This Morning

I do not quite know what motivated Rod Dreher to do what he did in The American Conservative yesterday. But he did it, and so some sort of response is needed. He gave his readers quite a gunk bath, helpfully providing links to some of the bigger chunks.Whining

Some of what he linked to has already been answered in detail, and other parts likely will be. So I don’t propose to do that here. What I need to do is interact with a very small portion of his article, the words at the beginning of his fourth paragraph:

“This morning, though, a reader brings to my attention . . .”

This morning. Prior to that time, as in, say, the afternoon of the day before, Moscow was one of the places he was considering recommending as a Reformed variation on his Benedict option. And then a reader drops all this in his lap, and within hours he just passes it on to the gawking world. No due diligence. No fact checking. No constraints. He is new to this controversy himself, but would like to help spread the word regardless. But writers in Dreher’s position should never write things that have the rhetorical effect of “I could be wrong about this, but bombs away anyhow.”

This morning.

“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice” (Ex. 23:1–2, ESV).

A few years ago, New St. Andrews was profiled in a piece that was published by The New York Times. Molly Worthen wrote the article, and afterward someone from the Times called us to fact check every detail. The American Conservative does this hit piece, and clicks publish within a few hours of even hearing about the slander. No fact checking, no inquiries to find out if there were more to the story, no reasonable caution at all. If every word of these slanders were true — as they are manifestly not — this would simply be a case of Rod Dreher getting lucky. Whether they are true or not, he has no earthly idea. “This morning, though, a reader brings to my attention . . .”

In case anyone asks, I did write an editor at The American Conservative yesterday to ask about space to respond. I haven’t heard back. I also wrote Rod to see if he were interested in any private communication. I haven’t heard back there either. For someone in his position, I believe that he should be heartily ashamed of himself. This was really bad.

Someone might say that Rod did this because he is passionate about sex abuse cases and ecclesiastical cover-ups. Without defending such cover-ups — for they are both cowardly and wicked — what might we consider that could help us understand cover-ups? Why do some ecclesiastical officials do whatever they can, even if dishonorable and cowardly, to “make it all go away”? One of the reasons, I would suggest, is that the crimes are so appalling that anybody associated with them, to any extent and in any way, can be destroyed by the association. Whether you respond rightly or wrongly is an irrelevance to some people. You could do everything in textbook fashion, as we did in these cases, have the offender arrested, no cover-up at all, and still get “the treatment” from a writer like Rod Dreher.

Like I said, badly done.

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Aquila Aquilonis
Guest
Aquila Aquilonis
Darius
Guest
Darius

Yeah, quite appalling to see him post that.

tpbaehr
Guest
tpbaehr

As I posted to his blog, does yellow journalism ever benefit the body of Christ?
Rod’s is a hit piece, sans grace. Let’s pray for him to wake up and apologise.

tpbaehr
Guest
tpbaehr

As I said to an earlier post, if you read the original documents from Christ Church, it is completely reasonable to take them at face value, as the decisions of the elders of that church to apply Godly love to a difficult situation. I still haven’t seen any grounds to take things as a sinister hush-up, to abet sin.

Solomon
Guest
Solomon

This is hilarious. Too bad Doug can’t ban Dreher from the Internet.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

I don’t know anything about the particulars of the legal case. But the time for warnings is beforehand.

Ryan Booth
Guest
Ryan Booth

So, your initial response is to post a Bible verse claiming that Rod Dreher is sinning by purposely spreading a false report, which is what that verse is about, with the intent to pervert justice? Is making a baseless personal attack against Rod supposed to convince me that he’s wrong? Is making baseless accusations one of the fruits of the Spirit that I missed somewhere?

AMA
Guest
AMA

The irony of this post is too rich.

David
Guest
David

No. The essence of Douglas’s response here is about Rod’s recklessness — his haste and lack of due diligence — in this case. To the extent that charges, recklessly made, are false, a lack of specific intent to defame is not a defense in a defamation case. Neither at common law, nor in the cited passage from the Mosaic law: “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit,… Read more »

Ryan Booth
Guest
Ryan Booth

Your response is nonsense. That Bible verse isn’t about recklessness, not at all. It’s about knowingly false testimony. The use of it strongly implies that Rod is not reckless, but evil and malicious.

wtrsims
Member

If he didn’t *mean* to spread false testimony, despite having the ability, but perhaps not the willingness, to do some research, it’s okay?

Ryan Booth
Guest
Ryan Booth

Sure it’s okay to spread false testimony, and that’s exactly what I said.
No, seriously, why would you try to twist my words in that way?

David
Guest
David

Read the verse again, Ryan. It surely covers intentional perjury/slander, but it goes beyond it as well.

You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice.”

That means you shouldn’t join in when an accusatory mob piles on — unless you have done your homework and are darn sure that your added testimony (or re-publication of the testimony of others) will not bring about a perversion of justice.

Ryan Booth
Guest
Ryan Booth

Uh, no. “To do evil” means with the intent to do evil, and “to pervert justice” also means with the intent to do so. The use of that verse implies that Rod acted with malicious and evil intent, no matter what you pretend.

wtrsims
Member

Then why were sacrifices made to pay for unintentional sins specifically? Such would imply that the unintentional sinner is subject to the wrath of God, which would imply some sort of evil, no? Good intentions don’t cover sin. I reject your interpretation that the “to pervert justice” implies malicious intent. The wording is “*so as* to pervert justice,” meaning that, whether intentional or not, your actions and/or words worked *so as* to pervert justice. If I have a rabid dog, that I love dearly so I keep him, that gets out of my back yard and mauls a kid, my… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

“to pervert justice” also means with the intent to do so.”

That is not obvious to me. Justice can be perverted in the course of doing something with another motive, but it will still have been perverted.

guester
Guest
guester

You left out the “so as to” pervert justice in the translation that David used above. “so as to” (roughly equivalent to “in order to”) clearly establishes that the passage speaks of things done with the motive and intent to pervert justice.

James
Guest
James

I am surprised that the loyal defenders of Doug Wilson vacillate between referring to his critics as a “mob” and, to quote Nopussyfootin, a “small group in Moscow.” Clarification would be appreciated.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

The small group in Moscow who started all of this internet nonsense about Christ Church and Wilson years ago, and whips it back up every now and then acted like a lynch mob then, and they still do. It doesn’t take very many people to display a mob mentality on the internet. Now others have joined in with the heathens and apostates from Moscow Vision2020 and are being played the fool.

David
Guest
David

Shucks. I missed this week’s “Defenders of Doug Wilson” talking points memo. Usually all members of the Movement are good at sticking to the script. You caught me wandering off it.

To the other Defenders here: My apologies, comrades, for letting you down.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Ve hav vays of making you talk….

James
Guest
James

I notice that you have to assume that what Rod said was false for that verse to apply.

