"You can lead someone with poor reading comprehension skills to context, but you can't make them think. " (Tweet-7/14-presumably aimed at some of our readers who dared to disagree with him.) Jared C Wilson
A confession about my link to the infamous Jared Wilson quote.
Last week, old Dee was in a bit of a hurry and wanted to make a point that The Gospel Coalition (TGC) seems to be pushing Doug Wilson. In fact there had been a number of posts that featured him or quoted him in the prior weeks. To make sure my readers knew I wasn’t blowing smoke, I searched TGC blogs, using their search engine, and linked to the most recent one on the rather extensive list. This is soooo embarrassing. I did not read the post.
However, after publication, a reader made a comment about the disturbing nature of Wilson’s comment and so I read it. I spit my ever-present Diet Coke all over my keyboard! Here is what I want to say. Obviously, these guys believe in the sovereignty of God. This was NOT preplanned on my part but I am convinced that our Father wanted this to be disclosed.
And discussed it has been. Wade Burleson, unbeknownst to us, wrote a post deploring the ill-advised language of Doug Wilson link. Rachel Held Evans commented over at the Jared’s post on her own dismay on the language used and has now written a post at her blog. Link. There is even a blog at Patheos demanding that Jared Wilson's be taken down. Link.
TWW inadvertently started a firestorm. Jared seems to blame TWW but I think he should blame the One who plans it all. I am surprised by the condescending nature of both Jared’s and Doug’s comments to those who chose to leave their thoughts at the blog. After all it is billed as a blog, not a sermon. Missional is NOT well demonstrated by these supposedly MISSIONAL Calvinistas. However, they have well-demonstrated the reason TWW came up with the term “Calvinista.” Deb will discuss their not so surprising responses tomorrow.
Doug Wilson encourages the Steve Sitler, Katie Travis Marriage
Today, unfortunately, I have a story that might give those caught up in this discussion some further “perspective” on Doug Wilson and his church’s views on sex and marriage. This will not be pretty so pull on your galoshes.
Who Is Doug Wilson?
Doug Wilson appears to have a penchant for role playing.” He calls his church a “kirk” which is correct but it is usually seen in Scotland, not in Moscow, Idaho. In fact, he seems to love all things Scottish and also seem to enjoy using the word “confederation.” Link
“Wilson earned a B.A. in classical studies and a B.A. and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Idaho. In addition to his role as pastor of Christ Church, he is a founder and Senior Fellow in Theology at New Saint Andrews College, founder and editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine, and founder of Greyfriars Hall, a three-year ministerial training program. He also serves on the governing boards of New Saint Andrews, Logos School (a Christian private school), and the Association of Classical and Christian Schools. Wilson was instrumental in forming the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches.”
So what’s the deal with the "kirk" member pedophile, Steve Sitler?
Please understand that this pedophile was not a family member. He confessed to multiple moelstations of little children But, this is not going to be another article on pedophilia, per se. It is about a breath-taking misunderstanding of marriage as you will see.
“Sitler attended New St. Andrews College for eighteen months, during which time he boarded with a Christ Church family. New St. Andrews students are encouraged to board in local Christian homes.” Link
Sitler molested multiple young children and found a support in Doug Wilson
From the Southern Poverty Law Center link we learn some of the story from an article titled Idaho Pastor a Hard-Liner, With an Exception or Two.
“This summer, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News published a story on "rumors" that Wilson, who controls an extreme-right religious empire in Moscow, and his New Saint Andrews College had tried to "cover up" serial sexual molestations by a college student — molestations of very young boys and girls carried out over several years. Although the newspaper quoted none of them, many people were angry that Wilson had failed to notify families in his Christ Church for eight months after Steven Sitler confessed to him in March 2005. One church family with young children had boarded Sitler, and others welcomed him as a visitor in their homes (Sitler molested one 2-year-old girl in a similar visiting situation in Colville, Wash.). Critics complained that Wilson's lack of action had eliminated the possibility of identifying other victims in the community.
