Since Kate Kelly’s excommunication was announced last Monday, the internet has been abuzz not only with the substance of Bishop Harrison’s letter excommunicating Kate Kelly, but also with the question of whether Kate Kelly has been completely forthright in her account of the circumstances leading up to her disciplinary council.
Specifically, the bishop’s letter mentions a meeting in December at which he and the stake president (Wheatley) talked with Kate Kelly about the “doctrine of the priesthood” and “urged her to dissociate yourself from Ordain Women and to cease your campaign to promote the ordination of women.”
There is a second set of contacts alleged in the same letter in March and April of 2014 in which Bishop Harrison alleges Stake President Wheatley “reminded” Kate Kelly of the “counsel given in December.”
Kate Kelly has adamantly denied these March and April “reminders” (not meetings) ever occurred. Inasmuch as Bishop Harrison has no personal knowledge of such “reminders” because they involved only Stake President Wheatley and Kate Kelly, his assertions are hearsay and not admissible to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
Until and unless President Wheatley comes forward with direct personal evidence of this allegation, Kate Kelly’s direct denial must rule the day.
The problem ends up being with the December 12, 2013 meeting.
Did Kate Kelly’s Bishop Never “Take the Time” to Ask Her Questions About Her Actions and Views?
You see, Kate Kelly acknowledges that the December meeting actually occurred. In fact, she blogged about it on December 30, 2013 at Feminist Mormon Housewives.
Here is what she wrote:
Recently I met with my stake president and my bishop at their request. They wanted to discuss my involvement with Ordain Women.
Kate Kelly also wrote of the meeting:
“Do we?” I thought as I met with my leaders. They seemed keenly invested in enquiring about my actions and views but seemed wholly uninterested in examining with a critical eye the system that puts them in a position of authority over me—over all women—because of a Y chromosome.
So we know that Kate Kelly acknowledged meeting in December of 2013 with both her stake president and her bishop; that they wanted to “discuss my involvement with Ordain Women,” and that “They seemed keenly invested in enquiring about my actions and views . . .”
But Kate Kelly appears to tell a different story on the first page of her June 21, 2014 letter to her bishop after receiving the summons for her church court:
I was in your ward for over three years and faithfully served in callings for that entire period. While we interacted frequently in passing, none of you know me well. I am saddened by the fact that you never took the time to ask me questions or get to know my heart while I was living in your ward. Despite the fact that I emailed you in March 2013, August 2013, October 2013 & again in April 2014 regarding my Ordain Women activities, you never bothered to respond or follow-up on my repeated invitation to engage in an open dialogue in person.
Though it pains me to say so, the claim by Kate Kelly in June of 2014 to her bishop that she was “saddened by the fact you never took the time to ask me questions” appears to be contradicted by what she herself wrote in December of 2013.
The Trib Talk Interview on June 12, 2014
Additional evidence of Kate Kelly’s possible disingenuousness in this regard crops up in the Trib Talk interview conducted with Kate Kelly and John Dehlin on June 12, 2014. Starting at 6:30 and going on to 8:08 in the interview, here is what Kate Kelly said:
Jennifer Napier-Pearce: Kate, what’s your take on the timing?
Kate Kelly: The timing for me is just a shock because my bishop who sent me the letter, you know, Ordain Women has existed for over a year. Even before Ordain Women launched, I emailed him and my stake president and my relief society president and said this is what I’m doing, this is what it’s called, um, and I said if you have any questions, please come to me first, let’s have a conversation about it; and he literally never approached me. Every Sunday week after week I saw him, I interacted with him, I had a calling, um, and he never called me, he never stopped by my house, he never pulled me aside on any Sunday, we never had; he personally never called me in to have a conversation about this.
And so the fact that it’s coming after I left; that they placed a move restriction on my records, um, is just extremely bizarre, and, um, makes me think that it probably wasn’t his choice, we had a good relationship, like I said, I saw him before I left, I gave him a hug, and that was it; so it’s just so suspect to me, but the process is so opaque that it’s very difficult for me at any point to confirm anything about where this is coming from; I have no say, I have no appeal; there’s no due process; and so I can’t confirm anything about where it’s coming from, but I think the timing and the manner in which they are doing it is very suspect.
Kate Kelly says the word “literally” very slowly for emphasis in the interview. She seems to want to make it clear that she never talked with her bishop about anything relating to Ordain Women; that he was simply not interested in any kind of a discussion with her regarding the issue. But it is this sentence from the above quote where it seems Kate Kelly gives herself away in the three words bolded below:
Every Sunday week after week I saw him, I interacted with him, I had a calling, um, and he never called me, he never stopped by my house, he never pulled me aside on any Sunday, we never had; he personally never called me in to have a conversation about this.
Listen to the interview. It seems that when Kate Kelly started to say “we never had,” she caught herself and changed her wording to “he personally never called me in to have a conversation about this.” This may be because Kate knew that if she said “we never had . . . a conversation about this,” as she was apparently beginning to say, she would be saying something that was not true, having in mind at least the 12/12/13 meeting with the bishop and the stake president. So Kate seems to have changed her wording in order to give the same impression without actually saying something untruthful.
Unfortunately, she was not so careful in her Feminist Mormon Housewives blog from December of 2012.
These circumstances are only highlighted by statements such as these from Kate Kelly last Tuesday: “I think I’ve acted with integrity at every step of the way and I’m proud of our group for continuing to ask hard questions.”
Or as she put it only yesterday, “I have acted with complete candor and integrity at every step of the way.”
The Effects of Kate Kelly’s Apparently Changing Story
If Kate Kelly did not actually lie about the issue, it is hard to say she wasn’t spinning things to the best of her ability. But just what was she spinning? I will speak only for myself.
My initial impression from listening to her Trib Talk interview and reading the letter she wrote to her bishop is that her bishop was a complete jerk in how he acted; that he never once talked to her about anything related to Ordain Women, even though Kate Kelly took every opportunity to keep him informed and up-to-speed on what she was doing.
After showing absolutely no interest in discussing Kate Kelly’s involvement with Ordain Women, and even parting with a hug when she moved from Virginia to Provo, her bishop inexplicably waited three weeks to send her an email summons to a disciplinary hearing.
“This is outrageous,” I thought at the time. “What kind of bishop would never talk to Kate Kelly about her activities and views while she was in his ward, even when given every opportunity, and then wait for three weeks after she moved from his ward to institute a disciplinary proceeding?”
Well, as it turns out, it would not be Kate Kelly’s bishop.
You see, Kate Kelly’s “spinning” of the issue had a specific effect on me, and as it turns out, it had the same effect on many others. It was to make it sound like she was being treated more unfairly than she was. It made it sound like she was more oppressed than she was. It made her sound like she was more a victim than she was.
And though I hate to say it, Kate Kelly appears willing to have thrown her bishop under the bus in order to accomplish her objective. In other words, this “spinning” didn’t just make Kate Kelly look “better,” it did so at the expense of making her bishop look “worse.” This strikes me as problematic.
Now, does this mean Kate Kelly was not treated unfairly? No.
Does this mean Kate Kelly was not oppressed? No.
Does this mean Kate Kelly is not a victim? No.
But it does suggest she was not quite so much as she led me to believe.
What About the Church’s Role In All This?
On the other hand, does this mean Kate Kelly’s goals are not laudatory? No.
Does this mean the LDS Church suddenly became less patriarchal? No.
Does this mean women are treated more equally in the LDS Church? No.
For the record, I do not like what the Church did to Kate Kelly, nor do I like how they did it.
I think the record demonstrates at a minimum that Kate Kelly was told by her male ecclesiastical leaders to sit down and shut up, and when she refused, her male ecclesiastical leaders excommunicated her . . . in absentia.
I also think the evidence is just as good, if not greater, that the Church spun the issues to make itself look better, and likely prevaricated in the process, as well.
I did not believe the Church when representatives of their PR Department said that the top leadership in Salt Lake City had nothing to do with Kate Kelly’s disciplinary proceeding; that it was a decision made exclusively by her local leadership.
After that was asserted, KUTV broke the story that Elder Ballard and Elder Clayton flew to Virginia recently to train stake presidents; the subject of Kate Kelly and Ordain Women was brought up; and Elder Clayton told the assembled stake presidents (presumably including President Wheatley) that anybody advocating the ordination of women was in a state of apostasy.
Shortly thereafter, Kate Kelly’s “informal probation” got upgraded to a church court at which she was ultimately excommunicated.
You do the math.
This also makes it seem less than coincidental that Kate Kelly received her summons within days of a similar summons being sent to John Dehlin.
Kate Kelly’s disciplinary court was more likely than not the direct result of interference and direction from top level church leaders, upon whose direction and/or suggestions Kate Kelly’s local leaders acted.
The LDS Church appears to have prevaricated about this. The LDS Church leadership was silent through the entire process, apparently content to allow their Public Affairs department to handle the situation by denying top leadership involvement while simultaneously directing the excommunication proceedings of Kate Kelly on the ground. If so, this is deplorable and inexcusable. But is this a case of whose “spinning” is worse than the other? Is this a case of fighting fire with fire? Is this a case of two wrongs making a right?
I have invested 36-years of my life in the LDS Church. I do not like it when I perceive the Church is being disingenuous with me.
I take it personally.
But I also have gone on record as supporting Kate Kelly. I have a profile up at Ordain Women. I wrote a letter to Bishop Harrison on Kate Kelly’s behalf to be used at her disciplinary council. So did my wife. I have publicly proclaimed my support of Kate Kelly and Ordain Women in my local congregation.
And I therefore do not like it when I perceive Kate Kelly is being disingenuous with me.
I take it personally.
The way I see it, Kate Kelly should have known this wasn’t just about her, but also about the thousands of people who support her and her goals. Kate Kelly owed it to her supporters to be absolutely candid about the events leading up to her excommunication. She owed the truth to those thousands of admirers and supporters who have put serious skin in the game and stuck their necks out for her as well as the cause she espouses.
To the extent that she did not do so, I feel let-down and disappointed.
I know it may sound like I am asking for a perfect messenger of a cause in which I believe.
I am not asking for perfection.
The meeting in December was initiated by her Stake President so it remains true that her Bishop never intiated a meeting to discuss OW with her. And just because her Bishop was at the meeting, doesn’t mean he ever asked her a single question.
Further, in the blog post she wrote about the meeting she says they asked her about the activities of OW but that is not the same thing as asking her what she believes, why she is acting the way she is based on those beliefs, what her testimony is like, etc. The kinds of things one would need to know before charging someone with apostasy.
Also, in that post Kate begins by noting that she was assured she was not under consideration for disciplinary action after asking directly if she was. So if the SP and Bishop meant that meeting to be a warning and a call to redirection, as they claim it was, they did a terrifically poor job of it given that Kate walked out the door thinking that she was on perfectly solid ground with them, though they did not share her perspective.