David
Guest
David

There is a distinction between “unfactual” and “false.” When your essay’s title is “Scandal in Moscow,” and your sources are attack blogs, and you adopt the particular words, phrases, and framing narrative of those attack blogs in your essay, you have not published an article in the “we report, you decide” vein. You have taken a side. You have taken the side of those who would place Wilson’s actions at the same level as acts of aiding and abetting pedophilia by covering for known pedophiles, or shielding them from the civil magistrates who have power to punish offenses. But the… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

” When your essay’s title is “Scandal in Moscow,”

There clearly IS a scandal in Moscow. You can say that you don’t believe it’s justified or that you don’t think there SHOULD be a scandal in Moscow, but the title is entirely true.

Scandal, definition of:

“an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.

guester
Guest
guester

“But the affected families, at Wilson’s prompting, did the opposite. They did not cover for Sitler. They reported him.”

I’m puzzled by your use of the plural here, David. Though there were multiple families whose children were victimized by Sitler, only one cooperated with the authorities. Who are the other families that reported him at Wilson’s prompting?

David
Guest
David

“Affected family.” Fixed that.

guester
Guest
guester

“The essence of Douglas’s response here is about Rod’s recklessness — his haste and lack of due diligence — in this case.”

Given that Doug deemed a serial pedophile repentant after just six counseling sessions, you might be careful about accusations of haste and lack of due diligence in merely writing a blog.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Interesting timing coming 8 days after Dreher colleague at NRO Charles C. W. Cooke published this piece in support of understanding (some have said normalizing) pedophilia.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/424373/salons-much-maligned-pedophilia-piece-charles-c-w-cooke

timothy
Guest
timothy

Come on Barnabas! Nobody is talking about forcing Christians to…..

Matt
Guest
Matt

You’re gonna need more than bluster on this one. Somehow you’ve managed to take an easy “I made some mistakes…” type situation and turn it into an ongoing scandal. You believe in divine punishment, well here is God punishing you for your near total absence of humility.

But what do I know, I’m just another enemy of the faith. Keep the bubble strong.

Aquila Aquilonis
Guest
Aquila Aquilonis

When do you start teaching the Concern Troll 101 class?

Matt
Guest
Matt

Keep the bubble strong man.

Aquila Aquilonis
Guest
Aquila Aquilonis

Trolololololololololo

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

So, you’re in favor of spreading false reports. And anyone who objects is just blustering.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Isolated white flyover communities are sexually skeevy. I’ve seen several horror movies and police dramas about it. Didn’t you hear about that Dugger boy? Same deal. If Wilson would just apologize it would at least indicate that he understands that important decisions are to be made via community consensus. A little deference shown to the disapproval of the tribe would go a long way. I’m going to need see him in on at least four TGC panel discussions mouthing uncontroversial platitudes on various social issues before I can trust him again.

JP Stewart
Member

“If Wilson would just apologize it would at least indicate that he understands that important decisions are to be made via community consensus.” If he’d go cry on Oprah or Ellen, that may be enough.

moshebaruch
Guest
moshebaruch

“I also wrote Rod to see if he were interested in any private communication. I haven’t heard back there either.”

Rod says he has received no communication from you, either in his work or personal email accounts. So maybe try again?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

He probably wrote a message in bottle. I bet there is a scripture that fortifies this as the most righteous option of communication.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Has he checked his spam folder? Maybe he’s too crunchy to do that.

drewnchick
Member

…not this again!

drewnchick
Member

I take it Rod spent hours upon restless hours speaking with all the witnesses…?

Nah, didn’t think so.

herewegokids
Guest
herewegokids

i REALLY don’t think you, and especially Doug, want him to do that. And so i really hope he does.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Here you see a problem of the Benedict option, especially when done half-way. To isolate yourself from the herd makes you suspect. The issue at hand is a complex one but Wilson’s outsider status means that he won’t get the benefit of the doubt. Evangelical leaders in the public eye constantly signal loyalty to the larger culture. If you feel you must continue to object to gay marriage make sure that you show sufficient nuance and signal yourself to be twice as loyal on some other issue like multiculturalism. That’s the price you pay to continue to be considered respectable… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Well done.

Rookie of the Year
Guest
Rookie of the Year

Uh-oh. Even a preacher who endorsed his book on justice has turned on him, and says he wishes he hadn’t done it, and evidently regards Doug as a coddler of pedophiles, and one who favors convicted sex abusers over their victims. However, an unintended effect (as opposed to intention) at this present time might be the inference by readers that I endorse coddling pedophiles, publicly mocking godly critics, and favoring convicted sex abusers over their victims. My friends know that I find these actions godless and reprehensible. Sensing how my endorsement (as it has recently been contextualized) might be interpreted,… Read more »

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

One of the comments on Sandlin’s post excoriates him for allowing for a charitable understanding of Wilson’s motives for having Sandlin write a blurb for Wilson’s book. There is no end to the attacking and accusing, it seems. I do wonder if Sandlin discussed with Wilson the accusations that are being slung around the internet against Wilson before Sandlin joined in.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Attacking is easy, verification and analysis is hard. Some bloggers and commenters pigeonhole themselves by how they communicate.

Paul
Guest
Paul

That’s not the only way to read it. It might be that he’s just defending his endorsement at the time and distancing himself from the controversy as perceived by Doug’s opponents. So those words in bold above may just be his summary of what some people are criticising Doug for.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

You have it coming Douglas. At many turns this was your play to do the right thing.

“The church has no authority to prohibit a lawful marriage? I suppose same-sex couples in Idaho can show up at Christ Church and expect Pastor Wilson to marry them, then. This, and the claim that the church can’t withhold marriage from anybody, as long as both parties know what they’re getting into, is a pretty shameless example of passing the buck for a disaster.”

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

“Lawful” marriage in this case means according to God’s law, not Idaho laws.

guester
Guest
guester

So if Doug wants to argue “lawful” here, why did he split hairs over whether Sitler forcing a child into oral sex was “child rape” or “lewd conduct”? Surely at that point he was arguing “legal”, because by both names it is certainly not “lawful”. Doug can’t have the argument both ways.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Sure he can. Two different contexts. Unless you think the church and the court are synonymous.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

“Doug Wilson wrote to the judge asking for leniency, and expressing his hope that Sitler could one day be rehabilitated and become a productive member of society. Sitler was sentenced to life in prison, but released on probabation in 2007 after 20 months behind bars. Six weeks later, he was caught in an act of voyeurism, and confessed to masturbating while peering into a neighbor’s window. “

Willis
Guest

If you read what Wilson asked the judge for it was for “fair” treatment. He did not ask for a light sentence. I would hope we would all want fair treatment for every criminal.

Further, the judge gave him a life sentence so obviously, even if you think Wilson was asking for a light sentence, the judge didn’t listen.

Now, isn’t the real horror here that a child molester who was sentenced to life in prison was allowed out in 20 months? Shouldn’t we all be angry with the Idaho system for allowing that?

