A Little Help From My Friend

What a week it’s been for Doug Wilson, who’s had to come up with ever-newer ways to avoid accountability not just for his wretched contention that penetrative coitus models God’s will for male dominance and female receptivity, but who’s also had that whole “defense of slavery” thing to deal with, too.  And, of course, a heavy week of controversy for Wilson is a heavy week for his accolytes, who rush to their keyboards to fire off comments lambasting his critics by smirking that Jesus never apologized when HE offended people, that Wilson isn’t a racist because they know him not to be — circular reasoning that ought to cause fits within any classically-trained community, that his brilliance, unparalleled as it is, simply is too much for others to comprehend, and that, by the way, some of his critics are lesbians.

Way to nail an argument, that.

Anyway, it gets a little overwhelming, and sometimes you need help from someone you trust.  I am blessed beyond measure to have in my life Moscow’s Rosemary Huskey, a trained historian and someone who has years more than I of experience in confronting Wilson and his Kirk buddies.  (Remember that, as good Scottish-Presbyterian Reformers, and to further ensure their separation from any other Christians around them, Wilson and his colleagues identify themselves as members of the Kirk, which is Scottish for “church” and which lends to their occasionally be referred to here and elsewhere as “Kirkers.”)

Rosemary has graciously offered to help me with navigating through some past Wilson/Kirk history, and I want to publicly thank her.  With her help, I’ll be able to hammer out an approach that will strengthen the point I intend to make about the savage stupidity of his “power over” approach to sexual intercourse, as well as his predictable refusal to even consider apologizing for any unintended — I’m being generous here — offense stemming from his choice of words.  He could still, of course, believe that God’s creative order regarding gender relations is manifest in the initiator/penetrator and submitting/receptor model of sexual intercourse he espouses — even if he apologized to any women stung or shamed by the imagery his words conjure.

But rather than seeking peace, even among Christians, he pollutes even further his “pastoral” witness by mocking these women — you know, the “feminist bed-wetters,” “fainting couches,” “rugby scrum”language I highlighted earlier — and insisting that the “apologize for not apologizing” dance is one he’s disinclined to participate in, as he says in  Blog and Mablog just today:

“I have already outlined the basic two-step that usually runs. Pick an offense, demand an apology. If you get an apology, pick a new offense, demand an apology. If you don’t get an apology, make that the new offense and demand an apology. You can work your way completely around the ballroom this way — but only if the designated target accepts your invitation to dance, which some of them still do, mysteriously.”  (Wilson, July 24, 2012)

No, that’s not a very Biblical approach to reacting to criticism or rebuke, but with Wilson, it doesn’t have to be.  See, his enemies are wrong; they’re bad (being either atheists, Unitarians, lesbians, God-haters, liberals, or simply perennially aggrieved and disposed to be nasty to him); and they’re far too insignificant for him to practice a merely Christian response to.  And a note to the confused who wonder where on his list of nasties I belong:  Well, I’m not a Unitarian, God-hater, or lesbian, but in the fight against evil, I’m quite happy to link arms with those who are.

Anyway, Wilson’s approach, while childishly stubborn and utterly unbecoming a man whom hundreds here and thousands across the country consider a pastor, does have one flash of brilliance to it:  By floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee in parrying (dare I say “and thrusting”?) with his opponents, he’ll keep ‘em always on the defensive, always just “responding to,” always distracted.  And that enables him and his allies free to ignore some actual, specific ways his views on penetration, initiation, reception, and relationship have affected those in his community.  Because as Wilson has reminded us all before, “words have consequences,” and some of those consequences have washed up, with an unavoidable stench and horrific decay, on the filthy shores of Kirk administration.

I refer to three things that, in hindsight, make his continued use of — and continued defense in using — words that describe what most of us view as a mutual, happily consensual, and utterly bi-submissive endeavor between wife and husband, sexual intercourse.  The absence, were it possible, of these three examples would nonetheless make his language at best unfortunate and at worst dangerously close to prescriptive when read by men of unstable bearing, but their presence in the Kirk within the last decade makes his continued rhetoric more than a little chilling.

I refer to the sexual liberties one of his favored Greyfriars Seminary students took less than a decade ago with the young teenage daughter of a family he boarded with and that student’s subsequent arrest and guilty plea for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor; the 2005 pedophilia scandal that rocked his church, or at least those privileged to be warned of it; and his June, 2011, officiating at the wedding of that pedophile — an NSA student, boarder, and part of the Kirk community convicted who plead guilty and was sentenced on one count but who confessed to dozens more across three states — and a profoundly immature, desperate young husband-hunter whose dreams, she thought, were fulfilled by God when she was sent to a man whose pedophilia disinclines him to be interested in her sexually, and who would be unable, ever, upon penalty of lifetime incarceration, to be alone with his or anyone else’s kids.  

It’s a lot to digest.  And it will make you sick.

Rosemary has compiled official, primary-source documents that can be verified for their truth and analyzed for those who doubt — as well as providing a stark and horrific reminder that Wilson’s refusal to re-tool his language, refine his grotesquely sexist views, and respond with decency to legitimately grieved Christian sisters and brothers comes against a backdrop of almost unimaginably bad sexual conduct by men of his close acquaintance against females.  He is absolutely not accountable for their behavior; he is accountable for his responses to the examples above and for his continued insistence that critics just get over it, and he is damnably accountable for encouraging, arranging for, and officiating at the wedding of a convicted pedophile and a trembling-in-love young girl — a sin for which he has, predictably, never repented.  Far from it.

The next post is Rosemary’s; I stand behind her and everything she says, knowing that she conducts herself with unimpeachable integrity and commands respect and admiration that Douglas Wilson simply does not. I have only lightly edited her words and I am profoundly grateful for her support. 

Sometimes it’s just too damned much to tackle alone.

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