But at least in the case of parent and child, there is true love behind the discipline. We do punish our children for their own good, or at least we think we do. - So they'll be considerate of others, so they'll learn the value of a dollar, so they'll keep from killing themselves, etc. We're big, they're small, and they're our responsibility. So, for the first decade or two of our children's lives, we're forever on their case - lecturing, nagging, lending endless advice, and otherwise driving them completely crazy. Out of love.
But when the "for your own good" argument is used on adults it too often becomes an excuse for abuse. Such is the case with LDS Church disciplinary councils - or so-called "courts of love."
"Love" is one of those big words that Mormon leaders don't understand.
This week when Ordain Women founder, Kate Kelly, learned that she had been excommunicated by an LDS "court of love," she reportedly sobbed uncontrollably.
Meanwhile, shortly after Kelly's expulsion became public, the LDS General Young Women's President, Bonnie L. Oscarson issued a video statement, claiming:
"Those who are struggling for whatever reason should be able to find within our sisterhood a spirit of warmth, inclusion, and love."Warmth? Inclusion? Love? Anyone out there buying that? I'm very relieved to hear that Kate Kelly isn't. When asked if she believed her leaders were ostracizing her for her own good Kelly replied:
"That's classic language of an abusive relationship, where a person abusing and hurting you says they're doing it out of love."Kudos to Kate for standing firm. For recognizing that abuse is not love and for realizing that nothing less than equality for women will do. I wish her and the brave members of Ordain Women success as they champion their cause.
Bridget Jack Jeffries said it best in her op-ed in Wednesday's Salt Lake Tribune:
"If you have to constantly reassure someone that you really do love them, value them and respect them, it may be because your actions are telling a different story. In any case, there is no such thing as equality without equal access to authority. Therefore, any talk of Mormon women being equal to Mormon men free from ordination to the priesthood is perfect nonsense."And the male church leaders' claim that they love women and consider us as equals? An empty assertion that bears no resemblance to reality.
But then, "reality" is another one of those big words that Mormon leaders don't understand.