Now and then you see something which makes you think that the writers for The Onion have outdone themselves. But some things are beyond parody, so we are forced to conclude, yet again, that life is strange. Brothers and sisters, read it and weep:
The candidate is quoted elsewhere as saying that space concerns prevented him from inviting active LDS women to the meetings, but he said they’ll still receive his message because they have “the same political views as their husbands.” Rammell said LDS women also realize that the White Horse prophecy says LDS men will be the ones to save the Constitution. “I think the LDS women will understand,” he said. [Note: The church has issued a statement clarifying that the White Horse prophecy is of questionable provenance and is not considered authoritative doctrine at this time.]
Let’s leave aside the question as to exactly what it is about the intersection of Mormonism and conservative politics which so often compels people to put on a clown suit and make fools of themselves every chance they get. Let’s focus on the fact that Br. Rammell — a lifelong latter-day saint — thinks it’s OK to have men-only public meetings, and that women shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads.
Are his views widespread? I think he is an aberration, but I don’t think these retrograde views are uncommon in the church. After all, he is able to fill chairs at his LDS men-only meetings, so there must be plenty of people in the gem state who like his approach, or who at least are not bothered by it. In the aftermath of 9/11, Arab-Americans were told that they had the responsibility to differentiate themselves from the terrorists, and that until they themselves condemned what was being done in the name of Islam, the rest of us had no choice but to assume the worst about them. I think this is a time for church members and sane conservative people to make it clear that Br. Rammell’s approach has nothing to do with Mormonism. We should also acknowledge that some of our rhetoric about traditional gender roles has contributed to the gross offense he has perpetrated. It is one thing if he wants to turn himself into a laughingstock; it is another thing entirely if he wants to drag the church along with him.
I propose excommunication, on the grounds that he is spreading false doctrine and also because he is damaging the reputation of the church. After all, we have ex’ed others, including women, for the same offenses on a much smaller scale. He and five of his supporters could be called the January Six. Then we could have the February Six, the March Six, and so on, until the issue is settled.
Of course, this won’t happen. We will store up our righteous indignation for something really outrageous, like when a woman in our ward abandons her children, husband, softness and femininity and takes a job outside the home. Then we will give her both barrels.