Does Doug Phillips Have a Mother?

“It’s a son’s task in life to spread the fame and the glory of his father in the same way that the Lord Jesus Christ spread the fame and the glory of His Father in heaven.”


A friend recently asked me this seemingly odd question: “Does Doug Phillips have a mother?” I had to laugh because I understood immediately what my friend was really asking me. Doesn’t everyone have a mother? Yes, and of course Doug Phillips has a mother. Why then does Doug so seldom ever speak of his mother, or even publicly acknowledge her?

Doug Phillips is known for his teachings about honor, a subject which he seems to take extremely seriously. It’s also a subject that he’s used to make tremendous profits from.

The subject of honor is much needed in both the world and the church today. In fact, before I sat under Doug’s teaching and preaching, I didn’t know much at all about honor and the 5th Commandment. It was a foreign concept to me. I learned a lot about honor from Doug Phillips’ teaching and from what I saw lived out in his life… at least with his father. My friend is well justified, though, in asking about Doug Phillips’ mother. Doug seldom ever mentions her, whereas he routinely “spread the fame and the glory of his father.”

There’s no question that our culture has lost interest in honoring parents, elders, and others that Scripture instructs us to honor. Doug Phillips is rightly challenging a culture of dishonor. However, sometimes in their enthusiasm to right a wrong, Christian leaders have a tendency to swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. In other words, they become extremists. I believe that is the case with at least some of Doug’s teachings, and this includes what he teaches regarding honor. When does honor become adulation? When does honor place practically as much value on men as on God or His Word? When does honor cross the line into becoming idolatry?

Doug has set a good example for us in showing us how we should honor our military veterans, our fathers, our pastors and teachers, and others who have positively influenced our lives. But I had to cringe when Doug teamed up with his father, Howard Phillips, and the elder and younger Sprouls, for a conference on honoring parents last May. It was bad enough that Doug Phillips was obviously honoring a man who had just been recently defrocked by the RPCGA for ecclesiastical abuse and tyranny, tax fraud, breaking his ordination vows, and other serious things. Doug Phillips took a public stand with RC Sproul, Jr as a speaker when RC, Jr had just been severely disciplined by his presbytery. Rather than submitting to the RPCGA, Sproul publicly dishonored the Presbyterian elders that he vowed to submit to by publicly disparaging them.

I looked at my own excommunication by Doug Phillips and saw that he had required that ALL Christians not only treat me as a heathen and a publican, but never to even eat with me, as Doug would consider that a sin. Doug Phillips expected everyone to uphold what he tried to pawn off as a biblical excommunication. But did he follow that same biblical pattern when his own good friend, RC Sproul Jr, was justly disciplined and that he’s never repented of? At least RC, Jr. admitted to some of the accusations leveled against him. But he has not repented, and he is currently preaching in open rebellion to the presbytery that disciplined him. But Doug Phillips chose to honor a defrocked minister, and he insists that others honor him too.

Then Doug Phillips went on to speak about honoring his father. Anyone who knows the least little bit about Doug Phillips will agree that Doug obviously honors his father. No one can dispute that. And we can learn some things from his example. But has that sense of honor gone a little overboard? Does Doug Phillips go on and on and on in talking about his father to the point of making those around him uncomfortable? Has he elevated his father to a level that is above honor? Does it border on idolatry? When I compare his honor of his father to that of his mother, I certainly have to wonder.

Which brings me back to my friend’s question: “Does Doug Phillips have a mother?” Well, of course he has a mother, but what my friend was really asking was if Doug Phillips preaches so much about the fifth commandment, and we see his constant and extreme honor of his father, did he forget the other half of the commandment? Why don’t we see Doug honor his mother?

If you look through Doug’s blog, for instance, you will see Doug write about his father over and over and over again. That’s good. But, now go look for his mother. If I remember correctly, Doug has only mentioned her three times. I may be off in my total, but not by much. Why the disparity?

