Saturday, July 11, 2009

Going toe-to-toe with an Apostle

SteveP wants to "create a space in the church where those who look deeply enough at evolution and are concerned that there is no place for them because of the anti-evolution rhetoric that so fills our discourse" (click here).

SteveP, we both know where LDS anti-evolution rhetoric currently originates, starting with Packer and Nelson of the Twelve. So here's some friendly advice born out of personal experience.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Deseret Book told me over and over to forget about them ever removing R-rated fiction from their stores. Management said they had the support of their board of directors whose chairman and one other member were apostles. So buzz off, Gary. And so it went for well over a decade.

"Racy Novels Spark Fiction Friction at Deseret Book." was written by Christopher Smith and published by The Salt Lake Tribune in 1995. In his article, Smith called me "perhaps the most outspoken proponent of ditching fiction at Deseret Book." But he didn't take my word for anything. He purchased five fiction novels at Deseret Book, only to find that four of them "contained passages deemed inapropriate by this newspaper to be reprinted verbatim."

Bottom line? Deseret Book no longer sells R-rated fiction.

So here's my advice, SteveP: You really can go toe to toe with one or more living apostles. I know. I've done it. But first you need at least one living apostle on your side. And second, you must never criticize any apostle in any public way. If you follow these two suggestions, I think you'll be fine and possibly even successful in your quest.

Good luck on your project, SteveP. I'm a very interested observer.

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