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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Excommunications (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Excommunications
Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
If she had said no when he was called to be an apostle, he never would have been an apostle, even if he wanted to. So she's not actually number 2. She's number 1, right next to the prophet.
I would argue that the ability to prevent someone from holding high office does not in fact mean that you have as much power as the person in high office.

quote:
there is absolutely nothing that a person can do to guarantee that they will be the next stake president
Have you never actually observed the culture of which you are a part? Let's make this less personal for you, to hopefully help with perspective: do you believe that there are no politics involved in the administration of the Catholic church?

[Wall Bash]

Have you considered that what you have observed isn't a complete view of the church, Tom? Have you considered that you might be wrong in the interpretation of your observations?

Moreover, did you not notice that I tried to clarify that I wasn't saying the church doesn't have politics *at all*, but that the politics in the church are very very different from what you may be familiar with? How about you go back and read *the entirety of what I have written so far*. Politics in the church doesn't lead to advancement in the church. In fact, there isn't really a way to "advance" in the church. The leadership is hierarchical, but one's position in that hierarchy is not determined by what positions you've held before. Nor is any position considered to be more functionally "important" than any other.

The person who writes up the Ward Bulletin every Sunday is just as necessary as the Bishop. All the positions of the church involve work that has to be done by someone. The men are tasked with fulfilling specific leadership roles because those roles are particularly time consuming, and since the church views motherhood to be more important than any position in the church, men are tasked with fulfilling those roles.

And since someone mentioned it, I would *absolutely* trade places with any woman in the church if I could. Do you realize just how much of a pain in the butt most Priesthood leadership positions are? The roles of every one of the leadership positions exclusive to men are, for the most part, the really annoying and tedious aspects of organizational administration. Bishops primarily get to listen to people complain about other members. They get to do such lofty things as...figure out who is going to speak in sacrament meeting. And they get to spend almost all of their free time in meetings. And one of the really fun things you get to do as a priesthood holder in the church? Help people move. Every...Single...Saturday. (I am grateful that my health now forbids me from helping people move large objects).

Regarding politics in the Catholic Church...I have no knowledge whatsoever of how the Catholic church operates beyond what I've seen on TV or learned in history classes. I am not in a position to comment on politics there, nor do I feel the need to do so. I'm not Catholic. It doesn't concern me.

Are there people who view callings in the LDS church as determinants of social standing? Sure there are. But those people are completely missing the point and have a lot to learn about the priesthood.

And now I've officially spent almost 8 hours typing stuff on Hatrack today. Because I obsess too much over this crap. So I'm going to stop now. Really.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Politics in the church doesn't lead to advancement in the church.
Which is, of course, why the Prophet is always chosen from among men who've never held any positions in church leadership, typically men of average income and widely varied geographical backgrounds.

Like I said, how do you feel about how the Pope is chosen? Is that political? (Do you know how the Pope is chosen? If not, let me know.)

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Rakeesh
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Without the idea that there can be no useful comment about people or groups outside of your own religion, Boris, I would be interested in what you had to say about Jon Boy's link.

---------

I do sympathize with the position those currently defending the Mormon church against charges of sexism have to take. It is an enormous handicap in any sort of dispute, and frankly if we put the question up to someone completely foreign to both sides and asked if women had as much power or even nearly as much power within the Mormon church as men do, I think we all can admit that the answer would be obvious and wouldn't take long to hear either.

God, Jesus, almost all figures in the Old and New Testament of any significance at all, the first Prophet in the latter days, all of the succeeding Prophets, every member that has ever been in all of the Quorums, all of these have been male. Not only have they all been men, but up until very recently the very thought that this might be a question worth considering never even occurred to anyone-or at least not to anyone who felt secure in asking. There have been some legitimate arguments striving to address this reality, but from my perspective they have all been dubious at best.

The two best arguments suggested have been along the lines of 'someone has to lead, but this does not mean they have the most power' and 'women have roles than men cannot ever fill either, and these are just as important and powerful'. If someone feels this is an unfair restatement, I'd be happy to hear how. The trouble with the first is that if we were looking at any other institution, anything we weren't already invested in, 'who has the most power' is almost invariably answered with 'the leader'. When it's not the leader, we have special phrases like 'power behind the throne' and such. The trouble with the second is that it is essentially unprovable, but insofar as it can be demonstrated, this power women have has very little bearing on how the church is run on Earth.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
And since someone mentioned it, I would *absolutely* trade places with any woman in the church if I could. Do you realize just how much of a pain in the butt most Priesthood leadership positions are? The roles of every one of the leadership positions exclusive to men are, for the most part, the really annoying and tedious aspects of organizational administration. Bishops primarily get to listen to people complain about other members. They get to do such lofty things as...figure out who is going to speak in sacrament meeting. And they get to spend almost all of their free time in meetings. And one of the really fun things you get to do as a priesthood holder in the church? Help people move. Every...Single...Saturday. (I am grateful that my health now forbids me from helping people move large objects).
You've just listed some of the ground-level tasks of leadership, and described how they don't factor for female roles in the church.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
So you are going to go on record saying that the wife of the prophet is exactly as powerful and important to the church as the leader of the church himself? That she is of equal clerical, fiscal, ritual, and decision-making authority in the Church of the Latter Day Saints?