So no. In all of this I do not see any indication that Kate Kelly lied or that her Bishop is not actually guilty of failing to engage with her prior to disciplining her.
Thank you for adding your perspective, Dankrist.
I am not here to argue a position, but to explore what for me is a difficult issue.
I appreciate your willingness to do the same.
Did you ask Kate Kelly directly about these alleged discrepancies? Are you actually interested in knowing the truth???
If you REFUSE to answer this question, we will assume you don’t actually care to know the truth & didn’t actually ask her directly.
If you submitted a profile to the site, you know how to contact the OW leadership.
“…discuss my involvement with Ordain Women,” and that “THEY seemed keenly invested in enquiring about my actions and VIEWS.” (Caps added for emphasis.)
In her interview with Peggy Fletcher Stack, Kate addresses this issue and says the assertions of the Bishop about her meetings with him are out-and-out lies. She said she has the phone logs and notes to prove it. So where does that take the conversation?
My understanding is that Kate said this regarding the allegations of the March and April 2014 “reminders” Bishop Harrison alleged in his letter that Stake President Wheatley had with Kate.
I dealt with those pretty summarily at the beginning of the blog.
What Kate does not appear to be calling an out-and-out lie is the December meeting she had with her stake president and bishop.
In fact, this is the meeting Kate herself blogged about at FMH on December 30, 2013.
This is the meeting about which Kate said “they seemed keenly invested in enquiring about my actions and views.”
In context, the “they” she is referring to is her leaders; and since there were only two leaders present during the meeting, it must include her bishop as well as her stake president who were making the “enquiries” regarding her “actions and views.”
The nubbin of the question I am attempting to raise is how does the fact Kate blogged that her bishop “enquired” (i.e., asked questions) regarding her “actions and views” in December of 2013 square with what she wrote earlier this month in her letter to the same bishop?
Specifically, Kate wrote her bishop, “I am saddened by the fact that you never took the time to ask me questions or get to know my heart while I was living in your ward. Despite the fact that I emailed you in March 2013, August 2013, October 2013 & again in April 2014 regarding my Ordain Women activities, you never bothered to respond or follow-up on my repeated invitation to engage in an open dialogue in person.”
Does that language seem to convey something different from her December blog?
And does that language seem to put her bishop in a bad light?
These are some of the questions at the heart of what I am asking.
She has said in various forums, which you apparently also didn’t care to listen to/ read, that the meeting in December was called by her SP & led by him. The impression I got was that the Bishop attended not on his own accord/ as an reluctant observer.
It’s very consistent to say he attended one meeting (at the order of the SP) AND that he didn’t engage in any conversations with Kate.
You are INTENTIONALLY making a mountain out of a molehill & I again ask: Did you at any point before posting this post attempt to ask Kate any questions to clear this up?
If not, which I assume since you refuse to answer that question, then we all know that you are not actually interested in the truth.
To Dankrist’s excellent comment I would add the following: Why do you suppose that Kelly would misrepresent her interaction with the bishop during the December 2013 meeting in the June 21, 2014 letter *to the bishop*?
She would realize that the bishop could readily contradict the inaccurate representation, right?
I don’t think she did misrepresent it in the June 21, 2014 letter. I think that in trying to figure all of this out, we are missing the kind of context Dankrist refers to that makes sense out of it all.
I regret to inform you that the link to Kate Kelly’s June 21, 2014 letter to her bishop at the Ordain Women website seems to not work anymore.
I checked it this morning before this blog was published and it worked fine.
I went to the Ordain Women website to see if I could locate the letter and I am unable to do so.
At one location in the OW website where Kate Kelly references her July 21, 2014 letter in language that indicates a link would be present (i.e., “in this letter”), there is no link.
I trust that this is simply a computer malfunction of some sort.
If you need it, I can send it to you. I have it in a pdf.
The link is working again. It was a problem with the link itself, not the target page.
Thanks for letting me know that, Geoff.
I am glad the letter was put back up at Ordain Women.
I don’t see how the problem could have been the link itself, though.
The link worked fine right before the OP was published.
Within two hours, the link no longer worked. Instead, it went to the OW webpage with a message saying the page sought could not be found.
Now the link works again.
I didn’t do anything to the link to change it in the meantime.
That’s why I can’t understand how the problem could have been the link.
The internet works in mysterious ways, I suppose.
If you look at the history of changes on the page, at some point the link was shortened with a “…” in the middle of it. The letter was up at OW the whole time. I went in and fixed the broken hyperlink.
Thanks for taking care of that, Geoff. I didn’t realize you were working behind the scenes on taking care of the problem.
I mean that sincerely.
You can’t write insane, libelous statements & then claim you’re just trying to “explore what for me is a difficult issue.” You are confusing/conflating the Stake President & the Bishop. The BISHOP never initiated a meeting with Kate. The BISHOP never asked her any questions or tried to delve in to the issues. According to the letter her SP wrote, the BISHOP didn’t even come to the May 5th meeting regarding “informal probation,” which would typically fall under his jurisdiction. Yet, the disciplinary council was convened by the BISHOP.
None of her statements are contradictory & you need to issue a correction & apology for calling her a liar.
Jill, everything in your post is false. The only one needing to make an apology is you.
Dear Jill, you in no way can speak for what the bishop did or said, or didn’t do or say. Stick to what Kate herself says he said.
You have no knowledge. You are making wild assumptions (which you’ve made clear you DESPISE in others, but not in yourself. ) If you want to say what the conversation was…tell it like Kelly tells it. Actually try to pull your brain out of middle school and try an adult conversation: sticking to facts, what is on record, and what THE POINT is.
Kate herself reports (this means in Kate’s own words) that “THEY” asked her, her “VIEWS.” Making your wild assumption and false claim that
“The BISHOP never asked her any questions or tried to delve in to the issues.”
Spurious, reactionary, and WRONG.
You are not helping Kelly or your position.
Try to calm down.
Jill, you’re right on! JTS and MermaidMoo’s replies to you are, respectively, unhelpful and not considering ALL the statements currently made.
There is no controversy here. Kate’s first email to Bishop is March 2013. Nine months later there is one meeting but it’s called by the SP, and the Bishop is invited also. Her use of “they” does not mean they “they” both spoke. “They” were her two united priesthood leaders. I’ve been on High Councils, in meetings with SP’s and on Bishoprics. The average church leader defers to their priesthood superior in such meetings. It is entirely consistent with my experience that the SP asked the questions.
Secondly, the Bishop has not disputed his lack of contact during the previous 9 months or given any indication that he had disciplinary action in mind before her departure from the ward.
Where’s the contradiction? This sounds like something a lawyer would focus on, a subtle, disputed technicality that in no way invalidates the reality of the testimony.
Can we get back to the real issues now?
Kate has said elsewhere, if I remember correctly (or maybe it was someone else?), that her bishop didn’t seem to be behind any of this. She has called the stake president her accuser. That would makes sense then that the bishop may have been dragged into meeting with Kate by the SP but didn’t actually ask her anything himself. I don’t know whether he had no interest in pursuing anything about OW, and I doubt he’ll be speaking publicly about this to clear up these questions, but that’s how it looks to me, given the information I’ve seen.
This is an interesting blog post. I do not think she lied or misrepresented the meeting in december. Kate has always been very open on mormon feminist Facebook groups about every meeting she has ever had, immediately after having them
I wish I understoof why the COB is so dedicated to maintaining the fiction that Kate Kelly’s excommunication was strictly a local action. It’s obvious it comes from the top – what on earth would be the harm in admitting that? Lying about it just makes it worse.
This is actually the part that stood out to me. It makes complete sense to me that things would begin to really move forward immediately after a regional training took place– NOT because church leaders from SLC were directing it, but rather because the local leadership was listening to the spirit as they attended the training and they received direct answers through the spirit regarding the situation, which I’m sure had been weighing heavily on their minds and leaving them wondering how they should handle Kate’s behavior.
We recently had a local training similar to what is described in this blog and there were questions asked by leaders and the General Authorities present responded to those questions. I have no doubt that what happened is that questions came up that elicited responses from the General Authorities present and Kate’s bishop and stake president, who were undoubtedly present, received the direction they had been praying for from the training, which was confirmed by the spirit. The ‘Church’ has not been disingenuous in saying that this was a decision of local leadership. Also– even if the local leadership did consult their regional representatives and the issue was taken higher up– even up to the First Presidency if that is what they felt they needed– that’s proper protocol followed by any good organization. If a local business leader feels they need guidance to handle a situation they go to their regional leader, and ultimately to the corporate leader. There is nothing out of line with any of that~
There’s a jury instruction we often use in our trials: If a witness lies about one thing, the jury can assume they are lying about everything. Kate Kelly purposefully lied to make the church look bad. Her whole agenda was never about getting the priesthood or her true love of the church. She has no love for the church. What she loves is the limelight. She loves the attention. She’ll ride this media train as long as she possibly can. Ditto for Dehlin.
“Ditto for Dehlin.” I find it incredibly difficult, personally, to really understand and appreciate the motives of another human. And yet, here you are, able to sum up the totality of a man’s motives in three words! And with a pithy phrase to boot!
“No love for the church” – is that included in your parenthetical “Ditto for Dehlin”? Well, I suppose if you define the church as the corporate structure in Salt Lake you may be right. But if we go with the scriptural definition of the body of Christ, then I can testify to you that John Dehlin loves that body. He loves the most vulnerable of its members and does his best to help them heal from their hurts. You know, kind of like Jesus did.
You’ve called my friend a liar and said that he doesn’t love the body of Christ. You.Are.Wrong.
I’m sure we can all trust JTS, who has shown in excruciating detail exactly how it is that Kate Kelly lied. We are fortunate to have such selfless crusaders for truth in our midst.
