not in Primary anymore

a letter to president dalton

president dalton

President Elaine S. Dalton, General Young Women’s President, recently spoke at a devotional at BYU. Her original remarks can be watched here or read here. Some of her comments were received unfavorably; in particular, her statement that “Young women, …you will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights” has caused somewhat of an uproar in the bloggernacle.  Jimmy Jones wrote a letter to her in response to her comments, and he has given permission for it to be posted here as well. 

1/25/13

Dear President Dalton,

Recently, women in India, a country where the church has a presence, have protested the cultural acceptance of sexual intimidation and abuse.  This was sparked by the death of a young woman, a college student who was gang-raped and severely beaten while riding the bus.  In Saudi Arabia, a long-standing ally of the United States, women have been arrested and ostracized because they have elected to drive cars.  They face threats, imprisonment, and lashings or beatings for doing so, yet a brave few refuse to be deterred.  In several countries (again, many in which the Church has a presence; in 1997, nearly 200,000 women in the US were believed to be victims), women have stood against a process obscenely referred to as “female circumcision.” It involves the genital mutilation of young girls, a multifaceted operation which typically involves removal of external genitalia including clitoridectomy.  These girls, usually ranging from newborn to preteen in age, are then sewn up, their remaining flesh fusing together in ways that inhibit bodily function, and may have their legs bound together for over a month to allow the wounds to close up.  When a woman’s (or girl’s) husband wishes to make use of her body for pleasure or procreation, he will slice her open, only to sew her shut again afterward.

Here in the US, legislators have attempted to remove rights which the Church concedes to victims of rape and those whose lives have been endangered.  They do so in ignorance, based on a false belief that it is impossible for a woman to become pregnant if she has truly been raped.  Not only does this preclude options for women which the Church allows, impinging on our religious freedom, it casts pregnant rape victims in a demeaning light. Many women, without the upper-class luxury of staying home with their children, are breadwinners for their families.  They labor with all the capacity and diligence of their male counterparts, with the interest of their children at heart, yet have a difficult time getting equal rates of pay and promotions for which they are qualified. All of these things are done under the guise of God’s will, or a natural order and natural roles for women.  All of the women who lobby for their rights and the rights of their sisters are looked down upon, threatened with violence, shamed, and told to accept their divinely instituted roles.

The activism of women has not always been limited to women’s issues specifically:  In 2011, a courageous young Egyptian named Asmaa Mahfouz called her country to revolution against a dictatorship, unafraid to stand alone.  She stood when the men in her country were still unwilling and afraid.  Many claimed that as a woman she had no business lobbying for rights.  She said to them, “If you think yourself a man, come with me on 25 January. Whoever says women shouldn’t go to protests because they will get beaten, let him have some honor and manhood and come with me on 25 January. Whoever says it is not worth it because there will only be a handful of people, I want to tell him, ‘You are the reason behind this, and you are a traitor, just like the president or any security cop who beats us in the streets.” She sparked a largely nonviolent revolution for democracy and human rights, which inspired other nations throughout the Muslim world to stand up against their oppressors.  And of course in our own nation we have Sister Rosa Parks, whose courageous stand against institutionalized racism was a catalyst for the likewise nonviolent civil rights movement. She was willing to stand alone for the rights and dignity of all people, not just her own.

There are innumerable splendid examples of the bravery of women in standing for their beliefs and their rights and the rights of others, from octogenarian labor organizer Mother Jones to suffragette, activist, and Relief Society President Emmeline B. Wells.  Sharing them is not my primary motivation in writing to you, however.  I doubt that your recent comments condemning women who lobby for rights were directed at these brave sisters.  However, I hope you will be aware of the impact your remarks may have on a worldwide church, as you hold an office which serves every daughter of God.  Women who have the temerity to “lobby for rights” do so with the same sanctity as men, and perhaps more, as the inherent risks may be greater.

