Appendix B: Female Ordination Debate
In opposition to female ordination
"Brad Carmack, would you fear excommunication? I think this sounds like a good idea in general, but the retaliationwould be huge. And while sometimes I don't care if the church were to excommunicate me, I'm still a little tooshitless to do it."
"How dare you assume that you have the right to come charging in on your white horse, after having a feministawakening--what, 6 months ago?--and do something that will cause a backlash that will undo decades of the patientwork of Mormon feminists who are smarter and more politically savvy than you are and who will suffer for youractions while you go blithely on your way believing that you are some sort of feminist martyr? Shut the hell up untilyou've spent some time reading and learning about the rich history of Mormon feminism and you have somethingproductive to offer, instead of an idiotic publicity stunt that will set the cause back a few decades. I don't have a lotof patience with condescending "help" from Mormon men."
"A rogue female "ordination" would cause more problems than it would solve. We have enough work to do inreclaiming the priesthood we already have before attempting to force ordination as an underground resistancemovement. Above-board, grassroots reclamation is my goal."
"I agree that in the current environment, the only possible outcome would be a whole pile of excommunications,with the best possible result being that those people would end up in the Community of Christ, or would form theirown breakaway sect.I, in my heart, support those priests and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church who have begun ordaining womenunderground, but it really does not lead to systemic change. It's sad, but it doesn't."
"The church wouldn't recognize the woman's priesthood (or yours, for that matter), so what would be the pointexactly?"
"Rogue ordinations are not going to convert anyone in the existing power structure."
"If you believe in a Mormon conception of authority at all, then usurping it in this way completely strips it of itspower. If you don't believe in a Mormon conception of authority, then there's really no reason not to simply beordained in another church "
"I simply disagree with this approach. It will alienate more conservative women, demonize feminism, provokepriesthood authorities to speak out against feminists (and intellectuals from the pulpit), cause suspicion towardsfeminists (like myself) in their own wards, and do nothing to further the equality of women in the church in anypractical way. I am sure Brad's intentions are to make life better for women, but this will do the opposite."
"It's certainly hard to see results from the kind of dissent I'm suggesting in time scales shorter than epochal.But there are results. The RS minutes, a truly revolutionary document, are now published, not because of noisyfeminist protest, but because one saintly historian worked for her _entire_ professional career to make it happen,despite being consistently undervalued and underappreciated by both more revolutionary feminists and folks inpower. I submit that having those documents available is the sort of thing that will matter over the long haul, farmore than anything like ordaining a woman on camera.Nobody remembers the guy who ordained a couple of black men in 1971(ish?), but Lester Bush's careful, patient(kinda boring) scholarship (along with other factors) made it possible to conceptualize a face-saving way to rescindthe ban."
"I think there are those that need to take risks, make big-time stands, speak loudly in unsafe spaces and generallycause a scene. Those actions speak to those who are ready to listen. Then there is the need for more subtleagitation, education, patience and caution. These prepare the listeners. That said, I think Brad's approach isproblematic and would ultimately alienate more people's ability to pay attention than those that would."
I agree that many of the protests we make will just make people resist us, especially at a ward level where we will belargely outnumbered.
"Part of the problem with Brad's proposal is that it fails to recognize the fact that priesthood "power" is only partlyconferred by God. It is also constituted in a community, so of course it has to be cultivated within that community.