In my opinion, this whole thing is ridiculous. I don’t care if Kate was honest about what was said and done. I don’t care how she or the church spun the situation so it looked better for them. For me, it comes down to one simple question, do you trust, support, and sustain the prophet? If you can’t answer yes, maybe you should leave the church. I feel like OW is trying to bully the church into ordaining women. Their tactics only make them look like spoiled children denied their favorite toy. That is how every argument has ever started in nursery. True equality would mean men should be allowed to lead the Relief Society or Young Women. Would OW be in favor of that? I don’t think they would because those are organizations for sisters only. It’s a huge double standard. If they truly believe God wants them to hold the priesthood and President Monson is holding back the commands of God, I believe God would support these women leaving the church and establishing their own where women are ordained. Why don’t they do this? Because they believe the prophet still holds the keys to the priesthood and speaks for God. There is nothing wrong with men and women having different roles and different responsibilities. One is not better or more important than the other, they are just different. If the church changes the policy on women holding the priesthood, I will not chose to be ordained simply because of the classless way OW has acted. For a long time I thought excommunication was just too extreme a punishment for Kate Kelly, but she did start an organization in direct defiance of the teachings of the church. How are people disciplined when they marry more than one wife? They are excommunicated. How are people disciplined for homosexuality? They are excommunicated? How should people who are actively defying the church be punished? Excommunication. Excommunication isn’t final. Kate can repent and be rebaptised. I don’t think she will ever repent for her sins (and yes, what she has been doing is a sin) because she is consumed with pride and a deep rooted sense of entitlement. I know I’m not going to convince any OW supporters to change their opinion and OW is not going to change my opinion. I am just really, truly sick of the loud minority constantly commenting on articles like this while the majority just rolls their eyes in disgust
Since this has all taken place, my wife has repeatedly said if people want gender “equality” in the Church, then the men should have to be the primary president (she’s been in the primary presidency for quite a while) and be made to deal with that. She says it tongue in cheek, but it raises a question for me. If women are granted the priesthood, who blesses the babies? Who performs the baptism? I’ve always felt that it was a special gift for me as a father to perform these ordinances. Knowing that I would not have the same amount of time with my children as my wife, I saw these as special moments for me and my children. Neither my wife or I have seen these moments as me exercising unequal power, but it was my role and responsibility to do so.
If the Prophet announced tomorrow that women were to be ordained, I would have no problem with it. But ordaining women does raise some interesting role related questions.
Rob, you said “Knowing that I would not have the same amount of time with my children as my wife, I saw these as special moments for me and my children.”
You’re aware that some LDS moms work and some LDS dads stay at home, right?
Yes, I am aware of that fact. Please note that my language was referring to myself and my wife. I’m not trying to speak for anyone other than myself.
Some of us are in situations where we don’t have a husband or a father to perform these ordinances for our children, whether it be due to the father’s inactivity, divorce, or death. My daughter was not blessed because we did not have someone close enough to do it and it greatly saddened me that even as a faithful mother, I could not pronounce a blessing on my own child. My husband’s punishment for a month of inactivity was to make him as useless as me–his faithful wife.
Amy– I was a single mother for 11 years and I pronounced many blessings for my children. Just because we as women are not ordained to the priesthood does not mean that we cannot pray for and bless our children as needed. Specific ordinances performed by the power of the priesthood are performed by men because that is the way God has directed that His Church is to be structured, but that doesn’t mean that He does not listen to the prayers of faithful mothers. As for giving your daughter a name and a blessing your bishop, a home teacher, or another man in the ward would have been honored to perform the ordinance (I assume that you are referring to the specific ordinance of giving a baby a name and a blessing– if I am wrong my apologies)
Shar….where has it been directed by god in the church that only men can hold the priesthood? There is no doctrine on the matter….and even if there were doctrine on it, doctrine comes and goes all the time in the LDS church. It is policy. Church policy can be changed at anytime…just like the change in missionary age was policy. There is no where in the scriptures….any of the LDS cannon of scriptures that says women can’t hold the priesthood. There has never been a this sayeth The Lord moment other than elder oaks….and he cannot declare new doctrine. And oaks in his talk said it was divinely decreed….but never said when or where or how it was divinely decreed. The fact of the matter is there is zero doctrine on it, and to say there is doctrine is to stretch the truth significantly. If doctrines that have actually been LDS doctrine have changed in the past….then this undeclared, unsubstantiated doctrine (policy) can also be changed. The men in the suits just haven’t asked because they are stuck in the 1950’s chauvinistic male dominance.
Last Monday, both my husband and I placed our hands on our son’s head and pronounced a blessing before he went on his mission.
I stood in the circle and placed my hands on his shoulders when he (and my other son) was ordained.
Mothers should be invited to hold their babies as they are being blessed.
It is the traditions of the members who bring great pain in the matter; deity does not find females offensive. In fact, it is the female who pronounces a blessing on her husband during the 2nd anointing.
I’ve witnessed when at times a non-member father, and at other times a non-Melchizedek priesthood holding member father were both not even allowed to stand in the circle and cradle their infant children while being blessed by other ‘authorized’ men. These men would walk up to the stand, hand their infant children over to one of the men it the circle, turn around and sit down during the blessing. At one time, though, it was never like this, especially if the father was a member although not holding the Melchizedek priesthood. So, go figure.
Who blesses the babies? In your case, it sounds like your wife and you would have agreed it would be you, so nothing would have changed. In my case, I’d prefer my husband do it.
Women having the priesthood does not mean women will never let men bless babies again (not that you were saying that), but that husbands and wives have one more decision to agree on as supposed co-equals, the same way they work out who’s driving Joey to soccer practice. If they agree it’s a more special experience for the father, then the father blesses the baby. Problem solved.
a hardliner for sure here–
I have never even looked at the OW page–
but I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why do *we* need all these complicated, exhausting, time-consuming programs anyway?
Primary for women (mostly)
RS for women
Priesthood for men
It’s too complicated–
“I am just really, truly sick of the loud minority constantly commenting on articles like this while the majority just rolls their eyes in disgust . . .”
a Christlike characteristic, certainly–
I am neutral on all of this, but I am seeing a definite lack of compassion–
and mostly from those who want things to remain as they are–
I see no reason why women would want to participate in anything that has the potential for wresting or misusing power; there are women in the church who do that already; there are men in the church who do get walked on (by men and women)–
There are men who are oppressive; there are women who are manipulative–
If this disgusts you, I’d suggest you find another blog to read. There might be a lot here on Rational Faiths than would disgust a hardliner like yourself.
I realize I was sarcastic, but I am a neutral person who is saddened by how those who oppose those who are being excommunicated have reacted.
I called another person a ‘hardliner’. And I quoted them. This other poster said he/she was ‘disgusted’, and that is the attitude in the one extreme that has been hurtful.
This is one of the most ridiculous arguments I’ve ever seen, but it keeps cropping up regardless…
Do you really believe that women seeking ordination would then want to be in charge of Elder’s Quorum? Really? Because that’s the only way your argument makes sense.
Come back and join us in reality. You’ll easily see they only want women to be able to govern themselves. No one is seeking to put men in submission and have the women rule over them. That clearly would not be equality, would it? Equality is all that’s been asked for, so there’s no reason for you to presume otherwise. (And, for the record, men ALREADY DO lead RS & YW! THAT is the problem! This Sunday my bishop is teaching RS. A woman has taught EQ… NEVER! What was that you said again about a “huge double standard”?)
Here’s why the church adamantly insists that this is a local issue: the D&C says apostles are barred from interfering in local matters. If it is shown that apostles are interfering, then they in fact are not following the D&C charge of apostles. Rock Waterman discussed this fact on his recent KTKK interview: http://www.paulduane.net/2014/06/rock-waterman-of-pure-mormonism-stop-resign-or-be-exed/
I’m with Jill. This post is a thinly veiled attempt to capitalize on a tradgedy to drive up web traffic. You simultaneously accuse Kelly of being imprecise AND too precise (in the Trib Talk).
Which is it????
If her Bishop isn’t the one who put her on probation, or even bother to attend the (oneof two total) meetings held with her… he obviously wasn’t interested in hearing what she had to say until (strangely enough) she was already gone.
I am saddened by Kate Kelly’s excommunication. Not because I agree with her, but because it is always sad when a member of the Church is excommunicated.
I don’t know if Kate lied or not, but this post certainly makes it appear that she did.
When OW first made its way into the news, my reaction was “that’s an interesting question, I’m glad they’re brave enough to ask, and I’m interested in the response.” However, since that time, I’ve become more skeptical by what I perceive (just my perception) as actions taken to either shame the Church or to draw unnecessary attention to OW. I can never know the intentions or the hearts of those involved in OW, (I suspect most are honest) but I can view Kate’s actions and make inferences. This post has somewhat cemented my opinion that Kate Kelly has been more interested in shaming the Church when she didn’t get what she wanted. Again, I don’t know the contents of her heart, but her actions speak loud.
Can we stop with the oppression language? You can’t claim to be oppressed by an organization that has no power or authority to force you to do anything. If you’re free to leave you are not oppressed.
This comment appears to ignore the costs of leaving the organization.
You’re right, it does leave out the costs of leaving the organization. You might lose friends or even family and the feeling of belonging that you had. But nobody is making anyone stay in the Church. (Please don’t mistake this for me saying “if you have questions or don’t agree with anything, just leave the Church.” I want everyone in the Church. This is simply an issue of the erroneous use of the word “oppression”.) If an entity can’t control you or exercise power or authority over you in such a way that you can’t leave, it can’t oppress you.
My issue with the word oppression is that not only is it literally false, but it puts the Church in a bad light that is not accurate. I understand that some church leaders or family members may attempt to act in a controlling manner, but one’s submission to that control is purely voluntary. Thus, there is no oppression in the Church.
Rob- I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of oppression.
It is true that there are kinds of oppression that are more obviously hard to escape from (physical bondage, chattel slavery, imprisonment, etc) but there are also many kinds of oppression that operate even in supposedly voluntary situations.
For example, captives who are held captive by the threat of retribution of some kind, rather than by being tied up or chained, are still experiencing oppression. Blackmail can be oppressive (even when the blackmail is untrue), because the consequences make it hard to escape the situation. Likewise, marriages can be oppressive even when technically a spouse is ‘free’ to divorce and leave, especially when it would mean financial hardship or the loss of their children, family, or community.
Workplaces in which workers of different races are treated differently are oppressive, even when workers are technically ‘free’ to choose alternative employment- in part because of the costs of seeking alternative employment, and in part because it can be hard for those workers to find jobs that don’t have similar racial hierarchies.
Churches can be oppressive even when they are voluntary associations, for all of these reasons. If someone is in them, and they are treated in an emotionally, physically, or spiritually abusive manner, then they are experiencing oppression.
Tristan, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I would disagree. “Captives” (I would use the example of the thousands of Latino debt slaves held against their will in the U.S.) are being held against their will by force, whether it be physical or economic. That is oppression. A job is a better analogy to the Church, but even that analogy fails because an employer may have some level of legal or contractual authority over an employee.
In the present circumstance, Kate Kelly voluntarily belonged to a religious organization. Nobody (at least since she moved out of her parent’s house) forced her to go to Church. Nobody in that organization used force or power to make her do anything. Her actions themselves prove that she was free to act however she wanted. The Church is equally free to excommunicate members for teaching doctrine or beliefs contrary to their doctrine. (I realize there is a whole other discussion there on what is doctrine or not, but that’s not the point of this discussion.)
Oppression by definition is an excessive use of power or authority. But the Church has no actual power or authority over anyone. They can’t force anyone to do anything. Everything within the Church is voluntary. You don’t want to pay tithing? Nobody can force you to. You don’t want to attend Sunday School? Nobody in the Church can force you to. By definition, you can only oppress if you have power and authority over someone else. That power and authority cannot exist in a purely voluntary organization.
