My last post about Shawn McCraney illustrated my view that Shawn never really intended to have me or other knowledgeable defenders of the LDS faith on his program, Heart of the Matter.
So yesterday I got a phone call from a friend who, with another friend, spoke with Shawn about his fear of dealing with Mormon scholars, and me in particular.
My friend said that when my name was brought up, his perception was Shawn became visibly angry, responded with a short curt remark about how dumb bringing me up was to do, and then said he chose to not have me on because I am not a "real" Mormon, I just have my own philosophy which I disguise as Mormonism.
"Wow", was all I could say. The absurdity of such a view about me, if the report is accurate (and I believe my friend to be care about details, so I think it is) is almost beyond words. My credentials as a believing Mormon far exceed anything Shawn can throw around about his supposed "40 years as a Mormon". Granted, I have only been a Mormon for 35 years, but those don't include any infancy/pre-teen years. And they include 33 years of very active belief, study and attendance.
Let me elaborate a bit more. I served a two year mission without being homesick a single day. I loved the work. I have been an elder's quorum president 4 times. I served over 5 years in a bishopric as an executive secretary. I served as a counselor in a stake mission presidency for two years. I have repeatedly served as a stake missionary. I am currently in a stake presidency as an assistant clerk. I am also a member of FAIR, an organization which specifically defends the LDS Church from critics by promoting research, which is easily viewed on the FAIR WIKI. In my opinion, the FAIR Wiki is simply the most outstanding religious apologetic database on the Internet, because it fearlessly addresses EVERY criticism of the LDS Church, cites the sources making the claims, and then provides research and links responding to the criticism, acknowledging when a conclusion is one of several theories (such as the location of Cumorah, for example) or a settled fact, as in the case of historical events. It is an amazing resource. And it is definitely "peer reviewed" for facts.
To think that I have taken a chameleon's skin to create my own religious view, outside mainstream LDS belief, is laughable. I am a conservative LDS defender, a believing Mormon who affirms the LDS Church as the only true Church on the face of the Earth in terms of authority and prophetic leadership.
It is my belief that Shawn is not afraid of me from an intellectual or debating standpoint. I believe he is afraid of what he becomes when he is out of control of a situation. People see that on his show constantly when someone calls in and stumps him, or makes a valid point. He gets loud, sarcastic, caustic. He tries to bully his way through the conversation. Listen to his chat with Van Hale. Set aside who was being rude to whom. Doesn't matter. Listen to the tone, responses, sarcasm.
Look back over the years to my specific interaction on air with Shawn. He consistently makes statements and promises to respond. Or like last time, he just re-affirms that he has banned me from calling in. Then he puts forward his crafted position, like this past June, where he wants to present himself to the world as the unafraid, unintimidated crusader against the false doctrines of Mormonism. He will let anyone on his show, not to debate, but to present their views and then review them with pinpoint insight and clarity. He specifically denied his own documented words by saying it is false that he would not allow people such as me to call into his program.
Well, those are my views. Shawn is a complicated person. But he is pretty easy to read, I think, as well. I believe he is a bully, and the last thing a bully wants is someone to step forward who is not able to be bullied or frightened by emotional manipulation.
So don't expect Shawn to have Dan Peterson, Michael Ash, Kerry Shirts, Van Hale or folks like me on the program. Ever. As my friend said, "Shawn hates you. You can see it in how he discusses you." For him to control his anger and sarcasm, I believe, would be impossible for him to manage. The funny thing is just about nobody watches his program. Seriously, nearly no one, relative to the potential audience, is watching. So even if he had a horrible showing, pretty much no one would know. Of course, it would be on disk forever, which may be his fear. Everyone could watch, and certainly it would make his claim of an "encyclopedic knowledge" of Mormonism would be shown for what it really is.
Anyway, I am done talking about Shawn. I never thought he would have me on his program, and it turns out I was right. Call it what you want, at least we Mormons do go talk with the folks who want to engage us about doctrine, history or whatever.