Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

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Doctor Scratch
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Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

It would seem that a new, up-and-coming "pot-stirrer" has emerged. The first mention of her that I saw was on "Sic et Non," where Dr. Peterson introduced her thusly:
Sic et Non wrote:Finally, my attention was just now called to this petition, which, I think, first appeared about twenty-four hours ago:

“Emphasizing Christ-Centered Education at Brigham Young University”

I have no connection with the petition, and I neither know the principal figures involved nor known anything about them.
Oh, really? Doesn't "know anything about them"? You have to wonder: who called his attention to his petition? Well, as you may have guessed from the title of the link, the petition is, indeed, all about old-fashioned, "orthodox" attitudes towards "progressive" approaches to Mormonism. The petition argues that BYU has become too "liberal," and some remarkably Mopologetic tactics are deployed:
Moreover, even certain official actions taken by BYU have been out of accord with the clearly stated principles of the Gospel, to the point where the Church has had to issue corrections. While we are grateful to our Church leaders for exercising authority to correct BYU where necessary, we do not believe it should ever have to come to that. The fact that it has been necessary even in the last few months suggests the need for some sort of introspection within BYU.
I assume they are referring to the "walking back" of the university's LGBTQ+ policies? Interestingly, the authors of this petition are familiar with Mopologetic lore:
Elder Holland in the 2018 Annual Report to the Maxwell Institute reminds the Institute and the greater BYU community, “of course, the missions of the Church and BYU are not identical, but their missions certainly can never be odds at each other” (9-21).
They even--bizarrely--quote Ernest Wilkinson:
We recognize the faculty’s need for academic freedom, and acknowledge that academic thought does not necessarily constitute personal opinion. At the same time, we recognize the need to, as Wilkinson put it, “place LDS religious values in all of the activities of the institution…to produce students who are fully appreciative of the principles of the Latter-day Saint faith and of their roles in the universe as sacred and independent individuals.”
They conclude with this penultimate paragraph:
We do not believe that the University should trade the eternal life of its students for the praise and accolades of modern, secular academia. To do so would be to sell our birthright for a mess of pottage. We are grateful to the University for maintaining the Honor Code, religious education requirements, and other aspects of the University that show commitment to BYU’s mission. However, we ask that the University consider whether correct doctrine is consistently taught in classes, whether the connection to religious knowledge is made clear throughout the entire curriculum and not just within religious education courses, and the University’s commitment to religious standards.
In other words, they are concerned about "infiltration" by liberals and apostates. No wonder somebody thought DCP would appreciate this petition! In fact, he liked it so well that he typed up a separate post "praising" one of the co-petitioners: a BYU grad student named Hanna Seariac.
Sic et Non wrote:And, finally, here’s a short article by Hanna Seariac, a principal mover behind the BYU-related petition that I mentioned here the other day:

“The Problems with Progressives in the Church”

I thought that some readers might find it interesting.
Indeed! This time, the link takes you to the Millennial Star. The author blurb describes Seariac thusly:
This is a guest post by Hanna Seariac, who recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Classical Studies. She is a MA student at BYU in Comparative Studies and seeks to become a religious author and an apologist for the Church.
This is how the article opens:
Ex-Mormons often get much wrong about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but something they get right is that the progressive movement in the Church does not reflect the teachings and doctrines of the Church. Progressive Mormonism, not to be confused with members of the Church who happen to identify as liberal or progressive politically, represents a small section of the Church who often do not uphold the doctrinal sexual ethics that exist.
It contains tidbits like this:
A divine patriarchy exists as inherent to the nature and structure of the Church as outlined in the calling of prophets as men, the duty of holding the priesthood as delegated to men, and the responsibility men have to preside. Historically, this has been used in conjunction with the scriptural and doctrinal definition of marriage to discriminate against certain individuals, which is wrong. By seeing the patriarchy as a delegation of responsibility based on eternal principles of gender as opposed to an unequal power system, we uphold doctrine.
And concludes with this:
The Church’s doctrine is not a buffet where you pick and choose what is convenient to you or fulfills your pre-existing biases about society and culture; the law changes you, you don’t change the law.
Wow! Quite a brutal defense of rule of law here, no? (One wonders what her opinion on polygamy is...)