Wilson and college officials told the newspaper that they had immediately kicked Sitler out of school and notified police of his crimes, but decided not to inform members of the public because of concerns for victims' privacy.
Five months after Sitler's confession, another man who had been boarded by a Christ Church family while he studied to become a minister there was arrested and ultimately pleaded guilty to lewd conduct with an underage girl. When details of the matter came up on a local blog run by a disgruntled Wilson follower, part of the pastor's response was to liken the blogger to "a sucking chest wound."
What may have been most remarkable about the entire affair was Wilson's role in the case of Sitler, who he ministered to after Sitler was caught. Wilson wrote the sentencing judge in Sitler's case, describing him as "most responsive" and "completely honest" and asking that criminal penalties be "measured and limited."
Wilson asked for “measured and limited civil penalties” for this pedophile.
Free Jinger, which links to sources on their blog reports here
“On August 19th, 2005, three or four months before notifying his parishioners of Sitler's crimes, Doug Wilson wrote a letter on Christ Church letterhead to Judge John Stegner. In that letter, Wilson requested leniency for Steven Sitler, writing:
"I would urge that the civil penalties applied would be measured and limited. I have a good hope that Steven has genuinely repented, and that he will continue to deal with this to become a productive and contributing member of society."
Wilson says he “covers up sin for a living.”
(Continuing in Free Jinger) “Doug Wilson has written that he believes Sitler was delusional when he was molesting children. Wilson has no training in psychology or counseling, not even ministerial training. Wilson is not ordained. In response to criticism that he did not warn his congregation or the greater Moscow community in an adequate or timely fashion, Wilson writes: "I am a pastor. I cover up sins for a living."
Sitler had a short stay in jail from what appears to be a plea deal and will have parole supervision for the rest of his life.
In another article titled More on the Steven James Sitler Child Molestation Case link
“He will remain subject to the jurisdiction of the Idaho Correctional System for the rest of his natural life, regardless of whether he is incarcerated or under community probation or parole supervision.“
“Wilson wrote, "I have good hope that Steven has genuinely repented, and that he will continue to deal with this to become a productive and contributing member of society.”
Wilson responds to criticism of his role in this matter. Link
He appears to believe that he did nothing wrong. However, I will give him props for one action, and only one action. He did make sure the police were notified.
So isn't this another typical church pedophile case?
Nope. Now, for the most bizarre part of this story. (Something is really wrong when pedophilia isn't the most bizarre aspect of a story). After short stint in jail due to a plea deal, Sitler is now out. One would imagine that Christ “Kirk” would be somewhat suspect of a guy who apparently admitted to molesting multiple small children. Old Dee would and i bet our readers would as well.
The “Kirk” gets Sitler married!
Christ “Kirk” with Doug Wilson presiding over the event, married off Sitler to a 23 year old woman by the name of Katie Travis! You may read the whole sordid tale here at Prevailing Winds.
“The background is rather simple. This young woman moved into the home of an elder at the “kirk” because she moved to teach to one of the affiliated schools. She asked the Iversons to help her find a mate because she wanted to get married. They found one-Steve Sitler who asked her parents for permission to date her. They gave their blessings.”
Read this link to Steve’s gushing excitement about this marriage which he posted on the Internet.
“We met on August 18th, 2010 at the insistence of Mr. and Mrs. Iverson. One week later we were writing emails like it was going out of style. On Katie’s first visit back to Moscow in October, we had our first date, after which I asked her father if I could start courting her. I got the pleasure of spending Christmas break with Katie’s awesome family and decided on a whim to ask her to “merry” (misspelling intentional, more on that later) me on our second date. Of course it wasn’t really a whim, I had been meticulously planning it for months. She was shocked… and speechless, but finally she said yes, and the rest, as they say, is history. I love you., Katie”
One problem: They needed to get a judge to OK this marriage due to the possibility of children and concerns raised by officials.
Thanks to Rose Huskey, link who has relentlessly pursued this story, we learn that the "happy" couple needed to get permission from the courts to get married. Warning: whenever you need a judge's OK to get married, some questions need to be asked.
