In a 2006 American Grace study and late 2011 Pew Research study, they both found that about 10% of LDS women support other women holding the priesthood. While each study is slightly different, they both showed more support for women’s ordination from MEN rather than WOMEN. The American Grace study shows a large discrepancy between ordination support, about half of men supported it, while 10% of women did, the Pew study shows a significantly smaller gap.
Who are these women, the 90%? We have all come across them in our families, online forums or through friends. Through my online readings I have found several themes from the 90%. All of these can be found on the Deseret News Article “The LDS church responds to priesthood meeting request by activists”
While I am being facetious with my commentary, the women making these arguments truly mean them and in most cases they come from a righteous, well-meaning place, like the arguments from supporters of Ordain Women.
What I find more interesting than these arguments from women against ordination, are the arguments from men for women’s ordination. Jana Reiss’s excellent “Why do Mormon men to have the priesthood more than women want it for themselves?” summarizes some of these arguments:
- Men would like help sharing the load of church administration and time-intensive callings
- It’s easier for men to be politically correct and support women’s ordination than women, they aren’t considered “selfish” for doing so.
- Men have feminist sympathies and truly believe women should be ordained
- Men really don’t see what the big deal about having the priesthood is anyways!
If Ordain Women is truly to succeed, that 10% number of support needs to rise, and the men who support women’s ordination need to voice their opinions. In addition, supporters of Ordain Women need to understand the 90% and their arguments.
What are YOUR arguments for or against women’s ordination? And why do YOU feel men support ordination more than women do?