What, exactly, do you think the Prophet does, Sam? I will tell you that he does not make unilateral decisions. The things the prophet does are not the same as the leaders of other large religious organizations. He does not fill the same role as the Pope. Nor does he have anything resembling what you would consider "power." He is a speaker. He works with the other apostles to make decisions. The way he acts, works, and thinks is very heavily influenced by the relationship he has with his wife. I haven't ever sat in on a conversation that the current prophet has had with his wife, but very very much of the early development of the church was a result of Emma Smith's influence.

quote:
That's irrelevant to the question. No other religion has to come into play. You honestly can't, even if you could sit down and think about it, come up with any reason, no matter how hypothetical, figure out a reason, any reason at all, why a person who happens not to believe that a God exists would want someone to justify actions that a religious organization takes, no matter whether the justification is that it's God's will? Would you confirm that this is, actually not something you CAN conceive of?
Well, yeah. I can come up with reasons. Like you're a narcissist who thinks his beliefs and opinions are more important and correct than any other and if everyone believed like you do the world would be a better place. This, of course, makes you no better at all than the religious zealots you hate so much. But I choose not to just assume the worst of people. Except with Tom, cause he keeps proving the worst things I can think about him aren't quite bad enough.

quote:
The church's leadership hierarchy is not something you can aspire and politic your way up.
I would bet any and all money I have that this is not true, because it seems like a completely impossible bet to lose. Given the universals of all hierarchical human power models and structures, it's impossible to expect that it is perfectly proof and immune from politicking your way up the chain. You yourself even acknowledge this, by recognizing the existence of such politics in some wards and stakes.[/QUOTE]

I recognize that people who aspire to become leaders in the church occasionally do, but it isn't common for those people to go much higher than bishop. Why? Because the people who decide who is going to be a Stake President generally have very little interaction with the people at the stake level, and no amount of politicking can help you get a position when the person who makes decisions on who fills that position has never even met you.

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Samprimary
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quote:
And since someone mentioned it, I would *absolutely* trade places with any woman in the church if I could. Do you realize just how much of a pain in the butt most Priesthood leadership positions are? The roles of every one of the leadership positions exclusive to men are, for the most part, the really annoying and tedious aspects of organizational administration. Bishops primarily get to listen to people complain about other members. They get to do such lofty things as...figure out who is going to speak in sacrament meeting. And they get to spend almost all of their free time in meetings. And one of the really fun things you get to do as a priesthood holder in the church? Help people move. Every...Single...Saturday. (I am grateful that my health now forbids me from helping people move large objects).
This makes a case for overt sexism of LDS policy better than any outsider could ever make. It essentially boils down to "Boy, being allowed to be in a position of leadership on account of my being a man sure is tedious sometimes, so I envy women who don't get the choice to hold those positions of leadership because we forbid them to have these positions."

This is paternalistic to the extreme. As in, it is hard to conceive a more straightforwardly textbook case involving gender.

Of course, given some of the things that Boris' statements apply categorically to the LDS (such as the wife of the prophet being an equally powerful head of the Mormon church) would be almost certainly vigorously and openly disagreed with by the church itself.

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Samprimary
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quote:
What, exactly, do you think the Prophet does, Sam? I will tell you that he does not make unilateral decisions. The things the prophet does are not the same as the leaders of other large religious organizations. He does not fill the same role as the Pope. Nor does he have anything resembling what you would consider "power." He is a speaker. He works with the other apostles to make decisions. The way he acts, works, and thinks is very heavily influenced by the relationship he has with his wife. I haven't ever sat in on a conversation that the current prophet has had with his wife, but very very much of the early development of the church was a result of Emma Smith's influence.
So what is your answer to my question?

quote:
Well, yeah. I can come up with reasons. Like you're a narcissist who thinks his beliefs and opinions are more important and correct than any other and if everyone believed like you do the world would be a better place. This, of course, makes you no better at all than the religious zealots you hate so much. But I choose not to just assume the worst of people. Except with Tom, cause he keeps proving the worst things I can think about him aren't quite bad enough.
That's not exactly square with what I'm talking about. Here's a pretty straightforward example: Let's say you have a religious organization which specifically prohibits blacks from being ordained or holding the priesthood, but whites are allowed to. It is established policy. The church leaders of the time insist that this is Godly policy, the rules of God.

Let's say you have a black person, who happens to be an atheist. He could be (very rightly) concerned about a large sociopolitical entity that has a significant amount of social influence and political influence that is, essentially, completely racist and treats blacks as inferior. Let's say this particular black atheist approaches the issue with concern (that I would consider very rightful concern) — and someone who is part of the church (within the privileged race allowed the Priesthood, natch) responds to him with the same boilerplate standard, "you don't even believe in God. For what reason do I have to justify our organization's policies to you?"