In any event, as you might imagine, the article set off a firestorm of comments. I halfway wonder if this is a case of epic trolling, but as far as I can tell, Seariac is legitimate, and apparently serious. Just look at this comment:
Hanna Seariac wrote:Beyond memes, [DezNat] haven’t propagated blood atonement. And I will say, I think DezNat has done some good with correction of doctrine, etc. and I’m not entirely against them. I do think people take the memes seriously sometimes and while you could argue that the person who perceives it should take it less seriously, I think it’s on both parties to be cognizant. As for my second statement about targeting individuals in a way that is antithetical to the Church, some not all who use #DezNat have used foul language, insults, and character attacks in a way that I do not think is Christ-like.
Holy crap. Remember, in her author blurb, Seariac actually said that she seeks to become a religious author and an apologist for the Church. I guess I would ask her to clarify: does she mean *apologist*, or Mopologist? Because if it's the latter, she's got all the makings of stepping up to fill the shoes of Midgley, Welch, Smith, Gee, Hamblin, and the rest of the classic-FARMS crew. It will be interesting to see if her work ever appears on the "Interpreter" blog.
Last edited by Doctor Scratch on Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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consiglieri
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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by consiglieri »

I think this is the same Hannah who interviewed John Gee last week on Fair Voices podcast.

She let him get away with murder.
You prove yourself of the devil and anti-mormon every word you utter, because only the devil perverts facts to make their case.--ldsfaqs (6-24-13)

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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

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consiglieri wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:30 pm
I think this is the same Hannah who interviewed John Gee last week on Fair Voices podcast.

She let him get away with murder.
I haven't listened to it, Consig, but it appears you are right. So, maybe Gee was the one who tipped off "Sic et Non"? (I noticed that Peterson made quite an unkind remark about your podcast. I'm sure he's jealous: you are operating with a level of professionalism that really helps to underscore the amateurishness of the "Interpreter Radio Show.")
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by consiglieri »

Is Professor Peterson still sore over my labeling him The Artful Dodger of Mormon Apologetics?
You prove yourself of the devil and anti-mormon every word you utter, because only the devil perverts facts to make their case.--ldsfaqs (6-24-13)

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consiglieri
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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by consiglieri »

It could be worse.

He could have the nickname I gave young Stephen Smoot.
You prove yourself of the devil and anti-mormon every word you utter, because only the devil perverts facts to make their case.--ldsfaqs (6-24-13)

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Gadianton »

She needs to work on her rhetorical flourishes a bit:

"We do not believe that the University should trade the eternal life of its students for the praise and accolades of modern, secular academia. To do so would be to sell our birthright for a mess of pottage"

Usually you don't compare the most extreme thing imaginable to something substantially less than that.

Anyway, I skimmed through her post a couple days ago. She really said a whole lot of nothing in the most extreme tone she could muster. I also noticed on the blog she rambled on about the difference between doctrine and policy, and when doctrine is and isn't doctrine, and so on. I'll grab a bag of popcorn when she makes her first serious attempt at telling everyone what the Church's doctrines really are.

There is a huge hole in her campaign, and that is, for the most part, Chapel Mormons are oblivious, and it's in the Church's and BYU's interest to keep them that way. Getting the word out to form a substantial movement behind it would require students to familiarize themselves at least to a degree with some of the unsavory aspects of church history, and that's going to be a dice roll.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

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[quote=consiglieri post_id=1233909 time=1596512394 user_id=555]
It could be worse.

He could have the nickname I gave young Stephen Smoot.
[/quote]

____ VonClownstick?

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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

