Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#418: Douglas Wilson

After the – for chroniclers of loons – untimely demise of David Wilkerson in April 2011, we’ll move to the only slightly less unhinged fundie Douglas James Wilson. Wilson is a conservative Reformed and evangelical theologian, Rushdoony disciple, Christian reconstructionist, pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, faculty member at New Saint Andrews College, and pretty prolific author and speaker. He is perhaps most famous for the documentary “Collision” documenting his debate with Christopher Hitchens from Wilson’s point of view.

Wilson has written everything from theological treatises to children’s books to poetry to magazine articles. He has been an ardent advocate for classical Christian education, especially in “Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning”, where he argues that the American public schools are failing to educate their students, proposing instead a Christian approach to education based on the Trivium. He knows nothing about education, of course, but the point is not to achieve quality education but to prevent science-oriented teachers from using truth to brainwash children with reality.

Wilson's most controversial work is probably his “Southern Slavery, As It Was”, which says pretty much exactly what you’d fear that it says (it was written together with League of the South co-founder Steve Wilkins). Real historians were not impressed, nor amused. George Grant supported his ideas, which is not a mark of quality or veracity. (There were even some instances of inaccurate and misleading citations in the tract; who would have suspected?) Chuck Colson was apparently a supporter, however. The gist of the pamphlet was that southern slavery was not only sanctioned by the Bible but, thanks to the patriarchal kindness of their wise evangelical masters, a positive, happy, and pleasant experience for the majority of southern blacks. Wilson himself dismissed criticism as “abolitionist propaganda”.

He also, unfortunately, have views on family issues, pointing out that “The Bible indicates the punishment for homosexuality is death. The Bible also indicates the punishment for homosexuality is exile. So death is not the minimal punishment for a homosexual. There are other alternatives.”

He is otherwise a staunch theocrat whose ideal society is a mixture of Afghanistan and the antebellum confederacy, and an ardent critic of atheism for its moral failings a topic on which his expertise shines through.

Diagnosis: A pretty nasty piece of work. Impact is unknown, however, but he seems to be dangerously powerful.


  1. Awww, but so many Christians are anti-slavery and would never argue that homosexuals should be victims of capital punishment. :(

  2. Know the truth about classical Christian education. Here are excerpts from my latest article: “The Christian School: Train Up a Child” @ http://www.libertyadvocate.com/The_%20Christian_%20School.htm

    In 1991, Douglas Wilson wrote Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning which recounts Dorothy Sayers’ essay and argues for a return to classical education in Christianity.

    First, who is Douglas Wilson? And why does he promote a classical curriculum?

    Wilson calls himself a “Paleo-Confederate.” Paleo-Confederates are tied to Neo-Confederates. Neo-Confederates are a white supremacist domestic terrorist group that believe the Civil War is not over. They are building a real army for the Confederacy to rise again. They teach that slavery is not wrong, and slaves in the South were treated like family. Neo-Confederates use covert activities such as living history and Civil War reenactments to recruit adults and children for the Confederate cause. Incidentally, Neo-Confederates claim to be Christians.

    Wilson trifles over whether he is a Neo-Confederate or Paleo-Confederate. But they are part of the Confederacy: “Neo-” means new, therefore, New Confederate; “paleo-” means ancient, therefore, Ancient Confederate. “Paleo-Confederate” is merely pretentious, ancient (classical) Confederate snobbery: Classical Confederate. As shown in “Religious Rebels,” Neo-Confederates use deceitful and covert tactics such as living history to advance their wicked agenda. They are building a real army. Confederates infiltrate all areas of society: political, social, religious, and educational. And Paleo-Confederates infiltrate education using a deceitful, covert tactic. They use classical Christian education to recruit children for the Confederate cause – the Confederacy will rise again.

    Parents, immediately take your children out of a classical Christian school: “What communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Separate your children from a school that idolizes pagan Greeks and Romans: “Be ye separate.”

    And teachers in a classical Christian school…quickly flee! Wash your unclean hands of promoting idolatry of the pagan ancient Greeks and Romans.

    In sum, Douglas Wilson and other Paleo-Confederates use a Confederate curriculum disguised as classical Christian education to glorify war and indoctrinate children that slavery is reasonable. Classical Christian education is a covert tactic to train children for the Confederate cause – the Confederacy will rise again.

    Our children do not belong to us; they are God’s children to be trained for Him. And we must train them up in righteousness and holiness. Christian parents may send their children to a Christian school to help them with child training, but a godly school teaches more than academics. More important, the godly school teaches God’s children holy thinking and holy living.

    Indeed, a Christian school that does not teach holy thinking and holy living is a false Christian school. Instruction in a Christian school must be dominated by a holy purpose. And that holy purpose is holiness.


    The true Christian school is a Spirit-led school.

    A school without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a dead school - a false Christian school.

    The Bible declares that true Christians are a holy people led by the Spirit of God:

    For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
    they are the sons of God.
    Romans 8:14

    The true Christian school is a holy people led by the Spirit of God.

    The true Christian school is a holy school.

    From “The Christian School: Train Up a Child” @ http://www.libertyadvocate.com/The_%20Christian_%20School.htm

    Grace and peace,

    Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.
    Liberty Advocate

  3. Also worth noting: Wilson is the leader of a church in Moscow, Idaho, and a college called New St. Andrews that dominates the small town it is in. He also keeps getting into disputes with local officials about the college.
    He also has strict complementarian views (i.e. rigid gender roles with women submitting to men in just about everything) and has a view of sex that clash with modern ideas of consent and mutual pleasure.
    The biggest black mark on Wilson's record, though, even worse than the neo-Confederate pamphlet and the plagiarism, is his long record of supporting and covering for a child molester named Steven Sitler who attended his college and his church. Links: http://sitler.moscowid.net/