This person would want a church to justify discriminatory policies. This is, or should be, an idea that needs no explanation. If it couldn't, this impacts a number of things. Least of all the issue of how persuasive (or actively not persuasive) the church's message that it is the one true church and that he should join it and that they have a true understanding of our kind and loving God. More important to that, there's just the issue of plain dag-nasty discrimination. "Yeah, well you don't even believe in God, and God says this" doesn't go very far.

A church that can't justify itself to the populace at large is not long for the world scale. For instance, if the Mormon church hadn't actively done something to provide a justification for its policies (in large part by changing them) it would be but a whisper of a thing now.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Politics in the church doesn't lead to advancement in the church.
Which is, of course, why the Prophet is always chosen from among men who've never held any positions in church leadership, typically men of average income and widely varied geographical backgrounds.

Yay sarcasm!

And oh look, one of the apostles is from Germany! The last prophet made an average wage his whole life! Oh yeah! It's almost impossible to go your entire life as a member of the church without holding a position of leadership if you're a man! So absolutely the prophet will be chosen from all of the zero men who haven't held a leadership position in the church before! Hurray! (am I doing this sarcastic douchebag thing right?)

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Samprimary
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quote:
The last prophet made an average wage his whole life!
Which prophet in specific are you speaking of?
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
And since someone mentioned it, I would *absolutely* trade places with any woman in the church if I could. Do you realize just how much of a pain in the butt most Priesthood leadership positions are? The roles of every one of the leadership positions exclusive to men are, for the most part, the really annoying and tedious aspects of organizational administration. Bishops primarily get to listen to people complain about other members. They get to do such lofty things as...figure out who is going to speak in sacrament meeting. And they get to spend almost all of their free time in meetings. And one of the really fun things you get to do as a priesthood holder in the church? Help people move. Every...Single...Saturday. (I am grateful that my health now forbids me from helping people move large objects).
This makes a case for overt sexism of LDS policy better than any outsider could ever make. It essentially boils down to "Boy, being allowed to be in a position of leadership on account of my being a man sure is tedious sometimes, so I envy women who don't get the choice to hold those positions of leadership because we forbid them to have these positions."

This is paternalistic to the extreme. As in, it is hard to conceive a more straightforwardly textbook case involving gender.

Of course, given some of the things that Boris' statements apply categorically to the LDS (such as the wife of the prophet being an equally powerful head of the Mormon church) would be almost certainly vigorously and openly disagreed with by the church itself.

Oh gosh! You got me! I'm a mysogynist! I better go shoot myself now! Wait, is there a some altar of feminism I can pray at to absolve myself of my paternalistic tendencies? Oh wait, maybe I should go get my privilege jacket and take my appropriate place in the "I have a penis so I should just shut up" line. (Not sure I'm doing this right. That's how you're supposed to make a point, right?)

Is it really so hard for you to accept the possibility that maybe women make better mothers than men, and that being a mother is a lot more important than anything anyone does in the church? That maybe the church just wants women to use the talents they have developed as a result of nature or social upbringing to care for the future of the human race? That because men cannot physically be a mother and have the same kind of bond with their children that a mother develops during and immediately after pregnancy it is better for them to focus on the more menial parts of church leadership? Oh wait, no, some college professor said that women should be able to do what they want. That's obviously the way things should be. Let's just make sure all the women in the world are more focused on their careers while the men do the same and that way all the kids can be raised by televisions and iPads!

And with that explosion of sarcasm, rant, and pent up frustration, I'm out.

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Samprimary
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Boris, you are falling into your repeated personal trap of getting angry and jumping hypocritically from lambasting others for perceived rudeness and disrespect, and then being actively the rudest, angriest and most disrespectful person in the conversation.

I invite you to take another opportunity to deal with me on the level. So far, with the help of some others, I've figured out the actual answers to two of my questions (which you got fairly wrong, by the way). I had to do this through an issue where, if I'm asking you a question, I don't quite really get an answer from you.

So, here's where we're at.

As expected, women can't have leadership roles in the church, even if they want to. Even if they have no interest in rearing children (and it should be noted that specifically prohibiting specific life options and the opportunity to engage in leadership roles in order to try to force women into accepting a position of motherhood is quite well and above the standard for blatant and insidious sexism).

1. Only males are ordained to the lay priesthood and have ritual and administrative authority in the Church.

2. Women are excluded from almost all positions of clerical, fiscal, ritual, and decision-making authority.

3. The real highest position that a woman can attain in the Church is the general Relief Society president. (thank you jon)

so that brings us back to the last point. How does the LDS church, according to you, justify these policies as non-sexist? How is this okay?

quote:
That because men cannot physically be a mother and have the same kind of bond with their children that a mother develops during and immediately after pregnancy it is better for them to focus on the more menial parts of church leadership?
We have a number of conclusive studies that show that this is a complete biologically deterministic fiction. Men are just as capable rearers of children as women; there's no special measurable quality of female nurturing that makes them the requisite better stay-at-home childrearer. If this is the basis by which it is decreed that the church must forbid the priesthood from women (to keep them raising babies like they ought), it is an extremely flimsy basis indeed. It is also disturbingly familiar to previous racial pretexts about why whites were to have and keep positions of power, but that's mostly an aside. It also necessarily requires the assertion that men are better leaders, which is also profoundly sexist. So — the sexist nature of what you are describing the church as is set up, so we have to come down to justifications.
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MattP
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quote:
The real highest position that a woman can attain in the Church is the general Relief Society president. (thank you jon)
It's worth noting that even the woman in this position only has authority over other women.
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Rakeesh
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Boris, you know for all of your complaining about the sarcasm, snark, and disrespect of others, no one else said anything directly or indirectly nearly as disrespectful and rude as 'douchebag'.

