the 80’s but I do agree that my memories have more to do with He-Man, Transformers, Beetlejuice, and other Saturday morning cartoons.
“Coming from my much earlier end of Gen X, I stand by my observations.”
As you should! Thanks again for the OP and the exchange.
“Progressive thought rules the Community of Christ. You would think its members that worked so hard to enact these changes would be continually supporting the church to keep it healthy. But they don’t. The members that are Generation X and Millenials largely do not pay tithing, forcing the church to cut programs/budgets.”
There is a danger in viewing the Community of Christ as some kind of progressive mirror-image of the very conservative LDS church. The generation that fought hard through the years for expanded roles for women, open Communion, interfaith participation, full participation for LGBT members, and other areas still supports the church. However, they’re aging and, naturally, beginning to die off. Younger generations (Millennials, Gen-X, etc.) aren’t there in great numbers anyway but don’t begin to match the levels of financial support of their parents and grandparents. This is due, I believe, not because they don’t support progressive principles as much as they reflect their generations’ lack of support for institutions (particularly religious but also pretty much all institutions and groups) in the larger society. The CofC has never had the kind of strong social, familial, and community networks that are characteristic of the LDS church in Utah, Idaho, etc. And, of course, there’s simply no equivalence to tithing incentives that come as a result of getting a temple recommend. Nor does the CofC have extensive business enterprises as a source of income.
I’m glad to see somebody citing the terrific book “Amazing Grace,” for the way it lays out religious trends in North America. While I’m certainly no expert on the LDS community, it would appear that it is beginning to catch up to Mainline Protestants and now Evangelicals, albeit in its own peculiar way.
I tend to look askance at people who claim progressives are bossing them around. Because when you look at what their demands are, it’s usually stuff like “don’t be a jerk, not even to historically acceptable targets.”
It’s also worth pointing out that the younger CofC members aren’t going to have as much money to pay tithing with even if they did so devoutly, since millennials are (as a group) economically screwed.
The CofC may not intend to be a mirror-image, but if you did a comparison of doctrinal viewpoints, it would most likely be two different opinions on nearly every topic.. Some of it was necessary to establish their own identity. I’ve told curious LDS that if one attends CofC Sunday meetings, you may not hear anything that connects them to the umbrella of mormon origins.
You are correct that tithing got lumped-in with the anti-establishment attitude of the younger. Another thing occurring is many members who object to the changes are making their contributions on a local level (operating/building expenses). One congregation that built a new facility refused funding assistance from headquarters so as not to be obligated. They’ve even changed back to the RLDS name for their congregation, but I don’t know if the church authorities regard them as apostates.
As far as a motivation for paying tithing,”Stewardship is the response of my people to the ministry of my son and is required alike of all those who seek to build the kingdom” (RLDS revelation 1964) should be enough.
Jewelfox: I will disagree with you. Progressives can be bossy. As one RLDS dissenter pointed out, a member can announce from the pulpit their dis-belief in the Book of Mormon, but not their dis-belief in Women’s ordination.
Also the CofC has several methods of paying tithing. Their traditional method was Annual Income minus necessary living expenses equals increase which is tithed 10%. They could do that if they really wanted to.