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

No, the Idaho system isn’t Christian, Calvinist, or Complementarian.

guester
Guest
guester

No, he asked for treatment to be “measured and limited”. You can interpret that as “fair” if you want to for your own reasons, but that is simply, factually, not what Doug said. The dictionary definition of “limited” is as follows: “confined within limits; restricted or circumscribed, restricted in size, amount, or extent; few, small, or short.” So I guess your argument is “Doug didn’t say what he really meant?” Is that because he’s a bad writer? Or because he was sloppy in a letter to a judge? Why didn’t Doug just let the court process take it’s own course?… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

“… and Doug Wilson thinks this is a matter to be laughed at, while raising a glass of Scotch to spite the critics? That is insane.”

He forgot the book plug. Clearly a reckless writer.

Jesse Cone
Guest
Jesse Cone

This post shows a blind spot. Wilson accuses Dreher of false witness via hastiness and lack of fact checking. Wilson is also hasty and lacks evidence of fact checking, opening himself up to being guilty of false witness. Wilson’s evidence of Dreher’s sin? Two words: “This morning”. He does not actually know what Rod knew and when.

Moreover, this post does not address anything substantial to Doug Wilson or Moscow. It is the blogging equivalent of the timeless trick of little kids, “Pay no attention to my wrong-doing, his was wrong-er!”

jesuguru
Guest
jesuguru

But it wasn’t only the “this morning”, it was the lack of reaching out to Wilson to get his side, or even a comment. Indeed, Wilson “doesn’t know what Rod knew and when,” but the point is that Dreher didn’t allow for direct communication to find out what Wilson knew and when. Although there now appears to be some degree of “Reached out, no reply” on both sides, Dreher reasonably could’ve waited a little longer to attempt to establish that communication for clarity’s sake.

Janet
Guest
Janet

There doesn’t appear to be much left to find out. I believe Doug Wilson has repeatedly put all of his information out there, repeatedly, and other witnesses have put forth their stories and provided documentation and links to credible sources. Wilson finally stonewalled when he suggested there was “the rest of the story” that he was unable to share, indirectly alluding to confidentiality issues. Commenters on this very thread have pleaded with him to provide direct honest answers.

jesuguru
Guest
jesuguru

I honestly don’t have a dog in this fight. I merely suggested that Dreher should’ve waited a little longer to allow for direct communication with Wilson, if for no other reason than that it’s journalistic protocol (to whatever degree he considers himself a journalist).

And you redundantly repeated “repeatedly,” redundantly. :)

Jesse Cone
Guest
Jesse Cone

Blogging is different than print journalism; the expectation of journalism happening in real time has affected the expectations of bloggers and blog-readers. Wilson may have a point, but it really just seems like a distraction technique on Wilson’s part to defend himself by denouncing Dreher.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

“Finally stonewalled.”? Wilson said years ago that there were issues of confidentiality involved.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

“Wilson finally stonewalled” This is convenient. He has absolutely no other option than to refuse to make public what is confidential, but everybody still gets to criticize him for it and use it to imply that it’s only because it wouldn’t help him. He even asked one of the people involved, right in the comments section of the blog, if he could reveal some things that concerned her in order to clarify, and she did not agree. It’s nice that his critics can win either way — if he justifies himself, he’s a monster for breaking confidence. If he doesn’t… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

” He even asked one of the people involved, right in the comments section of the blog,”

I believe Doug Wilson has now purged those comments, has he not? He has deleted the entire comment threads of posts from the first half of September. Do correct me if you can still locate the exchange with Natalie so that we can confirm your account.

Regardless, Natalie’s account meets the standard of a Biblical witness, as does her father’s, and their accounts agree with each other.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Dreher says “this morning…”, do you not believe him?

Jesse Cone
Guest
Jesse Cone

Sure I believe Dreher’s claim that a reader brought it to his attention that morning. It doesn’t mean he only started learning about the situation before. It also doesn’t mean he didn’t do his due diligence; it just makes it less plausible. My points are (1) Wilson is just as guilty of “slander” via hastiness and assumption as Dreher is, and (2) Wilson’s post merely tries to clear his name by throwing mud at Drehers. I think that’s disappointing and immature, smacking of self-righteousness. At worst Wilson is intentionally obfuscating, and best he’s reflexively defending himself in a fallacious and… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Dreher expresses surprise and a sudden awareness of the “scandal”, states that it was brought to his attention “this morning”, yet you think he may have been learning about it before? I thought he was considered a good communicator. Either he did not examine it sufficiently, is dishonest about what he knew before, or is not worth reading, have it whichever way you like. As for Wilson being hasty, there would be nothing else to examine than the Dreher post itself as it is an opinion piece and has no supporting sources to review or check with. I saw the… Read more »

Janet
Guest
Janet

Great news, Doug! Mr. Dreher is back and looking forward to speaking with you. From Mr. Dreher via today’s late edition: http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/09/30/thabiti-anyabwile-rod-dreher-doug-wilson-and-cj-mahaney-who-is-really-dealing-with-sex-abuse/ To quote Rod Dreher: “I have received no e-mail from Doug Wilson, neither at my TAC address, nor at my private address. Just so you know. Second, who is Doug Wilson, of all people, to get mad at others on the Internet for not doing “due diligence” and fact-checking before writing about something? I filled my post with links to primary documents from the court record (including letters signed by Wilson), media reports, and statements on the matter… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

His defense of himself by pointing out that he used primary documents sounded pretty good until he got here: “I linked to a summary of the Jamin Wight case by a group called Homeschoolers Anonymous.” Dreher HAS to know better than to treat a summary put out by interest group (from either side) as source material. And this is just not acceptable: “I trust my readers to examine all of these links and judge for themselves.” Yes, I’m sure he’d love it if someone put up a Dreher-trashing post on a special interest site, a widely-read blogger linked to it… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

In fairness, the Homeschoolers Anonymous story used extensive quotes from Natalie Greenfield, whose account of her abuse is not only a primary source, but also a Biblical “witness” testimony. It was the most convenient source for seeing much of her account at once.

bethyada
Member

Every time I read a comment here that seems damning and then go read the original it is clear the the people who are up in arms are clueless or dishonest (or both). Dreher is no exception. Of course none of this absolves Wilson, I don’t know him, nor have I ever been to Moscow. Perhaps he is extra super sneaky. But applying the method of Solomon, his opponents seem to be in the wrong. Let’s look at Dreher. He makes this comment. a younger pastor associated with Wilson’s church claiming that Protestants who convert to Catholicism or Orthodoxy are… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Apparently it is acceptable to fabricate anything provocative when convicting a scape-goat. The masturbation mis-reference was bizarre and colored the whole post in a strange way. When the chaff is blown away there is precious little to evaluate, and nothing useful from the perspective of the accused. But then again, I’m not the center of the story, and can’t quite see what amount of evidence would ever justify an outsider jumping into the fray anyway. From all the ranting going on these last few weeks, I would say that the “authoritative critic and opinion giver” role has been over-booked by… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

The masturbation reference is entirely relevant. It shows that Sitler immediately decided after being released on probation to go peer into a neighbor’s window and masturbate. This is a story about a sexual offender and what Douglas did to endorse him over the victims and potential victims. That fact would have bearing on Sitler’s ‘rehabilitation’.

