Doug Wilson, from what I have read of his blog and so on, relishes the opportunity to attack his opponents, more so than even most polemicists on the internet (which is saying something). I do not think he could contain his glee if it was found that some bleeding heart liberal denomination was marrying a convicted pedophile who had stated that he wanted to have children from the marriage. How would Wilson love to broadside such a misguided leader who insisted it was okay because the pedophile was having weekly pastoral chit chats and had been given some reading material for his betterment? Wilson would surely howl with contempt when the backsliding compromiser insisted that there was context and if you only knew the backstory, there were perfectly good – even biblical – reasons for marrying a convicted sex offender who wanted children.
Of course it would not surprise Wilson that the same soft-on-crime, wish-washy pastor had been pleading for leniency for another sex criminal a few years earlier and insisting that the family of the victim was in big trouble with God for not forgiving the offender. Even more, this moral relativist would try to pin some of the blame on the victim and her parents, because of more mysterious context. Wilson would be relentless in directing his acidic wit at such a shameful act among his opponents.
So why is it that Wilson is behaving in the ways I have described above?
- See more at: http://www.cityofgodblog.com/2015/09/doug-wilson-and-child-molesters/#sthash.GJ82UHmr.XB601CTc.dpuf
Two things that I want to talk about after reading that post:
1. Leithart talks about how it was easy to fall into believing the rapist’s version of things. I think one of things that is overlooked by many is how appealing evil can be. Predators rarely appear in real life as the stereotype of the friendless weirdo in the trench coat. Rather they are often charmers, the last person you expect, and they know how to manipulate emotions. You have to keep reminding yourself as they try to engineer a reversal of field where they paint themselves as the victims (this is a common tactic) what has happened. If an adult in a position of authority has had a sexual relationship with a minor and has admitted as much, they are not the victim. Keep reminding yourself of that.
2. I don’t know what any given church might mean by church discipline, but it alarms in this case that Leithart states that the rapist in his congregation was not under any kind of church discipline, and yet the victim’s family (admittedly in a different church with possibly different rules) was put under some kind of disciplinary action. This is the second time in less than a year that I have read about case where a church has put the victim of pedophile under church discipline, but not the pedophile! The story was a little bit different with Matt Chandler’s church, but still, here’s a pro-tip: if your church is disciplining the victim, something is seriously wrong. I know there are difficult matters here, and I know that yes, even – perhaps especially – criminals need pastoral care, but it is alarming that churches can so easily become unsafe places for victims.
The two popular names in the halcyon days of Mars Hill seemed to be John Piper and Doug Wilson, the two guys whose ideas I found a bit hard to buy even when I was pretty content to be at Mars Hill. John Piper's notions about gender seemed incapable of formulating a plausible real-world working definition of gender that didn't depend on a fuzzy definition by negation. Worse, Piper's spent a decade and a half formulating what amounts to a Job's comforters theodicy approach where any big-time disaster is an occasion to Bildad. Doug Wilson, he got his ducks in a row on manly men and the use of their members but I've got no real sympathies for paleo-Confederate ideals. As Dan has put it, Doug Wilson also has an observable history of mocking and lambasting whoever he identifies as adversaries in a way that's unusual even by the low bar of internet conflict. There's still time for even Doug Wilson to discover his inner evanjellyfish, perhaps. Leithart, it seems, has decided (after what he seems to now realize was far too long) to say "I'm sorry. What I said and did was wrong".