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Ordain Women Group Publishes "six Discussions" To Proselytize For Its Agenda

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Talk about a red-herring! Non-Mormons don't WANT our priesthood. Heck, we can't even convince 90% of our BELIEVING women to take the darn thing.

 

Wait.  Who is trying to convince me to take the priesthood, and why should I give their desires for me any sway in my life?

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That's your own personal reading of it. The text itself doesn't place limitations the idea of equality. 

Let’s take a look at what D&C says about things being “equal” (from a simple word search):

 

D&C 107: 24, 26, 36-37, 68 – quorums and councils are equal in authority; the office of a bishop is not equal to the office of Presiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church “for the office of a bishop is in administering all temporal things.”

 

D&C 51: 3; D&C 70: 14; D&C 78: 5-6; D&C 82: 17 – equal means equal claim on the Lord’s storehouse for the purpose of managing our stewardships according to just wants and needs (stewardships, wants and needs are not identical); equality in temporal things.

 

D&C 88: 107, 122 – equal with God, and equal privilege to edify and be edified through mutual teaching.

 

D&C 76: 95 – those in the celestial glory are “equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.”

 

D&C 90: 6 – the members of the First Presidency hold the keys equally.

 

D&C 136: 8 – equal as in “the dividend of their property” (for example, tithing is 10% for everyone) to support the pure religion and undefiled and the Church; equal as in “all” the “heart, might, mind and strength.”

 

The Book of Mormon teaches equality in the same way: Mosiah 27: 3; Alma 30: 11 (equal in freedom from persecution of religion); Mosiah 29: 38 (an equal chance to answer for our own sins); Alma 1: 26 (equal in sharing the word of God according to one's temporal and spiritual responsibility, and according to one’s strength).

 

In the Bible, the term is used most often as to how we are not equal with God, with the exception of Jesus (Phillipians 2:6).

 

I see nothing about a call for men and women to be equal in holding priesthood keys or office, and not all men hold the same office, and not all offices are equal.

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Wait.  Who is trying to convince me to take the priesthood, and why should I give their desires for me any sway in my life?

My wife is doing just fine without it (ordination, that is), as is, to my knowledge, every other faithful Latter-day Saint woman I know, including the two who have a supervisory role over me in my employment.

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Talk about a red-herring! Non-Mormons don't WANT our priesthood. Heck, we can't even convince 90% of our BELIEVING women to take the darn thing.

Not a red herring. Just an attempt to nail down whether some folks are being consistent in their call for equality. So far, they are coming up short.

 

And who says no non-Mormon wants the priesthood? I daresay a good many would be glad to take it, so long as they could adjust it to their own liking.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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There is little doubt that the Ordain Women movement has had a positive impact on the Church already.

I wouldn't give them that kind of credit, as there were other groups, individuals, approaches and processes with that contributed (even before OW came along) and will continue to result in the kinds of benefits you listed. I think the letter Scott linked* explains that.

 

* Ooops--on the other thead... I thought this was that!

Edited by CV75

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The scriptures mention a woman deacon, a position the church recognizes as one requiring priesthood authority. If you prefer to defer to tradition over scripture, you are free to do so. You can't defer to prophetic pronouncement, because there has been none in modern times on this issue

I don't need a private reading of the Bible to conclude that women filled priesthood roles - a simple literal take does the trick. In order to explain it away, a great deal of eisegesis and presentism is required

Not in the King James Bible. Phebe is "our sister, which is a servant of the church."

You are looking at the English Standard translation, not the KJV. Remember the whole the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.

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What amazes me is the sheer idiocy of a lot of the statements coming from members of the Church in this thread.

 

I don't know where you are getting that.  Every time I have seen this discussed here and elsewhere I have watched the members of the church practically bending over backwards to be polite.  While each person chooses for themselves how they will comport themselves, it has been my experience that as a group it has been the non mormons, the ex mormons, the faux mormons, the feminist mormons, and the cultural mormons who overwhelmingly add the most venom to the discussion.