Those recent disparaging remarks are the object of my concern.  In the context of our culture and recent history in the church, I assume they were directed at women who have, as a gesture of goodwill and acceptance toward their sisters, worn pants to church or those who believe it would be uplifting to hear a female leader pray in General Conference.  Of course, I am not a woman.  I am at this time unmarried, and I do not yet have daughters of my own.  I do have seven sisters and stepsisters, however, ranging in age from 8 to 27. I hope that they are members of a church where the freedom of belief and opinion and voice that Hugh B. Brown championed is a reality.  I hope that they are members of a church where diversity in culture and thought as championed by the much- beloved Chieko Okazaki is a reality.  I hope that when they have faith, when they have hopes, when they have dreams, they know that they are free to express them.  I hope that when they have doubts or fears or grave concerns, they feel comfortable expressing those as well.  I hope that the honest dissent of the faithful will be treated with compassion rather than scorn.  If they wish to see changes made, I hope they can call for them or act on their best impulses without fear of public shaming or belittlement from their leaders.  Are we so strong, our numbers so great, our growth so unfettered, that we can afford to alienate those who care enough to speak and to act according to the dictates of their consciences?  Can we call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ even as we ridicule the needs of others simply because they differ from our own?  Will we allow our differences to divide us from one another?  Or will we recognize our differences, reach out to one another in love, and unite as the body of Christ in His church?

According to the scriptures, Moses was rare even among prophets in that God spoke to him face to face.  However, the daughters of Zelophehad approached him fearlessly to lobby for rights which direct revelation denied them.  Rather than mock or dismiss them, Moses took the issue to the Lord, who stated that these women were right to do what they had done, and He changed a law He had given directly (Num 27).  The Relief Society itself was founded at the behest of the women in Zion.  Their paper, the Woman’s Exponent, advocated for the advancement of equal rights for women in the church and in the world.  Up to this date, many policies of the church have been altered because of the needs of sisters in the church, from lowering the missionary age to a more equitable temple experience.  Women throughout our history have recognized their roles and responsibilities to think and to speak and to act with courage.  We must not take a jingoistic attitude, imposing a paradigm of perfection on our current place in history.  Zion has not yet reached its zenith.  We must not believe that all past speech and action was holy, but any steps beyond our current position would be “taking things too far.”  We must never harden our hearts to change, when God has so much yet to reveal.  Most of all, we must not harden our hearts to one another.  We must not exclude, we must not drive away the individual.  Should we dismiss the one in favor of the ninety-nine, we shall fall away from the tenets of our Savior.  I have no wish to criticize you harshly, nor to bring shame or diminish in any way the remarkable service you have given to the Church.  I do hope that you will consider what I have said and become a champion for all of those within your reach.

With warmest regards,

Jimmy Jones

Bellevue YSA Ward, Bellevue Washington Stake

61 Responses to “a letter to president dalton”

  1. Marilee Coles-Ritchie

    I echo your thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

    Reply
  2. meredith

    wow. this letter brought me to tears.
    your voice represents mine and so many others. thank you for writing this.

    Reply
  3. Sister Clawson

    I believe though Jimmy Jones meant well, he miss understood the meaning in Sister Dalton’s message and tuned in to only a few words.

    Sister Dalton was not saying that women ought to stop lobbying for the respect they deserve as elect angels of God. In fact, I believe she was insisting on quite the opposite.

    Sister Dalton was admonish sisters not to seek rights that alienate them from the home and family. Rather, that they should turn their hearts to one of the most sacred endowments available to them or any other being on this Earth- that of the love and comfort of an eternal family which is united by faith in Jesus the Christ and our loving Heavenly Father.

    No individual ought to see the desires for a woman to vehemently take up her mantle as: a woman, wife, and mother as a denial of her right to see each of those roles properly respected.

    By not “lobbying for rights” which distance ourselves from the sacredness of the family we are similarly shouting for the very women’s rights which Mr. Jones believes Sister Dalton to be advising us not to take a stance on.

