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Former Deseret News opinion editor applauds The Atlantic for its treatment of the Church in article published Wednesday

by | Dec. 16, 2020

There are three types of articles written about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to Hal Boyd, the former opinion editor for the Deseret News, who is now an associate professor of family law and policy at BYU: First, there is the article written by the non-Latter-day Saint journalist who looks at the faith warily. Second, pieces written by former or lapsed members of the Church. And third, “the genre in which active Church members examine their faith.” 

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“Too often, however, Latter-day Saint writers take special pains to demonstrate just how objective they are in a well-intentioned but ultimately gauche bid to convince readers that they’re playing it straight. The tragedy of this kind of performative objectivity is that it usually steers clear of the very texture and personal vulnerability that might actually lend relevant insight into what animates the faith tradition,” Boyd writes. 

But he suggests that McKay Coppins’s 9,000-word piece about the Church published Wednesday morning “paves a decidedly different (and dare I say better) path forward for writing about the faith,” as the publication allowed Coppins to be candid about his religious experience while also not shying away from tensions or facts. 

Read Boyd’s full assessment on Deseret.com.

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