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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:16 pm 
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The Dude wrote:
I read Dan's article after John Dehlin posted a link on Facebook. I didn't know Will Schryver was the muse behind it, but it definitely had the cadence of a sunday school lesson. What a crappy style of writing.

{quote a bunch of scripture] ... interpret .... [quote a bunch of scripture] ... interpret ... [quote a bunch of scripture] ... interpret....

Why don't you just say what you mean without intermingling the scripture bull crap??? Maybe exegesis has a place in some humanities disciplines, but in a printed article it is phony and stilted. Especially when the quoted scripture is a damn fairy tale.


ROFL!

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:29 am 
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CaliforniaKid wrote:
That's actually a pretty good comparison. There's a pretty significant Catholic movement advocating that Mary be regarded as a co-redeemer with Christ. The Church considers this to be heterodox, but it arguably stems from authentic strains of the tradition itself, just like Mormonism's Heavenly Mother movement.


Yep. That's why I brought it up.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:39 am 
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RayAgostini wrote:
If you ever want to witness "hit piece" after "hit piece", then just keep reading the threads on this board. If you were a wise man, you'd learn from this board how not to react to the problems in apologetics, through speculation, innuendo, character defamation and plain mob rule. It's far worse than anything ever published by NAMIRS.


Far better to have a scary Brownshirt like Schryver who advocates sniffing out internal enemies, eh Ray? Far better to have paid apologists stalking the Internet talking about openly, and alluding to in vague accusations, the failings of those "enemies," all with the implied approval of the Church.

Far better to accuse Laura Compton of being a Satanic deceiver. Right?

Poor John would have a lot of explaining to do if he ever dared criticize such paragons of virtue and righteousness as those who do such things.

And yes, my citation of normal standards of academic book reviewing was quite the "hit piece" wasn't it?

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:25 am 
Kishkumen wrote:
RayAgostini wrote:
If you ever want to witness "hit piece" after "hit piece", then just keep reading the threads on this board. If you were a wise man, you'd learn from this board how not to react to the problems in apologetics, through speculation, innuendo, character defamation and plain mob rule. It's far worse than anything ever published by NAMIRS.


Far better to have a scary Brownshirt like Schryver who advocates sniffing out internal enemies, eh Ray? Far better to have paid apologists stalking the Internet talking about openly, and alluding to in vague accusations, the failings of those "enemies," all with the implied approval of the Church.

Far better to accuse Laura Compton of being a Satanic deceiver. Right?

Poor John would have a lot of explaining to do if he ever dared criticize such paragons of virtue and righteousness as those who do such things.

And yes, my citation of normal standards of academic book reviewing was quite the "hit piece" wasn't it?

Kish brings out a good point.

Yes, Ray, there are quite a few negative posts on MDB. There are personal attacks, and "hit pieces", if you will, that attack personal character of folks who post here.

However, what is the real consequence of the "hit pieces" posted here?

Kish brings up a very valid point by recognizing that the "hit pieces" which ARE made on MI and FAIR have more far-reaching consequences for the subjects of those "hit pieces". Their Church membership can be investigated. Their work reputation can be compromised.

The reason that Shades and I acted as we did on the recent issue involving Dan and the Facebook episode was that we saw potential for harm to his employment. That is an area we, as administrators of this site, are sensitive to.

That same sensitivity does not seem to be consistently given to all who author "hit pieces" on MI or FAIR.

As much as MDB is a part of our every day world, MDB is still relatively small as far as its audience and circulation. The audience which permeates MI and FAIR is likely larger, (although this is speculation...I have no official studies) but beyond being larger, that audience also consists of people who can make or break careers and Church memberships.


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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:23 am 
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liz3564 wrote:
That same sensitivity does not seem to be consistently given to all who author "hit pieces" on MI or FAIR.


No kidding. In fact, aggressive measures have been taken by the BYU-employed apologists to push for tenure denials, some at unrelated institutions, and to end people's membership in the LDS Church.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:20 am 
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After that whole slavery issue, it's hard for me to read anything from Will or Dan without this running through my head.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:23 am 
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RayAgostini wrote:
I have it on good authority that this is not included in Smith's article.

Have a nice night, folks.


