Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
May 18th, 2017 by Joel Watts

seeing through UM Insight

The Interpreter, one of the official organs of The United Methodist Church, published online and in print of their May-June edition an admittedly poorly edited article. It was filled with at least one set of misquotes of Dr. Kevin Watson. Online, the article was floated on 13 May. Their original article has been removed for revision, which I believe will likewise see a correction in the next print edition.

How did we get to this point? Through a very congenial offering by Dr. Kevin Watson. He states he asked for, but did not receive a draft of the story, explains the confusion, and then ends his post with,

Since the print version of the magazine is already out, I am publishing my response here to clarify what I believe. I hope that Interpreter will publish a correction to this article online and in their next print issue.

Kathy Noble graciously replies,

Interpreter magazine deeply regrets that the article “One faith, different understandings” was edited in such a way as to misrepresent Dr. Watson’s thinking. We acknowledge that he has a valid concern and we sincerely apologize for the error.

The error occurred during the editing process and not through any fault of the author. It was entirely unintentional and not meant to misrepresent Dr. Watson’s perspective. We accept full responsibility and are taking steps to rectify the error to the extent possible through an online revision and a published correction. Fair and accurate reporting is critically important to us, and we will redouble our efforts to make sure that our articles accurately convey the intended meaning.

Please note the time. Shortly – like 9 minutes later – Cynthia Astle replied,

Kevin, I’m preparing an article for United Methodist Insight on this conflict. I do have one question that you may respond to me via email if you choose: Did you make any attempt to resolve this issue in private before you went public with your concerns?

I would appreciate hearing from you immediately as I intend to publish an article about this conflict in this week’s issue. Thank you.

Look at the violent words from Astle… “conflict” … and a threat of immediate action on her part. Even after Watson replied that he felt like there was an honorable resolution, Astle published what is nothing more than a hit piece.

Her words, again carefully chosen to incite violence against Watson’s character include “conservative,” “chastise,” and “stinging rebuke.” None of that is true. Her article, besides the add dramatic flair, is nothing more than a regurgitation of Watson’s article and some of the comments that followed.

This is the sort of “journalistic integrity” that caused several of us to pull our stuff from her site — because she portrays herself as unbiased, but in fact attempts to follow the late Roger Ailes into building nothing more than a money pit capitalizing off people’s rage, a rage she helps to foster and enlarge. She regularly hosts what amounts to the UMC’s version of InfoWars on her site, wherein she contributes to the psychological gaslighting of her readers. And this? Just another instance of intellectual vice that has come to plague the “Left” of The United Methodist Church.

Journalism is a calling of callings — up there with teachers, pastors, and caregivers. To see Astle trash it by suggesting what she does is in fact journalism is simply beyond me.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

7 Responses to “seeing through UM Insight”
  1. I long ago told UM Insight I would like them to stop republishing my stuff. This article on Kevin Watson’s response to Interpreter seems like its only aim is to embarrass Kevin. It’s too bad, but thats the world we live in today.

  2. Keith Caldwell says

    Our president calls it false news.

    • let’s not associate “fake news” – a term used by President Trump for anything that disagrees with him — with the propaganda push by UM Insight.

  3. For a journalist, the quote “Did you make any attempt to resolve this issue in private before you went public with your concerns?”, does not make sense, in a public statement.

    “Resolve the issue in private” (???). However, the “issue”, was already a published document in the “public” domain! I don’t think she thought ahead of time about her statement. If she thought about it ahead of time, and then made the statement; then Joel is sadly correct. It was meant to try and make Watson look like the bad guy.

    And fake News is a valid comment. The liberal press is indeed twisting everything they can. I think “liberal” press, can certainly be a label for both the current Methodist “liberal” side, and the current anti-Trump press. And I should say – I am for gay marriage. But I also don’t like wolves in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be innocent journalists, “just” reporting unbiased news.

    Example – Trump exposes classified. However, the President has the ultimate release authority on ANY classified documents. Unlike the Secretary of State.
    (And the classified info is related to saving airline passenger lives!) but a weasel in the White House actually publically discloses the classified info. He/she should go directly to jail.

    Trump suggests in a casual conversation (not orders) that the FBI lay off investigating an ex- LT General.
    He does the same thing about prosecuting Clinton for mishandling classified (a real crime), and ok-ing a massive sale of uranium to Russia (not to mention Clinton Foundation profits from multitude of foreign interests.)

    If not fake News, it is certainly an exaggerated and twisted News, to reflect badly upon the opposition. Same thing happened to Watson.

    • The current buzz word for liberals is not so much fake News now, but “resist”. By throwing out false statements, and if that doesn’t work, throw a brick. I’d be willing to bet the liberal wing of the Methodists, will adopt the word “resist”, in a short time. They are learning their tactics from the liberal democrats, unfortunately.

  4. Scott Fritzsche says

    I wouldn’t mind UMInsight if they admitted to what they are. They are an advocacy group plain and simple. At any point when you publish pieces that are overwhelmingly in support of one particular “side” for lack of a better term, you are an advocacy group. Not sure why they won’t just admit it and move on. At least then they could be respected. Instead, they choose to falsely represent themselves and falsely represent the writings and things said by many people I know, including myself, to push their advocacy. Seems that violates at least the principal behind not bearing false witness.

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