Doug Wilson, The Gospel Coalition, and Sanctified Rape Culture
This is a very long post (linked below) but it is worth reading to see what some Christians still want to teach and believe about gender roles and norms, men’s rights to women’s bodies, and women and sex. Further down the post, racist beliefs are also discussed.
When Church teaching is about rape apology and white supremacy. You want to believe that it’s delusion and that we can all laugh at it and him but he has his followers and they believe every word of it. If you have time, I suggest you go to the link at the very bottom of this post and read all of it.
The following is a quote by Douglas (Doug) Wilson, a complementarian pastor, from his book Fidelity: What It Means to be a One-Woman Man:
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.
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.
The quote is part of an excerpt posted by Jared Wilson (no relation as far as I know) to The Gospel Coalition blog, with an approving note that explains the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey and “other modern celebrations of perverted sexual authority/submission.” (h/t Rachel Held Evans.)
[Read more: arewomenhuman]
It is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever read. Maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked. It’s not wildly different from from things John Piper or Doug Wilson’s wife Nancy have said about submission and authority in sex.
But Wilson goes much farther than any rape apologist Christian writer I’ve ever read, and that’s a lot of people. His notion of godly sex is little more than sanctified rape. In the name of Jesus.
He also says (as Jared Wilson states in a comment defending this filth) that “rape is judgment upon a culture that does not cherish and protect women.” We should be OK with this, according to Jared, because Doug Wilson isn’t blaming rape survivors for being raped. He’s only blaming all women who want to be treated equally and all of our allies. That’s all.
A second point: Doug Wilson is not only a rape apologist; he’s also a slavery apologist. And contrary to Jared Wilson’s dismissal of commenters who repeatedly tried to point this out, this is absolutely relevant to Wilson’s teachings about obligatory female submission in sex.
Wilson is the co-author with Steve Wilkins, a white supremacist, of a pamphlet called Southern Slavery as it Was, which claims that Southern slavery “was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity” but a relationship between “friends and often intimates”:
Because of its dominantlycharacter, [slavery] was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence. There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world. The credit for this must go to the predominance of Christianity. The gospel enabled men who were distinct in nearly every way, to live and work together, to be friends and often intimates…
[WPA Slave] Narratives consistently portray an amazingly benign picture of Southern plantation life. Affection for former masters and mistresses is expressed in terms of unmistakable devotion. Testimony to the good treatment, kindness, and gentleness of many so-called “heartless slave holders” abounds. Many of the old slaves express a wistful desire to be back at the plantation.
Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care. In the narratives taken as a whole, there is no pervasive cry of rage and anguish..abuses came from a distinct and very small minority. [emphasis mine]
If you can stomach any more: video [on link] of Wilson on why he’s a Paleoconfederate, why the post Civil War Reconstruction Amendments – you know, the ones that abolished slavery (in theory) and established black citizenship and voting rights (in theory) – “inverted the meaning of the Constitution,” and why the Civil War wasn’t God’s way of ending slavery and is to blame for racial animosity today.
What does this have to do with rape apologism? Firstly, both Wilson’s rape and slavery apologism hinge on that little word ”patriarchal.” He’s trying to sell a vision in which white male patriarchy rules benevolently over the rest of us, for our own good and protection.
Wilson means for us to accept a theology that revolves around authoritarian hierarchy, with white, straight, cis, Western men at the top, and everyone else knowing our proper place. We’re meant to accept that movements for racial and gender equality are actually the causes of racist and misogynist abuse and violence, and that the real root of such violence – white male patriarchy – is actually its remedy.
This isn’t just about Doug Wilson. It’s about an entire culture of white Christians who promote his teaching of sanctified rape and domineering patriarchy as godly theology. It’s about a culture that conveniently ignores his vile racism when it suits them, thinking they are remaining “neutral.” In fact they implicitly endorse his racism by promoting him as “sound and compelling” while refusing to acknowledge, much less condemn his defense of slavery. This is about an entire culture that majors in perpetuating rape culture and racism by looking the other way.
[Read more: arewomenhuman]
- Doug Wilson on The Gospel Coalition: How Christian Patriarchy Turns Sex into Rape and Pregnancy into Slavery (barefootchristianfaith.wordpress.com)
- The ‘Gospel’ Coalition? Maybe They Should Call Themselves the ‘Haunt of the Reprobate Rapist’ (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- If This is What Christian Sex Is Like, No Thank You (patheos.com)
- Rape: A Punishment for Egalitarians? (sarahoverthemoon.com)