From personal experience, I remember several occasions when Doug’s father would attend BCA. Although he had been several times previously, and everyone already knew who Howard Phillips was, Doug always made a point of introducing his father each time anyway. It was never a nice, simple introduction, but was usually an elaborate occasion, another opportunity for Doug to “honor” his father. I wouldn’t have minded if I hadn’t seen how he “honored” his mother when she came to visit. I only remember her coming to visit once while I was there (she may have come on a Sunday when I was not in attendance; I am not saying that she only came just once.) But I do clearly remember the lack of any introduction of his mother that Sunday. That is how I remember Doug “honoring” his mother.

When I went on a tour with Doug Phillips once, and his mother was in attendance, I do not recall him paying her any special attention, and this is in stark contrast to the considerable attention that he never fails to give his father. Whenever we had the opportunity to observe Doug’s interaction with his parents it was always apparent that Doug’s treatment of his father was vastly different from that toward his mother.

Again, why? Does Doug’s mother not deserve as much honor as his father? Did she do something horrible to Doug growing up? Doesn’t the fifth commandment include both father and mother? I could speculate, but I’d rather not do that. However, something is terribly wrong and even hypocritical about the glaring disparity between the way Doug honors his father and the way he doesn’t honor his mother.

One thing is obvious though; if Doug Phillips were one to honor his mother, it’s unlikely that anyone would ever ask the question, “Does Doug Phillips have a mother?”

143 Responses to “Does Doug Phillips Have a Mother?”

  1. Lin Says:

    Perhaps you will probably see something real soon honoring his mom. :o)

  2. Not Fooled By Phillips Says:

    I’ve wondered about this too! I was hoping that someone would have the courage to ask this question on the internet. It makes me ill to see how much money that Doug Phillips makes selling “honor,” and yet he so obviously doesn’t honor his own mother. What could be more dishonorable than a son that won’t even introduce his own mother at church? That’s despicable.

    I started noticing this several years ago and I could never understand why this issue hasn’t been observed by more Doug Phillips fans. Why don’t more people see what an utter hypocrite that Doug Phillips is?

    I’ve seen enough of Doug Phillips to know that something very strange has been going on for years between him and his mother. How can Doug Phillips be so successful, and make so much money selling “honor,” when he’s never done anything to honor his own mother? What does that say about him as a son to honor only his father?

    If any of my sons honored me like that, but they never honored their mother, I wouldn’t be honored by that at all. I’d be outraged and offended. Why does Howard Phillips permit his son to do that? He should be demanding his son’s repentance.

    There’s an obvious reason behind all this Phillips hypocrisy, or at least it seems obvious to me. Doug Phillips’ mother is a Roman Catholic and Doug Phillips, being the good self-righteous hasty-to-excommunicate eager-to-shun Pharisee that he is, hates Roman Catholicism more than just about anything else in the world.

    Doug Phillips has a very selective application of the fifth commandment: honor your father and mother… unless they’re Roman Catholic. In a very practical sense Doug Phillips is shunning his own mother.

  3. Lin Says:

    Actually, I think the views I have seen proclaimed on VF about women being totally silent in church, girls serving their dad (notice he did not say helping mom), staying at home until married under the ‘protection’ of their fathers, etc..even down to the ‘chastity balls’, etc set the stage: Phillips has an almost Islamic view of women.

    That view came from somewhere not scripture because we have Martha and Mary!! Perhaps the way he was raised?

  4. Shocked! Says:

    “It’s a son’s task in life to spread the fame and the glory of his father in the same way that the Lord Jesus Christ spread the fame and the glory of His Father in heaven.”

    Wow! I really am shocked! I had no idea that Doug Phillips promoted this kind of extremist view of “honor.” Talk about man-worship and idolatry. That is sick! It’s worse than heresy. I’ll go so far as to say it’s blasphemous.

    Here all this time I thought what Doug Phillips was doing was good and biblical. Talk about a wakeup call! Jen, this isn’t pleasant to have to read, but I’d rather know about it and have my eyes opened than not know about it thinking I was doing good stewardship by continuing to patronize Vision Forum. Obviously that won’t ever happen again.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your “Exposing Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny” stories. Are your other articles as shocking as this one? Thanks for what you’ve done here.

