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Doug Wilson Hires Defamation Law Firm

Christ Church leader claims defamations are ‘causing real damage’

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Doug Wilson, the incendiary leader of a religious empire in Moscow, Idaho, who routinely questions the faith of other Christian leaders and groups, has now hired a law firm to defend himself from those who criticize him.

Wilson, whose empire includes Christ Church, a network of 123 churches (The Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches), a network of nearly 500 schools (Association of Classical Christian Schools), Canon Press, and New Saint Andrews College, has hired Clare Locke, a law firm specializing in defamation cases, to protect him from “a steady stream of defamatory accusation and slander” that “are now being circulated by professional media entities.”

Clare Locke has been involved in a number of high-profile defamation cases involving Sarah Palin, Matt Lauer, and Project Veritas. It was co-counsel for Dominion Voting Systems in last year’s landmark case against Fox News that won a $787.5 million settlement from the network over false claims of election fraud. The law firm did not respond to a request for comment.

Wilson announced the hiring of Clare Locke in a Jan. 8 open letter that claimed defamation against him and his organizations is “an issue that has been causing real damage.”

“Every single family in every ACCS school, every CREC congregation, every classical homeschool co-op around the world, every little church community that looks to us for help, all of them are at risk of real harm, courtesy of those flinging around links to various falsehoods, lies, and mendacious narratives,” Wilson wrote. “Most of them have already experienced damages of some kind.”

Wilson’s letter pointed to articles and a book by journalist Sarah Stankorb, who has covered Wilson’s work for Slate and Vice and wrote the book “Disobedient Women: How a Small Group of Faithful Women Exposed Abuse, Brought Down Powerful Pastors, and Ignited an Evangelical Reckoning.”

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“The accusations have grown in vehemence and have increased in stickiness because we are more newsworthy now—representatives of Christian Nationalism, Bible-believing Christianity, etc.,” wrote Wilson.

“The church has a line item in our budget for legal expenses, which is going to grow considerably,” he wrote, asking readers to contribute to the legal effort.

Criticism of Wilson’s work has also appeared on websites, blogs and Facebook pages, including The Wartburg Watch, Examining Doug Wilson & Moscow, Idaho, and Kaeley Triller Harms’ Substack account.

Both Slate and Kevin DeYoung’s Clearly Reformed website published lengthy articles about Wilson’s sixth annual “No Quarter November,” during which he rages after his critics in slickly produced videos featuring fiery visual imagery, scenes of Wilson smoking cigars and chugging alcohol, and plenty of sarcasm.

“We’re not incendiary people,” said Wilson in one video. “We are ordinary people, normal people in a flammable time.”

In his Nov. 27 article, “On Culture War, Doug Wilson, and the Moscow Mood,” De Young marveled at Wilson’s extraordinary “literary, digital, and institutional output.”

“Wilson also deserves credit for being unafraid to take unpopular positions,” DeYoung wrote, while concluding that “something isn’t quite right” about Wilson’s approach, which “depends on a fundamentally oppositional framework.”

“Wilson may be a happy warrior, but it is easier to spot his happiness in the war itself than in the things he claims to be fighting for,” DeYoung wrote. “The mood that attracts people to Moscow is too often incompatible with Christian virtue, inconsiderate of other Christians, and ultimately inconsistent with the stated aims of Wilson’s Christendom project.”

Main photo: Doug Wilson in a YouTube video reacting to the 2023 No Quarter November / Video screenshot

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Steve Rabey

Steve Rabey is a veteran author and journalist who has published more than 50 books and 2,000 articles about religion, spirituality, and culture. He was an instructor at Fuller and Denver seminaries and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He and his wife Lois live in Colorado.