By Terri Harber, Daily News staff writer
Christ Church Senior Minister Douglas Wilson authors a blog called “Blog & Mablog: Theology That Bites Back,” so it’s expected his writings are meant to cause discussion and even controversy.
He is accustomed to his opponents expressing their anger or objections to his entries, particularly his observation that supporting same-sex marriage is worse than supporting slavery.
In a July 3 post featuring a series of questions and answers, Wilson asked, “Do you think supporting same-sex marriage is a more serious problem than supporting slavery?”
His response: “Far more serious.”
“Sodomy is a particularly virulent form of slavery to sin, and slavery to sin is the foundation stone for every other form of objectionable slavery,” he wrote.
The next day he posted an explanation.
“This was taken by some as a weird defense of slavery as a positive good, like food, air or sunshine,” he wrote. But “we know that sodomy is worse than slavery by how God responds to it.”
He also cites a Biblical passage, Jude 1:6–8: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.”
His message didn’t sit well with members of the Humanists of the Palouse.
“We are appalled at the assertion that systematic ownership of human beings would be considered more moral than legalizing marriage between two consenting adults,” Board member Steven Simmons wrote in a press release from the organization.
In a face-to-face interview with the Daily News this week, Wilson explained there is more than one form of slavery and that he hasn’t been referring to “chattel slavery,” which he further characterized as “race-based” and “wicked.” The type of slavery he has in mind when stating this argument against same-sex marriage and what accepting it could mean to society is more like the rampant hedonism of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” he said.
“Where you’ve got orgies, feelies and the population is enslaved to all these vices,” he said.
Wilson then cited Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
He and a large number of other Christian conservatives seem to be overly preoccupied with the subject of sodomy but Wilson said there was a reason for this repeated discussion of the sexual act.
“This is the point of conflict,” he said. “Why was the Duke of Ellington interested in Waterloo? It was where Napoleon was.”
Wilson, 62, said sodomy wasn’t an issue he thought much about until he reached his 40s and discussion became widespread about “same-sex mirage,” his description of same-sex marriage.
“They have an agenda,” he said of those who support it. “If they gave up, you’d hear a remarkable silence. It takes two to fight.”
He predicts the legal battle between same-sex marriage advocates and opponents will affect the operations of churches, religious schools and church or religious-based philanthropic organizations that are nonprofit 501(C) (3)s.
“How long before tax exemption for churches, philanthropic organizations will be taken away?” Wilson asked.
If this were to occur, he said, it would put a damper on a significant amount of the philanthropic work and cause many Americans to lose out on needed services.
Being asked to feed the poor versus adhering to one’s beliefs and conscience “is not right,” he said.
Wilson said his church wants to exert more influence on the community at large, though not in the ways many people around Moscow may think. The phrase “take over,” he said, “doesn’t mean taking up artillery on Paradise Ridge. It’s persuasion to live more peaceable lives.”
He also said he didn’t persuade church members to run for the Moscow Food Co-op board. The seven-member board now has three members who affiliate with Christ Church.
“There are people on the board now who are members of our church,” he said. “I can assure you there is no agenda, no plan, nothing like that.”
He said community members should reflect on why they are opposed to these new board members.
“I think people are hyperventilating. Here’s a question I would pose: Do you believe in democracy or don’t you?” he said.
Many church members shop at the Co-op, Wilson said, so if progressives can choose who they want to represent them on that board, “why can’t they vote for the members they want?”
Terri Harber can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.