“We sometimes have rocks thrown at us by some bloggers,” said Michael Otterson of the Church’s Public Affairs Department to the collected nutjobs of FAIRMormon on Aug 7th, “who love to postulate as to why Public Affairs does this or that. One blogger even referred to Public Affairs recently as a ‘rogue department,’ which would be news to the Brethren. Newsflash: We don’t freelance.”
Hey, Otterson. I have a name, you know? I can’t help but feel like you’re talking about my blog post from July 24th about how the Joseph Smith revelation that Mormons get their own planets and become Gods and Goddesses is being denied by MormonNewsroom.com while being bedrock dogma of the Church. That would be the headless leadership vacuum that signs your paychecks, sir.
But I don’t think that I ever used the words “rogue department”. What I actually said was:
Today, the PR wing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints disavows the King Follett Discourse as Church Doctrine. This is surprising, given that the Church has published the Sermon in The Ensign, which most Mormons take as “living scripture”…
For many New Age Mormons, the PR hacks at MormonNewsroom.com and the essayists at LDS.org have become the new prophet and Priesthood Leadership of the LDS Church. Never mind that tired old model of the “Big Fifteen”, we’ve got lawyers and PR consultants to redraw the doctrine of the Church and make dummies of all of the past leadership of the Church.
You heard me.
So I am led to believe you are either misquoting me (imagine that) or that there is another critic in the Bloggernacle also criticizing the Church’s farming out ecclesiastical roles to spin doctors. (I wouldn’t know. I don’t read those – my own shit’s too interesting.)
Let me break something down for you:
“One of the members of the Twelve” is not good enough.
You see, Mr. Otterson, in Mormon hierarchy, only one man holds all of the keys of St. Peter and of Joseph Smith and their successors at any one time. In the event that this man – President Thomas S. Monson who is kind of a big deal in Mormonism – cannot perform his duties for something like dementia (randomly selected ailment) then the keys are collectively held by the entire Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. One unnamed Apostle sitting on your committee is not nearly enough unless that unnamed Apostle is Russell M. Nelson, sitting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Monson’s current successor, and he has put the decisions made by the committee to the full vote and force of the Quorum.
I tell you this because your speech covered in the Church-owned and Church-managed Deseret News does not mention any of the members of the committee by name and that makes no sense unless the members of the committee want the privilege of being able to insulate the decisions that your committee makes from the respect that they feel is befitting their official title in the Priesthood/Auxiliary.
“To find language that most accurately reflects what’s on the Brethren’s minds.”
“Our task,” says President Newsroom, “is to find language that most accurately reflects what’s on the Brethren’s minds. There is no place for private agendas on the part of the staff.”
I think that you’ve missed the point or you are purposefully misdirecting. Our criticism of the Church being run by Madison Ave. spin-doctors (as opposed to the traditional confidence men) is that it allows the Church to get away with too much.
If the Church’s doctrine is going to change, then Mormons – who believe that the Prophet speaks for God – need to hear him say it. If President Monson truly is not well enough, then my heart goes out to him, but the statement should come from President Nelson and made official. A statement put out by a propagandist is a statement that can be denied and made by a fall-guy who can be disciplined if the decision made behind closed doors proves too controversial for public consumption, after all.
I may seem like easy pickings to you, but may I remind you, President Newsroom, that I am not the one who needs a spin doctor (because I’m not the one who was caught bullshitting his bullshitters.)