I usually don't highlight "current" posts here - preferring to link to posts throughout the Bloggernacle that might have faded from the memories of those who read them when they first were published or missed by those who do not read as many blogs as I do. I am making an exception today, since there were two very different posts written last week about the Priesthood ban policy.
As those know who have read my blog over time, that policy (and all race-related policies and actions) are near and dear to my heart. Rather than add extensive commentary here in the actual post, I simply am going to provide links to two posts with very different outlooks regarding the ban - then add a short postscript comment here.
First, Margaret Blair Young has worked extensively with Darius Gray, the founding president of the Genesis Group - an officially sanctioned support group for African-American LDS members. She wrote three posts for By Common Consent, the third of which I am linking here. (To read the previous two, simply scroll down the home page at BCC and read them there.)
"All God's Critters: Some Thoughts on the Priesthood Restriction and Differing Opinions"
Next, R.Gary wrote a response to Margaret's post(s).
"LDS Prophets Tag-Teamed at BCC about the Pre-1978 Priesthood restriction"
I don't want to try to summarize either post. I much prefer to let them speak for themselves. I only want to make one point here:
It is wrong - dead wrong - to characterize those who believe the Priesthood ban policy was not ordained but rather was allowed by God as apostate, faithless, unbelieving, etc. (To be clear, R.Gary did not do so in his post; it was stated in a few comments in the thread that followed.) Those who believe so are no less dedicated to the Restored Gospel and the LDS Church than those who believe the ban was God's will.
It boggles my mind (and I mean, literally, that it is incomprehensible to me) that anyone would view Darius Gray (by association with their condemnation of Margaret's posts) as anything less than one of the most obvious examples of faith and endurance and Christ-like love we have in the LDS Church - now or in any other time of its modern existence. Disagreeing with the origin of the ban is one thing; citing Margaret Blair Young, J. Stapley, Darius Gray or anyone else who sees this issue as we do and questioning why we bother to identify as LDS is quite another thing.
I find it instructive that Margaret, in her post, mentions someone who disagrees with her about this issue - and speaks of him as a wonderful, faithful, loved brother in Christ. I obviously disagree with R.Gary with regard to the question of the ban's origin, but I do believe he is a faithful member of the LDS Church. I don't doubt that - not at all. I respect him greatly, even as I don't agree with his view on this issue. I appreciate that he did not question the "LDS-ness" of Margaret, J, Darius and others.
I write this post simply to show two very different ways faithful LDS members can view the ban - and to beg anyone who reads this post to refrain from the disdain and judgment that easily clouds our discussion of sensitive issues like this.