Now's the time for show and tell, Ray. Otherwise, your comment is just hot air.

Who is the "good authority"? And what did they use for proof?

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:43 pm 
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mercyngrace wrote:
I am reminded today that it wasn't the zeal of the Maccabees that preserved Judaism but the dedication of the Pharisees, the most liberal Jewish sect, who focused on personal piety, personal dedication to the Torah, and who prized the treatment of fellow human beings over the keeping of the sometimes legalistic interpretations of the mitzvot. These were the "pious ones" who actually trusted God to police His own creation.

I suppose the upside, if you find yourself in the zealot camp, is that one day you might be remembered fondly in spite of slaughtering your own tribe and perhaps even given your own holiday.


Wow, how could any be more covert than M&G? Having established herself all these years as a Christ like figure on these various boards, and now to betray her sheep's covering to reveal the true wolf within.
She should immediately be reported to her Bishop!


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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:58 pm 
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It's apples and oranges, comparing MDB to NAMIRS/FAIR.

NAMIRS/FAIR limit their membership, have an agenda, claim high scholarly standards, claim that their output is well respected.

MDB is a free-speech, free-wheeling internet message board, where anyone can come, read, register, and post his or her thoughts about Mormonism. It does not arrogate to itself any pretense of 'scholarship'; there is not a hierarchy in place for peer review of drafts before they may be cleared for posting. If a poster makes a point in anything but a mere personal, head-long attack at someone, his or her post is welcome per the board rules.

I think that judged by their respective parameters, MDB fairs far and away better at achieving what its scope and intentions are than NAMIRS/FAIR.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:33 pm 
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sock puppet wrote:
MDB is a free-speech, free-wheeling internet message board, where anyone can come, read, register, and post his or her thoughts about Mormonism. It does not arrogate to itself any pretense of 'scholarship'; there is not a hierarchy in place for peer review of drafts before they may be cleared for posting. If a poster makes a point in anything but a mere personal, head-long attack at someone, his or her post is welcome per the board rules.


The comparison between MDB and the apologetic machine is so ludicrous that it is obvious it is only made to shut down conversation. In LDS apologetics you have a foundation, operating with the support of the LDS Church, and from BYU campus, which publishes defamatory literature, passed off as "book reviews" against members of the LDS Church in good standing. It is a despicable enterprise that counts heavily against all the other good things BYU and NAMIRS accomplish.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:39 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
...all the other good things BYU and NAMIRS accomplish.
Specifically, what are those things you have in mind? (NAMIRS was established decades after I left BYU--then only a fledgling, almost underground FARMS venture shepherded by Jack Welch. I am curious as to what else NAMIRS does.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:31 pm 
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sock puppet wrote:
Specifically, what are those things you have in mind? (NAMIRS was established decades after I left BYU--then only a fledgling, almost underground FARMS venture shepherded by Jack Welch. I am curious as to what else NAMIRS does.)


CPART, METI--all of that stuff that deals with preserving ancient texts, translating medieval Islamic works, and the like.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
sock puppet wrote:
Specifically, what are those things you have in mind? (NAMIRS was established decades after I left BYU--then only a fledgling, almost underground FARMS venture shepherded by Jack Welch. I am curious as to what else NAMIRS does.)


CPART, METI--all of that stuff that deals with preserving ancient texts, translating medieval Islamic works, and the like.


Oh, you mean what they're SUPPOSED to do... got it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:37 pm 
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harmony wrote:
Oh, you mean what they're SUPPOSED to do... got it.


Well, they are actually doing it!

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:46 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
harmony wrote:
Oh, you mean what they're SUPPOSED to do... got it.


Well, they are actually doing it!


In addition to other things, not on the mandate.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:47 pm 
Kishkumen wrote:
The comparison between MDB and the apologetic machine is so ludicrous that it is obvious it is only made to shut down conversation. In LDS apologetics you have a foundation, operating with the support of the LDS Church, and from BYU campus, which publishes defamatory literature, passed off as "book reviews" against members of the LDS Church in good standing. It is a despicable enterprise that counts heavily against all the other good things BYU and NAMIRS accomplish.


