Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Gender and the Priesthood

On Times and Seasons today, they had an interesting post that hypothesizes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints puts out a declaration that mandates leaders come from minorities because too many Caucasians have leadership roles.  In the end, it was to talk about women getting leadership roles in the church.  Right now in the LDS Church, just as in most churches, the Priesthood leadership is made up of men.  Is there a possibility in the future that this could change?  Sure.  If it does, I will certainly support it.  At this time though, I don’t believe that it would happen, nor do I think it’s wise.  Why is that?  Read on for my top 2 reasons:
  1. The Proclamation on the Family.  The church has pushed the importance of traditional family roles, with the father being a provider and the mother at the center of the family.  What if women were suddenly available to be Bishops, Stake Presidents, or General Authorities?  The church is now taking them out of their traditional roles and putting the father there.  While I think I do a great job with my kids, I can’t imagine putting me in that role instead of my wife.  She is absolutely incredible with the kids and I’m so grateful that she’s able to stay home with them.  To take her away from that for extended periods of time would be absolutely incompatible with established church doctrine, not to mention harmful to the most important group in the church: the family.
  2. The blending of the genders.  This is something that I’m really not a fan of.  I know it runs counter to the past 40 years, but there are some fundamental differences between men and women.  For starters, there are the obvious physical differences, but there are also other differences too.  Men and women mature differently.  They have different types of brains.  I’m not just making this up, there’s a whole host of scientific data to back it up.  I hate to break it to people, but there is a big difference between your typical man and your typical woman.  I certainly think there are areas where it can blend, and gender equality is important, but so are having specific roles.  Women tend to be better multitaskers, they tend to be more maternal, and they tend to be more empathetic.  Men tend to be better at cutting through a single task, they tend to be more aggressive, and they tend to be more aloof from a situation.  What is it that children need?  I would argue that while they need both, if they had to have one or the other, I’d choose the female traits.  It’s not to say that either is better than the other overall, but I would absolutely argue that in the most important area of life - raising the next generation - women are better than men.  As such, I think that commoditizing women and their role by tossing them together with men eliminates the things that make them special in the first place.