About The Site
What is this?
A collection of things that Doug Wilson has stated he believes, focused on the most controversial statements he’s made.
Doug’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic caught me off guard. In hindsight, it shouldn’t have. If somoeone is an AIDS-denier in (which, sincerely, I didn’t know was a thing), how much easier for them to be a COVID-19 denier?
Honestly, I hadn’t really paid attention to “what Doug Wilson Believes”, beyond understanding that he had founded a conservative, evangelical church that believed in predestination.
So, I started digging through Doug’s writings to find out what he believed. I figured I could save others the trouble if I turned some of that digging into a website.
If you live in Moscow, it can be easy to assume that Doug Wilson is the leader of a community of happy, well-dressed families with well-behaved children, who make good neighbors, build nice buildings, run a few nice restaurants and have an affinity for pipe smoking.
These things are of course all true.
But that community is also led by a man with well-documented views that many of us would find outlandish. Views that could be accurately categorized as white nationalist, misogynistic, homophobic and hate-filled.
This website is a collection of Doug Wilson’s most controversial beliefs, with their original sources referenced, so you can decide if you feel that my summaries of what Doug believes are accurate.
I hope they might cause you to rethink if Doug is the right person to be shepherding your spiritual growth, or if you should send your children to be educated in one of his institutions of learning.
How do you decide what to include?
A few criteria.
- Things that Doug has said publicly, or published. No hearsay or rumor. (Though, perhaps a touch of heresy).
- Things that would widely be seen to be controversial.
- Things that can be cited to their original source.
How can I contact you?
Tangentially Related Issues
What about the Sitler Stuff/Coverups/Abuse/Doug’s Grandkids Putting Stickers Everywhere?
Those are issues of varying importance, but largely outside the scope of this site with a few exceptions for direct statements Doug has made.
If you want to dive into those issues, there are other places to go.
- The Truth About Moscow – The OG Anti-Doug Local Resource
- Examining Doug Wilson – On Facebook
- The Aquila Report – Some Criticism of Doug from a Reformed perspective.
What institutions are associated with Doug?
Good question. This list is certainly non-exhaustive.
Of which Doug is founder, and Pastor.
Trinity Reformed Church
A church plant by Christ Church, and their current “sister church”. Doug has no official position, but certainly has a strong influence on what happens at Trinity.
A K-12 elementary school founded by Doug. Ostensibly an inter-denominational Christian school with an independent board, practically, on a board of 10 men (no women allowed), 2 are Doug and his son Nate, and a further 6 are either members of Doug’s church, graduates of Logos and New Saint Andrew’s or both.
New Saint Andrew’s College
A college founded by Doug, who is currently on the board of trustees.
Doug’s Seminary (no degrees given), administered under Christ Church, where he is an instructor.
Publisher of Doug & his family’s books etc.
Don’t you just hate Christians?
No, I do hate rebranding Christ’s message of inclusion, sacrifice and love as one of exclusion, hate, lies, and more power for the Doug Wilsons of the world at the expense of the weak.
Doug and other members of his congregation often work to disguise their political statements (or crimes) as religious activities, so that they can falsely claim religious persecution.
Often, they are confusing “religious persecution” with “accountability for their actions.”
If I smack you with a stick and then get cited by the police for attacking you, I’m not being persecuted for my religious beliefs, no matter how loudly I yell “the bible told me to do it!”
Ha! That’s a trick question! You just admitted to hating when Christ calls us to love!
I’m working on it.
What about the members of Doug’s congregation in town? Don’t you hate them?
Very sincerely; not at all.
The ones I know personally are kind, sincere people, looking to raise good families in the way they think is best.
I would most certainly argue that it’s long past time they found a spiritual leader more worthy of their fellowship, but that doesn’t make them bad people.
Should I boycott businesses owned by members of Doug’s church?
That’s up to you.
There are certainly those who feel you should.
In general, I don’t tend to check where someone goes to church before I eat at their restaurant, or shop at their store.
On the other hand, I’m absolutely comfortable voting with my dollars when it comes to people who chose to willfully work to spread disease during a pandemic.
So, I’m very happy to boycott businesses owned by people who showed up at Moscow’s anti-mask rallies during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of whether they did that because they’re devotees of Doug Wilson, or Alex Jones.
You do you.
Isn’t Doug just preaching what’s in the bible?
No. Doug is twisting the message of scripture to support his political and social worldview.
As Rachel Held Evans, one of Doug’s most hated nemesis, wrote:
If you are looking for verses with which to support slavery, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to abolish slavery, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to oppress women, you will find them. If you are looking for for verses with which to liberate or honor women, you will find them. If you are looking for reasons to wage war, you will find them. If you are looking for reasons to promote peace, you will find them. If you are looking for an out-dated, irrelevant ancient text, you will find it. If you are looking for truth, believe me, you will find it. This is why there are times when the most instructive question to bring to the text is not “what does it say?”, but “what am I looking for?” I suspect Jesus knew this when he said, “ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.” If you want to do violence in this world, you will always find the weapons. If you want to heal, you will always find the balm.
Doug goes into scripture looking for support for his hateful worldview, and finds it. Less hateful theologians find much better guidance for their lives.
Say Something Nice About Doug!
No. I’ll say several things:
- His children have largely followed in his dogma and footsteps, which speaks to his power as a leader and father.
- He stands by the positions he takes, never (to my knowledge) hiding from his past.
- He’s built a church that balances the hate of its dogma with kindness in certain moments.
Some of that wasn’t that nice.
I feel far less nice about Doug after he urged political protest via the act of spreading disease in our community during a pandemic.
When Doug comes out with hate for homosexuals, he is saying terrible things, but he can at least try to claim scriptural support for his positions, as backward as they are. When Doug comes out with crazy stuff about wearing a mask somehow abridging his right to worship God, he’s just making shit up to be contrarian.
Doug Says His Views Are Bible-Based. Are There Different Interpretations?
Oh God yes.
Here are a few suggestions.
A biblical scholar and theologian (with a PhD from Harvard and an M.Div from Westminster Theological Seminary) who challenges the traditional evangelical view of scriptural interpretation and inerrancy, broadly along the lines that you have to confront the bible as it actually is, instead of as you’d like it to be. Aka, a quite complex book demanding quite a bit of context for a full understanding. Some of his most relevant books include How the Bible Actually Works: In Which I Explain How An Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers—and Why That’s Great News , The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs and The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It.
Rachel Held Evans
The sadly departed Rachel Held Evans was a bestselling author who came out of an evangelical tradition, and evolved to a more comprehensive and progressive understanding of scripture.
Her 2018 book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again is a fantastic introduction to her work. Or, if you’re not ready to dive-in to a book, check out her appearances on The Liturgists podcast, where she discussed Christianity, Abortion, Church Unity and address the fundamental question of “Prophet or Ass?“
Here’s a good list that should point you in the right direction.