Doug Ugly

Back in June commentator “Dave” left a comment on my first entry on conservative pastor and columnist Doug Giles:

I think it’s just a case of a guy using the media (in a poor and unoriginal way) to present his notions, provide for his family and perhaps get something done. I understand the Giles phenomenon and I understand why he is going about his ministry the way he is. Obnoxious? Absolutely. Copycat? You bet. (He’s Ann Coulter and Ted Nugent in one.) He needed an agenda to further launch his ministry – and he latched on to the whole man movement, about 5 years too late. I think if you guys paid him a little less attention, he might just disappear. The far right has their darlings and always will. So do the faithful. Doug Giles is vying for darling status in both of those camps and won’t make it. Most of the faithful see through the jive. They’re not as lockstep and stupid as you think.

For the record, I’ve never suggested that “the faithful” are “lockstep and stupid”, but judging by Giles’s recent Townhall output, Dave’s diagnosis of Giles  is perhaps prescient. Doug’s shtick is “masculine spirituality”, and how we should hate and fear feminists and men who fail to conform to the supposed Biblical “warrior” stereotype. Jeff Sharlet explains the psychology of the movement far more eloquently than I can:

…Christian conservatives loathe all forms of homo- and bisexuality, of course, but it is the gay man (singular; he’s an archetype) who looms largest in their books and sermons and blogs and cell group meetings. Not, for the most part, as a figure of evil, but one to be almost envied. “The gay man” is the new seductress sent by Satan to tempt the men of Christendom. He takes what he wants and loves whom he will and his life, in the imagination of Christian men’s groups, is an endless succession of orgasms, interrupted only by jocular episodes of male bonhomie. The gay man promises a guilt-free existence, the garden before Eve. He is thought to exist in the purest state of “manhood,” which is boyhood, before there were girls.

Giles’s hysterical rants against “metrosexuals” ought to be seen in that light. The problem is, though, that he doesn’t have much else to say; hence we now find some plagiarism, and new Townhall columns that are less and less focused and more obviously bandwagon- jumping. One strategy was to introduce a 10-part series, but this seems to have drifted away after just five episodes. Recently we’ve had a tedious screed on the need for more capital punishment and a weird advice column for women tourists going abroad (inspired by the disappearance of an American tourist in Aruba). Even the “Clash Point” brand-name seems to be disappearing.

But now Giles has gone for easiest target of any third-rate demagogue – Muslim-bashing. Here’s from last week’s column:

Dear Moderate Muslims,

What’s up? I see that you guys have been in the news a lot lately. I thought I’d write you a letter and ask you some questions because it seems as if some Muslims are involved in some very bad stuff around the globe, i.e. targeting and killing innocent people and all in the name of your god.

…What are you going to do about all the verses in the Quran that instruct Muslims to convert, conquer or kill those who will not bow their knees to Allah? You don’t believe that stuff, do you? You don’t believe that peaceful Jews, Christians and secularists are belligerent infidels, right? I would think not, because that would be extreme.

This actually shows that Doug is rather clever. Of course Muslims are not going to say, “We don’t believe those bits of the Koran”, which means that Doug can say: “Aha, all Muslims are out to kill us!” What Doug wants his readers to ignore, of course, is context. Most Muslims believe that those verses refer to military strategy from the early days of Islam, and not something that should be undertaken today. But this is too much to take from a man who boasts about how he keeps a copy of Rousas Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law on his desk – a work of extreme Christian fundamentalism which also calls for the death of unbelievers, but which was written in the 1970s rather than in the seventh century. Moving on:

…In addition, your public and incessant condemnation of extremism within your ranks would also serve the purpose of exonerating all moderates from the smallest hint of supporting such behavior. The reason why? It’s simple. Usually, when groups are silent regarding an issue that should be condemned it leads other people to believe that the groups really don’t disagree at all with what has occurred and are, therefore, in agreement with the bad people that perpetrated the despicable act.

Giles found this column so easy that his latest is along the same lines:

Evidently “moderate Muslims” in the UK didn’t read my column last week—either that or they really dropped the ball, as London has once again been slapped by terrorists.

