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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:06 am 
God

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
I am going to go ahead and say that I believe the author of the letter is Kristian Heal, which, if true, definitely colors my reading of the “apology.” I have no doubt that he regrets the way things happened, but I’m also quite confident that he took/takes very serious issue with attack-minded Mopologetics. Thus, this would be a case of him trying to avoid taking any sides. Heal, along with Davis and Carl Griffin likely were the “3 Wisemen” that Midgley considers traitors.

Your conclusions fit well with a post I ran across while reading an old Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board thread:
Quote:
Kristian

Posted February 12, 2013

Let me add one more points:

I am sorry Dan was dismissed as the editor of the review in the way he was. I want to say that publicly and without reservation. It was (in my opinion) a managerial blunder that caused great pain to a great-hearted man. I called Dan from Rome when he was in Switzerland and said as much to him, and tried to effect some sort of reconciliation after Dan sent his resignation letter. I'm sure I sound flippant and dismissive in my posts (part of the game it seems to me), but please believe me when I say that I feel nothing but sorry about the pain Dan suffered over this dismissal, and everyone I've spoken to at the Maxwell Institute feels the same way. I wanted to say that so we can talk about the issues that remain. I don't want you, Dan or anyone else to think that I am anything other than saddened by the visceral blow dished out to Dan by his dismissal from the Review.

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/599 ... 1209222784


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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:07 am 
God

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This may be old to some, but it was new to me, and seems to capture why a change was needed. From the same old thread as I quoted above.
Quote:
LifeOnaPlate
Location:Utah

Posted February 12, 2013

Quote:
On 2/12/2013 at 3:19 AM, Bill Hamblin said:
In other words the new regime does not like classic FARMS. That's obvious.

On the other hand it's too bad that neither you, nor Carl, nor Morgan, nor Jerry have ever written a single apologetic article among the lot of you to show the rest of us how apologetics should have been done.


There are many ways to do apologetics, of course.

My first publication was actually in the FARMS Review. I'm still grateful to Dan and others for giving me the opportunity to publish, an untested, unknown young guy like me. I reviewed Shawn McCraney's book.

It was intended then to be an example of how I thought apologetics should be done. No acerbic acrostics, no cheap shots, no chuckle jokes, no insinuations about character.

I tried my best to take the book seriously despite its serious shortcomings. Restraint, diplomacy and charity were as important to me as rigor and accuracy. I even had McCraney read it before it was published. Unfortunately, the editor changed my original title despite my protestation, so it is forever saddled with a title that clashes heavily with its content. Since then I've gone on to write a lot of book reviews. I expect to continue in that vein for a while yet.

http://maxwellinstitute.BYU.edu/publica ... m=2&id=774

Back to work!

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/599 ... 1209222852

[bolding added]


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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:34 am 
Seedy Academician
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Dr Moore wrote:
I was wondering the same thing, reading these latest comments over. It sure does appear as if Dan has a legitimate claim that the administration grossly wronged him, justified by support from general authorities. Kind of like the COO firing a VP of Product for designing the exact product that the CEO asked him to design.


I can't let this pass by without comment. OK, DCP was relieved of his editorship of a journal. That was not his job. He was not fired from his employment. Journals do change editors all the time in academia. As a matter of course, really. So where is the gross wrong here?

If we think about what DCP was hired as a faculty member to do--teach and publish on Arabic topics, presumably, since that is his faculty position--then what gross wrong was done to him in relieving him of his duties as editor of a journal focusing on reviews of books about Mormonism?

What Bradford did was only wrong in the sense that he did not execute it well. If his goal was to pull Dan from the editorship and replace him with someone who would do something different with the journal with a minimal fuss, he should have never done it by email. But this kind of mistake is not a gross injustice. It is a flub.

Where the idea of this being some kind of gross injustice comes from is the LDS context it transpired in. Nothing that was done--and I mean nothing--is out of bounds in the context of normal academic life. Donors give universities money, and the university uses that money as IT deems fit. Editors of journals are replaced. No big deal.

