The Right of a Church to Excommunicate

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I commented on this article in Times and Seasons.  Kate Kelly, a Mormon and a feminist has pushed the envelope too far, and has been excommunicated.

I hope this comment shines some light and clarity on a muddied media message that a pro-feminist media have embellished and distorted.  It is comment #58 in that Times and Seasons article:

I’m sorry that this has happened to Kate Kelly, and I can only understand how difficult this is for this LDS woman and those who agree with her. But I have a different perspective on it. Here’s my view on this action: A church is required to register as a 501 c 3 under state and federal corporate laws. That requires a constitution and bylaws with definitions of membership and removal and dissolution of corporation, etc.

In the corporate world, these constitutions can vary, but that corporation, if it is privately held, regulates who the voting membership is and what the rules of disengagement are. It’s not unusual that those bylaws stipulate “without cause.” Private corporations are not required to function as a court of law. That is the right of a corporation and those that have been elected to the board, whose function is a fiduciary duty.

The problem here is that when an individual who identifies and is accepted as a voting member is at odds with the bylaws and the goals of that corporation, that corporation has the right to remove its members, especially if they deliberately seek media to disparage that corporation.

Imagine if a voting shareholder of a privately owned company such as Hobby Lobby had gone to the media and proclaimed it was at odds with the owners’ views on abortion and was using the media to lobby for change. Frankly, the Green’s, who own that company and the board members who have a majority stake in it, have every right to remove that person as a shareholder. They own the brand, the “imprimatur.” The employees or voting members do not.

On another level, I simply disagree with the myopic view some disgruntled women have of the role of women in the LDS church. This is an attitude issue. The LDS Church has done everything it can do to suggest, encourage, urge its members to treat each other fairly, men and women in marriage especially.

People – including lay leaders of any organization, church, company – are not perfect. Life is simply not fair. People will treat others unfairly. How we respond makes the difference. I have not always been treated fairly, but I have chosen to ignore the unfairness, and to go about making my own success and to laugh it off. That has empowered me. My mother taught me to just “let it go” and to “just go on.” She taught me that I could be and do and accomplish great things and to not let negativism or what negatives others give me define me.

Attitude makes all the difference. I choose not to be a victim. I choose to be a victor. I choose to take adversity and turn it into advantage. For me, the sky’s the limit. It boils down to some additional cliches: It’s an attitude of gratitude. Do you see that glass half full or half empty? How will you live your life?

For Kate and others I’ve watched before her, the victim role has not had a good outcome.