Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods
A FAIR Analysis of: 'One Nation Under Gods'A work by author: Richard Abanes
| Note: This is a review of claims and/or responses to misrepresentations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found in this work. The inclusion of an author's work here does not imply that he or she is "anti-Mormon," or that none of his or her works have value. Those who do not wish to examine the claims contained in what some would consider an "anti-Mormon" work are advised to proceed no further.
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- Overview (Link)
- Index of claims—
Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in One Nation Under Gods indexed by page number. (Link)
- Source analysis—
An examination and response to how the author of One Nation Under Gods interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number. (Link)
- Loaded and prejudicial language—
An examination of how the author employs loaded and prejudicial language in this work in order to discredit Mormonism. (Link)
- Absurd claims—
Some of the claims made in this work are simply absurd. We list and respond to those claims here. (Link)
“Presentism” is an analytical fallacy in which past behavior is evaluated by modern standards or mores. We examine some of our favorite examples of this fallacy in One Nation Under Gods. (Link)
- Mind reading—
The author often attempts to interpret what Joseph was thinking as a way to lead the reader to a predetermined conclusion regarding Joseph Smith. (Link)
- Rewording secondary sources—
A list of paragraphs which echo the prose of Fawn Brodie's No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith. (Link)
The author of One Nation Under Gods uses sarcasm to belittle what he claims to be LDS beliefs and doctrine. (Link)
About this work
[M]ore than a few Mormons, although they had never actually read my book, declared without hesitation that it was rife with errors.
—One Nation Under Gods, p. 438 (paperback edition)
We did indeed read the book (both the Hardback and the Paperback), thoroughly. They are, and continue to be, rife with errors.
[T]o be honest, your FAIR analysis of the hardbound is actually hurting you in some very interesting ways -- and you don't even know it. Suffice it to say, I have been enjoying the many times I've had the pleasure of point out to lots of Mormons (many of them now former Mormons) where FAIR has not been completely honest, and where FAIR has shown itself to be terrifically nit-picky and petty. I thank you.
—The author, commenting on FAIR's previous analysis of this work. Posted to Mormon Apologetics and Discussion Board, Nov. 21, 2008
...what ONUG [One Nation Under Gods] did was to provide needed information to non-Mormons, evangelicals, secularists, and from what I hear, even many Mormons (many of whom, thanks to ONUG, are no longer Mormons).
—The author, commenting on the value of his book. Posted to Mormon Apologetics and Discussion Board, Dec. 7, 2008
Props to FAIR for reacting so quickly to my responses to what they had kept up at their website for 5 years. After my refutation of their so-called critique of One Nation Under Gods was posted, it took them about 1-2 weeks to take everything down. Good job, FAIR!
—The author, responding to this "so-called" critique. The statement, however, is not accurate. The original 27 articles were taken off the FAIR website and moved here to the FAIR Wiki, where over 100 new articles were added. Posted to Mormon Apologetics and Discussion Board, May 14, 2009
It should be noted that the author's response to the list of problems documented by FAIR is that the editing on the hardback edition of One Nation Under Gods (ONUG) was incomplete and that many of the problems were corrected in the paperback edition, published a year later. (This corrected paperback edition bears no markings indicating that it is a second edition or an updated edition; it simply appears as a paperback edition of the original.) This review primarily treats the paperback edition of this work, with an acknowledgment of corrections made by the author to the hardback edition.
In early 2002 a new book entitled One Nation under Gods (ONUG) appeared on bookshelves, promising to tell the "real" history of the Mormon Church. In the words of its author,
It is beyond legitimate dispute that the Mormon church has for decades been painting for the general public a decidedly biased picture of the Latter-day Saint faith, especially with regard to the origins of the Book of Mormon. Fortunately, a more objective sketch of Mormonism's earliest years can be drawn using non-LDS witnesses, secular media articles, and private journals (Mormon and non-Mormon). All of these sources will be used in this book to discover how Mormonism's founder—Joseph Smith—formed, controlled, and expanded his church, which today is one of the wealthiest and most influential religions in the world. [ONUG, xvi]
With his thesis stated and his purpose laid bare, the author attempts to pull disparate sources together to paint a picture that, when compared to objective reality, more closely resembles a Picasso than a Rembrandt—skewed and distorted—obscuring and maligning the actual doctrines and beliefs as understood and practiced by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for more than 150 years.
FAIR wiki articles
|A FAIR Analysis of Critical Works|
- American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows— (Index of claims)
- An Insider's View of Mormon Origins — (Index of claims—Use of sources)
- Archaeology and the Book of Mormon
- Ashamed of Joseph: Mormon Foundations Crumble
- Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism/Inside Today's Mormonism — (Index of claims—Use of sources)
- Behind the Mask of Mormonism
- Specific works/Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
- Specific works/By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus
- Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism
- Covering Up the Black Hole in the Book of Mormon
- Decker's Complete Handbook on Mormonism
- Early Mormonism and the Magic World View — (Index of claims—Use of sources)
- Specific works/Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Mormonism
- Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History
- From Captain Kidd's Treasure Ghost to the Angel Moroni: Changing Dramatis Personae in Early Mormonism
- In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith — (Index of Claims)
- Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon
- Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record
- Is the Mormon My Brother?
- Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet
- Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon (2nd edition)—(Index of claims)
- Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Reexamined
- The Kingdom of the Cults (Revised) — (Index of claims)
- Leaving the Saints
- Letters to a Mormon Elder
- Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church — (Index of claims)
- Mormon America: The Power and the Promise — (Index of claims)
- The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power — (Index of claims)
- The Mormon Mirage: Seeing Through the Illusion of Mainstream Mormonism
- Mormonism 101—Index of claims
- Mormonism (Kurt Van Gorden)
- Mormonism: Shadow or Reality? — (Index of claims)
- The Mysteries of Godliness—A History of Mormon Temple Worship
- Nauvoo Polygamy — (Index of claims—Use of sources—Prejudicial language—Presentism—Mind reading—Censorship—Romance—Assumptions—Magick)
- New Approaches to the Book of Mormon
- New Mormon Challenge
- No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith — (Index of claims)
- One Nation Under Gods — (Index of claims—Use of Sources—Prejudicial language—Absurd claims—Presentism—Mind reading—Rewording—Omissions—Sarcasm)
- The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644–1844
- Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example — (Index of claims)
- Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess
- The Changing World of Mormonism — (Index of claims)
- Trouble Enough: Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon
- Under the Banner of Heaven — (Index of claims)
- Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture
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