Friday, January 6, 2012

Do as I say, Not as I do

You will often see on facebook LDS apologist claiming that we as Christian apologist censor their comments for the sole purpose of trying to keep honest people such as yourselves from hearing the "Truth" about Mormonism.  I am going to show you the information listed on one of the LDS apologist facebook pages and see if they are above their own accusations.

"This Facebook page provides the Biblical foundation for many basic doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is for those who are new to the Church, those who have been members of the Church, those who are questioning their faith, and those who are seeking to understand the teachings and premise of the LDS Church."
Now I'm all for people wanting to clarify what their opinions are. If I were to run a page about my own faith I would expect those who may have questions to bring them.  Which brings up the issue of how they are dealt with.  This is what they are accusing us of  "censoring".  Now let's look into their "rules".

"By liking this page, you agree to the following rules (and it is up to you to read these rules): 

1) There are to be no personal attacks of individual members here on this page. This includes the General Authorities, or past Leaders of the Church.  If you are going to post comments that Joseph Smith was a pedophile then you are not welcomed on this page for that is an ad hominem."

Now I can completely agree with the first line. The second line however is a different issue for most of the issues with Mormonism come because of contradictions from past leaders.  It would be understandable that in an attempt to conceal reality from it's members the church would not want these things on their page.  And since a lot of those issues go all the way back to quotes from Joseph himself including lies about polygamy then him being a pedophile should be kept off as well.  Now let's look at the definition of ad hominem....
  • appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.
  • attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.

Now let's just keep this in mind as we continue.

2) Sincere questions are welcomed.  However, any question that are gauged to be deceptive forms of attacking the doctrines, leaders, and history of the LDS Church, the comment will be removed.  Upon the third removal, the individual will be banned from posting on the page indefinitely. 

Sincere questions? So in other words we can't ask anything that sheds reality on Mormonism....Got it. What I have an issue with is that in the same breath they will complain about how ministries like ours refuse to allow them to go off and litter our page with nonsense.   If they want to run their page according to these rules it wouldn't be an issue if they weren't complaining about us asking to do the very same.

3) Links to known counter-cult ministries (CARM, MRM, UTLM, et al.) will automatically be removed and the individual who posted said link.

Not this makes me laugh. For CARM, MRM, and especially UTLM have spent years getting scans of original documents to show what was said and in the context of which it was meant. So again I can see what they would want to censor these out from those who might be questioning their faith.  For the church doesn't want to lose any faithful tithers. 

4) There is to be no questioning the admins if your comment is moderated.  It is your responsibility to comply to these rules and to participate in the conversation with respect and the utmost integrity.
Right.  Because when truth is brought into light we wouldn't want any investigators to realize what Mormonism is spending countless hours and dollars trying to sweep under the rug.  I'm also all for giving respect where it's due.  Problem is respect is something that is earned and those who are constantly deceptive deserve no respect.

5) The appropriate concepts of netiquette will be employed here and enforced.  If you are unaware of what these concepts are, then it is your responsibility to read this link:  

Now as far as this one is concerned I about fell out of my chair reading it knowing how many they break on a daily basis.  At this point I almost expected Emperor Palpatine to come and explain to us how the Jedi are being deceptive. 
6) If you are called to cite your sources, it is your responsibility to provide those sources.  The only sources that are acceptable are those sources that come from established academic Journals, commentaries, and respected publications.  Wikipedia is not considered a respectable source to cite.

So remember rule #3?  If they call us on siting our sources how can we if they're just going to remove them?  I think that if they are going to want and post links to FAIR and FARMS we should be allow to counter those with our highly accredited sources. 

7) Whether you are commenting or publishing a note for discussion on this page, you bear the burden and responsibility to provide a "Works Cited" section.  This means that you have to comply with the standard of rulses of MLA, Chicago, Turban, or APA.  It is imperative that links are provided in the text/commentary so that the information can be verified. 

I'm all for making things nice and neat.  Seems a little much to ask of everyone for a facebook page but ok. And again... How can we give links if they are just going to be removed. 

These rules will be amended as necessary and at the discretion of the page admins.

So another words if someone does something you don't like that isn't in this ridiculous set of rules you can change it so you can get rid of them anyway.... Got it.

Now their mission statement makes things all the better.  "To provide basic understanding to the honest seeker of truth as to the Biblical foundation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint faith." I think we can all see that to them only those who have already made up their mind that Mormonism is what it is without questioning are "honest" seekers.  And "Biblical" foundation?  There was no Mormonism prior to the Book of Mormon and even then the Bible is second to the Book of Mormon so there can by no means be a Biblical foundation. 

And the best for last is what they list for their products.  
- The Book of Mormon  (We've all known this to be a product, just didn't know it was a product of LDS apologists)
- DVD's
- Pamphlets
- Articles
- Magazines
- Books

Now if these products belong to them then that must mean they "Officially" speak for the church and can't use that as an excuse when we ask the hard questions.  So with that I ask you be extremely careful when surfing around facebook.  They will love to get unsuspecting people in there to make them believe as they do without question.