The Waylaying of Brandon Flowers

September 11, 2012 | 80 comments
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Despite being unfairly ambushed on the subject of religion prior to a recent performance on the Norwegian-Swedish television show Skavlan, Brandon Flowers admirably stood up for his faith, shying away from neither the battery of questions on his Mormonism by Norwegian journalist Fredrik Skavlan and others nor the full-on frontal assault on Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and God by surprise guest Richard Dawkins.  While it was clear Flowers would have rather been talking about his music and his band, he nevertheless responded directly to questions about whether he actually believes the origin story of the Mormon faith and proactively cut into a Dawkins’ screed about the Book of Mormon being a work of “charlatanry.” In the face of being waylaid by the sophists, Flowers’ true character shone through. He’s a credit to Mormons everywhere.

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80 Responses to The Waylaying of Brandon Flowers

  1. Sam Brunson on September 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Nice. Thanks, Marc, and thanks Brandon!

    (So I want to show support for Flowers by buying an album, but that I don’t actually listen to him or the Killers. So, if anyone’s up for it, if I’m only going to buy one album with royalties going to Brandon Flowers, what album should that be?)

  2. Wilfried on September 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Brandon was indeed exemplary, though totally taken by surprise. Dawkins was extremely rude in attacking Brandon this way. He did not show any respect for faith nor for the friendly context of the talk show. The idea of confronting a rock star, representing his band and expecting to talk about music, with an infamous religion-basher seemed pretty weird. What did the producers expect from this?

  3. Joseph Smidt on September 11, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Yeah, he was a great example for all of us. And too bad if Dawkins wants a Mormon debate he doesn’t pick on someone his own size. Typical bullying that is all to prevalent in the world.

  4. Marc Bohn on September 11, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I’m on board Sam. I’m buying ‘Battle Born’ (since I own his others). I think most of their albums are worth buying, but Flamingo is probably his most personal. For a show of solidarity, ‘Battle Born’ might be best though, as it supports his band and new sales are critical.

  5. European Saint on September 11, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Thank you for this post, Marc; it was “killer”! :)

  6. scw on September 11, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Dawkins admitted he did not read the whole book. As Hugh Nibley said, The Book of Mormon remains the one book with the most reviewers and fewest readers.

  7. Stacy Whitman on September 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Wow, Richard Dawkins is so full of himself. This interview doesn’t help my already low opinion of him given how he treated a woman in his own skeptic community when she talked about being sexually harrassed. He basically set the whole community on her for speaking up.

  8. Kent Larsen on September 11, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I agree, Wilfried.

    I wonder if anyone has ever taken on Dawkins at, what seems to be to me anyway, his weakest point: why he needs to attack believers at every opportunity he gets. Unlike those who proselyte for religion, who generally proselyte because they believe it will help their hearers, can Dawkins even say he is trying to help anyone? [He probably can, but the motive seems significantly weaker...] I don’t follow these questions, so Dawkins probably has been taken on this way.

    I kind of suspect that Brandon cut out when he did because he was ambushed, instead of just because he needed to prepare. I don’t blame him, its not reasonable to expect the average man on the street to be able to stand up to Dawkins’ arguments, given that they are really arguments about something that Dawkins won’t admit — beliefs that are inherently unprovable if you aren’t willing to extend the minimal bit of faith. Such arguments can not, almost by definition, come to any conclusion.

  9. the narrator on September 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Dawkins isn’t so powerful when he’s debating intellectual minds.

    Dawkins v. Rowan Williams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac

  10. Mark on September 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Every year the Killers do a Christmas song and donate the proceeds to charity. I absolutely love their Christmas songs! Here are two of my favorites…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9d9qd9o_lU

  11. Jettboy on September 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I stated to watch, but I just couldn’t get through it. This is Brandon Flowers, a rock star and not a theologian. Dawkins as usual was way out of line! If there is a transcript of this I would love to read it, but its clear Brandon was rightfully uncomfortable and just wanted to talk about his music.

