On the eve of its semiannual General Conference, slated for this weekend, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been busy with a flurry of public news releases. Formally declaring Temple Square as off-limits to any news organizations, their photographers and their camera crews. Thus Intending to stave off – if not the activities, themselves – the wider publication of a number of protest activities being organized against them, by an ad hoc coalition of otherwise truly strange bedfellows.
An LDS women’s organization, headed up by the irrepressible Kate Kelly – called Ordain Women – is again attempting an end run around the paternal organization’s leadership – from its already subsumed status within the Church’s larger Women’s organization – and are again looking to individually obtain standby tickets, or be individually turned away from, the LDS Churches traditionally men’s-only Priesthood meeting (having already been denied a written request for tickets).
And they can no doubt consider themselves the unintended beneficiaries of another bit of potentially disruptive activity, scheduled to be going on at the same time. A planned march around both blocks of Temple Square, by a number of those increasingly disaffected LDS Mormons, and their allies, who will then be submitting their letters of resignation, in a mass resignation event, being hosted by Atheists of Utah, and their president Dan Ellis. And this, in conjunction and cooperation with some members if the American Atheists organization, who happen to be in Salt Lake City for their 40th National Convention, which is scheduled to begin later in the week.
In my opinion, the fact that ‘The Church’ suddenly wishes to declare itself deeply offended, by folks wishing to impose themselves on their Conference weekend activities – in and around Temple Square – fails to obviate their prior involvement in California’s Proposition 8, Utah’s Amendment III, and their flood of amicus briefs, in opposition to Same Sex Marriage. Not to mention routinely sticking their noses into the State Legislative process, via closed-door meetings with elected officials, and the day-to-day lobbying activities of the LDS’s own Gayle Ruzicka, leader of the Utah Eagles Forum.
We can’t help but ask why, it’s apparently alright for ‘The Church’ to interfere with the lives of other folks – going out of their way to take a dump in Their bowl of Wheaties, as it were. But then, for that same Church to suddenly declare “Kings-X” – from anyone seeking dialogue or redress for their policies and political activities – and characterize it as ‘interfering with sacred matters.’ Hell, that’s the same defense FLDS leader Warren Jeffs clung to – to the very end: That group orgies, with his underage wives – in his ‘Temple’ – were “private, ‘sacred’ matters.”
I’m sorry, but IMHO, ‘The Church’ is not due the sort of ‘hallowed respect,’ it feels itself entitled to. Not from any of those individuals or groups that it routinely denies equality to. And not while it does everything in its power, to crap backwards on the Civil Rights of those many others, in its high-handed and hide-bound attempts to enforce their views, on a culture and society that they are but an increasingly smaller and more irritating part of.
But this Sunday? It would appear that a rather large number of those chickens, are coming home to roost.