Straight Out of Tennessee Williams

This letter to the editor ran in response to some stuff in our local newspaper about Trinity Fest. My comments are interspersed.

“Wilson neither honorable nor brave”

This is a title calculated to mortally offend the kind of man that Keely Mix takes me to be. And if I were a strutting embodiment of the little man syndrome, I would be mortally offended, and would challenge somebody to a duel. But I am not the preening machismo unit out of central casting that Keely has envisioned, and so we may proceed peacefully on to the substance of her argument.

“Doug Wilson pretends to be astonished at the hostile reception his Trinity Fest gathering of likeminded apologists for slavery, male dominance, and Southern white culture is getting from some of Moscow’s residents. Wilson is unable to simply acknowledge that he teaches unorthodox, if not outlandish, beliefs under the guise of being just another committed Trinitarian.”

Actually, I am not astonished at all by the hostile reception that Trinity Fest gets from “some of Moscow’s residents,” which, counting from left to right, should garner us about twenty or so. As for the “Southern white culture” that we are dragging into our fair little town, she must be referring to the swing dancing, the jumpy castle, the fine Mexican food at St. Brigid’s feast, the Chicago-style hot dogs on Main Street, and a fine play about Henry VIII. It’s all straight out of Tennesee Williams. We don’t have NASCAR racing yet though.

“He claims he is not a ‘neo-Confederate,’ and elsewhere states he is a ‘paleo-Confederate,’ as if the difference somehow mitigates his admiration of the antebellum South and his defense of slavery.

I would explain the difference between neo and paleo again, but I am beginning to suspect that there are some prerequisites for understanding the explanation. Since those prerequisites involve the reading of some books and a grasp of history that doesn’t have a bad case of blue state vapor lock, I will forbear.

He insists his teachings elevate women by making them subject to their menfolk in a manner and to a degree unknown to even the most conservative New Testament scholars.

Actually I insist that my teaching elevates women by honoring women. And so let me do a little of that here and now. The women who are closest to me — in chronological order, my mother, my sister, my wife, my two daughters, and my daughter-in-law — are all highly educated, disciplined, feminine, beautiful, shrewd, hilarious, godly, talented, and wise. Compared to the female therapy-fodder that egalitarianism produces by the metric ton, I prefer it this way.

“And his purported bewilderment that people find him divisive is a little hard to fathom, given his insistence in The Serrated Edge that Jesus used racial slurs . . .”

Yeah, I remember doing that. Here’s the quote. “But she sees the look in his eye, and the inverted commas around the epithet, and answers in kind. He relents, which was His intent all along, and heals the woman’s daughter. If this understanding is right, Jesus was using a racial insult to make a point.” And what might that point have been? It would have been the wickedness of the kind of racism that the disciples were exhibiting, and which Jesus was rebuking. Incidentally, all the women in my family would have been able to read that page (p. 44) and understand what the point was.

“. . . and his inability to renounce his support for stoning or exile for adulterers, homosexuals, and unruly children.”

That’s because nobody will ask me nice.

“He may not personally own property downtown, but it is laughable and terribly dishonest to deny his influence over New St. Andrews, Anselm House, the NuArt, and the planned “cathedral” south of downtown, as well as his influence on church members who own several downtown businesses.”

Of course I know that I have influence. For example, if I helped to start a college, such would presumably be the case. If you say that I am on the board of that college, I will cheerfully agree with you. If you want to say that I am the pastor of the church I pastor, I have no quarrel. But if you want to say (as you all repeatedly do say) that my style of leadership resembles that of, say, Hillary chasing Bill out of the Lincoln Bedroom and down the hall, that is when we are no longer seeing eye to eye.

“An honorable man acknowledges that about himself which is true . . .”

And an honorable one denies that which is false. I wonder if honor works the same way for women. If, say, a woman were to falsely assert that I represented Jesus as using racial epithets for no particular reason, when what I was actually doing was showing another clear instance of how Christ is the enemy of all racial or ethnic vainglory, I wonder what an honorable woman would do about it. And I wonder if an honorable man should hold his breath waiting for her to do it.

“. . . a brave man speaks his mind and takes the flack. Doug Wilson is neither.”

I have many failings, I honestly confess it. But I really don’t think that ‘not taking flack’ is one of them.

Keely Emerine Mix

        Douglas James Wilson

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