The Company He Keeps . . .

I really am trying to not spend much time dredging through the rhetorical cesspool of Doug Wilson’s Blog and Mablog, because too much exposure to his pompous claims of expertise in every possible area — art, architecture, poetry, politics, science, sociology, history, hermeneutics, culture, capitalism — and his hateful take on anything that differs from his own views isn’t good for me.  And if it isn’t good for me, what I write about it tends not to be part of the “good” I want to spread through this blog.

But it is necessary for someone living in Wilson Central — Moscow, Idaho — to be well acquainted with the pernicious vapor of reckless bigotry pouring from this man’s keyboard, if they feel called to expose it, so I wandered over this morning to see what was percolating in the putative Bishop of Moscow’s mind.

Secession.

Specifically, a handful of Texans’ impotent attempt to persuade the White House to take its’ petition to secede from the Union seriously.  Wilson, ever quick to embrace the noxious, doesn’t think secession is a bad thing.  In fact, he’s pretty clear that it’s only the tactics and tone of the Texans’ wails that bother him, not the idea of Texas’ secession from the Union itself.  And, like a self-described old war horse unable to control its excretion, he lectures these non-Classicist, non-paleo-Confederate weenies to man up and do it the right way — which, he says, is not to ask, but demand.

The post, on today’s Blog and Mablog, is predictably Wilsonian — belligerence couched in lofty rhetoric that fools his toadies and accolytes into thinking that their Master is, indeed, a wise and perspicacious man.  He’s not, of course.  Not anything like it.  But what’s truly revealing — what tells you a lot about the beliefs that fuel Wilson, Inc., — are the 30-odd comments, nearly all of which contain or defend viewpoints that are dangerously close, to the clear-thinking, of racialist, white-supremacist, nativist thinking. 

Only one comment cautions against the racist undertones bubbling just barely under the surface of the comment log.  The rest is a sampling of white, male, conservative lamentation about the changing demographic (read: dark-skinned immigrants) of the United States that has rendered the (white, male) conservative movement impotent and irrelevant, which, in turn, is a threat to the Western Christian heritage on which this nation was built.  They say so, at least.

That the U.S. was first a land of indigent, non-Anglo, non-Christian nations whose growth was heavily dependent on their extermination and on the irredeemably sinful slave trade seems not to matter to these defeated warriors of All Things Anglo-Protestant.  That women — civilly disenfranchised by the original Constitution and socially disenfranchised by the GOP this election cycle — are a part of the diverse fabric of 21st century America appears to not even occur to the forlorn defenders of Western Civilization.  And the truth that immigrants to this country are overwhelmingly religious and usually Christian hasn’t yet entered their battle-weary minds.  The country is getting darker, and darker means “less friendly to white men” in their reasoning.  That, in turn, can only lead to disaster, the comments wail — manfully, of course.  And while men who call themselves Christians bandy about ideas about racial differences in intelligence, immigrants’ contempt for white men, the “give-away society” whose largesse comes directly via a kick to their collective crotch, only one guy cautions that, whoa, boys, the talk may be getting a little out of hand, here.

The running commentary provoked by Wilson’s blog post is as sobering as it is sickening, and it ought to tell you a great deal about his “ministries” and beliefs.  Wilson is an apologist for slavery, a defender of the Confederacy, a proponent of succession (done his way, of course), and a man whose mockery of the poor is rivaled only by his mockery of the Gospel, which he insists is a ticket to the good life, a life of plenty, prosperity, patriarchy and Sabbath dinners and Christmases that can never, he says, be too bountiful, too materialistic, or too full of fudge, wine, and full plates.

He is a man whose fans and friends tell you a great deal about his values and character.  And while his merry band of advisors — his Elders’ Board — is largely comprised of men financially dependent on his various enterprises, his accolytes are equally loath to risk his ire by correcting him, rebuking him, or repudiating his beliefs.  His power in Moscow is undeniable and unparalleled, to be sure, and his reach is nationwide as he has become accepted, contrary to all common sense and Biblical standard, as a sort of statesman of the Reformed movement. 

I, however, will tell you that this is a dangerous man whose congregation ought not include anything or anyone with cognitive power greater than that of a gerbil.  He is not a shepherd of anyone’s soul; he’s a shepherd of his toadies, and the rod and staff with which he rules is that of public scorn and ecclesiastical shaming.  But he is what passes, in Moscow, for a Man of the Cloth — a pastor of unrivaled influence and audience. 

And while I am unable to call him “Pastor,” I will acknowledge that he is a man of the cloth.  That cloth, however, ought not be one of finery and respect.  It ought to be the torn and riven cloth of sorrow and repentance, and I pray for the day he humbly dons the cloak of a broken man renewed and restored by the grace of the Holy Spirit he claims to be filled with.

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