I would say that abuse can take place within the church, and especially abuse of relationships of trust, but that is not the same thing as oppression.
Kate Kelly was not oppressed by the Church, nor are any female members of the Church oppressed by the Church. Are they treated unfairly? Possibly (in some cases definitely). But that is not oppression.
The issue with the word oppression is that it creates a false image of the Church exercising excessive power and authority over women, but that is simply untrue.
Rob, you have done a lot of mental gymnastics telling us why oppression isn’t a good word that should be used and given your own spin on what the word means and how it applies. Let’s simplify this whole game and see what the dictionary has to say…. Based on the definition as given to us by the holy dictionary yes we can use the word oppression and it makes very good sense. So quit trying to bottleneck your definition and tell us we are wrong when in fact there have been many that have felt oppressed in the church. Just because you haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean that others havent
op·pres·sion [uh-presh-uhn] Show IPA
the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.
an act or instance of oppressing.
the state of being oppressed.
the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.
JTS is becoming my new here for his/her ability to know 100% of everything 100% of the time. I hope that we can all strive to attain that perfection….in this life or the next. May god have mercy on all the souls of those who don’t attain that perfection
I appreciate you tackling this tough issue, Corbin. It’s one I’ve been thinking a lot about.
I don’t think there’s ample evidence to suggest that Kate lied.
I do, however, think it’s fair to say she “tweaked” her December story just a bit in order to assert that her bishop has been out to lunch on this issue. I agree that her December blog post makes it seem like he was engaged and involved in the December meeting, and now her story is that he was silent the whole time. If she was so perturbed by that fact in December, why did that not make it into the blog post?
All that being said, Kate’s accusation that President Wheatley threatened to make her informal probation public (and the fact that he put her on informal probation at all) is much more troubling to me.
I see a clear pattern of President Wheatley overstepping his bounds all over. His role should be to counsel the bishop in his interactions with Kate. He did much more than that. Which is exactly why my suspicion of involvement from higher-ups is so strong.
President Wheatley is the instigator here.
Perhaps the Bishop was too scared to meet with her? That would explain why he avoided the issue for nine months and then got dragged into one meeting by the SP who obviously had to take matters into his own hands. Then he again avoids her for a few more months. The SP (not the Bishop) puts her on information probation, and finally the Bishop initiates the action after she leaves the ward. Wow.
The irony of this is rich. Men speculating about procedural bullsh*t on a blog run by men regarding a process that was inflicted on a woman by men.
Well done. Thank you for clarifying a few things that have been nagging at me. I think Kate and the church know how to spin things. I think each is guilty as charged. However, I also think each is innocent, in that they are doing what people and organizations do in these situations. Disappointment is innevitable. Yet, I keep being surprised when I am disappointed. . . I don’t have much more to say about it.
I’m waiting for what I assume will be the balanced follow-up to this post authored ny Corbin called, “Did Bishop Harrison Tell the Truth”…. or are we to just assume because he is a man in a position of power we owe him all deference & magnanimity.
Big difference, Sojourner, and I think you know it.
Bishop Harrison ain’t talking (outside of the letters Kate has published).
Hard to referee a he-said/she-said fight when only one side is talking.
The extent to which “progressive” Mormon men are so blinded by the ways in which patriarchy affects them is astounding.
Why do you assume that Kate’s communications are made solely to make her look better, yet that the Bishop’s letter was meant for her eyes only and not calculated in any way to make himself look better (even though he knew full well it would be released… if not by Kate, by the Deseret News).
Jill, stop it! Stop making sense!
I think this is a really unfortunate post, because there are a lot of people who will jump on this and make it about picking apart Kate Kelly, allowing them to ignore the systemic issues she has brought to light. You’re fixating on one line in a previous post Kelly made in which she vaguely refers to “they,” not even her Bishop’s involvement specifically, while ignoring a lot of context she has given about the situation. No doubt her perspective is biased in her own favor, but this is nitpicky and will just add fuel to an already contentious fire on both sides right now.
“I know it may sound like I am asking for a perfect messenger of a cause in which I believe.” Yep. That’s exactly what it sounds like.
I’m trying to imagine a world in which we could engage in the substance of the argument about the role of women in the church without having to go to war over whether we’re even allowed to have that conversation to begin with. Arguing over Kate Kelly’s character and intentions is just another step down the ladder in terms of productive discourse.
I’m trying to imagine a world in which we could engage in the substance of the argument over whether Kate Kelly was completely truthful without having to go to war over whether we’re even allowed to have that conversation to begin with.
Kate has been transparent throughout this entire process. She’s clarified her statements on multiple occasions. When she wrote the post on fMh in December, it wasn’t even a thought in her head that she’d be called in for discipline. So why would she feel the need to clarify, “My stake president called the meeting and my bishop was there but my bishop didn’t really talk that much so just know that if in the future he happens to hold a court in abstentia after I’ve moved out of the ward, he didn’t really talk that much to me about it personally, FYI.”
It’s not always clear in the moment which details will become important later. It makes total sense that in the context of making her larger point on the fMh post, she lumped them both together as “they.” That’s not dishonest, it’s just not knowing which details would later become relevant. Since then, she has clarified what occurred in the December meeting, and reiterated that there was no contact between her and the bishop after that point.
“When she wrote the post on fMh in December, it wasn’t even a thought in her head that she’d be called in for discipline. So why would she feel the need to clarify,”
Now we see how eagerly people wish to get into her head…
She is in fact:
Organizer for Ordain Women.
A radical thinker.
A woman who thinks deeply and feels passionately.
Not a thought. Really? How naive should we continue to make her?
Mermaid, while you’re busy making lots of assumptions you can in no way verify… why don’t you assume since they didn’t call her in until December when the website went up in March that she thought she was in the clear.
Months passed by with no word, so it is logical to assume she would not be punished.
Why not assume that… while you’re in the business of making assumptions?
What assumptions Jill? That’s she’s an attorney. Fact. Leader. Fact. Organizer. Fact. Radical thinker. Fact.
The point is — some folks don’t buy the naïveté.
Hmmm. I’m gonna start a group that flies in the face of the doctrine of my church. Ain’t nuttin gonna happen to me. Nope. Not now, not ever.
Tell me another one.
Exactly, as I said up-stream Corbin is confusing/conflating the Stake President & the Bishop. The BISHOP never initiated a meeting with Kate. The BISHOP never asked her any questions or tried to delve in to the issues. According to the letter her SP wrote, the BISHOP didn’t even come to the May 5th meeting regarding “informal probation,” which would typically fall under his jurisdiction. Yet, the disciplinary council was convened by the BISHOP.
The “he said” is in the excommunication letter, which was obviously written for an outside audience & not Kate herself.
Why would he need to remind her of things she already knew if it was written to her??
Another wild assumption.
It’s called Technical, Proceedutal Writimg. It is protocol, especially as this shows a linear movement toward discipline. It is proper and correct. Kate is an attorney. As a human rights attorney, she would understand the correctness of such missives. It leaves a record of continuing communication, reiteration of past warnings or relevant statements, and movement toward a result.
There’s a mantra in crisis communications. It is that, in the midst of a “scandal” or a crisis PR situation, you must adhere to 3 basic rules if you want to come out with your integrity intact:
1) Tell the truth
2) Tell all of it
3) Tell it yourself
I think Kate has done pretty good with numbers 1 and 3, but not so hot with number 2. It’s pretty clear to me that there’s part of this story she’s spinning to her advantage.
The fact also remains that Kate chose to make this public, and therefore we have a right to question the information she has chosen to make public. Especially when so many of us have publicly supported her.
And that’s why there’s questioning going on.
James, care to elaborate on your version of error on “number 2” or do you prefer vague, unsubstantiated accusations?
He’s referencing the stuff in the OP. It’s not that hard to read Jill. She gave the impression she had NO contact, but in fact admits to having had SOME contact.
Lots of people are upset that she got the axe, but we still need to think critically.
If the Bishop ex’d her, he should also be willing to front the press to answer questions. But given he was unwilling to meet with her the whole year (aside from 1 forced meeting), and then tried her in absentia, I guess that’s not going to happen.
Roy, the Bishop is not in a public arena. Kate is.
Trying to simplify for the simple here.
As to Kate choosing to make this public, which part are you referring to? OW has been in the media to one degree or another all along, and her SP said she must tell the world she’d been put on probation, apparently so she could supposedly no longer represent herself as a member in good standing. If she hadn’t reported the probation and the church court, he apparently would have.
Also, I know both John and Kate were advised by various people (on Facebook alone, possibly elsewhere) to bring the media in, thinking that increased scrutiny by the world might give the church leaders pause. I don’t think that worked in Kate’s case, but I’m very glad the world has been able to witness the treatment of Kate by a very patriarchal church.
She read out loud the full email on Trib Talk where her SP said, point blank, that if she didn’t make her discipline public, he would.
It clearly wasn’t her choice to “go public”
I agree. Every time my husband blesses or baptizes our babies. It is a very special moment for him. I would hate for that to be jeopardized for some men. I know what it’s like not to have a priesthood holder in the home. My first husband died when my oldest was 18 months old. However, I was never without the priesthood. I knew I could call on it if necessary and there were always willing men in our wardto step in when needed. I hate the way OW has gone about demanding the priesthood. You don’t demand of God.
Bottom line, Kate Kelly has not been honest all the while stating she has been completely honest. What else has she “spun” or prevaricated about? It’s a rational question. “…and he literally never approached me. Every Sunday week after week I saw him, I interacted with him, I had a calling, um, and he never called me, he never stopped by my house, he never pulled me aside on any Sunday, we never had; he personally never called me in to have a conversation about this.”
Bearing false witness is wrong. So wrong! In portraying her Bishop as having never met with her (so as to cast herself into victimhood,) upsets me. I don’t appreciate having my emotions manipulated. This is an EXCELLENT article that lays out the evidence, and gives Kelly the benefit where it can be given, even if not entirely deserved. I am considering removing my profile form OW. I will wait for an organization that I can trust…a leader who is honest in ALL things. If I truly value the discussion, and the cause, then my leader…the person I throw myself behind and who I will trust in marching forth into battle….better be one of integrity and truth. Kate Kelly is no longer that person. If I stick my head in the sand; ignoring the above evidence, I am as untrue to my core beliefs as if I were to give a pass to any man who denies Joseph Smith ever met with the Relief Society and promised to make out of that organization a “Kingdom of Priests.” The battle continues for me. Now in a much more painful way, and in a much diminished arena.
Say what you will with vigor and emotion; but above all, speak truthfully. Speak kindness and charity, which means being an honest witness in all interactions. I’m not interested at this point in hyper-charged emotions. I’m interested in evidence; in my own earnest discipleship to Jesus Christ; and in where this fall-out leaves each of us as human beings.
