Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

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Doctor Scratch
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Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

On a separate thread, Everybody Wang Chung made a positively stunning announcement--i.e., that FAIR is changing its name. First, it is removing the "Mormon" part of "FAIRMormon," per Pres. Nelson's request, but more interestingly, they are actually removing the word "Apologetic" from their name!. You heard it here first: this is the most stunning development so far in 2021 in the world of Mopologetics. The event in and of itself was noteworthy enough that--as Stake President Wang Chung pointed out--the event was covered by the SL Trib. But this bit from Scott Gordon is extraordinary:
Scott Gordon wrote:As President Nelson said, “In the Garden of Gethsemane, our Savior took upon Himself every pain, every sin, and all of the anguish and suffering ever experienced by you and me and by everyone who has ever lived or will ever live”.[4] The word “Everyone” indicates member, non-member, and former member. It includes people who are happy with the Church and people who are unhappy with the Church. Bickering over some point of doctrine will not bring us any closer to Him. We are not stepping away from fact checking, or defending The Church. Indeed, we embrace it fully. We just want to do it in the way that we believe the Savior would approve, where we visualize every participant as a child of God.
Holy crap. I never thought I would live to see something like this. Gordon is apparently waving a white flag, and simultaneously signaling a complete departure from the "classic-FARMS" way of doing things. I mean, can you image a statement like this ever appearing in the old Review or in "Interpreter"? No way will you ever see something from the Pres. of the Interpreter Foundation saying that "people who are unhappy with the Church" deserve to be "visualized...as a child of God." In effect, this would appear to be a total abandonment of Mopologetics per se. It's too early to tell if they are actually being serious or not, but this is incredible. I can just imagine DCP, Midgley, and the "Interpreter" people foaming at the mouth over this, because it amounts to a complete repudiation of the kinds of things that "Interpreter" does. It also means that Interpreter is practically an island at this point: it is now pretty much the "final hill" for Mopologetics, and if it goes down, there won't be anything left. One wonders if DCP is living on "borrowed time." It not difficult to imagine that "Interpreter" is basically one scandal away from getting completely kiboshed by the General Authorities. Sure: they can try to fall back on the idea that it's an "independent" production, but come on. With Witnesses waiting in the wings, I would say that the "Interpreter" Mopologists are on extremely thin ice at the moment. When it comes to their eternal salvation, do you really think they'll dig in their heels?

And it's hard not to see the Brethren's involvement in this latest thing with FAIR: especially in Gordon's invoking of Pres. Nelson. I think there is definitely reason to believe that some kind of "intervention" was staged in the wake of the negative publicity following the Kwaku videos--esp. the one that has a baseball bat hitting John Dehlin on the head. Gordon's post feels like it was meant to appease certain General Authorities. But it will take more than just a blog post to prove to people that they're serious about doing things "in the way we believe the Savior would approve," unless they've got a completely warped sense of what that means.

Still, there have been at least two "scoldings" in a fairly short time span: we had Gee and Peterson chastised for their attacks on the JSPP, and then we get this astonishing about-face from FAIR, where they are totally abandoning apologetics and trying to "visualize every participant as a child of God." Hilariously, someone on this Trib comments makes this point:
I think a first step for FAIR in "avoiding personal attacks or derogatory language" is to remove the satirical videos. The personal attacks on Jeremy Runnells and John Dehlin are ridiculous.
LOL! Yes: we'll see if those come down. And I also wonder about the future of things such as Hamblin's K-word-riddled rant. (Remember: Hamblin originally posted that on RfM.)

In any case, I can't help but be reminded of Kurtz's remark to Willard in Apocalypse Now: "You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks...to collect a bill." Or, as Gordon puts it, "We are fact checkers and clarifiers."

Sure. It may be that this is just a passing thing sort of like the "Mormon Defense League" that they launched some time ago. In any case, I'm very interested in seeing how this will affect the FAIR Conference this summer. Will DCP be disinvited as the keynote due to his long history of picking fights and being nasty towards people? Well, that will be a true test of how serious Gordon and the rest of FAIR about their "new direction." I have a feeling that he will be eating his words before too much longer.
"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
Philo Sofee
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Philo Sofee »

I, for one, would truly welcome such a mental change of attitude from one to trying to score points and ridicule others who do not believe like you or even think like you, and instead attempt to actually learn from each other, share disparate and different viewpoints without judging whether one is going into apostasy or not for believing something someone else didn't, or accepting a view from another sacred record that is not your own scripture, and yet has a valid and useful point of view.

