Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Screwtape Revisited

Here is the original article.  What surprised me was how well it was written mostly because an otherwise intelligent individual could possibly give vent to such an absurd posture.  This is my response.

My Dear Jacob,

I am very pleased by what I read in your recent article.  As you and the other young tempters know, one of the most powerful tools at our disposal is humor.  Cowards, bullies, disloyal friends, and even thieves are forgiven among the most honorable people if they can recount their exploits with a joke.  Consequently, when you talk about our Enemy's most concentrated movement recently in a belittling, flippant, and yet jovial manner, you have expertly moved the argument from whether Mormonism is true to whether it is popular or fringe, contemporary or outworn.

You must never push mortals to an argument of whether or not Christianity is true or not.  Our great Enemy can debate too (reason is, after all, His invention and on His territory), but sits with insolent silence when our mortal counterparts such as yourself scoff at His work.  For that reason, in your future articles I would retell various aspects of the story of Joseph Smith truthfully, and yet without any semblance of solemnity.  Use absurd language while telling a truthful account so that your readers can scoff and dismiss the facts they unearth later with legitimate sources.  As you do this, seer-stones will become "diamond-encrusted decoder glasses", Priesthood will become a "chauvinistic White Supremicist club," and Joseph Smith will become a "dogmatic, irrational, absurd gold-digger."

You have been thoughtless and will be reprimanded on two points.  First of all, you have taken too lightly the strength with which mortals attach feelings of self worth to what they believe even what they believe is contradictory.  Never directly attack the miracles of the Bible and those of the Restoration in the same breath.  Surely you can do better than set up great camaraderie among Christians and non-Christians alike against Mormons and then destroy it with a brief (though well-written) paragraph.  In another place your suggestion that the Biblical miracles are farcical would have been perfectly justified, but you attempted to break the rule spoken of by our Enemy, "a house divided against itself cannot stand" and not even we are capable of breaking rules He has ordained.

The second mistake was to avoid referencing literature from the Mormon libraries.  Our goal, as you have surely discovered already, is not to capture weak minds, but strong ones who can then parrot our positions fluently.  Weak minds attach to the first philosophy they come across and often wreak havoc on the group espousing that philosophy with shoddy logic, misplaced energy, and zeal without faith.  When the weak minds find their way to our side, we own them but they are thankfully dismissed by the strong with pity.  However, when weak minds find their way to the side of our Enemy, we lose their soul, yes, but our job becomes much easier to convince the for-now ambivalent strong that Mormonism is comprised of shoddy, misplaced zealots.  A strong mind will question assumptions before choosing a side which means they will likely check your sources which does you as the author a disservice precisely because all of your sources are from anti-Mormon literature.  If you would have included some Mormon references (not the Book of Mormon, we must ensure that work never finds it's way into the hands of those we have a hope of claiming) your position would have been even more powerful because it would have been even more believable.

As the comments following your article indicate, all publicity seems to be good publicity for Mormons.   

With affection,

PS  See you in a few years.

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