Talk:Mark Paredes

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Untitled[edit]

The factual accuracy of this article has been question by an editor purporting to be Mark Paredes. I'm adding this material, just to make sure the page exists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sphilbrick (talkcontribs) 20:34, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Jewish?[edit]

Mark Paredes as best as I can tell is a person of both European and African descent who was not baptized until the 1978 revelation on the priesthood due to his LDS mothers views. I actually am not sure that he is ethnically Jewish, but have even more doubt that he is racially Jewish.

This http://www.jewishjournal.com/jews_and_mormons/item/blacks_and_mormons_the_priesthood_ban_brigham_and_bruce posting at the Jewish Journal by Paredes makes mention to his post-1978 baptism. It actually is unclear whether Paredes is the "biracial son" mentioned, but what is clear is that he was never religiously a Jew (and it is unclear if he was ever in any other way a Jew) so it really does not make sense to class him as a "convert from Judaism to Mormonism".John Pack Lambert (talk) 00:49, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Delete entry for lack of notability[edit]

The notability of the subject of this entry is questionable. Wikipedia's guidelines with respect to notability of a person suggest that Mark Paredes is not notable enough nor of general interest enough to warrant his own Wikipedia entry. This entry should therefore be deleted. AugustoPinochet12345 (talk) 23:23, 6 November 2014 (UTC)AugustoPinochet12345

Agree. Subject is not notable. Whillice (talk) 21:49, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

The "Jews vote for Democrats" material.[edit]

If this stuff needs to be examined for BLP implications, then it must be removed while that discussion to determine consensus takes place. This is standard. __ E L A Q U E A T E 16:22, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

The only thing that makes this person notable is this recent information. The material is sourced and correct. Not sure what the problem is. If people don't like the editorial tone, then change that, but this shouldn't be wholesale deleted. Otherwise the article ought to be deleted completely for non-notability. Whillice (talk) 17:10, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
It's a weird synthesized argument against a BLP, not "editorial tone". the Abrahamic God utterly condemns the Democratic Party and all that it stands for is bordering on patent nonsense. It's certainly not in the sources cited, which include some blogs, primary sources, articles that don't even mention the subject, and aren't appropriate in any case. The original arguments added regarding how to best be an advocate for relations between Mormons and Jews were simply not found in the sources. Pure original editorial linked to sources that didn't support it. __ E L A Q U E A T E 17:42, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Paredes stated that in his role as a Bishop of the LDS church, he would deny a temple recommend to Harry Reid because of the Democratic Party's support of equal rights for women, marriage equality, and legal abortion. This is equivalent to conservative Catholic bishops stating that they would deny John Kerry communion. There may be a logical stretch here, but that should lead to edits that would make it more NPOV, not outright deletion of the content, esp by anonymous users.
I personally think this article should be deleted outright for non-notability (see above), so I am not willing personally to re-write something on an article I don't think should be on Wikipedia in the first place, but I think the info is pertinent and sourced, unlike the rest of the article. Whillice (talk) 21:31, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
That something is sourced does not mean it isn't synthetic. The whole thing about bringing up how Jews tend to vote Democrat and then using that somehow to discuss Paredes' opinions is nothing but original research. It does not belong in this article, and the way in which it was being used makes it a BLP violation. That the editor who originally introduced it appears to be a SPA is only icing on the cake. If you think this article should be deleted, I urge you to take it to AFD. None of the comments in this thread indicate any particular stance on whether this article belongs on Wikipedia... just that the material that has been removed does not belong. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 11:24, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Implied[edit]

"Implied" is more supported by the references than the weaker "seemed to imply":

