CARM—cesspool of hate

CARM (Christian Apologetics Research Ministries) is an anti-mormon organization with an online message board. I have spent a small amount of time over there, and these are my reflections that I originally posted at MADB(Mormon Apologetics & Discussion Board):

The strategy over at CARM is to stay online all day long and all night long. You can never leave the computer screen. It works great for them, because after you post and come back 2 hours later they already have 2 1/2 pages of insult ridden and mostly pointless and mean-spirited responses that you have to then read through. The temptation to get mad and join in the childish finger pointing is also one of their main tactics, because it draws you away from the real debate and lets them do what they are really good at….

BrianH is Pahoran on crack. The guy is absolutely intolerable. He has done research, and his arguments are far more coherent than anyone elses, but his utter disdain for anything beginning with “M” and ending in “ormon” shines through every syllable. Instead of simply attempting to refute an argument, the attempt is always, without exception, accompanied by a remark about the stupidity, dishonesty, and ignorance of the Mormon race. BrianH claims his purpose is to “draw” Mormons out so he can reveal the inconsistencies and fallacies of their religion. Mormons are not shivering and shy night creatures lurking in the shadown Brian.

Most of them over there are actually just angry ex-mormons, or at least they claim to be.

I stopped posting at CARM. The environment is simply rediculous over there. If I ever had any complaints about the moderation over here at MADB, they were made obsolete after a few days at CARM. It is a cesspool of hate.

The most fascinating thing about CARMites is their complete confidence in themselves when they are surrounded by their cronies over on their home turf, but their complete absence anywhere else on the internet. There are a few notables, such as PaulD, who have been brave enough to leave Slick’s safe harbors. But most cannot find pleasure anywhere else, as most places don’t allow that low a level of communication. To ensure themselves that they are legit, they have created an imaginary scenario in which their small message board is the central front in the battle between the forces of light and darkness. They actually believe their obscure and unpopular message board makes a difference in the world.

The condition of Mormon Apologetics is not so dire that we must subject ourselves to bigotry. There are far more worthy critics to be found.

James

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15 comments on “CARM—cesspool of hate

  1. DrewM says:

    I stopped posting over there as well. Not by choice, but by ban.

  2. Sargon says:

    I managed to keep myself from being banned, but I tired of putting up with the atmosphere…..worse than listening to liberal radio.

  3. Ocean Coast says:

    funny thing I found this blog of yours.. I have the very same expirence with the very same “Suspects” BrianH and PaulD.. And you are so correct that the game there is to instigate an beligerent mud slinging contest.. With LDS always being with a disadvantage with the Board Moderation. I have been Banned a half dozen times now.. Any time I post something that ends up making them look bad… It gets deleted… If I complain..I get banned, and so it goes over there. My most recent dialog was to challenge them to EVANGELIZE ME.. I set forth some basic rules about Honesty, Respect, Objectivity and No Hearsay.. but none could muster any Respect or honesty let alone any objectivity. My post persisted for about four weeks and became one of the largest posts on thier board, but with NO substance at all.. And of course Father_JD, Bulldog, PaulD, and BrianH .. none can make a sentence with out adding libelous insults every other word… So I suppose the best thing is to leave them be and let them stew in thier own juice.

  4. James says:

    Thanks Ocean Coast. CARM just might be the very WORST place on the internet to talk about Mormonism.

  5. nra-rich says:

    I completely agree with the comments of Ocean Coast. Another name to add to the sad mix over at CARM is: \”PlygKid\” aka Brian Mackert.

    While I can certainly sympathize with the trials and tribulations of Mr. Mackert\’s experience with being a former member of the FLDS, he completely destroys every ounce of potential credibility with his obsessive, obnoxious, narcissistic ways, and his constant browbeating.

    Also, he\’s another one that runs to the Moderator each and ANY time someone DARES to call him on the carpet.

    Unreal.

  6. BD says:

    What is the difference between an Anti-Mormon and someone who doesn’t respect the Mormon faith? Is there a difference? In your view, is anyone who hates a religious system against (i. e. anti) that religious system?

