50 Shades of Confederate Grey: Rape Culture And Slavery

And Why This Angry Negro Blogger Stays Away From Comedy Clubs


I have decided to do a follow-up post to this morning’s (real early this morning) post in response to The GOSSIP Gospel Coalition. It is bad enough that The Gospel Coalition’s Jared C. Wilson, and subsequently White Supremacist philosophy Doug Wilson, are getting all of this attention. I agree with Brian LePort, The TGC has our attention again, and not in the best of ways [see his post linked]. I think the TGC is like that one kid in kindergarten that just does anything for attention, even if it’s bad. Any kind of publicity and attention is a good thing. They are just witnessing to “God-centered” ministry and theology. Even after a number of comments protesting the TGC’s endorsement of Wilson’s perverted teachings on sexuality and marriage, [editor’s note: as suspected but not hoped, the Gospel Coalition took down the offending post, in it’s stead, today, 7/21/12, I offer the JPEG version here(if you want the PDF version, you can email me: TGC responds with a “you all can’t read and freedom of speech means no criticism” post. Jared Wilson, the author of the post, in comments on Rachel Held Evans’ blog and on TGC denies any relationship between Wilson’s commentary on sex and his views on race and the enslavement of African Americans from US History’s past.

As a follow-up, I would like to add some more commentary. I see that this is now necessary to show “the World” and “non-Christians” that there is a different kind of Christianity, that gives testimony to non-violence and the mutuality between genders. I think in particular I would like to look at the relationship between rape culture and U.S. American slavery within the history of racism.

A Southern Baptist blogger, Wade Burleson [his post linked here] did not only agree with me about Wilson’s racism but also Jared Wilson’s and the TGC’s soft stance on 50 Shades of Grey:

And I quote, from Burleson:

“The pornographic book 50 Shades of Grey is revolting to me. The only thing worse is Doug Wilson’s views on sex and marriage in his book Fidelity, views endorsed and praised by The Gospel Coalition.”

Now, I do realize that TGC is arguing that there is a “nuanced” difference here, between the promotion of adult erotic literature and what happens in the Christian bed room. No one is saying anything differently. What I am going to argue, and what critics are arguing, is that men’s fantasy of rape and the TGC’s blaming on society of loose morals, is BLAMING THE VICTIM, usually women, as if men have no role in raping women. It is women’s fault if they get sexually assaulted, and that’s the message Dough Wilson and TGC are sending. What is the difference between Daniel Tosh and the Christians so-called at TGC? TGC silences rape victims in the name of god, while Tosh does it in the name of comedy and the free market.

Now, in the same “nuanced” fashion that Doug Wilson treats women who have been victims of rape, Wilson uses the same brand of pseudo-scientific arguments to promote slavery as a righteous Christian endeavor. Using Confederate double-speak, Wilson will say both that racism is wrong and that the Confederacy was right with one breath according to his essay, Southern Slavery, As It Was. In Wilson’s own words, “Slavery as it existed in the South … was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence. … There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.” See there, he can say that the slaves enjoyed “Southern Hospitality” and lift up the virtues of enslavement without a smile on his face. Isn’t that nice? For more, read these links on the story of Doug Wilson from University of Idaho and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s profile of Doug Wilson, linked here: Doug Wilson: SPLC profile.

What Wilson does not tell us is that rape is a weapon of war, and that the South had class warfare within itself. Enslaved black women were raped; American slavery was rape culture. If you are to be honest and to want to deal reasonably with the problem of race, we cannot separate it from the history of racism against persons of African descent. Joel is right, we gotta call it what it is: by any other name, it is rape. I do not wish for the Gospel Coalition to listen to Scot McKnight and take down this post; instead, they need to keep it up, and keep defending their position. This is the only way people will start seeing TGC for who they really are. The TGC has their own history of “providentially disappearing posts” in order to hide their true selves. It’s time they start coming out. This is the face of “God-centered” churchianity: anti-women, misogynist, and giving platforms to pro-Confederacy racists.

Now, there’s been a lot of talk ever since I started blogging about my aggressive “ad hom” style “shouting in the wind” but let me ask you honestly: are all of my posts that way? Or do some posts draw people’s emotions out that they can’t seem to confront their blind-spots or their inability to think critically?

To the victims of rape, male and female, I offer you this word: rape is not god’s will. sexual assault and violence is not god’s intention for your life. sexual abuse is not a part of “god’s plan.” In fact, these are violations of God’s will. God does not enjoy sin. God does not endorse domestic violence. God is hope. God is life. God is love. If you or someone you know are in these situations, please seek help, it doesn’t have to be a religious institution; but a third party is mostly always a good choice.

Other posts of interest:

Grace Is Human: Doug Wilson, The Gospel Coalition and Rape

Beyond Culture Wars: When I Have a Daughter: A Response to the Gospel Coalition

JK Gayle of Bible Literature and Translation: Review of the Novel 50 Shades of Grey Impact

The "Confederate Flag", a rectangula...

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25 thoughts on “50 Shades of Confederate Grey: Rape Culture And Slavery

  1. David

    Well said Rodney. The Gospel Coalition’s unwillingness to discuss the interrelatedness of racism and sexism demonstrates a disturbing unwillingness to be reflexive about one’s own life in a critical way. All of our thoughts and ideas are interconnected, I am not an island even unto myself and how I view women effects how I view persons of color and vice versa. Where differential analysis becomes even more important is when it comes to issues of power. Power is power. It is neither good or bad what makes it so is how power is used and exercised, when a man exercises “dominion” over a woman he is exercising a discursive power relationship that takes power by force from a woman in order to cede that power to him as a male. Men tend to exercise dominion over women through acts of sexual assault/rape. Rape is wrong, evil, and never appropriate for joking (looking at you Tosh.0). Rape is about exerting power.

    Your post highlights how the same logic that undergirds a culture that believes slavery and subjugation is appropriate is the same that affirms that rape is fine as well. Additionally the people that affirm that one person exercising dominion/colonizing force over another equivocates slavery and rape. Rape is a dehumanizing act and so is slavery. Rape and slavery are their own hells.

    Thank you Rod for carefully complexifying rape and slavery in order to clarify the issue.

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  4. Ioannes

    This post reads like one of those awful spoken-word poems; all bluster and verbiage, very little thought. It is perfectly clear to anyone familiar with Pr. Wilson that your engagement with his writings does not move at all beyond the sound-byte level, everything rigorously fitted into a pre-formed caricature of whatever bogeyman Wilson is supposed to be for you. The fact that you would call a man who has written extensively on the evils of racial pride and vainglory a “white supremacist” demonstrates conclusively your failure to engage at all with the man you are willfully slandering.

  5. Joel

    Doug Wilson’s tap dancing (and his supporters) on reminds me of the people who used to say “I’m not a birther and I think Obama was born in the US, but isn’t it suspicious how he’s so evasive about his records? It’s sure convenient how Obama is dragging this out and using it as a distraction from the real issues.” Wilson is certainly good at leaving back doors for himself, though.

  6. Artandicon

    People have selective memories: as a result we can glorify a past that was not golden for all and should not be brought into the future. Likewise, we can remember only the old wounds & believe that these will bleed forever. Our work in healing & growth in the presence of God’s love is to discover how truly strong & human each of us are. Then we bring others into the healing arena of God’s love & let them discover their beauty & strength. Thank you for posting my piece as a link.

  7. Joel

    Well, Jared has apologized – good for him. Doug, on the other hand, has gone completely off the deep end.

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