  5. Jen Says:

    Not Fooled – you have a very good point about the Roman Catholicism angle. That’s possible. He does seem to hate catholicism to an extreme degree. I wonder if that would explain why he refuses to talk about most of his brothers and sisters as well. I believe there are six altogether, but we only ever hear about Brad, the missionary who stole the video about the Sudanese, and Samuel, who played a role in “Gods and Generals.” I guess his mother and other siblings haven’t helped advanced Doug’s career, so he doesn’t mention them. Maybe they’re all Catholic, too. An interesting thought indeed.

  6. Zan Says:

    That is so interesting that Mr. Phillips’ mother is Catholic. I couldn’t find any info about her on the web. I did find this:

    He praises his mother in the blog post.

  7. Cynthia Gee Says:

    I didn’t know that Mrs. Phillips was Catholic. I wonder if she got married to Howard Phillips before or after he converted from Judaism?

  8. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Hmmm… another thing. Has anyone ever read or heard Doug Phillips say anything about his grandparents, on either side of the family? I took a look around the internet, and I couldn’t find a thing about Howard Phillips’ family, or his wife Peggy’s family. Not that it matters much, but you’d think that somebody who is so much into heritage, etc, would have more to say about his own.

  9. Not Fooled By Phillips Says:

    Jen, I didn’t know that Phillis Schlafly and Eagle Forum had honored Doug’s mom. That’s wonderful to hear. I’m sure the woman deserved it.

    Until Zan pointed it out though I didn’t even know that Doug Phillips’ mom’s name was “Peggy.” It’s good to know that too. I doubt I’m the only who didn’t know that.

    Everyone seems to know that Doug’s father’s name is “Howard.” Doug has talked about him so much how could we not know? So how come no one seems to know that his mom’s name is Peggy? It’s only because Doug never talks about her.

    I have to wonder if that blog entry of Doug’s wasn’t just a little awkward for him. After all he never talks about his mom. Then all of a sudden she gets an award from one of the most well known Christian women in America. It would’ve been a little hard for Doug to say nothing about something like that.

    Was that blog entry the only time that Doug has ever bothered to say something nice about his mother? I’ve searched the Vision Forum web site and I could only find one other mention of Peggy Phillips, and even that one could hardly be construed as an “honorable” mention.

  10. Jen Says:

    Cynthia, leave it to you to bring up the grandparents! Doesn’t Doug talk about multi-generational heritage quite a bit? And he honors Scott Brown’s grandfather, doesn’t he? That is a very interesting question.

    I do know that he takes his children to see “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway because it is his family’s “story.” That is all I can recall ever hearing about anyone in his family other than his father, and those couple anecdotes about two of his brothers. I think he has a sister who sings opera, too, but he doesn’t approve of that either.

  11. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Why on earth would he be opposed to opera?

  12. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Here’s another thing to consider: according to Wikipedia, the famed Moral Majority “got its start out of a bitter battle for control of Christian Voice in 1978. After a news conference by Christian Voice’s Robert Grant during which he claimed that the Religious Right was a “sham… controlled by three Catholics and a Jew”: Paul Weyrich, Terry Dolan, and Richard Viguerie (the Catholics) and Howard Phillips left Christian Voice and recruited televangelist Jerry Falwell to found Moral Majority which, by 1982, surpassed Christian Voice in size and influence.

    Perhaps both Doug and Howard Phillips are distancing themselves from things Catholic, because their political bedpartners in the neo-Confederate movement and in the Protestant sector of the Reconstructionist movement mightn’t understand if the found out how cozy the founder of the Constitution Party is with Catholicism.

  13. Joe Geek Says:

    Jen, you only gave Doug Phillips half the credit he deserved. He wrote six things about his mom. But you’re right about there being a disparity: Doug wrote about his father only 44 times! I did a little research today and here is what I found:

    Doug’s Father

    Nearly One Thousand Attend History of the World Mega-Conference

    Honor as a Defining Principle for Life

    Remember the Old Sesame Street Song?