  • From the Salt Lake Tribune article cited: "In the aftermath of this week's elections, an LDS bishop in Los Angeles set off political fireworks by asserting in a blog that Mormon Sen. Harry Reid was not worthy to enter one of the faith's temples for his support of Democratic Party stances."
  • From the AP article "A Mormon bishop in Los Angeles apologized Sunday for the tone of a blog saying Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was unworthy to enter the faith's temples, but stood by his criticism of Reid's stands on some issues
  • From KUTV article: "in the article, Paredes—citing his own position as a bishop—calls Reid "a Mormon who does not take his religion seriously.” He also questions whether Reid would even pass an interview for a temple recommend, citing the Democratic Party's endorsement of same-sex marriage and abortion."
  • From Standard-Examiner: "It was ex­tremely dis­taste­ful for a bishop in The Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints to pub­lish a blog in which he ac­cused U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a fel­low Mor­mon, of be­ing un­wor­thy to en­ter the church’s temples. ... What’s be­ing crit­i­cized is the id­i­ocy of claim­ing that Sena­tor Reid is not a wor­thy Mor­mon be­cause he is a Dem­o­crat."
  • From Patheos: "He apologized, specifically, for (1) the tone of his article, (2) falsely giving the impression that he was criticizing Senator Reid in his role as a bishop, and (3) implying that he was in a position to judge Senator Reid’s temple worthiness. ... I was bothered by his allusion to his position as a bishop, even though, strictly speaking, he never said that he was speaking in that capacity but was quite clear that he was expressing his own personal views. ... What really bothered me was, indeed, the implication that this bishop is in a position to judge Senator Reid’s worthiness to enter the temple."
  • From the Mormon Matters summary: "In his exultation, this bishop suggested that Reid is 'not a man of serious religious faith,' for if he were, as a Mormon he’d not be able to be a leader in a political party that had in its platform support for the ERA, a woman’s right to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy, and same-sex marriage–all stances this bishop feels are out of alignment with core Mormon teachings and values. For these reasons, this bishop suggested he’d disqualify Reid from receiving a temple recommend based upon Question 7. LDS Public Affairs was quick to suggest that in writing what he did, this bishop was in error."

It's clear that these sources don't use the watered down "seemed to", or any equivalent. It's also clear that, except for the more gentle wording from Patheos & Mormon Matters, we are reasonably justified, based on these sources, to just say "said" instead of "implied". I'm fine with "implied" for now, especially since that's how Paredes self-characterised his comments in his seemingly non-apology apology, but any attempt for even weaker wording (such as the "seemed to") smacks of whitewashing and weasel wording. We report what reliable sources say, not the more flattering wording which subjects of WP articles, those close to them, and their fans might prefer. Asterisk*Splat 01:20, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Details on what Reid supports[edit]

The wording "support for abortion rights, gay marriage and the Nevada gaming industry" keeps being added unnecessarily to the article. Paredes personally clarifies what his concerns are in his seemingly non-apology apology: "[a]ny criticism I had of Senator Reid was based on his actions (e.g., defense of the gaming industry, advocacy of a certain social agenda), not his political affiliation". This wording is included verbatim in the quote from the AP article.

Additionally the sources used in the article do not indicate that these three items (abortion, gay marriage, & gaming) are the primary items of interest and conflict around the Paredes article: instead it was the implication that Paredes could stand in judgment on Reid's worthiness, perpetuating the myth of single party support by members of the LDS Church, and implying that it is questionable for members in good standing who are serious about their religion to be members of the Democratic party, especially if they are elected officials. The references that do discuss Reid's positions and history on abortion, gay marriage and gaming demonstrate that Reid's positions are far more nuanced than can be properly summarised in this Wikipedia article.

Instead of a poor summary here, adequate sources have been provided in the article, where readers can find more details. Readers can also go to Reid's own Wikipedia article for more details about his positions and record. Asterisk*Splat 15:51, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Given the persistent IP-based editing on this point, I went ahead and added the following sentence from Paredes' controversial article into the quote: "Sadly, Harry Reid apparently believes that the church’s teachings on the evils of gambling, abortion, and same-sex marriage don’t apply to opportunistic politicians." While I personally don't think this is necessary, I'm trying to accommodate the persistent IP editor, who has claimed to be Paredes. However there is still no need to add the "support for abortion rights, gay marriage and the Nevada gaming industry" wording to the article body itself, and the IP editor has refused to discuss this, even though they have been pointed to this talk page. Also there is no reason to take the sentence with Oaks' quote out, as this provided context, and was from a General Conference that occurred only a few weeks before Paredes' controversial article.Asterisk*Splat 16:54, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

It's not clear why the opinionated editor has taken such an interest in the Paredes article. Paredes has written more than 240 essays for the Jewish Journal, and has blogged as a Mormon bishop for 18 months. Unless the editor has a personal disagreement with Paredes's views, it's not clear why he dedicates his time to this project.