People are allowed to challenge your beliefs. Whether you adhere to this iteration of 'I'm out, or not talking to you!' or not, not only would you be better off if you realized that, but nobody here or anywhere owes you the sort of respect you appear to demand. That of the unquestioning acceptance and refrain from posing any difficult questions you don't want to hear, ever.

If you don't like what someone has to say, well then that's fine! I don't like things people say all the time. I'm not a victim of their unwelcome ideas, though, and neither are you. This snark-policing you (claim to be) do is really just a way of trying to take control of the conversation, and keep out unwelcome ideas whether you realize it or not.

You don't have any sort of right at all not to hear an unwelcome idea, and people who express them to or around you aren't victimizing you in the least. Quite the contrary, in fact.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
And since someone mentioned it, I would *absolutely* trade places with any woman in the church if I could. Do you realize just how much of a pain in the butt most Priesthood leadership positions are? The roles of every one of the leadership positions exclusive to men are, for the most part, the really annoying and tedious aspects of organizational administration.
This makes a case for overt sexism of LDS policy better than any outsider could ever make. It essentially boils down to "Boy, being allowed to be in a position of leadership on account of my being a man sure is tedious sometimes, so I envy women who don't get the choice to hold those positions of leadership because we forbid them to have these positions."

Well, yeah. No one really says stuff like that it's really tough being a white person in charge and that it's actually better to be a coloured person because being in leadership is so tedious and such a burden. It's just this strange context in which it's even remotely acceptable to say about women somehow.

Or if someone from Denmark asked you what was the highest office that a woman had reached in the US government and you were all like, "the President's wife." I bet that would get you a double-take.

Or if I said that my local member of parliament said that he got into government not because he wanted power, but because he really wanted to serve the people and *I believed him.*

Well.

You'd be trying to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge.

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BlackBlade
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I think an important distinction needs to be made that hasn't been.

Women in the church exercise the priesthood, full stop. Not through their husbands, not in rare circumstances. Literally there are women exercising the priesthood during all hours of the day in the temple.

I think Elder Oaks made this point very clear during the most recent general conference,

quote:
Priesthood keys direct women as well as men, and priesthood ordinances and priesthood authority pertain to women as well as men.
quote:
We are not accustomed to speaking of women having the authority of the priesthood in their Church callings, but what other authority can it be? When a woman—young or old—is set apart to preach the gospel as a full-time missionary, she is given priesthood authority to perform a priesthood function. The same is true when a woman is set apart to function as an officer or teacher in a Church organization under the direction of one who holds the keys of the priesthood. Whoever functions in an office or calling received from one who holds priesthood keys exercises priesthood authority in performing her or his assigned duties.

Unfortunately as Elder Oaks notes members of the church often don't understand the distinction, and so often inaccurately state that women cannot hold the priesthood. What the members of Ordain Women want is for women to be granted priesthood keys that will enable them to perform additional ordinances (such as baptizing, laying on of hands) as well as well as the keys that allow individuals to govern the church.

But the idea that men have and dispense the power of God, and women must go through that conduit is not a correct one.

Going a bit beyond established doctrine and into opinion-ville, I think women used to have more latitude for exercising priesthood authority and keys in the days of Joseph Smith. There are several instances of women administering to the sick and laying on hands and the sick recovering. In one of these instances Joseph Smith explicitly stated that if it was working, then God must be behind it. Much like the apostles coming to Jesus to complain that a man who was not of their faith was casting out devils. Jesus' response was basically identical.

Early women in the church (I can't find the essay that details this) also practiced an ordinance whereby women soon to have babies were blessed by anointing with oil by other sisters and prayed for that the labor would go well and that the woman would be blessed in motherhood.

The Relief Society was originally an independent organization, run entirely by women. It was later that it was pulled in as an appendage to the priesthood.

It appears that when Brigham Young hauled the saints to Utah, in his efforts to consolidate our doctrine and hold the church together, women's roles in the church were greatly diminished. But at the same time, in Joseph Smith's day doctrine was so, so, so, so unestablished and unorganized. This lead to mass apostasy because people did not have the same understanding. But one of the benefits was that people were open minded. Today in the church we still struggle to fully grasp how it is the church in all its fluidity could be true in Smith's day, and in its' more rigid state today also be true.

We'll figure it out.

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kmbboots
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Is it possible that people like Ms. Kelly are at least part of how you will figure it out? I know that the work of people like Fr. Roy are how we figure it out.

