Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pastor Ghoul: Brazen Indeed

Please allow me to call your attention to Pastor Douglas Wilson’s response to the editorial in the Intelligence Report that covered his pedophile problem:

The father of the girl in the second incident told the Intelligence Report that church officials tried to keep that quiet as well. At one point, he said, they threatened to bring him under church discipline for failing to protect his daughter.

Let’s just say that I have never seen quite so striking an example of a father neglecting his daughter. But this is not one that you have to take my word for. Just look at the previous paragraph. This is a father who was willing to talk to Intelligence Report about this particular incident because he doesn’t believe his daughter has been through enough. And the ghouls at SPLC were willing to print it. (“Brazenly Lied About”; emphasis original)

If you can cut past the utter contempt dripping from Wilson’s fingertips, notice his argument.

(A) Wilson has never seen so striking an example of a father’s neglect.

(B) Talking to the Intelligence Report proves the father’s neglect.

I hope someone lets me know if I missed something here, because the unstated premise of Beelzeblog’s argument appears to be one of two points. It’s either (A) Giving media attention to the crime constitutes a form of paternal neglect, or (B) Talking to the Intelligence Report about the crime constitutes a form of paternal neglect. I think that for the argument to be consistent the premise has to be (A) because the point appears to be that any public attention to the crime constitutes harm to the victim. Of course, Beelzeblog fails to observe that the interview in the IR did not identify the father or the victim, just as he failed to note that the father limited the scope of his comments to Wilson’s pastoral abuse after the crime occurred — threats of church discipline.

These facts notwithstanding, there’s only one point that’s relevant to the argument here. If we grant premise (A) that giving media attention to the crime constitutes paternal neglect, then what should we conclude about Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, after he wrote about the incident on his blog? Put another way, Wilson condemned the father for talking to the IR and he called the folks at the IR “ghouls” for printing the interview; so if they were “ghouls” for printing it, what does that make Wilson for reprinting a large excerpt from the interview and linking to it?

I believe these are fair questions. After all, Wilson blogging on the incident is infinitely worse because of the targeted audience. I don’t know anyone who reads the Intelligence Report, but I know lots of people who read Blog and Mablog. And if media attention causes harm to the victim, then why would the alleged pastor who was overseeing the incident aggravate the victim’s pain by blogging on the subject?

Take it to the next step. If publicity to the crime is drop-dead proof of neglect because it harms the victim, then the CREC (or whatever entity that holds Wilson accountable) should initiate disciplinary proceedings against him immediately, because it’s clear that when he brought even greater publicity to the crime he acted with malice of forethought. As he said, “But this is not one that you have to take my word for. Just look at the previous paragraph.” It’s self-evident.

Thank you.

HT: Anon