The statement "High level LDS Church leaders have made note of this type of conflict, and have counseled against it" is an editorial comment, and has no place in a factual bio. No LDS Church leader has counseled members not to point out other members' public disagreements with LDS Church teaching.

Given that Paredes has not criticized conservative Democrats, or Mormon politicians who do not support gay marriage, abortion and the Nevada gaming industry, it is only fair to include this point in the body of the bio. Look at it this way: If Reid did not support these positions, it's highly unlikely that Paredes would have criticized him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 104.50.126.207 (talkcontribs) 22:53, 21 January 2015

First, thank you for taking the time to come to this talk page and for expressing your thoughts!
Second, please sign your comments, and do not mix your wording into that of others here in the talk page, or otherwise make it difficult to follow who contributed which comment.
Third, it normally doesn't matter why any editor develops an interest in editing any article, as long as the edits themselves conform with the expectations and norms of the Wikipedia community. Wikipedia is a volunteer service which is here to build an encyclopedia by working together to come to a consensus on what should be included on the articles. In any community, disputes will arise, and there are methods of formally resolving user conduct disputes, but those are rarely needed when everyone remains calm, and the focus remains on the the edits (ie content and context) and not the editors. Even incivility is tolerated to a degree, so long as it is not disruptive.
Fourth, please be mindful of the "BOLD, revert, discuss cycle" here on Wikipedia. You have been repeatedly reverted now by more than one editor, and if you want your change(s) to be put back into the article you need to discuss the edit(s), not the editors, and do so in a clear and calm manner. Once you have explained how you felt the edit(s) were justified, a collegial discussion should take place, resulting in a set of iterative comments (not just the initial ones) put forth by those in this conversation; this may last over a period of days or even weeks/months (if needed), until consensus is reached. Just because you make a single comment here, please do not mistake that for a green light to reinstate your preferred wording.
Fifth, Paredes is notable, as judged by the coverage of him in reliable sources for exactly 2 reasons: first and foremost is his philo-Semitic bridge building activities; secondly, the negative political comments he has made about fellow Mormons, in particular the article about Reid. If you take the time to review the edit history of this article, I expended a significant amount of effort on finding sources, and editing the article on that first point of notability. However we are not covering Paredes properly if we do not also include his controversial comments. I've tried to insure that the wording is neutral and balanced, and attempted to put this into context of (1) the LDS Church's positions, as well (2) illustrating that this is just part of a continuum of personal attacks on Reid's character and religious worthiness by fellow Mormons, and (3) that Paredes has been critical of the politics of other Mormons, including one on the opposite end of the spectrum from Reid.
Sixth, the wording "High level LDS Church leaders have made note of this type of conflict, and have counseled against it" is meant to summarize and describe how Oaks warned about not impugning the character of political figures, and putting this in the context the personal attacks to Reid's character, integrity, and the lack of civility shown towards Reid because of political differences, by numerous Mormons, not only Paredes. It's also there to provide context about why Paredes comments received a direct and pointed rebuke from a church spokesperson. Oaks comments are also timely in relation to the controversy, as the Paredes article came out only weeks after Oaks made his statement in General Conference. If this wording could be improved to illustrate that the Oaks comment applies to all Latter-day Saints that are needlessly making politics punishingly personal, including all of those that Reid mentioned in the citations about him, that's fine. However that is completely different from just removing the material, including the citation, altogether.
Likewise we have included the exact wording where Paredes summarized his criticism of Reid's positions in the quote from his article ("Sadly, Harry Reid apparently believes that the church’s teachings on the evils of gambling, abortion, and same-sex marriage don’t apply to opportunistic politicians.") as well as his clarification of what he said were his true criticisms of Reid ("However, I can't apologize for criticizing his advocacy of certain issues and on behalf of certain interests ... Any criticism I had of Senator Reid was based on his actions (e.g., defense of the gaming industry, advocacy of a certain social agenda), not his political affiliation.") Given that Paredes himself basically summarized by saying "advocacy of certain issues", and that Reid's positions are described as far more nuanced in reliable sources, it is sufficient to including this original wording in the quotes from those respective articles. Also we can't take sides in this dispute and imply that Paredes is correct by saying in Wikipedia's own authoritative voice that Reid "support[s] abortion rights, gay marriage and the Nevada gambling industry"; instead, summarizing using "and some of his associated political views" is far more correct and proper here.
Seventh, please understand that I bare no ill will towards the IP editor(s) or Paredes. If you review my edit history, which is publicly visible here, you will see that I have an interest in the Latter Day Saint movement, and that I edit broadly regarding this topic area, and related articles. I generally do not like commenting about myself, as that shifts the focus from edits to editors, but I will say that if I were in a financial position to do so, I would likely be one of Paredes customers in his tours of the Holy Land; sadly, for me, that wish is closer to Tevye's song than anything else. I am also very thankful for Paredes insights on Judaism and for the bridge building work he does. I was aware of him long before the Reid article controversy, and my positive feelings toward what he is doing have not significantly changed. However I was taken aback by the vitriol on display in his article about Reid, which was made significantly worse by what seemed a non-apology apology. The material that was originally added to this article to describe the controversy was terrible, and it was correctly removed, but that left a hole in the article that needed to be filled in a more proper way. I've limited the scope of the description of this controversy to a single paragraph, and have tried to put everything in context, appropriately sourced, with a neutral tone; however we don't do hagiography, so if we are doing the work right, this can't be exactly the wording that Paredes or people close to him might prefer, and the article can't be used as a way to deflect or respond to the criticism that is well documented in multiple reliable sources. I do not claim that I cannot make mistakes, or that there is no way to improve on the work I have done here; however, for the reasons I have described on this talk page, I still do not see how the preferred wording by the IP editor is useful in this article; I look forward to further clarification.
Eighth, if the IP editor is in fact Paredes, it is a privilege to speak to you, and I hope that you would consider creating an account, and assist with several articles that could really use your expertise, such as Mormonism and Judaism, Baptism for the dead#Controversy, and Conversion to Judaism, among many others. We also could use an appropriately licensed photo of you for this article. Asterisk*Splat 18:47, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