    Under this definition would Mormons consider themselves Anti-Anything? I’m simply curious, not trying to start a fight. It would be helpful in my discourse with others to understand terminology. Thanks. If I need to be clearer, I will… but I would greatly appreciate a response.

  7. James says:

    Hi BD. In my opinion, there is a difference between being critical of another religious system, and being “anti-….”.

    For example, notable Christian scholars such William Craig, JP Moreland, Paul Copan, and Michael Heiser have published essays and books that are critical of Mormon theology. But, these individuals are respectful, professional, and are not inflammatory. They are not “anti-Mormons.” They don’t spend inordinate amounts of time attempting to overthrow Mormonism. Even if they ultimately disagree with Mormonism, they are able to find something admirable about it.

    On the other hand, there are real “anti-Mormons” out there. In my opinion, these are individuals who spend more time criticizing Mormonism then they spend studying their own faith. They can see no good in Mormonism. They are disrespectful, rude, and insulting. They tend to believe that Mormons are deluded, stupid, and corrupt. This attitude is epitomized by CARM.

  8. BD says:

    James,

    Your clarification was very helpful. Especially helpful was your listing of gentlemen who are critical of Mormon theology without being Anti-Mormon.

    I used to be Mormon myself and am always curious of people who obsess over Mormonism more strongly once they leave the church then when they were in it.

    To me, once I left, I tried to do my best to get on with my life and, aside from moments where I am feeling overly sentimental (and I must confess, I am currently in one of those modes), hardly even think about it.

    The whole Anti-Mormon claim was something I never understood, it seemed like the LDS folk I knew threw the term around far too often. Anytime someone was honestly “searching” or being “critical” it seemed like they were being accused of persecution. I’m glad to hear that you are more careful with terms.

    Thank you for the charitable way in which you answered my question. I’ll try to stop by more often. On a side note, what to you is the most persuasive reason for being Mormon?

    I know the Internet is a poor medium for communication because, it is far too easy to forget that there is a person on the other side of the monitor… but I would be interested to hear your answer.

    Thanks,
    BD

  9. James says:

    Hi BD. I agree, Mormons often throw around the term “Anti-Mormon” too carelessly. The word is hardly ever carefully defined, which leads to a general impression that it refers to any and all efforts that are contrary to the LDS Church.

    That being said, Mormons are in fact a very frequent target. One can hardly blame the LDS community for feeling a little like we have our backs up against the wall, and for getting defensive. We are vastly outnumbered when it comes to criticism vs apologetics.

    As for your latest question (best reason to be Mormon), I’m going to assume you mean aside from the spiritual witness that I have. That is indeed a powerful reason for being Mormon for me. Setting that aside, I’m also going to assume you are referring to reasons to believe that Mormonism is true, and not just reasons to be Mormon (which are many, aside from the “true” part). I hope that makes sense.

    I think we all have different reasons for believing that Mormonism is in fact what it claims to be. But since you asked me, I think the most persuasive reason to believe that Mormonism is true is the Book of Mormon. I find evidence for it’s veracity to be persuasive.

    But I don’t rest my belief on that alone. I look at the accumulation of all the bits of evidence from every corner, from the Book of Abraham to Joseph’s character to the 3 Witnesses and so on . I consider both the evidence for and against. I consider the degree of happiness I enjoy, and the sacrifices I make. When I add it all up I find more than enough reason to remain a member of this magnificent church.

    I wish you well in your search for truth and happiness. You won’t hear me accuse you of being sinful or dishonest simply because you struggle with your faith in the LDS Church. Admittedly there is cause for doubt, and we all have to work through those episodes. I think that comes the territory, as it does for every faith tradition. I’m happy to help you in whatever way I can. Feel free to email me a lehislibrary@gmail.com, where we can chat more freely if you’d like.