You should really try to be more expressive, Kish. No need to be so mild, timid and tactful. Come to think of it, if DCP had you on his side in the early '90s, the "apologetic machine" would have been even stronger, and more offensive to oh-so-sensitive souls. You would not have missed a beat being in tuned with the FARMS Esprit de Corps. So it really all depends on "which side". But I'm sure that on message boards you don't write as an academic. It's just "banter".

When The Review began, then known as Review of Books on the Book of Mormon (1989), I wouldn't say it was claiming to be a "serious" academic reviewer which followed all the "standard" rules of academic reviews (not always adhered to by "non-Mormons, either). It was primarily to be a defense of the Book of Mormon, but not only that, as mentioned in DCP's first editorial.

Quote:
Perhaps this is beginning to change. Certainly the Prophet's call for renewed emphasis on the Book of Mormon has met a response among many members of the Church. And it can hardly be dismissed as self-congratulation--since I am a newcomer to the organization--when I say that the establishment of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies itself represents both a symbol of an apparent renaissance in Book of Mormon studies and a watershed in their development. But while F.A.R.M.S. is a manifestation of heightened interest in the Book, it is not the only manifestation. New theories on the origins and claims of the Book of Mormon proliferate not only without but, for perhaps the first time in any significant way, within the Church. Some of these are, in my frank opinion, pernicious. A few are simply retoolings of theories which have been around since the nineteenth century. But they are presented, in many cases, with a persuasive force which merits the most serious and honest attention. For those who occupy themselves seriously with the rising field of Book of Mormon studies, they cannot simply be dismissed.


Quote:
But a deeper knowledge of the Book of Mormon is not merely desirable in order to reinforce our apologetic armor. If that were the case, the Book of Mormon would be no more useful to us than a piece of worthless peripheral territory is to a city under siege. If the Book of Mormon served only to increase the perimeter we must defend against attack, we would be well-advised to cast it off.

This Review is founded on the deeply held belief that the Book of Mormon has immense value to both the Church and the world.


It doesn't exactly sound like an announcement to be "fair and balanced" as if one is impartially and independently reviewing film or literature, does it?

Quote:
That is what this project is designed to do. There is value for anyone in peer review. That fact has long been recognized in academic fields ranging from chemistry to comparative literature. We often fail to notice, even in daily life, the things that we do amiss. It requires someone else to point them out to us--a wife, a child, a friend, sometimes even an enemy. The garden of Book of Mormon studies will produce more abundantly and healthily if its gardeners and consumers are adept at distinguishing edible plants from weeds.


I have no qualms in stating that, IMO, some of the reviews have been way overboard, and Eugene England thought the same. He didn't think very highly of Signature, either.

Quote:
The spring of 1992 heard the late afterclap of a minor tempest that swirled about this Review the previous summer. In an eloquent article devoted to the theme of "redemptive truth" and reconciliation, Eugene England called for greater civility and courtesy within the Latter-day Saint community. He also lamented, in passing, "the absurd spectacle of two 'alternate voices'—the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) and Signature Books—engaged in name-calling and threatening lawsuits because . . . one is aggressively proud of its orthodoxy, the other aggressively proud of its independence—and neither [is] very merciful."


Editor's Introduction: Questions to Legal Answers.

Have you ever criticised Signature Books, Kish? Do you find anything "despicable" (your word) or "uncivil" about the "side" you are on? Or is it just The Review that needs to be "crushed", criticised and tamed? Do you think there is "balance" towards any of these issues here, Kish?

Questions Continued:

Quote:
"Don't Label Me"

Speaking of the writers anthologized in Dan Vogel's The Word of God, Mr. Smith's letter noted that one of our reviewers had labeled them "non-Latter-day Saints, Reorganized Latter-day Saints, disaffected Latter-day Saints, and hard-core anti-Latter-day Saints." This did not please him. He did not deny that the book featured "non-Latter-day Saints, Reorganized Latter-day Saints, [and] disaffected Latter-day Saints," but he was disturbed by the fourth category. "It is untrue and grossly unfair to call any of these contributors—especially the devout, practicing Latter-day Saints represented in the book—'anti-Mormon.' It was to defend against this libelous accusation that Signature Books consulted an attorney, not to curtail discussion, as Peterson maintains. FARMS subsequently printed a correction in its newsletter."

