“Rape” in Douglas Wilson’s Own Words

Before we launched MoscowID.net, I scoured Doug Wilson’s blog for several key terms that are central to his worldview: AIDS, Alinsky, coercion, culture war, death penalty, dictator, homosexuality, plagiarism, sex, slavery, sodomy, tyranny, etc. We cut & pasted every use of specific terms into Word Docs, along with their URLs, to use as resources for this project. We gathered these docs together knowing that Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church regularly tailors his message to suit his audience and consequently he regularly contradicts himself. And one major objective of this site is to demonstrate that Doug Wilson modifies his firmly held convictions at the drop of a hat.

For example, this page documents a comprehensive list of Doug Wilson’s written statements on the subject of rape. It’s comprehensive but not exhaustive. No one searched his comments on Mablog and I’m sure some quotes slipped through the cracks and we may have missed a book or two as well as issues of Credenda. But this page will give future historians a head start in their research when they study what took place in Moscow, Idaho, in the 90s to 2000s. And, no, it’s not a “new reformation” or any of that nonsense.

This list is 3,872 words; it covers the 20 years between 1997 and 2017; and it includes the words “rape,” “raped,” and “rapist”; as well as a few instances of “pedophile” and “molest.” I also included a couple references to the “age of consent” because of its close connection to the subject. We posted most of these quotes in the Rape category. However, this page displays them sequentially, in the order that he wrote them.

I added context to a few quotes via footnotes. If I had time, I could have added much more. And since I’m at it, please note what Doug Wilson said he would do if he was the devil. Then note that he acted exactly like the devil when he discovered that his 24-year-old ministerial student raped a 14-year-old girl in his cure. Another quote deserves special attention as well. Here Douglas Wilson feigns the hardline against pedophiles & rapists, as though he believes the law should fall heavy upon sexual predators. His real-life actions hardly correspond to his bluster.

Doug Wilson’s fixation on rape fantasies emerge in these quotes. Here and here he projects this “dream” on others. Additionally, on two different occasions he accuses women of “tacit” agreement & approval of rape. Of course, this this nullifies the definition of rape, because if a woman agrees to or approves of her rape — tacitly or otherwise — then it’s not rape. Doug Wilson’s moral relativism on this point probably accounts for his weak opposition to rape, to the extent he opposes it at all. This may also explain why he advocated for the early release of the Kirk’s two rapists. As he says, “Theology comes out your fingertips — and whatever comes out your fingertips is your theology.” In this we see his fingertips, his theology, and the abundance of his heart:

1997

If a woman were responsible to submit to men in general, her life would be unbearable no one can serve two masters. But a woman who is responsive to a godly man is protected from having to submit to other men, most of whom are less than godly. She consequently has a great deal more liberty than a woman who not protected in this way. Thus the so-called “independent” woman is not under any kind of protection. She is truly on her own, but with the result being that she is buffeted about by all sorts of men. But if her father were doing what he ought to do, or if she were in a marriage relationship where the husband was doing what he ought to do, she would be protected from the insults and harassment of men in general This explains why some of the most “independent” women are so insecure, and why some of the most submissive women have a real security and strength of mind. Women inescapably need godly masculine protection against ungodly masculine harassment; women who refuse protection from their fathers and husbands must seek it from the police. But women who genuinely insist on “no masculine protection” are really women who tacitly agree on the propriety of rape. Whenever someone sets himself to go against God’s design, horrible problems will always result. The Bible says that we find the way to true self-discovery through self-surrender. Those who exalt themselves are humbled, and vice versa. In the feminist movement over the last several decades, women have been looking for (and have not yet found) themselves. This is because they have been trying to find and identify their role apart from God’s design. The beauty of biblical courtship is that it never leaves women unprotected. (Her Hand In Marriage: Biblical Courtship in the Modern World, page 13)

