Kate Kelly, leader of the “Ordain Women” group, was officially excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more commonly referred to as the Mormon Church. Kate Kelly is the leader of the Ordain Women group, which advocated for giving women the priesthood, which in the Mormon Church is a necessary prerequisite for any positions of authority.
To give you a little perspective on the issue, boys are given the Aaronic priesthood at the age of twelve. At sixteen, boys are granted the Melchezidek priesthood. Ultimately, holding the priesthood is a necessary prerequisite for any position of authority within the Mormon Church. There are a few women who hold offices – but even these leadership positions can be over-ridden at any point by the male authorities.
When I was a young adolescent, I went to girls’ camp every summer. The camp was directed by women who had volunteered their time to organize and direct the camp. At the time, I never questioned the fact that there was always a male member of the priesthood present at camp. Sometimes the bishop, sometimes one of the counselors, there was always at least one male priesthood holder in residence. I didn’t realize that there was a policy that all-female must be chaperoned by a male priesthood holder. Church authorities – by definition male, by virtue of the priesthood exclusion on females – are allowed to sit in on any female meeting. The authorities are also allowed to over-ride any decision made by the few female leaders within the Mormon Church.
Kate Kelly, with her Ordain Women movement, was seeking to make Mormonism a friendlier, more egalitarian religion. But, as they have shown, the Mormon authorities are not ready for change. Once again, the Mormon Church is heading backwards.
Over the past week, as I have been watching as the Kate Kelly sage unfold, my predominant emotion has been exhaustion. I’m tired. I’m tired of my Mormon legacy, of having to deal with the inherent sexism that I grew up with, the inflexibility and obfuscation of Mormon leaders. The Mormon authorities don’t release their financial reports, aren’t honest about the unsavory aspects of their history, and continue to oppose any broadening of social rights. My Mormon past is an uncomfortable burden to bear. I wish that Kate Kelly had been granted the opportunity to make Mormonism a friendlier religion. But she wasn't and I'm no longer Mormon.