[Vision2020] Women Know Your Limits

Michael metzler at moscow.com
Sat Sep 30 13:41:51 PDT 2006

In response to my comments here: http://poohsthink.com/?p=838  I received a
letter from Rose.  I think these are important issues as we seek to figure
out the best way to evangelize and pastor, or otherwise contain, the Kirk.
Following Roes's letter I offer a reply:


Good Morning Michael,


I have just read your recent post titled "An Interesting Discussion About
Authority" and respectfully disagree with some of your conclusions.  It is
my sense that Light and Simple Gifts have captured the essence of the Kirk
accurately.  In particular, I do not share your appraisal that: 


"Doug Wilson fostered an environment that made his culture building lovely,
or at least tailored for the children and inviting for them. And the general
point of his argument I think still stands: in so far as dying your purple
hair is an expression or symbol of rebellion, we should allow purple hair to
speak as rebellion, just as I would want my clean cut presentation at a job
interview to communicate non-rebellion."


>From his earliest public days Doug has preached a gospel of division and
exclusiveness.  A close friend recalls Doug's preaching in front of the UI
library in the early 1990's which (both in quality and content) differed
little from the incoherent rantings of that itinerant lunatic, Brother Jeb,
who appears annually on the UI campus.  Doug has carefully nourished and
encouraged the character of the twenty-somethings that haunt the halls of
New St.  Andrews, Greyfriars, and the Logos clone schools across the
country.  These environs are not lovely for children - as Light pointed out.
They produced bullies, liars, and distorters of the gospel.  The key to
success in climbing the hierarchical ladder of the Kirk, is not allegiance
to God, but rather loyalty to Doug Wilson.  As an aside, I have recently
considered the similarities between a snake oil pyramid scheme and Doug's
empire.  The "distributorships,"  i.e. local households, allow every man to
be a leader while holding out the promise of advancement through promotion
of Kirk franchised activities. 


Purple hair vs. a clean-cut appearance as a barometer of rebellion is a
straw man argument.  How many times have non-Kirkers in Moscow pointed out
that the nice-looking and well dressed the NSA students are an asset to the
community - as though clothes somehow mirrored character.  Successful con
men dress in conventionally acceptable ways.  Similarly the country-casual
Ralph Lauren look assumed by the leadership of the Kirk and their eager
want-to-be followers has absolutely nothing to do with the condition of
their hearts, souls, or minds.


I hope that school is going well for you.   As ever, you and your family are
in my prayers.







Thank you for writing in, and as always I appreciate your encouragement and
help, in addition to your many good insights. I will have to disagree with
some of this, although I think much of the disagreement is based on mild
misunderstanding. Here are my thoughts in reply:


Certainly there are elements of what Light described from her experience
that we see expressing themselves here in Moscow.  However, as one who has
participated in the Kirk community for over a decade I can say that the two
environments are different.  Whereas most conservative cult-like communities
are noted for their stern legalistic approach to morality and control, in
many respects this is not what you have seen Wilson foster here.  He has
explicitly distanced himself from the more sickly "dower" expressions of
reformed or baptistic reformed cultures.  The children here, particularly
the college students, like being in the Kirk.  The stance Wilson takes to
the world creates a more cozy and protected world in which members can enjoy
their tradition, studies, identity, and sexuality.  There have been explicit
attempts to maintain "liberty," bordered by boundaries such as drunken
debauchery, lewd behavior, disrespect of women, and fornication.  The
community is specifically tailored to the children, so that they will learn
to love and internalize their own family's culture and the more general
culture of the Kirk.  


Take the issue of women for example. Wilson has been liberal in contrast
with the conservative fundamentalism to which he has attached himself.
Women should get an education as good as men; if they are to manage
households instead of pursuing careers then a rigorous education will serve
them just as well, particularly since they will be the educators of their
children. Women can be political rulers. Women as "help meets" means they
must be a peer to their husbands, or else all the "help" they will bring is
some wet softness in bed and a pretty smile during the day.  They have
encouraged women to move out of the home once they are of college age and
have taught against mothers placing household duties on their daughters;
rather, parents are here to love and serve their children, giving them the
best experience and education they can.  They have encouraged the idea of
women pursuing medical degrees and becoming medical doctors.  They have
taught against a ban on birth control and that it is not the number of
children produced that matters but rather the quality of rearing you are
able to provide the children you do have. As far as sex goes, Wilson is all
for oral sex and other such matters, as you will see in his book on
marriage. Passionate love making is the only proper approach to the subject
and Wilson has reasoned that the sexual experience has no explanation or
justification.  It is self-justifying and something to take delight in as
autonomous to religious axiom.  Last I checked the divorce rate in the Kirk
was 6 percent, and knowing the people there, it is hard to imagine this is
solely because of the tyranny of patriarchy.  


As for Wilson's earlier days, I'm sure he was a fundamentalist idiot;
unfortunately, we have seen the fact that he still is.  However, he
certainly sought to put himself through his own rehabilitation hospital,
which had many effects, including his ability to start NSA. Now certainly,
we agree on many of the corruptions at the Kirk, and the horrifying nature
of the arrogance coming from Wilson, Jones, Nate, and their young
Jedi-knights in training-Nate Wilson's pathological arrogance and
insensitivity is simply a scary thought given the no-boundaries nepotism
Doug Wilson has been able to flaunt before the Kirk community. But as one
who has both known what it is like to be in the Kirk for a decade and one to
also receive the beatings from its cultish expression, I would think that my
inside testimony should carry some weight; the nature of the Kirk is a
complex situation, and the more common cultish expressions Light describes
is not fully reflective of what you have had here, at least in the past. 


As for the purple hair issue, the idea is not that the color of your hair is
a "barometer" or that clothes "mirror" character. The idea is simply that
expressions such as the way one walks, carries himself, dresses, and does
his hair generally act as cultural signs that bear meanings in ways
analogous to the signs of explicit linguistic expressions.  I cut my hair
and shave before a job interview in part to communicate something about
myself and my attitudes towards work and the company I am interviewing in
particular.  When a young man decides to spike his hair and color it purple,
this typically "says" something about his current attitude towards his
society and his role in it.  That is all.  In certain "culture-semantic
contexts" (if I may make up a phrase) dying your hair purple might be a
virtuous act, much like wearing the funny mask was a virtuous act in the
movie Vendetta. In the case of the nice dressed kirkers, all I think you
have to do is create different layers of "character."  For example, I'm sure
that Nazis displayed certain forms of virtuous or developed character, such
as, for example, respect for parents or fidelity in marriage.  In their
narrow contexts, these were "goods," even though Nazis were capable of
creating an enemy group of people to torture and murder. Clearly, we
consider them bad people, but this doesn't mean we can't point out that
their nice dress and cultural refinement were not positive goods while
taking them in their narrower context. 


That's all I have time for right now.  I'm glad Rose wrote in.


Michael Metzler


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