    I admonish all of you to read or listen to her talk again. While doing so offer up a prayer that asks for a confirmation of her true intent and an understanding of what that means to each of you. I promise you that if you do that you will not feel as though Sister Dalton is telling you to stand on the sidelines while your sisters throughout the world face the horrors of societal, familial, political, and social disintegration.

    Reply
    • Vinniecat

      “Sister Dalton was admonish sisters not to seek rights that alienate them from the home and family.” What rights are you writing about? What rights alienate women from the home and family?

      Reply
      • Jennifer

        Well there is the push for equality in the military. I have heard many women I admire speak worries on the increasing demand for full equality there. If it becomes so, there may be a day in which our Young Women are made to register as men are to be drafted if needed.

        I do not want this for our daughters. The recent push in military gender equality is focused on giving the right for women to fight on the front line. Our Women can choose to fight now. I appreciate that they are held from the front as being closer to protection of officers is the best thing they can do to minimize derogation and prevent molestation.

        I understand a draft requirement for women may seem afar off, but the littlest steps bring momentum for large changes. The world is in a downward moral trend because of Satan’s hand. I do not want to give momentum to something that could have such drastic consequences.

      • Moss

        I don’t think military combat service ‘alienates women from the family’ any more than any other kind of military service does. I hope Sister Clawson clarifies what she is talking about.

        Would something that made it easier for a woman to go to work, like equal work for equal pay, count as ‘alienating women from the family’? Is that what you’re talkin about?

    • flerdahl

      I agree with this article but it’s important to note that her audience was BYU not activists in truly oppressed countries.

      Reply
      • Meg N

        Still, what rights is she talking about that we female BYU students shouldn’t lobby for? I can’t believe that she would think that there is no room for improvement for women, even American ones.

  4. Sister Mercer

    Jimmy Jones misunderstood Sister Dalton’s message. He took it out of context. Sister Dalton wants us to understand and fulfill our own roles, not seek for the roles of others. Men and Women have equal, yet separate roles. Each of us have our own responsibilities that we need to fulfill. I believe that Sister Dalton meant for us to focus on our own responsibilities and not try to “lobby” for those of others. Every task is important and necessary, if we don’t do our own part then how are we to function as a stable part of society? If you sincerely and prayerfully review Sister Dalton’s message I know will you understand her intent and realize that she did not mean for women to sit idly by and accept abuse, but to stand up and righteously fulfill their own divine responsibilities, not seek for the roles of others.

    “Young women, you will be the ones who will provide the example of virtuous womanhood and motherhood. You will continue to be virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, and of good report. You will also be the ones who will provide the example of family life in a time when families are under attack, being redefined, and disintegrating. You will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights.”

    I post this with the best of intents. I do not desire to cause anyone to feel anger. I simply wish to help others understand Sister Dalton’s message.

    Reply
      • DL

        Ask a black man ir woman if separate but equal is an actual thing.

    • Meg N

      I don’t think men and women need to have these prescribed roles; just as I support women lobbying for the same rights as men, I would support men lobbying for the same opportunities as women. I think men should be able to be the nurturers and stay home with children if that’s what a couple agrees on. I see no need to arbitrarily divide up roles—if they were so natural to each gender, they wouldn’t have to be prescribed.

      Re: “If you sincerely and prayerfully review Sister Dalton’s message I know will you understand her intent and realize that she did not mean for women to sit idly by and accept abuse, but to stand up and righteously fulfill their own divine responsibilities, not seek for the roles of others.”

      You probably don’t realize this, but this sounds incredibly dismissive to those who were genuinely hurt and upset by her words. It sounds like you’re saying that if everyone did the righteous thing and prayed about it, they would agree with you—which sounds arrogant. Please don’t brush off people’s valid concerns by saying they just didn’t understand it and need to pray about it—it might be you who didn’t understand.

