Excerpts of New website to jump to Mormonism's defense by Peggy Fletcher Stack, Salt Lake Tribune
On Thursday, the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) announced that it was launching the Mormon Defense League (MDL) to help journalists "get it right" .
If the MDL notices a misstatement or mischaracterization, the group will first contact the journalist. But if a pattern of misrepresentation emerges, the defense league will "go after the writer" by posting the piece or pieces on its website (mdl.org) and pointing out the errors.
In this effort, the MDL will mirror the work of the church's own Public Affairs Department. .
On Thursday, the LDS Church welcomed any "sincere efforts to correct misconceptions and inaccuracies about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," spokesman Scott Trotter said, but emphasized that "FAIR is neither sponsored nor endorsed by the [LDS] Church."
Joanna Brooks, a Mormon writer believes it will be good for the LDS Church "not to be the one to respond every time a crackpot takes a shot at the church," and she applauds the move for "an independent voice to respond to crude anti-Mormonism" in any media report.
But Brooks worries about what kinds of news pieces the MDL will critique.
"We misdirect our energy when we respond defensively to legitimate questions and criticisms of controversial church positions," she said. "We can't be part of civil society unless we respond candidly. The price of admission is forthrightness."
FAIR's new defense league is aimed at journalists and non-Mormons and is modeled after the Anti-Defamation League, created in 1913 "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all."