On a recent thread, Jettboy remarked:

Ray, just remember the purpose of this thread. It isn’t to discuss, but to ridicule. Basically, just one more thread to prove that the Church leadership is ignorant, anti-evolution/science fools. If you can prove the leadership didn’t leave the possibility of evolution open, you can prove they are not worth taking seriously. Just the usual religious nutjobs. And yes, I believe that all official (and not just individual) statements leave a huge opening for evolution. what it does do beyond that is declare “man” is more than the evolutionary process.

I don’t have a problem with Jettboy’s last two sentences here, or for the rest of his comment for that matter. However, his first two remarks were so inflammatory, so insulting and so wrong that I wanted to do a few things. First, I wanted to clear my name. Second, I wanted to explain the purpose of those Firestorm threads. Finally, I wanted to explain why Jettboy owes me and everyone at BCC a public apology.

Basically, Jettboy accuses me of being (at best) an apostate, or (at worst) an enemy of the Church. According to his words, I am looking for a chance to ridicule the Brethren, show them to be fools and provide a reason not to hearken to them. I take Jettboy’s accusations very seriously [1]. I suppose it would be meaningless to the likes of Jettboy to establish some sort of ‘Church cred’ by saying that I hold a recommend, teach in the EQ, etc., etc. [2] I can however provide my own direct testimony to rebut his slander. I sustain the President of the Church and the Apostles as prophets, seers and revelators, and I believe very strongly in the guidance they give. If Jettboy has evidence to the contrary, let him offer it; but as for myself, I do not believe the Brethren are fools and would never ask a member to disregard their counsel.

Second, Jettboy makes serious accusations as to the purpose of the Friday Firestorm posts, claiming that they are basically vehicles to accomplish nefarious schemes of apostasy. A plain reading of each of the posts defies this insulting and narrow interpretation. Neither of the posts has offered a given viewpoint; instead, each simply quoted an excerpt from an official church publication and requested comment and discussion. It is difficult to see any ill intent from such an act. Perhaps Jettboy believes that my selection of quotations is inaccurate or misleading. If so, he was welcome to make such a claim, as some did in my post on presiding in the home. As it stands, he draws unwarranted conclusions. This is not a shock to anyone in the bloggernacle, where unwarranted conclusions are de rigeur. However, to automatically assume evil and antimormon purposes from your brothers in the church is shameful behavior.

Jettboy’s remarks represent the worst that is in mormonism: a lofty sense of pride coupled with an eagerness to build up our sense of righteousness at the expense of others. I hold Jettboy’s comments up as an example of what I hate most in our religious culture. Perhaps, by writing this post, I am falling prey to the same trap as Jettboy — denouncing another mormon to build up my own persona. I hope that’s not the case, but a part of me fears it’s true. Mostly, though, I want him to apologize for those remarks. He owes me a personal apology, as well as the rest of you.

[1] Being accused of apostasy is never fun. It’s happened to me before, and I took it seriously then, too.

[2] Although each of those things is true. FYI. I feel dirty having to publicly establish my righteousness.