  12. Adam Greenwood on September 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Way to go, Brother B. F. Pretty stalwart. Now if he’d only get into a knife fight in the temple, he’d be almost as cool as B. Y. ;)

  13. Jared Garrett on September 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Dawkins may be the most polite arrogant guy I’ve ever seen. I appreciate his views on rationality and his incredible faith– yes, it’s faith– in the science and medical establishment. Stating with such confidence that any ‘good’ doctor would adopt acupuncture if it were shown to be effective is a statement of faith– since Dawkins has not made the acquaintance of every ‘good’ doctor on the planet. We are expected accept his faith in people– imperfect, but he is not expected to accept our faith in deity– perfect.

    And Mr. Flowers, you did a great job. I am a newly minted fan of the Killers as of this moment.

  14. J. Madson on September 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Neil Degrasse Tyson pointed out his horrible debate style

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_2xGIwQfik

    There is a swear word at the end of the video for those who care about such things

  15. Jax on September 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    My all-time favorite Richard Dawkins was done by Ben Stein and shown in “Expelled: No Intelligenc Allowed” wherein Mr. Dawkins states unequivocally that there is not proof of God or an “intelligent design” figure. He then says that he doesn’t know how life started on this planet but he theorizes that a more intelligent race may have brought life here from somewhere else – bringing us to the thrilling conclusion that there is no “intelligent designer” but that a more intelligent being started life on this planet.

    Classic!

  16. Kevin Barney on September 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Thanks for sharing this. I had heard about it, but hadn’t actually seen the segment. I of course agree with the thoughts expressed in the comments.

    I of course know the name, but I’ve never paid any attention to Dawkins, never watched or read him, until this clip. What made an impression on me, in addition to his fundamental rudeness in blindsiding a rock singer, was his superficiality of thought. Science explains everything? The BoM is an obvious fraud because it is written in 16th century (Jacobean) idiom? Joseph Smith was a convicted con man (an obvious garbling of the 1826 trial)? And with that, there’s nothing else to say? There are scholarly literatures devoted to things like the language of the BoM and Joseph’s scrying background, literatures that he obviously doesn’t control.

  17. Mike McBride on September 11, 2012 at 11:01 am

    “Flowers’ true character shone through. He’s a credit to Mormons everywhere.”

    Amen.

  18. SilverRain on September 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I love how Dawkins criticizes the religious for misunderstanding science, then displays so thoroughly a complete lack of understanding of faith. He doesn’t even have enough self-awareness to realize that the belief that science will explain everything comes from the precise internal source from which religious faith originates.

    He uses all the same phrases, displays all the same leaps of reason as the religion he ridicules, and ascribes to science the ability to discern metaphysical Truth which it is not intended to find. Science is all about physical truth, and in the end he shows that he is nearly as ignorant of scientific principles as he is of faith.

    He is no different than the faithful, he has merely made science his God.

  19. Paul 2 on September 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Its one thing to ambush someone, but its another to ambush them and then expect them to put on a good artistic performance for you. Its unthinkable to treat someone like that.

    A few months ago, I experienced my first journalist ambush, well, student journalist ambush. If there is a next time I will sit and think for 10 minutes before opening my mouth to answer a question. It is hard to give a good answer when 1) you are managing your reaction to discovering that you have been purposefully deceived, 2) knowing that your emotional reaction is being filmed, and 3) facing something you are aware of but have never articulated a response to. Even well-suppressed frustration doesn’t film well. Brandon did pretty well.

  20. Researcher on September 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I didn’t watch much after Dawkins came on, but I did catch Dawkins expressing surprise that Flowers was leaving, so I can imagine that there may have been some drama off-stage.

    If I were a member of the band and heard Flowers being ambushed like that, I’d be in the producer’s face demanding that the interview end immediately or the performance would not happen.