Personally, having studied Judaism and its esoteric traditions for years, off and on, more on lately, it is high time for Mormons to swallow their overweening pride of imagining their scripture alone is worth studying, all else is apostate and wrong, and see that 2 Nephi 29 literally proves to MORMONS they don't have the copyright on what is scripture for anyone. ALL nations will have their God given scripture. Mormons, of all people, should be the foremost people at welcoming all other scripture from every single religious tradition on the planet as per their own favorite pet book of scripture.

I hope this IS a turning of a corner for them and look forward to actually being able to dialogue with them with differences without stupid name calling and looking down your nose judgement if there is disagreement on interpretation. I see this as a seriously potential sign of Mormonism finally maturing and growing up instead of imagining it to be the religious police of dogma and definers of what is proper scripture and what is not. Their own Book of Mormon is showing them their shelves should be FULL of other world religious scriptures by the hundreds of volumes, not just their own narrowly selected volumes.

I am keeping my eyes on this development to see what comes of it. Come on FAIR and Mormonism, do NOT disappoint us! Please do put your claim where your mouths are on this and begin showing proper respect and learning of all others' views instead of just your own. That would be a GREAT day to arrive at to have actual discussion now instead of all the petty carping, mocking, name calling, and immaturity Mormonism has shown during my own lifetime.

And PLEASE stop with all the dumbassed threats and intimidations of possibly having to go to your bishop or stake president for saying something or believing something the Brethren have not "approved" of already! Good God start acting like mature adults who actually know how to understand differences of thoughts and beliefs without all the gooey stupid Priesthood canard authoritah policing thought. It's idiotic.
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Gadianton »

Sorry guys but I'm skeptical. No doubt the Brethren slapped FAIR down over this, in between butterflies and drools over EP's latest fluctuations, but I doubt they have a sustained interest. And I think changing what FAIR means -- I think they're laughing their asses off at the Brethren behind their backs over this. "Um, yeah, 'faithful answers'...everyone's a child of God!" And then when the Brethren have left the room it's back to "Foundation for Apologetics...or was it 'full-on 'critic' assault?" I think they're just flying under the radar and have no intention of changing anything.
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Gabriel
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Gabriel »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:58 am
Holy crap. I never thought I would live to see something like this. Gordon is apparently waving a white flag, and simultaneously signaling a complete departure from the "classic-FARMS" way of doing things. I mean, can you image a statement like this ever appearing in the old Review or in "Interpreter"? No way will you ever see something from the Pres. of the Interpreter Foundation saying that "people who are unhappy with the Church" deserve to be "visualized...as a child of God." In effect, this would appear to be a total abandonment of Mopologetics per se. It's too early to tell if they are actually being serious or not, but this is incredible. I can just imagine DCP, Midgley, and the "Interpreter" people foaming at the mouth over this, because it amounts to a complete repudiation of the kinds of things that "Interpreter" does. It also means that Interpreter is practically an island at this point: it is now pretty much the "final hill" for Mopologetics, and if it goes down, there won't be anything left. One wonders if DCP is living on "borrowed time." It not difficult to imagine that "Interpreter" is basically one scandal away from getting completely kiboshed by the General Authorities. Sure: they can try to fall back on the idea that it's an "independent" production, but come on. With Witnesses waiting in the wings, I would say that the "Interpreter" Mopologists are on extremely thin ice at the moment. When it comes to their eternal salvation, do you really think they'll dig in their heels?

And it's hard not to see the Brethren's involvement in this latest thing with FAIR: especially in Gordon's invoking of Pres. Nelson. I think there is definitely reason to believe that some kind of "intervention" was staged in the wake of the negative publicity following the Kwaku videos--esp. the one that has a baseball bat hitting John Dehlin on the head. Gordon's post feels like it was meant to appease certain General Authorities. But it will take more than just a blog post to prove to people that they're serious about doing things "in the way we believe the Savior would approve," unless they've got a completely warped sense of what that means.

Still, there have been at least two "scoldings" in a fairly short time span: we had Gee and Peterson chastised for their attacks on the JSPP, and then we get this astonishing about-face from FAIR, where they are totally abandoning apologetics and trying to "visualize every participant as a child of God." Hilariously, someone on this Trib comments makes this point:
I think a first step for FAIR in "avoiding personal attacks or derogatory language" is to remove the satirical videos. The personal attacks on Jeremy Runnells and John Dehlin are ridiculous.
LOL! Yes: we'll see if those come down.
I just did a search on YouTube. It *does* appear that "This is the Show" has been pulled. All I can find in my search there are all the TITS reaction videos that were spawned by that absolutely uninspired, tone deaf train wreck.
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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