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1999

In other words, if God will not judge the rapist on the Last Day, then all the feminist screeds in the world should not make a rapist feel bad about what he is doing. A great desire is evident in our culture to “absolutize” the evil of rape, but since the process is an arbitrary one, suspended in midair, there is no reason to take it seriously. (Fidelity: What It Means to Be a One-Woman Man, pages 81–82)

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Violent rape is a judgment of God upon a people. . . Violent rape is God’s judgment upon a culture, and individual women who are part of that culture are included in the judgment. . . . We see the same judgment at work in disintegrating cultures: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11). Here the rape is not being perpetrated by foreign soldiers, but is the result of citizens turning on one another. Every culture is a gathering of sinners, and so rape is always a possibility. But when God’s hand of judgment is heavy upon a people, women are in far greater danger of sexual assault than at other times. It is interesting to note that in these, our “enlightened” times, a woman is far more likely to be abused in this way than before all the liberation happened. (Ibid., pages 82–83)

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Rapists are hardly a good pool for selecting fine sons-in-law. (Ibid., page 84)

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The penalty for rape is death for the rapist. (Ibid., page 84)

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Our civil law includes the category of statutory rape, which is certainly a biblical concept. If someone under the age of adult responsibility is forcibly taken away (whether for sexual purposes or not), the crime is a species of kidnapping, which in Scripture deserves the death penalty. Part of the reason why a society should have wise and godly men for judges is that they must determine in such cases whether the one raped is almost of age. But when we are dealing with young children who are abused by adults (pederasty, child porn, etc.) the penalty for those guilty of the crime should be death. (Ibid., page 85)

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When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us. In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts. This is of course offensive to all egalitarians, and so our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and submission in marriage. This means that we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed. . . .

But we cannot make gravity disappear just because we dislike it, and in the same way we find that our banished authority and submission comes back to us in pathological forms. This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies. Men dream of being rapists, and women find themselves wistfully reading novels in which someone ravishes the “soon to be made willing” heroine. Those who deny they have any need for water at all will soon find themselves lusting after polluted water, but water nonetheless. (Ibid., pages 86–87)

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2001

If a man were to see his wife being attacked by rapists, all his professions of love and deep concern are meaningless unless he fights for her. Under such circumstances, a refusal to fight does not stem from a love of peace, but rather from the now-revealed contempt he has for his wife. (Mother Kirk: Essays & Forays in Practical Ecclesiology, page 74)

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2003

Check one of the sentences above. And if someone else wants to check the other one, and you challenge him, and he says, “Says who?” a decent respect for those who know how to follow an argument should require that you answer the question. Imagine there’s no heaven. Its easy if you try. It sure is — above the killing fields of Cambodia, above German concentration camps, above the abortion clinics, above the Stalinist famine in Georgia, above the Aztec pyramids covered in human blood, above the bedroom of a nine-year-old girl being molested by her mother’s boy friend — only sky. ([Vision2020] Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage, August 9, 2003)1

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2005

The recent revelations of homosexual abuse of boys by various predatory priests over the course of many years is the kind of problem that I think should be addressed (in the civil realm only) with a tall tree and a short rope. Not only am I not ashamed of thinking this (because of Leviticus, in context), I believe that those who are willing to defend such predators should be ashamed of themselves. (How We Handle Words, June 3, 2005)2

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2006

“Was that 14-year old psychologically ready to engage in consensual sex with a man ten years her senior? In my opinion, no.” And so Joan and I agree completely. (Age of Consent, June 15, 2006)3

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2007

If a policeman is gentle with the rapist, he is harsh with the rapist’s victim. If a shepherd is gentle with wolves, he is being harsh with the sheep. We must learn when and how we are to be gentle (for we are to be gentle people), and we must also learn when and how we are to be hard (and as pointed) as nails. (And Wilson, Almost Suitably Abashed, Responds, August 3, 2007)

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2009

And the Roman Polanski affair is beyond creepy. All of Hollywood — including Woody Allen, who should have thought about it some more before lending his support — has come out in support of the talented perv.

