Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Weekend at "Sic et Non"

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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moksha wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:Yeah, I wonder if that's by design? Do you think that Dr. Peterson has deliberately tried to "bury" those old posts?

I am trying to understand why Dr. King is an annual target. Of course, it's not like I ever get stuck on ideas. :redface:


I think Dr. King is an annual reminder of how the church that must be defended at all costs was so obviously behind the rest of society and this must drive our brothers wild. The world can see it plainly. The ban should never have happened in God's church but it certainly should have ended earlier than the civil rights legislation of the 60's and even earlier than Brown v. Board of Ed, that is if God is behind cojcolds. Yet, it happened only after boycotts of BYU's football team and years of embarrassment. Further still the BofM and BofA still have their racist doctrines and these must be defended somehow. Hence, the annual melt down.
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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:Wow. Mr. Peterson not only doubles down, but ramps up the rhetoric:

Daniel plagiarizin’ Peterson > rockyrd
2 hours ago

Sigh. Apparently, my mention of the (undisputed) fact that Dr. King was seriously flawed has aroused inflamed indignation in the usual place.

So I take it back.

He was flawless.


Or rather he ramps up the snarky asshole, for sure. What is the deal with these guys?

- Doc
I am not understanding how Dr. Petersen can walk anything back that he writes or teaches!

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:Also, if anyone wants to read the Midge's doctoral dissertation you can find it here:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/444800?rea ... b_contents

It's a bit of a slog because it's amateurish, and Tillich borrows heavily from Sartre (if you don't like Sartre you won't like to read the Midge's liberal quoting of Tillich as a space filler). Imma go outside and smoke a cigar and think about whether or not I want to check the Midge's dissertation for plagiarism. I don't have a good feeling about what I'll find if I do, so I'm a bit conflicted.

- Doc

Doc, I find one has to register to get access to this bit of writing and I am unsure that I would want to read the paper. I do have a bit of a question about it for you. Many years ago I went on a spell of interest in Tillich reading a number of his books. I did not find one needed involvement with Sartre for that though there may be some overlap of consideration on a few occasions.

A very simple summary is Tillich thinks outside of assumptions of religious authority. He is also suspicious to critical of overreaching political authority. I could imagine an LDS reader having thoughts about the loss of character and truth such a thing could lead to. (cliché fundamentalist reaction)

In a very general way existential thought sets aside assumptions of preexisting divine order in societies. Authority systems and social hierarchy are not seen as divinely based so people should decide how to proceed.

There are ways in which Mormon thinking supports the ideas of divine hierarchy and social hierarchy being merit based before God. I have heard it taught advantages of birth were proper and God ordained. In fact I remember Martin Luther King being criticized because he was going against that order by lacking patience and respects. Negros were to wait until they had earned the right for civil rights not just demanding it. I do not remember the sources but such statements occurred in the 60s. Mr Benson perhaps.

So does this review of Tillich fall into the knee jerk , I smell creeping communism of Bircher Mormonism?

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Weekend at "Sic et Non"

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Huck,

Registration is free, as is access to the Midge’s magnum copus.

Honestly, I’m not sure if the Midge’s early forays into the philosophy of ‘scientism’ is based on Bircherism, but boy does the timing ever line up nicely, no?

I do think that Tillich, in the vein of Christian tradition, simply picks whatever pop culture hotness is occurring at the time, and then tries to adopt it to Jesus worship. Much like Stryper ripping off 80’s buttrock’s Motley Crue, Tillich, from what I can see, just adapted existentialism and put a Christian veneer on it. I guess if I had to offer another example, the Midge saw Nibley and basically became the Stryper of apologetics. If Bircherism factored into the Midge ripping off Nibley, I really couldn’t say.

- Doc
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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:Also, if anyone wants to read the Midge's doctoral dissertation you can find it here:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/444800?rea ... b_contents

That link doesn’t seem to be the dissertation, just a 20-page essay that Midgley published in a journal. It has some relation to the dissertation but I don’t think you can get a Ph.D. for just twenty pages.