    The Speakers of the 2006 Generations Conference

    A Grandpa and a Gentleman

    Co-belligerents in Christ

    Otto Scott in the Presence of Christ

    A Gathering of Fathers and Sons

    The Rules of Harvard College (1643)

    Breakfast with Third Party Candidates

    The Two Howards

    About My Father’s Business

    Analysis of the Republican Defeat

    Howard Phillips and Jim Bob Duggar

    How To End 2006

    Six Thousand Years of Providential History

    Our First Female Justice Argues That Babies May Be Killed So Women Can Work Outside the Home

    Fathers Day With Father

    Family Traditions

    Summit in San Antonio

    Eidsmoe Defends the Christianity of the Constitution

    Stonewall Jackson’s Way

    This Month: Send Your Financial Offerings To America’s Godly Freedom Fighters

    Three Cheers for James Dobson

    Dad vs. The Terminator

    Howard Phillips Introduces Roy Moore

    Dorothy Rushdoony, Chalcedon Matriarch, Dies

    A Very Special Night to Remember

    Christians Taking Dominion in Dinosaur, Colorado

    Honoring The President

    Witherspoon 2004: A Vision of Victory

    Cool Kids, Square Parents, Public Shame

    Images from the San Antonio Independent Film Festival: Part 2

    Why There Is A Vision Forum

    Discussions With Justice Thomas

    Howard Phillips Blog

    Father of Mine

    A Father’s Day Poem

    When Father Reads the Book

    Historic Conference on Multi-Generational Committment to the Fifth Commandment

    Howard Phillips on Nixon Era Treachery

    The Blessings of a Godly Man

    Consumer Space Travel to Be a Reality

    Dad Explains Why All Ideas Are Religious

    Doug’s Mom

    Mimi Reads Freddy

    Peggy Phillips Named Homemaker of the Year

    With the Persecuted Church in Sudan

    Stroll Through Valley Forge

    Homemaker of the Year Assaulted by Adoring Fans

    Fruitful Mothers in Their Sixties

    There were a few other things I noticed while I was looking through Doug’s blog. The first thing I realized is that Doug named one of his children after his father. But his choice of a name is a little unusual; his first name was after Doug’s father, but his middle name is, get this, Honor. So, apparently, every time Doug calls his son, Howard Honor Phillips, he seems to be honoring his father.

    In fact, the second thing that I noticed while perusing Doug’s blog is that there seems to be FAR more pictures of Howard Honor than of all his other children.

    A third observation I had was that there were a lot of Father’s Day messages, but I don’t remember seeing any Mother’s Day messages. Coincidence?

  14. Bill Nettles Says:

    Hmmm. I don’t read much in the Psalm’s about David’s father. I don’t read much in Proverbs about Solomon’s father. Don’t read much in the NT about Paul’s or Peter’s or John’s fathers. I guess those Bible authors just didn’t know anything about honoring their fathers, otherwise they would have written about them. Poor Joseph, not a real father, but at least Jesus honored his mother at the cross. I sure am glad that DP has more insight into the purpose of sons than those earlier slackers. NOT.

    That quote of Phillips’s is one of the goofiest things I’ve seen.

  15. Mark Epstein Says:


    The disparity of these numbers does not surprise me at all (>7:1 ratio). Phillips “talks” a great deal about honor, but his “walk” leaves a lot to be desired. For example, my wife referenced his dishonorable conduct regarding RC Sproul Jr. I recently posted an article concerning some of Phillips’ dishonorable Vision Forum employees, as well as Phillips’ own dishonorable behavior in failing to ensure they recused themselves from participating in Phillips’ Kangaroo Court/Star Chamber excommunication of my wife and me. Furthermore, I would be very interested to know the details of the Allosaur “fakeumentary.” I’m guessing only the tip of that iceberg is in the public domain. Any “independent investigators” out there?