The problem in these situations is not the individual hypocrisy or the individual capacity for sin and deception. I mean, as far as that is concerned, welcome to earth. The problem is the full-throated and open support for these men from a sub-culture that had previously raised moralistic posturing and ethical preening in front of the mirror to an art form.

In short, our entertainment culture is openly and unabashedly . . . greasy. (Just Plain Greasy, October 4, 2009)

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Gore Vidal has come out with a ringing defense of Roman Polanski — he says the 13-year-old recipient of Polanski’s attentions (back in the day) was a hooker. And this makes everything better . . . how exactly? Polanski hired a 13-year-old hooker? And then drugs her? Most men who hire prostitutes just pay them — they don’t have to dope them up also. Polanski must have been quite the charmer. (No, No, Not This Kind of Creep. That Kind of Creep. October 30, 2009)4

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2010

Rape is not defined as sexual intercourse. Rape is sexual intercourse that is contrary to the revealed will of God in a particular way. (More on Government Thievery, April 12, 2010)

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One of the three uses of the law is to give guidance to the magistrate as he considers what to do (1 Tim. 1:9–11). All we are doing here is distinguishing the first century application from our own (necessary) applications — to muggers, terrorists, rapists, and so on. We won’t need the sword anymore when we don’t have crime anymore. (An Armed Deacon of God, April 17, 2010)

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But if a place can be made hallowed by “a widespread belief” then Mecca is as sacred as Ground Zero. In fact, it is more sacred than Ground Zero because a “widespread belief” about a false transcendent faith is going to necessarily displace a “widespread belief” about a false immanent faith. Despite his not existing, Allah still outranks the pushme-pullyou baals of consumerism and entertainment. If this is all we have, rape outranks masturbation. In order to answer the transcendental claims of the Koran, we need to appeal to the transcendental truth. It is not until we put Allah and the Lord Jesus Christ side by side that the one that actually doesn’t exist will then appear at a disadvantage. Until then, if we are forced to choose between an idolatry that knows what it believes and an idolatry that is never quite sure, the latter will always give way to the former. (A Different Kind of Spine, August 14, 2010)

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2011

I want the coercive power of the state to fall on thugs and rapists, and not upon the wrong kind of light bulb user. . . In short, I want coercion to fall on the wicked, and not on the righteous. (Fountain Pens and Signing Ceremonies, March 1, 2011)

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Comes now some academic bloviation to help us all through whatever remaining prejudices we might have had about the molestation of children (HT: Baylyblog & Frank Turk). At issue is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is still, even in these postmodern times, filled with hatred and outmoded forms of discriminatory malice. It appears that pedophilia and hebephilia are still listed as disorders, and boy, do we have some work to do! You know, addressing all that hatred.

For those just joining us, the days are coming when the only entry left in the DSM will be the then outlawed practice of intercourse in the missionary position by a heterosexual married couple. (Those Cowed Already Will Continue to Be, August 22, 2011)

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2012

Male authority is an erotic necessity. In order to make love, a man must be hard and the woman soft. This is not just a physiological detail, but a metaphor for their whole relationship. Feminists, having demanded soft men, have discovered that it is beyond exasperating to be locked in a rape fantasy with some Caspar Milquetoast. Ravish me! she pleads with her eyes. Let’s go down to the aquarium, he says, and look at the endangered species exhibit. If you are going to go for soft, then another woman makes better sense. Lesbianism, it turns out, has an internal logic. (Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families, pages 142–143)

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Sarah Moon writes here about complementarianism’s “ugly relationship with rape.” She poses two questions of us bad people, and they are as follows — first, how do we define rape? And secondly, what do we propose to do about it?

Okay. I would define rape as having any kind of sexual relationship with someone apart from or against her or his consent. So far, so good, probably, but she then objects to our recognition of the possibility of varying degrees of foolishness on the part of the victim, and she interprets this recognition as somehow meaning “when they say they are against rape they don’t mean all rape.”. . .

