Today Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, was excommunicated from the LDS church. Kate was informed in an email from her former bishop that ” our determination is that you be excommunicated for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church. This means that you may not wear temple garments or contribute tithes and offerings. You may not take the sacrament, hold a Church calling, give a talk in Church, offer a public prayer in behalf of the class or congregation in a Church meeting, or vote in the sustaining of Church officers.” (1)
In a church that puts so much emphasis on the importance of sacred ordinances, I am confused by the restriction of those same ordinances as a form of discipline. I see no reason that Kate Kelly deserves to have these things stripped from her. I am disappointed and angry that this was the decision made, and I am worried about what this means for myself and for other mormon feminists.
The responses I have seen from many (not all) church members has been anything but Christlike. How could anyone support forcing an individual out of the fold of Christ? How is excommunication anything to celebrate? I am positive that Church leaders realized that this would add fuel to the fire and would be used as ammunition against faithful, feminist sisters of the church– and yet the disciplinary court pressed forward. Despite the backlash I have experienced from friends and family I will continue to speak out about feminist issues, including the ordination of women.
I have read comments from multiple individuals stating that Mormon feminism is driving people away from the church, and I couldn’t disagree more. My lovely feminist sisters and brothers are a source of spiritual strength and opened up a door that allowed me to feel safe in protesting the injustices that occur within my church. Last night I experienced the loving, accepting nature of the Mormon feminist community as I stood at City Creek Park with supporters of Ordain Women. The effect that Mormon feminism has had on my participation within the church has been only positive. The notion that Mormon feminist efforts have been harmful to the church is saddening.
Today I mourn with Kate and all of my feminist sisters. I am hopeful that this will not be the end of conversation.