Off with their heads (more on Prop 8 and the Mormon church)

Channel 4 reports that a Nebraska man faces possible excommunication from the LDS Church for supporting same sex marriage.

Let the excommunications begin. Every now and then the church sees fit to make a very public example of a few “dissidents” in order to keep the rest of the flock scared lest the same thing happen to them.

Whatever happened to Joseph Smith’s admonition to teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves?

  1. #1 by Ken on November 8, 2008 - 7:31 pm

    The Church does not excommunicate people, people excommunicate themselves. No one is going to be excommunicated for opposing Proposition 8, or supporting same sex marriage; however people will be excommunicated for denouncing the Church and its leaders. After reading this story it is obvious that this man no longer believes in the Church and has left it on his own accord. The excommunication is merely a formality.

  2. #2 by Connor on November 8, 2008 - 7:36 pm

    Every now and then the church sees fit to make a very public example of a few “dissidents” in order to keep the rest of the flock scared lest the same thing happen to them.

    Ah yes, the Church retains members by using deception, fearmongering and scare tactics. Can’t wait for Church tomorrow: they’ll be doing the two minute hate during Sunday School, reinforcing the need to worship big brother Monson.

    Please.

    Whatever happened to Joseph Smith’s admonition to teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves?

    Governing one’s self implies proper governance—not abolishing the principles of such governance, publicly and outspokenly opposing sustained leadership, and working from within and without the fold to dismantle what others are trying to build up.

    Funny you should also label this post with tags such as “bigotry” and “homophobia”. The use of such labels to describe the intentions of those who supported Proposition 8 couldn’t generally be further from the truth. Motive is a hard thing to accurately interpret, though, so I can understand your and others’ desire to so label the opposition.

  3. #3 by Connor on November 8, 2008 - 7:39 pm

    And you do realize that that news story is six weeks old, right? As Ken notes, the formality of the termination of his membership was something he brought upon himself, and has likely already been taken care of.

  4. #4 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 7:51 pm

    Ken, imaginative, but not quite the way it happens. There is nothing voluntary about a bishop’s court. He’s been summoned and the men in suits will have the final say.

    It doesn’t sound to me like he has lost his faith. The same for numerous “dissidents” who have spoken out against church policy in the past and have been ex’d as a result. I am always amazed that some remain faithful under those circumstances–but they do.

  5. #5 by Scott on November 8, 2008 - 7:54 pm

    Please.
    All church discipline is left up to local leaders. “The Church” is not making a big public stunt here.

    “When asked about whether Latter-day Saints who publicly opposed Prop. 8 would be subject to some kind of church discipline, Elder Clayton said those judgments are left up to local bishops and stake presidents and the particular circumstances involved.” (Source here)

  6. #6 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 7:55 pm

    Connor, doesn’t governing yourself imply both making up one’s own mind about issues as well as staying the hell out of other people’s business? The pompous arrogance of thinking you should be able to take away a group of people’s rights just because of your peculiar religious beliefs is beyond offensive.

  7. #7 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 8:00 pm

    Scott, news stories, those are fairly public, are they not?

  8. #8 by Cliff Lyon on November 8, 2008 - 8:03 pm

    Now you’ve done it Becky. You’ve rousted the Danite wanna beees.

  9. #9 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 8:04 pm

    They took the bait

  10. #10 by Connor on November 8, 2008 - 8:23 pm

    Connor, doesn’t governing yourself imply both making up one’s own mind about issues as well as staying the hell out of other people’s business?

    First off, you’re using the quote completely out of context. Joseph made that statement in response to an outsider viewing the order and harmony in his community. Thus, he was implying that such an order can be brought about when he teaches the principle upon which they should act, and then the people act that way.

    Nowhere was he saying, nor can I imagine he ever would condone, that a state of anarchy and libertinism would be the ideal. Joseph was not slow to call out people who were failing in their duty, much as happens today.

    What organization would keep an individual in good standing that actively and publicly works against them? Do you imagine that the Rotary Club, for example, would allow me to attend their meetings if I constantly generate bad press for them and work against their objectives? Hardly.

    Governing yourself does indeed imply making up your own mind about issues. There is room for dissent and disagreement within the ranks of the Church. What brings about excommunication is when those issues in your mind turn into actions—actions against the leaders you have until then claimed to support.

    It’s beyond me why people make a big fuss about members being excommunicated for publicly opposing the aims, goals, and doctrines of the Church. As I’ve said, I can’t think of any organization that would keep an individual in good standing who consciously works against them. The Church is no different, yet apparently you and others feel that the same standard does not apply. Care to explain why?