This post in no way proves “Kate Kelly has not been honest”. If we’re talking about what is just plain wrong..; casting about random, unproven accusations as if they were fact is wrong.
YOU are wrong Mermaidwoman.
Also, no offense, but the OW site has hundreds of profiles. They won’t miss yours at all if you take it down.
Sounds like if they’ve got friends like you, they don’t need enemies anyways.
Gosh, this is so painful to read. Maybe you are a pardoy account? One of the things I hated most about what people were saying about Kate Kelly was that church members would say, “If you agree with Kate Kelly, maybe we’re better off without you.”
We have to be beyond reproach to win hearts and minds, no matter our goals. This time both the church and Kate Kelly failed.
Wow Jill. Just wow. How awful that you would say something so vile, first prefaceing such an offensive, hurtful comment by saying you mean no offense. That’s disingenuous. Enough of the hate.
I respectfully find this post offensive. It’s purpose seems to be finding fault in Kate to justify the church’s actions against her. As if chipping away at her character somehow gives the church enough breathing room to get a pardon for their ecclesiastical abuse. The fact remains she cast a light on the gender inequality that exists in the church, was outspoken in doing so and was ultimately excommunicated for not “falling in line” when the church pressured her to do so. We all need something to soothe our cognitive dissonance when it comes to matters like this. If this small aspect of the story is enough to help members of the church overlook the gender inequality and authoritarian organization that surrounds them, so be it.
It must be sooooooo difficult for a man who benefits from the status quo to write something propping up the status quo he benefits from.
What a HUGE sacrifice.
I have a hard time seeing how one meeting can be considered an open dialogue on such a complex and sensitive issue. I would think something more like the extensive, weekly meetings that John Dehlin’s stake president had with him are a better example of dialogue and counselling. When was the last time you felt understood by a stranger who disagreed with you after a single meeting? I partly agree with you, Melody, but still see this post as overly critical of Kate. If they gave her explicit and clear counsel in December, then they didn’t have time to listen to her. If they listened, they didn’t have time to give clear counsel. One meeting isn’t enough for both when the parties are so far apart.
Agreed, Jonathon. Right now, however, it’s hard to know what’s true or what’s not. I remember Kate’s comment that she had spoken with her bishop before each OW action, informing him of what she was doing. (don’t remember where I heard her say this, maybe TribTalk) It suggested some sort of dialogue. . . Either way, I agree she and everyone else who has been called in by ecclesiastical leaders for their association with OW deserves love and support. Not excommunication.
Now, I’ve given all the energy I have to spare for this issue and I’m done for a while. God bless each of us in our sphere. That’s my prayer lately.
It’s actually not that hard, Melody. Kate emailed the Bishop on multiple occasions regarding what was going on.
I still don’t get the controversy over her story.
I would add to all this that Kate has been reproved with sharpness. Now is the time to show forth greater love that she may know that our bonds are greater than the cords of death. I’m sorry you feel betrayed, Corbin. That always hurts. If you supported OW because the cause is important, I don’t see the value in this exploration.
Yes rob….you are correct…
One may freely leave the church. However, it cannot be done without the threat of eternal damnation, the loss of your family in the afterlife,a life of unhappiness, etc. You may argue that this isn't true, however I have a letter and pamphlet from the church that says exactly that. Those threats of damnation and unhappiness keep people bound to the church in a way that only ideology can. Ideology can be as binding as actual shackles. And sorry….just because you are "free to leave" does not mean you are not oppressed.
Thanks for the reply.
I wouldn’t argue that what you’ve said about the “threat of eternal damnation” is untrue. I’m sure that’s very true. But that is clearly not an excessive use of power or authority, because again, the Church has no power or authority over anyone. People are free to leave at anytime. Once that is conceded, oppression cannot exist. Abuse can exist, threats can exist, but abuse and threats are not the same thing as oppression.
Abuse of power and authority is oppression. That is one of the main definitions do oppression. I have looked the definition up of oppression on several dictionary sites and under none of those definitions does it say that oppression can only be present when you are not free to go. In case you miss where I posted it up this thread here is a copied and pasted definition of oppression….
op·pres·sion [uh-presh-uhn] Show IPA
the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.
an act or instance of oppressing.
the state of being oppressed.
the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.
How are people punished when they marry more than one wife? That’s a good question Katie….
Let’s ask Joseph smith….33 wives…
Some of them children …he was a prophet of god. Let’s see with Brigham young…40+ wives…proclaimed the fall of Rome was due to monogamy.
The fact of the matter is that the church changes all the time the teachings, doctrines, policies, etc. You make some pretty lofty judgments that she is sinning. I’m just wondering…
Do you think Joseph smith was sinning when he took those young brides to marry?….or married other men’s wives? What he said was much much worse and yet he can get away with it because prophets are fallible. Well….reports are that all humans are fallible so why did old Joe Smith get to keep his membership and prophetic mantle but she gets excommunicated? The fact of the matter is that the only thing that can be done is justify and rationalize.
Since when has God inspired people to rise up against the leaders of his church and seek to promote a change in doctrin that is not supported by his word. This movement would destroy the family, the church, and society. A body with two heads is devided. A body with no head is dead. God gives priesthood.it comes from him. So why has he not given it to a women since the world began? We may not always understand why things are the way they are but i believe God has not done this for a wise purpose.
Rob, you’re aware that some LDS moms work and some LDS dads stay at home, right?
I can honestly say, I sincerely don’t care about your allegations that Kate Kelly was less than honest. Maybe she was. Or maybe you’re making assumptions.
This whole story was about something much greater than Kate Kelly, or even OW. For me, it was a question to see whether there really is room in the church for everyone, and whether or not agitation for change, from within, is an acceptable expression of differences within the church.
Not only have those questions been asked very loudly now, but a movement was begun, a conversation is now being had, and there is shifting and movement in the church; baby steps to address real concerns. It’s very positive.
Corbin Volluz you owe us a reply. Did you even attempt to ask Kate any questions to clarify the situation BEFORE you put up the post???
If not, you are obviously not actually interested in knowing the truth, you just want to create drama where none exists and SOMEHOW make yourself out to be the victim in all this.
Why didn’t you ask her Corbin??? TELL US THE TRUTH.
Kate owes a reply. As the leader of a cause, as a person who put herself into the public arena of discourse and dissection, she owes a reply. Especially as she accused the LDS church of not talking to her about how she saw things. She has a chance here. It’s a good forum. She has supporters and critics. It’s her turn. Has she surrounded herself with an echo chamber? Is she open to discourse in this? Where is her defense in this?
Sojourner, if it’s any comfort to you (I doubt it will be), I did ask Kate directly about accusations that she wasn’t being completely forthcoming with details about her interactions with the bishop and SP.
She denied them and said people were just being gossip mongers.
It is very hard to read and take in all the comments that don’t care if she lied. So many I’ve spoken to are so terribly tired of the lies in politics, and casting shadows upon others to raise themselves. I expected more of Kate. This whole concept of “a lie is Ok if the cause is just” is what’s offensive.
This is a great article. So,where is Kate? How,about a comment Kate Kelly?
Hopefully you’re not going to be silent like the deafening silence form Salt Lake we’ve come to have no respect for. You’ve thrown yourself into a public arena. Are you offended, or can you clarify? You made your Bishop look like a jerk. Shame on you. That’s the point.
I thought this was pretty fair, except for the fluctuating standard of when to accept hearsay and when to reject it.
The attorney in me, has to agree with the author in the hearsay comment he actually labels as such. I did this even though it means rejecting the account proffered by the Bishop who seems to be a very reliable witness and who I can’t imagine would fabricate such specific details in the face of such public scrutiny.
I am surprised, though, by the author’s willingness to immediately accept hearsay evidence later on when trying to connect the dots between LDS HQ and the disciplinary hearing. In this instance, he not only accepts hearsay, but it’s actually hearsay of hearsay that requires you to imagine a third piece of hearsay having occured (“you do the math,” he writes). It would be surprising but for his having (laudably) disclosed his bias in the preceding paragraphs. We all have biases, but, all in all, it was one of the best (and factually-based) pieces that I’ve read on the subject.
In Kate’s own words:
Not sure why the timestamp didn’t paste. But she acknowledges the meeting at about 5:35. She outright says, “We met one time in December which I blogged about on FMH.” Sooo….. where’s the lie? I guess I’m not straw-graspy enough to see it.
Thank you Heather C. for clarifying. That should do it… oh, wait, this isn’t really about knowing the truth, is it Corbin?
It’s about villifying someone.
Corbin, I’m curious about why you didn’t simply ask Kate about this issue before writing this post. It would seem to be the simplest way to get a direct answer about the specifics of what she meant, and you could have discussed that in the post. She is easy to contact, via Facebook, OW, or e-mail. It would have been a caring and responsible move, and I believe she would have answered, particularly if you expressed that you were going to otherwise publicly declare that you, a member of OW, believed she was lying. Have you considered asking her now, and writing a follow-up post about what she says?
I’m puzzled by this exchange:
Kate Kelly: Like it’s just very odd to be… like… a trope (laughs)
Interviewer: Right. Become a story.
Kate Kelly: Mmh Hmm Yeah, like something that is so personal and painful but at the same time so… like.. everyone somehow has a right to know.
(0:51-1:07 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAGpGfcoopw#t=158)
She says she’s bothered that everyone supposes the have a right to know something so personal and painful.
In front of a camera.
Making a video.
That will be distributed widely.
Of someone who shared her story regularly with the national media.
This whole video is odd. Listen closely. It’s easy to see that this is being done by one of her supporters, someone who is a friend.
Kate: “You know me….” Watch that exchange in context. Made me feel puzzled why so scripted by Kate herself? Why not make a video where she actually talks to the camera…the people themselves and not something so contrived, so scripted. Why not step out and do an interview with people who can actually ask hard questions? I think she’s adverse to a public arena where she is not thrown soft balls about herself and her real motives? There are questions and concerns. This is not the only forum where this particular issue is being discussed.
In the above video motives are suspect, Manaen, because once again…showmanship. Red herrings. Artifice. A neon-sign going off on her true feelings about men in general. In the shake down of truth Vs. Fiction, it does come down to loathing. I want no part of loathing. No part of making things much worse for a man, just because he is in charge. That must never be the underlying feeling in all this. I don’t trust her anymore. I’m hurting over all this. I am done with OW, done with all of this. It’s just not adding up and I’m moving on.
If the spirit could tell Nephi to cut off Laban’s head, I suppose there is nothing to prevent the spirit from telling Kate’s SP to excommunicate her.
It appears, however, that the spirit was given a little power-boost by Elder Clayton.
I have been practicing law for 25-years and have never heard of such a jury instruction, JTS.
I also find your attempts to assign black-and-white motivations to Kate’s actions shallow and offensive.
Ditto for Dehlin.
Thanks for your comments, Katie Lemos.
