Entries Tagged 'Responses' ↓

My take on the PBS documentary “The Mormons”

PBS recently rebroadcast  “The Mormons” documentary and I have heard or read various discussions on it recently so I thought I would republish my original review. (One bit of trivia for my friends- both me and my dad happen to be included in background shots during two different segments, could you pick them out?) 

The Mormons documentary

I wrote the following review, not to cry evil and argue that the documentary was ‘completely biased’ or ‘wrong’ or anything to that effect. I believe in questioning and thinking deeply on information presented to me and just wanted to point out some failings that I saw that should make us stop and think.  The letter:

I was disappointed in the quality of journalism displayed in “The Mormons” documentary. It really made me question the objectivity in other programs backed by Frontline and American Experience. I do not think the filmmakers were actively trying to push an agenda but I do feel they fell into the same pitfalls and stereotypical biased reporting of the Church on the most controversial topics.  Evidence of perpetuating stereotypes and poor journalism:

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Monks in Caves or Saints in Society?

A friend of mine recently converted to Buddhism or at least embraced Zen teachings and asked for my opinion on some of the issues.  I am nowhere near being an expert but I have had a decent amount of exposure living among Cambodians for two years, getting an Asian Studies minor, and eating a lot of Chinese food.  So I speak primarily from my personal experiences.  My response over multiple exchanges:

I have a lot of respect for Buddhism. There is something quite beautiful about the mediation, concentration, and unity with the natural world found in Zen Buddhism. The traditional teachings of Buddhism are quite simple and beautiful, i.e. the 8 fold path, and when practiced are conducive to a harmonious society.

The Cambodians I worked with were Theravada Buddhists and for the lay people it was more a matter of culture than religion. A lay practitioner likely didn’t know the Continue reading →

Getting Beyond Isolated Quotes

An interesting post the other day at Summa Theologica about the traditional text-centered dialogue about Mormonism as opposed to one that analyzes actual practice, ritual, and devotion in an attempt to understand a group of people.The post resonated with me because part of the reason I started this blog was because I was absolutely bored with the dialogue that so often accompanies Mormonism on the internet; Continue reading →

Reply to a disaffected Mormon

If I’m going to take the amount of time I do to respond to certain critics of my faith, I thought I would at least share the exchange with my readers as well. You’re all welcome to read the original post entitled The Flashlight in which the author shares a parable about his “seeing the light” by putting down his previous association with the Mormon church. My response had nothing to do with trying to woo him back, he is perfectly entitled to his beliefs and decisions. However, when he publically attempts to smear the beliefs of others, in this case Mormons but it would go for any other faith, I believe I have a moral right and responsibility to point out to the public that such opinions are indeed that, opinions, and that those who maintain their beliefs might see things a bit differently even having all the same information before them. Continue reading →

A reply to an atheist

(This was written as a response to some claims of atheists on a religious discussion group. One of their main points being that atheism is not a religion, and their favorite repeated analogy was “not collecting stamps is not a hobby just as not believing is not a religion”. I had previously written a short post with had similar arguments but not explained in detail which excited a sharp response, so I tried to explain myself a little more clearly)

I typically would not comment further but I do feel I made some mistakes in expressing myself that could lead to some misunderstanding. That is not to say that everyone reading this discussion will agree with my views but I do feel looking back at my post that my language was perhaps too strong and without explanation behind the words so that they could lend themselves to being offensive or meanspirited, which was not my intent. And so particularly for those who read but not post I want to clarify myself: Continue reading →