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

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

Post by consiglieri »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:58 am
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.
I think had FAIR not given up TITS for Lent, there may have been no more GAs to grace their convention dais.
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Kishkumen wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:31 pm
Dr Exiled wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:06 pm
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.
I agree, Dr. Exile. What we have here is an institutional decision on the part of LDS Church leadership that will make it difficult for people who seek that leadership's approval. That does not mean that there will not be people who buck such directives and continue to attack the critics sharply.
Good points. And I also agree with those who've chimed in about the Brethren's likely strong involvement in these latest changes. *And* it is very interesting that the "hit piece"-style articles have been coming in rapid succession from "Interpreter" these days, including two very controversial pieces from John Gee.

I recall reading some time back that the Church had begun to fund FAIRMormon in some capacity. I doubt that Interpreter is 100% independent from Church funding, but it seems like it was comparably *more* independent than FAIR. (And that's even taking into account the weird transfer of money via the More Good Foundation, and that sort of thing.) So, maybe this is the case of the classic-FARMS Mopologists taking things as far as they can, and testing the General Authorities' patience/limits?

As for FAIR: I'm sure there are other here who remember the withering attacks that Hamblin, Peterson, Midgley, Gee, and others lobbed at the "new" Maxwell Institute. The New MI was accused of failing to fulfill Elder Maxwell's vision, and of "abandoning" apologetics. Will we see those same types of attacks aimed at FAIR? (Truth be told, I remember Midgley griping about this a year or two ago: talking about how he essentially thought that FAIR was "lame," and how he didn't care if it failed or not.)

Whatever the case may be, kudos to them for removing the TiTS videos. Last I checked, however, the Hamblin "k-word" article was still up. Is that something that the Savior would be okay with? Think about it, Brother Gordon. Think about it.
"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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Everybody Wang Chung
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

Dr. Scratch,

What are the chances the Brethren have also talked to the Interpreter Board about being more Christlike in their publications?
"I'm on paid sabbatical from BYU in exchange for my promise to use this time to finish two books."

Daniel C. Peterson, 2014
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Everybody Wang Chung wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:55 am
Dr. Scratch,

What are the chances the Brethren have also talked to the Interpreter Board about being more Christlike in their publications?
I'm not sure. DCP and Gee were "talked to" by the leadership of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. I don't know if any "additional info" was conveyed--if you know what I mean. And even if one of the Twelve actually had a "sit down" with Interpreter's leadership, I'm not convinced that the Interpreter people would obey.
"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 DrStakhanovite »

I think this is the result of an internal struggle between two broad factions within the organization. One side favors the aggressive nature of Mopologetics and the other side favors a softer approach, a sort of “mere-apologetics'' if you will. The Mopologists overplayed their hand with those T.I.T.S. videos and the Mere-apologetics crowd capitalized on the blowback to help shape the rebrand in their direction.

At the present moment I remain unconvinced that ecclesastical authorities are motivating this outside of the divine prophetic announcement concerning the acceptability of the word “Mormon”. FAIR kinda represents the B-squad of Mormon apologetics and is structured in such a way to limit autocratic management, meaning it would be easier for people to commandeer it through a groundswell of volunteer support than a junta style take over as seen in the M.I. saga.

Time will tell us more.
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by dastardly stem »

I mentioned it yesterday, but after thinking more on it, I think this all does resort from a fear of a FAIR takeover by the younger crowd. They got a taste of blood and with that momentum were ready to plow through Scott Gordon and co, whether they realized it or not. Scott saw the TITS series as a threat, in the end. They were garnering the type of attention that FAIR previously only dreamt of. It soon could have turned FAIR into a place where Mormons went to find TITS videos and nothing more.

I think Scott made an aggressive move--disown the TITS videos (after claiming ownership) and cast the young, social media savvy from the premises before its too late. And with that came this rejuvenating effort to rebrand and announce a change towards kindness (no doubt Scott heard plenty of disapproval from various groups). I mean, good for him in a sense.

FAIR looks like it's banking on taking a step towards Jesus, hoping their flavorless agenda gets overlooked.
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by Kishkumen »

DrStakhanovite wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:10 pm
I think this is the result of an internal struggle between two broad factions within the organization. One side favors the aggressive nature of Mopologetics and the other side favors a softer approach, a sort of “mere-apologetics'' if you will. The Mopologists overplayed their hand with those T.I.T.S. videos and the Mere-apologetics crowd capitalized on the blowback to help shape the rebrand in their direction.