This time I added language clarifying that it is Paredes, not Wikipedia, who believes that Reid supports abortion rights, the gambling industry, and gay marriage. That seems an acceptable compromise to me. After all, if the basis of his attack is that Reid is using his senior position in the Democratic Party to promote an anti-Mormon agenda, it does a disservice to Paredes to gut the elements of that agenda and try to bury them in a footnote. Paredes clearly attacked Reid in the article not becaue of his party affiliation, but because of his perceived support for those anti-Mormon position (at least in Paredes's mind). Mark writes a religion blog, not a political one.

Although the LDS Church is politically neutral, members clearly do not have to be. The initial wording of the sentence implied that Paredes's sin was to take a public partisan stance, which was clearly not the case. The controversy arose from the perception that he was invoking his episcopal authority to slam Reid, not that he as a member of the LDS Church had expressed a political opinion.

If the other contributor insists on including the opinion sentence about Elder Oaks's statement, then it is only fair to include references to talks from other GAs slamming abortion, gay marriage and gambling. This sentence expressed an opinion about an apostle's talk that has no place in a bio. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 104.50.126.207 (talk) 06:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

In the interest of appropriate compromise, the wording "which Paredes claimed included support for abortion rights, gay marriage and the Nevada gambling industry" works, although that leaves the sentence awkwardly constructed, and so the sentence as a whole may need further refinement later. The wording "though individuals are free to express their political opinions in public forums" is useful; however we need to provide a solid reference for this, so I have marked it accordingly. I know that Elders Oaks, Ballard, and Cook have all spoken about such things, and that there is probibly a ref somewhere on LDS.org or MormonNewsroom.org that would cover this, so I'll see what I can find. Also since the IP editor still had issues with the way I characterised Oaks comments, and again removed this (leaving the ref in a bad location), I have rephrased that description (ie: "and have counseled to separate disagreement over policy from personal attacks on the people supporting those policies") and included this new wording in a different location. The new location and new wording does seem to work better than what the editor from the IP addresses previously objected to, so hopefully they will find this more suitable. Asterisk*Splat 18:09, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

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