  11. #11 by Connor on November 8, 2008 - 8:28 pm

    The pompous arrogance of thinking you should be able to take away a group of people’s rights just because of your peculiar religious beliefs is beyond offensive.

    Forgot to respond to this part.

    “Taking away rights”. You know, that’s a funny way to put it. This “right”—same sex marriage—never existed until four individuals created it out of whole cloth. Have you read the dissenting opinions in the CA Court case that brought about Prop 8? It’s an interesting study, if for nothing else than to see that not all judges agree that this right is so fundamental, human, and civil as same-sex marriage advocates claim.

    So, taking away rights that only existed for a few months doesn’t seem as drastic as you make it out to be. And far from taking away rights, the Proposition has simply established a definition of marriage that has existed—merely as conventional wisdom and common belief—for quite a long time. Homosexuals still have all the same rights they had before. Indeed, the real “right” in this situation is the freedom of association, which they still enjoy. Nobody is punishing them for cohabitation or anything of the like. It’s time that same-sex marriage advocates stop treating marriage as a fundamental right they has now been “taken away” from them. As long as marriage is overseen and regulated by government, then “we the people”, through government, can dictate who should qualify.

  12. #12 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 8:38 pm

    It’s beyond me why people make a big fuss about members being excommunicated for publicly opposing the aims, goals, and doctrines of the Church.

    You see, Connor, it helps give us a picture of what the church is vs what it says it is.

    Nowhere was he saying, nor can I imagine he ever would condone, that a state of anarchy and libertinism

    Really. So when he said “govern themselves”, he really meant fall in line with everything the church says — what ever you do, don’t think for yourself.

    This “right”—same sex marriage—never existed until four individuals created it out of whole cloth.

    Nope, Connor, it existed from the origin of the constitution. Like bi-racial marriages that not long ago were illegal as well.

  13. #13 by Cliff on November 8, 2008 - 8:41 pm

    Conner, you should study some pre-bible history.

    Marriage was invented to demonstrate ownership of women.

  14. #14 by C av on November 8, 2008 - 8:43 pm

    Three score years of Kolob spirit injections should rectify any misunderstandings.

  15. #16 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 8:51 pm

    Yes, Cliff (at 8:41), right here in the U.s. until less than a century ago, once a woman was married, she was considered chattel or property of her husband. Just because something has been the common practice for many, many years, does not prove its constitutionality. Woman continue to gain their constitutional rights, as do people of color. All minorities must eventually be recognized as equal under the law.

  16. #17 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 8:56 pm

    Welcome C av,
    Three score years! We’d better gird up our loins (what is that anyway, and can women do it?).

  17. #18 by C av on November 8, 2008 - 9:02 pm

    Becky, I consider myself somewhat of a loin-girder. Why, I remember the time…

  18. #19 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 9:13 pm

    (Sorry to deviate from the subject – I’m sitting here watching a very scary movie and laughing in all the wrong places because I keep reading posts.)

  19. #20 by Cliff on November 8, 2008 - 9:13 pm

    Does anyone know what this is about? Top post?

    New to me. I guess its a Bush/Cheney thing.

    This may explain whyBush keeps saying “peaceful transition of power.” What peaceful? Its as if we are a Banana Republic.

    I still don’t trust these lying fuckers.

    Maybe Jason Chavetz has an idea, what Bush was gonna do with these things.this new world.

    I say we use them from re-education of right-wing idiots.

  20. #21 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 9:21 pm

    Please, stop. I can’t quit laughing. Yes, yes, re-education!

    Ok, I’m calling it a night – another early one tomorrow. See ya.

  21. #22 by Obi wan liberali on November 9, 2008 - 12:35 am

    Becky, you rock. The fact remains, that on the most important issues of the day, LDS Church leaders have not led people to the future, but dragged their feet based upon insidious religious dogmas. Brigham Young believed slavery was a divine institution. Mark E. Peterson, an apostle speaking for the church defended segregation. The subservient role of women was institutionalized by the Mormon Church’s almost single-handedly derailing the Equal Rights Amendment. The LDS Church is an authoritarian religion that wishes to subordinate rights and even thoughts, to the opinions of their own particular hierarchy. Mormonism is often treated as a uniquely American religion, but in the end, it is uniquely antithetical to what the founders of this country had in mind.

    Proposition 8 exposed the LDS Church for what it is. And their pious attitude that “we love gays, we just value the institution of marriage” is nothing more than asking you to join their down-line on the basis of faith in their basic goodness. It may work on the faithful, but it won’t upon those of us who have rejected skin pigmentation as God’s punishment, and a belief in sacred underwear.