    Mark Epstein

  16. Lynn Says:

    Jen, I’ve thought about this since yesterday, and I want to take issue with this piece. My thinking is, that when you write an article, you pretty much want to make sure it is as “bullet proof” as possible, and I see some problems with this one. When I see all these comments,I’m going to be saying here, as one of Sheldon Vanauken’s editors once said to him, a little “something to offend everybody,” but here goes:

    The primary thing is, if you are trying to talk about the 6 times Doug has written about his mother, compared to the 44 times about his father, to prove hypocrisy according to Scripture, just a glance at the Scriptures will show you that the males have the prominence in being named and honored. All the way from the Rechabites being blessed because they obeyed their father to all the (8) righteous kings of Judah who were righteous because the Holy Spirit says they followed in their father David’s footsteps. We only know of several of the women in the geneology of Jesus compared to all the men. And on and on and on. Mothers ARE mentioned, certainly, but not nearly to the extent the fathers are, in the Bible.

    Doug could turn this article around to ask you if you think the Holy Spirit doesn’t honor mothers in the Bible.

    I can just see it. I love a good debate, and if I were taking Doug’s side in this, that is what I would ask you.

    Secondly, Doug, in the VF catalog, has Beall here, Beall there, has Beall’s quotes or gives her opinion frequently, plus a big section for the girls. Even though I disagree with his emphasis, I would not say that Doug is being dishonoring to his wife in his catalog.

    I would respectfully ask that you reconsider what you have written. The problems with Patriarchy are not here in this article. I believe they are elsewhere.

    My question to you is how would you answer the emphasis that Scripture gives on placing the prominence on the fathers’ names, and their mention, and then accuse Doug of being disobedient to the Word at this particular point in the matter of honor, seeing as he does have some articles up about his mother?

    Before people start throwing the whole kitchen sink at me . . . I, too, have written about that conference about “honor,” where RC Jr. participated, and I see the glaring hypocrisy. I also firmly believe the Patriarchalists’ views on the role of women in the church are legalistically skewed. OK???

  17. Jen Says:

    Lynn, I’m glad we can disagree and still be friends. I don’t want anyone here to be a “yes” man to everything I say. Feel free to challenge me any time.

    But I think you are missing my point. I am not here to poke holes in patriarchy. I believe in biblical patriarchy very strongly. I think Doug takes it to an extreme, but that is a very minor issue with me.

    This particular blog, Lynn, is about exposing Doug. I’ve told my story. I might tell some more stories here. I will also point out other areas of abuse or hypocrisy I see. And this is one area that I’ve personally observed for years. And it has bothered me for years. It is not just about the numbers, although I think they are telling. It is about Doug’s extreme view on how we should look at fathers, as evidenced by the quote at the top, many examples, and several comments here.

    But mostly, this is about Doug’s obvious lack of honor for his mother, while he constantly preaches about honor. Honor is how he makes his living. But he does not practice what he preaches. I have observed Doug’s personal interactions with both his father and his mother and there is a HUGE disparity. Doug dishonors his mother. Plain and simple. This has bothered me for a long time.

    When Doug treated me with such contempt when he read the disciplinary action against me, I suggested to him that he not teach on honor anymore until he learned to honor those in his own congregation, especially those who were older than him. In other words, he could have still disciplined me if he thought that was the right thing to do, but he could have done in a way that was not so dishonorable. And he knew exactly what I was talking about.

    Of course, he did not follow my advice and soon after starting planning his conference on honor with the soon-to-be-defrocked RC, Jr. We prayed against that conference and I believe God honored my prayers. Why? Because Doug is not an honorable man toward his mother. He should not have been teaching others to honor mothers when he doesn’t do it himself.

    Writing a few articles about his mother does not make up for all the dishonor. If there were no articles about his mother, I would be really concerned! But I am not so sure even how genuine these few articles are. Have you read the articles about Dad and the articles about Mom? Notice the absolute adulation for Dad. Now notice his attitude toward Mom.