  21. Jay21310 on September 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    What was the point of the interview anyway? Were they all planning and hoping that Dawkins would convince Flowers that Mormonism is false? Why is it so important to them what he believes? Even if I were atheist I would have been offended by the lack of respect they gave Flowers. One does not tread so carelessly on other’s beliefs.

  22. Rick on September 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Maybe Brandon should’ve followed fellow Nevadan Bryce Harper’s example and just replied “that’s a clown question bro.” Or maybe he could’ve been like a certain presidential candidate and said “I’m here to promote my music–I am not a spokesperson for my church.”

    But no, he was really cool about this, especially given the circumstances. I totally agree that this showed what an honorable and sincere person Brandon Flowers is. He has got to know that he’d be much cooler in the eyes of rock fans if he was an “enlightened” ex-Mormon (like, say, Winn Butler). But no, he wears his Mormonism proudly and I really respect that.

    His band is pretty great too. Way to go Brandon!

  23. rk on September 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    #2 What did the producers expect from this?

    #21 What was the point of the interview anyway?

    That is easy. They are leftists and they simply could not pass up a chance to mock Romnney’s religion (or any other Christian faith for that matter).

    These European leftist consider themselves tolerant,sophisticated and enlightened. They are none of those things. The male interviewer betrayed his ignorance when he supposed that Los Vegas is made up entirely of casinos strip clubs.

  24. Paul on September 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Flowers was terrific in a difficult situation. Kudos to him for his grace and dignity under pressure. Shame on Dawkins the producers for putting him in that position.

    Dawkins’ insistence that he knows all is as troubling as anything. He never squared for me the fact that there are professors of biology who are also believing.

  25. Wilfried on September 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    rk (23), I am a European leftist. And so are many dedicated church members in Europe.

    “The male interviewer betrayed his ignorance when he supposed that Los Vegas is made up entirely of casinos strip clubs”

    Perhaps there is also some ignorance from the other side?

  26. rk on September 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    #23 With all due respect Wilfried, you are not hostile to others religious beliefs. I think we have a different definitions of “leftists.”

  27. Wilfried on September 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Certainly, rk, definitions of concepts can be different. But I’ve never seen a definition that “leftist” means “hostile to others religious beliefs”.

    I thought that in the U.S. the Left is usually defined as “promoting government regulation of business, commerce and industry; protection of fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion; and government intervention on behalf of racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities and the working class”.

    There must be another origin to your definition of which I am not aware.

  28. Evan on September 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    # 23, that is a bit ridiculous, don’t you think? that is a fairly generalized statement. I didn’t get that at all. I think they had multiple guests and were trying to get good television.The host didn’t say anything negative, there was another guest that expressed a belief in God, the host was cordial. I think you are seeing problems that don’t exist in this clip. Romney was brought up once and nothing was said on his politics. And it is Las Vegas. which is where I served my mission, and people from where I am from think of Vegas as nothing but the strip and casinos. Just settle down a bit, yeah?

  29. Michael H. on September 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I love how Dawkins rips on religion for being scientifically unverifiable and explainable (because the BoM being written in a quasi-17th-century idiom makes is SO OBVIOUSLY false) and then turns around and says that it’s important to protect children’s psychologies and he doesn’t find it necessary to scientifically interrogate and invalidate his experiences with art, poetry, music, and natural vistas. He should go back to biology, where he actually knows what he’s talking about.

  30. Jacob M on September 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I don’t think Dawkins was trying to be rude. He repeatedly says, “I thought we’d have more time,” which makes me think that he wanted to hear Brandon’s reasons for believing, and he was kind to the others who did believe in God. But Brandon handled himself quite well, and while he got a little testy about the “charlatan” bit, kept pretty calm. That brings me to the point about that whole “charlatan” stuff. If you don’t believe in Joseph Smith being a prophet, its not a surprise that you would think of him as a charlatan. I certainly don’t blame Dawkins for that. Anyway, it was an interesting clip, to say the least, and I also commend Bro. Flowers for his responses.