  22. #23 by Becky Stauffer on November 9, 2008 - 8:44 am

    So right, Obi. I heard so many times over the pulpit that every word out of the mouth of the prophet was scripture. AND, that we must NEVER question authority. And of course, the highly contradictory warning that even the very elect might be deceived, for which I never heard a satisfactory explanation. My faith was shaken over and over again. If there was one defining moment for me, it was the defeat of the ERA. I felt like my church had left me, and so I left it. Isn’t it interesting, upon taking such a step, that one must figure out spirituality and morality all for themselves. For the first time in my life I had to actually make decisions about those things instead of having them served to me on a platter.

  23. #24 by Becky Stauffer on November 9, 2008 - 8:50 am

    Cliff, I giggled at first (influenced a bit by the 2-buck chuck) at those huge plastic containers stacked in a field. But with further thought, it’s chilling to realize that FEMA knew ahead of time how unprepared it was for providing lifesaving supplies to people, and instead prepared for hundreds of thousands of deaths. This would have been stunning to know about while we witnessed those desperate people in Katrina. This deserves more investigation, explanation and a top post.

  24. #25 by John Cheshire on November 9, 2008 - 10:02 am

    So when is the church going to excommunicate Steve Young’s family. They support same sex marriage and did so very publicly.

    Could it be that their is something more to the story with the Nebraska man as some here have suggested?

    Emotion and passion is great guys, except when it makes you shut down your brain.

  25. #26 by Cliff Lyon on November 9, 2008 - 11:20 am

    Becky,

    Should we tell ‘em the dirty little secret?

    Lets DO IT!

    If you spent any part of this day listening to a white man speak at you, then you need to know this secret.

    You know right from wrong all by yourself. No church needed. No bible needed.

    Morality is relative. It is common sense, and of it is of man.

  26. #27 by WP on November 9, 2008 - 11:43 am

    To Scott, regarding your comment: “Please. All church discipline is left up to local leaders.” Your understanding is not accurate as there have been numerous incidents, excommunications, where the word has come down from the Brethren to go after a particular intellectual, dissident or group. Mark E. Peterson while a member of the Twelve took it upon himself to call stake presidents of members who wrote for Dialogue Magazine or participated in Sunstone Symposia. Though he was reigned in, the process has continued. Joseph Fielding Smith wanted Professor McMurrin excommunicated but he was thwarted by then President McKay. I suggest there are a few readers of this blog who have been singled out and disciplined because of pressure from Salt Lake.

    What about the two members of the Orchestra on Temple Square whose religious lives were altered by Tabernacle Choir President Mr. Mac and others from Salt lake as they were forced to resign or face disciplinary council?

    Just understand something and it might help with your approach to these kinds of questions — The leadership of the LDS Church have very strong and well defined opinions about a range of topics and it should be left at that. Their statements and actions are subjective, sometimes wrong and not always inspired in my opinion. There are too too many documented flubs in the diaries and histories of those present and past.

    I regret that such an organization, that is so powerful and can be such a force for good in humanitarian ways, can and does stoop so low as to single out some, like the September Six, or this fellow from Nebraska for excommunication.

    Having been an LDS bishop I was never asked by anyone above me to torch anyone’s papers but then D. Michael Quinn or anyone like him ever lived here in Centerville either. I was probably the most liberal Mormon and still am in my neighborhood though now I give my time at a Hispanic branch in West Bountiful. I should observe that the political leanings of most branch members are very much of the Democratic Party tradition which I find very refreshing.

  27. #28 by glenn on November 9, 2008 - 11:50 am

    Morality is relative? “It is common sense, and of it is of man.Morality is relative”?

    Does it follow to rape murder and assorted acts of mayhem? If a society condone it, then it isn’t wrong?

    Your statement must have some parameters Cliff, or slavery or genocides aren’t crimes to the societies that perpetrate them. For example.

  28. #29 by glenn on November 9, 2008 - 11:50 am

    Apply your logic to the abortion debate Cliff.

  29. #30 by Becky Stauffer on November 9, 2008 - 12:14 pm

    Amen, Cliff. That’s my religion.

  30. #31 by Becky Stauffer on November 9, 2008 - 12:24 pm

    WB, it is very courageous for you to speak so honestly and openly. I know what you say is true.

    John C., ‘the church’ is not even in how it metes out discipline. They are so very fond of their celebrities, those individuals are fairly safe.

    I recall a time back in the 70s when I was doing a little professional singing with a group in Ogden and this involved sometimes singing in clubs and other places where alcohol was served. One day my bishop grabbed me by the arm as I walked out of Sunday School, pulled me into his office, and lectured me about how those activities were not “what a woman in zion should do with her talent”. I was well aware that the Osmonds were performing in casinos in Las Vegas and that the church was busting its collective buttons for those particular individuals in zion – still are. I learned a valuable lesson that day.

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