No, it is where BYU does not conform to standard academic practice, even beyond the uniqueness of its mission as an LDS university, that the problems arise. For example, why should it be the case that BYU houses a polemical journal that condemns fellow parishioners? Is that an integral part of its mission as an LDS university? Why should it be the case that faculty hired to teach in standard disciplines should spend the bulk of their time engaging in apologetics and polemics regarding their faith? Is that an integral part of having an LDS university?

I understand that it is difficult to admit that bringing FARMS onto campus was a big mistake. The mistake was made by the prophet, so it is tenaciously held not to be a mistake at all. But there were good reasons why people in FARMS were trepidatious about the move. They could see the potential pitfalls. They were right to be worried. The only way I can square President Hinckley's divine inspiration with the outcome is that God wanted FARMS quashed. Otherwise, He would have found a way to make it thrive.

So, maybe we should just admit that FARMS on BYU campus was a bad idea and move on. To put it differently, no one should imagine that a polemical journal that attacks LDS people would thrive on the campus of an LDS university. It would be foolish to imagine that its survival would be a safe bet.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:45 am 
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There are many ways to do apologetics, of course.

My first publication was actually in the FARMS Review. I'm still grateful to Dan and others for giving me the opportunity to publish, an untested, unknown young guy like me. I reviewed Shawn McCraney's book.

It was intended then to be an example of how I thought apologetics should be done. No acerbic acrostics, no cheap shots, no chuckle jokes, no insinuations about character.

I tried my best to take the book seriously despite its serious shortcomings. Restraint, diplomacy and charity were as important to me as rigor and accuracy. I even had McCraney read it before it was published. Unfortunately, the editor changed my original title despite my protestation, so it is forever saddled with a title that clashes heavily with its content. Since then I've gone on to write a lot of book reviews. I expect to continue in that vein for a while yet.


Thank you for bringing in Blair Hodges' thoughts about reviewing books in this subject area, Lemmie.

I have often said, and I reiterate, Blair Hodges is a fine representative of his faith and the kind of person one would hope to have interfacing with members at large and critics of the LDS Church (be they internal or external critics).

According to his account, he really went out of his way to be fair to Shawn McCraney, a person whose agenda I always found off-putting in the extreme, despite the fact that he is a very likable person. No doubt Blair completely disagrees with McCraney on most topics, especially McCraney's criticisms of his former faith. And yet, Hodges behaved civilly toward McCraney and treated his book respectfully.

That is what adults do. That is what good LDS people and good Christians do. That is the kind of treatment that the LDS Church can hold forth as exemplifying the best of their faith. Too bad that to this day the classic-FARMS crew seems incapable of meeting this high standard.

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“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith


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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:34 pm 
God

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Quote:
I understand that it is difficult to admit that bringing FARMS onto campus was a big mistake. The mistake was made by the prophet, so it is tenaciously held not to be a mistake at all. But there were good reasons why people in FARMS were trepidatious about the move. They could see the potential pitfalls. They were right to be worried. The only way I can square President Hinckley's divine inspiration with the outcome is that God wanted FARMS quashed

I understand Hamblin was opposed to FARMS joining BYU, and he was pretty specific in this Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board thread I’ve been reading about why he thinks it happened.

Quote:
Bill Hamblin
Posted February 12, 2013
Quote:
On 2/12/2013 at 12:55 PM, ERayR said:
Is that the reason FARMS was invited to join the BYU umbrella?

Frankly, it was about a land grab and control of donations.

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/599 ... 1209222981


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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:21 pm 
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The part about the land grab is what I have heard from multiple sources on BYU campus. Although Mopologists have denied it in times past, I feel pretty confident that this is at least a big part of the story behind the movement of FARMS onto BYU campus. Their building was right on the edge of campus, maybe 20 yards from a campus street winding around the center of campus.

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“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith


Last edited by Kishkumen on Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:44 pm 
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Deleted uncharitable remarks

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Last edited by malkie on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:57 pm 
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Hey, malkie!

I am familiar with DCP’s cv. Please let me know what you are trying to get at here. Much appreciated!