  31. rk on September 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I don’t speak for all Americans, but among some of us when we hear the term “leftist” we think of someone who who rule like Lenin if given the chance. This implies that said person is hostile toward religion and religious people. This is quite different than a self described socialist who says, “Religion isn’t for me, but if it makes you happy then I’m happy for you.”
    Though some of the interviewers may have been polite, I think it is fair to say that Dawkins and whoever arranged this interview is hostile toward religious belief. This was an ambush.

    This is a little off topic and would make for a different post, but American politicians outside of San Francisco or New York City rarely dare publicly label themselves as “socialists” much less “leftists” It would be the kiss of death.

  32. Steve Smith on September 12, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Richard Dawkins is so annoying. He preaches atheism as a belief system much like missionaries preach theism.

    Kudos to Brandon Flowers for handling unexpected questions with grace.

    That is undoubtedly an awkward situation to be in when someone is hammering you about what you believe. Brandon has clearly had no agenda in trying to talk about Mormonism at all and yet he is still subjected to obtrusive questions about it. If Brandon Flowers had grown up a Catholic or a Jew he wouldn’t be subjected to those questions at all.

  33. Steve Smith on September 12, 2012 at 2:19 am

    A side note on the threadjack about leftism. Left and right refer primarily to political economic preferences, not necessarily religious philosophies. I consider Switzerland to be fairly right-leaning in its economic preferences, but the majority of the population isn’t particularly religious. Also given the current tendency of European central bankers toward austerity as a solution to the economic crisis, I would say that the right-wing economic philosophies are prevailing.

    The attitudes of religion among many Western Europeans can’t be explained by invoking right or left. These attitudes exist largely due to the fact that Europe had a much different collective experience with religion that Americans. On the one hand religion in Western Europe was a source of political conflict. On the other hand religion was largely connected with the state and to a lesser extent identity. Frenchness became linked with being Catholic, Englishness with Anglicanism, and Norwegianness with the Lutheran Church of Norway. There hasn’t historically been as much of a sense of choosing religious beliefs in Western Europe as there has been in the US. Consequently Europeans see religion as both a source of political conflict, for which secularism provided a viable solution, and a sort of ethnic tradition to which one is attached not so much by belief or persuasion, but by birth.

    But my bottom line is that left or right economic philosophies have nothing to do with the religious inquisitiveness of the Norwegian host or the zealous atheism of Richard Dawkins.

  34. Raymond Takashi Swenson on September 12, 2012 at 8:08 am

    About seven years ago, PBS did a documentary miniseries about evolution, in which it featured biology professor and textbook author Kenneth Miller. Miller is a strong advocate for Darwinian evolution, at the same time thst he is Catholic. He authired a book, Searching for Darwin’s God.

    A coyple years later, Miller was on a panel with Dawkins, and Dawkins ripped Miller for telling people they can believe in God and in evolution. Dawkins.is not even tolerant of people who suppirt science if they disagree with his atheism.

  35. James Olsen on September 12, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Along with everyone else, let me say that Flowers handled himself shockingly well.

    I almost read Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth (was actually very excited about it) but couldn’t get past the obvious charlatanry, not being about biology at all.

    Dawkins – in his honest moments – obviously suffers some cognitive dissonance being confronted with biology professors who likewise believe. He also flounders a bit when confronted by those of us who simply agree with his views on the inherent beauty and wonder and deeply edifying “natural” explanations of life, evolution, and the like – who even appreciate his occasionally poetic articulation of these things – while maintaining faith in God. It’s difficult for all of us who place our own faith in what we take to be a cogent argument, only to realize that the conclusion simply doesn’t follow from the premises.

    And, as Charles Taylor eloquently points out, this as much as anything characterizes the nature of belief today: no matter where we’re found on the spectrum from religious conviction to atheism, we have friends who are so close to us, whose general outlook so largely overlaps with our own, whose knowledge base is so similar, and yet who occupy a very different place than we do on that spectrum. All of us are unsettled.