Edited by Erin15

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The point is, for all of you men who seem intent on berating these women. You don't have to deal with these issues. You aren't the ones that have questions because of the gender equality issues that are clearly there in the Church. So I suggest that most of you ought to be a whole lot more empathetic and kind to these women. The attitudes I am reading here will simply drive more women away. They don't help create a solution. These kinds of attitudes are the reason why a group like Ordain Women comes into existence - so that they can have a voice. And even then, here you are, trying not to solve the issues that make them feel that their efforts are necessary - all you are doing is trying to shout them down.

 

 

Well said, Ben. Whatever one thinks of OW, they aren't enemies of the church to be shouted down.

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Here’s another example of equality from the scriptures: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38.

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The scriptures mention a woman deacon, a position the church recognizes as one requiring priesthood authority. If you prefer to defer to tradition over scripture, you are free to do so. You can't defer to prophetic pronouncement, because there has been none in modern times on this issue

 

I don't need a private reading of the Bible to conclude that women filled priesthood roles - a simple literal take does the trick. In order to explain it away, a great deal of eisegesis and presentism is required

 

You are evidently blind to the many layers of presumptuous interpretation that underlay your so-called "literal take" of only several English translations of that single passage in the Bible (others English translations render the word as "servant" rather than "deacon"--which should tell you something about "literal take," though I wont be surprised if it doesn't).

 

Again, if you think your so-called "literal take" of that single passage of scripture is authoritative in determining God's will regarding the bestowal of keys and administration of his priesthood in his Church today, that is your choice--though I am puzzled why you would think you need God's or the Church leaders permission to do what you have already determined you have greater authority to speak thereon?

 

I, on the other hand, prefer to look to God and his chosen leaders for the keys and authority in the latter days, and this since I don't view myself as in a position to authoritative say otherwise..

 

To each their own.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I don't know where you are getting that.  Every time I have seen this discussed here and elsewhere I have watched the members of the church practically bending over backwards to be polite.  While each person chooses for themselves how they will comport themselves, it has been my experience that as a group it has been the non mormons, the ex mormons, the faux mormons, the feminist mormons, and the cultural mormons who overwhelmingly add the most venom to the discussion.

 

I think both groups can get out of line and out of hand.  

 

Calling all viewpoints that disagree with your's 'sheer idiocy' while being upset that someone isn't being kind to someone else is a good example of how easily it's done.   :)

Edited by bluebell

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Well said, Ben. Whatever one thinks of OW, they aren't enemies of the church to be shouted down.

 

OW is following the same pattern as many groups that have come before it.  I predict they will become more and more aggressive until their leadership gets themselves excommunicated.  They will draw away a bunch of members who did not see them for what they truly were, and then the work will continue on without them.

 

It's happened many times before, and this will not be the last time it happens.  The only important question is which side each of us will be on.  As for me and my house, we support the bretheren.

Edited by Erin15

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What amazes me is the sheer idiocy of a lot of the statements coming from members of the Church in this thread.

 

There is little doubt that the Ordain Women movement has had a positive impact on the Church already. It also seems quite clear that not all of the leadership are on the same page with regards to how to respond to these issues. Someone asked (I won't point fingers) if we need scripture to back up policy. The answer to that is that while we don't need scripture to back up policy, most policies that aren't backed up by scripture have a way of changing.

 

Consider the changes in the last year or so that are due at least in part to the voice that these women have found:

 

1: A Woman gave a prayer in General Conference for the first time. This may seem like a small thing - but it isn't that small. A woman was allowed to pray for the entire church for the first time in the hundred and eighty years since it was organized. Now we know that there was a policy against this sort of thing (even if it wasn't written down). In fact at various times, women haven't been allowed to pray for their entire congregation. So this isn't something out of the blue but part of a progressive shift. And when we note that scripture isn't necessary to back up a policy, how did the Church respond to the issue of the ban on women praying in Sacrament Meeting? This was the substance of their response:

 

 

Of course, this didn't actually spell out General Conference, did it. So it took from 1978 until 2013 for a woman to learn that she was capable of praying for the entire Church. What was this decision based on? The lack of a scriptural prohibition. Not a revelation that it could happen. Not some scriptural basis on which it should be allowed. But on the issue that there is no scriptural basis, a policy can be overturned without a need for special revelation.