At the present moment I remain unconvinced that ecclesastical authorities are motivating this outside of the divine prophetic announcement concerning the acceptability of the word “Mormon”. FAIR kinda represents the B-squad of Mormon apologetics and is structured in such a way to limit autocratic management, meaning it would be easier for people to commandeer it through a groundswell of volunteer support than a junta style take over as seen in the M.I. saga.

Time will tell us more.
I wonder what those internal dynamics looked like. I know that some apostles do not favor the harsh approach. Did someone threaten to take the problem up the chain of command?
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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 »

DrStakhanovite wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:10 pm
I think this is the result of an internal struggle between two broad factions within the organization. One side favors the aggressive nature of Mopologetics and the other side favors a softer approach, a sort of “mere-apologetics'' if you will. The Mopologists overplayed their hand with those T.I.T.S. videos and the Mere-apologetics crowd capitalized on the blowback to help shape the rebrand in their direction.

At the present moment I remain unconvinced that ecclesastical authorities are motivating this outside of the divine prophetic announcement concerning the acceptability of the word “Mormon”. FAIR kinda represents the B-squad of Mormon apologetics and is structured in such a way to limit autocratic management, meaning it would be easier for people to commandeer it through a groundswell of volunteer support than a junta style take over as seen in the M.I. saga.

Time will tell us more.
A very interesting take on this, Doctor Stak. What you are describing, then, is something of a fissure within FAIR itself. I have always tended to think of Interpreter as the more strictly Mopologetic organization. There was crossover with FAIR, of course, but as you point out, FAIR, generally speaking, came across as "FARMS Lite" or, as you put it, "mere-apologetics." So, there were efforts to be nice, and even people like Kevin Barney would get involved, but then again, these were the same clowns who cooked up the "Mormon Defense League" (or whatever it was called). They wanted to do Mopologetics--or "mere-apologetics"--but there was a more earnest embrace of the basic amateurishness of the venture. They've wanted to be accessible in a way that the FARMS Mopologists tended to eschew. (Up until recently, anyways--e.g., the "Witnesses" movie.)

As for ecclesiastical involvement...Well, I admit I was speculating. Sometimes things seem to come into alignment in such a way that one wants to read significance into them But you are right: time will tell.
"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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DrStakhanovite
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Re: Time to Place Your Bets: What Does FAIR's Name Change Mean for Mopologetics?

Post by DrStakhanovite »

Kishkumen wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:20 pm
I wonder what those internal dynamics looked like. I know that some apostles do not favor the harsh approach. Did someone threaten to take the problem up the chain of command?
Do you remember when Will Schryver got a “Me Too” moment on this board years ago by Jumpin’ Jack Jeffries before that became a cultural tide? Turns out Jack had her share of supporters within FAIR who waged their own internal campaign to have Schryver censured for associating his apologetic labors on the KEP with the various misogynistic comments he made about the women he was encountering on the boards. The campaign was fairly successful since Schryver has become a persona non grata among his former supporters.

I’m patterning my speculation on that and some other tidbits I’ve been picking up on social media and in DMs.
Doctor Scratch wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:22 am
A very interesting take on this, Doctor Stak. What you are describing, then, is something of a fissure within FAIR itself.
Very much so. Mopologetics is a good ol’ boys club where relatively few people can contribute in non-monetary ways: FARMS and now the Interpreter are built on a model where a handful of content creators dominate the scene and besides a few support staff, everyone else is expected to open that wallet or purse. Mopologists primarily like to curate material (“look at this new article and its implications!”) and occasionally editorialize with rants, they don’t often move beyond that.

While FAIR has Mopologetics firmly present in their DNA, they had a much broader mission and focused projects that could be crowd sourced (i.e. their own wiki) that is totally driven by volunteers. This has made FAIR incredibly useful to Mopologists who treat FAIR like a Major League Baseball franchise treats a single-A farm team; a home for the less talented apologists and a temporary home for promising apologists to develop.
Doctor Scratch wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:22 am
So, there were efforts to be nice, and even people like Kevin Barney would get involved, but then again, these were the same clowns who cooked up the "Mormon Defense League" (or whatever it was called).
Totally, the “mere-apologist” believes largely the same things a mopologist does, they just prefer a more mild mannered approach. This is less a difference in beliefs and more of a difference in practice.
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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 »

DrStakhanovite wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:49 pm
FARMS and now the Interpreter are built on a model where a handful of content creators dominate the scene and besides a few support staff, everyone else is expected to open that wallet or purse. Mopologists primarily like to curate material (“look at this new article and its implications!”) and occasionally editorialize with rants, they don’t often move beyond that.
This really sums everything up just perfectly. The bizarre, passive-aggressive relationship with money has always been striking.
"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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