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?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”. 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.
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:
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.)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.
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.