In any case, "Sic et Non" rather excitedly linked to a pair of write-ups, noting wryly that "it's possible that you'll find these two (closely related) items of interest." The first comes from a Substack called "Worthless Thoughts," and is entitled, "An Attack of Mormon Mania." The blog proprietor, A&R Skabelund, quotes Park:
And the rest of the piece goes on to explain how Park has misread statistics on Utah vaccination rates (i.e., that Park overlooked kids under twelve). Skabelund goes on to, essentially accuse Park of being an anti-Mormon:Park says that vaccine hesitancy in members “stems from Latter-day Saints’ embrace of political and religious conservatism in the wake of World War II,” and he holds past Church leadership heavily responsible for current Mormon opposition to vaccination.
Meanwhile, at the blog called (contrary to the dictates of Pres. Nelson, I guess) "Mormanity," Jeff Lindsay also aims his sights at Park in an entry entitled, "Zeal Without Data: Blaming the Church for Utah's Allegedly Low Vaccination Rates." In Park's defense--his argument is that Utahan's have too much vaccine skepticism thanks to old-school conservatism that prevails amongst the leadership. And he perhaps has a point: after all, aren't Utah schools forbidden from requiring kids to wear masks? But reading Lindsay's piece, you have to wonder what's gotten him so riled up: is he mad over a perceived attack on the Church and the Brethren? Or on "conservatism"? See for yourself:Work attacking those of the LDS faith often doesn’t receive much needed scrutiny. Since Park’s patently false statistical claims portray Mormons in a negative light—something that most of the country’s intelligentsia is already eager to believe—it’s very likely these mistakes made it through without the rigorous journalistic standards reserved for other subjects.
Lindsay, apparently whipped up into a frenzy, lays down quite a challenge:Lindsay wrote:The subhead (line below the headline) declares that "LDS leaders stoked a far-right culture for decades. Now it might undermine their authority." Yep, that's the problem, all right. Utah's got some Republicans and it's the Church that foolishly "stoked" that. Now I suppose Utahans are going to be devastated by COVID as a result since those ignorant right-wingers aren't getting vaccinated.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Lindsay the head editor at "Interpreter"? Do their errors get corrected with "at least as much visibility" as the original errors? Should we ask John Gee? Regardless, Lindsay's final paragraph (and he misspells Park's name yet again, as "Parks") is bizarre:Scholars make mistakes all the time, just like medical experts do. The appropriate scholarly thing is to own up to it and make a retraction. The appropriate political thing, however, if your purpose is pure politics driven by data-free zeal, is to continue acting with zeal while ignoring the real data because the end justifies the means and "progress" is all that matters. I'm looking forward to seeing whether this particular professor will choose scholarship over politics, now that the blunder has been made known. Here's my wish that he and Washington Post will issue a correction that gets at least as much visibility as the error did, though such a thing is rare in the increasingly politicized media.
Take careful note of that phrase: "some of our own members can harm the cause of Zion." Yes: that's what this is about in the end. The Mopologists smell blood in the water, and see this as an opportunity to bring the hammer down on Park. At this juncture, it seems quite clear that, from the perspective of the Mopologists, Park is a "marked man," and they are going to swing into overdrive in the hopes of getting him driven out of the Church.Parks is worried about fundamentalist, evangelical, and right-wing white Americans who seem to be the bogey man for COVID, failing to recognize that the data shows black Americans and some other minorities are among the most vaccine hesitant. And the reasons they have for not being super trustful of the US government should not be ridiculed. Ever heard of the Tuskegee experiment? Parks may have accepted the call of the politicians to demonize the vaccine hesitant, but his response is an unfortunate illustration of how some of our own members can harm the cause of Zion by acting in zeal without knowledge, or in this case, zeal without sound data.