  36. John Mansfield on September 12, 2012 at 8:23 am

    In past interviews, Flowers has said that as the face for a band composed of himself and three non-Mormon bandmates there is a limit to how much he can talk about his religion when he’s out there promoting the band. So he candidly entertains interviewers’ curiousity while also trying to do his job on behalf of the band as was seen in this interview before Dawkins was introduced. When Dawkins directly refuted Flowers particular beliefs to his face, the standard ackwardness in choosing how to handle such a situation was probably increased by the problem that actively defending his religion would be a derailing sidetrack from the job that Flowers came on stage to do.

  37. Wilfried on September 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Steve Smith (33), excellent summary on leftism. The issue as such is irrelevant for this thread, but it throws light on two aspects of the Dawkins-Flowers incident:

    - We should learn not to paint one critic as part of some global -ism and then moreover misrepresent it: that’s how antagonism between large groups is fostered.

    - In view of the religious setting in Europe, which you summarized so well, I would expect that the vast majority of Norwegian viewers did not appreciate Dawkins’ unfair attack because it runs counter to an overall silent agreement in Europe not to criticize someone’s religion nor to try to change it. Too many wars have been fought over religion.

  38. Susan M on September 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Great song.

  39. Michael H. on September 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

    (Not to mention that the charge that Joseph Smith was a “convicted charlatan” – even if true – bears no relevance to the truth of his cause. I wonder if Dawkins would mention that MLK Jr. was imprisoned and thus wrong.)

  40. John Harrison on September 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

    At least Dawkins was honest enough to quickly admit that he hasn’t read the Book of Mormon, immediately after claiming that he had read it.

    This ambush was very strange and only Flowers came off well.

  41. John Mansfield on September 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I like Flowers’ keen summary of the U.S. Presidential candidates. “They both look good in suits.”

  42. palerobber on September 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    battery of questions [...] full-on frontal assault [...] waylaid by the sophists

    i watching the whole thing waiting for the fireworks but all i saw was a host respectfully asking typical interview questions to Flowers in front of a polite audience, and then one tense moment when a well known atheist mentions his well known (and hardly uncommon) belief that JS was a con-man.

    *yawn*

  43. Nathan000000 on September 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Quick fact check: Is it true that Joseph Smith was never convicted in any of his trials?

    And as rude as Dawkins is, I suspect that he, too, was in a way set up. I don’t think he realized that Brandon would have neither the time nor the preparation to answer.

  44. Edmo on September 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    So this is what Dr. Dawkins has come to? Rather than debating with serious and well-informed folks like, say, Alister McGrath, William Lane Craig, Connor Cunningham, Philip Johnson, William Dembski, etc., he slumming around Norway ambushing rock stars?! BRAVO! Clearly the hallmark of a serious thinker.

    Also, did I get his argument about the Book of Mormon being an obvious fake right? It is a fake because it was written in the 19th century but is replete with 15th century language. Is that his claim? If so, wow! Even assuming that the Book is not what it is claimed to be — a translation of an ancient text — to claim that it is an obvious fake simply because it relies so heavily on the language of the King James Bible is absurd! Nobody in the 19th century talked (or wrote) that way? Really, Herr Doktor? Have you, by any chance, any data to back up such a sweeping and easily refuted claim? Have you even read or studied any religious works from that time period? Wouldn’t a better argument be that the book is obviously NOT a fake because it repeatedly and unselfconsciously reveals textual styles and structures that are not (as Dawkin’s admits) based in the 19th century?

    Brandon handled himself well. Shame on the ambush and shame on Dawkins for agreeing to it. (After all, he’s the guy who routinely refuses to debate other professors in formal settings simply because their CVs aren’t as hefty as his own or simply because they aren’t biologists — I guess pop musicians have sufficient gravitas to warrant his condescending from Mount Oxford to set us all straight about the beauties of his own faith: scientism.)