So do I believe that if some girl goes to a frat party with a hardened resolve to drink way too much, with a t-shirt on that says “No Means No,” but after three beers she takes that shirt off because all the boys wanted her to, and then the next thing she knows she wakes up in the morning having been raped . . . do I somehow believe that is not rape? No, of course it is rape. It is the rape of a dope, but it is still a rape. Should the man or men involved be punished? Of course they should, however unlikely it is that they will be in this life. But they will be dealt with at some point. God is not mocked. . . .

Second, given what I said above, I believe that violent rape by a sexual predator should be answered by a tall tree and a short rope. But I don’t believe that the statutory rape of a seventeen-year-old girl by her nineteen-year-old boyfriend should be treated the same way. Sue me. In between those two extremes of rape are various other gradations of rape, and I am afraid to disappoint Ms. Moon, but I am not in favor of any of them. Who would have thought? I would want to punish them differently, but I would want to punish them all. . . . (A Tall Tree and a Short Rope, September 26, 2012)

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2013

But the carnal heart turns naturally to making other people do things. This is why we must see the levy, or the referendum, or the law, or the conscription, or whatever it is, and follow it all the way out to the end of the process. When you don’t do what they say, men with guns show up at your house. Now this is quite proper when it is the house of a murderer, or rapist, or an IRS man from Cincinnati. But suppose it is just a regular guy trying to make a living who had a duck land in a puddle enough times for his land to be declared a wetlands? (The Crucifixion of Coercion, May 23, 2013)

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Coercion is always a big deal, and so I don’t want to make anybody do anything unless I have sound biblical warrant for it. This is why I am willing for the coercive power of the state to be applied to rapists and murderers, and not to the purveyors of raw milk, unregulated cheeses, and/or Big Gulp sodas. (Book of the Month/January 2014, December 31, 2013)

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2014


Look. If you don’t do what they say, at some point in the proceedings, men with guns are going to show up at your house. I do not have a problem with this if those men with guns are going after a pedophile, or rapist, or a murderer. Go ahead. Coerce away. If you need them, I will provide you with the verses that show that God approves of this kind of coercion. (Answering Some Ire Fire, January 7, 2014)

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When the bad guys have pushed that kind of thing sufficiently, they will then take the next step. In fact, their agenda is far enough along that they have already been taking it. What’s with that tired old category consensual? The first place that this comes under assault is with age of consent laws. Those laws presuppose the old order of Christendom, and a childhood protected from sexual predations was a cultural artifact of the Christian gospel. I thank God for it. The apostles of Progress are trying to dismantle the entire thing, and I really don’t think we should be helping them in any way. (If I Were the Devil . . ., March 4, 2014)

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At the same time, of course, we should make allowances for those situations where an abused girl was never given the opportunity to become a responsible adult. If a trusted spiritual leader starts abusing a girl when she is 14, it is not as though, after 7 years of abuse, a magic moment happens when she turns 21, making it easy for her to now walk away. In a situation like that, the word victim is appropriate. But we ought to reserve the word for situations like it, and not use it in circumstances like this one. (Vice, Victims, and Vision Forum, April 18, 2014)5

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Make no mistake — it is terrible when a child has to live within range of a sexual predator because the threshold of proof cannot be met. . . .

The fact that someone was convicted of a sex offense does not mean that all sex offenses are in the same category of offense. We do need to have the category of statutory rape, and it needs to policed with tough sanctions, but we also need to remember that it is a different kind of offense from the rape of a three-year-old. The latter is the kind of offense that you execute people for, and the former usually is not. It is important to distinguish, in terms of legal consequences, the creep show from the fornicator. But, returning to the point made earlier, even the creep show can be forgiven by Christ, and can be served communion on death row. Sorting this kind of thing out requires true spiritual maturity, and it needs to be done by men who truly fear God. It cannot be done by linking to rants on the Internet. (Sexual Justice, July 21, 2014)

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When David heard about Tamar, he was very angry but did nothing. When he heard about Amnon, he tore his robes and lay on the ground. All his servants tore their robes. The other princes tore their robes. There was great weeping over the death of the rapist. Tamar tore her robe, and she wept also, but had to do it by herself. Not only did David not see through, he did not see ahead. (David as Patsy, September 14, 2013)

