More traditional journalistic outlets than this one, both Mormon and traditional Christian have picked up on the story we broke on Christmas Eve about the Glenn Beck/Focus on the Family dust up. I’d like to thank these hard working reporters for following up! Apparently the FotF people have admitted to pulling the story:
When contacted Friday, a Focus on the Family worker at the ministry in Colorado Springs, Colo. confirmed that the article had been pulled and read a prepared statement for callers who had called about the Beck article:
“You are correct to note that Mr. Beck is a member of the Mormon church, and that we did not make mention of this fact in our interview with him. We do recognize the deep theological difference between evangelical theology and Mormon theology, and it would have been prudent for us at least to have pointed out these differences. Because of the confusion, we have removed the interview from Citizenlink.”
It would be fair to recognize the differences, but why not simply correct the piece instead of pull it? Well, those questions have been deferred until after the holidays. Now please remember this thing happened, apparently, becasue of a press release that went out Monday. The author of that release was contacted in the follow-up efforts:
Underground Apologetics president Steve McConkey said in an interview that he had not read Beck’s book, but understood its message. He felt that the work was suspect based on what he understands about Beck’s faith. McConkey said he had not asked Dobson’s ministry to remove the article from its site.
Hasn’t read the book!! Lowell put it to me this way in an email, “Can we find a better example of bigotry, or ad hominem reasoning?” My answer? – “Ahhh, no, we really can’t.”
So let’s just put this all together. Focus on the Family puts up an interview with a prominent Mormon. Some durn fool of a Christian apologist objects, very publicly, without having read the book the interview surrounded, simply because it was an interview with a Mormon – and Focus on the Family caves!? Yep – that pretty well defines bigotry.
Now, here is what I anticipate will happen. The story will reappear at CitizenLink after the holidays with the appropriate corrections – and an explanation that it was merely withdrawn pending those corrections and the holidays, with the resulting lack of available personnel, are the reason for its extended absence. No mention will be made of McConkey or his press release, and if pressed, FotF personnel will deny it having any influence on their editorial decisions.
My opinion is that the bell has rung here and the damage has been done and the Dobson organization better get a lot more adept at handling this sort of thing.
I would ask one thing of my Mormon friends here. I recently had to add a comment to the comment stream on one of our posts. Please, do not be guilty of the same crime some of my Evangelical brethren are, your ignorance of us is as damaging as our ignorance of you. I chastise my brethren routinely, as I have here, for speaking from such ignorance – I ask only that you do the same.
And speaking of bigotry . . .
Has anybody noticed the dust-up with Chip Saltsman including a copy of the Rush Limbaugh parody “Obama The Magic Negro” in his Christmas gift to RNC members, such gifts a part of Saltsman’s efforts to seek the RNC chairmanship? Apparently this makes Mr. Saltsman a bigot, or at least guilty of plausibly deniable poor taste. Hardly news to this blog. After all, the Chipster was Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager. Tendencies in this direction were revealed long ago.
The Republican party really does need to rid itself of this sort of tactic. Better late than never.
Lowell adds: When I heard Saltsman interviewed on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, I was struck by how much he sounded like . . . Mike Huckabee. Glib, funny, and unwilling to answer a tough question about Huck’s playing of the anti-Mormon card, including a deft parry of Hugh’s question along those lines:
HH: All right. Now Chip, why did you let the anti-Mormon stuff get out of hand on your website?
CS: (laughing) You know, it’s amazing. I did not know I could do all these things. If I would have had all this power back then, I wish I would have known it.
HH: But on your website, the haters came out, and the put some nasty stuff up there. You’ve got to have seen it.
CS: On the presidential campaign?
CS: Now we may have been looking at different ones, but on our website, we were pretty diligent about making sure that none of the anti-Mormon, anti-anything was making it through.
HH: All right, well let’s move on from that, too.
Long-time readers of this blog know that is nonsense, of course. Anyway, I am now hoping that anyone but Saltsman becomes RNC Chair.