      Reply
      • Alex

        I completely agree. I am a stay-at-home dad and I am just as nurturing to my children as my wife. Not only that, my wife is a much better provider to our family than I could ever be. She has a much higher earning potential, is substantially smarter, and is much more ambitious. I feel like the idea that women are more nurturing than men and men are “the providers” is a completely socialized concept. I wish the church, and society, would encourage couples to find what works best for them.

        I also completely agree with Megs response about being dismissive. Not everyone in the church feels the same way.and this was the point of the letter. You don’ “know” if someone does what you ask them to do it will happen. You are trying to apply Moroni’s promise to a this talk, which is opinion, not doctrine.

    • Gaia

      Wow, I gotta say, I’m impressed at Sister Mercer’s preturnatural ability to understand things and her ability to “admonish” us how we should think, feel, and respond to things that we would otherwise (without her clarifications) mis-understand.

      I won’t go (much) into the fact that the LDS Church itself “redefined’ marriage to suit its doctrines and policies,….

      JImmy Jones, you didn’t mis-understand anything, and I thank you for your insight and skillful analysis of the problems with Sister Dalton’s speech!

      Reply
  5. Courtney M (@bestcee)

    Nice letter. Although just like he picked one sentence of sister Dalton’s talk, I’m going to pick on one of his. Not every woman who chooses to stay home has “the upper-class luxury”. I stay home because I desire to. We go without a lot based on that decision. We are not poverty federally, but we are almost in our state.

    Reply
    • Curtis Penfold

      If you chose to be a stay at home parent, that means you have an upper-class luxury.

      Some people CAN’T choose that. They can’t afford that. You are privileged.

      Reply
  6. Carri

    Overall, President Dalton’s talk is pretty incredible. In context, that line about rights is quite unusual. She does not explain exactly what she means, so it’s hard to know why she included it. Because of this, I think Jimmy Jones and others are right to call her out. A statement that strong deserves some explanation. I admire President Dalton. In my opinion, based on everything we have heard her say in the past, and her own life choices, we can safely assume that she supports women being involved in efforts to guarantee their rights to be free from sexual mutilation and rape, to participate freely in democratic government, and to enjoy the full spectrum of human rights. So why did she say what she said? What exactly did she mean? Let’s be cautious about assigning motivation, but let’s hope that President Dalton takes very seriously the impact such an inflammatory statement can have when it is unsupported and poorly explained.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Nicely said Carri – I’ll add an “Amen” to that thought. Thank you.

      Reply
    • Natalie

      I think we also need to understand that President Dalton was speaking to a group of BYU students and not the world as a whole as if she would in General Conference. The address was specifically for the BYU Community.

      Reply
      • Meg N

        Even if that’s true, it’s still problematic. There is always room for improvement for the condition of women (and men). If she thinks that women have all the rights they deserve or should want, I don’t agree.

      • Natalie

        Because I can’t reply to Meg N below, I’m responding here. I truly don’t feel like I am denied any right as an American or as a woman in the church. So either I’m far too brainwashed or I just don’t want any supposed rights I’m lacking

  7. Anonymous

    President Dalton was only speaking to BYU students, not the church at large. I don’t think she meant at all that women should not expect decent, equal treatment in the world. I think she was referring to the women who lobby for the right to end the life of an unborn baby, using abortion as a method of birth control in a culture where children and family are becoming less important than a woman’s personal choice as to whether or not to allow life that she herself helped create.

    Reply
      • Sill DePlacito

        Curtis,

        To Curtis and All,
        To say that the Church is Pro-Choice is simplistic.
        We should Not fight to keep abortion clinics open for any circumstances.
        An individual’s physician or hospital doctor can perform an abortion if necessary.

        To my knowledge, there are three reasons in which the Church has stated that a termination of a pregnancy may be acceptable:

        when in pregnancy, the life of the mother is endangered by disease, accident, pregnancy itself, or other life threatening way for the mother

        when a pregnancy is the result of rape (yes pregnancy can happen during rape,contrary to anyone’s belief)

        when incest causes a pregnancy

        Even so, these three instances are each met individually by individuals suffering the emotional and physical pains involved within any of these trgic situations.