It is hard for me to understand how you “don’t care” whether Kate or the church were “honest about what was said and done.”
To me, that is an important issue.
To you, it seems the important issue is whether “you trust, support and sustain the prophet.”
My question for you is how this can be this most important issue, even if the prophet you trust, support and sustain has not been honest about what was said and done.
Ahhh, religion. Isn’t it wonderful.
The way I see it, men are not usually the Primary president, but the fact is a man CAN be the Primary president. A woman, on the other hand, is never the bishop (or even the Sunday school president!), because a woman cannot hold either of those two callings.
No matter what position of leadership a woman may hold, it can be only over other women or over small children.
And regardless of the position of leadership a woman may hold, it will always be under the direct supervision and authority of . . . a man.
You ask, “If women are granted the priesthood, who blesses the babies?”
To which I respond with another question, “If women are granted driver’s licenses, who drives the car?”
Men as primary president?
“The Primary president has the following responsibilities:
I don’t know any men who are assigned the feminine title “she”.
That sounds horribly painful, Amy.
I see no reason whatsoever why the Church at this moment does not institute the early and discontinued practice of allowing mothers to bless their children.
Your equation between a faithless husband and a faithful wife is poignant.
(I recognize you are not saying your husband was faithless, but had only been inactive for a month. I put it in those words because the equation would hold just as true if your husband were an axe-murderer.)
Thanks for your doctrinal insight, MH.
The problem I have with that argument is that if we actually go by the what the D&C sets forth as the proper role of apostles, they do not have jurisdiction and authority in any of the wards and stakes of the church, but only in the mission field.
According to the D&C, it is the “standing high councils” that have authority in the stakes where the church is organized, and specifically not the apostles.
[This is why one of the top contenders for succession to Joseph Smith’s position upon his death was the president of the Nauvoo stake. (Going from memory here, I think his name was Marks.) He was supported by Emma Smith, but does not seem to have pressed his candidacy very strongly.]
If the apostles want to rely on the D&C to say why it is they do not get involved in local matters, they should follow it to its logical conclusion and stop having anything to do whatsoever with the organized stakes of the Church.
Again, this is why many in the Church believed Brigham Young was completely overstepping his bounds in asserting the apostles should succeed Joseph Smith to the leadership of the Church.
Yours is an interesting perspective, James, and I agree that the role the SP played in all this is suggestive that Church leaders higher-up than the SP were involved.
The circumstantial evidence of this seems overwhelming to me.
And I can’t forget the fact that when the September 6 were disciplined in 1993, the Church made similar denials that top leadership was involved.
Denials that later proved to be untrue.
Your comments resonate so much with me, Melody.
I was so disappointed and angered by what I perceived as the Church “spinning” things against Kate that I have posted elsewhere on this board some pretty scathing comments.
Then, as I began to piece things together this week after the release of Bishop Harrison’s letter (by OW), I found myself becoming disappointed with Kate.
I am not angry with Kate like I am with the Church about their respective actions.
I am disappointed with Kate and angry with the Church.
I don’t know how to explain why my feelings are different in this regard.
I just know that they are.
Thank you for your charitable read on things.
So, just to clarify, Corbin… IT’S POOR LITTLE YOU THAT NEEDS CHARITY AND COMPASSION AT THIS TIME?1?!1?!!!?!?1?1!?
Sojourner, I mean Jill: your engine has officially derailed in Crazy town. Up your meds. Take a pill Jill.
Chill Jill chill.
Yes, after being informed that her Stake President would publicly announce that her church standing was comprised she chose to “tell it herself.” First that’s a positive and then it’s a negative? For someone so critical of Kate because you have inserted inconsistency into her story, though at each time it was told for different purposes (1-to communicate that discipline wasn’t something she had been led to believe was on the table for herself or was being coordinated for OW supporters and then 2-to explain why she shocked at being disciplined), maybe you should insert some consistency into one blog comment?
From the time news of the disciplinary council broke until right after reading the letter to Kate Kelly regarding the council’s decision, everything I knew came straight from Kelly’s mouth. I thought, “This must be true because it would be too easy to call her out if her story weren’t completely true.” My support for her (not necessarily OW because I’m apathetic to religious things) caused a heated debate between me and my mom, and it turns out that many of the points I used are not entirely accurate. Kate’s chosen verbiage makes it seem like her local leaders never had a problem with OW. She omitted some important details in her recent stories, e.g., her meeting with her Stake President and Bishop in December. This disappoints me because I believed this came out of left field as she portrayed, but it didn’t. My trust in her was demolished. I had an unnecessary heated conversation with my mom, whom I love more than anyone who isn’t my dad. I feel bad about that. I need to remember that I don’t know all of the facts in this, and neither do any of you, but I do know that I Kate lied to us, at least by omission.
Thank you for your bravery in saying is Carrie. I am hearing from different folks, inside and outside the faith, that feel the same way. It seems when Corbin is raising the same point, there are those who wish to go rabid on him. My goodness! Shameful that they act toward others as they proclaim to hate being acted upon.
Your experience echos my experience with this. It’s much deeper than the supporters care to hear about. It’s all our loss.
If you must know the truth, Sojourner, that was exactly what the original title of this blog was going to be.
Technically a smidge different. It was going to be, “Did Kate Kelly’s Bishop Lie?”
I started putting it together Tuesday morning after Kate was excommunicated.
I read a blog over at Times and Seasons that argued that Kate was deprived of due process because she was charged with “apostasy” and then found guilty of “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church.”
I was outraged! I texted my bishop about this, telling him how this was completely unfair!
Then I did some more digging.
I found out that the language used in the bishop’s letter is mandated by the Church Handbook, and for good reason. This becomes clear if you think of the more common reasons that people get excommunicated and the unwillingness of the Church to put the details into writing.
I then located the actual letter itself and read it in its entirety. There was much more to the letter than just the boilerplate language.
The letter had details in it.
And frankly, the letter just sounded so much more reasonable than I had been led to believe.
I texted my bishop to retract my earlier condemnation.
The mention in the letter of the December 2013 meeting with the bishop, the SP and Kate is what got things rolling in my head.
I could swear I had the distinct impression from listening to Kate and reading her words that her bishop had not been involved anywhere along the line in any kind of meetings or discussions with her about her activities or views.
This didn’t line up with what the bishop was saying in his letter.
I went back and reviewed the record of Kate’s interviews and writings.
I found out that the reason I had that distinct impression is because it was a major theme of Kate’s narrative beginning with her 6/12/14 interview with Trib Talk (which I had listened to on 6/12/14); and also in her subsequent letter to her bishop.
I realized that Kate’s bishop had not been the jerk she had led me to believe.
More pieces fell into place.
And this blog is the result.
Finally, a common misperception people are making is that I am judging what the bishop or stake president said against what Kate Kelly said.
I am not doing that.
This is not a he-said she-said.
This is a question of taking what Kate Kelly herself wrote in December of 2013 regarding the specific issue of the degree of her bishop’s involvement in the matter, and comparing it with what Kate Kelly herself said in the Trib Talk interview and what Kate Kelly wrote in her subsequent letter to her bishop.
So once again, this is not a case of stake president versus Kate Kelly.
It is not a case of bishop versus Kate Kelly.
It is a case of Kate Kelly versus Kate Kelly.
In my last sentence, I think “deceived” might be a better word than “lied”, but you know…synonyms.
Because her Bishop showed up to one meeting (at which she was point blank assured she was not under threat of discipline), initiated by her SP, in well over a year of activities with OW before said bishop called her to a disciplinary council? A meeting that Kate has never denied took place and which she candidly outlined (though did not detail because the post wasn’t about keeping a public record of her interactions with the bishop) at the time it occurred? Kate’s problem isn’t past Kate. It’s Corbin et. al projecting onto December2013Kate dishonest intentions because she didn’t write as though that blog post would be used in another six months to analyze her bishop’s behavior and degree of engagement. It’s that her one use of the word “they” suddenly invalidates her statement that the bishop never asked her about her heart or her activities because English never groups persons into a plural even when only one voice is speaking.
Twist yourself into knots to create a narrative that makes the bishop into a better guy because God forbid the patriarchal leadership fail so spectacularly. Never mind that even in the best case defense: the Bishop still only asked Kate questions once, under direction of the SP, and in a meeting where she was told she was not under threat of discipline. And then after months of radio silence and her cross country move he accuses her of apostasy.
That’s the best case behavior of this supposed shepherd.
But let’s make it about the details of Kate’s description of the past year plus. Did she use the right adjectives? Did that subject noun communicate the exact details of the course of that one meeting?
Because we sure wouldn’t want to get distracted from discussing the systemic inequalities and injustices this woman and OW have worked to publicly point out. No no, let’s talk around the issue and focus on whether Kate is a person you like instead of whether the issues she raises are valid. It’s not like that’s been done before to feminists or women who challenge male authority.
I think the only way to,get at the heart of this is to talk to the Bishop we’re all talking about. However, there’s no,way to do this because he cannot talk about it. Or can he? Can he say if/if not he spoke to her in depth? Because if he did…which Kelly herself says he did…then she MUST be cast in a different light with different motives than just what seems to be on the surface. Your statement “supposed Shepard.” Leaves little to the imagination in how you actually feel about men in leadership positions. The more I read, the more I listen, the more I am convinced OW is not the way to go for affecting change. At it’s heart it seems (to me) insincere in extending the honesty, compassion, and being fair with representing facts. I’m wondering why Kate did not participate in the offered digital link up to the Bishop’s court? She wants to make her Bishop look as bad as possible?
Corbin questioning Kate Kelly’s honesty is entirely relevant because the Bishop cannot speak. He is muzzled. He has no public arena in which he can defend himself against brutish behavior proclaimed by the woman with the microphone. That’s WHY.
The question of her words IS relevant. She makes him look entirely disengaged. She makes him look like he NEVER asked her anything. Or is it more likely he never asked her the things she wanted him to? It’s so relevant to ask Kate Kelly, because she knows the Bishop cannot talk. How very convenient for her. Especially right now.
And why did she decline his offer of the video linkup to her own court?
Corbin, I notice you still haven’t responded to what is the most rational explanation of the discrepancy: the fMh blog post wasn’t written with the foresight of understanding that it would be later scrutinized to discover the level of detail of the bishop’s involvement in the case. She said “they” because they were both there, as she’s always maintained, but didn’t feel the need to parse out who said what. She has since clarified that the bishop didn’t really speak much and that this meeting was instigated by the stake president.
What’s so difficult about this?
I posted the following yesterday morning at about 9:30 or so.
Geoff answered my question by saying:
“If you look at the history of changes on the page, at some point the link was shortened with a “…” in the middle of it. The letter was up at OW the whole time. I went in and fixed the broken hyperlink.”
I am no expert on computers by any means, but I am hoping Geoff can explain whether the “history of changes” were on this page or on the page of OW.