Maybe Douglas could have given him an extra reading assignment?

bethyada
Member

The masturbation comment Monte and I are referring to was about Sumpter’s article on Catholicism; nothing to so with Sitler

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Fair enough. My bad.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Do you think Dreher is confusing Sumpter with Sitler? If so then that would support the argument that he is shooting from the hip and has not researched this properly.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

No, I think it’s clear that he’s not doing that — he just for whatever reason took the option of characterizing a fairly restrained (if very unflattering to his side) analogy in the most lurid possible light in order to make Sumpter look like a h8teful creep.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Thank you for doing the work Dreher would not do.

bethyada
Member

Hi timothy. Dreher quoted Sumpter in an earlier post of his. Thus his reference was to something he had read. Presumably Dreher was wanting to have a rhetoric effect on his readers, but this sort of thing makes me think he lacks integrity. Of course I would need to read him more often and see if this is common, or a one off; but it does not endear me to his post. Further, I have read his links (and more) and do not see what he sees. Even Doug’s opponents leave clues that they have an agenda. I have seen… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

How about facts as a path to the truth?

The only thing that keeps lapdogs hanging around here wit their tongue out is the idea that there is a bone behind Doug’s back we don’t know about. There isn’t. Who is he protecting at this point? Himself.

Natalie is speaking publicly. We know what Sitler did and redid, what Jamin did and how Wilson responded to both.

This idea that ‘Doug’s side’ is somehow unknown is absurd.

bethyada
Member

Doug has said there are things which would explain why he would write what he did about Natalie’s parents being neglectful. He has said that he is not at liberty to share them and will not do so without Natalie’s and both her parents’ permission.

Natalie responded here saying there is nothing that Doug could say that would change anything, but she also, in the same comment, told him she did NOT give him permission to say anything.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Wilson said he would be happy to discuss the matter if Natalie, her father and her mother all gave consent, but Natalie’s mother did not give consent.

bethyada
Member

Quite possibly. But Natalie herself also declined on this blog.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Sorry, I missed that.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

One other point, Natalie said that she called her parents to ask if they would allow Wilson to make more public comments. I don’t know why she would ask them if they would agree to it if she were not first amenable. Then Wilson told Natalie that he was open to further discussion of the matter with her alone, and she declined. That is how I remember it.

guester
Guest
guester

But I believe those comments have now been purged by Doug, haven’t they? Please correct me if I’m wrong about that.

guester
Guest
guester

That’s a convenient excuse for Doug. Given his waffling and doublespeak for the last weeks on these matters (and now his purging of the comment threads that you refer to, so no one can check them) I see no reason to believe him. Obviously, you do.

bethyada
Member

You can go read Doug’s response here. I don’t know whether Doug should have defended himself as such, God is our defender. But the response confirms aspects of the situation that I had suspected reading between the lines from all the material posted elsewhere; ie it seemed that the parents were unwise in some of the issues; and I wondered whether the court letters were hinting at not “documenting” Jamin as a paedophile.

guester
Guest
guester

I’ve read it. I don’t find it at all reassuring, in fact it confirms to me that Doug is unwilling to speak the *whole* truth. He provides only a partial timeline of events, omits many pertinent items, and glosses quickly over important details of legitimate concern, particularly as to communication with his congregation about Sitler’s crimes. I list a few of my concerns from his account of the Sitler case below; and these are only the ones were immediately evident to me on a quick reading! I won’t parse the Wight case, since Natalie herself has addressed Doug’s distortion field… Read more »

bethyada
Member

guester, perhaps you read like that because you are opposed to Doug. Doug adds the timeframe from the minutes. He is not giving a timeframe of the whole affair. The other times you mention have all been publicised. And Doug has written about this previously on his blog. He is documenting what was written in the minutes. The other events are all documented elsewhere. The facts of the minutes point to the fact this was not done in a corner but discussed with the eldership. Natalie describes some events in a post and you don’t assume she is hiding things… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

It is the Bible that applies the higher standard to Doug, bethyada. “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” James 3:1.

bethyada
Member

A higher expectation is not a different standard.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Nothing will satisfy guester short of an execution.

guester
Guest
guester

Where did I say that Monte? Please quote me instead of making up your *own* statements.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Agreed.

bethyada
Member

Even so, scripture has a long record of using infidelity as a metaphor for idolatry; what’s the problem?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Or how about listening to the victims? Maybe your god wants you to side with those in power and walk away from those in need. From Natalie’s blog today: “The fact that my parents had moments of naivety does not merit letters from a pastor requesting leniency for a man who the prosecuting attorney called ‘a textbook pedophile’ and place a massive amount of blame on a father already broken by the news of his daughter’s abuse. The fact that I was beautiful and stood taller than my abuser does not lessen or change the sickening nature of what he… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I have read Natalie’s blog previously, I have read other material against Doug. I don’t think this Jamin guy is particularly nice by the sounds of it. So no defense of the guy. But Doug’s comment was because there are laws about labelling people paedophiles (I believe?). I think that paedophilia is about a sexual desire toward pre-pubescent children. I do not think that it is a sexual desire toward sexually mature teenagers. A predatory sexual targeting of teenagers is certainly alarming, but not paedophilia. You can’t just label things because you hate them. Let’s say someone wanted him dead… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Yeah, no defense of Jamin. ‘Not particularly nice’ is truly ridiculous way to describe him. Then to go on and slip into some legalese about the ‘true’ definition of pedophilia, describing a 13 year old as ‘sexually mature’ and call the targeting, grooming and molesting of the victim ‘certainly alarming’.

You have learned your lessons well christian brother. That was a Doug salad.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

When Natalie was 14 she was continually mistaken for a college student, so yeah, sexually mature.

guester
Guest
guester

Irrelevant. She was still 14, no matter her appearance. You are adopting the twisted justification of sexual abusers of underage children, who frequently seek to minimize the nature of their sins and crimes by talking about the supposed maturity of their victims. It. doesn’t. matter.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

It is relevant when one has to make a distinction between pubescent and prepubescent.

guester
Guest
guester

You mean when one has to make the distinction as to which type of child–pubescent or prepubescent–can be forced to perform oral sex on an adult? Or be fisted by an adult who has sneaked into her bedroom, as Natalie was? The answer is emphatically, unequivocally NEITHER. It is not only irrelevant, it is irreverent for a Christian to argue such distinctions, knowing that sexual molestation is totally condemned by Scripture, and the perpetrators of such acts against children are cursed by Jesus himself. Your distinctions are unScriptural, unChristlike, and ugly.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

The law has definitions for various types of criminal acts. When a criminal act is committed against a prepubescent the definition of the criminal is different from when a crime is committed against a post pubescent. One of those types of criminals is called pedophile and the other one really isn’t. There are people in this internet lynch mob insisting that Wilson isn’t allowed to say that he believes that Wight ought not be considered a pedophile because the victim was 14 (therefore must look look skinny, gawky, and childlike). Whoever made that comment obviously didn’t know the victim at… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

You’re wrong. The law distinguishes based upon *age*, not upon whether a child has been through puberty, or on whether they “look” childlike. That’s why Natalie’s appearance is irrelevant.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

So, by your idea sexual maturity is defined by whether you look ready to go or not to someone else? Well done.

