I have been a jerk towards Dan Peterson. I would like to apologize to him and ask for his forgiveness.
I have only met Dan once. It was during the summer of 2007 at Brigham Young University-Idaho. I taught at BYU-Idaho from 2006 to 2009. My wife had volunteered to help at BYU-Idaho Education Week that summer since volunteers were able to attend classes for free. I stopped by to say hello to her outside the lecture hall in the Taylor Building where she ushering.
I saw Dan sitting at a table across the hall. He was in town presenting at Education Week. I honestly knew little about his work. I just knew that he was a high profile academic voice within Mormonism. He had also once commented on an early post I did at Faith-Promoting Rumor. I went over and briefly spoke with him and his wife. I mentioned his comment on my post and we both moved on.
I have been a critical voice against Dan since the upheaval at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute. I admit, my main reason for this is that my friends tend to be on the religious studies side of the apologetics/religious studies divide which has emerged. Also, many of my friends are now employed or associated with the current version of the Maxwell Institute.
However, I can relate to Dan and what he has gone through. I lost my job a year ago and even had a total falling out with my political party. I should have had more sympathy given my own experiences, but instead I ended up making Dan a target.
But I have decided to change.
Each Wednesday, my wife and daughter wear "Be Kind" t-shirts to school. These shirts are part of the school district’s anti-bullying program. I want one of these t-shirts…but I need to start actually being kind first.
Hey, Dan. I am sorry. I will do better. I am starting by removing any posts that I have written that are negative toward you. It is a small step, but it is something I can do today.
I hope you can forgive me. Maybe we can laugh about all of this over lunch someday.