I feel kind of stupid for letting myself get sucked back into the pointless bickering between apologists and critics of the LDS church. I’m not going to do that again.
Back when I was an “apologist” on the old alt.religion.mormon page and the FAIR/MAD board, I learned some valuable lessons. First and foremost is that there are good, honest, intelligent people on both sides of the divide, and I made friends among serious apologists and hardcore apostates alike. The second thing I learned is that, despite the rhetoric, it’s not an important battle over the souls of men. It’s just a bunch of opinionated people arguing over a message board.
The odd thing is that I’m usually not involved in these disputes anymore. I just don’t care enough. I have never contributed to MormonThink, and I rarely read anything from the FAIR/FARMS/MI crowd. It’s just not an important part of my life anymore. And yet I let myself get worked up over a silly essay from someone I already knew was a bit of a crank, and I instinctively sided with the apostate in a dispute with the church. In all honesty, I don’t really know if David Twede was trying to get people out of the church. I take his word for it, but I’m so far removed from the issue I can’t say anything definitive.
I don’t know Lou Midgley (though I saw him once in the lobby of the Maxwell Institute), nor do I know Scott Gordon. But I said a few unkind things because I was upset about things that happened. I stand by my analysis of Midgley’s attack on C.L. Hanson, but I think she handled it with far more grace than I did by just making light of it. I hope David Twede can work things out to his satisfaction. I don’t know his motivations, but I do know that the information he has provided on MormonThink is accurate and honest.
As for our visitors from FAIR, this is the first time I’ve had any interaction with Allen Wyatt, and I didn’t think his comments were “mean” or anything like that; I’ve known Steve Smoot for several years, and though I rarely agree with him, I’ve never had any hostile or unpleasant interactions with him. I hope that my responses did not come across as heated or angry, as they were not.
In the end, arguing over Mormonism is all “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” There’s no point.