        Prayer is key for each of the individuals who may be in any of these circumstances and in certain situations.abortion was chosen and in other circumstances, abortion was not the option chosen.

        Life is sacred is the Church’s position:
        Premortal, pre-birth, postmortal are all sacred.

        I am 60 years old and was a teenager-twenties during the whole sexual revolution .These are last days when those that chose themselves first are now policy and lawmakers….Abortion is the taking of a life and should not be used as a birth control method.
        Below is a statement concerning one abortion clinic’s report. It is 2013 and what went on in 2011 and 2012 at Planned Parenthood facilities?

        New Planned Parenthood Annual Report Confirms Abortions Total 91% of Pregnancy Services
        By Web Team, Published January 3rd, 2012

        Last week the 2009-2010 Planned Parenthood annual report was released and the data shows that abortion remains the overwhelming pregnancy-related “service” provided. The chart below visually reflects the 329,445 reported terminations performed compared to 31,098 prenatal services and 841 adoption referrals.
        Our tax payer dollars funneled through federal money to these facilities have contributed to financing one abortion every 95 seconds in approximation
        with approximately $932 subsidy from the federal government for each abortion. Approximately 91% of services are for abortion services. What about other abortion clinics throughout our country?

        The Church’s allowance for abortion is intimately and personally related to individuals in tragic circumstances.
        Surf the web and find out who Roe really is and Wade really is both are anti abortion Read their stories of how they were used to draft legislature by lawyers and others so that there would be allowed abortions.

        An effective way to eliminate a generation of people is to have them not even be born at all.
        All Sister Dalton said was to not be deceived by the ways of the world. Study out things and determine if it the Savior would champion the cause.After all, this is Jesus Christ church and we have chosen to follow Him. The Family Proclamation was given to us early on to prepare us for the worldly onslaught of anti Christ teachings. Let us not be deceived.

        The women who have been given the anonymous titles of Roe and Wade have been trying to have Roe v Wade overturned. Perhaps you will join their cause.

        Sill a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since
        October 1, 1976 (Then I was a divorced single mother, 2 children)

  8. BYU student

    Sister Dalton was talking specifically to BYU students, as with every other devotional and forum. She was referring to “rights” that take women away from their divine role as a mother, as is outlined in the Family: A Proclamation to the World. I found her message in its entirety to be uplifting and encouraging.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I agree with you completely! Her entire message was straightforward and uplifting. Especially her second to last paragraph… we can change the world!

      Reply
    • Curtis Penfold

      A right is an ability to act. Having more rights helps women become better mothers. It gives them the RIGHT (ability) to do whatever is necessary to raise their children.

      Reply
    • Alex

      So what about women who are not mothers? What is their divine role here on earth?

      Reply
      • Sill

        Women who are not mothers or have grown children can be noble mentors, doing good works when ever and where ever moved to do so. To be a beacon on the hill of righteous living is a very important role needed. Service is so needed in many areas. Giving time, being uplifting, using leadership skills, sharing talents, friend-shipping are a few ways young women and women without children can contribute, find happiness and fulfillment.

      • Curtis Penfold

        Sill, Shouldn’t that be the role of EVERYBODY, both male and female?

        So, is that the divine worth of being a woman, or the divine worth of being human?

  9. carlosbenz

    In a few words, Sister Dalton messed up pretty bad, she should apologize, clarify her words and straight the records out. Even a lot of BYU girls after graduation will go to the workforce for jobs and will find they are paid less than men, just because of the simple fact that they are women. And Sister Dalton advise them not to lobby for their rights. Sister Dalton must clarify her words and definitely apologize.