Manifestly, George D. Smith does not consider himself—or, at least, does not wish to be known as—an "anti-Mormon." But if someone considers him to be just that, is it libelous or slanderous to say so?


Quote:
A relevant case was decided by a United States District Court in New Jersey, in 1982.28 In that instance, the author of a book on gambling, with the book's publisher, brought a defamation action against the author of a review of the book and against the publisher of the magazine in which the review had appeared. The reviewer's offense resided in his having said of the book, Casino Gambling for the Winner, that the only thing its readers would learn from it was how to lose. "I consider the publication and sale of this work," the reviewer declared, "to be the #1 fraud ever perpetrated upon the gambling reader." Strong language, indeed. Yet the court held that the review was not libelous. Why?

When a book is published, District Judge Sarokin remarked, its author must expect both praise and blame. The court noted that the review neither stated nor implied that the author of the book could be criminally prosecuted for fraud. It also pointed out that all of the statements complained of by the author of the book and its publisher were opinions, and that there was no reason to suppose that these opinions were not honestly held. And where a statement represents someone's opinion, there is no cause of action for libel. (The issue of whether a statement is an opinion or a claim of fact is one that a court must settle.) Furthermore, the court observed, the opinions were supported in the review article by facts and argument. Opinions can be libelous, the court noted, if their proponent makes a clear but demonstrably false claim of access to private, firsthand knowledge of their truth. But if the author sets out the basis on which his opinions have been formulated, there can be no question of misrepresentation, and the opinions must be accepted as such. A critic, the court declared, has wide latitude to say what he or she wants to say, and critical comments are privileged as long as they do not go beyond the work itself to attack the work's author personally. But, even here, the critic is free to comment on such elements of the author's character as are evidenced in the book itself. These principles have recently been affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in Milkovich v. Lorain-Journal Co.29


Are you an impartial observer of all this, Kish?

A little history to further raise ire:

Quote:
In the 1990s, FARMS enjoyed rapid growth, fueled by donations that considerably increased its yearly operating budget. During the mid-1990s, the BYU administration became interested in the prospect of incorporating FARMS into the university. As FARMS took on important projects that depended more and more on BYU resources, the relationship between the two became increasingly complex. Something needed to be done to clarify their mutual relationship. On 10 September 1997, President Hinckley proposed that FARMS be invited into the university.

In extending the invitation, President Hinckley said: "FARMS represents the efforts of sincere and dedicated scholars. It has grown to provide strong support and defense of the Church on a professional basis. . . . I see a bright future for this effort now through the university."

When the university decided to separate traditional FARMS activities from the manuscript preservation and archiving work of the Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (CPART), it was also decided to bring BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI) under the same umbrella. BYU needed to contain these three separate areas in an administrational organization, and so the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (ISPART) was established. The Research Technology Group, which developed the WordCruncher program, was also incorporated. In 2006, the BYU Board of Trustees renamed ISPART the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. "By renaming ISPART, BYU honors the memory and life's work of Elder Maxwell," said BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. "This change firmly sets the future direction of the institute, which is to promote profound scholarship supporting the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ—something Elder Maxwell cared about deeply." With the change of name, BYU Studies, the signature publication of the University, was invited to join the Maxwell Institute.


Would Elder Maxwell and President Hinckley have agreed with you in your criticism of the ironically named Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship?

Quote:
Some murmurers seem to hope to reshape the Church to their liking by virtue of their murmuring. But why would one want to belong to a church that he could remake in his own image, when it is the Lord’s image that we should come to have in our countenances? (See Alma 5:19.) The doctrines are His, brothers and sisters, not ours. The power is His to delegate, not ours to manipulate! (Ensign, November 1989, 83, as quoted in The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, ed. Cory H. Maxwell [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 69.)


I'm not pointing all of this out to defend, promote or support FARMS, but sometimes we need a reality check before we engage in serious "ark steadying". Here's a wild suggestion: Change the Church culture and beliefs, and then you may be able to change FARMS.

