Claim #4: Manipulation of quotes

Finally, some meat.

  • Rollo claims I combined two days’ cites with ellipsis. I did do this, and the footnote indicates it. I think it clear from context (speaking of “sites”) that the discussion was about on-line resources, but I’m happy to clarify it. Thanks.
  • Claim: The anti-apologetic stuff is out of context, not mentioning Dan’s article. I was not focusing on a single event, but on a pattern of repeated behavior over time. Dehlin has said such stuff—he’s said it repeatedly, as the entire paragraph indicates. Rollo claims Dehlin wasn’t the only one who felt the same way about Dan’s article, to which one can only say, Well, if others felt that way, are we to conclude that it must be true, and the thinking has been done?
  • “Creepy FBI” stuff — in this event, I cheerfully concede that things here were misleading as they stood, but it was unintentionally so. I had cited the other material—but it had been moved much further away, to footnote 26. I’ve included crosslinks, and added even more text to make it perfectly clear. Rollo ignores, however, that my focus is not on whether Dehlin was justified in his conclusions—but simply that he was giving two different versions of those conclusions to different audiences. Again, this is part of a pattern. But, that’s what I get for putting something up that hadn’t quite finished the source checking. My apologies.
  • PowerPoint vs. Recording:
    • Rollo claims that the “uncorrelated Mormons” comment is about Church-wide inactivity. So, because Dehlin didn’t read out the PowerPoint, but just put it up for all to read, it is irrelevant to his message?  This is silly.  I note too that Rollo completely omits the fact that Dehlin says that this uncorrelation is due to problems to “credibility and integrity”—did the mysterious Church source tell him this? I have clarified the footnote, but I just don’t understand the logic whereby pre-prepared text gets a pass.
    •  Rollo claims, essentially, that John’s list of ideas was just spit-balling, throwing out ideas not to be taken seriously. But, this is precisely why I quoted the printed PowerPoint, and not the verbal remarks, which are necessarily extemporaneous. I think this is in the ear of the beholder. Dehlin has gone to enough trouble to put them on the PowerPoint slide. How can this be just brainstorming and throwing out ideas of no consequence, if he puts those ideas (and not the other things he says) on a PowerPoint beforehand? Why’s he throwing them out if he doesn’t want them to come to pass, or if they don’t, in some sense, represent the vision he’s trying to get people to share? That’s why I used the slide—it’s prepared beforehand, and clearly has thought and planning behind it.
    • If Rollo wants to claim that Dehlin didn’t intend any of his alternative community stuff to be taken seriously, I suppose he’s entitled. I’m not sure that such a stance really helps Dehlin look more forthright or reliable, however.
  • Alternative religion: Rollo ignores that Dehlin specifically hopes for a successful “Reform movement” like Judaism for the Church. The quote to which he objects is just one more example of something that is already clearly established.
  • Citation re: “change the world”
    • #1: an extraneous “I” had been added to the quote: correct, and thanks for the catch. Didn’t change meaning.
    • #2: I think it a great stretch to claim that Dehlin thinks that the “we” who is going to change the world is him and his family. It’s clearly him and those who are working with him (his “allies” as I call them—not choosing to make a judgment as to whether it is work allies, religious allies, or some mixture of both). But again, it doesn’t really matter to me which is the case—I am more interested in the element of grandiosity which the claim implies—“changing the world” is a tall order.
    • Lots of people “liked” the quote on Facebook. Well, who wouldn’t “like” claims that one will change the world for the better? I like the idea too. I’m simply using this as evidence that Dehlin thinks he is doing that or is going to be able to do that—again, somewhat grandiose. The type of change, and the means used to enact such change, may be laudable or warrant caution, depending.
  • “Alternative approach to a moral framework”
    • Rollo says that I put it that way, but I did not.  Dehlin’s PowerPoint about his Mormon Stories communities did. I have made this more clear in the notes.
    • Since he’s asking for an alternative way of formulating a moral framework, it seems to me that searching for videos to replace what the Church does, and avoiding religion altogether is a relevant data point. He is putting his money where his mouth is—and, incidentally, demonstrates that Rollo’s claim that Dehlin’s PowerPoint isn’t meant to be taken seriously is false.
  • I didn’t cite Dehlin’s report that a stake presidency member liked his podcasts.
    • Rollo offers this as an example of me not being “fair and balanced.” This is absurd. In the first place, this claim is hearsay—it’s Dehlin’s report of what someone supposedly said. In the second place, I quote extensively from those who directly claim that Dehlin’s project is good, worthy, and helpful. There’s a whole section on Dehlin’s self-reported solicitation and use of these quotations to persuade his priesthood leaders. What does one more second hand one add? I am cheerfully willing to stipulate that many people have written glowing letters and fulsome praise of Dehlin’s efforts with Mormon Stories. I could hardly hide this, and did not.