    For a man who preaches honor, his life doesn’t seem to match his words.

  18. Concerned Says:

    Hi Jen,

    I have been reading your story for the past several months. I want to say how sorry I am for all that you have endured. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain you and your family have gone through. Thank you for sharing. Vision Forum has a far reaching influence in the Homeschooling Community (As I know you are aware of).

    We are very good friends with two couples who heard Doug Phillips at a Homeschool Conference. It changed their views on so many things. They were very happy and serving at their local Church and now have left to attend a family integrated church. Their leaving caused division in the church. I know Doug Phillips says not to, but how does one peacefully leave a congregation declaring that Sunday School and large churches are unBiblical and that everyone who attends them is living a life of compromise?

    Now we are a large Hsing family. I do believe in Submission and many things that VF teaches, however I think they take preferences and turn them into Biblical Mandates. This is so very dangerous.

    Our friends have been pushing the VF way on us for several years now. In one of our discussions my friend shared with me how she learned (from VF) it is UnBilical for anyone except the Father of the family to teach Spiritual Truths to the children. I totally disagree with this, however it made me wonder what is Doug Phillips plan for the 60% of American children who have no father in the home? Are there any single women w/children at BCA? Is the VF model only for upper middle class intact hs families?

    This past Christmas I received a book from one of them by the Botkin sisters. This book brought up some interesting things. I was rather shocked by their view on missionaries and mission organizations (That they are wrong and unbiblical and we don’t need to worry about the people in Asia and Africa, but work in our local area). Does Doug Phillips have the same views?

    Finally, we now have the Jamestown Monument info. He is asking little boys and girls to send their $ for this monument. Why not have them send it to help someone struggling in poverty or to spread the Gospel? There is a lost and dying world out there and he is wanting to build a monument to the past? How about we honor our forefathers by spreading the Gospel to the lost or giving a cup of water in Jesus’ name? I am sure they would be more honored by more souls for eternity than a rock in the earth that has NO ETERNAL VALUE.

  19. Jen Says:

    Concerned, you bring up some really good points, but I am going to ask everyone not to comment on any of these issues yet. I want to keep the focus of this post on Doug’s treatment of his mother. When the conversation dies down a bit, I will put all your concerns into a new article or two. That will give everyone a day or two to think about these issues.

  20. Lynn Says:

    Jen, I don’t believe one can make a case that because Phillips goes overboard talking about his father (by going overboard I mean that quote up at the top and the extreme prominence the men are given in the gathered worship to the exclusion of women), that this is therefore qualifies as dishonoring his mother, *Scripturally* speaking.

    To me, it says more about his views of women in the church than about his relationship to his mother. I just read the links Joe Geek gave, and my considered opinion is that Doug indeed verbally honors his mother. I think the problems here lie elsewhere, but thank you for your response to both my on-line and off-line comments.

    I’ve stated my piece here, and will await to hear your thoughts about “Concerned’s” issues. The insistence on family integrated/small church only is of interest to me.

    Thanks for letting me participate here!

  21. Jen Says:

    Lynn, let me try this again. I am NOT saying that Doug’s posts about his mother are dishonorable. I am NOT saying that Doug’s extreme adulation of his father is dishonoring to his mother. I am not saying that Doug NEVER honors his mother. He does.

    But Doug Phillips does not practice what he preaches. He does not purposefully honor his mother the way he purposefully honors his father. And there is a HUGE disparity between the two, especially when I witness the personal interactions.

  22. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Jen…. IMHO 🙂

    What I see here is that Dougs’ mom is in the same female category as all other females. Honoring or dishonoring has nothing to do with anything…’honoring’ as it relates to mom is a moot point. Let me explain further….

    Of course he does not purposefully honor his mom the way he does his dad…mom is female…and inferior. Like all other females she needs to be silent, modest and at her husbands beck & call. He treats his mom the way all the BCA females are treated. In way…she does not exist…like the other females at BCA. Someone else made the comment that her treatment was amost islamic…it is islamic.