I wish her the very best: she certainly seems ambitious, and, rather touchingly, she actually seems to embrace some of Christ's most fundamental messages about love, acceptance, and tolerance. Perhaps that helps explain why the almost entirely male contingent of commentators at "Sic et Non" have begun to dismiss her as too "radical":
Theron Stanford wrote:Hanna Seariac is mistaken, but one can hardly blame her. She is probably too young to have witnessed the effects of the erosion by the Church itself of male priesthood patriarchy since "The Family" was proclaimed to the world all those years ago, and as a woman she wouldn't have felt the effects as directly.
Meanwhile, Moksha asks an interesting question:
Moksha wrote:Will Hanna Seariac be writing a [takedown] of the so-called "Progressive Mormons" for the Interpreter?
DCP wrote:I haven't the slightest idea. So far as I'm aware, she hasn't approached us and we haven't approached her. I've never met her and I don't know her. And it's not guaranteed that we would be interested.
Yeeeouch! What a blistering smack-down! Here you have perhaps the first woman *ever* in Mopologetic history to be actively pursuing a career in Mopologetics, and you get "The Kingpin" himself, Daniel C. Peterson--who has recently been plugging your work, and building up your hopes--coming along and saying that you might not be able to hack it! (Remember: DCP has repeatedly said that Mopologetics is predominantly a "testosterone-fueled" affair.) After all, why *wouldn't* they be interested in a hit piece on "Progressive Mormons"? There was a reason why he linked to their petition in the first place, right?

Weirdly, the commentator "Jack" offers up additional insight:
Jack wrote:This is only speculation on my part--but I think she might have to dial down her zeal just a bit before that could happen.
What the hell? Has this guy never read Midgley or Kiwi57? In what way is she too "zealous"?

In any event: Seariac, it needs to be said, seems to be an increasingly important person at FAIR, and with the FAIR Mormon Conference right around the corner, what should we make of this? Has the stage been set for another "You go to hell!"-style confrontation?
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Temp. Admin. »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:17 pm
Jack wrote:This is only speculation on my part--but I think she might have to dial down her zeal just a bit before that could happen.
What the hell? Has this guy never read Midgley or Kiwi57? In what way is she too "zealous"?
I'm pretty sure it's because Hanna is a woman, and in Jack's mind, that means she must "know her place."

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

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Temp. Admin. wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:09 am
I'm pretty sure it's because Hanna is a woman, and in Jack's mind, that means she must "know her place."
Hanna Seariac's criticism of Progressive Mormons was based entirely on offering an incorrect definition of what they are all about. It was an example of the Hogwartish argumentum retardiosa. I think of Jack as a good person on that forum.
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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Chap »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:24 pm
It would seem that a new, up-and-coming "pot-stirrer" has emerged. The first mention of her that I saw was on "Sic et Non," where Dr. Peterson introduced her thusly:
Sic et Non
Sic et Non wrote:Finally, my attention was just now called to this petition, which, I think, first appeared about twenty-four hours ago:

“Emphasizing Christ-Centered Education at Brigham Young University”

I have no connection with the petition, and I neither know the principal figures involved nor known anything about them.
Oh, really? Doesn't "know anything about them"?
Basically "I've never met X, and I know nothing about them". Hmm... what prominent figure do we know who uses this useful distancing method before opining in detail about the activities of the person in question? The name will come to me in a minute - you know, big house in Washington somewhere ...
Zadok:
I did not have a faith crisis. I discovered that the Church was having a truth crisis.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

I love how Chap always belabors a joke because he believes his audience to be too dumb to get it. Stop ruining the punchline, man. We're not all descended from Liverpool.

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Chap »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:44 am
I love how Chap always belabors a joke because he believes his audience to be too dumb to get it. Stop ruining the punchline, man. We're not all descended from Liverpool.

- Doc
With DrC always at hand to help, how could anybody go wrong? Always willing to give freely of his time! (What with the Liverpool stuff, I wonder? Oh, never mind...)
Zadok:
I did not have a faith crisis. I discovered that the Church was having a truth crisis.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Kishkumen »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
DCP wrote:I haven't the slightest idea. So far as I'm aware, she hasn't approached us and we haven't approached her. I've never met her and I don't know her. And it's not guaranteed that we would be interested.
Yeeeouch! What a blistering smack-down! Here you have perhaps the first woman *ever* in Mopologetic history to be actively pursuing a career in Mopologetics, and you get "The Kingpin" himself, Daniel C. Peterson--who has recently been plugging your work, and building up your hopes--coming along and saying that you might not be able to hack it! (Remember: DCP has repeatedly said that Mopologetics is predominantly a "testosterone-fueled" affair.) After all, why *wouldn't* they be interested in a hit piece on "Progressive Mormons"? There was a reason why he linked to their petition in the first place, right?
Yeah, ouch! It's like being a friend of Trump until he decides you are inconvenient for his purposes.