  45. Researcher on September 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    And, right on cue (to the tune of Peer Gynt if you’d like) the troldfolk start showing up.

  46. wowbagger on September 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    jon erik

    Seriously dude? I am an ex-Mormon and may not subscribe to the beliefs of the majority on this board, but your sniping is, to borrow from the French, “on ne peut plus con.”

    I find the folks here to be respectful and willing to engage in discussions you would rarely hear in most LDS contexts.

    If you have a point to make, make it respectfully instead of some third-rate pot shot that is completely unrelated to the discussion at hand.

    If your point was to engage in one-upping Dawkins in the rudeness category, you may have made your point.

    Kindly troll somewhere else.

  47. Tim on September 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Philip Johnson and William Dembski are “serious and well-informed”? Clearly, Researcher is correct in comment #46.

  48. Adam Greenwood on September 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Doun with the charleton!

  49. Kent Larsen on September 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    The comment (formerly #45) from Jon erik was moderated.

  50. Left Field on September 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    If we set aside all the things on which Dawkins and Flowers presumably disagree–gold plates, Nephites, ancient prophetic text, seerstones, urim and thummin, divine inspiration, green Jell-O, and so forth–and just look at what they can agree on, both presumably would agree that the English text of the Book of Mormon originated in 1829 with Joseph Smith.

    Since the Book of Mormon *is* written in something resembling 17th Century English (and we all cheerfully agree that the English Book of Mormon was produced in the 19th Century), I am bewildered as to how Dawkins argues that producing 17th Century English in the 19th Century is so utterly implausible as to make the book an obvious fraud. He’s the one making the Big Deal about how Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon with all its thous and wherefores in the 19th Century. The Book of Mormon is Exhibit A if we want evidence for the plausibility of writing Jacobean English in 1829. Regardless of whether ultimate source of the text is Joseph’s imagination, divine inspiration, or ancient writing on gold plates, it is obviously possible to craft the English text in 17th Century style, because Joseph Smith did it.

    The only way I can make any sense out of Dawkins’ argument is if he imagines himself arguing against a claim that Nephi and Mormon were writing in King James English. Yeah, that would be an obvious fraud.

  51. Cameron N. on September 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    That is a thoughtful and quite funny point Left Field. Thanks for sharing.

  52. Steve Smith on September 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Left Field, good point about Dawkins and the 17th century English argument. I heard him harp on the same point about the Book of Mormon a number of years back. Isn’t the style of English that it is written in irrelevant to the question of whether it is translated or not? I doubt that Dawkins has really read the Book of Mormon beyond a mere glance. He is so self-absorbed and arrogant, it is sickening.

  53. Left Field on September 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    It seems similar to the argument I’ve heard that the Book of Mormon must be false because it has Jacob using the French-derived word “adieu” >1000 years before the French language existed. Well gee, none of the English words in the Book of Mormon existed back then either.

    Dawkins’ use of that argument is just befuddling. It’s like he has no grasp of the concept of translation. The English New Testament has Jesus using English words. Dawkins knows it’s a translation, and he doesn’t think those are supposed to be Jesus’ actual words.

    Doesn’t he?

  54. Jody on September 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Wow! Impressed with this kid. I watched him on Mormon.org too. I guess he doesn’t wear his garments when he performs? Does he wear his wedding band on his right hand and school ring on his left? Not judging here, just commenting. I was cracking up at Dawkins. He almost read the book? Whatever dude. That was a smack down by Brandon…

  55. Brian on September 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    “It’s like he has no grasp of the concept of translation”

    You mean like the Book of Abraham translation?

  56. Left Field on September 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Yeah pretty much, Brian. With all the criticisms that might be leveled against the Book of Abraham, it’s hard to think of one with less validity than a claim that the Book of Abraham is a fraud because it’s written in English, and Abraham didn’t speak English.

