[The following was written by a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous. It is posted here with my friend's permission.]
John Dehlin continues to spin his narrative that his support for same-sex marriage and ordain women are the central issues in his excommunication. Ironically, he explicitly denies this while simultaneously defending it. On his public Facebook profile, he writes:
1) I don't believe that I've ever claimed that SSM and OW were the only reasons, or even the two predominant reasons, that a DC has been called. If I have made that claim, I would be happy to make a correction.
Then, his very next statement reads:
2) I feel COMPLETELY justified in claiming that my support for OW and SSM were main causes for the DC, mostly because my stake president specifically listed OW and my support for SSM as problems when we were discussing his 3rd point on the letter (re: apostate groups).
So, first we have an explicit denial that he ever even claimed those were the primary causes for the disciplinary action, then we have strong statement that at least implicitly accepts that he has been claiming those as the primary causes, and that he feels entirely justified in so doing. The remainder of the post is spent trying to argue that same-sex marriage and Ordain Women were key parts of the pending disciplinary action. One of his arguments is that nothing else has changed in the last year.
4) What changed over the past year? I can tell you one thing that changed. I gave a TEDx talk in November that made very explicit and public my support for SSM. Then, in Jan/Feb, (I forget the date) I released my OW profile.
But are we really to believe that until about a year ago, John didn’t support same-sex marriage and giving women the priesthood, and that this support was not well known? Let’s be serious. Nothing has changed over the past year, and that is exactly the point. Church discipline is about repentance, and repentance is literally change. So the issue is not that something has changed, but that nothing has. John’s been given more than enough time to repent without disciplinary action, and has not. I suppose one thing that has changed in the last year is that he made it explicitly clear that he has absolutely no intentions of repenting. So, necessary action is being taken.
Getting back to the main point, it is clear that Dehlin wants to both appear to be honestly acknowledging the complexity of issues involved while simultaneously defending his simplistic persecution narrative. So I’ve got just one question for him: Which is it, John? Are SSM and OW primary causes of the disciplinary action taken against you, or not? You say you are happy to make a correction, so please set the record straight here. Of course, you are well aware that making a “correction” now is going to make little difference to the narrative you have already set in motion, aren’t you? If you are sincere in wanting to set the record straight, I would ask you to please contact the New York Times and other major media outlets and ask them to publish a retraction of the claim that your support for same-sex marriage and Ordain Women are the primary reasons for your disciplinary hearing. And it would be ideal if you could do so without the double speak.