Supporting Gender Equality in the Church Results in Excommunication by Gina Messina-Dysert

Gina Messina-Dysert profileIt is unnerving to think that excommunication is still a real threat in the 21st century. Within both the Catholic and Mormon Churches members continue to be bullied into submission with such threats. Today, speaking out against gender injustice seems to be a sure way for one to end up expelled from her or his community. Kate Kelly, a human rights attorney and Mormon feminist, has become the most recent in a long line to be rebuked for speaking out about gender discrimination and is waiting to learn her fate following a trial by LDS Church leaders. Continue reading “Supporting Gender Equality in the Church Results in Excommunication by Gina Messina-Dysert”

Women’s Ordination and the Mormon Church by Margaret Toscano

Me April 2011 3Caroline Kline’s March 26 post, “Mormons Who Advocate Women’s Ordination,” marks a new direction in the Mormon feminist movement. As she describes, the website Ordain Women was launched on March 17 by a few dozen Mormon women and men who state: “As a group we intend to put ourselves in the public eye and call attention to the need for the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood.” By the end of March, 44 people (37 women and 7 men, including a Mormon bishop) have posted profiles with photos where they describe their relationship to Mormonism and why they think women should be ordained. I understand from the organizers of this site that a number of others have submitted profiles for posting and that the site has had close to 100,000 hits. On the corresponding Facebook page, however, only 363 people have given Ordain Women a “Like” sign.

While supporters may appear to be a small group in comparison to the 14 million Mormon (aka LDS) church members worldwide, it is a significant number for a grassroots movement like this. As a Mormon feminist who has publicly advocated for the ordination of women since 1984, this is the first time I have seen more than a handful of people willing to state publicly their belief that women should be ordained. In the past, women’s ordination has always been the dividing issue among Mormon feminists. All Mormon feminists want women to have more voice in the Church, more decision-making power, more visible authority and equality. Very few have wanted to be ordained into the male-priesthood structure of the Church, though more have claimed a private, spiritual priesthood.

And yet, as I have always argued, there is no way that Mormon women can be equal to Mormon men as long as they are denied access to priesthood ordination and offices because the priesthood structure controls all resources, discourses, and practices. In some ways this issue is even more crucial in the LDS Church than in other religious traditions because the Mormon organization is based on a lay priesthood where all active boys and men have priesthood. What this means is that grown women have less practical and religious authority than their 12-year old sons. Continue reading “Women’s Ordination and the Mormon Church by Margaret Toscano”

Catholic/Mormon Dialogue on Women’s Ordination

The Catholic/Mormon Dialogue on Women’s Ordination at Claremont Graduate University will take place Wednesday, September 19, 2012.  It is an incredibly relevant topic today and particularly interesting with a Mormon/Catholic presidential ticket before us.

It makes sense to bring Catholics and Mormons together to dialogue about this issue.  Women’s ordination in both Churches is considered a taboo topic and one that if discussed in public can lead to excommunication.  Certainly the women who will stand publicly to address this issue and share their passion and conviction for the need to ordain women are courageous and committed to the recognition of the full humanity of every woman and every man.  Continue reading “Catholic/Mormon Dialogue on Women’s Ordination”


Why has Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith mostly been a non-question in his political life?  John Kennedy was asked if he would obey the Pope or make his own decisions, Jimmy Carter was asked how his Baptist faith would affect his Presidency, and Barack Obama was asked if he agreed with the sermons of his preacher.  Why is the press afraid to ask Mitt Romney if he agrees with the patriarchal teachings of his church and if so, if this affects his views on the rights of women?

Like other patriarchal institutions, the Mormon Church believes that women’s place is in the home.  Every Mormon man is a priest and a patriarch in his own home.  Mormon belief teaches that men are to make the final decisions in the family, that only they can be leaders in the church, and that they are the members of the Mormon community who should speak and act in the public (non-home) dimensions of life.  Traditional Mormons believe that “ [The] LDS [woman is] always [to] accept counsel from her husband, and not as just his opinion, but as God-inspired revelation.”  Continue reading “LET’S ASK MITT IF MORMON PATRIARCHAL BELIEFS AFFECT HIS VIEWS ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY by Carol P. Christ”

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