  10. Steve Smoot says:

    Isn’t calling CARM a cesspool a little too harsh… for cesspools? :^)

  11. Bob Vukich says:

    My plumber nearly left the Church when he found out cesspools had been so carelessly lumped together with CARM. It really shook his testmony. :-)

    I posted very, very briefly on CARM over a year ago, I think. The lack of personal research or willingness to even read sources was evident in every response, as was the complete lack of self regulation or moderator intervention when libelous invectives were used by emotionally challenged non-intellectuals would resort to insults (with far less flair than I just did :-)) because they lacked knowledge.

    I personally find the fact that there is no “fruit” amongst those professing an Evangelical faith to be extremely relevant to any understanding of who might have the truth. It is one thing to perhaps point out that an unrepentant mass murderer or thief is by definition not a Christian. It is wholly another issue to have individuals violating the very specific commands on proper missionary approaches outlined in the Bible and personally violate the standards of conduct itemized for Christians within the Bible, and claim their religious compatriots as a group to be superior Christians to Mormons despite things like vastly higher divorce, crime and illiteracy rates, to then be honored by their fellow “Christians” as examples of diverse yet proper Christian zeal in sharing the Gospel. For me, the fact the “Christians” don’t have the strength of convictions to judge those within their ranks as false brethren is the evidence of the total apostasy of that entire line of “Christian” tradition.

    If it were just CARM engaging in self-congratulatory adulation then I could say CARM is the only corrupt fruit. The fact that groups like CARM are supported financially and with access to rank and file members of the various “Christian” denominations by the leadership of national and local “Christian” church organizations, where they do an Orwellian “hate is love” presentations about these groups neighbors, whether Mormon, JW or Muslim, is the fruit showing their entire vine is corrupt. It may not help to determine who has the True Faith, but it certainly proves these groups possess “another Gospel” (Galatians 1) than Paul declared.
    Peace

  12. Googler says:

    I dont usually reply to posts but I will in this case. I am more than impressed! :)

  13. Joe says:

    Well, James.. It’s just like anyone.. Whether they be Liberal or Conservative, Christian or Muslim..

    Someone is going to feel more at home with their cronies and feel more compelled to push the envelope to say what they truly believe.

    It’s truly sad that the Christians aren’t open to debate. As I believe it’s good for everyone to learn from each other as said in the Qur’an Surah 49:13:

    “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”

    I myself am not a Muslim, but have read much of the Qur’an.. It seems only fitting to use this quote in my post as we are discussing differences and why we can’t all just get along.

    Bob,

    The corrupt fruit is everywhere.. I’m assuming you’re referencing the parable by Jesus where he talked about a religion or prophet being true by the fruit that it bears..

    Although I have some distinct disagreements with how the JW, do things.. If it’s someone’s life, it’s their choice. I know many great Muslims, people that aren’t terrorists, and who love and respect this country more than many of the Liberals do.. (which doesn’t take much). The woman I love is a Muslim.

    All the Mormons I’ve met are great kind and loving to all human kind. I may have disagreements with them belief-wise, but that’s their beliefs and I’d be willing to debate any one of you any day of the week. As long as we can come
    out as friends afterwards and with the recognition that we don’t know everything, only that which has been revealed to us.

    I’ve know some people that call themselves Christians who I don’t think Satan would even claim ownership of. But, I know many good Christians too.. It depends on the person.

    You’re right in the divorce rates of Christians too.. Many of my friends call themselves Christians, and as many of them have gotten married, they have also gotten divorced for petty and stupid reasons. I guess to that I can say this.. I don’t believe the divorce rates are based on them entirely because they’re Christian, I believe it’s the society that we’re living in today that glamorizes marriage and makes it seem perfect.

    This could go off in many different topics though.. great post though!

  14. James says:

    Thanks Joe! Well said!

  15. jr says:

    CARM is not the only anti Mormon site that will ban anyone who dares to show integrity and more knowledge than the Mormon haters. And these people who claiim to love the Mormon people but hate Mormonism sure speak hatefully. And the ones who own the anti sites make good money being and acting opposite of how a Christiian should act, tearing down another religion.
    The anti Mormons say they are not threatened by Mormonism but if not, why do they work so hard against it and are so hateful.? Hhmmmmm

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