  57. Skyward Anchors on September 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Brandon’s most defining moment came when he performed his song, “Runaways.” You could feel the intensity and his heartfelt belief as he killed that song. His soul screams, “I knew it when I met you, I’m not going to let you runaway,” as if answering Dawkins by pronouncing that regardless of his atheistic stance, God is still waiting with open arms to change his heart and guide him home. Surely, even a man as cynical and strident as Dawkins could feel the spirit humming through that song. In regards to the album, Battle Born, it is spiritually insight and moves with an epic pace between thundering ballads and fusion charged melodies. I highly recommend it as it is The Killers greatest album yet.

  58. Julia on September 16, 2012 at 2:47 am

    #23 & 31-
    That may be what *you* think of when you hear leftist, but please don’t speak on behalf of American or Mormon Americans. Your “definition” is so far off how I would define leftist, I honestly don’t know where I would start. I have never lived in New York or San Francisco, and yet I grew up with members who consider themselves socialists, and in the realm of economics find myself squarely between a socialist and a communalist, most of the time.

    My personal stands on social issues would be considered a hodge podge to most Americans who only see Democrats and Republicans as *possible choices.* I try to follow the gospel of Christ, and I think American Republican or right wing economic policies, as well as some social policies, are inconsistent with His gospel. I find the economic policies of American Democrats to be generally more in line with Christ’s teachings, although there are enough economic and social stances that I could not in good conscience join that party either.

    #33 & 37 nicely explain how European socialism functionally works. One thing I envy is that most European countries have more than two parties, and most parties are primarily economic in nature, with a strong bent away from having religion or ideas on social issues being secondary, and mostly left out of political platforms. Before I started college classes in philosophy, sociology, political science and governmental systems, I was lucky enough to have a German foreign exchange student live with our family during an election cycle. Learning how peculiar she, and a large part of the world, thought it was to have only two parties and to have people align with the parties based on religious ideas instead of economic principles.

  59. jakew on September 16, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Dawkins: “It’s politeness. It’s courtesy. If I’m in a Hindu temple I take my shoes off and treat it with respect. [If I'm talking to a Mormon, I insult him to his face.]”

    After he takes off his shoes, does he demand the Hindus provide evidence of reincarnation?

  60. Garth on September 17, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Dawkins is a man who is blinded because he thinks he is a superior educated man. I will make a prophecy in regard to him. The time will come in this life or perhaps the next life, that he along with everyone else will bow and confess that Jesus is the Christ and the son of God. His puny education will not help then as he faces the judgement of an Omnipotent and omniscient being.

  61. anne venditti on September 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Nothing has thwarted our development as enlightened entities or caused more human suffering than religion and science and to put these 2 individuals head to head was a recipe for combustion, as was probably the producers intent. Flowers reference to Mormonism is in almost every song’s lyrics that he has penned and his devotion to his faith has played a huge part in his success , in my opinion. George Carlin once made the comparison that religion is like a lift in your shoe, if it makes you walk better, it’s a good thing, as long as you don’t try to put the same lift in everyone’s shoes. Flower’s belief system is obviously a source of his strength, no matter how ridiculous you might think that belief system to be. I see Dawkin’s belief system a source of his anger and rage, no matter how firmly imbedded in ‘reality’, that belief system is.

  62. arlene reid on September 18, 2012 at 8:10 am

    i am so proud of him, i can’t imagine how it must of felt being ambushed like that GOOD FOR HIM ignorant people say ignorant things

  63. Derek on September 19, 2012 at 7:01 am

    My best friend’s a Mormon, my favourite singer’s a Mormon, I hadn’t planned that, and they’re both delightful. Can we let people be who they want to be as long as they’re decent people?

  64. Omar on September 19, 2012 at 7:07 am

    I’m a Muslim and I admire the Mormons for their family values and faith. I hadn’t heard of this religion until 2005! I’m a huge fan of the Killers. It comforts my soul to know that there are rock stars who have family values. Good for him!