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Weekend at "Sic et Non"

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

I should note that the Stryper of apologetics is now on Day 3 of ____ all over Martin Luther King’s legacy:

Louis “totally not a supremacist” Midgley > John Pack Lambert 3 hours ago

The fact is that I have been interested in understanding why Martin Luther King obvious search for powerful rhetorical language to use in furthering his cause, did not seem to bother with proper academic attribution. Given that he was a preacher, rather than an academic pedant, I now simply dismiss his quirks.


One should also note his terrible grammar, since, you know, he likes to point out others’ occasional misstep.

- Doc
In the face of madness, rationality has no power - Xiao Wang, US historiographer, 2287 AD.

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Weekend at "Sic et Non"

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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:I should note that the Stryper of apologetics is now on Day 3 of ____ all over Martin Luther King’s legacy:

Louis “totally not a supremacist” Midgley > John Pack Lambert 3 hours ago

The fact is that I have been interested in understanding why Martin Luther King obvious search for powerful rhetorical language to use in furthering his cause, did not seem to bother with proper academic attribution. Given that he was a preacher, rather than an academic pedant, I now simply dismiss his quirks.


One should also note his terrible grammar, since, you know, he likes to point out others’ occasional misstep.

- Doc

I think he is (very badly) trying to walk back his noticing of the plagiarism, on a blog where the proprietor has a well-deserved reputation for plagiarizing with great regularity.

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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Physics Guy wrote:
Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:Also, if anyone wants to read the Midge's doctoral dissertation you can find it here:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/444800?rea ... b_contents

That link doesn’t seem to be the dissertation, just a 20-page essay that Midgley published in a journal. It has some relation to the dissertation but I don’t think you can get a Ph.D. for just twenty pages.


Hrm. From the link you provided:

Midgley, Louis Casper (Ph.D.: Political Science, 1965)

Title: Politics and ultimate concern: The normative political philosophy of Paul Tillich

Advisor: Dodge, Guy H.


Close enough!

eta image from the essay:

Image

I’m sure you can forgive a layperson for mistaking one for the other?

- Doc
In the face of madness, rationality has no power - Xiao Wang, US historiographer, 2287 AD.

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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From another blog from Patheos which in a way I felt is a direct answer to the Dan and Louis Circus at Sic et Non.

Professor Midgley if you are reading this I kindly request that you place this entire post in that neat little file you are making about me. Thank you,

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/evangelic ... as-flawed/
Yes, Martin Luther King Jr. Was Flawed
JANUARY 22, 2020 BY GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Just over a year ago I wrote an article titled, Donald Trump is No Saint. The article was in response to a letter sent to me. The premise of the letter was that since God has used “very flawed” persons throughout the Bible, perhaps, he could use such today (i.e., Trump).

I responded by noting that “very flawed” was not a proper designation for Noah, Moses, and Paul (some of the persons the letter characterized as used by God and “very flawed”). Now, I don’t deny that all persons in history, including those men and women that God has used, are sinners. But, to use “very flawed” for Noah, Moses, Paul, et al, leaves us no recourse to distinguish Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot from the rest of humanity. Indeed, we are all sinners in need of the grace of God. Some just seemed to have cornered the market of “flawedness” more than others.

Yesterday morning, while I was attending a breakfast to honor Martin Luther King Jr, I happened to take a quick peek at my email, only see to one titled, “Another very flawed man” sitting in my inbox. The brief note contained a link to an article that contends that the FBI was about to release extensive details regarding Martin Luther King’s troubling sexual misconduct. I was deeply grieved by the email.

My dismay stems from that fact that yesterday was the day that the U.S. government had set aside to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Now, there is a simple culturally accepted notion that regardless of one’s past transgressions it is not appropriate to bring them forth during a memorial service. A memorial service is to honor a person’s legacy not to detract from it.

