Saturday, September 22, 2012
Some may have noted that it seems I cannot decide what the motive was for the disciplinary council scheduled for me. Was it because I wrote about Romney or because of my writings on the LDS church?
When I interviewed with Jamie Reno of TheDailyBeast.com, I felt in my gut that the Romney pieces were a part of why this happened. During the 45 minute interrogation on September 16, my local leaders never said "Romney" in my interrogation. These men are an accountant, a physician and other professionals. They know that to say that they are disciplining me over politics would be appear improper. (However, I am still confused why they would feel disciplining me over any speech is proper.) They indicated discomfort with my recent writings as a whole, which includes three blog entries and one MT article discussing Romney that were posted from Sept 11-15. The timing was suspicious. I told this to Jamie, and I told him that I felt this was a motive. The temple was a concern to them, and I had linked the Laws of Consecration & Sacrifice covenants language to my article on Romney on Sept 12. Such that, when they referred to the concerns about the temple, I inferred they meant the Romney piece. Additionally, while referring to my writings, the stake president did say about himself, "I'm not a political man..." It is unclear to me what he meant by this and why he interjected it. But it gave me a sense that there was something he was feeling regarding the politics involved, without ever saying it was a political move.
Friday, September 21 was a trying day--I had constant press contacts, calls, requests for interviews, video and audio recording. I was worn out. Late that morning, I was told by a media consultant that I should think about what I am saying, given that research monies and grants come from the government and that my career depends on some of these. That got me running scared. Perhaps that is unjustified, but it felt very real on Friday. When I was contacted by the New York Times that afternoon, I told Laurie Goodstein on our second call, that in fact I was now concerned and I didn't want the Romney connection emphasized because I was worried how that could affect my future. I told her that I could not be certain that it was my writings on Romney that formed the basis of the disciplinary council against me. I am still not 100% certain, as no one can be.
Later on Friday I was contacted by Peggy Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune (and emailed with another media outlet in UT). I made similar statements to Peggy that the timing was suspicious, but that I had no direct evidence it is about Romney. In my worn out state-of-mind, I said that I didn't want this to be about politics; that I don't feel happy that discussions of my pending discipline have taken on such a national political tone. I would prefer the topic remain on the Mormon Church's inability to defend its own position specifically & doctrinally on this matter. I also told her that I have no malice for the Romney campaign and don't mean to hurt it. Yes, I admit, I was running scared and very tired by late Friday. I was war worn.
However, after having some sleep, and now that the NY Times article came out, I read statements by Scott Gordon, a Mormon apologist, that indicated he was behind turning me into the church authorities. One of his statements has resolved me back to my original gut feeling--that this is probably in part about the LDS church squelching my political speech. The reason is a little complex. Let me start with his particular quote from the NY Times:
“ It has nothing to do with Romney,” Mr. Gordon said. “I know members very high up in the church who are voting for Obama.”
“ It’s about him posting on a blog that he was actively in there trying to subvert people’s beliefs in the L.D.S. church,” Mr. Gordon said... "
If you've read my "The Mysteries of the Gospel" blog, you will know that the only case Gordon had against me was that I wrote about emailing with "Pat" who I indicated was a questioning member. I wrote:
" I decided to send Pat two links: The first link to Mormon Info Graphics on the Book of Abraham, and a second one to FAIR’s explanation of one of the facsimiles. "
Links included in this were:
The latter is directly from Scott Gordon's own group, FAIR. In other words, I gave someone information that FAIR wrote. I find it extremely unlikely that this is what got the LDS Salt Lake leaders' panties in a bunch. If that were true, Scott Gordon would also be called in for disciplinary court.
I feel in my gut, that these excuses only strengthen the case that it was likely political. Before this, I had begun to question the motive, but I again feel stronger that this is probably a considerable factor. I think TheDailyBeast probably reflects what I initially and again most recently believe.