“This morning I sat in a nearly empty courtroom and listened to arguments regarding the June 11th marriage of Steven Sitler and Katie Travis. The Department of Corrections unambiguously stated that they did not support this marriage. In late March Mr. Sitler told his probation officer that ina year or so (predicated, apparently, on Miss Travis' graduation from a college program) they want to start a family. Following that conversation,and because of the potential risk to any children Mr. Sitler might father, the DOC (Department of Corrections) requested further psychological evaluation of Mr. Sitler. The results of his AASI = Abel Assessment for Sexual Interest
“Mr. Wallenwaber, representing Steven Sitler, challenged the appropriateness of the test in Mr. Sitler's case, as well as the academic credentials of the evaluator. Mr.Wallenwaber also argued that the issue in front of the court today was marriage, not potential children, which seemed to me to be an accurate statement.”
“The discussion amongst Latah County Prosecutor , Bill Thompson; JudgeStegner; and Mr. Wallenwaber, focused, in part, on the legal consequence if/when Steven Sitler and Katie Travis have children. It may be the case that Mr. Sitler will not be allowed to share a home with his wife and child or children. This remedy may be utilized in Idaho when the father is a convicted pedophile. Judge Stegner ruled that the wedding could go forward and issues regarding the protection of children will be addressed if and children are a factor in the marriage.”
The Wedding Video Clearly Showing Doug Wilson's Participation
The following is the wedding video made of Katie and Steve’s wedding. It made me feel sick to my stomach especially when the parents get up to extol Katie and Steve’s relationship.
Oh yeah, in the video, Doug Wilson praises Sitler for his “logical and analytic skills that were given to him by God.” Is there any sanity at all in this group of people? May God have mercy on Katie as she faces the trials that are sure to come.
- What parent would encourage and participate in such a marriage? (I would have popped him one, kidnapped my daughter and fled to the Tortolas).
- What sort of pastor and church leader would fix up a naive young woman with an admitted, convicted, multiple victim pedophile?
- What will happen to the children who will surely be born into this mess? I hope the courts are watching very, very carefully.
- How will their children feel as they age and learn that their mother deliberately exposed them to danger?
- How will they feel if they are removed from the home because of their potentially dangerous father?
- Is Katie receiving therapy?
- How could Doug Wilson ever be held up as any sort of “expert” on Christian marriage after this situation?
- What does this say about Wilson’s views on women?
- What does this say about Wilson’s views on pedophilia?
- Does Doug Wilson believe that Katie should submit to a serial pedophile because hs is a male?
- Does Sitler have authority over Katie?
- Will this post help Jared Wilson get it?
- What in the world does Wilson mean that he is used to “covering sins?”
- Does anyone at The Gospel Coalition think this situation is a “Gospel marriage?”
- Does anyone, except for people entrenched in the “Kirk,” think this marriage is advisable?
I want to thank several readers who, through their persistence, got us to look at this situation. For their protection, I will not give their names.
Shame on Doug Wilson, et al!
A few weeks ago, we did a story on nother couple, Ian and Larissa link who we believed were misused by those who have an agenda on male authority. I believe that this is a similar situation. Doug Wilson is using the life of a young woman to shore up his cheap view of grace. A pedophile supposedly "repents" and is now a member of Wilson's "Kirk". Since Wilson "knows" Sitler is OK, it is business as usual.
Talk about delusion. I believe that this is a deplorable situation. Real repentance would be shown if Sitler gave up all possibilty of being near children.The children should mean more to him than his own happiness. This is not the case with his marriage unless he has been castrated and I have heard nothing about such a procedure.
Last week, we featured a video by John Piper in which he says "Doug Wilson really gets the Gospel." This is a link to that post. I think it is high time that Piper, Wilson and their like minded followers in The Gospel Coalition stop playing with the lives of vulnerable followers in order to play doctrinal gender games. Shame on all of you.
Lydia's Corner: Zechariah 12:1-13:9 Revelation 19:1-21 Psalm 147:1-20 Proverbs 31:1-7