As many of you know (and perhaps celebrated), this past week there was a magical holiday — celebrated mostly only in Utah, and only truly appreciated by those of us with pioneer heritage — Pie and Beer Day!!! (Or something like that…) Time to reflect upon the sacrifices made by the early Mormons, and maybe learn some real history.
In addition to the increase in empathy and communication surrounding this whole NY Times Swedish–Rescue story, there was new and interesting observation from Simon Southerton (not just the vanishing evidence):
Almost everything published by FARMS, FAIR and the Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University appears with the following sort of disclaimer.
“The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Now we know the truth. When Church leaders are in a corner and are forced to respond to difficult questions they assume the exact same position as LDS apologists at BYU. The church can no longer plausibly deny that the views of the Maxwell Institute do not represent the position of the church. When push comes to shove the church’s unofficial apologists are official after all.
On a related note, I kind of agree with Ben Huff’s assessment:
Rather, we need more unofficial auxiliaries. In addition to church sources like the Ensign or BYU, we need independent institutions like Southern Virginia University, like FARMS or Interpreter, like the bloggernacle, like Halestorm Entertainment, like the Mormon Scholars Foundation.
In other words, the problem isn’t simply that “Correlation” dumbs-down the materials produced by the Church Office Building, but that the CoJCoL-dS jealously guards its authority and behaves with hostility towards any kind of dialog that isn’t “official”, acting as though the most terrifying threat to the organization is leaders that arise organically as opposed to being promoted by the official hierarchy.
Which reminds me — it’s time for the Sunstone Symposium!!! If you have the chance to be in Utah, be sure to attend — it will be worth your time! And while you’re at it, why not join this book club or take this survey…?
In Theology, J G-W compared his situation to being in Spirit Prison and Roger Hansen argued for Joseph Smith’s Transhumanism. It’s perhaps a positive impulse to want to believe the Bible is more ethical than it actually is, but this reaction to the “why millennials are leaving the church” most matches mine. Who Counts These Bodies, Anyway? Also, why did Nephi need to get the golden plates? Plus other communication fails.