More significantly, the attempt to denigrate Martin Luther King’s character on the day the nation had set aside to honor his legacy was an attempt altar the conversation from the issues that King was fighting for and against and to direct it instead to his character. In other words, even if the accusations of the FBI against King were true, yesterday was not the day to discuss them.

Instead, yesterday was the day to address the issues that Martin Luther King was trying to bring to the forefront: the radical, systemic injustices that proliferate our country. Yesterday was a day for all Americans to recognize the realities under which people of color live on a day to day basis. Yesterday was a day for us all to realize that we are all created by God and in His image—regardless of the color of our skin, our gender, or our socio-political status. Yesterday was not the day to question the character of Martin Luther King. To do would be to detract from the very important conversations that King and many others fought so hard, and for which King paid his life, to bring to the fore.

Now, does this mean that Martin Luther King lived a life without blemish? Certainly not. As I already noted, one of the core teachings of Scripture is that we are all sinners.

As for the accusations, allow me to address them briefly.

There is no question that the FBI was doing everything possible to undermine Martin Luther King and others. King was consistently accused of working with the Communists. Because of this “accusation” (for which, to my knowledge, no evidence was ever found) he was deemed a threat to the U.S.’s national security and served as the primary justification for the FBI’s investigations. This alone should cause suspicion as to what they found. Could it be the U.S. government wanted to suppress the work of the foremost civil rights leader and that they were willing to do so at all costs? Did they “find” a “just” reason for the surveillance of America’s foremost civil rights leader in order to justify their intense scrutiny and the bugging of his hotel rooms?

Now, I realize that this is a significant accusation. And, maybe there are truths in what the FBI may have found in regard to Martin Luther King and sexual misconduct. Maybe. But the actions and motives of the FBI were suspect and as a result their findings should be questioned.

If these findings are deemed true, it will be sobering for many. It will confirm that we are all sinners in need of a savior. It will detract from Martin Luther King’s legacy. What it cannot do, what we cannot let it do, is deter us from the conversations that King was bringing to the fore.

Our pledge of allegiance says, “with liberty and justice for all.” May this indeed be true!

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:Huck,

Registration is free, as is access to the Midge’s magnum copus.

Honestly, I’m not sure if the Midge’s early forays into the philosophy of ‘scientism’ is based on Bircherism, but boy does the timing ever line up nicely, no?

I do think that Tillich, in the vein of Christian tradition, simply picks whatever pop culture hotness is occurring at the time, and then tries to adopt it to Jesus worship. Much like Stryper ripping off 80’s buttrock’s Motley Crue, Tillich, from what I can see, just adapted existentialism and put a Christian veneer on it. I guess if I had to offer another example, the Midge saw Nibley and basically became the Stryper of apologetics. If Bircherism factored into the Midge ripping off Nibley, I really couldn’t say.

- Doc

Doc, I went ahead and did the registration so I could read the whole article. I did not find it particularly exciting but it did not fall into the fundamentalist cliches which I mentioned wondering about.

The article points out uncertainties or unclarities in Tillich system. Those were things that kept Tillich trying to think beyond the material contained in a short essay.

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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Dr LOD wrote:From another blog from Patheos which in a way I felt is a direct answer to the Dan and Louis Circus at Sic et Non.

Professor Midgley if you are reading this I kindly request that you place this entire post in that neat little file you are making about me. Thank you,

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/evangelic ... as-flawed/
Yes, Martin Luther King Jr. Was Flawed
JANUARY 22, 2020 BY GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Just over a year ago I wrote an article titled, Donald Trump is No Saint. The article was in response to a letter sent to me. The premise of the letter was that since God has used “very flawed” persons throughout the Bible, perhaps, he could use such today (i.e., Trump).