I am asking this because of the following:
Yesterday morning I found the link from this page to the letter at OW no longer worked. It did go to the OW website, but came up with a message saying “Oops!” and that the page I was looking for was not there (or something like that); I can’t remember the exact language but only the “Oops!” part and that the link from this page no longer worked to access the letter on OW.
I went to the search engine at OW and typed in words I thought would bring up the letter so I could redo the link. I was unable to access the letter through the search function at OW.
I then went to this page on OW:
If you access this page, you will see where Kate writes in the first sentence:
“Since the trial against me on the charge of “apostasy” is being held in absentia, I submitted this letter in my defense for the Bishopric to consider.”
It was the phrase “this letter in my defense” that looked to me like it would normally contain a link to the letter itself that I could no longer find.
I moved the cursor to this language and found there was no link there, even though it looked like there should be.
In pursuing this question further, I just went to the same page again at OW and found that the phrase quoted above, “this letter in my defense,” is now a link that does link to the letter Kate wrote to her bishop.
This was not so yesterday morning.
My question is this:
Does the explanation of the “broken hyperlink” fixed by Geoff account for these facts?
I am perfectly open to the solution that it does.
As I say, I am no expert in computers, but it seems to me that the problem was not with the link on this page but with something over at OW.
Is that what you were talking about, Geoff?
Are you seriously questioning if there is some sort of conspiracy to hide the letter?
Yes, what Geoff is saying is that the link was broken at OW. The file itself was on the site, but the link to it became broken, and has now been restored, and it looks like they caught it fast and fixed the link pretty much immediately.
I have worked building websites for years. Welcome to the Internet, where links break sometimes.
Still waiting for you to respond to what is the most rational explanation of the discrepancy.
I literally fixed the link on this post here at Rationalfaiths because its link address had for some reason been shortened with an ellipsis.
Oh, so I totally misunderstood. You’re saying that the link ON THIS SITE was broken? Goodness heavens. Thanks for clarifying.
No problem. Sorry I wasn’t clear.
Right? This post is UNREAL.
Corbin, why didn’t you answer the question someone asked above??
Did you ask Kate Kelly directly about these alleged discrepancies? Are you actually interested in knowing the truth?
If you were, you would have asked her.
Since you REFUSE to answer this question, I am assuming you DIDN’T even bother to ask her & wanted to post this & raise a sh*tstorm instead of getting to the bottom of this.
Your avoiding of the issue says a lot.
I can tell you from past experiences that more gentle-minded bishops can easily be ‘erased’ by powerful, overbearing stake leaders, especially a stake president.
IF, indeed, he never called her (bishops are very busy; everyone knows that; I think they deserve more sympathy, most of them, than criticism)–
and was only at that one meeting ‘in December’, there is a very good chance he was so dominated by the SP that he never ‘got a word in’.
I’ve seen that happen to a gentle bishop several times with two different men.
I think you misread that post.
I’m saying that while it is good that Kate has been so open about what happened, she has simultaneously been a bit surreptitious about some of the details.
Number 2 in my list of 3 truth-telling mantras insist that you be forthcoming with ALL the details, not just the ones you’re comfortable with or the ones that fit the story you want to tell.
Did Corbin Volluz, the author of THIS POST on THIS BLOG contact Kate Kelly directly asking her for clarification?
If not, we can all rest assured that HE DOES NOT care about the “truth” but, just about damaging her character.
Wouldn’t it be nice if life was a classic Western and all the good guys wore white hats that signified their complete inability to do anything wrong and all the bad guys wore hats as black as their motives?
I had firsthand experience with the sinking feeling Corbin describes back in April when the internet explosion in the aftermath of the Priesthood session action made it clear to me that both sides were spinning the story in subtle ways to make themselves look better. Not necessarily dishonestly. Not necessarily even consciously. Don’t we all do that? All of us are the protagonist of our own lives, and few of us think our own motives are misguided. This biased perspective is probably pretty much impossible to overcome when we tell our own stories—particularly when the stakes are this high.
So I want to thank Corbin for reminding us why we need to never make idols of our fellow mortals, whether they are Kate Kelly or Thomas S. Monson, because all earthly idols have feet of clay.
What I find baffling is why so many people are so deeply invested in turning this into a tale of the white hat guy versus the black at guy. For some, White Hat Guy is the bishop/church, which means that Kate Kelly is a lying (insert the unspeakable misogynistic insult of your choice here). Go to any mainstream news article to get a soul-chilling abundance of this point-of-view. For the average Rational Faiths reader, it seems to be the opposite: Kate is our white-hatted hero of unimpeachable integrity, which means that the Church/bishop/apparently poor Corbin must all be greasy villains, twiddling their mustaches with lurid malice.
Maybe I am just a cock-eyed optimist, but I prefer to believe that everyone involved is trying to be honest and is only guilty of presenting their own story from their point of view as the protagonist. I never assumed Kate Kelly was perfect; that has not stopped me from defending her actions to others, because I take her at her word when she speaks of her intentions. That said, I don’t think I’m wrong to, like Corbin, feel some disappointment at the “spin”—the same exact kind of disappointment I feel at the church. How can we hope for better if we refuse to acknowledge shortcomings? It seems to me that some OW supporters are guilty of insisting their organization/leadership is so pristine that it is an affront to even raise a question, a position that sounds eerily familiar.
I am just a very old man who has seen an awful lot in my lifetime. I don’t even have a computer and am borrowing one here in order to put my 2-cents in the till. I have heard the controversy and taken time out from gardening in order to research this a bit, and given up some naps in order to talk to folks. I reckon Kate Kelly is a nice woman who, bless her heart, started something important. I reckon Corbin Volluz is a good man who also started something, though I also reckon he had no idea of the dust-up he’d cause. After all, the man is only talking about his own struggle with the information available, and with Kate Kelly’s own words. We all struggle with people’s words from time to time. This is something we all do. Is it not? I watched eagerly the testimony of our President, Bill Clinton, and all the discussion over what the word “IS” is. I was embarrassed for my country. I’m just as embarrassed for my church in the way they have gone about treating Ordain Women. There are moments in our lifetime where our vision becomes quite tunnel like. Everything else fades to black and we are focused on what seems to be of great import either to our lives; or to our souls. I felt this way with the Bill Clinton hearings because I saw a pivotal moment in our country’s history. We have never been the same, and the result of not caring about character has been deplorable and costly ever since. At least this is true to a man who lived through the Kennedy years. And before that, the Eisenhower years. Many leaders understand the importance of character. The importance of words. The importance of being above reproach.
Do we stumble? Of course. It’s how we handle those mis-steps that count the most. I saw a pivotal moment in the founding and out-pouring of love and support when Ordain Women was organized. This did my heart good; and I wish my dearest sweetheart was alive to have witnessed what they’ve accomplished. I say this because our daughter is a woman who has left the church BECAUSE of the male patriarchy. It has been painful for me. It is painful beyond the average ken, to watch a brilliant daughter who loved the Lord, and the Scriptures, feel defeated…there was not a place at the table for her. OH! My heart! OH! My soul! How I cried out to God! How my soul rebels!
This journey into the roles of women in the LDS church is painful for many reasons. It’s a painful examination. A painful discussion. A painful outcome for many, not the least of which is Mrs. Kelly. My heart goes out to her. My old eyes do well up when I think on this woman. And think on my sweet daughter.
My heart also goes out to Mr. Volluz who also started a conversation. A conversation that he says has been painful for him, and struck his fibers of integrity. Who are you, any of you, to discount his feelings? Or to scorn him and heap abuse because he’s asking a valid question in a open forum? I see less critical thinking in the world today then ever before. I am telling you: if you cannot set emotions aside and enter a discussion with rationality and logic, then good luck with the future, because there will be none; only bloodshed in your streets.
It pains ME to see through the various posts, the amount of hatred leveled at this man. It pains ME to see the various statements of “GET OUT! ” which are truly horrid words to level at anyone who is sincere in thier doubts. Also, Who are brave enough to express them in an open forum and who “seek” earnestly.
When a person places themselves into a public arena (Mrs. Kelly), they must be prepared to answer hard questions as well as the easy ones. No one is perfect. In my searching, I see that Mrs. Kelly mis-stepped. It is not within the character of a good person to make another person look badly.
Mrs. Kelly’s bishop cannot stick up for himself, and she knows this. He is sworn to secrecy. It’s law. Mrs. Kelly knows this.
In listening to the interviews, I too, have deep concerns as to the motives of Mrs. Kelly. I think this is perfectly alright given every context. We are now back to trying to define a word. The word is “They.” In the context she used that word, I’m left a bit disenfranchised. That’s the way I see things. And I think that’s OK. The way you see things is OK too. But let’s stick to the transcript of fact. Let Mrs. Kelly’s words stand as they are transcribed. I want her to be successful. Let her speak here. It’s her forum and her public. Let’s not argue about what she said. She, in fact and on the record, said:
“…as I met with my leaders. They seemed keenly invested in enquiring about my actions and views but seemed wholly uninterested in examining with a critical eye the system that puts them in a position of authority over me—over all women—because of a Y chromosome.”
I understand their reluctance to do so! I wish they had done! but this is where Mrs. Kelly gives herself away.
She didn’t feel listened to because she wanted to wade into deep waters about “a Y chromosome” having authority over her. I agree this can be abusive and feel outrageous. As LDS leaders they wanted to hear about her actions and her views. This seems entirely proper from men who are doing their best as untrained leaders in women’s issues (something my daughter majored in) trying to understand her position and views as a woman. Men, unfortunately do not major in women’s issues or have any training in women’s issues before being called into Church leadership.
It is clear from Mrs. Kelly’s own take on things that they (they means both) were KEENLY INVESTED in hearing from her. She is a lawyer. She knows the power and proper use of words. Does it matter if she is trying to make her Bishop (a man) look badly? Look barbaric?
Here’s why: she must not do unto others as she would not have others do unto her.”
The top 10: “Thou shalt not bear false witness…”
If we wish to improve The Saviour’s Church by making sure the doctrine is fair. We must improve ourselves first. And second: make sure WE are fair.
This IS character. And yes, character matters. Especially in leaders.
That’s my 2-cents in the till.
You are right that this is what made writing this post so difficult for me personally.
But I realized that if I did not write this, I would be voluntarily suppressing information and questions regarding a person simply because she advocates a cause I espouse.
I do not do this with Church leaders.
I could not do this with Kate.
Thank you for that. It’s called ethics.
You say, “Kate has been transparent throughout this entire process.”
Maybe she has and maybe she hasn’t. But the fact you begin with that as your initial assumption usually means that you will necessarily interpret any and all evidence to conform with your predetermined conclusion.
And that appears to be just what you have done.
For example, you write, “It’s not always clear in the moment which details will become important later.”
You say this to vindicate Kate.
But this is not true only for honest people.