(For those of you who are unfamiliar with Fr. Roy Bourgeois, he is a wonderful priest who has spent his whole life working for peace and justice. He is the founder of SOA Watch. He has recently been excommunicated and laicized because he has will not recant his belief and public statements that support the ordination of women. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Bourgeois )

My interest in this topic is not to bash your religion, Boris. It is because it so closely parallels the struggles of my own Church.

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stilesbn
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Even since the days of Brigham Young there has been what has been called "Priesthood Creep." There are a number of callings that women used to hold that have now been brought in under the umbrella of Priesthood only callings (i.e. some Secretarial callings. Though none of them were high leadership callings). These things happened as late as the 60's and 70's if my history is correct. As to why? Well I only have theories that I just made up and I don't think I'd be willing to share them here.

I think there is a large and growing number of people in the church that are adopting a view similar to kmb's view on the Catholic church. Something along the lines of, "Yes, there are some problems in the church structure that hurt people even if I (man or women) am not one of those people and we need to make efforts to fix it."

The top leadership has also been clear that they are having many discussions with women in leadership roles to figure out what to change and how to improve. So while at the moment they don't seem to be moving on the Priesthood issue they are moving to improve what they can up to that point. I guess what I'm saying is that while I appreciate Boris going to bat and taking the time to defend the LDS church, I think that a little introspection and acceptance that there is work to do can go a long way.

As for Kate Kelly. If you ask one of her supporters, she got excommunicated because she simply asked questions. If you ask someone on the other side, it's because she organized a public and political activist group to attempt to mock and pressure the LDS church to do what she wanted to do. Other's is because she openly disobeyed counsel from the leadership at all levels (from her local leadership to the top of the church).

I'm personally not really sure what to think of it and I'm not willing to go to bat either way. If anyone is interested I think these two blogs would have a range of posts on the subject that might be helpful. They both average moderate liberal leaning (at least on the spectrum of the church) but they also have a wide range between each individual blogger.

Times and Seasons
By Common Consent

The blogs are about all sorts of things, not just the Ordain Women and feminism so you'll have to pick and choose.

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stilesbn
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Also, in the church there's a fine line to walk between making changes through revelation and making changes as a result of cultural pressure. The tough part about separating the two is that it is pretty clear in our history and scripture that most revelations aren't initiated by God. They are initiated by the prophet going to God and asking. He seems to be pretty content to let us figure things out until someone decides "Hey we need to fix/change this."

That is where you get things like Ordain Women saying we want you to ask. Although it has been made clear that activism and open recruitment to your cause is not the way the church wants you to go about asking. As to what the alternative way is aside from bringing questions to your local leaders? I don't know. But anyways, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting and believing women should have the priesthood.

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Is it possible that people like Ms. Kelly are at least part of how you will figure it out?

Personally, I think so. Or at least she'll pull the spectrum of cultural views in the direction we need to figure it out, even if the end result isn't exactly what she's gunning for.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Other's is because she openly disobeyed counsel from the leadership at all levels (from her local leadership to the top of the church).


Tangent, but I find this use of the word "counsel" weird. I only hear it in Mormon and conservative evangelical circles. "Counsel" is advice. It's something you listen to, consider, maybe follow, but not obey or disobey.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Other's is because she openly disobeyed counsel from the leadership at all levels (from her local leadership to the top of the church).


Tangent, but I find this use of the word "counsel" weird. I only hear it in Mormon and conservative evangelical circles. "Counsel" is advice. It's something you listen to, consider, maybe follow, but not obey or disobey.
Your operational definition is different from they way it is used in Mormon and conservative circles. This happens all the time. In fact, a lot of the debates on this forum is because people are using different operational definitions and aren't realizing it or they are debating what the "true" definition should be. Appeals to the dictionary don't usually work to sway anyone either.
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Other's is because she openly disobeyed counsel from the leadership at all levels (from her local leadership to the top of the church).


Tangent, but I find this use of the word "counsel" weird. I only hear it in Mormon and conservative evangelical circles. "Counsel" is advice. It's something you listen to, consider, maybe follow, but not obey or disobey.
Your operational definition is different from they way it is used in Mormon and conservative circles. This happens all the time. In fact, a lot of the debates on this forum is because people are using different operational definitions and aren't realizing it or they are debating what the "true" definition should be. Appeals to the dictionary don't usually work to sway anyone either.
I find this is often true with the word "religion." I've brought it up in a few different threads, but the discussion never gets anywhere.

Counsel isn't some official term in the church, so there's no set meaning, although it's fairly well understood what's meant by it. When you receive counsel from a church leader, he or she is basically relating what would be the proper actions to take from a church standpoint, although there is also the concept of "counsel together," which would mean more of a prayerful and thoughtful discussion on a given topic of importance, with the expectation that in doing so, you will have some inspiration helping you find the right solution.

If you skew negative toward the LDS church then this term will always sound ominous; however, I'd say it's a pretty benign concept for most church members.

[ June 26, 2014, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: advice for robots ]

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Mucus
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Unless you disobey orders/counsel like Ms. Kelly it seems.
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Or if you change what I just said into "orders." I'm curious what you think the conversations Ms. Kelly had with her local church leaders went like.

