“Theology comes out your fingertips — and whatever comes out your fingertips is your theology.” Douglas Wilson
Defiance comes out Doug Wilson’s fingertips — and defiance is Doug Wilson’s theology. It took him decades to admit, but last week’s “guess what I am going to do. . . . Go on, guess,” moment didn’t happen because a synapse misfired. These words, and the spirit that animates them, have larded the subtext Mablog since its launch:
“So if someone with a long enough face to be a dowager from Human Resources tells me that I am no longer permitted, as a cis-white-male, to make any observations or comparisons, metaphorical or otherwise, about any aspect of the female anatomy, guess what I am going to do? Guess what my next blog post is going to be about?
Go on, guess.” (Blog & Mablog, A Tetherball in a Tornado, September 18, 2017)
History of Defiance
Doug Wilson has begrudged authority since he began teaching. Consider just this one example from 18 years ago, which reaches back another 18 years to the founding of Logos School:
“My three children went through twelfth grade without anyone from any government agency knowing where they were attending school. That is the kind situation every parent who loves educational freedom should long for. It was a great blessing indeed.” (The Paideia of God [Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1999], 34.)
He does not say why he thought it so important to conceal this information from “any government agency” or why he reckoned this “educational freedom.” But it rings defiant, in a guerrilla sense. And we’ve already seen that when he wrote The Paideia of God he was using the Kirk’s 501(c)(3) tax status to dodge taxes (here & here). This too is defiance because like his “educational freedom,” he concealed it from the government. However, unlike his “educational freedom,” he violated state & federal law.1 This makes the “guess what I am going to do. . . . Go on, guess,” statement so refreshing. He finally stated the obvious.
MoscowID.net has considered numerous examples of Douglas Wilson acting contrary to what he teaches. He exempts himself from living by his written standard, which is consistent with his theology of defiance: He defies himself. But we have not contemplated how his theology contaminates those he teaches or the problems this creates.
For example, what happens when kirkers who attend Logos School begin ridiculing female students as a “small-breasted biddies”? Why can’t they appeal to their pastor’s teaching as justification for the verbal abuse? Or what if a gang of NSA students mock a group of young ladies as “lumberjack dykes” just for the fun of it? According to Douglas Wilson, founder of Logos School and New Saint Andrews College, this is perfectly acceptable language — as long as someone prohibits it. If you follow the logic, the more school authorities forbid verbal abuse of young ladies, the more young kirkers should hurl insults. Sure, it’s twisted — but that’s his point. Douglas Wilson declared that if someone tells him not to do something, then he’s going to do it. Why can’t they?
Enlarge the scope of Doug Wilson’s influence for a hypothetical moment. What would happen if all Christians treated each other the way the Presiding Minister of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches treats others? All defiance all the time; indiscriminate abuse of anyone in season and out; rare application of the Golden Rule. Biting and devouring works in Moscow. Nowhere else (Gal. 5:15).
Now zoom the scope of Doug Wilson’s influence to real-life examples. Consider how his theology of defiance affects serial pedophile Steven Sitler and his relatives. Two years ago the Idaho Bureau of Probation & Parole stripped Mr. Sitler’s father, mother, and wife of their chaperone status because they violated their agreement with the State: They failed to report disclosures that Mr. Sitler made to them about pedophiliac thoughts he entertained. This is an example Doug Wilson’s followers acting in defiance. They did not regard the State’s authority. In response, the Court reinstated these people as chaperones on the condition that they submit to polygraph tests. Mother & grandmother have to take lie-detector tests because the State does not trust them.2
Two years ago Mr. Sitler’s probation officer wrote this to Judge Stegner:
In this polygraph Mr. Sitler discloses that he told his wife about some of these instances. Since she did not inform probation as required by a chaperone, she is no longer an approved chaperone by the Idaho Department of correction. Mr. Sitler has not been disclosing information to his sex offender treatment providers, but has been to Dr. Wilson, who is not a specialized sexual offender treatment provider approved by the State of Idaho Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). Mr. Sitler continues to do things his way, and continues to make disclosures and still fails the polygraphs, to which leaves one to think of how much he is not disclosing. (Special Progress Report, August 24, 2015)
Steven Sitler circumvented the Court by disclosing information to a doctor who did not have to report: “Mr. Sitler continues to do things his way.” This is an example of a Doug Wilson follower acting in defiance.
On August 17, 2017, Steven Sitler petitioned the Court for permission to live full time in the same residence as his wife & child. At the hearing, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson cited a note written by Mr. Sitler’s probation officer:
“The defendant became defensive when I tried to explain to him the protective factors regarding the future situations that may arise with his son and potentially other children. The defendant states, it is not our job to protect his child; it is his and his son will know who he is. He stated his children will not go to public schools, as they will be homeschooled and never at risk from community influence.” (Hearing to Reinstate Chaperones, August 17, 2016, @36:33)3
Note the tone: Steven Sitler is defiant. Note the fixated pedophile’s refusal to acknowledge that his son needs protection from him. Note his defiance of the State’s authority & responsibility to protect his child. Note how the child molester speaks of the little boy (less than 1 ½-years old at the time) as his personal possession. Notice that he declared his “educational freedom” from public schools. Steven Sitler plays the role of a Kirk patriarch who answers to no one: The child belongs to him, end of subject.4 This is the fruit of Doug Wilson’s ministry. His theology came out his fingertips and contaminated everyone in the Sitler loop.
These facts raise the question: What will happen when Mr. Sitler completely adopts his pastor’s theology of defiance? What will happen when Steven Sitler follows his pastor’s example by saying,
“So if someone . . . from [Probation & Parole] tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [molest my child], guess what I am going to do? . . . Go on, guess.”
I for one have already guessed.
1 Doug Wilson’s defiance of authority becomes more apparent when you factor in his admission that he would have taken up arms with the South to overthrow the Union in the American Civil War. He is a Rebel in the fullest sense of the word.
2 I do not believe that Dave Sitler (the father) has been reinstated.
3 For new readers, Bill Thompson’s argument starts at 32:49 and is worth hearing. He is the only living authority who actually cares for the Sitler child, which is a fact the CREC Presiding Ministers ignored. Unlike the boy’s pastor and the Presiding Ministers of the CREC, Bill Thompson believes Steven Sitler should not be permitted to live with his child.
4 Please note one other fact as well: The CREC Presiding Ministers’ Report on the Sitler and Wight Sex Abuse Cases ignores Probation & Parole’s C note in the case file. Despite its lengthy appearance, Appendix A — Sitler Case Annotated Timeline is not exhaustive. The Presiding Ministers omitted several facts from the timeline that damaged their client.