The Mormon Church Isn’t Big On Free Speech

Last week, Jamie Reno reported on David Twede, a Mormon blogger who ran afoul of the church's hierarchy and faces excommunication. Twede printed articles critical of Romney and exposed "secret" rituals anyone with an Internet connection can learn about. Jessica Ravitz checks in on the story:

Twede admits that what’s driving this prospective spiritual slap-down seems to be a matter of debate. Was it Twede’s criticism of Romney or something else? … The New York Times reported that it was Twede's public admission that he was trying to sway the beliefs of others at church that got him into trouble. The Salt Lake Tribune said it was his sharing of details about sacred LDS temple ceremonies – disclosures that faithful Mormons find offensive – that raised concerns. The LDS Church is staying mum.

Joanna Brooks puts the story in context:

While the institutional LDS Church once preferred to manage controversial elements of its own history—for example, the polygamy of Joseph Smith, or questions about the origins of the Book of Mormon—by presenting carefully crafted lessons in its own manuals, leaving more complicated discussions to scholarly journals and progressive magazines known to only a minority of Church members, the internet has now put an array of information within a mouse-click of questioning members. Some members report feeling betrayal when they encounter on the internet unexpected information that runs contrary to what they’ve learned from their parents and teachers, especially after they’ve made deep investments in their faith.

That question of openness—the matter and manner in which the LDS community sorts through its own history and practices—is a source of tension among Mormons today. … The questions and feelings stirred up by David Twede’s impending Church court are profound beyond partisan politics.