  65. Elaine on September 19, 2012 at 7:11 am

    After seeing this video, I wanted to hug Brandon- he’s so cute!

  66. Milo R on September 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Brandon Flowers is down to earth, polite, gentle, handsome! I’d rather be like him than Richard Dawkins to be honest!

  67. Connor on September 19, 2012 at 7:42 am

    What Mr Dawkins perhaps doesn’t realize is that Mormons don’t exclude science. They’re perhaps more open-minded than he is!

  68. silvia on September 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I’m impressed with Brandon’s reaction, he’s not rude at all!

  69. Armand on September 19, 2012 at 7:50 am

    They both look good in suits: thumbs up!

  70. Amanda on September 19, 2012 at 7:55 am

    After seeing the video, my thoughts were, I wish there were more Brandons on tv! He’s pleasant to look at, he’s nice. He brings back lovely memories of the times I grew up; actors, singers… were real gentlemen!

  71. Stan on September 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

    *Connor: What mr Dawkins didn’t realize, is that the Killers are one of the most respected band!

  72. Arthur on September 19, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I’m a huge fan of R Dawkins but I felt quite disappointed with his attitude. Brandon Flowers’ example made me think differently about religious people. Thanks Flowers for that.

  73. Adeline Rocher on September 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I love Brandon Flowers. I can’t believe someone would treat him with such disrespect. I’m lost for words!

  74. Phil on September 19, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Well said Stacy Whitman!

  75. Wendell on September 22, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Dawkins prides himself on being rude. I have witnessed him defending his attack style. There is no reason to defend a bully who relishes his role as a bully.

  76. Wendell on September 22, 2012 at 2:46 am

    On another point, since when are ambushing and backstabbing seen as honorable in any forum, by anyone?

  77. Nathan000000 on October 6, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Is Dawkins’s assertion that Joseph Smith was a convicted conman, factually correct? Was Joseph ever convicted in any of the trials he was in?

  78. Steve M. on October 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks for the post Marc. It must have been hard for Brandon to be out there trying to promote his music and then be bombarded by Dawkins and to be treated with such disrespect. I feel like people think they get a pass to make fun and disrespect mormons and I don’t think it’s right. People would never get away with disrespecting other faiths like that. I think Brandon did a great job and kept his cool. Thanks for standing up for your faith Brandon!

  79. Wenn on December 25, 2012 at 8:45 am

    From Brandon Flowers mouth to Guardian Magazine when asked about the interview with Richard Dawkins :
    You recently had a debate on Swedish TV with prominent atheist Richard Dawkins (4).

    Yeah, let me say this. I gave some decent answers that were edited out. So, the world is against the Christian man.

    Did you know Dawkins was going on?

    I found out the day before and I know who he is, and I knew about The God Delusion and all of those things. For him he sees the beauty in science proving something and finding out origins of things. And that’s enough for him. Nothing that science will ever find will disprove that God had a hand in it, for me. So it’s a useless debate. And nothing that has been found has changed the gospel that I believe in.

    Did you speak to him on the phone afterwards, as was mooted?

    No, I would like to. I have issues with him. He generalises things about my church and kind of drags it through the dirt a lot.

    Are you working on this year’s Killers Christmas single yet?

    Well, let me just go back to it. It’s just there’s so much to be said by his behaviour and the way that he is in interviews, for the most part. I’ve seen other interviews with him.

    Words like “conman” and “fake” did seem designed to provoke a reaction.

    Yeah, and this is information that he’s getting off the internet! [Laughs] He’s this smart guy and getting his information from the wrong places. That was really what frustrated me.

    Why would you want to speak to him again?

    I’d like him to just stop dragging [my church] through the mud.

    Which is unlikely to happen.

    Oh it’s fine. He’s an unhappy old lemon tree. I’m a peach.

    ***That last line says it ALL.
    I love that Man. Brandon.