***Edit***: A version of this post went up earlier this afternoon, but it disappeared from the site. Might have been a tech glitch on our end. Sorry for the confusion.
It seems like every time the Mormon Church has the opportunity to take a lead on social or cultural issues, they shoot themselves in the foot. Just last year, when they had the chance to reach out to women, Mormon leaders excommunicated Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly.
And now they’ve done it again with a progressive Mormon podcaster. Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times has the story:
The Mormon Church has moved to excommunicate the prominent Utah-based founder of an online forum for critical or doubting Mormons, charging him with apostasy for supporting same-sex marriage and the ordination of women and for questioning church teaching.
John P. Dehlin, host of the Mormon Stories website and podcast — a hub of discussion for thousands of disaffected Mormons — said his regional church leader had scheduled a disciplinary hearing on Jan. 25. Mr. Dehlin said he would be excommunicated if he refused to take down podcasts that are critical of the church and to disavow his support for women’s ordination and gay marriage.
“I would prefer for them to leave me alone,” he said in an interview, “but if given the choice between denying my conscience and facing excommunication, I’d much rather be excommunicated.”
Keep in mind that his “crime” was nothing more than asking questions, supporting marriage equality, and endorsing women in leadership positions. But the message from above is clear: Dissent will not be tolerated in the Mormon Church.
There are any number of reasons Mormons who agree with Dehlin — and I suspect there are a lot of them — might stay in the church, but I would love it if they used this opportunity to take that final step out of there.
(Image via Shutterstock)