Apologetic Activism — Occupy Your Own Self

Apologetic Activism — Occupy Your Own Self July 1, 2012

So even those of us who live under rocks have now heard that some sort of an Event has occurred out in Utah that apparently involves the potential demise of FARMS. This should be considered bad news by those who think themselves called to defend the Church because it means that the dirty laundry all organizations generate has now risen to such a level that even misanthropically inclined hermits such as me are now aware of it.

Worse still is some of the advice now posted by folks who purport to care about the welfare and progress of the church. In addition to clicking on those buttons that animate the Social Media Reality, folks who wish to see a FARMS-style apologetic presence at the Maxwell Institute are urged to contact various leaders who are part of the decision-making process. And among the targets of this activism are our very own general authorities:

If you have personal friendship or ties to any General Authorities, express your concern about the situation, and your appreciation for everything FARMS has done.
Contact BYU’s President Samuelson, and let him know how you feel.
Contact BYU’s administration, and let them know how you feel.
Contact the Maxwell Institute, and let them know how you feel.

That thing with the general authorities? Don’t do it. Just don’t.

If you have a personal relationship, you may be presumptuous. If you are part of The Nameless Importuning Horde, the cumulative effect may be thuggish.

Yes, I know that there are a selection of biblical texts that can serve as prooftexts for a more aggressive approach.  However, all such readings should be viewed through the twin lenses of love and wisdom.

Certain kinds of apologetic argument take some sophisticated approaches in order to be done well. Fortunately, there is a very powerful apologetic approach that takes nothing more than insight, inspiration, and initiative. All you have to do is sit down and articulate why the BoM is worth reading or the LDS lifestyle worth living. And if you have a web site, collect and publish such stories from your readers who do not themselves have your publishing platform. IOW, most of us need to just keep doing what we’re doing and we will be keeping the apologetic tradition alive and successful.

Back to my rock,


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