What does the excommunication of John and Kate mean for the Bloggernacle?

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I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but the New York Times reports that John Dehlin and Kate Kelly face excommunication with church leaders.

I’m not going to discuss the morality or the logistics of these actions. I’m sure there will many others who will. What I am interested in is how this will affect the Bloggernacle.

Our Thoughts has been around for 11 years. It’s one of the oldest LDS-themed blogs, and about six months after it’s founding is when others started to pop up everywhere.

The Bloggernacle has served as a great vehicle for discussion difficult issues or questions without anyone fearing judgement or retribution. People felt comfortable expressing their doubts, and many found it cathartic and encouraging.

With Dehlin and Kelly facing excommunication, will it change the Bloggernacle. Will people stop asking difficult questions or sharing troubling doubts? Will people end up leaving the church because there’s nowhere to work through their challenges?

What do you think?

15 thoughts on “What does the excommunication of John and Kate mean for the Bloggernacle?

  1. “Will people stop asking difficult questions or sharing troubling doubts?”

    I hope and pray yes.

    “Will people end up leaving the church because there’s nowhere to work through their challenges?”

    I hope and pray yes.

    Perhaps those who really believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can once again have time to focus on the basics of Faith They won’t have to deal with murmurers, whiners, and tantrums.

      1. Kim, Joseph Smith didn’t seek to change the Methodist or any other Church. He was instructed to not join any of them, and then to form his own. There is a lesson and a hint there.

    1. wow. i’ve never read this blog before and never expected to comment, but your comment was like a punch in the gut. John Dehlin’s works have been an incredible source of strength and comfort to me this past year since my husband has told me he no longer believes in the gospel. you hope and pray that i will leave the church because there may no longer be anywhere for me to work through my doubts, fears, and challenges? that is incredibly hurtful and unchristlike.

      1. Thanks for commenting. John has done a lot for me, too, and we have had a few close discussions about dissonance and church discipline. He is the epitome of President Uchtdorf’s talk from last fall.

        1. I agree. I read this in the comments section of another blog, and it hit the nail on the head for me: If John is excommunicated, that tells members even trying to help others stay in the church is worthy of discipline. Because John is also supportive of LGBTQ rights, by threatening him more than once the church has clearly stated members who support gay marriage will not be welcomed.

  2. You were one of the first blogs I started following all those years ago. I wonder, too. I wonder if more of us will get called on the carpet. I hope not. I don’t have any answers right now. I just feel an anguished bond between all of us. Not because of a threat to my church membership, but because when I found the bloggernacle, I found hope. It was a place I could voice my opinions and learn from others without feeling like a total reject. Without that, I don’t know where I would—or will—be. I told a friend I feel alone. Alone with all you guys.

    1. Thanks, annegb. I have found a lot of peace and hope through the Bloggernacle, and it would be sad to see it gone or sanitized.

  3. There seems to be a fair amount of paranoia abroad in the Bloggernacle that this may be the beginning of a wider purge. I don’t think so. The Otterson letter provides a clue as to why not (emphasis mine): “Yet there are a few people with whom Public Affairs and General Authorities do not engage, such as individuals or groups who make non-negotiable demands for doctrinal changes that the Church can’t possibly accept.”

    They are not trying to shut the door on Bloggernacle discussions. They are trying to shut the door on public confrontations with the media present. Hardly anybody on the Bloggernacle (outside of FMH) is engaging in that. So I say blog away and relax. But keep demands for change out of the mainstream media.

    1. I hope you’re right, LL, but I’m still going to continue holding back on what I post, as I have been for the last year or so.

  4. To answer the question of the post, of course the bloggernacle will change. Worldly ideological fads and moral preening will continue to characterize it as ever. If the non-orthodox value their membership, they will temper their rhetoric, and others, who don’t value it quite so highly, won’t.

    But that is to say “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”.

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