I have been practicing criminal law for close to a quarter century.
Believe me, my clients have frequently found out the hard way when talking to police that “it’s not always clear in the moment which details will become important later.”
I’m trying to imagine a world in which we could engage in the substance of the argument over whether Kate Kelly was completely truthful without having to go to war over whether we’re even allowed to have that conversation to begin with.
Of course it was her choice to go public, Sojourner.
Just because Kate refused to comply with the SP’s requirements in this regard, and decided to get out ahead of it in the public arena (both reasonable, to my mind) does not mean she had no “choice.”
This is the very kind of “spinning” to make Kate look more the victim and her church leaders more the hulking brutes that this whole thread is about.
Thank you for providing another example.
If this is the way you feel about my OP, Drew, it is apparent to me you did not read it thoroughly.
I appreciate your kind words, Jonathan. You have always been a supportive soul.
But I have to ask myself, “If I support Mormonism because the religion is important to me, does that mean there is no value in exploring the veracity of Joseph Smith’s claims?”
Others may disagree, but for me there is.
Surely you realize this is a little over the top?
And by the way, a body with two heads is Rosey Greer and Ray Milland.
Why would you think I am obligated to contact Kate Kelly before publicly asking questions about what she is on record as saying?
Is Kate Kelly the filter through which all information must be passed to make sure it is ready for prime time?
I have never met Kate Kelly.
I have never contacted Kate Kelly.
I do not have Kate Kelly on speed dial.
Your assertions are wrong on so many levels.
A denial followed by an ad hominem?
Well, that answers everything.
Thank you for the kind words, counselor.
And for recognizing that my post is harsher on the Church (and based on less evidence) than it is on Kate Kelly.
Though I do think the circumstantial evidence of Church duplicity in the matter is strong.
Like finding a trout in the milk.
Kate is backing and filling at this point.
This “interview” is the day after she was excommunicated. Note the sleeveless dress.
Am I the only one to wonder why the first thing Kate seemed to have done after receiving word on Monday she was excommunicated is go shopping for a dress she could wear without garments?
No, I wondered the same thing about the sleeveless dress.
Kate is perfectly aware of this post and the questions it has raised.
She is capable of responding to the questions here if she wants.
She has chosen not to do so.
I also have no doubt that if Kate were to approach the board administrators of Rational Faiths, they would be willing to allow her to respond in a separate post of her own.
To my knowledge this has not occurred.
Maybe she doesn’t have time to waste it responding to every (there are thousands) random blog post on the internet about her. Had that ever occurred to you??
James is not being “so critical” of Kate.
The fact you believe so reveals your deep-seated biases.
You can drop the self-righteous act, Dankrist.
I HAVE discussed “the systemic inequalities and injustices this woman and OW have worked to publicly point out.”
I am a supporter of Ordain Women. I have a profile up at their website. I wrote a letter in support of Kate to her bishop for use in her disciplinary council and urged others to do the same.
I spoke up passionately in church within the past month in support of Kate Kelly and Ordain Women.
I blogged about the experience on June 10th.
You can read about it here.
All you are trying to do is paint me as the enemy in order to avoid the questions I raise.
I think your bias is showing, Katie.
Yours is not “the most rational explanation for the discrepancy.”
It is only “the most rational explanation for the discrepancy” if you proceed from the assumption that Kate Kelly would never mislead anyone.
I don’t think it’s impossible for Kate Kelly to have lied, but when I look at the evidence and have watched the story unfold (I have been watching it closely from the launch of OW), it appears to me that KK has chosen transparency as part of her fundamental strategy.
And you still haven’t responded to the substance of the argument. You’ve called me out on my “bias,” but the argument itself remains. She said “they” because they were both there. She didn’t feel the need to parse who said what in the meeting because it was tangential to the point she was making in the fMh post. She has since clarified that this was her meaning. At the very least, it’s a totally plausible explanation–certainly more plausible than the alternative scenario you’ve described, since it doesn’t involve mind reading (“she was totes going to say this in that interview and then stopped herself, I can tell”).
And seriously? Questioning her clothing choices? Give me a break. Some people find comfort in shopping. Or, I’m endowed but have sleeveless clothes in my wardrobe that I either don’t really wear, or wear under or over something else. It’s really nobody’s business what a woman is wearing, let alone some dude on the internet, and I am totally creeped out that you went there.
I am very disappointed in Rational Faiths for publishing this post. It’s gossipy and trashy.
Excellent responses Corbin. Keep up the good work. It’s a brilliant article. Your answers to charges are spot on. The whole reason there is examination of people’s words in a free society is precisely because we can, we must, examine. You have done this. I thank you.
I too, wrote a letter in support of Kate Kelly. I wish I had seen all the facts as you’ve laid them out. You aren’t writing for the Kool-Aid drinkers, you’re writing for anyone who also wants to examine the facts. Examine Kate Kelly’s own words. Her words. Not your words. Not her support’s words.
A leader should be OK with being examined. It happens in every arena. She is quite the hot-house orchid not responding to you here…..not offering an explanation as why it looks like she’s trying to make a man look as bad as possible instead of sticking to her own narrative! And she’s definitely NOT telling the public (she courted) WHY she declined the offered link up to her own court. Oh! Could it be to make those “Y-chromosome” primates look as bad as possible? Could be. It ain’t a stretch anymore….and why the “radio silence” about a tough issue?
Just like the LDS Church does to it’s critics (like Kate Kelly) HMM mmmmmmm?! KK has her own PR dept. they are her administrators and friends. I don’t care about hearing from her PR people. Just like I didn’t care to hear from the LDS Church’s PR dept.
Let’s hear from the leader. Let the leader answer.
A whiff of hypocrisy stirs in the air.
Well, once again, I’m asking a much more relevant question than Jill, and it goes unanswered. WHY DIDIN’T KELLY PARTICIPATE in the offered VIDEO LINK UP To her own court? That’s the question of the week of we truly want to understand HER motives through her agitation and through OW.
This question keeps being raises. It keeps being ignored. Especially from Kelly’s mouthpiece Dankrist. Very, very telling.
Corbin already admitted that Kate Kelly herself has not been asked any of these questions directly.
There are literally thousands of random blog posts about her. Many slandering her, like this one.
You can’t possibly expect her to find every podunk blog post on the world wide web & respond to it.
I am surprised, well not really surprised, but saddened by all those who follow a person or persons whose goal is to cause division and strife. Kate Kelly is dishonest and I wouldn’t trust her to watch my kids. She refuses personal responsibility. She knows her views are contrary to church teachings but wants to remain close with the ignorant and naive so she can have influence. I would never talk to that woman without recording the conversation because she will spin her perceptions as truth and then blackmail. Come on people, either you follow the prophet or you don’t. Stop blaming the system and start living what you say you believe. You can’t tell me Satan does not rejoice in the strife people like Kate Kelly cause. And then supposedly honorable people get sucked into the drama an antagonist creates. Shame on all who will not see this for what it is. Clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing, no doubt about it. Kelly is the product of feminist and liberal teachings. When the Savior says, “come follow me.” Kelly says no, you follow me.
Well, Kevin, it took you until the end of your post to finally get it right, but I think you did, to wit: “Come follow me.” I trust we are quoting the same person (and the only person pertinent to our salvation) we are to follow, correct?
I want you to know that I don’t think it’s impossible for Kate Kelly not to have lied. I am just sifting through some evidence that seems problematic.
I also thought Kate had chosen transparency as part of her fundamental strategy. That is why I was so disconcerted when evidence started indicating otherwise. At least for me.
You may be right about this. It is common for people to use “they” when they mean only one. But it has been my experience that such usage is not common for lawyers, whose stock and trade is the words they use, and whose goal is absolute precision in meaning.
Kate Kelly shows evidence of being very precise in her word choices. In the Trib Talk interview, she chooses her words very carefully and never says anything that is technically untrue about her bishop’s involvement, but does so in the context of a litany of technically true statements that gave me (and apparently many others) the impression that her bishop had no involvement whatsoever in discussing with Kate her activities and beliefs relating to Ordain Women.
This now seems to be different than the actuality.
Kate Kelly chose her wardrobe for the interview as carefully as she chooses her words. Kate Kelly intended to convey a message by wearing a sleeveless dress. She wanted people to notice.
But you are “totally creeped out” that I recognized the message she was sending? This is simply reverse sexism on your part and a diversion from the real issues.
Likewise your comment that you are “disappointed” at Rational Faiths for publishing this post, as well as your view that it is “gossipy and trashy.”
If you truly “do not believe it is impossible that Kate Kelly lied,” why would you label an examination of her own words as “gossipy and trashy”?
This is an attempt to shut down the conversation through the language of shaming; an attempt not befitting one who espouses the ideals of Ordain Women.
Seriously??? Seriously??? “Kate Kelly intended to convey a message by wearing a sleeveless dress.”
Did you ask her?? The amount of unfounded assumptions in this post and comments section made by Corbin is ASTOUNDING.
Unless, of course, you emailed her to ask her about her outfit Corbin. In which case, I retract my absolute repulsion at what you are doing.
You are over the top on this, Kevin, and I have to distance myself from your comments.
I do not believe Kate Kelly’s goal “is to cause division and strife.”
Was it Joseph Smith’s goal to “cause division and strife” simply because he introduced a radical way of looking at religion? He certainly caused division and strife, but it is not fair to say it was his “goal.”
Division and strife are the natural consequences of introducing a new way of looking at things, but it is rarely the goal.
You also work into your diatribe a denunciation of those who agree with Kate Kelly’s views as “ignorant and naïve.” You are doing the same thing I just took KatieL to task for; negatively labeling those with different views in order to marginalize their opinions and shut down the conversation.
The only “shame” here is reserved for those who attempt to shut down the conversation by the “shaming” of others.
Such shaming is not worthy of one who professes to be a follower of Jesus Christ, who by the way caused much more “division and strife” than Kate Kelly ever dreamed of. And you even go so far as to use the word “shame,” applying it to those who don’t agree with your point of view about Kate Kelly and Ordain Women.
“The only foolish question is the one that goes unasked.”
Corbin, seriously. Give the internet a break. “The only foolish question is the one that goes unasked.”
You already admitted in the comments above that YOU DID NOT ASK KATE KELLY to clarify any of this. You did not send an email. You did not directly message her. You put up a post on a random blog, that is not even very well read or far reaching & somehow expected her to want to respond to you.
What a ridiculous joke.
This post is a blatant character attack disguised (very thinly) as “honest inquiry.” Period.
Corbin Volluz. It is your credibility that should be now seriously in question after this charade.
Even if she happened to see this post, she probably doesn’t have time to respond to every random, unfounded accusation on the world wide web.
She has a job. And a family. And a life.
Critics of the church……ex LDS, never LDS, inactive LDS, active LDS, and whatever, always do the very things they accuse the church of doing.