In my last post, I discussed the fact that Doug Wilson was claiming that his refusal to talk about the Jamin Wight and Steven Silter scandals was because he was bound by confidentiality and also by his need to “protect” “the sheep” from “wolves” who had come forward to “tell the story.” If you need a reference to what Wilson actually wrote, here’s a screencap (click to enlarge).
But here’s the thing: by refusing to answer any questions about these cases and by refusing to apologize for his own actions, Wilson isn’t protecting “the sheep,” he’s protecting himself. And I’ll prove it. Wilson’s huge on proof and not accusing anyone without basis (well, at least if it’s him we’re talking about). So here’s the proof on a silver platter.
Just over ten years ago, Wilson wrote a letter to Gary, the father of Jamin Wight’s abuse victim. Keep in mind: Gary had just found out that one of the Greyfriars seminary students, who had been boarding with them as was very common within the Christ Church community, had sexually abused Gary’s daughter. Wilson tells Gary in this letter that “The elders were very distressed over the way Jamin took sinful advantage of your daughter, but we also have to say that we were just as distressed at your extremely poor judgment as a father and protector.” That’s right. In Wilson’s view, having a daughter who was sexually abused by a seminary student is as much of a problem as doing the actual abusing. Imagine, if you will, being the parent in this situation and having this be the response from your pastor. And now, if you go to Christ Church or any of the other churches backing Wilson in this, recognize that you very well could be if history ever repeats itself. It could be you, unjustly blaming yourself at the behest of your spiritual leaders for not, somehow, preventing your little girl from being sexually abused.
But it doesn’t stop there. Wilson has a lot to say in this letter about the legal process around Jamin’s sentencing. Most of it is convoluted and unclear, referring to “protecting” Gary’s daughter “in the way that you need to,” stating that if Gary doesn’t, he’ll (probably) be refused communion. What exactly is the way Gary needs to protect his daughter? That’s not spelled out, although it is likely that Wilson is referring to “protecting” her from testifying in open court, given that he pressured her parents not to take things to trial. Wilson most certainly does not mean that Gary should request the maximum sentence for Jamin’s crimes. In the matter of requesting anything from the DA, Wilson and his elders “urge you [Gary] to have a merciful heart towards him [Jamin], just as would have others show mercy to you.”
Moreover, Wilson wants a record of what Gary asks the DA for. A written record. Because this is somehow part of “protecting” Gary’s family. It couldn’t possibly be because Wilson wanted to maintain control over a situation involving one of his seminary students.
If you want to read the full letter, here it is in JPG format (again, click to enlarge).
Now, Gary did not play along with this scenario, and told Wilson that he would not. He was subsequently refused communion at Christ Church — the official story was that he wasn’t doing right by his family. His daughter (yes, the one who was abused by Jamin) completely rejects all of these accusations against her father, and describes him as having “the kindest, gentlest heart.” She stresses that she in no way blames him for what happened to her.
So, Doug Wilson: I’ve posted a letter written by you to one person, Gary, who gave me permission to post it. I’ve also obtained permission from his daughter, since the letter is about her and the abuse done to her. So you can’t claim that you’re protecting people’s confidentiality any more.
Are you going to issue a public apology for the way you treated Gary and his daughter, and for the way you’ve publicly misrepresented this situation to people over the years? Because you should know (as I’m sure you do know) that your actions contributed to Jamin marrying and starting a family within your community. I would think that, additionally, you owe an apology to Jamin’s ex-wife for wrangling for “mercy” on Jamin vis a vis his sentencing, as, had he been given a life sentence, she never would have been abused at his hands.
All of this raises some questions around motive. Why would Wilson hold Gary accountable for Jamin’s crimes? And ask that Gary be merciful in Jamin’s court proceedings? I don’t know, but I’m guessing it had something to do with image control. It looks pretty bad if your seminary student is convicted as a child rapist.
I can’t actually speak to Wilson’s motives, either here or in the Steven Sitler case. But I do know that Silter’s dad was comparatively wealthy, at least at the point when the Sitler scandal was going down, and is a CREC deacon. And I also know that church members are allowed, by law, to look at the financial records of their churches. I’m not a member of any CREC church, but it would be really nice if members did a little digging into financial donations from these time periods. I have no way of knowing if this hunch is accurate, other than the fact that in many cases, following the money trail can lead you to the truth.