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2015

Of course, I hasten to break satiric voice here because we live in a time when satire has become virtually impossible. Someone might think that I am the one urging that we go easy on rapists, when it is I who want to deal with rapists with actual biblical justice. It is feminism that is laying all the intellectual — heh, so to speak — groundwork for a robust defense of both rape and rapists. (Feminist Rape Constructs, January 21, 2015)

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The twittermob has been circulating numerous untruths, among them that Steven Sitler is a child rapist. He was actually convicted of one count of Lewd Conduct with a Minor under 16 years of age (Idaho Code 18-1508). He has also been accused of raping and/or molesting his son, which no knowledgeable person is even alleging. . . .

Important clarification: When I say above that Steven was convicted of one count, I was not meaning that this was his only offense, and neither was I seeking to minimize the egregiousness of his behavior in those other instances. That is why I argued, just below this, that the father in Texas who killed the molester he walked in on was fully justified. . . I believe there was at least one scenario where Steven could have been killed on the spot, and no injustice done. (The Only Kind of Gospel There Is, September 10, 2015, emphasis original)6

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Steven’s behavior was with young children and was simply predatory. (Doug Wilson’s ‘Reluctant Response’, October 1, 2015)

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As my letter makes plain, Jamin was guilty of sexual behavior with a girl who was below the age of consent. She was underage. Our letter acknowledged fully that Jamin was guilty of criminal behavior, and we wanted him to pay the penalty for that criminal behavior, which was a species of statutory rape. . . . But please note well: Things like her height, apparent maturity, and parental knowledge of the fact of a relationship are simply irrelevant to the morality of Jamin’s behavior. They are irrelevant to the criminality of his behavior. They are irrelevant to whether Jamin was selfishly manipulating a young girl, preying on her for his own selfish ends. They are irrelevant to whether it was statutory rape or not. But such things were not irrelevant to whether it was pedophilia. (Doug Wilson’s ‘Reluctant Response’, October 1, 2015)

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But suppose we get past that, and suppose a male equivalent of RHE objects to the language itself, saying that I demean men by calling them rapists. To use the term rapist like that is an attack on men. Wait a minute. To be a rapist is an attack on women, and an assault on masculinity. The rapist is at war with masculinity, not the person who calls the rapist a rapist. To call a rapist a rapist says nothing about men generally, one way or the other. (Further Response to Karen Swallow Prior, October 1, 2015)

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To molest a child is an appalling thing. There is no righteous way to relativize it into some kind of “not so bad” status. It is an evil simpliciter. (A Different Kind of Deplorable Word, October 12, 2015)

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The theology of a slut walk, however, by its outrageous embrace of slutty dress, behavior, and thought, absolutely and definitively rejects any level of moral responsibility for anything. Now lest I be misunderstood at this point — which I understand has happened before! — let me hasten to add that I am not seeking to minimize or excuse violent sexual behavior, or otherwise absolve rapists in any way. If somebody kidnapped and raped the most outrageous organizer of the worst slut pride event ever, I would want to see that rapist punished to the fullest extent of the law. I am not defending the rapist. I am simply pointing out that his victim was a person who had given herself to organizing events built on a theology that, when applied consistently elsewhere, fully justifies rape. I do not justify rape; she does. (A Theology of Slut Walks, November 6, 2015)

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2016

For as long as I can remember, modern Christians have been tsking about that regrettable story in the Old Testament — you know, the one where Lot offered his daughters to a street full of rapists? This is a problem passage, we say. It displays a problematic deficiency of moral sense, and is not worthy of a holy book. Says a generation of Christian parents doing the very same kind of thing. (You May Not Cut Nature, January 8, 2016)