    Reply
  10. weedlord bonerhitler

    Sister Dalton reminds me of Eliza R. Snow in a way. E.R.S. once mockingly wrote that the organizers of the Seneca Falls Convention should move to Utah and find noble men they could readily accept as their superiors. She wasn’t very comfortable with women’s rights activists but, eventually, came to fight her own battles for women’s rights; namely in the name of fair representation of LDS women in the public sphere and a promulgation of polygamy. I don’t really doubt the meaning of Sister Dalton’s words meaning, in no small way, what everyone is understanding them to mean – namely to stop agitating for change in the church or outside of the church and to keep the “womanly” attributes of silence, humility (very near to humiliation), and submissiveness prominently displayed. That said, Sister Dalton could stand to learn a great deal from the early women of the church about what it means to be a disciple of Christ while handing over one’s right to full citizenship within the Church. As it stands, Sister Dalton is handing over her right to discipleship in Christ and citizenship in the Church.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Wow, you (Jimmy) got all that from what she said? No one, especially Sister Dalton, would want women treated in the way of the examples you shared… nor deny the great courage of women in history standing up for their rights and making change. I agree with the other comments, that she was speaking to a group of BYU students, encouraging them to follow their divine roles. You made great assumptions from what she said. I am a woman. I was a single mother raising 3 boys for quite some time, working hard to provide for them. I am now a stay at home mom, without the upper class luxury… we go without some things, my husband works long hard hours, and we make it work. I know that does not work for everyone, and sometimes circumstances call for a woman to be the main bread winner, and people have to do what is right for their families. Her comments were inspired, the church has always taught of the divine roles of both men and women, they are different roles. I have never felt like less of a person because of that. We should not be so quick to take offense. Each person individually, needs to be humble and pray and receive their own answers to what this means for them.

    Reply
    • Meg N

      “I have never felt like less of a person because of that. We should not be so quick to take offense.”

      You seem to be implying that just because you haven’t experienced something means that it’s not a valid concern and that those who are hurt by said experience (e.g. having a different role than men) are merely “offended.”

      “Each person individually, needs to be humble and pray and receive their own answers to what this means for them.”

      Then please respect the author’s response, which I’m sure he prayed about, as valid. It sounds like you’re saying that those who disagree with you and find Sister Dalton’s remarks problematic are not being “humble” and just haven’t prayed about it.

      Reply
      • Meg N

        Sorry, I just realized that you probably were referencing who (if anyone) stays home with the children and who is the breadwinner when you talked about being humble and praying about it. Disregard my last paragraph.

    • Curtis Penfold

      Here’s what I think:

      Jimmy’s comments were inspired. I don’t think we should be so quick to take offense by what he said. Each person, individually, needs to be humble and pray and receive their own answers to what Jimmy’s letter means for them.

      Reply
      • handshaker17

        Wait….

        JIMMY’S comments were inspired? We should pray and receive our own answers to what JIMMY’S letter means for me?

        I’m sorry…was Jimmy called of God?

        I’m not discounting his comments, but wow, Curtis. You are talking against a woman who, though imperfect, is called by a prophet of God to speak to the church.

      • Curtis Penfold

        Jimmy Jones has taken upon himself the name of Christ when he was baptized. He also does it every Sunday as he takes the sacrament. He is, in essence, a representative of Jesus Christ Himself. He was anointed in the temple, making him the Lord’s anointed.

        I personally take what he says to heart (just like I take all the words of representatives of Jesus Christ AKA all Christians everywhere to heart) and try to see if there’s spiritual worth to what’s spoken.