What’s remarkable is how easy it is to test Gordon’s sincerity. That’s why DCP will never say anything like what Gordon said. He knows it would open the door for discussions about what he did in the past and he wants desperately for those things to go away.
"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: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Moksha »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:58 am
Scott Gordon wrote:We just want to do it in the way that we believe the Savior would approve, where we visualize every participant as a child of God.
Do you think the Interpreter will have Greg Smith write a hit piece on this new statement from the so-called "Fair Answers, Informed Consent"?
And it's hard not to see the Brethren's involvement in this latest thing with FAIR: especially in Gordon's invoking of Pres. Nelson. I think there is definitely reason to believe that some kind of "intervention" was staged in the wake of the negative publicity following the Kwaku videos--esp. the one that has a baseball bat hitting John Dehlin on the head. Gordon's post feels like it was meant to appease certain General Authorities.
Unless an alternative answer was that the Brethren upon seeing the FAIR-Kwaku video, rubbed their hands together and proclaimed, "Excellent!", but added, "Would you mind removing that devil word from your name?"
I'm very interested in seeing how this will affect the FAIR Conference this summer. Will DCP be disinvited as the keynote due to his long history of picking fights and being nasty towards people?
More likely he will be given some lifetime achievement award. Perhaps for Valiance in Guerilla-Style Apologetics.
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by IHAQ »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:58 am
Scott Gordon wrote:As President Nelson said, “In the Garden of Gethsemane, our Savior took upon Himself every pain, every sin, and all of the anguish and suffering ever experienced by you and me and by everyone who has ever lived or will ever live”.[4] The word “Everyone” indicates member, non-member, and former member. It includes people who are happy with the Church and people who are unhappy with the Church. Bickering over some point of doctrine will not bring us any closer to Him. We are not stepping away from fact checking, or defending The Church. Indeed, we embrace it fully. We just want to do it in the way that we believe the Savior would approve, where we visualize every participant as a child of God.
I don't think those are Gordon's own words. That sounds a lot like the kind of chastisement he is likely to have received, just reframed and passed on. Otherwise it's a confession that he has been operating FAIR for years in a manner he knew the Savior would not have approved of. On that basis he should consider resigning.
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Kishkumen »

The faculty at Cassius University deserves a great deal of credit for being on the right side of history on this one all along. By shining a bright light on hit-pieces and other un-Christlike apologetic tactics, we hastened this day. And, frankly, so too did FAIR by arrogantly, angrily, and tastelessly stepping way over the line with “This Is The Show.” Someone or many someones in the COB saw those videos and sat back, looking out their COB office window and thoughtfully surveying the urban vista, and said to themselves, “You know, Cassius University was right; and now this has gone too far!”

We should have a grand celebration to mark our great victory over Mopologetics. What will Mopologetics be now? A mere shadow of its former self, and it is the dedication of Cassius Faculty, standing on the vanguard against this injustice, that led the charge against the now defunct Mopologetics!
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by malkie »

Kishkumen wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:41 am
The faculty at Cassius University deserves a great deal of credit for being on the right side of history on this one all along. By shining a bright light on hit-pieces and other un-Christlike apologetic tactics, we hastened this day. And, frankly, so too did FAIR by arrogantly, angrily, and tastelessly stepping way over the line with “This Is The Show.” Someone or many someones in the COB saw those videos and sat back, looking out their COB office window and thoughtfully surveying the urban vista, and said to themselves, “You know, Cassius University was right; and now this has gone too far!”

We should have a grand celebration to mark our great victory over Mopologetics. What will Mopologetics be now? A mere shadow of its former self, and it is the dedication of Cassius Faculty, standing on the vanguard against this injustice, that led the charge against the now defunct Mopologetics!
Will the university be taking subscriptions for the medal that (rumour has it) is being struck for the occasion?

Or is it still to early? I can imagine wanting to wait for the official acknowledgement from the Church, so that it can be included on the certificate of authenticity.
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Dr Exiled »

Perhaps the "hit piece" approach will die down for a while and the softer, gentler approach may remain officially among the church supported apologist sites. I have a hard time thinking that the retribution/attack style will completely leave the scene, however. People have a tendency to become defensive when others poke fun at their silly beliefs. Also, people want to be left alone and will poke fun at those who try and force their silly beliefs onto them. So, I think as long as the church pushes missionary work and is intent on bothering the world, there will be those who push back and some of the members will want to push back against those non-member/"apostates" that are pushing back. Then enter the DCPs and Midges of the world with their aggressive defenses and "hit pieces" satisfying the demand. So, I think there will always be an appetite for this sort of thing, regardless of how mollified FAIR wants to portray itself now and in the future.
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