Thursday, December 19, 2013

Recently there has been some heartburn in the Mormon Church (and some acid reflux among its critics) over the Wear Pants to Church movement.

Reuters reported:
"Organizers said pants day events were to be held worldwide on Sunday, but there was no official word on how many women turned up at church in pants around the world. Mary Ellen Robertson, director of the Sunstone Symposium, an annual forum on Mormon culture and scholarship, said: 'There has been a lot of movement in the Church this year. Whether those baby steps add up to a bigger step, we'll see.'"
This is a group of women and some men who demand that the Mormon Church ordain women to its Priesthood. In order to draw attention to their crusade, they periodically ask their female legions to wear pants and their male counterparts to wear purple ties to the LDS sacrament meetings (where the Eucharist is celebrated). Whether this meeting is the best place to air your social grievances is debatable, but I have my own take on the issue.

So many really consequential things we face each day, and here we have a group that wants to wear pants and purple ties to church. Go ahead. Wear the pants. Wear the ties.  Express your outrage in sacrament meeting, but is this the best of all possible places to express outrage?

Here's what it sounds like to me:
"If you don't give me the Priesthood, I'm going to wear pants to church and try to break into your meetings!  If you don't give me the Priesthood I'm going to hold my breath until I die!"
Sisters, having had my conscience raised in the 60s and 70s, I recommend real protest if your are serious. Ladies...if you want the Priesthood that badly, break some stuff and hurt some people. Chain yourself to the temple gates. Lie down in front of missionaries' bicycles. Get some real attention. Put something on the line. None of this namby-pamby wear-pants-to-church-purple-ties faux protest stuff. 

Some may say this represents a tiny portion of the Mormon Church, but I am here to say somewhere, some place, in some ward in this vast Church of ours today, a sister wore pants because she wants to be ordained to the Priesthood. She is down for the struggle! Viva la revolution!

And here she is...the one who wore pants. And people talked behind her back! The horror! 

"There are members of my (congregation) that were really unhappy with my choice. They didn't make it known to me, but they complained behind my back," organizer Jerilyn Hassell Pool, of Medford, Oregon, told Reuters. 

But now the movement has manifested itself here on the slopes of Mt. Rainier, making the issue personal for me, in the spirit of my alter-ego Bernardo Gui:

A woman wore pants in our sacrament meeting yesterday. The whole Relief Society was clucking behind her back. She and her husband were investigators attending for the first time. He was in jeans and a work shirt. A member of the bishopric was designated by the High Priests to take him aside and ask him not to come back if he wouldn't wear
gray Dockers, white shirt, and conservative tie. Last night I played in the orchestra for a local stake's sing-along Messiah. It was a good performance, but unfortunately marred by several insensitive women in the audience who chose to wear pants. Something about there not being enough sisters in the viola section.

Seriously, though, what actually occurred was the audience was filled with men wearing purple ties because I was the only man in a viola section of 7 women. I was the odd man out. Well, any man who plays viola is odd and out.

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