http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index. ... 1208557071
Here is the opening post:
MatthewG wrote:So I keep stumbling on Anti-Mormon websites run by "Christians"/evangelicals/protestants who claim they are "exposing" the lies of Mormonism or as CRAM claims "witnessing" to Mormons.
My questions is, If this is truly a Christ-like activity, where is the LDS version? Where are all the LDS websites "witnessing to Christians" about the lies of Baptists, Methodists, Catholics etc as so many "Christian" sites do to us?
Is it MADB?
Well, we know that LDS do not go after these other Christians, per se, and that, instead, they go after Chapel Mormons. But the thread gets better very quickly:
semlogo wrote: Churches with a profit motive tend to put up those kinds of sites.
Huh. Does this therefore mean that SHIELDS and FARMS are in support of a "Church with a profit motive"---i.e., a Church that solicits thousands of dollars from wealthy LDS in order to finance apologetics; a Church which requests 10%+ of its members income?
Richard Abanes, who has been posting very frequently as of late, offers up this reply:
Please provide financial documentation that such activities/websites produces a profit (presumably of significant measure, given the tone of your accusatory comment) for various "Churches." Please list churches, financial reports, any other evidence. I would be very interested.
Yes, it's funny how the TBMs on MAD will accept that claim that Christian ministries are all in it for financial gain on the basis of zero evidence. Do you suppose that anyone on MAD will actually respond to R. Abanes's CFR? No. Of course not.
Semlogo immediately tries to backtrack (to little avail):
semlogo wrote:It was poorly worded. I meant those churches whose leadership directly & personally benefit financially from transferring folks from our religion to theirs. Of course the churches themselves are non-profit.
Do the leaders of the LDS Church "directly & personally benefit financially from transferring folks" from other religions? Do these Christian ministries have the same missionary force as the LDS Church? In a follow-up post, Abanes continues to throw the smack down:
rabanes wrote:My request for documentation still stands: CFR
Please provide financial documentation that such activities/websites produces a profit (presumably of significant measure, given the tone of your accusatory comment) for various "churches whose leadership directly & personally benefit financially from transferring folks from our religion to theirs." Please list churches, financial reports, individual leaders, and any other evidence. I would be very interested and it would be appreciated.
Here is thread-starter MatthewG's lame reply:
MatthewG wrote:Great an "Authority" about Mormons among us, hopeful you of all people, can provide me with such websites. Owned and operated by Mormons witnessing to "Chrisitans", Evangelicals, and protestants exposing their lies and dishonesty. At least 2 or 3 should do. Thank you in advance.
That's "2 or 3". And we know that FARMS utilizes a huge operating budget---one that climbs into the millions.
Interestingly, Semlogo's strange logic (does his screenname mean "semi-logical"?) continues:
semlogo wrote:I don't mean profit - I mean wages for the leadership.
Do churches publish the information information you're seeking? This request seems to be a thinly-veiled attempt to distract me with a wild goose chase for information (that may not even be available) about something that should be pretty obvious. It's in the best financial interests of remunerated clergy to demonize their competitors, and hopefully steal some of their customers in the most aggressive way possible. In the old days it was convert or die - easy, with minimal overhead. The best they can do these days are aggressive anti-cult ministries that borrow techniques from the various political muck rackers and dirt diggers.
Wow! What does he seem to be describing? It's just on the tip of my tongue....
Later, Smac97 swoops onto the scene in an effort to lend some levity to the discussion. Let's break down his post piece by piece:
smac wrote:My sense is that Mormons don't bother much with scrutinizing and finding fault with other religions for a few reasons:
1. We have been on the receiving end of mistreatment for our beliefs for a long time, and are therefore not inclined to reciprocate such behaviors (though individual Latter-day Saints may on occasion do so).
Yes, including many authors on SHIELDS, FAIR, and the FARMS Review rather more than "occasionally do so".
2. We are more interested in sharing our beliefs than in tearing down the beliefs of others.
Of course, if the "sharing" results in a "tearing down," that is all fine and good.
3. What time we have to devote to religious things tends to be taken up with studying things LDS and participating in LDS activities.
This is true.
4. We find little in Evangelical Protestantism that cannot be found in equal or greater measure in the LDS Church.
I thought he said that LDS don't tear down other religions?
5. The disarray, contradictions and infighting amongst the various Protestant denominations are unattractive to many (most?) observant Latter-day Saints, who are accustomed to and reliant upon visible, coherent and structured lines of authority.
<Ahem>. Meldrum, anyone?
6. Learning about other religions so as to better understand and respect them is great. But learning about other religions so as to tear down the tenets of their faith comes across as repellant and repulsive to Latter-day Saints.
Buddha and Mohammed received "a portion" of God's light?
Daniel Peterson has repeatedly referenced a vivid illustration of this point: Take a stroll through virtually any Evangelical-themed bookstore and you'll find a prominent section devoted to exposes and critiques of "cults." Then take a stroll through Deseret Book and note the absence of any such section.
You'll also notice that Des. Book's website does not carry books by M. Quinn or G. Palmer. Would Smac like the average TBM to "note the absence" of such things? In a later post, Smac attempts to offer up concrete evidence that ministries are in the game purely for profit:
smac wrote:1. CRI is a good place to start. They clearly have a profit motive in attacking other religions (ol' Hank seems to make a tidy sum in that business).
