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71 Mormon Bloggers Sign Letter Of Support For Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, Who Face Excommunication

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The proposed excommunication of two vocal activists from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has brought dozens of Mormon bloggers, writers and podcasters together in protest.

Kate Kelly, a human rights lawyer and founder of Mormon women's group Ordain Women, and John Dehlin, the creator of an online forum for Mormons questioning their faith, both received letters from their congregations informing them of disciplinary hearings that could result in their excommunication.

A group of 71 Mormon bloggers and podcasters came together over Father's Day weekend to draft a letter supporting freedom of speech and expression in the Church, quoting Mormon leader Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church.”

The bloggers write:

In light of possible disciplinary action against prominent voices among us, we the undersigned Mormon bloggers and podcasters affirm the value of the conversations that take place in the LDS “Bloggernacle” and express our hopes for greater understanding and compassion from all of us involved in current tensions.

Both Kelly and Dehlin are life-long Mormons and say they fear the message their potential excommunication sends to the larger Mormon community.

"Excommunicating me sends the message to thousands of church members who are struggling with doubts and questions that they are not welcome in the church," Dehlin told the Associated Press.

The bloggers' letter continues:

We ask our leaders to consider other ways of maintaining boundaries, strengthening Church members, and encouraging them to grow spiritually within Mormonism’s large and embracing community without the fear and despair the threat of excommunication sows not only in those threatened but in their families, friends, and those who share similar concerns about LDS Church doctrine or history—even those who do so silently.

The letter acknowledges that the issues Kelly and Dehlin raise -- women's roles in the Church, LGBT advocacy, questions of faith -- will not simply go away by scapegoating two prominent activists.

The issues in Mormon doctrine, history, and practice highlighted by those facing church discipline are much larger than any one individual. It is not only unavoidable that these issues will continue to be discussed; such discussion is good for the health of our religious community and faithful to the truth-seeking spirit of the Latter-day Saint Restoration.

"Disciplining arbitrarily and unfairly one person is not going to stop this movement," Kelly told AP.

The letter was signed by:

  • Dan Wotherspoon, Mormon Matters podcast
  • Jana Riess, Religion News Service
  • Natasha Helfer Parker, The Mormon Therapist blog
  • Paul Barker, Rational Faiths blog and podcast
  • Michael Barker, Rational Faiths blog and podcast
  • Mark Crego, A Thoughtful Faith Support Group (Facebook)
  • Lisa Butterworth, Feminist Mormon Housewives
  • Joanna Brooks, Feminist Mormon Housewives
  • Gina Colvin, KiwiMormon blog
  • Lindsay Park, Feminist Mormon Housewives
  • Jared Anderson, Mormon Sunday School podcast
  • Daniel Parkinson, No More Strangers blog
  • Bill McGee, Sunstone
  • Mary Ellen Robertson, Sunstone
  • Stephen Carter, Sunstone
  • Michael Stevens, Sunstone
  • Chelsea Shields Strayer, LDS WAVE
  • Tresa Edmunds, LDS WAVE
  • Chelsea Robarge Fife, Mormon Feminist Cooperative
  • Kalani Tonga Tukaufu, Feminist Mormon Housewives
  • David Landrith, Mormon Mentality
  • Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, Mormon Matters podcast
  • Jerilyn Hassell Pool, Rational Faiths blog
  • Spencer Lake, Clean Cut blog
  • Brittany Morin-Mezzadri, TheLadyMo blog
  • Katie Langston, Feminist Mormon Housewives blog
  • Hannah Wheelwright, Young Mormon Feminists blog
  • Erin Moore, Young Mormon Feminists blog
  • Kimberly Lewis, Feminist Mormon Housewives
  • Nikki Hunter, Feminist Mormon Housewives
  • Nancy Ross, Nickel on the ‘Nacle blog
  • Mark Brown, The Mormon Hub (Facebook)
  • Alicia Jones, LDS Left (Facebook)
  • Elise Villescaz, LDS Left (Facebook)
  • Emily Summerhays, Feminist Mormon Housewives
  • Mindy Farmer, The Inquisitive Mom blog
  • Jeff Krey, A Thoughtful Faith Support Group (Facebook)
  • Lori Burkman, Rational Faiths blog
  • Laura Compton, Mormons for Marriage
  • Alison Moore Smith, Mormon Momma blog
  • Heather Olsen Beal, Doves and Serpents blog
  • Brent Beal, Doves and Serpents blog
  • Ed Snow, Doves and Serpents blog
  • Erin Hill, Doves and Serpents blog
  • Meghan Raynes, Exponent blog
  • Aimee Hickman, Exponent blog
  • Rachel Hunt, Exponent blog
  • Liz Johnson, Exponent blog
  • Libby Potter Boss, Exponent blog
  • Heather Moore-Farley, Exponent blog
  • April Young Bennett, Exponent blog
  • Deborah Farmer Kris, Exponent blog
  • Jessica Oberan Steed, Exponent blog
  • Carolyn Kline, Exponent blog
  • April Carlson, Exponent blog
  • Sariah Anne Kell, Exponent blog
  • Chelsea Sue, Exponent blog
  • Emily Clyde Curtis, Exponent blog
  • Emily Updegraff, Exponent blog
  • Dayna Patterson, Doves and Serpents blog
  • Cheryl Bruno, Worlds Without End blog
  • Katie Evans, Zelophehad’s Daughters blog
  • Mike Cannon, Zelophehad’s Daughters blog
  • Kristy Benton, All Are Alike Unto God blog
  • Lori LeVar Pierce, All Are Alike Unto God blog
  • Rebecca Reid Linford, All Are Alike Unto God blog
  • Paula Goodfellow, All Are Alike Unto God blog
  • Cheryl McGuire, All Are Alike Unto God blog
  • Kay Gaisford, All Are Alike Unto God blog
  • Lorlalie Pallotta, All Are Alike Unto God blog
  • Wendy Reynolds, All Are Alike Unto God blog

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