I responded by noting that “very flawed” was not a proper designation for Noah, Moses, and Paul (some of the persons the letter characterized as used by God and “very flawed”). Now, I don’t deny that all persons in history, including those men and women that God has used, are sinners. But, to use “very flawed” for Noah, Moses, Paul, et al, leaves us no recourse to distinguish Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot from the rest of humanity. Indeed, we are all sinners in need of the grace of God. Some just seemed to have cornered the market of “flawedness” more than others.

Yesterday morning, while I was attending a breakfast to honor Martin Luther King Jr, I happened to take a quick peek at my email, only see to one titled, “Another very flawed man” sitting in my inbox. The brief note contained a link to an article that contends that the FBI was about to release extensive details regarding Martin Luther King’s troubling sexual misconduct. I was deeply grieved by the email.

My dismay stems from that fact that yesterday was the day that the U.S. government had set aside to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Now, there is a simple culturally accepted notion that regardless of one’s past transgressions it is not appropriate to bring them forth during a memorial service. A memorial service is to honor a person’s legacy not to detract from it.

More significantly, the attempt to denigrate Martin Luther King’s character on the day the nation had set aside to honor his legacy was an attempt altar the conversation from the issues that King was fighting for and against and to direct it instead to his character. In other words, even if the accusations of the FBI against King were true, yesterday was not the day to discuss them.

Instead, yesterday was the day to address the issues that Martin Luther King was trying to bring to the forefront: the radical, systemic injustices that proliferate our country. Yesterday was a day for all Americans to recognize the realities under which people of color live on a day to day basis. Yesterday was a day for us all to realize that we are all created by God and in His image—regardless of the color of our skin, our gender, or our socio-political status. Yesterday was not the day to question the character of Martin Luther King. To do would be to detract from the very important conversations that King and many others fought so hard, and for which King paid his life, to bring to the fore.

Now, does this mean that Martin Luther King lived a life without blemish? Certainly not. As I already noted, one of the core teachings of Scripture is that we are all sinners.

As for the accusations, allow me to address them briefly.

There is no question that the FBI was doing everything possible to undermine Martin Luther King and others. King was consistently accused of working with the Communists. Because of this “accusation” (for which, to my knowledge, no evidence was ever found) he was deemed a threat to the U.S.’s national security and served as the primary justification for the FBI’s investigations. This alone should cause suspicion as to what they found. Could it be the U.S. government wanted to suppress the work of the foremost civil rights leader and that they were willing to do so at all costs? Did they “find” a “just” reason for the surveillance of America’s foremost civil rights leader in order to justify their intense scrutiny and the bugging of his hotel rooms?

Now, I realize that this is a significant accusation. And, maybe there are truths in what the FBI may have found in regard to Martin Luther King and sexual misconduct. Maybe. But the actions and motives of the FBI were suspect and as a result their findings should be questioned.

If these findings are deemed true, it will be sobering for many. It will confirm that we are all sinners in need of a savior. It will detract from Martin Luther King’s legacy. What it cannot do, what we cannot let it do, is deter us from the conversations that King was bringing to the fore.

Our pledge of allegiance says, “with liberty and justice for all.” May this indeed be true!


Dr. Midgley needs to get his head on straight and become self aware. His supreme leader, 2nd to Jesus Joseph Smith wanted to ____ his buddies wives and sent one on a mission so he could have easier access to his conquest.

So, who gives a ____ whether or not Dr. King liked women? He was an important figure in our history and consenting adults may do what they want despite what prudish religious ____ claim their god says.
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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Weekend at "Sic et Non"

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Good lord, he's still carrying on about this:

Daniel Peterson wrote:Doing so sent one small sector of the Internet into paroxysms of indignation. It demonstrated me to be arrogant, racist, spoiled, culturally insensitive, and — no less — a devotee of the Alt-Right. (I guess my long record of opposition to Donald Trump, apparently feigned, hasn’t been enough to conceal my sordid inner core.) The reference to “Abu Fu’ad slinging slop” supposedly illustrated our pampered and narrow-minded Western contempt for — ugh! — foreign food. (Actually, the hotel, trying to appeal to its Western clientele — it was the Vienna Hotel, after all, not the Funduq al-Filistiniyin, or something like that — never served Arab or Middle Eastern food, which we liked and which we enjoyed when we could get it. Instead, it kept us going with an attempt at something like a Western dormitory menu. We liked kindly old Abu Fu’ad, though. He was a sweet elderly man then, and I’m sure that he’s long since gone on to his reward.)