"Ah, my good old friend . . . I have no idea who this person is! I may have met her once. I don't remember. I wish her all the best though, just like I would wish any human being well."
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Tom »

I notice that she recently put up a podcast titled "How to be an Apologist." The description: "So you want to defend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Noble cause, worthy effort, totally worth your time– here’s a basic beginner’s guide on how to get started."

It's worth noting that she is currently writing "a book on the history of the priesthood and another one that responds systematically to anti-LDS literature."

The latter is an ambitious project, to say the least. I expect to see 15-20 volumes before she's done.

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

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I, for one, want to extend a hearty welcome to Hanna. Hanna, you graduated from a fine undergraduate Classics program. The faculty there are great, and I trust that they taught you to read Greek and Latin very well. Greetings from a fellow BYU Classics alum. You will find that many of your fellow alumni are on both sides of the apologist/critic divide. Although we may disagree very much on matters of faith, I hope you understand that we all are family in our love of Classics.

And, even though I am an opponent of the misnomered "classic-FARMS apologetics" and I no longer affiliate with the LDS Church, I do consider myself a Mormon and I enjoy the writings of those who have been dubbed "neo-apologists" by such people as John Dehlin. I am thinking here of Richard Bushman, Terryl Givens, Patrick Mason, and others. To circle back, I also enjoy a number of things that FARMS and Interpreter have published over the years.

I hope that you hold onto all that is good and shun bullying, obfuscation, misdirection, petty insults, character assassination, prevarication, lying by omission, and ideologically driven religious arguments. See the best in your opponents. Make them worthy of your best work. In that remember Caesar's admiration for his Gallic enemies. Our victories are greater when they are taken from worthy foes.

Some of that sense of worthiness, by the way, comes from showing your opponent due respect.

A noteworthy counter-example would be jauntily comparing a non-LDS tenured academic (see https://history.osu.edu/people/brooke.10) with a positive interest in Mormonism to a mentally unstable anti-Mormon (see https://www.shields-research.org/Critics/Trykback.htm) in the title of your review of that professor's book: https://www.jstor.org/stable/44796971?seq=1

Since one of the people who did that apparently does not know you, I felt responsible for making you aware of that counter-example.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by jfro18 »

I mentioned this the other day elsewhere, but what I found hilarious is that she wrote an article slamming progressives in the church, but then she mentioned progressive Mormons at the end of the FAIR podcast and Gee really lit her up over it.

And she backpedaled and did her best to laugh it off, but man that was a really awkward exchange that happened before they got to the incredible stupid Q&A at the end. To find out she had previously written against progressives and still got lit up... hahaha.

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Kishkumen »

jfro18 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:51 am
I mentioned this the other day elsewhere, but what I found hilarious is that she wrote an article slamming progressives in the church, but then she mentioned progressive Mormons at the end of the FAIR podcast and Gee really lit her up over it.

And she backpedaled and did her best to laugh it off, but man that was a really awkward exchange that happened before they got to the incredible stupid Q&A at the end. To find out she had previously written against progressives and still got lit up... hahaha.
I feel badly for her. She is in for a lot more poor treatment from her priesthood leaders over the years. I would say that she'd better get used to it, but I really hope she does not. I would prefer that she and others who want to live a life of Mormon faith find other options than the apostolic coup.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Lemmie »

Yes, poor treatment, including this:
Theron Stanford wrote:Hanna Seariac is mistaken, but one can hardly blame her. She is probably too young to have witnessed the effects of the erosion by the Church itself of male priesthood patriarchy since "The Family" was proclaimed to the world all those years ago, and as a woman she wouldn't have felt the effects as directly.
What nonsense.

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

[quote](What with the Liverpool stuff, I wonder? Oh, never mind...)[/quote]

It's a running joke amongst some circles about England and the linearity of family trees. Also, I'm a ManU fan.

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Re: Have the Mopologists Found a New Protege?

Post by Dr Moore »

Doctor Scratch, while it isn't specific and therefore open to interpretation, I suspect the "introspection" comment in the petition may refer specifically to recently organized evaluations of latent racism at BYU. I'm thinking about the new Committee on Race, Equity & Belonging (race.BYU.edu) which was given a not insignificant supply of publicity by University officials.

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