DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

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Doctor Scratch
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DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by Doctor Scratch »

As you may know, the sports world is mourning the death of the legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who passed away earlier this week. He was a legendary figure: someone whose voice is inextricably linked to many indelible moments in baseball history, such as Kirk Gibson's home run in the World Series against the Oakland A's. There have been many tributes to Scully in various venues, including (of all places) "Sic et Non." For the most part, the blog entry is a nice reminiscence about the role that Scully played in DCP's life growing up in southern California. But at the very end of the entry, after remembrance of his late father, Dr. Peterson tacks this tidbit onto the entry:
And now Vin Scully is gone, as well. He was, I understand, devoutly though quietly Catholic. May God bless him and his family.
You may wonder, as I did, why was Scully's "quietly Catholic" faith relevant? Especially on a blog that is devoted primarily to autobiographical musings and Mopologetics? It turns out that I wasn't alone:
Ian McCulloch wrote:Dr. Peterson, why did you mention that Vin Scully is Catholic? That seems like a very peculiar addition and closing to this post. You went further to say that his association with Catholicism was both devout and quiet. These judgments, I assume, are not your original observations but they are meaningful to you nevertheless.

What Mormon personalities would you also describe as devout and quiet? I would describe my grandmother as devout and quiet but she was never a public or famous person. I would describe some people who are not quiet about Mormonism to be removed or far from being devout. I am curious how you view these terms, devout and quiet, in relation to Mormonism.
Lots of good questions and observations here, and the answer seems obvious: DCP wants to use Scully's death--and his "quiet" Catholicism--as a cudgel to attack atheism. And indeed, he bristles at McCulloch's questions:
DCP wrote:Ian McCulloch:. "Dr. Peterson, why did you mention that Vin Scully is Catholic? That seems like a very peculiar addition and closing to this post."

Why?

Ian McCulloch:. "You went further to say that his association with Catholicism was both devout and quiet. These judgments, I assume, are not your original observations but they are meaningful to you nevertheless."

They came from a eulogy of him that I had read. I think that he was a good man. That's all.

Ian McCulloch:. "What Mormon personalities would you also describe as devout and quiet? I would describe my grandmother as devout and quiet but she was never a public or famous person. I would describe some people who are not quiet about Mormonism to be removed or far from being devout. I am curious how you view these terms, devout and quiet, in relation to Mormonism."

I think that you may be trying to read too much into this.
Is that really what he thinks? Perhaps the telling remark is this one: "I think that he was a good man." Why, though? Because he was "quietly devout"? Or because of his steadfast role as the "Voice of the Dodgers"? At the end of the day, DCP's comment actually seems to *undercut* Scully's greatness, and to reduce him to yet another theist--albeit a famous and successful one who can show all the Hitchens-esque atheist haters how wrong they are.

And indeed, McCulloch's observations must have weighed on DCP since he followed up with this:
Daniel Peterson wrote:Afterthought:

Although I was already vaguely aware that Vin Scully was Roman Catholic, this is the proximate prompt for the thought: "Scully had a devout but unshowy Catholic faith. He was a communicant at St. Jude the Apostle in Westlake Village, California." [https://www.nationalreview....]
Again, though: Why was Scully's faith relevant at all? This follow-up post seems to function as a kind of "cover"--as if DCP is trying to say, "Hey, no: *I* am not fixated on religion and trying to score points against atheists! I just got the idea from the National Review!" Except that the article has quite a bit more to say than that Scully was "quietly but devoutly" Catholic--that's just the part that stuck out to DCP.

Quite shameful if you ask me. You wonder if there is ever a moment that goes by in his life when he's *not* looking for ways to score Mopologetic points.
"If, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by drumdude »

Why does he feel the need to qualify someone’s personal religious faith (of which he has zero knowledge besides affiliation) with any adjective at all?
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by Kishkumen »

My sense of this phenomenon is that religious people like to know that a beloved famous person who recently passed was also religious. I don't know that there is much more to this mention than that.
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