Anyway, I found the reaction of these critics to the little ditty above absolutely bizarre. But I’ve also reflected on it a bit since.

Please note that the doggerel verse is about the now-long-defunct Vienna Hotel. It doesn’t target the Arabs. It doesn’t malign Palestinians. It says nothing about Arab civilization or culture (which I had already been studying by 1978 and which I have continued to study, and to research, and to publish and teach about ever since).

But those who at least affected outrage about that song saw it, or claimed to see it, as an expression of contempt for Arabs and Arab culture.

Who was it, however, who, reading about an old, inexpensive, and rundown hotel with bad plumbing, a broken elevator, and mediocre food, immediately saw those things as emblematic of Arab culture, as typical of Arabs?

Not I.


Well, hold on a second. Here he is in his original post:

DCP wrote:My first stay in the Middle East was six months with a BYU study abroad group in Israel. For roughly the first half of that 1978 program — just eleven years after Israel had seized control of East Jerusalem (and the West Bank and the Sinai and the Golan Heights) during the Six-Day War of 1967 — we were housed (and had our classes) in the Vienna Hotel, a Palestinian establishment in an Arab neighborhood called Shaykh Jarrah. (The building has long since been demolished.)
(emphasis added)

Whether or not the "song" all by itself "malign(s) Palestinians" is debatable (it pretty clearly does, in my view), but here's Dr. Peterson himself, pointing out to everyone that "the Vienna Hotel, [was] a Palestinian establishment in an Arab neighborhood." That's plain as day: he wanted all his readers to understand that the Vienna Hotel was "a Palestinian establishment in an Arab neighborhood."

Look: I think most people just shrugged at this as yet another dumb blog entry, and yet another racially-insensitive blunder on the part of the "Sic et Non" crew. Those people who *have* taken issue with it see this basically as yet another case of some snot-nosed twerp of a white, spoiled American kid being disrespectful towards a non-American culture. DCP certainly isn't alone in that regard. How many times have LDS missionaries gotten into trouble for fooling around out in the mission field, or saying offensive things about other cultures? There was one story from a while back, IIRC, about a pair of missionaries that had actually desecrated an old Catholic artifact: there was a photo of the two of them standing next to the remnants of this object, with smirks on their faces. But nobody, as far as I can see, is accusing DCP the grown-up of being culturally insensitive, "racist," or anything of that nature. The lone blunder was in doing the blog post in the first place, and failing to see the reasons why people might take issue with it.

In any case, DCP seems really interested in dwelling on this old trip to Israel. In fact, he is even claiming, in another context, to be upset / "creeped out" over it, despite the fact that he himself has apparently been discussing this same trip, and characterizes his own antics as "hijinks":

DCP wrote: tracking down obscure references on somebody's obscure blog to recollections of four-decade-old student hijinks


Okay. Look, I said that I wouldn't bring this up if he didn't (shall I bump the Amazon thread while we're at it? And the one(s) about compensation for Mopologetics? A fresh link to the tax form, maybe?). So much for that!

In any case, what he's referring to is an old blog--the link to which was sent to me by an "informant." This was many years ago. In any case, the blog in question (now defunct, I guess) was authored by a Sister Nielson. Here are some of the choicest tidbits:

Sister Nielson's Blog wrote:Dan Peterson, Mark Mattox and Lisette Penn succeeded in water-bombing a cat today from the third story.
Evidently the Arab and Israeli tomcats have their Middle East conflict in our yard every night.