 

2: We all saw the difference this last conference with the women who are part of the presidencies of the auxiliary groups being given much more prominent seating. I suspect that our local units should follow suit and occasionally (or regularly) invite the women leaders in the local units to sit on the stand as examples to the Young Women in the Church. Along with this, the Church has placed photographs of the women leaders of the Church now hang in the Conference Center along side their male counterparts for the first time (just this year).

 

3: The change to a General Women's meeting along with the shift to allow the women to conduct their own meetings (and expanding the ages invited to age 8 and up) shows a desire for increased parity between the men and women in the Church.

 

4: We have renewed the discussion from nearly a century ago that argued that women hold the priesthood, just not offices in the priesthood. This, of course, is a fascinating issue because it will not end simply with that now officially recognized position. If women really do hold the priesthood (even if they are not ordained to an office in the priesthood), then perhaps there is no reason to exclude the women leaders of the Church from PEC meetings.

 

In the long run, the women's issues that the Church faces (over gender equality or gender parity) are far worse than the issue of the priesthood and the blacks. Why? The priesthood ban certainly affected many members of the Church very negatively, and it was creating problems with the missionary work and spreading the gospel. But, women make up half of the Church. Much like the priesthood ban, there is a growing disconnect between our society which argues (quite effectively, even if our society is slow to implement it) that women are equal to men - are just as capable, just as smart, just as wise - and the Church, which while it may pay lip service to these kinds of ideals does not recognize women as being as capable of leadership as the men.

 

Even more of a problem is the gross difference between our youth - between the young women and the young men. In tying our young men's program to the Boy Scouts (something I think has become more of a liability than a benefit) and in changing the priesthood to the system we have now that the boys and men move through each office, we create these natural points for our young men to receive recognition as they move towards adulthood. Every couple of years we recognize them for advancements in the priesthood. Every quarter there is a boy scout court of honor where their achivements are recognized (the same is true even for the cub scouts). By comparison for our young women? Crickets. There is nothing. There is minimal recognition of their development towards adulthood.

 

This is a real problem. Particularly if we want to keep our young women active in the Church.

 

But it doesn't end here. We men have it easy in the Church. We are told to become like God - and as long as God is a male, and holds the priesthood, we can see ourselves doing just that. We can relate to this Male God. We, after all, share all of these characteristics with Him. Our rhetoric does very little to help the women in the Church do the same thing. As the boys gain the priesthood, as they get recognized, the girls get further and further from being like God. And when they go to an interview, it is always with a man. And then we can start getting into the policy issues that treat women and men substantially differently right? At least in some areas, the Church has made some shifts in the right direction. Allowing women to be sealed to more than one man was certainly helpful. Waiting until she's dead seems kind of pointless though, doesn't it? Especially since we already admit that we have to wait until some point in the future to make it all work out in any case.

 

The fascinating thing about these women and their movement is that they have finally found a way to have a voice and to make it heard. Does anyone really doubt that the general broadcast of the priesthood session of General Conference was more or less a way to block their request? Did anyone here catch the message? That it was really important for the young men and their fathers to be there at that session in person, and so they couldn't give up seats for a few of these women? Do you catch the irony there? That the vast majority of men and their sons who listen to that conference session do it outside of that Conference Center? Is my experience - because I live seventeen hundred miles away, not the real experience? Do we insist that there is something so special in this meeting that being seated in it makes the difference? Whoever was tasked with coming up with that explanation failed, very badly.

 

The point is, for all of you men who seem intent on berating these women. You don't have to deal with these issues. You aren't the ones that have questions because of the gender equality issues that are clearly there in the Church. So I suggest that most of you ought to be a whole lot more empathetic and kind to these women. The attitudes I am reading here will simply drive more women away. They don't help create a solution. These kinds of attitudes are the reason why a group like Ordain Women comes into existence - so that they can have a voice. And even then, here you are, trying not to solve the issues that make them feel that their efforts are necessary - all you are doing is trying to shout them down.

 

Ben McGuire

The problem with this view is that it denies Mormonism's strongest positive and unique doctrine- that God has a body, parts and passions.

