Today I received an email from Brother Stanley Barker. Brother Barker is not happy with me. Join the crowd, Bro. Although just about everything about me peeves the Mormons, highest above them all appears to be my support of Martha Nibley Beck. This holds true for Brother Barker. See, BB did not care for my review of her book.
This does not surprise me. He uses a lot of the terms I’ve heard time and time again, like “people like you.” We’ve already been there. However, BB did manage to catch me off guard, with his opening shot. Apparently, BB thinks I’m amazing! Who woulda thunk it?
I read your brief review of Martha Beck’s book and frankly it left me amazed. You dismiss, in one fell swoop, her entire family’s united comments about Martha and their web site, but insist on believing her. That, in my opinion is a detrement to your expressed opinion. Your bias clearly shows through. Your bitterness towards all Mormons is amazing.
First of all, my review of Beck’s book wasn’t brief. So I figured he read the summary I did on this very blog. Because I didn’t want him to miss out on my FULL review, I sent him this note.
Brief review? Apparently, you MISSED this one.
Just making sure you will be able to dismiss me as totally bitter, disaffected, sad, offended, and all that good stuff armed with a complete arsenal.
Now, on to his email. Here it is, in its entirety. As usual, I have not altered, edited, or changed it in any way, shape, or form.
I read your brief review of Martha Beck’s book and frankly it left me amazed. You dismiss, in one fell swoop, her entire family’s united comments about Martha and their web site, but insist on believing her. That, in my opinion is a detrement to your expressed opinion. Your bias clearly shows through. Your bitterness towards all Mormons is amazing. Who cares if some hair dresser told her to call her husband. Ancedotal comments such as this just convince the other millions of us that you really are not on firm standing or you would use something substantial. In that one silly anecdote, you attempt to explain the minds of all Mormons. How incredibly ad hominem! I am always dumbfounded when people like you refer to genuine LDS scholars like Nibley as an “apologist” as if that somehow defines him. Why not use the more apt term of scholar; and in his case, extraordinary scholar. Again, your personal prejudice shines through. Your comments, like Beck’s book, should be dismissed as aberrant thinking.
I could go on and on about your review, such as about your comments regarding Church security, etc., but I expect that it will fall on deaf prejudiced and jaundices ears. You are entitled to your opinion, right or wrong.
You know, why is it the extremely biased go around accusing other people of being biased and can’t see the bias for the cloth it’s cut from? Mormons have an “agenda” unlike any agenda EVER embraced by man. That creates a bias of HUGE proportions. Differing viewpoints are never welcome, will never be welcome, and if you do manage to express that viewpoint–despite the pressure from believers to shut up and just accept that the Church won’t leave YOU alone, even though you are expected to leave the CHURCH alone–expect to receive the ire of those aiming for God’s highest kingdom. Apparently, the nonbelievers like me are standing in the pathway, and Saints like Brother Barker cannot get there until they knock us all off the pathway and into Outer Darkness.
I suspect there is no electricity in Outer Darkness, and of course no Internet connections, and probably no manual typewriters or paper either, so if they can JUST get me there, they can shut me up, and all will be well.
Brother Barker and the like don’t seem to realize that I have no desire to keep ANY of them out of their Celestial Kingdom. If it really is true, whatever difference could I possibly make in the outcome?
However, I do have an idea for Brother Stanley Barker. See, I read his bio on the SHIELDS Web site Apparently, SHIELDS is another one of those acronym-loving Mormon apologist (oops, apologizing for saying apologist before I am asked for an apology) sites like FARMS and FAIR and ASPCA. Or maybe not that last one. Anyway, you should go read Bro. Barker’s bio. Apparently, he has been defending the Church from critics for many, many years and he eats baby critics, like me, for lunch. Why, he has even stood up against the likes of Ed Decker! (Just a note, Stan. The writer of this blog is NOT a fan of people who make up stories to further their agenda, no matter which side of the argument on which they stand. I am no supporter of Ed Decker.)
Since Bro. Barker claims to be an author, and a defender of the faith, I think he should go out, get a copy of my book, read it, and then write a book REFUTING it. I know, I know, my book is fiction, but then so was The Da Vinci Code, and THAT didn’t stop anybody.
I think that’s a great idea!
Now, I do have to bring up JUST one tiny quibble with Bro. Barker’s comments. Okay, I have more than one, but let’s just address this one right now. It will help you to understand how he wins arguments (or at least he claims he does. See bio.) See, he says I wrote about the haircut incident as though it were important. Talk about twisting words. I ADDRESSED the haircut incident as one that CRITICS (read people like Bro. Barker) are touting as evidence that Beck could not POSSIBLY be telling the truth. Man, those Mormons are obsessed with the whole Martha Beck haircut thing.
In the review, I said:
As I read, all the hoopla came flooding back. The main claims by Martha’s detractors were these.
1. She claimed there was a squad of Danites (Mormon hit men) still roaming around.
2. She claimed a stylist in ultra-Mormon Utah County told her to call her husband before cutting her hair short.
3. She claimed repressed memories, which everyone knows are very iffy.
Well, yeah, those claims–singled out as they are–do sound somewhat ridiculous.
Who cares about the haircut, Bro? Apparently, you and the millions of other Mormons who read my review. Wait? Millions of Mormons read my review? Somebody call The New York Times!
Oh, and Bro. Barker? Gee, thanks for entitling me to my opinion, right or wrong. While there is little doubt which one you believe it is, I sure appreciate you allowing me to speak my feeble little mind.
Aberrant Thinker with ear jaundices