2. Ed Decker's Saints Alive website includes a plea for money with every newsletter.
3. The Tanners' website. They sell anti-mormon books for profit. I also recall that they regularly sought donations during their frivolous lawsuit against FAIR.
First, doesn't FARMS routinely ask people for money? Yes! And, in fact, they have a professional, Church-appointed fundraiser to help them do it. Second, do they sell "books for profit"? Yes! In fact, DCP stated in a separate MDB thread that they prefer not to deal with Amazon.com (despite its huge market) since doing so eats into FARMS's profit margins. The hypocrisy grows ever thicker on this MAD thread.
But wait. We aren't quite done yet.
Richard Abanes fires a torpedo straight into the TBMs' flank with this post:
rabanes wrote:This is what makes EVs shake their heads and look at Mormons as self-righteous and hypocritical (just telling it like it is from an EV perspective).
Your entire religion was founded by original members who did NOTHING but tear people down, spread lies, rumors, and act dishonestly. But let's just stick to the undeniable fact that Mormonism got started primarily by ripping at, criticizing, and attacking Christendom. And seeking to gain converts from out of Christendom. Need I remind anyone how it was Joseph Smith who started this thing off by declaring that so-called “Christianity” of his day (early 1830s) was COMPLETELY apostate — according to Joseph Smith, they had:
- a wrong concept of God,
- a mangled/perverted Bible,
- a skewed understanding of Jesus,
- a faulty idea of salvation, and all their ministers were corrupt.
This is why Mormonism began, as you all know, as the “restored” Christianity — i.e., the true Christianity that had been lost. Early Mormons, including its leaders, sought very hard to distance Mormonism from Christendom Christianity by attacking it mercilessly (please don't make me pull 19th century quotes).
Ouch! He's got a rather devastating point. The LDS Church would not exist if it hadn't been for Joseph Smith's divinely sanctioned attempts to "tear down" the faiths of the day. This really upsets a lot of the TBMs on the thread, including The Good Professor:
Daniel Peterson wrote:One of the many contrasts between militant evangelical Protestantism and my faith is our very different attitude toward those who disagree with us.
I find it enormously gratifying that we don't run "ministries," print tabloids, broadcast television shows, produce radio programs, generate curriculum materials, conduct seminars, organize picket lines, emit books, and circulate pamphlets dedicated to assaulting the religious beliefs of other people.
I find it sad, however, that the truculence of some of our evangelical brothers and sisters has made the cause of Christ a stench in the nostrils of decent people.rabanes wrote:Your entire religion was founded by original members who did NOTHING but tear people down, spread lies, rumors, and act dishonestly.
Anti-Mormonism at its purest, foulest, most contemptible, and most historically illiterate.
Hoo boy. Where to start with this? How about here:
DCP wrote:I find it enormously gratifying that we don't run "ministries," print tabloids, broadcast television shows, produce radio programs, generate curriculum materials, conduct seminars, organize picket lines, emit books, and circulate pamphlets dedicated to assaulting the religious beliefs of other people.
Anyone who has studied the FARMS Review, or the FAIR youtube videos, will know that this isn't true. There is a *ton* of this material. While one could debate whether or not these works "assault...the religious beliefs of other people" (why don't we ask Meldrum? or the various Christian critics who have been ridiculed by l-skinny, SHIELDS, or whomever else?), there is no question that the LDS Church and its various "arms" (or "tentacles"?) definitely produce a veritable forest of media.
Also, DCP's over-the-top response to Abanes's harsh, though valid point, seems telling.
Later, Abanes once again tries to appeal to reason, but DCP's dogmatism stands in the way:
DCP wrote:rabanes wrote:
I would agree if you are discussing "militant" anyone, including evangelicals.
There are no such "militant" Mormons.
Ah. Right. Pahoran does not exist. Neither do the authors of the FARMS Review hit pieces. Neither does the epithet-spewing Bill Hamblin. Nope: it's all fantasy. Sure.
So, where does that leave us? Well, my dear MDB brothers and sisters, we have now arrived at the best post of the entire MADthread. Many here have grown very weary and tired of criticism from myself and others dealing with the finances of apologetics. Over the course of several months, myself, Gadianton, Rollo Tomasi, and others have attempted to get to the bottom of FARMS's deep pockets, trying to follow the obscure money trail, often through a thick cloud of fog kicked up by DCP. Now, I know many---most notably Liz---have been irritated by this. I think, though, that we deserve credit, at the very least, for trying to rely upon actual evidence. Look at this:
Daniel Peterson wrote:phaedrus ut wrote:I'm still not aware of any of these anti-cult or anti-mormon ministries where financial gain can be seen as any motivating interest. If you are going to make a blanket statement as such you should be willing to provide at least one example.
I have strong reason to believe, though I cannot prove it beyond doubt, that financial gain has been a principal motivation for Ed Decker.
How many angry posts has DCP put up over here in response to speculations into the funding of FARMS? (Speculations supported with actual, documentary evidence, I might add.) How often has he flailed about in desperation, "joking" about how he and his pals don't actually earn any money for their apologetics?
I suppose all I can say is: Read it and weep.