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Monday, August 15, 2011

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Angry Relief Society President

Brette Stephenson
Defender of the Faith

Dear Mrs. Stephensen,

Congratulations for successfully pressuring the Albemarle County School Board to remove Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet” from its reading lists. It's not only a victory for Latter Day Saints, it's a victory for all denominations who who've had their histories stolen and abused in the name of art.

Doyle's Sherlock Holmes was nothing less than a nineteenth century Korihor, bent on destroying our faith by portraying our culture as sinful and corrupt. Sure, Brigham Young was a strong leader who brooked no dissent. And maybe it's true that my great great grandfather, Daniel Burbank, one of "Brigham's Destroying Angels" carried out blood atonement against apostates on the Prophet's orders. But that truth didn't give Doyle licence to besmirch the Prophet Brigham by painting him as a dictator.

As Elder Boyd K Packer once preached:
There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher Of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not...Some things that are true are not very useful.
Doyle's tirades against polygamy and tales of the Prophet's authoritarianism and greed may be true, but they sure as heck aren't faith promoting. Thank you for standing up for what is "useful."

I hope you'll continue your work, not just for Mormons, but for other religions as well. It'll show the world that you're not just an old parochial busybody, but someone who fights for others just as hard as you fight for yourself.

You could begin by petitioning the school district to remove Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" from its libraries. The way the Inquisition is dealt with in that book is anything but faith promoting, and Lord knows the Pope doesn't find it useful.

Heterosexually yours, in a chaste, Standard Worksish, and book burning kind of way,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

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