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Nice catch, professor. National Review has 3 articles about Scully, therefore, it's unsurprising that DCP felt moved to say something. If there are 3 articles at National Review, then that means he was Christian and conservative, he must be promoted, fill in the blanks from there. If let's say, Scully would have had a single controversy in his career that made the National Review shy about celebrating him, then all the "growing up Scully" stories would disappear from certain blogs. In a sense, the National Review had pre-peer-reviewed the material. An advance greenlight.
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by Dr Exiled »

He's a church cheerleader. I remember growing up how the adults in the ward would do the same thing. So and so famous person is also religious they would say. Reagan was mentioned a lot in this context. Rumors swirled in the MTC about how the Gipper and Bush wanted to join because, golly, we were so special ...
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by Res Ipsa »

Kishkumen wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:55 pm
My sense of this phenomenon is that religious people like to know that a beloved famous person who recently passed was also religious. I don't know that there is much more to this mention than that.
I agree. It's customary to mention a person's religion in their obituary or tribute in the mainstream media. Peterson writes a blog about religion as part of a blog network about religion. There's nothing surprising in the fact that Peterson mentioned Vin Scully's religion, especially given that he didn't know anything about it until he read about it. I didn't either.

In this day where certain so-called Christians insist on turning their religion, including prayer, into a public spectacle (cough, Bremerton High School, cough), I respect and admire Vin Scully for the fact that I had no idea whether he was a POF or what his flavor of religion was. It's refreshing to me to see an example of someone who took Jesus's reprimand of the Pharisees concerning public spectacle seriously. In fact, when I just read Peterson's comment, I took it as a backhanded swipe, not at atheists, but at those who make a public spectacle of their faith. Of course, I could be wrong about that.

It is trivially easy to take anyone's words and attribute to the speaker nefarious motives or negative significance. In honor of Vin Scully, I'm scoring the opening post as a wild pitch.
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Gadianton wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:57 pm
Nice catch, professor. National Review has 3 articles about Scully, therefore, it's unsurprising that DCP felt moved to say something. If there are 3 articles at National Review, then that means he was Christian and conservative, he must be promoted, fill in the blanks from there. If let's say, Scully would have had a single controversy in his career that made the National Review shy about celebrating him, then all the "growing up Scully" stories would disappear from certain blogs. In a sense, the National Review had pre-peer-reviewed the material. An advance greenlight.
A good point. And it's instructive to compare this to DCP's remarks when Christopher Hitchens died. (It was mockery.) In a similar vein, I'm sure that you've seen the many occasions where he and other Mopologists have argued that e.g., Albert Einstein was actually quite religious despite whatever evidence might indicate the contrary. Or, everyone's favorite: the repeated arguments about how "avowedly atheist regimes" are worse for humanity than oppressive theocracies.
"If, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by Dr Moore »

I am with the reverend on this one. One religious person noting the religious dedication of another to eulogize their life and the meaning behind it, is just being human. I would like to think that every now and then, you could afford Dan Peterson the privilege of being a human too.
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Daniel Peterson wrote:By the way, the Stalker also points to my response to news of Christopher Hitchens’s death, which he describes as mocking and derisive. I would love to see exactly what I wrote, and where it appeared. My very first blog entry was published on 8 February 2012. Christopher Hitchens had already died nearly three months before, on 15 December 2011. So my alleged happy cackling when I heard about Mr. Hitchens’s death doesn’t seem to have been recorded here.
I guess the slanders come so easily and naturally (and so frequently?) that it's hard to remember them all? In any event, as I recall, it was on the old FAIR message board. Happy hunting!

And funnily enough, this is what comes next on today's SeN entry:
Speaking of Mr. Hitchens, though, here’s an item that I’ve located among the terrifyingly inexhaustible treasures of the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File©. It ‘s simply yet another redundant example of the horrific damage wrought by theistic belief:
Who's "weaponizing" what now?
"If, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14
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Re: DCP Exploits Vin Scully's Death for Mopologetics

Post by drumdude »

The link to the thread Dan started the day of Hitchen’s death:
“DP” wrote: It's been reported that Christopher Hitchens, who was suffering from esophageal cancer, has died.

He was a very talented polemicist and writer, and will be missed.

I trust that he's already had a very, very big surprise, and I wish him well.
https://web.archive.org/web/20160417135 ... ip/?page=3
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