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“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith


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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:43 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Lemmie wrote:
Your conclusions fit well with a post I ran across while reading an old Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board thread:
Quote:
Kristian

Posted February 12, 2013

Let me add one more points:

I am sorry Dan was dismissed as the editor of the review in the way he was. I want to say that publicly and without reservation. It was (in my opinion) a managerial blunder that caused great pain to a great-hearted man. I called Dan from Rome when he was in Switzerland and said as much to him, and tried to effect some sort of reconciliation after Dan sent his resignation letter. I'm sure I sound flippant and dismissive in my posts (part of the game it seems to me), but please believe me when I say that I feel nothing but sorry about the pain Dan suffered over this dismissal, and everyone I've spoken to at the Maxwell Institute feels the same way. I wanted to say that so we can talk about the issues that remain. I don't want you, Dan or anyone else to think that I am anything other than saddened by the visceral blow dished out to Dan by his dismissal from the Review.

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/599 ... 1209222784


Thanks very much for digging that up, Lemmie! Yes: I remember Dr. Heal posting on MDD and elsewhere around that time. My recollection--correct, it turns out--was that he was attempting to put out fires. Notice his careful language: "visceral blow dished out to Dan by his dismissal from the Review." He doesn't *blame* anybody. Earlier in his post, he mentions a "managerial blunder" (and even qualifies it by saying "in my opinion"), but where does he aim this? At Bradford? Samuelson? Holland? He doesn't name names. And as we know from Morgan Davis's letter, and from Peterson and Midgley and the Mopologists, there was a lot more ill will here than Heal seems willing to admit. To this day, Midgley et al. *hate* these people: Midgley, in these past few days, has still been popping off about how it was Heal, Davis, Bradford and Griffing who "conspired" to effect this "change of direction." He still blames them, to this day. The Mopologists seem to have failed to realize just how many people they had pissed off. The "Four Wisemen" (as it were: and yes, I am now revising upwards from three), seemed to realize just how much of a PR disaster this had become, and they made moves to do the right thing, and clearly the Brethren agreed with them (with the caveats I raised above, of course).

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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:59 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Kishkumen wrote:
The part about the land grab is what I have heard from multiple sources on BYU campus. Although Mopologists have denied it in times past, I feel pretty confident that this is at least a big part of the story behind the movement of FARMS onto BYU campus. Their building was right on the edge of campus, maybe 20 yards from a campus street winding around the center of campus.


I'm still convinced that many of the things I laid out in this old thread are pertinent to the discussion. As you will recall, back in the 1990s, FARMS was on pace to raise something like $7 million, and, per the Tanners, they were planning to erect an actual ziggurat to house their operation. It was at this same time that the LDS Church leadership apparently decided that they needed to step in and absorb this into BYU: i.e., what Hamblin, in the quote Lemmie cites, describes as "a land grab and control of donations." I agree with Hamblin: I think that's why this happened.

In that same thread, there is an interesting--and, to my mind, prescient--quote from an interview with DCP:

Daniel Peterson wrote:
``In some ways, we are already part of BYU. Almost everyone on the board is a member of the BYU faculty,'' Peterson said. Still, the group ``did enjoy being independent, rather like being an entrepreneur.''

University officials have promised FARMS scholars that they will not interfere in the editorial policies or administration of the group, but Peterson wonders if FARMS' members will feel as free to engage in speculation and discussion of Mormon scripture.

``FARMS has often had a polemical edge and we are curious to see how or whether that will be accommodated,'' he said. ``The minute I write something offensive, we'll see if I get a call.''


It took more than 15 years, but we ultimately got an answer.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:01 pm 
God
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Kishkumen wrote:
Hey, malkie!

I am familiar with DCP’s cv. Please let me know what you are trying to get at here. Much appreciated!


Deleted attempt to justify a snarky and uncharitable remark.

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Last edited by malkie on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:14 pm 
God
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malkie wrote:
Kishkumen wrote:
Hey, malkie!

I am familiar with DCP’s cv. Please let me know what you are trying to get at here. Much appreciated!

Hey Rev.

...

If you think that my comment is unfair to Prof P, then I'm amenable to deleting it.

Actually, you've made me realise that my comment was not intended charitably, so I'm going to remove it anyway.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Reflections on the “Apology Letter”
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:46 pm 
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No matter which way this went down, I imagine almost everyone misses the classic FARMS pineapples and durian fruit. The good news is that durian fruit is still available at the Interpreter.

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