Are you people really Christians? Call me doubting randman.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Do you have the same degree of emotional vitriol for the DSM, which makes the same distinctions bethyada is making?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

I have concern for the lack of compassion here from both of you, and the willingness to go on about the etymology of whether a 13 year old’s oral rape is pedophila or not by a strict definition. It is downright Clinton-ian of you. Certainly Doug like. nice.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Also, Jane I am glad we are taking again.

guester
Guest
guester

The DSM describes a pedophile as “not particularly nice”? We’re not talking about the DSM here, Jane.

“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.” I Corinthians 5

Ian Miller
Member

So, to reiterate Jane’s question: do you think there is a real, morally and/or socially important difference between pedophilia and hebephilia/ephebophilia?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Do you think there is a moral difference in parsing out the degree of harm in the coercion and rape of an 11, 12, or 13 year old?

Ian Miller
Member

So, that’s a “no,” then?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

You Christians and your desire to be pulpit lawyers in the face of real human suffering involving children is really leaves me cold btw. Is there a difference when a 24 year orally rapes a 13 year old and when an 18 year old rapes a 2 year old? Not to me. Does it to you? You can intellectually masturbate about etymology in the service of kissing Wilsons ass here or snap into the reality of caring for actual human well being. Children’s well being. That includes young teens. Clearly to Douglas the rapist’s moral suffering is of primary concern.… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

Is there a difference, in that the person doing it deserves death and eternal condemnation? No.

Is there a difference at all? Yes.

However, clearly you are more interested in trying to show how superior you are to Christians in your moral outrage. I believe I will follow other posters’ policy and cease responding.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

I do not believe either deserve death. You, your bible and I can part ways there as well.

The fact that you see a difference that lets you feel better about your own vows and your fellow DW, indeed separates us. You would do well in your Christian ideology to feel a little more morall outrage at child abusers and those who would apologize for them.

guester
Guest
guester

“Then he rehashes all the public stuff that has been linked to already and makes his conclusion when he knows he only has one side of the story.”

I will point out that in the case of the Jamin Wight case, the testimonies of Natalie Greenfield and her father meet the Biblical standard of being witnesses to the events that occurred. Doug Wilson’s testimony is not that of a witness to the events. In keeping with Scripture, therefore, it is the statements of Natalie and her father which I believe.

bethyada
Member

You are wrong here. It is important for there to be witnesses, and second hand material needs to be documented as such; but these are claiims against Doug for what he said and wrote. As such both sides need to be able to offer a defense. To allow one side to give a defense and refuse the other side because they did not see a specific thing happening would be a gross miscarriage of justice.

And to choose a side when you have yet to hear from the other side is judicially foolish.

guester
Guest
guester

I accept the testimony of Natalie and her father as to what Doug said and wrote to them. Doug’s argument continually seems to be that he *meant* something different than he said and wrote, or that he said and wrote *other* stuff that somehow mitigates the primary source documents that have been provided. I think the primary source documents stand on their own. They are undeniably his words, and it is certainly scriptural for a man to give account for his words.

bethyada
Member

I don’t deny what Doug wrote, I don’t think he meant something different than what he wrote, but I do think there may be reasons why he wrote something. I don’t think the source documents are wrong, I think that without context they may be incomplete. We all know the argument that the Bible says, “There is no God.” It is not that the statement is strictly incorrect as those words are there verbatim. It is that the statement is incomplete. And if a person were to say that you are not allowed to see the context of the statement… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

I agree generally with your point, bethyada. However, it also doesn’t make sense to hold judgment hostage forever to one person’s continual clam that they have more information that somehow would make a difference. Given the large quantity of both primary source documentation and witness testimony in this case, I believe there is enough for most thoughtful people—especially believers who are acquainted with the New Testament’s high standards for pastoral conduct–to pass judgment.

bethyada
Member

So what exactly is your judgment?

guester
Guest
guester

That Doug Wilson’s handling of both the Natalie Greenfield case and the Unnamed Multiple Victims of Steven Sitler case has not been in keeping with the character and commands of Christ, and that his conduct continues to fall short of the New Testament requirements for a church leader.

bethyada
Member

Yeah, I already get that. I mean specifically

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Nothing has to make sense to an internet lynch mob. This “one person” who has confidential information is not just any person, but a seasoned, experienced, capable pastor who happens to be the pastor of Natalie’s mother. You are publicly calling that particular man a liar.

guester
Guest
guester

“Dreher here manages to allude to a quote of Sumpters in a way that is kind of correct, but not really. ”

Seriously? Doug Wilson does this all. the. time. See most of his references to C.S. Lewis. And you haven’t applied yourself to the actual substance of Dreher’s argument at all, you’re just nibbling around the edges.

bethyada
Member

guester, I don’t find that Doug quotes people in ways that makes me think that they have said one thing but it turns out they have said something quite different. My problem isn’t using quotes from people you agree with, or disagree with. I put Dreher’s comment and what the comment was referring to both up to other readers could compare. I have no problem with people doing the same with Doug. As I have said several times, more information is helpful. Dreher’s links were to several items I have read previously, I did not find them compelling then and… Read more »

mirele
Guest
mirele

As a former lawyer (J.D., University of Houston Law Center), I’ve read the evidence, including copies of letters with your signature, which have been made public, and I read what Mr. Dreher had to say. I’m *still* looking for the libel in what Mr. Dreher wrote. Are you going to talk about it, or are you just going to whine about it?

Deana M. Holmes

Dave
Guest
Dave

Mirele, in a manner similar to the Inquisition, the profession you declare must enjoy the anonymous comments, anonymous innuendo rather than fact and a small bit of partial evidence presented rather than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That used to be called kangaroo courts but I am not sure if that is the popular name today. I called Dreher out on linking to anonymous web sites with false and misleading information. Information that is so entwined with the truth that it is disinformation and lies. I called him out for posting without knowing the author… Read more »

tpbaehr
Guest
tpbaehr

He’s just responded, in his second update.

mirele
Guest
mirele

First of all, I should note that I’m no longer a lawyer and haven’t been for nearly two decades. Instead, I make my daily bread by investigating computing failures for a “systemically important financial institution” and have done so for the last decade. Now, that said…first of all, I am not unhappy or disturbed by anonymous revelations. So many of the things that have been posted have come from government records, trial transcripts, or letters written and/or signed by Doug Wilson. That they have been posted by anonymous persons bothers me not a whit. After all, I got my start… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

“The information should be judged on its quality, not its source. I tried to link only to court documents, news reports, and things like that.” Rod Dreher 2nd update Deana, it does matter where the information comes from and then it can be examined on the basis of fact or lie. This is a common problem in law enforcement, churches, businesses and is a problem that leads to false informants giving misleading information to the cops who then SWAT an individual causing death, dismemberment and general mayhem. In Vietnam the program was called Phoenix and led to the improper killing… Read more »

tpbaehr
Guest
tpbaehr

Lord, please have mercy on your servants.
This feels like the Carly Florina beat-em-up. A massive cohort seeking blood, shouting liar, and clouding our ability to see the facts.

bethyada
Member

There are a number of Scriptural points worth noting for the Christians opposing Doug in these allegations. Of course they are useful for those who support him and who are standing on the fence. 1. Solomon applied judgment in a case where facts were lacking. He was noted to be both wise and just by recognising that the false witness was callous, but he caught her in her own words. It is important to note the sides. It seems to me that the way that many of the opponents act would imply that they are unreliable. When you read what… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

I hope Dreher reads this. Very well done bethyada.