This was quite an eventful day for the group. The morning started out with a field trip to the Golan Heights and some other choice spots. In spite of the cloudy, gloomy-looking skies, Pres. Galbraith decided we should chance it. So everyone loaded onto the buses, keeping their fingers crossed. One of the buses was quite a novelty to the group ──it looked rather like a converted milk wagon.

Well, off we started, still looking suspiciously at the sky, while Dan Peterson kept us all entertained with bathroom jokes.


And this problematic bit:

Our next ham was the ever famous Rabbi Dan Peterson, the authority on bathroom facilities and Kosher laws. We had many questions to ask him. “Yes, we are marketing prayer shawls for swimming.” “Yes, orange falafels are Kosher.” “Yes, I’m upset that there aren’t bathroom facilities on the bus, but an idea has not been conceived yet to install some.” The shocker of the day was Jennifer Graves! Not only did she publicly sit on a boy’s lap but Rabbi Peterson performed a Jewish wedding ceremony for her right on the bus.


Uh huh. And how would they like it if the Israelis performed aspects of the LDS temple ceremony? Like I said: a disrespectful, culturally insensitive little twerp and a punk.

But at least, like he says in his latest post, he likes Middle Eastern food:

Sis. Nielson's Blog wrote:Before hitting the beach, we “porked” out and hit every falafel place in Tel Aviv. Amongst the glutters were Dan Peterson, who knowingly stuffed his face with two and one half falafels and a glass of falafel juice. Then some of our independent coeds asked Bro. Tvedtnes if he had a falafel and a falafel casa. Unhesitatingly he (Bro. Tvedtnes) gave a brief, one-half hour definition of a falafel: “a bean mixture, deep-fried in grease.” Did you catch that, Dallin, Dixon, and Dan Peterson?


LOL! Hey, I like falafel, too, Dr. Peterson: all the different varieties, including the Sudanese kind that's seasoned with dill.
"[I]f, 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: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

Post by Dr Exiled »

Great post Dr. Scratch! I thought DCP was just acting like a rich American punk, like so many have, when visiting the third world. The thing I don't understand is why praise it? I acted like a young punk in my younger days but realize that the behavior was wrong now ... and I don't wear it like a badge of honor, like some kid used to having servants would do.
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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

Post by moksha »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Sister Nielson wrote: Unhesitatingly he (Bro. Tvedtnes) gave a brief, one-half hour definition of a falafel: “a bean mixture, deep-fried in grease.” Did you catch that, Dallin, Dixon, and Dan Peterson?

LOL! Hey, I like falafel, too, Dr. Peterson: all the different varieties, including the Sudanese kind that's seasoned with dill.

No surprised where gelatin comes from, but did you know that this Mormon ethnic dish comes in a wide assortment of flavors and that this food is a staple of Mormon weddings? No details can be forthcoming on its Temple usage because that is too sacred. Needless to say, images can easily be conjured up from the Temple nude clogging ceremony.
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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

Post by Physics Guy »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:I’m sure you can forgive a layperson for mistaking one for the other?

Sure. The essay has the same title as the dissertation, so either it's an abstract or extract, or else maybe an early stage towards the dissertation. The dissertation should have been around ten times as long, though.

I skimmed through this essay quickly. I already knew roughly who Paul Tillich was and I had a vague idea of his most famous ideas. I didn't get a much clearer picture from this essay. In particular I still don't know what to make of Tillich. Despite his stature as a theologian I'm not sure Tillich wasn't an atheist, because I really can't tell whether his abstract formulations refer to something that anyone beside Tillich would honestly call "God" or whether Tillich was just importing traditional religious terminology into atheism. In the latter case I'm unsure whether Tillich was doing that consciously or whether he had successfully kidded himself.

The Midgley paper linked here was published in a University of Utah journal, The Western Political Quarterly. Near the end of it Midgley blandly remarks that Tillich's theology "must be" rejected. He doesn't explain why it must be rejected other than by citing one of his own previous papers on Tillich, which was published in the explicitly Mormon journal Dialogue.

