I am Spartacus

If you aren’t familiar with Kubrick’s classic, Spartacus, you ought to see it at your earliest opportunity.

These past few weeks have been difficult for fringey Mormons like myself. As I write this, we have yet to learn the ecclesiastical fates of John Dehlin and Kate Kelly (and, apparently many others across Mormondom).

I don’t really want to contribute to the idea that they are Martyrs for the Cause. I still think it is premature to believe that a Great Purge has just begun. But recent events have contributed to an ominous feeling amongst those of us who are outspoken. Regardless of whether or not there is some big, top-down and deliberate cleansing going on, the winds seem to have shifted.

I’m not sure what to do about all of this. Indeed, if these disciplinary actions have shown us anything, it is that it is a big problem that people like John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, and hundreds of others who participate in online forums and blogs really have no other recourse. The Church is in desperate need of some institutional avenue for constructive, internal discussion.

Absent such internal channels, all it seems that I can do is impotently declare: “I am John Dehlin! I am Kate Kelly! I am doubting and increasingly unwilling to stay quiet about it! All is not well in Zion, and somebody ought to do something about it!”

But it doesn’t seem like anyone is going to hear…

So — I don’t have anything constructive to say (if you want something good to read about this, I suggest you go over to this post), but I am really tired of feeling my religion shrink around me. Mormonism certainly has a lot of warts, but there is something beautiful and expansive that seems to want to get out of it. I pray we don’t let that big Mormonism get smothered by too much attention to drawing the boundaries tighter and tighter.


About Brad

I am a rather typical — or perhaps just not atypical — example of a 21st century, “uncorrelated” Mormon. My “Mormon Story” is (I have learned) rather cliche. I was raised by goodly parents, we went to church, followed the letter of the word of wisdom, abstained from the baser elements of the culture, etc. I served an honorable mission, enrolled at BYU, got married in the temple, and never seriously doubted until beginning a PhD program far beyond the Mormon corridor.

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