Thoughts from the silence

 

A beautiful photo of Lake Geneva
A view of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) in Switzerland, with Voirons and Salève in the background.
© Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

 

As some of my critics like to point out, the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints silenced me back in the summer of 2012.

 

I’m a cunning fellow, though, and I’ve managed to get around their Verbot by writing under the pseudonym of Daniel C. Peterson.  Doing so has even enabled me to publish an average of seventy-eight (78) columns annually in the Church’s own daily newspaper.  (Mwahahahaha!)

 

Curiously, even though each column is inevitably crammed to overflowing with my characteristic blend of malice, brazen mendacity, name-calling, ad hominem fallacies, illogic, and bigotry, nobody seems to have made the connection between the Daniel C. Peterson whom the Brethren silenced and the person writing under the clever pseudonym of Daniel C. Peterson.

 

Here’s the most written specimen of my hateful rants, this one written with William J. Hamblin:

 

“The Protestant Reformation’s other great writer”

 

***

 

Along with Jeff Peterson, Hal Boyd is one of my favorite writers in the Deseret News.  Here’s his latest piece:

 

“The Mormon answer to theological apathy and agnosticism”

 

The article draws on the work of the late (and sorely missed) Stephen H. Webb.  Here are a couple of things that I myself published about Stephen Webb in the Deseret News:

 

13 August 2015:  “Materialism isn’t what it used to be”

 

10 March 2016:  “Thinking about religion and science, Thursday through Sunday afternoon”

 

The last time I saw Stephen, my wife and I brought him to sacrament meeting and Sunday school in our ward, before taking him up to the Salt Lake airport for his flight home.  His death was an enormous shock to us.

 

***

 

I enjoyed a pleasant lunch yesterday with Tarik LaCour.  In the course of our conversation, he mentioned a blog post that he had written some time ago, which I had missed.  So, last evening, he kindly sent me a link to it:

 

“Is Daniel Dennett a New Atheist?”

 

And here, by the way, is something that Tarik LaCour himself recently posted about Stephen H. Webb:

 

“Friday Traditio: Stephen H. Webb”

 

***

 

I came across this item by sheer chance a few days ago.  It’s a non-Mormon video, but it’s very nice, and I think that at least a few out there might find it very helpful, or might know somebody who would find it helpful.  If you have roughly ten minutes, give it a look:

 

“God’s love letter for you”

 

***

 

Finally, and in stark contrast to the video that I’ve just mentioned, is this:

 

“Reasons to Hope: Suicide is Utah’s most preventable tragedy”

 

Some critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seek to use Utah’s relatively high rate of youth suicide as a weapon against Mormonism, holding it responsible for those deaths.

 

I doubt that this accusation is even remotely fair or justified, but I would very much like to have some experts comment on the subject and/or to be directed to serious published discussions of it.  What do we know about the factors entering into the numbers?  What role, if any, does Mormonism play?  What can be done to help?

 

 

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