Counsel in this sense would be like, "Here's what's likely to happen if you do this," with an explanation of church policy and probably an urging not to do certain things. She was still free to do what she wanted, but through the course of meetings with her bishop and/or stake president she would have been fully aware of the consequences regarding her church standing.

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MattP
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According to Kelly she's had very no communication from her local leaders until the disciplinary stuff started, despite her proactively keeping those leaders updated about her OW activities on multiple occasions. Is there now a specific assertion to the contrary?
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If she hasn't, then either she wasn't agreeing to meet with them at their request or they didn't handle it very well. Or both. I would think with a situation like this, normally there would be multiple interviews before any official action was taken. A disciplinary council isn't held lightly.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
According to Kelly she's had very no communication from her local leaders until the disciplinary stuff started, despite her proactively keeping those leaders updated about her OW activities on multiple occasions. Is there now a specific assertion to the contrary?

Kelly's version of the meetings they had and what was said differs from the bishop's account in her excommunication letter. So believe what you will.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
Or if you change what I just said into "orders." I'm curious what you think the conversations Ms. Kelly had with her local church leaders went like.

Counsel in this sense would be like, "Here's what's likely to happen if you do this," with an explanation of church policy and probably an urging not to do certain things.

And how does one "obey" or "disobey" that? That's what I mean by the word usage being odd. If it's not a command how can it be disobeyed?
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That's my point. It's not so much about obeying or disobeying, as it is about accepting or rejecting the counsel given to you. These aren't orders. I was objecting to Mucus' use of the word.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:

Women in the church exercise the priesthood, full stop. Not through their husbands, not in rare circumstances. Literally there are women exercising the priesthood during all hours of the day in the temple.

So they exercise the priesthood (in very specific, gender-limited ways) but they are not allowed to be part of the priesthood, and are not allowed into any leadership roles within the church.

What does the distinction that they exercise the priesthood add to the issue of the gender power divide in church teachings?

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
That's my point. It's not so much about obeying or disobeying, as it is about accepting or rejecting the counsel given to you. These aren't orders. I was objecting to Mucus' use of the word.

So do you also object to stilesbn's use (or the people he was referencing, anyway)? Or to put that another way, what's your take on the idea that Kelly was excommunicated because she "disobeyed counsel" from church leaders? (On the meaning of the statement , I mean, not your judgement on her actions.)
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:

Women in the church exercise the priesthood, full stop. Not through their husbands, not in rare circumstances. Literally there are women exercising the priesthood during all hours of the day in the temple.

So they exercise the priesthood (in very specific, gender-limited ways) but they are not allowed to be part of the priesthood, and are not allowed into any leadership roles within the church.

What does the distinction that they exercise the priesthood add to the issue of the gender power divide in church teachings?

I included the quote by Dallin H. Oaks on the last page, and BB posted it above. It's worth reading. Women carry out their responsibilities in the church with the same priesthood authority that men do. They are as much a part of the priesthood as men.

The entire talk by Elder Oaks is worth reading. I linked to it on the last page, but here it is again. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/the-keys-and-authority-of-the-priesthood?lang=eng

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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
That's my point. It's not so much about obeying or disobeying, as it is about accepting or rejecting the counsel given to you. These aren't orders. I was objecting to Mucus' use of the word.

So do you also object to stilesbn's use (or the people he was referencing, anyway)? Or to put that another way, what's your take on the idea that Kelly was excommunicated because she "disobeyed counsel" from church leaders? (On the meaning of the statement , I mean, not your judgement on her actions.)
I wouldn't have put it that way. I don't see it that way. I would object to the concept of obeying and disobeying as if orders were being thrown around.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Counsel in this sense would be like, "Here's what's likely to happen if you do this," with an explanation of church policy and probably an urging not to do certain things. She was still free to do what she wanted, but through the course of meetings with her bishop and/or stake president she would have been fully aware of the consequences regarding her church standing.
I realize it's an entrenched definition at this point, but I think the stumbling block for most uses of the words 'order' and 'counsel' for people without that definition would be something like this: you can counsel someone to do or not do something if there will be good or bad things likely to happen to them. If, however, it is you who will be doing those good or bad things (this is completely separate from questions of merit and fairness), well then how is it really 'counsel' and instead not simply an order or an ultimatum?

Even in the military, sure you have the option of disobeying an order. Likewise in prison. If the corrections officer 'counsels' you to keep your cell in a certain way, then I suppose if he wanted to feel like an especially progressive sort of guard he might call that counsel. Everyone he works with, the inmate included, would call it an order.

quote:
That's my point. It's not so much about obeying or disobeying, as it is about accepting or rejecting the counsel given to you. These aren't orders. I was objecting to Mucus' use of the word.
For further clarification: if we use this definition of what an order is-when someone has the option to accept or reject it-then no orders are ever orders either. A soldier might disobey an order to stand in the face of an attack, and be summarily shot for it. He has the option to accept the order, or not, though the consequences are much more drastic* and immediate. A child may choose to disobey an order from their parents, and be grounded for a week.

