Thursday, September 20, 2012

David and Goliath 2012

As you may have previously surmised, I am not into rock music. Classical is more my style. So, prior to a few days ago, if someone had dropped the name Brandon Flowers while conversing with me, I would have been completely clueless.  Not so today. Although I’ve not listened to him sing, and I cannot name any of his hit songs, I will now call myself one of Brandon Flowers’ fans. Why?

While on a concert tour this summer, Brandon was being interviewed on a Norwegian TV show when the host asked him questions about his Mormon faith. After Brandon responded with positive remarks about prayer, the Church, etc. the host brought out another guest, the famous atheist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins, true to form, launched into an attack on Joseph Smith, whom he called a “charlatan,” and the Book of Mormon, which he called “an obvious fake.”

It was apparent that Brandon was surprised by this deliberate and cynically planned ambush. The goal of the show seemed to be: Let’s humiliate this Mormon guy -- and don't give him a real opportunity to respond.

So, after Dawkins spewed forth his huge disdain for the Mormon faith (looking directly at Brandon as he did so), Brandon responded: “The book's been studied and torn apart and looked at — and I am not one of the professors that have done it — but to call this man a charlatan, I take offense to it.” He also told Dawkins that he (Dawkins) “needed to do his research” (on the Church and the Book of Mormon). Dawkins huffed that he had done his research, “obviously.” 

Brandon, of course, was absolutely right. Real scholars who have actually done honest research on the Book of Mormon, undoubtedly would agree that there were tell-tale signs that Dawkins had done no true research. His argument against the Book of Mormon was a "straw man" argument that would earn Dawkins a C-minus in any college logic class. Dawkins, in fact, is himself the charlatan -- a person who pretends to have expert knowledge or skill that he does not have. He specializes in sound bites, and he has no real interest in the truth. Obviously!