Wilson Preaches to Crowd at U of I Campus

“There are some things that you might applaud that I would think appalling. For a recent example let’s take the halftime show at the Super Bowl,” Douglas Wilson said on Tuesday night at the University of Idaho to a crowd of about two hundred.

Pastor Doug Wilson, delivering his talk “The Lost Virtue of Sexism.”

Wilson continued, “Which some of you might consider empowering for women.” Many in the front clapped and cheered loudly in agreement. Wilson then added, “but which I would consider a skankfest.”

There were some gasps and low boos in response. One man in the front responded, “That’s not right, man. That’s not right. Why you saying that to J. Lo?”

Wilson, an Alumnus of U of I and pastor of Christ Church, spoke on Tuesday night at the Pittman Center on the subject of gender and sexuality in the Bible. The event was called “The Lost Virtue of Sexism” and it was hosted by Collegiate Reformed Fellowship. The public was invited.   

Josiah Anderson, president of CRF opened the evening, “On behalf of CRF, I want to say a big thank you to the University of Idaho for allowing us to do this. We recognize this is a controversial subject and appreciate that this is a campus where people with different viewpoints can talk about them in a courteous and kind way.“ He then introduced Wilson and invited him to the stage. 

The protestors at the event were organized with a Facebook event. It was called “Protest Doug Wilson” and was created by Young Democrats at the University of Idaho. The description reads: “Doug Wilson expresses hateful rhetoric that should be (sic)match with a loud response against it. Bring kazoos, pens, noise makers of any kind, signs, etc to disrupt the hate speech brought to campus by the Collegiate Reformed Fellowship.”

As Wilson began to speak, several protestors in the front row began to make small repetitive noises: clicking pens and crumpling paper. Others were chewing bubble gum and making loud popping bubbles. One woman stood up at one point and proceeded to take some paper to a trash can at the front of the room. A few phone ringers rang also. Others coughed loudly.

Pittman Center, University of Idaho

Wilson began his remarks by talking about where everyone agreed. He summarized this point by saying, “When a man beats his girlfriend up, this is to be roundly condemned by everyone and also rigorously punished. We all agree there.”

Wilson then acknowledged that there is a place where people differ. He said he thinks the biblical teachings for women are an honor to women. But he acknowledged that some in the audience would not agree with him and instead would call those things patronizing. 

He then pointed out that there are some things that some would applaud while he would not. He cited the example of the Super Bowl halftime show as one which he would condemn. 

At one point, Wilson explained that living contrary to God’s law is bad. He said, “Because you have been living contrary to his appointed standard.”

To which a woman yelled out, “Oh, yeah I have.” Wilson continued to explain his position on this point and the woman yelled out the f-word. A security person at the university walked over and cautioned the woman to calm down. 

Wilson cited Proverbs 12:4 to defend his position, “A virtuous wife is a crown to her husband.” He added, “Not a foot scraper for muddy boots.” He also cited Proverbs 31:10: “A virtuous woman has value far beyond rubies.”

Then he asked what do we do when we differ? “Do we just shrug and go our separate ways?…What do we do when we differ?”

“One of the places where we differ is that the Christians I know wouldn’t dream of going to an event of yours and trying to disrupt it.”

Some in the audience laughed. Others said “Whoa.” 

After speaking for about twenty-five minutes, Wilson took a series of questions that the audience texted in. One of the organizers for the event, Aaron Ventura, read the questions. 

Q & A session following the talk

One question said, “Hi. Just wondering if you can defend what you preach without using God’s word? How about some logic?” 

Some in the audience cheered at this question. Wilson then began to answer the question, saying, “Let me just say one thing as an aside. I co-wrote a logic textbook.”

One guy in the audience yelled out, “I ain’t heard of it.”

To which Wilson responded, “I’m not surprised.”

Several questions came in asking if Jesus had nipples. Wilson responded with a simple, “Yes, he did.”

Another question asked, “Hey Doug, I get you got a hard crowd but the society that the Bible was written in influenced the Bible and shouldn’t we take that into consideration?”  

Wilson responded saying, “That is an outstanding question.”

He then added if we are using the Bible as our foundation, how do we know that Paul wasn’t trapped by Greco-roman cultural expectations or that Moses wasn’t limited by near-eastern customs. He then explained that the writers of the Bible did not fit their own times very well at all. In fact, they actually went heavily against the currents of their own times. 

One of the last questions asked Wilson why he was speaking at an event like this. He answered by citing the Gospel of Mark, “Jesus said to preach the gospel to every creature.” He then explained, “So I have a responsibility as a Christian minister and apologist and evangelist. So I have a responsibility to tell people about Jesus. So I wanted to have an event like this so you would come to it so that I could talk to you about Jesus. So I could invite you to come to Christ. So I could tell you that it is possible for your sins to be forgiven, including the sins of rudeness and harassment.” 

Wilson preparing to deliver his remarks.

Additional links

Full video of the talk, provided by Canon Press.

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