A cartoon that catches the attitude of some of my most vocal critics



A colleague and friend in my academic department has the following New Yorker cartoon, by Matthew Diffee, posted outside his offiee door.  It captures certain of my most virulently hostile critics in a way that I can only term “uncanny”:


Don’t look for self-awareness or any recognition of irony among such folks.




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  • http://adventures-in-mormonism.com bfwebster

    Heh. Having read your column in today’s Deseret News (about priesthood offices), I was suddenly struck as to how your critics — who claim that you have been ‘silenced’ by LDS Church officials for your apologetics — explain how it is that you continue to write a column entitled “Defending the Faith” in a Church-owned newspaper — which probably has a much greater readership than the late, lamented FARMS Review ever did. ..bruce..

    • danpeterson

      That’s an excellent question. As my friend Joe Cannon, formerly editor of the Deseret News, put it to me, if I were really out of favor with the Brethren, I wouldn’t still have a regular column in the Church’s daily newspaper.

      And you’re right: The column gets far more attention than anything else I’ve ever done. My wife and I continually marvel at the number of people who approach us to talk about it. Every week, at least. Indeed, almost every day. Often several times on a given day. Nothing that I ever did with FARMS or the Maxwell Institute ever got that kind of reaction, and certainly not week after week, month after month, for years.

      If I’ve really been silenced, it’s a remarkably strange silence.

  • Ray Agostini

    I discovered a “racist” comment (though incidental to my point) in Jeremiah 13: ” 23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Knowing of the almost intractable nature of what I will call “critic addiction”, Jeremiah goes on:

    “25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the Lord; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood. ”

    Isaiah 5:20 is also noteworthy:

    “20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

    So is 2 Thessalonians 2:11:

    “11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: ”

    You have nothing to worry about, Dan. It might help, though, to invest some hope in Isaiah 29:24:

    “24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.”

    “Ethiopians” and “leopards” *can* change, but the parable in Jeremiah attests to the fact that perhaps only a miracle can effect that change. It’s a sort of “Indiana Jones leap of faith” -where the bridge will only appear *after* you’ve made “the leap of faith”.