When the June 2014 story broke of Kate Kelly, I immediately thought of Anne Hutchinson. Kelly, is a long-time Morman and human rights lawyer. She is fighting for equality in the Church (what a concept!) and the founder of Ordained Woman which is a group of gals who want to preach in their own (Mormon) church. Kelly was convicted of apostasy (the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief), and ex-communicated.
Anne Hutchinson was convicted of heresy (an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teachings) and sedition (actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority) and was banished! And she, like Kate Kelly, was ex-communicated from her Church. But this was back in 1634. HER crime? Preaching to women and challenging "church doctrines".
Twilight Zone music here…
Ms. Hutchinson, nurse, bible teacher, midwife and all around multi-tasking Mama, was not your average, quiet, submissive housewife and mother of the Colonial period. No. She was the Mother of The First Amendment. Via Cornell:
The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.
Pregnant with her fifteenth child and forty-six years old, Anne Hutchinson STOOD before a panel of male judges who said to her:
"Mrs Hutchinson, you are called here as one of those that have troubled the peace of the commonwealth and the churches here; you are known to be a woman that hath had a great share in the promoting and divulging of those opinions that are the cause of this trouble."
Kate Kelly was told - also by a panel of male judges- the following (via NBC):
"The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other Church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others. In order to be considered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood."
Kate Kelly heard this from her church the same week the Supreme Court struck down the McCullen v. Coakley law that created a buffer zone around abortion clinics. SCOTUS said the "pro-life" peeps' First Amendment rights were being violated. Free speech, right to protest, oy veh. I wonder if any of Supreme Court judges have seen the documentary "After Tiller".
How could SCOTUS mistake free speech for harassment? And of course, THEY are enjoying THEIR buffer zone around THEIR building. Via the NY Times:
“Many women have abortions because they feel they have no other option or because they are pressured by a boyfriend or parent,” said Eleanor McCullen, a plaintiff in the case, McCullen v. Coakley, No. 12-1168. “Today’s ruling means I can offer loving help to a woman who wants it, and neither of us will go to jail for the discussion.”
LOVING HELP! DISCUSSION?
So Kate Kelly was ex-communicated for basically "trying to persuade other church members..." and Anne Hutchinson was banished for having a "belief different from the establishment" but the "pro-lifers" are allowed to"persuade - HARASS - women who have a belief DIFFERENT than theirs??