Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Copy of an unsolicited letter I received today.

Dear Editor of First Things:
I would like to react to the article (God on the Internet) of Mr. Jonathan Last about his cheap shot to the integrity of Mr. Stephen Ray.  Mr. Ray is a friend and an honorary member of the Defensores Fidei Foundation in the Philippines.  He has visited us three times in four years for several talks about his conversion story and apologetics.
Mr. Ray DID NOT charge us a single penny for his talks here in the Philippines.  When in the Philippines, he shows compassion to the Filipino people by donating money, books and videos, thus, there were more expenses than income on his part.
His website also serves as a source of information about Catholic apologetics and in no way does it promote consumerism.  
Mr. Last and First Things should have verified the content of the article before publishing it.  It is too bad that the article was Mr. Last's first article with you and he did not show a more charitable judgement in executing his article. Not unless he intended to sensationalize his article at the expense of truth.
In Christ,
Henry Siy
Defensores Fidei Foundation


Update on First Things

by Steve Ray on November 30, 2005

As of this morning, Joseph Bottum, new editor at First Things,  has ignored my basic question — will there be an apology to me and the good folks maligned by his magazine? I have asked at least three times — and though we have corresponded back and forth a good number of times — he has refused to answer or even acknowledge my question. (I hope I don't have go go up the food chain and take additional courses of action.)

Now, maybe he doesn't intend to apologize and doesn't want to admit it, or he doesn't know yet, or he doesn't have the authority to make such a decision, but you'd think he would at least have the integrity to say “let me get back with you on that” or something of the kind.

I was curious about how such an article could slip past the usually vigilant editorial staff. Did the editor fall asleep at the wheel? I did a little research and have a few suspicions. I have a blog ready to post explaining my suspicions but I am giving Joseph Bottum, or whoever does have the authority to make decisions, time to dig out from the pile of letters criticizing the article. I have to believe that in the end he will have the integrity to rectify this unfortunate situation.

It is much easier and less painful to just deal with things quickly. Ignoring the situation will only cause it to escalate. For all the intellectual prowess some people claim, they sometimes miss the simplest truths. My mom taught me from a baby “Make your life easy Steve, learn to apologize quickly.“

Stay tuned!