Matt
Guest
Matt

This is tribal thinking at its worst. Just because a person thinks Doug Wilson was in the wrong on some matter doesn’t render them an insincere liar, and the (trivial) fact that some people are sometimes insincere should not be used to attempt to discredit all critics en masse. Rod Dreher in particular has shown no evidence of having any personal or professional grudge against Wilson, so how any of this is supposed to pertain to him is anyone’s guess. It’s about time you all quit circling the wagons and actually listened to those who aren’t exactly like you in… Read more »

Aquila Aquilonis
Guest
Aquila Aquilonis

Shut up Matt. If you haven’t figured it out, none of the regulars cares what you think because you are a proven liar.

Matt
Guest
Matt

There’s that serrated edge we all love so much.

bethyada
Member

Just because a person thinks Doug Wilson was in the wrong on some matter doesn’t render them an insincere liar Correct the (trivial) fact that some people are sometimes insincere should not be used to attempt to discredit all critics en masse. Some people are chronically insincere a la Judas. I am pointing out that these people exist (and there are a lot of them). It is wise to be aware of this. There some Christians here who are vocal but too naive. Dreher in particular has shown no evidence of having any personal or professional grudge against Wilson Perhaps… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

The only one who can fix the unknowns is Wilson himself. So far he has refused. As long as he does, it isn’t at all out of line to judge based on the information present. And that shows at least that he married two people he shouldn’t have. As far as I’m concerned, that’s probably all he did, which is why this whole thing is so stupid. It could have been easily addressed by a “whoops shouldn’t have done that”. Instead Wilson let his ego get in the way, and here we are. So now he has a PR disaster,… Read more »

bethyada
Member

People have called him to task for several things. Some of them he claims require revealing information to that was given to him in confidence. This is not an uncommon position for pastors. In the only situation that we know who the people involved are, 2 of the 3 have requested that Doug not break confidence. His hands are tied with that. As to marrying a person who was convicted of paedophilia, we are going to have to disagree on this. As I think abortion is murder, and it is frequently repeated, a demand for people not to marry after… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Pedophiles should not be around children unsupervised, this is just common sense. It isn’t just that any sin above a threshold bars one from marriage, it’s that pedophilia specifically does, as marriages typically result in children (doubly so in the conservative christian camp, where they are nearly required to). Since we aren’t going to send drones to Sitler’s house for 24/7 surveillance, then he shouldn’t be given the opportunity for further abuse by being married.

bethyada
Member

Matt, I follow the logic of the argument but am not willing to be so definitive in my statements. My concern is as above (abortion) and I can expand on how that affects my position if necessary. I don’t think that someone convicted of an action will necessarily involve himself in that action necessarily. I think people can be horrified at their past and not act on temptations that they did act on previously. Further, I don’t think all sexual desires always go together. Most people who are attracted to opposite sex post-pubescent persons do not find their opposite-sex post-pubescent… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

Spot on, bethyada!

Jonathan Frank
Guest
Jonathan Frank

I would generally expect to have more sympathy for Wilson’s views than Dreher’s. There are also clear missteps in Dreher’s piece: Wilson’s bit on beauty is irrelevant to his point, and the “gotcha” about homosexual marriages is clearly nothing more than a misreading of Wilson’s typical use of the phrase “lawful marriage”. That said, I believe Dreher is right to be concerned by the apparent lack of any admission of a mistake – not necessarily guilt – on Wilson’s part: this has been troubling me, especially after reading Greenfield’s account while doing my own research. Incidentally, this brings me to… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

Your thoughts here are both tempered and cautious, and for that you deserve many thanks. However, you have still fallen to the unfortunate trap of “trial-by-Internet”–or to use a newly crafted phrase, “click-to-convict.” While admitting that you don’t pretend to know all the details, you nonetheless assume a great many things about the situation–now well over 10 years in the making. What you are able to glean from doing any amount of long-distance “research” will be, as with any gleaning, partial at best. There is MUCH that you simply cannot know. None of us who are/were not closely involved can… Read more »

Jonathan Frank
Guest
Jonathan Frank

I agree with your principles! But I think in this case your application is oversimplified. The difficulty is two-fold: in the first place, Wilson is by virtue of publicity a teacher to more than his own immediate church. His session is not my session; his presbytery is not my presbytery; his denomination is not my denomination (in fact I believe the two are not in formal fellowship); yet his Church is my Church in Christ. It is difficult to say how the “judgment of the church” is to be construed in this case. In the second place, it is not… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

“accept the judgment of the church as having satisfied the requirements of faith, charity, and grace.”

I do not. Knowing that Doug Wilson sat on the side of the sexual abusers, not the victims in both court cases tells me that he did not satisfy the requirements of faith, charity and grace.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Two recollections that differ, yet you know for sure which one is correct. That’s much closer to omniscience than I ever expect to be.

guester
Guest
guester

Natalie’s declared memory that Wilson sat on the side of her abuser was confirmed on her blog by another attendee at the trials. That makes two Biblical witnesses. Doug says that he “doesn’t remember”.

guester
Guest
guester

“the “gotcha” about homosexual marriages is clearly nothing more than a misreading of Wilson’s typical use of the phrase “lawful marriage” Not necessarily in this case. While utilizing his typical “lawful” definition in the case of homosexual marriage, Wilson has repeatedly resorted to explicitly *legal* arguments in justifying his behavior in both the Wight and Sitler cases (attempting at one point even to minimize Steven’s offenses by pointing out that they were only “lewd conduct”, not “child rape”). Both are, of course, equally egregious offenses morally and Biblically, no matter their legal exactitude. Wilson deserves to be called on switching… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

The burden on Dreher in this case, like all of the critics… 1. Do we believe it is possible for those guilty of the particular of the sin of pedophilia to repent? 2. Do we believe that it is possible through the power of Christ for a pedophile to live a life free from that sin? 3. Is it allowable for a former pedophile to marry? 4. Once a pedophile has received the full penalty required by the law, what is the responsibility of a minister to a repentant pedophile? 5. If your conclusions to the above differ from Doug… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

For 3, clearly no. The least a child molester should expect is to never be around kids again without supervision, even (especially) their own. A repentant child molester would likely agree to such restrictions.

guester
Guest
guester

A true sign of repentance would be the restrictions an offender willingly places upon themselves. Instead, far too many offenders claim “freedom in Christ” or “grace and forgiveness” to attempt to escape the consequences of their sin. Christians should be wary of such easy excuses.