If I were to use the same rubric you appear to be using to describe other behaviors, afr, I don't think you would hesitate to call those behaviors 'orders' and would raise an eyebrow if I were to call them 'counseling'. I think I'm applying the same standards right here in this post, and I would be surprised if you didn't dispute that orders in the military aren't actually 'counseling'.

*Although, if the religion is true, the consequences are potentially much more dire in the case of excommunication.

Now, all of that aside, none of this means that a group is bound not to give orders to avoid a show of force. Quite the contrary. But when there is force being used-spiritual and political force in this case-well, call it what it is. If the transgression is serious enough to warrant the use of force, then the case for doing so ought to be clear anyway.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I included the quote by Dallin H. Oaks on the last page, and BB posted it above. It's worth reading. Women carry out their responsibilities in the church with the same priesthood authority that men do. They are as much a part of the priesthood as men.
Well, they aren't called priests or priestesses.
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Nelson Elis
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quote:
So they exercise the priesthood (in very specific, gender-limited ways) but they are not allowed to be part of the priesthood, and are not allowed into any leadership roles within the church.
Most importantly, men in the CJCLDS have arrogated the unilateral authority to dictate God's judgments for His community.

She was excommunicated from her religious community by an all-male panel of "judges," who claim that male mouths are the only mouths with the authority to dictate God's judgments for His religion.

I tend to think that the blasphemous arrogance of the pretense that one person can speak to God's will for another person is the real problem, but the mormon authorities have certainly institutionalized sexism as a part of their blasphemy.

In any case, they may be sexist, but fortunately, they are also fairly forgiving. If she'll show true remorse for her lack of obedience to the men who claim to render God's judgments, and will shut her mouth about her real beliefs, they'll let her back into the full fellowship of her religious community...

[Roll Eyes]

[ June 26, 2014, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: Nelson Elis ]

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advice for robots
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No, women don't formally hold the priesthood and therefore are not ordained to offices in the priesthood, one of which is priest. Actually, "Priestess" does show up in some specific parts of church teachings and is a somewhat familiar concept.
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stilesbn
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I'm not sure what there is to argue about this counsel-order debate. It is what it is. I suspect it became that way because using the word "order" is harsh and Mormons don't want to be hard. So DKW says it is weird, the best I can do is shrug and say "yep". You have a good point, but changing cultural inertia isn't going to happen. If you think about it though, word definitions change all the time. The only difference here is that is changing in a cultural bubble that is somewhat separated from the rest of the world. Of course it is going to seem weird to someone looking in.

With that said, no one actually knows the reasons why Kate Kelly was ultimately excommunicated. That's not a matter of public record. We just have our best guesses based on what Kate Kelly has said, timeline, and generic church statements (which all come with the caveat that the church PR dept doesn't know the specifics of local disciplinary actions).

Personally I think that her disobeying orders/counsel wasn't the ultimate reason, perhaps it played a part the same way her not showing up to the hearing played a part, but it wasn't the reason. I mentioned it earlier because I have seen people say that was one of the reasons.

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scifibum
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quote:
With that said, no one actually knows the reasons why Kate Kelly was ultimately excommunicated. That's not a matter of public record.
Actually it is public. The letter explaining the excommunication was published (immediately). Are you following the news on this?
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Counsel in this sense would be like, "Here's what's likely to happen if you do this," with an explanation of church policy and probably an urging not to do certain things. She was still free to do what she wanted, but through the course of meetings with her bishop and/or stake president she would have been fully aware of the consequences regarding her church standing.
I realize it's an entrenched definition at this point, but I think the stumbling block for most uses of the words 'order' and 'counsel' for people without that definition would be something like this: you can counsel someone to do or not do something if there will be good or bad things likely to happen to them. If, however, it is you who will be doing those good or bad things (this is completely separate from questions of merit and fairness), well then how is it really 'counsel' and instead not simply an order or an ultimatum?

Even in the military, sure you have the option of disobeying an order. Likewise in prison. If the corrections officer 'counsels' you to keep your cell in a certain way, then I suppose if he wanted to feel like an especially progressive sort of guard he might call that counsel. Everyone he works with, the inmate included, would call it an order.

quote:
That's my point. It's not so much about obeying or disobeying, as it is about accepting or rejecting the counsel given to you. These aren't orders. I was objecting to Mucus' use of the word.
For further clarification: if we use this definition of what an order is-when someone has the option to accept or reject it-then no orders are ever orders either. A soldier might disobey an order to stand in the face of an attack, and be summarily shot for it. He has the option to accept the order, or not, though the consequences are much more drastic* and immediate. A child may choose to disobey an order from their parents, and be grounded for a week.

If I were to use the same rubric you appear to be using to describe other behaviors, afr, I don't think you would hesitate to call those behaviors 'orders' and would raise an eyebrow if I were to call them 'counseling'. I think I'm applying the same standards right here in this post, and I would be surprised if you didn't dispute that orders in the military aren't actually 'counseling'.

*Although, if the religion is true, the consequences are potentially much more dire in the case of excommunication.