In fact, many Muslim groups and individuals in the UK and elsewhere condemned the London bombings, without prompting from a hypocritical and preening bully from Florida (even though there is more that needs to be done, as Mona Eltahawy argues in the lastest Washington Post). But to acknowledge that would dissipate the hatred and fear that Giles gets his energy from. Instead, let’s have an LGF-style rant:

I’m kind of thinking we are failing to appreciate the millenniums of unmitigated murderous madness that’s behind Islam…Their “death to the west” wishes have been, are and will continue to be a part of the Muslim milieu until Jesus returns. They roll off the assembly line equipped with this as a standard feature, and anyone who tells you something different is full, I said FULL, of crap. Their loathing of us, the Great Satan freedom-loving losers, will not change unless moderate Muslims completely revise the Quran, which will, of course, spawn a religious civil war that Ridley Scott will not be able to replicate on film.

This is of course nasty and ill-informed. Muslim moderates have undertaken reasonable interpretation of the Quran for centuries; they don’t wish to “revise” it, which would be impossible. What Giles is hinting at, of course, is that moderates do not really exist. Nasty and ill-informed; but from a man who fancies himself as cutting edge, it’s also kind of desperate and sad: “Look at me, I hate Muslims too!”.

*****

And while we’re on the topic of Doug Giles, I see his Clash Church website has now been revamped, and finally we get to see which other pastors he is associated with. As I posted in the past, Giles originally started out as part of the His People denomination. That was led by Paul Daniel in South Africa; His People later became part of Every Nation, and Daniel was removed from leadership after a sex scandal. Around this time Giles rebranded his church as the “Clash Church”, and announced that

Doug and his Church are overseen by local, national and international leaders within the greater body of Christ.

The question was, though – who? Now we have some answers:

Clash Christian Church is an independent, interdenominational church. An advisory counsel comprised of both national and international leaders oversees Pastor Giles’ life and doctrine.

They are:

David Fredriksz, The Eagle’s Nest Church, Ede, Holland

Glenn Robertson, Kaleidoscope Church, Cape Town, South Africa

Joe Rodriguez, The Mobile Christian Center, Mobile, Alabama

Jeff McCreight, New Life Family Center, Lubbock, Texas

Like Giles, David Fredriksz (or Dave Fredriksz) emphasises “Warrior” spirituality. In 2003 he held a “Gathering of the Warriors” in Holland:

For quite a while already I have been hearing a sentence in my spirit which , I think, is from God : Gather the warriors! I want to respond to that calling by gathering the young warriors in Holland. The Warrior evenings will prepare the young generation for the task ahead: to testify to the Kingdom of God.

God ordered man to be fruitful, to increase in number and watch over His creation. Is the church of Jesus Christ still visible AD 2003? Are we the men and women the world is waiting for – like the Bible says? To bring a radical change in the history of the Netherlands, are we men and women prepared to do what the Master asked us to do?…

In Dutch, his church is known as Adelaarsnest. Fredriksz is also part of the Reformation Roundtable, which was founded by Pastor Ted J Hanson at Abundant Life Ministry. It has very little internet presence, but according to its website

Reformation Roundtable is a brotherhood of Christian leaders who are committed to provide encouragement, relationship and accountability to one another. R. R. is intended to be a facilitator and enabler around a basic belief system not a control. It is the intent of R. R. to establish a fellowship of churches and men that share the vision of R. R. while maintaining local autonomy.

Another member of the Roundtable is Andrew Shearman, a Brit who was formerly team leader at the Mobile Christian Center, where Joe Rodriguez is now in charge. Mobile Christian Center is currently updating its website; it appears, however, to have totally bought in to Giles’s rhetoric and now has a vision section that has been taken from Clash’s culture section.

A bit of information about McCreight can be seen here; Robertson is almost completely obscure, aside from having authored a Vineyard hymn

By the way, the revamped Clash site still lists Giles’s MA from Knox Theological Seminary as “pending”. This has been going on for years now…

7 Responses

  1. […] EPC website [UPDATE July 2005: More information about these leaders is now available. See my entry here, scroll […]

  2. Good piece.

  3. …What are you going to do about all the verses in the Quran that instruct Muslims to convert, conquer or kill those who will not bow their knees to Allah?

    Hey Doug, what are YOU going to do about all the verses in your Old Testament that give similar instructions?

  4. Richard – Thanks. You’ve been on a roll recently.

  5. […] of fish) to the needy? Wo’C author SZ suggests a trip to Iraq might be of value, but, as with Doug Giles and the rest of the more-testosterone-than-thou “warriors”, the home front is a more […]

  6. […] actually walks the walk, rather than boring us all with a posturing “media ministry” (Doug Giles, Dave Daubenmire, I mean you). But while you have to admire a guy who’s willing to actually pull […]

  7. Doug Giles is awesome!

    Hey, Maximus – there aren’t any!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *