Saturday, November 24, 2012

Priesthood, Feminism, and Inspiration

The priesthood is an interesting thing.  What was crazy for me was to realize that all of my special moments connected with the priesthood had more to do with emotionality than with spirituality.  When I was feeling "spiritual" it was really just emotional.  The moments that were for me most spiritual were the emotionally meaningful moments.  When emotionality and spirituality get so confounded, it is hard to tell when the priesthood ordinances are truly accomplishing anything.

To think that only certain men that follow certain guidelines are given God's power is a little crazy idea.  Even worse, is the concept that you have this almighty power, but it only works when it is God's will that it works.  This is basically code for "don't lose your faith if it doesn't work," which is complete nonsense.  If you can't rely on a tool to consistently get a job done, what is the purpose of having the tool at all?  The tool might as well not even exist.

There are a lot more problems when we are talking about "priesthood authority."  Supposedly, your bishop has the power of discernment, meaning he can tell what the right thing is for you, tell when you are lying, and he can tell what sins you are committing.  Now, reality is that, of course, he can't.  I can't count the number of times that I, or friends (as they later tell me), will go into a bishop's office and he will either entirely miss the point about what I was doing, will give me terrible advice, or will not have some revelation about something that I am not telling him.  I know my Mormon friends will probably say that it is because they weren't being worthy of inspiration or something like that, but these were all good men and model Mormons, so there is no excuse.

It is very apparent that there are many men in the priesthood that flaunt their gift.  They wield it like a weapon and use it to coerce people into certain behaviors.  Priesthood becomes a control mechanism.  I knew a family growing up without a father in the home, but the one son that was active in the church turned into the head of the household because he had the priesthood.  The family deferred to him in many ways.  This just seems wrong that the youngest in the family becomes the most important, just because he is a man.

Why are men so important in the church?  Why is it that women are so unimportant?  The church treats women as if the only thing they can do is make babies and keep a house.  The church teaches that the highest calling for a woman is to be a mother.  You have no other future.  You need to drop every plan and desire in your life and become a mother as soon as possible.  There is also the teaching that the women don't need the priesthood because of how much more spiritual they are, and that women are the gatekeepers of virtue because men are just completely out of control sex machines, I guess.  These doctrines are completely degrading both to men and women.  Why can't men and women be treated as equals?  Is the church really still stuck in the 1800's?

Anyway, a few random topics that have been sitting on my mind.  Feels good to vent.

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