Thursday, December 3, 2015

Comments on John Dehlin's interview with Bill Reel

I attempted to post these comments on the Mormon Stories website earlier today, but as I expected based on previous experience, they did not survive the moderation queue.

Responding to someone comparing the editing/removal of Bill's material to the editing of Elder Poelman's talk given in 1984:

Elder Poelman actually rewrote his own talk after realizing how it might be used by fundamentalists. You can see the real story here. And Bill Reel actually requested that his material be removed, and then later suggested that it might be modified as necessary. Neither of these things were done until later, so he may have forgotten, but he was clearly OK with these things happening at the time he parted ways with FairMormon.

And then in response to the podcast in general (with some additional information added):

If I may make a few clarifications, the reason that you have difficulty getting apologists on your podcast is not that they can't "defend the indefensible," but that they don't want to attract further attention or lend credibility to a podcast series that tends to damage faith. Bill Reel himself said in his first interview that he was attracted to Mormon Stories by the interviews with Bushman and/or Givens, if I remember correctly.

And the reason why the FairMormon Support Board was shut down is that there were a few individuals (including Bill Reel) that were repeatedly shepherding people in the wrong direction, and there was not sufficient manpower to effectively moderate it. It was determined that it was not doing what it was intended for, and so a new site is being worked on with a different format that should work better.

I already mentioned in an earlier comment that Bill himself asked that his material be removed or edited at the time that he parted ways with FairMormon. This was not done immediately, but his activities eventually crossed a line. As explained on the FairMormon Blog:
Many of our volunteers contribute content in other venues, such as on personal blogs, in scholarly publications, and in podcasts. When a current or former FairMormon volunteer publishes views that contradict the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or accuses Church leaders of wrongdoing, malicious intent, and so forth, it may become confusing or harmful to FairMormon’s audience, and contrary to FairMormon’s mission, to maintain that volunteer’s content on our website. Because FairMormon is a trusted entity for many Latter-day Saints and sincere investigators, FairMormon must avoid endorsing external content that opposes our mission and the Church’s values.

FairMormon is constantly accused of ad hominem, but when asked for examples, the accuser always comes up short. Some time ago, John Dehlin even asked for examples on Facebook, and as I recall the only thing that anyone was able to come up with was an acrostic in an article for the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon (which was published by a different organization).

1 comment:

  1. I'm shocked and disgusted that Mormon Stories would delete offensive comments after all of the complaining they do about the church covering up mistakes in church history.

    I had a lot of the same thoughts as you as I listened. Thanks for writing.