One BYU professor’s quest to rescue prejudice from intellectual obloquy
Ralph Hancock started his three-part series at Times & Seasons by sounding the gay threat alarm, but couldn’t be bothered to actually discuss the nature of the threat, apparently in a rush to get to his third post, in which it’s explained that the real danger lies in something called secular liberal fundamentalism.
The series begins with an introduction to a project that sounds harmless enough (and even potentially useful):
For many years friends and I had considered the possibility of some kind of political-philosophy oriented educational foundation that would try to help religious people, and LDS in particular, to navigate the world of ideas as these concern politics, broadly understood.
But by the second installment, we’re apparently being told that one important idea Mormon audiences need to appreciate is that “prejudice” has gotten a bad rap.
This is not scholarship, it’s the kind of PR that American propaganda pioneer Edward Bernays made famous:
One of Bernays’ favorite techniques for manipulating public opinion was the indirect use of “third party authorities” to plead his clients’ causes.
The client in this case being the LDS church.
When the objective is to obfuscate, not enlighten, talking in circles becomes a tactical diversion.