Have I put the cart before the horse? You claim to be "fighting bad apologetics", "for the good of the Church and its members", and to "defend your friends" from attack. That's all fine and noble. But what would happen if you were a true believer? Like Schryver, like Peterson, like Maxwell, like Hinckley, and all the "old guard" who now happen to occupy all the positions in the first fifteen, while GAs like Jensen are "put out to pasture".

What you may need to do now is begin attacking and criticising the very Church culture that "breeds" organisations like FARMS (I'm suggesting this tongue-in-cheek), but I suspect you may feel a little uncomfortable doing that because you feel "they" are really on your side in this crusade to "tame" "bad apologetics".

Go ahead, Kish, make that next step, because it's only logical. Bad fruit doesn't come out of good trees, so maybe it's the tree itself that's just rotten and decaying to the core? Tell the world, and the board, how really silly you think Mormonism and Mormon beliefs are, all those "silly things" that the NAMI defends.


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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:02 pm 
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RayAgostini wrote:
Go ahead, Kish, make that next step, because it's only logical. Bad fruit doesn't come out of good trees, so maybe it's the tree itself that's just rotten and decaying to the core? Tell the world, and the board, how really silly you think Mormonism and Mormon beliefs are, all those "silly things" that the NAMI defends.


Indeed Scratch claims to only wage an interest/engagement with apologist, not the members/church. I suppose others here might jump on that bandwagon. Ray does make a good point here. Would we still find scratch here posting if MI was shutdown and the old guard put to pasture? Or is this war waged against apologist a façade or simply misdirected?


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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:54 pm 
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RockSlider wrote:
Indeed Scratch claims to only wage an interest/engagement with apologist, not the members/church. I suppose others here might jump on that bandwagon. Ray does make a good point here. Would we still find scratch here posting if MI was shutdown and the old guard put to pasture? Or is this war waged against apologist a façade or simply misdirected?


Well, since I know a little bit about Scratch's personal story, I can tell you unequivocally that he wouldn't even be here if it were not for apologetics. So, there is really no need to wonder. And I say this not as a matter of opinion, but it was from him that I heard it was apologetics that drew him into the discussion.

And, no, Ray A is not making a good point. At all.

Ray's all or nothing rhetoric in this post, where he is accusing me of being an anti-Mormon on no basis whatsoever, is the kind of absolutist thinking that both angry anti-Mormons and bad Mormon apologists engage in.

These are the people who want to taunt others to jump over the cliff, whether it be Schryver or Ed Decker. Most saner souls understand that life is an admixture of the good and the bad, and that these things can be found in all organizations and people.

Think very carefully about this everyone. And look closely at what Ray A is doing:

In the face of my very limited quest to get the LDS Church to pull the plug on negative reviews of its own members in good standing (notice I did not say that critical reviews of books were out of bounds), Ray A is telling me to pull off my mask and reveal myself for the anti-Mormon that I am underneath.

Such a demand could have easily been written by Will Schryver himself. It is among the most ludicrous and destructive nonsense you will ever see posted on any of the boards.

Take someone's very pointed and fair criticism of a practice that actually hurts the LDS Church and its members, and twist it into an anti-Mormon gambit.

Bravo, Ray. Bravo.

I doubt I have ever been more disappointed in you in all of our time of acquaintance.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
Bravo, Ray. Bravo.

I doubt I have ever been more disappointed in you in all of our time of acquaintance.


I'm sorry you put yourself in a position where he could disappoint you.

I think, in all the years I have been on message boards, I have never known a person as strange in personality and temperament as Ray A. His character arc is mystifying, pointless, and sad.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:09 pm 
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harmony wrote:
RayAgostini wrote:
I have it on good authority that this is not included in Smith's article.

Have a nice night, folks.


Now's the time for show and tell, Ray. Otherwise, your comment is just hot air.

Who is the "good authority"? And what did they use for proof?


Bump.

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 Post subject: Re: The Peterson/Schryver Inquisition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:11 pm 
The Dude wrote:
I'm sorry you put yourself in a position where he could disappoint you.

I think, in all the years I have been on message boards, I have never known a person as strange in personality and temperament as Ray A. His character arc is mystifying, pointless, and sad.


Was that a personal attack? Have you examined Kish's "temperament record". No? Sad.


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