To Kate Kelly:
Your pain is our pain. The letter calling you to your religious trial was sent to us all. Your disciplinary council will put thousands and thousands of men and women all over the world on trial, and the outcome for you will be the outcome for us.
To Bishop Mark Harrison, Vienna Ward, Oakton, Virginia Stake,
- Firstly, I wonder if you could confirm whether or not you initiated this action. It would be nice to know if we are dealing with another case of local ecclesiastical idiocy, or if these orders are from those in high places. Know also, that if your orders came from higher up, they will distance themselves from you and you WILL be left holding a smoking gun. The day will come that this will be a matter of terrible regret for you. Is that a price you wish to pay for your ‘obedience’?
- Secondly, your processes are wrong. Kate is not a member of your congregation notwithstanding the Stake President’s refusal to move her records you have no ecclesiastical jurisdiction in this regard. Additionally you were required (according to the Church General Handbook of Instructions) to notify Kate of her discipline either in person, or via registered post – not email.
- Thirdly, you have today placed all Bishops on trial. You had a faithful member of your congregation sharing and confiding, inviting you to ask questions, to correct and counsel. You did none of these while you were with her in your office, your ward. To trial her for apostasy after her demonstrations of trust in you was – as she says – cowardly.
To the PR Department:
You will be working hard in the next while to earn the salaries that are paid out of our tithing contributions. While it might feel intuitive to take the pulse of the base (those who don’t make a fuss, or stand up for the status quo) and calibrate your message based on their feelings on the matter, just be reminded that today and in the weeks and months to come there will be leaders, teachers, administrative personnel and primary staff who will slide their Temple Recommends under their bishops and stake president’s doors with a note to say – I’m done.
To those who wonder: Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a welcome place for one who is attached to the notion of social justice generally, and the rights of women specifically:
Margaret Toscano: Excommunicated for authoring several papers addressing the Feminine Divine in LDS theology and doctrine.
Lavina Feilding Anderson: Excommunicated for spotlighting ecclesiastical abuse.
Sonia Johnson: Excommunicated for her support of Equal Rights in the United States.
Maxine Hanks: Excommunicated (recently rebaptized) for authoring papers on feminist theology.
John Fitzgerald: Excommunicated for seeking ordination for Black men.
C.D. McBride: Excommunication for seeking ordination of Black men
Kate Kelly: Pending Disciplinary Council for seeking ordination and equality for women.
Though many have taken offense at my writing, have labeled me an apostate, have asked me to leave the church – what many do not know, is that my continued activity in the church in addition to my questioning and subversive writing has helped many, many people to navigate their own crises and keep them in the church. ‘If you can do it Gina, so can I.’ I have been told repeatedly. I am not alone in this task. In many respects John Dehlin’s work has mostly been directed toward this same goal.
Today, sadly, I can’t think of any reason to make it OK for anyone to stay.