There are some religions that claim to have special power from God that allows people to do really cool things like heal people, tell them what God wants them to do with their lives, endow them with extra power to overcome difficulties, etc. This power and privilege is often called “priesthood”. It’s almost always given to men and denied to women. In this article, I am going to be discussing the Ordain Women movement that has happened within the context of Mormonism / The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
While I am, in some sense, very much in support of the Ordain Women movement, I must confess: I can’t get all that excited about it. While the Ordain Women movement has the best of intentions, I think it’s missing the bigger point. It’s a bit like trying to issue licenses to people – in this case, women – for the “privilege” of breathing. If a special power to heal, manifest, discern, exists in any human, then ALL humans come with it. It’s like that anti-virus software that every computer comes pre-installed with. The only question is, are you going to activate it and use it?
Can we talk about Jesus for a minute? While I do find myself swimming around in a certain kind of mysticism, and while I definitely feel a connection to the Divine (whatever that is), there are certain things that don’t make sense. Let’s start with one of the foundational ideas behind Priesthood: Jesus Christ. I believe in Jesus Christ as one of the most brilliant teachers of human wisdom, one who mastered the laws of dimensions 1, 2, and 3 and had a solid understanding of our relationship to dimensions 4, 5, 6, and 7. In his recorded teachings, many brilliant truths hide in plain sight. His Father, however, did not ask him to suffer infinitely so that you and I can be let off the hook. There IS NO HOOK. When I take a few cosmic steps back, I see an inherent perfection in all things, even though to our 3 dimensional minds, they can seem like a massive pain in the ass at times. Growth and progress are inevitable. Cosmically speaking, I do not believe in “good” and “evil”. Certainly we all have our sense of “preferable” and “not preferable”, but to relabel them as “right” and “wrong” is cosmically presumptuous. If there’s no cosmic construct of “evil”, then there’s no need for a Savior… particularly if you believe in a God that’s not a score keeping passive aggressive jerk like your mother in law. On the other hand, if you do believe in a mother-in-law God, it’s not a stretch to believe in a God that plays favorites.
Those in the Ordain Women movement are rightly offended by the notion of special privilege and their view that God doesn’t play that game. I argue that they are merely making an expansion onto special privilege. Instead of demolishing the abominable building, they’ve just remodeled and added a few extra rooms. I’m just asking Ordain Women to take their good idea and run with it all the way into the end zone.
The argument that women should be ordained into the priesthood gives entirely too much credit to the divisive notion that God gives selectively permits some people to have special powers. It CERTAINLY gives entirely too much credit to an organization that claims to have the patent on that power. This is somewhat like picketing McDonald’s to begin serving sushi when there are three excellent sushi restaurants on the same block. They COULD do it, but do you really want a McSashimi?
The question, “Should women be ordained to the Priesthood?” is the wrong question to ask. It’s like believing that it’s politically significant to vote Democrat. The Democrat / Republican question is the wrong question. They are both “wrong”, in the sense that they both serve the same master and lead to the same place. It’s a false question and a false choice. So it is with the Ordain Women movement.
If you are serious about this business of Women having the Priesthood, take a step back and realize the truth – you already have it. ALL of you. It came pre-installed in your being. Stop asking an invalid institution – or ANY institution, for that matter, to recognize it. Go alone to a mountain top, in a cave, under a tree, or in the desert, like so many great gurus who have gone before us and make your own personal connection to The Divine – and then get on with using your power to serve your fellow man. And woman. 😉