Ryan Booth
Guest
Ryan Booth

If Sitler was legally prohibited from being alone with children, and the state is determined to carry that out, how could Doug marry him, when any children resulting from the union would be separated from their father? That’s what I genuinely don’t understand. A family where the father legally cannot spend time alone with his own children? That warps God’s design for the family and is cruel to the children, so how could Doug bless such a union?

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

As you said, the state determined that. Questions of legality should then be addressed to the state. Earlier posts gave indicated that the judge approved. I know of a sex offender under similar restrictions. Adult members of the family including his wife count as chaperones and the restriction may even have been removed by now. I think such details are set and revised in each particular case by the family court.

guester
Guest
guester

“Adult members of the family including his wife count as chaperones”

Thank you for reminding us of this fact, Barnabas. When Doug Wilson emphasized Christ Church’s use of chaperones in his “reluctant response”, he left out the fact that among Steven’s chaperones were his wife and his parents. Since his wife was subsequently removed as a chaperone for failure to disclose, this casts Steven’s supervision in a different light. I wonder why Doug left these details out?

guester
Guest
guester

8. Is Doug Wilson qualified to judge whether a sexual criminal is repentant? Based on his past history with Jamin Wight, No. Doug Wilson judged Jamin Wight to be repentant, yet Jamin went on to be convicted again of domestic abuse. Based on his past history with Steven Sitler, No. Doug Wilson told Judge Stegner in 2005 that after just six counseling sessions with Steven Sitler, Sitler had “been completely honest with him” and “I have good hope that he has genuinely repented. Yet Sitler was subsequently arrested for voyeurism in 2007 (one of the many things Doug left out… Read more »

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

My major concern in all this is have all the victims been accounted for and cared for? A lot of victim’s parents did not press charges for one reason or another. Out of fear and/or shame? Have these people been ministered to or just told to keep their mouths shut.? . All this brouhaha seems to be more about casting blame and preserving reputations. Jesus would be ministering to the victims

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

The other victims in the Sitler case are out of state and are not members of Christ Church in Moscow, therefore they are not the responsibility of the Christ Church elders, and are not under their jurisdiction.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Jesus’s reply was ” whatever you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me.” And ” Am I my brother’s keeper”.

There is a lot going on here and it doesn’t look very Biblical and Christlike to me.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

What are you saying that the elders of Christ Church are supposed to have done for people who are members of others churches in other states?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Leslie, you spank your own kids not the other neighborhood kids. You
throw birthday parties for your kids not the kid down the street. Churches are responsible for their members not others. I would think that the other churches were notified and action taken inside their walls by their ministers.

This is very Biblical.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

I am saying that if there is sexual abuse going on in my church and I find out it has been going on in other churches then indeed it is my responsibility to contract the other church, and also to report the actions to the police in the other state, this is the Christian thing to do.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

The other families were duly notified. Why would you think they weren’t?

bethyada
Member

And that was done

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Actually, Dave, the church is The Body of Christ.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Of course the Church is the body of Christ, but each local church has their own members that the elders are responsible to minister to, and the members answer to their own elders. People are also grouped into towns, but the parents of each family are responsible to feed and discipline their own children, not the neighbor’s.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Again, let me reiterate, the dialog should be first to the well being, comfort and aid of the victims. That should be the first priority. The parable of the Good Samaritan comes to mind. The Body of Christ is one body. If an arm is not functioning well the whole Body suffers, it seems to me that in this case there is inter church communication that should have taken place. If I as Pastor of church X knew of a situation in church y that was harmful to people , I would think it was my Pastoral duty to have… Read more »

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Do you know exactly what happened in this situation? Do you know what was done and what wasn’t? Do you KNOW that the other families were not notified? Do you KNOW that the Moscow police did not communicate with other police departments? Do you KNOW that the pastors of the other families did not communicate with Wilson?

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Do you know what wa done and what wasn’t? Do you know if the other families were notified? Do you know that the Miaciw police communicated with other police departments? Do you know if Wilson communicated with other pastors. Do you know how many children may still be having nightmares?

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Moscow police

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

You are the one who is suggesting that the situation was not handled correctly, not me. I think you are assuming out of ignorance.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

So you know what happened?

bethyada
Member

Leslie, many of your questions are publicly available

guester
Guest
guester

” I would think that the other churches were notified and action taken inside their walls by their ministers”

But you don’t know, then Dave? Given Doug’s continual doublespeak on these issues, there is certainly cause for concern for these other victims and their families.

guester
Guest
guester

But if your kid *hits* the kid down the street, taking appropriate action is indeed your responsibility as a parent. Steven Sitler is a member of Christ Church. He is “their kid”. And so dealing appropriately with his victims–all of them–is indeed Christ Church’s responsibility.

guester
Guest
guester

Steven Sitler is, however, a member of Christ Church and Doug has taken personal oversight of and responsibility for his repentance. Surely that involves appropriate repentance to his victims and their families, no matter where they attend church.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Sitler was not a member of Christ Church when he was caught, and he wasn’t until quite a while afterwards. What I was talking about in my prior comment was that Wilson had no responsibility to “minister” to the other victim families, as in counseling and all that because it was not his responsibility to do that. The other families had their own pastors for that.

guester
Guest
guester

Wilson had/has a responsibility to ensure that Sitler has demonstrated the fruits of repentance to all the victims and their families. This certainly qualifies as “ministry”.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Look, the original comment that I was responding to seemed to claim that Wilson had all these responsibilities to minister (pastoral counsel) to literally everyone else involved. The original comment seemed to just be working overtime to try to find something to use to criticize Wilson. I said that, no, he is not responsible for pastoral counsel to the other families because they are not in his jurisdiction. They have their own pastors for that. You are doing the same thing–concocting new ways to hopefully whack at Wilson. Are you saying that Wilson did not do his duty to all… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

Sadly, Wilson’s response to Dreher notes a meeting with only “one of” the victim’s families. “In December, our elders met with one of the victim families to arrange for a no-contact order by consent, anticipating the time when Steven would be back in Moscow.” The other families and victims are conspicuous by their absence, an unknown. The most troubling aspect of these weeks of Doug’s increasingly chaotic defenses of himself has been how very rarely he even mentions the victims, particularly relative to how many times he mentions the perpetrators (and of course himself). Doug even speaks of the sexual… Read more »

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Judges 17:6, judges 21:25

James
Guest
James

So Doug Wilson is criticized on this issue by a substantially more widely read blogger than the previous weeks critics and instead of answering Rod’s critiques, he takes issue with the timing. Sounds like a clever piece of misdirection to me.

Kelle
Guest
Kelle

Badly done, indeed.
We are praying for your family during this trying time and trust the Lord will defend and vidicate you and will provide you with the humility, humour, and level-headedness He has always given you at these times.

guester
Guest
guester

No need, Kelle….Doug is celebrating! With Scotch! ” In this case, Nancy — a Puritan jewel — celebrated by buying me a nice bottle of Laphroaig.” So perhaps you might pray for the victims of Steven Sitler and Jamin Wright.