 

This doctrine makes HIM our "Father" who is immanent, not transcendent, like the vague Transcendent Being of the Creeds.

 

In essence, denying this would make us just another Christian church like all the others.

 

The only compromise I see possible is worshiping the Godhead as a whole- as a family.  The reality is that Mormons worship the principle of the Family anyway, and as soon as we understand that and the Social Polytheism that implies, the better as far as I am concerned.

 

Let's come out and admit we are Social Polytheists who as a broad culture create worlds- including this one humanity has created.   Mormonisms strongest suit is its link to a theistic humanism, and humans are sexual beings.

 

As far as PEC is concerned- it is just Ward Council minus the women and everyone who attends knows it is impossible to carry on business without "making sure the sisters know about this" when they could just be there.  Just have Ward Council every week- and burden the sisters as much as the men are burdened with it.

 

If the Relief Society president really wants to counsel troubled marriages and deal with the nitty gritty of those issues, I think it is a great idea, or let her make the decision to pay for counseling from the Ward budget.

 

Clearly women can perform all the roles of running a Ward- at that point it becomes an issue of what the Priesthood really "is".

 

If we can't answer that question, the entire question of what authority "is" goes away, and then we are back to being another Christian church.  We might as well as abolish the Priesthood and call those with authority "ministers", because they minister to people.

 

As I see it that is the reality.  Practically speaking what IS the priesthood?  Is it authority to become an administrator, or something more?

 

As I see it, that is what needs better definition IF we go down this path, which for the record, I do not find desirable. I honestly think that the sexes are different, think differently, and are complimentary.

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I wouldn't give them that kind of credit, as there were other groups, individuals, approaches and processes with that contributed (even before OW came along) and will continue to result in the kinds of benefits you listed.

There is no question that others have contributed. But wait, are you suggesting that the OW movement had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the change in broadcasting for the priesthood session? I think they deserve a lot of credit. I realize that there are a whole bunch of people here who don't want to give them any credit at all. Really, I do understand this. But that desire has nothing to do with whether they deserve credit or not. It has everything to do with an ideological position.

 

Ben McGuire

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The point is, for all of you men who seem intent on berating these women. You don't have to deal with these issues. You aren't the ones that have questions because of the gender equality issues that are clearly there in the Church. So I suggest that most of you ought to be a whole lot more empathetic and kind to these women. The attitudes I am reading here will simply drive more women away. They don't help create a solution. These kinds of attitudes are the reason why a group like Ordain Women comes into existence - so that they can have a voice. And even then, here you are, trying not to solve the issues that make them feel that their efforts are necessary - all you are doing is trying to shout them down.

 

Ben McGuire

It is more than shout them down, unfortunately. There does not seem to be a realization that you cannot convincingly claim to "honor" or "respect" women when a group of women is set aside for derision and ridicule. 

 

OW has made enough bad decisions for there to be ample fodder for discussion. So why does this topic always end up maligning the women themselves?  Ironically, the Mormon Women Stand site shares OW's weaknesses to a fault. They are mirror images.

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It is more than shout them down, unfortunately. There does not seem to be a realization that you cannot convincingly claim to "honor" or "respect" women when a group of women is set aside for derision and ridicule. 

 

OW has made enough bad decisions for there to be ample fodder for discussion. So why does this topic always end up maligning the women themselves?  Ironically, the Mormon Women Stand site shares OW's weaknesses to a fault. They are mirror images.

 

Well said. I understand disagreeing with people, but I don't understand the demonizing and ridiculing.

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mfbukowski writes:

 

 

The problem with this view is that it denies Mormonism's strongest positive and unique doctrine- that God has a body, parts and passions.

I didn't deny this. What I said is that this gendered notion of God creates challenges for the women in the Church - and its a challenge that men usually no effort to understand. It's that last part that is the problem. They are perfectly happy understanding that they can be just like God, and that the women can never be just like God. And it doesn't matter if they want the priesthood - that, apparently is part of the being just like God that isn't available to them. And there it goes ...

 

 

As far as PEC is concerned- it is just Ward Council minus the women and everyone who attends knows it is impossible to carry on business without "making sure the sisters know about this" when they could just be there.  Just have Ward Council every week- and burden the sisters as much as the men are burdened with it.

