John Dehlin is making waves throughout the blogsphere and LDS circles. The LDS church is going to excommunicate him for being an outspoken LGBT ally, supporter of OW and for not being believing. The trial is complete and for some reason, divine revelation takes three days to send a letter for John. I guess God’s internet is down (Damn Comcast is everywhere these days).
Below is a short list of contemporary individuals still counted as members on the rosters of the church, and their crimes for which they were not excommunicated.
Jodi Arias killed her former boyfriend Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008. He was killed at his home in Mesa, Arizona. He had been shot in the face and stabbed some 27 times, his throat slit from ear to ear. the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. On November 26, 2006, Arias was baptized into the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints by Travis. Jodi was not excommunicated
Jason Derek Brown shot an armored car driver five times in the head in 2004. He then stole $54,000. He is still one of America’s Most Wanted, but was not excommunicated.
Mark Hacking reported his wife missing on 19 Jul 2004. Her body was found three months later (01 Oct 2004) in a Salt Lake landfill. His trial happened on 18 Apr 2005. He has not been excommunicated
A 63-year-old suspect/Davis County man wanted for an alleged scheme that took tens of millions has his set for an initial court hearing in July in Salt Lake City used the cachet of two Utah institutions — the LDS Church and the Boy Scouts of America — to bilk his victims. He has not yet been excommunicated
Gary Sheets was acquitted on 45 counts of fraud because “he was just a poor manager” and lost the $23 million due to poor investments. Was not excommunicated nor was a trial ever held (Dehlin on the other hand has committed no crime and has a trial)
Allen and Wendell Jacobson reported by Federal Agents to be the single largest fraud ever in the state of Utah. Wendell was excommunicated prior to the investigation. Allen was not excommunicated ever. Wendell oversaw excommunications of members for supporting the ERA back in the 70’s
Quentin L. Cook, sued for civil fraud, made an apostle shortly later. Faithful members created websites to point out the issues. Still not excommunicated
Paul H. Dunn lied to members for personal profit and was never excommunicated
Richard Roswell Lyman committed adultery while an apostle, was excommunicated, and then had all of his blessings restored later.
So one can commit murder, even grisly murder that has hallmarks of the religion involved (Slitting a throat ear to ear) and not be excommunicated. One can defraud the membership of the church of millions and not be excommunicated (to the church’s credit, there were several members who were excommunicated after committing fraud, but it seems to be some of that “Priesthood authority roulette” that John Dehlin talks about. One can even commit a gross ethical error or lie to all the church members and escape excommunication.
But if you say “We should be nice to gay people, and asks the brethren to pray about a question women have; and ya know, I may just like to be part of the religion”; excommunication seems to be justified in members minds. It reminds me of another member who was excommunicated for thought crimes:
Helmuth Huebener – Excommunicated for opposing Hitler
When one can commit real crimes and not be questioned by leaders; but if one commits thought crimes and one is excommunicated or put on trial for excommunication, one really must question if the God that would do such excommunication is actually just.
“Hey, buddy; you stole a bunch of old people’s life savings and murdered a few people… its all good. You’re in heaven; at least you’re not like that guy who said that “Gay people need an ally. Sheesh; what a loser” – God
Update and edits: Church Handbook of instructions:
“Excommunication…may be necessary…Church leaders whose transgressions significantly impair the good name or moral influence of the Church in the community that is aware of the transgression.”
Bundy, a farmer who led an insurrection against the government and Justice Bybee who authorized torture have both been suggested repeatedly that I mention on this post. Both of whom remain in good standing with the church.
Matthew Shepherd‘s murderers were not excommunicated, I guess because beating gays isn’t as wrong as encouraging people to treat them decently.
Along with that Boyd K. Packer get’s an honorable mention for suggesting to missionaries and leaders that “flooring” a homosexual (meaning to hit one) was an acceptable action.