Guest Post: Why A Self-Proclaimed Feminist is Uncomfortable with the Recent Push for the Ordination of Women
by Catherine Worthington
When I first began to hear rumblings that several groups were advocating for the ordination of LDS women, my immediate and somewhat surprising reaction was one of dismay. As a self-professed feminist, I realized that I needed to more closely examine that reaction. I am passionately interested in issues involving women and equality, and I have been deeply troubled by some of the cultural attitudes and practices within the Church that silence the voices and diminish the value of women. So what is it that makes me so uncomfortable with the current push for ordination?
I guess to begin with, despite my respect for many of the women (and men) involved and my genuine sympathy for their frustrations, the sinking feeling I experienced when I realized that this was a legitimate movement came from a sense that the modus operandi felt wrong. I’m concerned about the whole approach, which is decidedly secular. It doesn’t surprise me that Kate Kelly, one of the founders of Ordain Women, is a human rights law attorney. I’m sure she’s a very good one and I applaud any and all efforts to further the cause of human rights worldwide. But ordination to the priesthood is not a human right. It is not any kind of a “right.” Trying to approach an essentially spiritual issue from the perspective of secular activism is neither reasonable nor appropriate. The Church is not a political entity. It is the body of Christ, headed by Him and led on the earth by living prophets who hold the keys to revelation for the Church as a whole. This is our theology. If we really believe this, then our actions must reflect that belief. As humble disciples of Jesus Christ, shouldn’t our approach be to ask for further light and knowledge rather than to make demands?
I was initially encouraged when I read this from Kate Kelly in The Salt Lake Tribune:
“We sustain the prophet and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and ask them to prayerfully consider this change,” she said. “We believe that what we are doing demonstrates our faith in the gospel.”
This is an approach I can get behind. Yes, by all means, let’s ask our leaders to prayerfully consider possible changes.
But when I go to the official Ordain Women website (ordainwomen.org), I find a very different rhetoric.Read More