Now, all of that aside, none of this means that a group is bound not to give orders to avoid a show of force. Quite the contrary. But when there is force being used-spiritual and political force in this case-well, call it what it is. If the transgression is serious enough to warrant the use of force, then the case for doing so ought to be clear anyway.

Well, whatever. I think you're trying to stuff what I just said into what you want it to mean. These aren't prison guards and they aren't military commanders. It's not a prison, nor it is the military. Members are not sworn to take orders, nor are they forced to do so. If you are approaching a cliff, the signs warning you that there is a cliff ahead are not necessarily giving you orders. Yet if you choose to ignore the signs' warnings, you will have to deal with the consequences.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
With that said, no one actually knows the reasons why Kate Kelly was ultimately excommunicated. That's not a matter of public record.
Actually it is public. The letter explaining the excommunication was published (immediately). Are you following the news on this?
I am and I read the letter, I didn't get the impression that it gave a concrete reason in the letter. I'll read it again more closely and perhaps update my statement.
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MattP
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quote:
The letter explaining the excommunication was published (immediately). Are you following the news on this?
stilesbn referenced the content of the letter just a few posts earlier, so presumably the answer is "yes".

EDIT: Beat me to it.

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TomDavidson
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I think a distinction needs to be made between natural consequences and willful consequences. If someone steps off a cliff, it is a natural consequence that they will fall -- but if someone points a gun at you and says "if you come any closer, I'll shoot" -- being shot is not a natural consequence of coming closer to that person. The individual has established a criteria for his own action, and chooses to hold to those criteria; the decision to shoot you is not an automatic consequence of your behavior.

That said, I don't have a dog in this hunt; I think she met all the criteria for excommunication, but think less of the church for having those criteria.

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advice for robots
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Well, the bishop and stake president (i.e. church leaders) involved aren't making up the rules and conditions, i.e. holding the gun and creating an ultimatum. In a sense they are warning you that you're getting a little too close to breaking rules the church may have in place or commandments that church members adhere to, depending on the nature of your actions. In a sense, they are pointing to the cliff and telling you you'd better change course.

I tried to explain why the church has the policy of excommunication in place. It's not a shunning. It's there to protect both the church and the individual, but the way it is handled has nothing to do with casting that individual away. Quite the opposite--after a member is excommunicated the efforts of the leaders and others involved are bent toward helping them work their way back toward full fellowship. Excommunication is considered part of the repentance process when the transgression is grave enough. It's not the end of the line.

ETA: That said, I don't have an opinion either way about the Kelly case. I feel like I'm still on the fence about her actions. I don't feel like I could offer a worthwhile opinion on whether she met the criteria for excommunication or not.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I included the quote by Dallin H. Oaks on the last page, and BB posted it above. It's worth reading. Women carry out their responsibilities in the church with the same priesthood authority that men do. They are as much a part of the priesthood as men.

Ok. I read the related material. I'm especially curious about your statement that women are as much a part of the priesthood as men.

I cannot, not in any sense, conceive of how the truth of that statement can be justified along with the knowledge that women are not allowed the priesthood and cannot have any positions of authority within the church. That is not 'as much a part of the priesthood as men," that's a subservient and inferior auxiliary to the priesthood.

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
It's not a shunning.
Sure it is.
quote:
Excommunication is considered part of the repentance process when the transgression is grave enough.
Excommunication isn't part of the repentance process.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Nelson Elis:
quote:
It's not a shunning.
Sure it is.
quote:
Excommunication is considered part of the repentance process when the transgression is grave enough.
Excommunication isn't part of the repentance process.

Make sure to squeal those tires when you're driving away. It makes drive by's more dramatic.
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Samprimary
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Yeah I am having trouble, additionally, with if it is going to be suggested that the excommunication process isn't a shunning (insert the list of all the things that excommunication voids you and forbids you from attending/participating in). The view that it is not, or that this woman was not subject to disciplinary orders, seems to be coming out as fairly myopic, especially since she appears to be releasing or announcing stuff that indicates that a large part of her 'counsel' was, very straightforwardly, instructions. Orders.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I included the quote by Dallin H. Oaks on the last page, and BB posted it above. It's worth reading. Women carry out their responsibilities in the church with the same priesthood authority that men do. They are as much a part of the priesthood as men.

Ok. I read the related material. I'm especially curious about your statement that women are as much a part of the priesthood as men.

I cannot, not in any sense, conceive of how the truth of that statement can be justified along with the knowledge that women are not allowed the priesthood and cannot have any positions of authority within the church. That is not 'as much a part of the priesthood as men," that's a subservient and inferior auxiliary to the priesthood.

Looking at the whole thing from Sam's perspective I would have to side with Sam. The Priesthood seems to have two parts. One part to act in the name of God, and one part to administrate in the name of God (I'm throwing a whole lot of nuance and other stuff out the window with that statement, but it's a simplification, that's what happens right?). Women have access to the former, but not the latter. To an outsider, the former doesn't really matter. All that matters is who is the leader.
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Nelson Elis
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What matters is who has the power to make administrative decisions for the community.

And this matters to insiders, so it's clear--especially if one of the administrative powers is that of making insiders into outsiders...

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