So what are you saying here? I am not sure I am following you - you mean, eliminate PEC and have the Ward Council be the primary management meeting? I am all for it. But until it happens, the problem persists.

 

 

If the Relief Society president really wants to counsel troubled marriages and deal with the nitty gritty of those issues, I think it is a great idea, or let her make the decision to pay for counseling from the Ward budget.

Amen.

 

But in your sarcasm (and yes it comes across as sarcasm to me) you miss some of the really vital issues here. What a wonderful thing for a woman with marriage trouble to council with another woman, instead of having to council with a man. Would you, as a man, really want to go to your Relief Society President and talk to her about your marital trouble (especially if that trouble relates to sensitive gender related issues)? It is a serious questions. And there is even more to it than this. We can't just say that women are already involved in the leadership of the Branch at the highest levels, we need to make it visible, and formal, so that our daughters can see that there is value in Church leadership, and value in helping counsel their sisters in the gospel.

 

And if, as you note, the sexes are complementary as well as different, then we need both to have true leadership (and representative leadership) in the Church. One side - the men - do not (in that scenario) have all the understanding and awareness. But yet we teach just the opposite and we give the perception of the opposite: men can do it all without the women and women can do nothing without the men.

 

Ben M.

Edited by Benjamin McGuire

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There is no question that others have contributed. But wait, are you suggesting that the OW movement had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the change in broadcasting for the priesthood session? I think they deserve a lot of credit. I realize that there are a whole bunch of people here who don't want to give them any credit at all. Really, I do understand this. But that desire has nothing to do with whether they deserve credit or not. It has everything to do with an ideological position.

 

Ben McGuire

I’m pretty conservative about giving credit. Even this link (from Scott’s  NoFear’s other thread—credit: see what I mean?!) is conservative about that. So I don’t think recognizing progress is about giving credit to specific individuals (except God) or groups (except the Church), but about giving credit to true principles and practices.

 

From the link’s open letter, which seems to focus more on the constructive processes that help the Church to progress in genuinely and more effectively valuing “a voice that is respected and welcomed”: http://www.mormonwomenstand.com/topics/role-of-lds-women-in-church/

 

“An example: some years ago Public Affairs invited three groups of women, all active Latter-

day Saints and including feminists, to come for several hours each to discuss concerns. I use the term “feminist” here not to imply political activism or campaigning, but simply as a term to describe those who want to further the interests of women in a variety of ways.”

 

“Yet there are a few people with whom Public Affairs and General Authorities do not engage, such as individuals or groups who make non-negotiable demands for doctrinal changes that the Church can’t possibly accept. No matter what the intent, such demands come across as divisive and suggestive of apostasy rather than encouraging conversation through love and inclusion.”

 

I do think there is a difference between giving recognition and giving credit, but I don’t recognize OW as contributing to the advancement of women’s issues in the Church, either.

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"Healthy inequalities that pervade our lives?" As someone who really likes you, I'm going to give you the opportunity to explain what you mean by this. It sounds somewhat Charles Murrayish to me but I know you better than that.

So tell us which equalities and why they are so healthy? And while you're at it, perhaps you can answer if you would feel the same way if you weren't on the plus side of so many of them?

 

I appreciate your graciousness in letting me explain further.

 

Perhaps the most pervasive set of inequalities that are natural and healthy is replete across the spectrum of human development and growth.

 

As just one example of millions that could be expressed, a newborn infant lacks the capacity to survive by itself, let alone perform heart surgery, while a certified doctor at John Hopkins may be well suited. To impose equality in relation to the job of heart surgery across these circumstances of natural and healthy inequality, would be asinine to the max. 

 

I doubt that as an infant I would have felt bad that I wasn't permitted to perform heart surgery then. In fact, I don't feel bad that I can't perform heart surgery nowadays. Since even today I am naturally and healthily unequal to trained medical professions when it comes to heart surgery (having chosen another career path), I don't feel bad about being treated unequally in this regard.

