[Vision2020] Question for Mr. Schwaller
kjajmix1 at msn.com
Tue May 15 08:46:23 PDT 2007
Mr. Herodotus raises some interesting points in framing the debate about the release of Steven Sitler and the community's response to it, including Tom Hansen's and Wayne Fox's use of hyperbole to express their horror at the idea that an untrained pastor can confidently conclude that Sitler is "repentant," much less "cured."I caught some flack offlist for writing a few days ago that I was not qualified to judge the sincerity of Sitler's remorse and repentance. I believe that still, just as I believe that no one else but Steven Sitler is qualified to or capable of judging his conscience -- not Doug Wilson, not Sitler's parents, not the judge, the attorney, his best friend, or anyone other than the God he is accountable to. And while this is of interest to those of us who think in terms of spirituality and theology, it likely isn't of interest to anyone else, because repentance and remorse (and regeneration and redemption), while eternal in nature and scope, are entirely different from law. It is the law and the circumstances surrounding Sitler's crimes, incarceration, and release that ought rightly to concern every one of us.Just as I'm not able to say whether or not Sitler is genuinely remorseful for his unspeakable crimes against children -- not against "heads of households," but against children -- I am also unable to judge if he is a psychopath or a sociopath or if he's sick in ways that perhaps defy definition. I'd rather not speculate about the link to Wilson's teachings and the Kirk culture Sitler was surrounded by and, in doing so, conclude that actual guilt for his crimes is anyone's other than Sitler's. That's wrong; besides, it misses the point by focusing on Doug Wilson and not on the error and ugliness of the theology itself. This is what I was responding to in J Ford's post -- that there was a link, and thus a defined moral culpability, on the part of Wilson and those from Christ Church who counseled Sitler. I felt the post was near-slanderous and otherwise unhelpful to the larger debate, and I preferred then, as I do now, to focus on the legal aspects of Sitler's culpability and correction while leaving the spiritual and moral aspect of his professed remorse in front of an entirely different judge. The parlor game of "is he more sick than evil, or more evil than sick?", has not even the value of a spirited game of gin rummy with the added toxin of gossip and rumormongering. I won't play it.I would rather focus on the truly awful handling of Scripture and the bullying behavior toward his community demonstrated by Doug Wilson. I believe I've made it pretty clear that I find most of Wilson's peculiar teachings and most of his public comportment highly objectionable. I also believe that bad theology -- and that by the standard of Scripture, not my own sensibilities -- inevitably leads to bad practice, and a continued emphasis on patriarchy, male hierarchical headship, unbalanced submission and a church culture that appears to value covenant over character may have made it easier for Sitler to do what he would have eventually done anyway. Still, if Wilson's teachings removed some moral barricade that might have slowed him down, the nature of pedophilia requires us to acknowledge that Sitler would have finished the race regardless. Wilson is responsible for a lot of harm because of his teachings; they've taken root in people who bear accountability for any tangible harm they've done to others because of their application. Wilson is accountable to God for what he teaches and who he harms, and certainly for any deficit in how he handled, and continues to handle, Sitler's situation. But he is not accountable for Sitler's actions. I wish Steven Sitler weren't released, no matter how sincere he is. I remain unalterably opposed to the death penalty, I do pray for Sitler and for his victims, and I continue in my skepticism that this was handled as well as it should have been while steadfastly believing Doug Wilson to be naive at best in gauging the depth of Sitler's remorse. Why this hasn't caused people to bolt from the Kirk is beyond me. If I were considered, as a married woman, not worthy by my elders of receiving direct and timely information regarding any possible threat to my children, both Jeff and I would raise the roof and level the foundation. I believe acquiescence to error leads to acquiescence to evil, and those who think they're being persecuted because of their allegiance to Jesus might reexamine their loyalties and find that blind acceptance of error and arrogance stems not from following Christ, but from following those who amass titles and accolades in His name.keely> Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 07:39:20 -0700> From: bherodotus at yahoo.com> To: vision2020 at moscow.com> Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Question for Mr. Schwaller> > Dear Mr. Schwaller,> > You would have "staved off some ignorance" and "offered up . . . factual information" if you had simply replied, "We may never know," and even then you should not have qualified your answer with the word "may" because we WILL NEVER KNOW what drives Steven Sitler. This is because the man is a psychopath, i.e. he has no conscience and no compunction. He lacks the moral capacity to feel right and wrong — and he is aggressive. One public record (which the court has sealed) documented in explicit detail his rape of a two-year-old girl, in a room immediately adjacent to a group of adults. "Perhaps perhaps perhaps," you find this flip. I do not; hence my inquiry about the website in relation to the so-called apology.> > At best, Steven Sitler did not comprehend that the photographs of victims on his website horrified normal, decent human beings, which is another way of noting that he is twisted at levels no one understands. Consequently, "'cured' is not an option." And as "cured" is not an option, then it follows that no one can ever trust him under any circumstance, which probably accounts for his constant need to have a chaperon, i.e. a court-appointed guardian who will insure that he does not wander near children. And if the man is so untrustworthy that even "a distressed result from a polygraph is going to bring P&P and the court down on him like a ton of Logos Bricks," then it follows that no one should believe a word he says, which includes his apologies. Besides, somehow the words, "I'm sorry I molested your baby," just don't cut it.> > So it is laughable that you attribute remorse, "even if it was not 100% heartfelt," to a psychopath, and if this was not so serious it would be downright hilarious that you manipulated this seeming remorse into cause for demanding an apology from community members who expressed shock at the probation of a serial pedophile.> > Since you represent yourself as new to the listserv, let me tell you a story. Years ago, Pastor Douglas Wilson used to berate this list with the question, "By what standard?" I say "used to" because after hectoring and haranguing the community with his fixed biblical standard, he proved himself a textbook hypocrite when he applied a relative standard to justify the unbiblical thesis of his book "Southern Slavery As It Was." It was really quite amusing, though the amusement didn't last long. The poor fool ran from here faster than you can say "Edna."> > I call these historical facts to your attention, Mr. Schwaller, to ask you two questions: First, by what standard do you attribute "some modicum of sincerity" to an apology delivered by the psychopath Sitler? and by what standard do you ask Messieurs Fox and Hansen to apologize?> > Bob Herodotus> > > > > > ____________________________________________________________________________________Building a website is a piece of cake. Yahoo! Small Business gives you all the tools to get online.> http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webhosting > > =======================================================> List services made available by First Step Internet, > serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994. > http://www.fsr.net > mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com> =======================================================
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