David Goodwin
Guest
David Goodwin

Dreyer lost credibility with me. I’ve worked with countless pastors on issues of sexual abuse, adultery, and all forms of sexual sin. None, that I know, would turn a pedophile away from their church or refuse to conduct a marriage ceremony solely because of a past wrong. Solomonic wisdom is never so necessary. Dreyer didn’t seem to consult Solomon though (Proverbs 18:17). Those who counsel sexual or family issues step into dangerous and difficult territory. Was Dreyer ever a pastor who shepherded a congregation? It seems to me he’s throwing stones with too much confidence to have ever sat in… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

Perhaps Dreher consulted Matthew 18:6 instead, David:

Jesus; “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Doug Wilson “I have been asked to provide a letter on behalf of Steven Sitler, which I am happy to do…I would urge that the civil penalties applied would be measured and limited.”

David Goodwin
Guest
David Goodwin

“guester” may be free with quoting out-of context scripture, and twisting beyond recognition wilson’s quote. But, that’s what I expect from an anonymous pseudonym. I don’t feel I need to argue with one who hides their identity and flings accusations, even if this is a blog.

guester
Guest
guester

Please state specifically how I took Scripture out of context, David.

David Goodwin
Guest
David Goodwin

As I said, I’ll engage when we’re not dealing in anonymous gossip. I’d refer “guester” to Matthew 18:15 first, where Jesus clearly, within context, provides a Christian path of criticism that is not anonymous nor does it spread Gossip. Those who make accusations need to put their reputation on the line. The Internet is a tool, not a cover to justify throwing stones from behind a veil. I won’t make arguments with a pseudonym.

guester
Guest
guester

The passage I quoted was Matthew 18:6. You still have not stated how I used it out of context. So I guess you’re just throwing stones at me, aren’t you David?

David Goodwin
Guest
David Goodwin

I might as well throw stones at Moaning Myrtle. You cannot gossip about “guester”. It’s hard to put a face with the name.

guester
Guest
guester

Note, David, that I quoted Doug Wilson’s exact words, and compared them to those of Jesus. If you call that “Gossip”, you’d have a real problem with the Berean believers, who compared Paul’s words with the scriptures every day to see if they were true (Acts 17:11). Scripture calls them “noble”.

David Goodwin
Guest
David Goodwin

At risk of being pulled in: “I quoted Doug Wilsons exact words… Scripture calls them “noble”. Your exact words.

And, I’m quite aware of what you were quoting.

guester
Guest
guester

Your use of the ellipses would change the object of my pronoun “them” from the Berean believers to Doug Wilson. Please show how my use of ellipses changed Doug Wilson’s quoted statements in an equivalent manner. All uses of ellipses are not equal, David.

christian
Guest
christian

Mr.Dreher’s motives in opening up this issue against Pastor Wilson in his forum appear to be petty payback for being taken to the woodshed a few weeks back in Wilson’s September 2nd blog entry (link below) There Wilson correctly critiqued his retreat strategy on the same sex marriage issue. In the present matter, what Dreher appears to take issue with is Wilson’s belief that the power of the gospel can change even a pedophile into a husband and father. I believe the gospel has this power, too. Dreher apparently does not. The fact that the decision makers (Sitler and his… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

“Dreher appears to take issue with is Wilson’s belief that the power of the gospel can change even a pedophile into a husband and father. I believe the gospel has this power, too.”

So do I, christian. But I believe Doug Wilson has been extraordinarily arrogant in assuming that he could judge whether a sexual predator is indeed repentant. He was badly wrong in the Jamin Wight case, as proven by Jamin’s subsequent re-conviction for domestic abuse.

drewnchick
Member

And just how, exactly, do you propose one should know whether a sexual predator is indeed repentant? Do YOU have the mind of God? The very troubling trend among many is to brand the sexual deviant for life, assuming that once he has visibly sinned, he is thereafter beyond the work of Holy Spirit sanctification. We don’t treat homosexuals this way; why do we give pedophiles with a weak-sauce version of Grace? Certainly wisdom–godly wisdom–must be employed, and much care, but at SOME point there must also be employed the Christian concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation. Social quarantine is NOT… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

“Social quarantine is NOT biblical! ” Sorry Malachi, you’re wrong. Please consult I Corinthians 5: “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” The case in I… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Indefinite social quarantine of the repentant is not what I Corinthians is about, and is what Malachi was referring to.

guester
Guest
guester

“Cast out the evil man from among you” is pretty clear, Jane. We have only Doug Wilson’s claims that Steven Sitler is repentant. Do you offer proofs that he is?

If he was repentant, why was he arrested for voyeurism in 2007, after his repentance had been declared? Why does Doug’s opinion on his repentance differ from the statement of his parole officer in 2015?

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

I think a new normal should be that the care for and needs of the victim comes FiRST.

Ian Miller
Member

I believe that we should comfort the distressed and weep with those who weep. I also think that a commitment to truth and justice should be as powerful in our minds. One can strive to know the truth without victim blaming. One can adhere to our country’s magnificent “innocent until proven guilty” standard without belittling the pain of the truly wronged.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

And in this case this has happened how?

Ian Miller
Member

Sorry, to which is “this” referring to?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Wow! That hurt me. Pay me now and we can talk about it later.

guester
Guest
guester

And then there’s this:

“Natalie was a beautiful and striking young woman, and at the time was about eight inches taller than Jamin was.”

Casting an underage person as mature and grown-up, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally, is a classic justification used by sexual predators to minimize their crimes. The fact that Doug Wilson posits this twisted description himself is very troubling; it has absolutely no relevance. Someone who is so taken in by the logic of a sexual predator as to quote it himself is emphatically UNqualified to establish whether a sexual predator is “repentant”.

ZYX
Guest
ZYX

Hello, Mr Wilson! I’d like to hear your side of this story. In around 2006, to the best of your recollection, did you tell someone something along the general line of this? ‘Gary should not have already made up his mind on going to the police. The purpose of my initial meeting with him was to figure out what OUGHT to be done, not to be told what he was going to ALREADY do. Even though he is within his right to go to the law, it would have been better to handle this outside of court due to the… Read more »

Ken Griffith
Guest
Ken Griffith

People who have first sexual contact before age ten have a high probability of getting their “wires crossed” and growing up to become sex offenders themselves. The majority of sex offenders were themselves molested as children. We live in a society that on the one hand seems to be encouraging these sorts of encounters to happen to children, with sex education beginning in kindergarten. The permissive and encouraging environment in public schools increases the chances this will happen to children in that school, whether at the hands of adults or other children. On the other hand, there is zero tolerance… Read more »

Micheast
Guest
Micheast

I was surprised to see Rod Dreher getting so high and mighty about this, given the extensive effort he’s made in the past to soft-pedal and help conceal child abuse enablers in his own Orthodox church. Of course, back then he was operating undercover as the infamous anonymous blogger “Muzhik”, an effort that ultimately got him in permanent trouble with that Philidelphia foundation he had to leave. He’s since put some distance between the OCA where all that happened by switching to the ROCOR, so I guess that gives him enough cover now to be lecturing others. But all the… Read more »