 

I provide other examples in my article on the Politics of Equality

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Clearly women can perform all the roles of running a Ward- at that point it becomes an issue of what the Priesthood really "is".

 

If we can't answer that question, the entire question of what authority "is" goes away, and then we are back to being another Christian church.  We might as well as abolish the Priesthood and call those with authority "ministers", because they minister to people.

 

As I see it that is the reality.  Practically speaking what IS the priesthood?  Is it authority to become an administrator, or something more?

 

As I see it, that is what needs better definition IF we go down this path, which for the record, I do not find desirable. I honestly think that the sexes are different, think differently, and are complimentary.

I think this is where OW is taking us. And it is going to have to be laid out plainly at some point. The priesthood and authority (and men) have been intertwined to the point that none seems to have a clear role definition or purpose anymore. It almost seems as if the church is being reactionary as each issue arises rather than having a carefully constructed plan...as in OW is clearly leading the discussion.  It is almost as if they are taken by surprise at each challenge.

 

What I think is missing from the men in these discussions is an explanation of what "the priesthood" is.  What does it feel like? How does it benefit you...or not benefit you? It is almost always about how much work it is....not what it is.  How would your life be different if you had to go through life without it, like women do?

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How about this line from that letter CV75:

 

"Bishops are extraordinarily busy, but like local leaders, should be particularly aware of how easy it is to come across as patronizing or dismissive when a woman wants more than anything to be listened to and feel as if she has truly been heard."

 

Now, do you think that I can find posts in this thread come across as patronizing and dismissive of the concerns of these women?

 

I think I can ...

 

Ben McGuire

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I think our focus has been on the leaders of this organization and how they are leading their followers into pursuing their agenda of victimization.

Edited by cdowis

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I do think there is a difference between giving recognition and giving credit, but I don’t recognize OW as contributing to the advancement of women’s issues in the Church, either.

I think they have advanced and hindered the situation. When a letter from the head of PAs alludes to OW, it really is impossible to convincingly claim they are not having a profound effect.  Aside from the priesthood, I don't think they offer anything unique over the moderate feminists they don't always treat too well.  Except they are the ones who get the media attention. Thus, they are far bigger than their numbers. 

 

I think OWs biggest and eventually fatal mistake is that they have not reached out to those who don't share their views about priesthood, they actively push them away.  It is a mistake all of the more radical Mormon feminists are making when they set up an environment where allegiance to certain political and social positions is assumed...as determined by the regular disdain expressed toward "TBMs" who don't share their enlightenment.  (MWS is making the same mistake, BTW.  Different political positions, same disdain for others.) 

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I think, Wade, that your concerns about equality would be taken more seriously if they weren't being employed to dismiss requests for equality. What steps do you think could be constructively taken within the context of the Church and its administration to close the gender gap - both the real gender gap and the perceived gender gap? Maybe four or five specific suggestions for change might be nice instead of the sort of constant sidetracking to the issue of equality.

 

Ben McGuire

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I appreciate your graciousness in letting me explain further.

 

Perhaps the most pervasive set of inequalities that are natural and healthy is replete across the spectrum of human development and growth.

 

As just one example of millions that could be expressed, a newborn infant lacks the capacity to survive by itself, let alone perform heart surgery, while a certified doctor at John Hopkins may be well suited. To impose equality in relation to the job of heart surgery across these circumstances of natural and healthy inequality, would be asinine to the max. 

 

I doubt that as an infant I would have felt bad that I wasn't permitted to perform heart surgery then. In fact, I don't feel bad that I can't perform heart surgery nowadays. Since even today I am naturally and healthily unequal to trained medical professions when it comes to heart surgery (having chosen another career path), I don't feel bad about being treated unequally in this regard.

 

I provide other examples in my article on the Politics of Equality

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

You must have typed that too quickly because your argument went WAY over my head. Next time, just hunt and peck at the keys because as I understand it, your argument is because babies can't perform heart surgery, we should accept ALL forms of discrimination? That can't be right. Babies are obviously not capable of performing heart surgery. They don't have the mental acuity or physical dexterity. Is that the case for women as well? They aren't smart (or coordinated) enough for the priesthood? Or do they not possess the necessary spirituality?

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