I skimmed that paper, too. It was mainly about the obvious conflict between a super "meta" theology like Tillich's, in which God is not even a being, and the frankly pagan-ish Mormon view that God has a physical body and lives within time and space. This Midgley paper ends surprisingly abruptly with a quotation from Tillich that denies life after death, followed by two lines from Wordsworth to indicate that Midgley would prefer paganism to Tillich's bleak outlook.

That seems to have been the thesis of Midgley's Dialogue paper: that from a Mormon point of view Tillich was unacceptably bleak. I guess that might be a fair enough point to make for a Mormon audience. "We can't take this seriously because we don't like it" isn't the kind of argument I expect to see in a journal, however. And it's then a bit weird that Midgley was able to smuggle that arbitrary verdict into his WPQ paper, too, in a footnote.

I think I can see why Midgley wrote about Tillich, however.

One of Mormonism's obvious weaknesses is its primitive theology, in comparison to all the fancy philosophical stuff that mainstream theisms have been discussing for centuries. Post-Matrix speculations that everything we think is reality might be just a simulation show that it's still potentially hip to wonder whether there might be some higher power entirely outside our reality, controlling it all. Against that sort of wow-man concept the flesh-and-bone Mormon Gods just look hokey and crude.

Tillich's theology is on the one hand right up there as a high-concept philosophical system, but on the other hand not such a tough act for Mormonism to follow. If some non-Mormon theist raises an eyebrow at Joseph Smith's neo-paganism and murmurs names like Anselm and Aquinas, Midgley can say, "I'll see your Thomas Aquinas and raise the stakes to Paul Tillich!" But then having gone all the way to Tillich, Tillich is pretty bleak. In comparison to him, Mormonism might not look so bad.

A Mormon theologian focusing on Tillich is kind of like a conservative political theorist focusing on Marx or a liberal focusing on Hitler. It's more comfortable to contemplate an extreme alternative to one's own viewpoint than a nearer rival. A liberal reading Edmund Burke might get the nagging feeling that the guy did have some points; maybe Bernie Sanders has some valid points, too. Mein Kampf and Das Kapital are less threatening.

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Weekend at "Sic et Non"

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Excellent analysis there, Physics Guy. I know that Dr. Midgley has spoken disapprovingly of concepts of Deity that are more abstract/less concrete on numerous occasions. Our friend, Philo Sofee, has gone the rounds with him on the topic of mysticism, which Midgley is also not a fan of. The experience of mystics is often closer to the experience of the infinite and ineffable Deity than it is a meeting with the divine human-Deity of Mormon theology. Midgley is attracted to exploring this contrast in a way that favors LDS theology, and that is not at all surprising.
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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Weekend at "Sic et Non"

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You know, I recall that it took me a long time to suppress the jackass in my personality. Some would happily point out that this part of me is still alive and well. Thank goodness that, as far as I know, no one is posting stories about my missionary and college hijinks online. I don't think it would be a good look.

So, what about Professor P.? A lot of what he has written on the topic of his youth concerns his family, his conversion, and then, evidently, some rough-around-the-edges good times with his young friends. Personally, I saw nothing in his Vienna Hotel anecdote that was truly offensive. The material about his impersonations of a rabbi as documented by a friend really are of another time and place. I would suggest that it comes from the clumsy affection a young person has for the amazing cultural variety of the world and the understandable LDS fascination with Judaism. It is not at all emerging from a place of unkind feelings towards Jews or Judaism.