  12. Luana Maria

    Amazing letter! I’m from Brazil (sorry my bad English) i don’t agree with this view of the Church that women should marry early, raising children while their husbands work. I’m 19, and do not feel the desire to get married soon. I’ve been criticized for thinking that way When i see things like this letter, i feel I’m not alone. Thank you, God bless you;

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Assuming that every word spoken by a person is infallible, even a general officer of the church, is a fast lane to blind ignorance and brainwashing. I bet that Sister Dalton would be the first to tell you that she isn’t perfect and can make mistakes, even in writing and giving a devotional talk. The issue at hand is not whether she is called of God to her current position or even whether or not she meant that women in India shouldn’t lobby for the right to walk the city without being gang raped and murdered; she obviously didn’t mean that. The issue is that she was entirely unclear about exactly what she DID mean, and that ambiguity can be legitimately taken many ways, some of which could make some women feel ostracized or alone. As a general officer, she should know better. If your audience needs to have a specific set of background info, or a grown up in Utah Valley frame of reference, or direct revelation from God to understand what you meant, then you failed to properly craft and deliver your meaning. Even among only the thousands of BYU students in attendance, her words were inappropriately vague. The simple fact that everyone keeps saying, “she obviously meant X,” yet everyone’s take on the “obvious” is different, shows this. This would all be fixed if she just released a statement apologizing for being unclear, and then very specifically saying what she actually meant. All that anyone who agrees with this guy’s letter is saying is that she should have chosen her words more carefully, knowing full well that people outside her immediate vicinity would be able to read them and wouldn’t be able to read her mind.

      Secondarily, I take great issue with those who immediately call for someone’s head just because they don’t entirely agree with every word spoken or written by a church leader. The Church, the Gospel, and a true testimony are not so fragile as to have no room for questions, dissenting opinions, or feedback. There are, of course, lines between healthy discussion and questions and “evil speaking,” but treating someone as a heretic or son or perdition because they question something a general authority said shows a very two-dimensional and immature understanding of the church, the scriptures, and the gospel.

      Reply
  13. Ms. Jack

    I like the letter, but I don’t like this part:

    Here in the US, legislators have attempted to remove rights which the Church concedes to victims of rape and those whose lives have been endangered. They do so in ignorance, based on a false belief that it is impossible for a woman to become pregnant if she has truly been raped.

    This is far from accurate. Legislators who don’t want abortion to be acceptable in the case of rape do so out of the belief that unborn babies are human souls who should be accorded dignity and respect, and that they are an innocent party in the tragedy that is pregnancy due to rape, and as such they should not be punished. You may encounter a few Todd-Akin-like legislators who believe women have magical vagina goalies that keep out rapist sperm, and while that’s great for propaganda and sensationalism, their numbers are pathetically small. In contrast, almost all legislators who don’t want to allow abortion in the case of rape would affirm what I’ve just written above.

    I think outlawing abortion in the case of rape is a quixotic and unfeasible political platform that needs to just DIAF, but if you’re going to talk about someone else’s position, do it with charity and represent them accurately.

    Reply
  14. Catherine

    Did anyone notice the LDS church news that Deseret News publishes? (January 20, 2013 Issue) The comment was ommitted and a footnote was added saying that the day before (January 14, 2013) her mother died. I found both very interesting. They often edit talks afterwards, and take out jokes etc., but this was something that everyone would notice. Also, why do you think they made the comment about her mother?

    Reply
  15. What I’ve been up to- February 2013 « Secrets of a Food Storage Mom

    [...] A Letter to President Dalton This blogpost was in response to talk that Elaine Dalton, the LDS General Young Women’s President gave at BYU. (If you missed the drama, she spoiled an otherwise beautiful talk by telling the young women that there was no need for them to lobby for their rights.) I’ve read several responses to this talk and this one was my favorite. [...]

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    She was clearly talking about not campaigning for the priesthood. Dont campaign against church leaders like what you are doing in your post!! I thought it was refreshing. With all that the church does to help oppressed women how dare you say different and twist sis daltons words up. Mixing truth with lies is what you are doing. Dont add to confusion seek for truth.

    Reply
    • Curtis Penfold

      “With all the church does to help oppressed women…”

      Think about how much more they could do if they treated women and men like equals. Think about how much more they could do if they didn’t tell women that their men are supposed to preside over them.

      The Church is great and everything, but it can be so much better.

      Reply
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