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June 25th, 2014
02:40 PM ET

Mormon feminist: l'll fight excommunication

(CNN) – Mormon Kate Kelly was excommunicated after she advocated for women to be ordained in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She told CNN on Wednesday that she'll fight for reinstatement in her church.

MORE ON CNN: Mormon feminist excommunicated for apostasy

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture wars • Discrimination • gender issues • Mormonism • Women

Hey religion, your misogyny is showing
Kate Kelly and Meriam Ibrahim have both been found guilty of apostasy by all-male councils.
June 25th, 2014
11:29 AM ET

Hey religion, your misogyny is showing

Opinion by Randal Maurice Jelks, special to CNN

(CNN) – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate from South Africa, called one of his books “God is Not a Christian.”

He might have added a subtitle, “God is not a man, either!”

One of the great problems in our world is patriarchy. The late James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, put best in song, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.”

Patriarchy assumes that men are made to lead and women are simply cooperative and reproductive subordinates.

These assumptions come to light in all kinds of ways, but especially through religion — the various faiths that treat women as though they are not equal to men.

We read it in the Quran and the Bible. We see it in iconic imagery, and religious taboos about sexuality, particularly women’s sexuality. And we see that around the world these days, from Salt Lake City to Sudan.

Men continue to dominate religious institutions, and use them to judge whether women can be in religious leadership or change faiths.

There is a direct link between Kate Kelly, a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter day-Saints, who was excommunicated on charges of apostasy, and Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her supposed apostasy.

And the link is deeper than the charge of abandoning one's faith.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Bible • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Culture wars • Discrimination • Faith • gender issues • Islam • Islamic law • Mormonism • Opinion • Persecution • Prejudice • Religious liberty • Sharia • Women

June 24th, 2014
10:45 AM ET

Mormon feminist excommunicated for apostasy

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) – Kate Kelly, a lifelong Mormon who’s spearheaded a fight for equal opportunities for women in her church, was convicted of apostasy Monday and excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The verdict, decided by a panel of male judges who convened Sunday, came to her by way of an e-mail sent by her former LDS Church bishop in Virginia, Mark Harrison. Kelly described the verdict as “exceptionally painful.”

“Today is a tragic day for my family and me as we process the many ways this will impact us, both in this life and in the eternities,” she said on Ordain Women’s site Monday.

“I love the gospel and the courage of its people. Don’t leave. Stay, and make things better.”

No harsher punishment exists for a Latter-day Saint.

Kelly was excommunicated “for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church,” Harrison wrote.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • gender issues • Mormonism • Women

How I learned to love polygamy
The Browns of reality TV show fame practice polygamy, which they call "plural marriage," for religious reasons.
December 18th, 2013
09:34 AM ET

How I learned to love polygamy

Opinion by Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, Special to CNN

(CNN) When I heard a federal judge struck down part of Utah’s polygamy law last week, I gave a little squeal of delight.

To be clear, I'm an Episcopal priest, not a polygamist.  But I've met the family who brought the suit, and these people changed how I think about plural marriage.

Before I met the Browns made famous by the reality television show “Sister Wives” I had the kind of reaction most modern-day Christians would have to their lifestyle: Polygamy hurts women. It offers girls a skewed perspective of who they can be. It happens on cultish compounds. It’s abusive.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Bigamy • Christianity • Ethics • Faith • Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints • gender issues • Opinion • Religious liberty • Sexuality • Women

Mormon Church 'satisfied' with Boy Scouts possibly lifting gay youth ban
The Boy Scouts of America has been considering a change in its longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members.
April 26th, 2013
08:20 AM ET

Mormon Church 'satisfied' with Boy Scouts possibly lifting gay youth ban

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it was "satisfied" with the Boy Scouts of America’s move to consider no longer denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation.

In a statement Thursday, the Mormon church called the issue “complex and challenging” and said it believed the Boy Scouts were making “a thoughtful, good-faith effort” to address the issue.

“We are grateful to BSA for their careful consideration of these issues," the statement said. “We appreciate the positive things contained in this current proposal that will help build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of youth as we work together in the future.”

The Boy Scouts of America said last week it would consider a proposal that would no longer deny membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation but would maintain its ban on openly gay adult leaders. The organization's executive committee made the proposal.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Mormonism • Politics • Sexuality

February 7th, 2013
05:24 AM ET

Boy Scouts delay gay ban

The Boy Scouts are delaying a vote on lifting its ban on gay membership. Is the Mormon church behind the decision? CNN's Erin Burnett reports.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Mormonism

January 29th, 2013
04:49 AM ET

Woman escapes with kids from Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

CNN's Gary Tuchman tells story of Ruby Jessop, who escaped with her children from Warren Jeffs polygamist Church.


Mormon linebacker helps lead Catholic Notre Dame to national championship game
Manti Te'o is a practicing Mormon and is a captain of the Notre Dame football team.
November 27th, 2012
11:33 AM ET

Mormon linebacker helps lead Catholic Notre Dame to national championship game

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - It was a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter that sealed the University of Notre Dame football team's Saturday victory over the University of Southern California and earned the No. 1-ranked team a trip to the national championship game.

Leading the bruising Fighting Irish defense was senior linebacker Manti Te'o, whose play this season has earned him consideration for the Heisman Trophy and has helped lead a storied squad back to the top of college football after years of floundering.

But Te'o initially struggled with the decision over whether to attend Notre Dame. The Catholic school's star linebacker is a committed Mormon.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Mormonism • Sports

Romney’s loss closes out ‘Mormon moment’
Mitt Romney attending church on Sunday earlier this year.
November 8th, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Romney’s loss closes out ‘Mormon moment’

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s defeat appears to close out a years-long “Mormon moment,” a period of national fascination with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It has also provoked Mormon disappointment; Romney would have been first Latter-day Saint in the White House, culminating a decades-long process of growing Mormon acceptance and influence.

But prominent Mormons and religion experts say Mormons should be heartened that Romney’s candidacy appeared to help mainstream the relatively young faith, which was founded in 1830 in upstate New York.

“Part of the Mormon moment was curiosity and much of that curiosity has been satisfied,” said John Green, professor of political science at the University of Akron.

“There will always be people who disagree with them,” Green said, “but the sense is that this community is part of the broad middle of American society.”

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

What would a Mormon White House look like?
If Mitt Romney is elected president, the White House will likely see some new traditions.
November 2nd, 2012
11:00 PM ET

What would a Mormon White House look like?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Should Mitt Romney win the presidency next Tuesday, it will mark an historic first: a Mormon couple moving into the White House.

What would this mean and look like?

Would there be “dry” state dinners, since faithful Mormons don’t do alcohol? Would Secret Service tag along to sacred ceremonies only open to worthy church members? What book would a President Mitt Romney use to take his oath of office?

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • DC • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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