Bushwhacked by a Born-Again.
Dewey and I went to school together for a third-class engineer’s license so we could work in radio. This was back in the early 80’s at what was then called Brown Institute of Broadcasting.
After Dewey graduated he immediately got a job as the sports director at a radio station in Williston, North Dakota. I, on the other hand, despite my previous experience as an entertainer and world-traveler, could not get my foot in the door.
Probably because at the time I did not have a driver’s license or own a car.
But Dewey was a true friend, and when the station he worked for had an opening for a news director he recommended me to the owner, who went ahead and hired me on his say-so.
Now that’s a pal!
Fast forward a quarter of a century . . .
I’d lost track of Dewey over the years, but one day as I was looking over some listings for broadcast jobs (I was once again “at liberty”, a depressingly common occurrence for me) I ran across his name as the sales manager at a Christian radio station in Colorado.
Good ol’ Dewey, I thought to myself – I’ll just give him a jingle to see how he’s doing!
We chatted a good half hour over the phone; he had become a born-again Christian and was raising a large family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, as well as doing sales at the radio station – where, he informed me, he also had a morning talk show. Was I still a Mormon? Would I like to be on his show to explain some of my beliefs to his listeners?
Sure, I said. I’d be glad to. With the express understanding that I did not in any way represent my church in any official capacity whatsoever. Sure thing, he replied; we set it up for the next morning.
The next morning began promisingly enough, as we exchanged the usual banter over the air after so many years separation.
And then he dropped his bombshell – his obviously premeditated bombshell.
“Tork”, he asked in a dead serious voice, as if he were announcing the crash of the Hindenburg, “would you tell our friends listening just how the LDS church can teach that Lucifer is the brother of Jesus Christ?”
Huh? This was news to me.
I stuttered and stammered a moment, and then asked in all sincerity where he had heard that.
Brigham Young’s Journal of Discourses, he replied, his manner assuming the tone of a district attorney about to send a defendant to the electric chair. He quoted me chapter and verse.
At that point I should have played it smart and said “To hell with that, let’s talk about the Bronco’s next game!”
But instead I began a laborious, disconnected, doctrinally vague explanation about this particular theological bugaboo that has haunted LDS scholars for years. I might just add that Brigham Young’s Journal of Discourses is not considered scripture or in any way binding on LDS members, and that there is a lot of strange stuff in it.
Dewey, the crumb, let me go on and on, hanging myself with my own verbal rope. I thought he was sincerely interested in learning something about the LDS church, but it became apparent that he was only interested in embarrassing and discrediting me as someone who belongs to a “cult”.
He finally cut me loose, and cut me off, by telling his radio audience “Well, that’s the way the Mormons think about the devil and the Godhead – I hope you’ll slam the door on the next set of Mormon missionaries that show up at your house. Have a great day everyone!”
Boiling with rage at being set up like that, I could barely manage a civil ‘good-bye’ to him before hanging up.
The passage of years has somewhat tempered my grudge against Dewey. After all, he was the one who got me my first radio job, where I met my wife — wait a minute, that’s ANOTHER reason I should . . . er, well, Love Thy Neighbor.
No further comment.