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One consequence of rejecting the protection of good men is that you are opening yourself up to the predations of bad men. I fully acknowledge that this is not what such women think they are doing. They think they are rejecting the patriarchy, or some other icky thing, but when they have walked away from the protections of fathers and brothers, what it amounts to is a tacit (implicit, in principle, not overt) acceptance of the propriety of rape. (Courtship and Rape Culture, February 4, 2016)

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We live in a fallen world, and so coercion is sometimes necessary (and when it is, it is authorized by Scripture). I should not feel bad that our laws “coerce” potential thieves, rapists, and murderers. In effect, organized coercion like this is legitimate because it is taking a stand against free lance coercion, against anarchistic coercion. Lawful coercion is bounded and defined by the law of God. (Without the Boats and Eye Patches, May 19, 2016)

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Men fail as men when they adopt the despotic attitude of the rapist. They also fail as men when they adopt the outlook and demeanor sexless capon. (Flatter My Heart, Three-Person’d God . . ., May 22, 2016)

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I have been called “controversial.” Fine, but why? Some say it is because of alleged plagiarism, and others because I am a rapist-defender, and others because I am a paleo-Confederate, and others because they heard I deny sola fide, and yet others because they understand I am a racist who wants to bring back the slave trade. They pelt me with excrement and offal so they can accuse me of stinking. (On the Attempted Defenestration of Mablog Through the Overton Window, May 27, 2016)

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If simply being male is the equivalent of being a rapist, then I would encourage you to contemplate how you have just made rapists into ordinary, decent people. (Viewing the Game Film, November 15, 2016)

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2017

Some European men recently protested sexual assaults on women by Muslims by donning miniskirts themselves and marching in a defiant procession, showing their knobby knees to the quaking rapists. (No Goddess Can Ever Save Us, February 27, 2017)

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1 Note the date. Steven Sitler had just landed in Moscow, Idaho, to attend New St. Andrews College. Upon arrival, he immediately began molesting the children of the Kirk family who hosted him. Suddenly the rhetoric loses its flair: “above the bedroom of a nine-year-old girl being molested by her mother’s boy friend — only sky.” The intoleristas didn’t have a molester problem; the Kirk did. And given Doug Wilson’s flaccid response to Steven Sitler, his paraphrase of John Lennon’s “Imagine” is appropriate: “Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. It sure is —”
2 Douglas Wilson wrote these words at the very time when Steven Sitler’s attorney leveraged the State with Sitler’s confessions to plea bargain his innumerable crimes against children down to one count.
3 They did not “completely agree.” Doug Wilson misrepresented his true convictions. See On Doug Wilson and the Age of Consent.
4 The only difference between Roman Polanski’s rape of a 13-year-old girl and Jamin Wight’s case is how each perpetrator groomed his victim. Polanski used drugs, which is essentially chemical grooming; Wight used the typical method of isolating & controlling his victim.
5 The circumstances contemplated in this quote reflect the conditions under which 24-year-old Jamin Wight — “a trusted spiritual leader” — sexually abused his 14-year-old victim.
6 Steven Sitler is a “child rapist.” See On Rape.

2 Comments

  1. I don’t understand something. Given that there was one instance where Steven could have been killed on the spot and no injustice done, if it wasn’t rape of a child, then what other crime against that child was he guilty of that was worthy of death? And if Doug wants Biblical justice for rapists, and if for at least one of Steven’s actions death would have been justice (one would assume Biblical justice), why did Doug lobby on his behalf to get a minor conviction and/or reduced sentence? Could it be that Doug is redefining terms and applying his own narrow definition of rape instead of the commonly understood legal definition? If so, then he can be consistent in his own mind, even if he seems inconsistent to the rest of us. Or is he merely just being inconsistent. It may be some of both?

    1. @Steve Tallent — Well said. And, yes. He remains consistent with his beliefs to the extent he redefines terms midsentence, then restores them to their true meaning without notice. He’s a liar, a hypocrite, sophist, and a genuinely sincere man all at once. He says exactly what he needs to say at any given moment in order to suit his audience and it matters not to him if something he says contradicts something he said somewhere else.

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