My preference would be that we not try to make something out of this. If I am reading Doctor Scratch carefully, he is commenting on the problem of cultural insensitivity, and not racism per se. It is important to distinguish between these things, and I have to say that I, being younger than Professor P., would have been deemed no more culturally sensitive than he appears to have been when I was at a similar age. I have changed over time. The antics I got up to as a young man, which were partly born of fascination with those who were different but were nevertheless burdened with the common misconceptions and insensitivity of an ignorant Westerner, are not something that I would like people to dredge up for public consumption today.
“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

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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Could it be that DCP's self esteem is so low that even as a young adult, perhaps overweight and not of the alpha male type, he uses comic antics, eg rabbi peterson, bathroom jokes to become either the class clown known and enjoyed by all but not taken seriously, or just to show he is a funny guy and the life of the party( though probably laughed at) to try to build that self esteem.


I would loved for him to describe his dealings/temptations with the opposite sex in the Vienna Hotel.

All of the above indicates unanswered questions about the level of Dan Peterson's self esteem and his ability to meet the very low standards he has set for himself.

Dan -come clean, renounce Mo'ism as BS- you will become a hero to the exmos who find the truth and and leave the ship Zion. But if you do Woody would probably rationalize that you are mentally ill.

just musin
k

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Weekend at "Sic et Non"

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I think it is probably the case that Dr. P was in this regard a fairly normal, geeky American person of his day. Nothing especially derogatory about him could or should be read into these episodes.
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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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My feeling is that if an ignorant young traveler does a bunch of crass things on a first trip to the Middle East then it would be helping that young person grow up to take them aside and explain why what they're doing is crass. If it all happened forty years in the past, though, then I'm not going to upbraid a middle-aged professor for those dumb old stunts. Instead I'm going to presume that this mature and well-traveled adult has already done that growing up by now without my help. I did dumb things as a young person, too, but by now I've done my own cringing for them and I would only ever mention them again as an embarrassing example of what not to do.

But what if the middle-aged professor is recounting some pretty dumb youthful stunts as fond memories, without cringing at all? This is different, to me. As the OP put it:
Doctor Scratch wrote:Look: there is a part of me that wants to dismiss this sort of thing as mere "infelicities of youth." But if DCP was acting like a spoiled, naïve and racially insensitive twerp as a youth, then why is he bringing it up now?

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Re: Another Racially Insensitive Martin Luther King Day Week

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Physics Guy wrote:My feeling is that if an ignorant young traveler does a bunch of crass things on a first trip to the Middle East then it would be helping that young person grow up to take them aside and explain why what they're doing is crass. If it all happened forty years in the past, though, then I'm not going to upbraid a middle-aged professor for those dumb old stunts. Instead I'm going to presume that this mature and well-traveled adult has already done that growing up by now without my help. I did dumb things as a young person, too, but by now I've done my own cringing for them and I would only ever mention them again as an embarrassing example of what not to do.

But what if the middle-aged professor is recounting some pretty dumb youthful stunts as fond memories, without cringing at all? This is different, to me. As the OP put it:
Doctor Scratch wrote:Look: there is a part of me that wants to dismiss this sort of thing as mere "infelicities of youth." But if DCP was acting like a spoiled, naïve and racially insensitive twerp as a youth, then why is he bringing it up now?


So, I think it is important: a) not to conflate what DCP reports about himself with what others have reported about him; and b) not to look for the worst in what we are reading.

Look, DCP and we are not going to agree on what is culturally insensitive. True. No argument. But what is the point of rehashing that issue over and over again?

It seems like the envisioned outcome of this fixation on the peccadilloes of Peterson is to convince others that he is just an awful person. Now that I am seeing people of a lot more importance being awful, focusing on the gray area of the cultural insensitivity of DCP in the past or the present seems quaint, in the best estimation, or borderline offensive.

DCP is probably on the more culturally sensitive side of what one can expect of a garden-variety conservative. Truth is, these folks sometimes stick their big toes across the line fully expecting some liberal to become apoplectic and hectoring because "the conservative" proved yet again what louts all conservatives are.

At some point, the whole game has to become more boring to people.

Show me how I can be antiracist in my own life. Do not show me how I can feel self-righteous because I am not "the benighted conservative." The latter is a ____ dodge and we all know it.
“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

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