    Yes there is a huge dispartiy between the two…but it is in character and context with what BCA/dp teaches.

  23. Jen Says:

    Morgan, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head! You are dead right! BUT, does Doug treat all women that way because of his mother, or does he treat his mother that way because of his views about women? I think I know, but I’m going to let my readers decide.

  24. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Dougs way of interacting with his mother I believe is consistent with what he teaches..his view of all women is colored by the teachings of the hyper-patriarch movement. This I believe is learned behavior..something that a NP (narcissistic personality) would gravitate to not because of how he was raised but what he learned to believe and what he accepts now as being right.

    Remember….in todays’ ‘pop psychology world’ MOM gets blamed for everything. It just ain’t nesceesarily so….

    …my 2 cents 😉

  25. Like Father Like Son Says:

    “Perhaps both Doug and Howard Phillips are distancing themselves from things Catholic, because their political bedpartners in the neo-Confederate movement and in the Protestant sector of the Reconstructionist movement mightn’t understand if the found out how cozy the founder of the Constitution Party is with Catholicism.”

    Actually I think that Howard Phillips has a much bigger problem with being cozy with Mormons than even Catholics. Specifically, some of Howard Phillips’ coziest “political bedpartners” are the Mormons who control the Independent American Party Of Nevada, a state affiliate of the Constitution Party.

    The IAP has been dominated from its inception by Mormons. That’s never been a problem for me or any other Constitution Party member that I’m aware of, but other problems did arise from Mormon membership, specifically the issue of abortion. The Mormon church believes that children conceived by rape or incest are “trespassers in the womb” and therefore aren’t “innocent” or deserving of legal protections. Holding to such a belief means that Mormons generally abort “womb trespassers.”

    The Constitution Party saw a significant increase in the number of its Mormon members, not just in Nevada, but also Idaho, Washington, Arizona, Oregon and (obviously) Utah. The Constitution Party was founded on a “100% pro-life, no exceptions” platform. So it was inevitable that there would come a clash between the CP and its Mormon members.

    Not only does the Nevada CP believe in killing babies conceived by rape or incest, or in the case of “severe fetal deformities,” they even support “health of the mother” clauses. While Mormons probably don’t intend “health of the mother” clauses to be broadly interpreted, the fact is they always are. Many millions of abortions have already been performed by doctors under “health of the mother” legal clauses since the Roe v. Wade decision was made in 1973. Mormon teaching means that Mormons are highly compromised when it comes to abortion and can’t be considered to be legitimate pro-lifers by those of us who are real pro-lifers.

    The question that many of us have long had is why were Mormons ever permitted into the party in the first place, knowing that their “Prophet” teaches that abortion is permissible in some cases? This isn’t a religious question at all. Many CP members are very opposed to Roman Catholicism, but we’re fine with having RC members because we know that when they say, “I’m pro-life” they mean it. Mormons however are anything but honest when it comes to definitions.

    It’s only reasonable to expect that a Mormon’s loyalties would be to his Prophet and not to a political party. Furthermore, anyone who understands Mormon teachings knows that Mormons believe that lying and deception are permissible in order to obtain “dominion.” The CP’s national leadership should have always anticipated that the Mormons would work toward a takeover of the party and pushing their own agenda rather than honestly supporting the agenda that was in place since the party’s inception.

    The CP’s motto is “Principle over politics,” and it’s a motto that Howard Phillips has trumpeted hundreds of times. Last April the Constitution Party took a vote on whether to give the Nevada state party the boot for defying the CP national platform on the abortion issue, or to permit IAP to remain in the CP. Up until that happened everyone assumed that the party’s founder, Howard Phillips, was a real pro-lifer, but we all got to see what Howard is really made of.

    Howard Phillips voted to keep Nevada in the party, arguing that “state’s rights” gave Nevada the authority to effectively thumb their nose at all of us who’d joined the CP in the first place because it’s the only 100% pro-life party. If the IAP was permitted to remain that would mean that the CP would no longer be pro-life. By voting to keep the IAP in the CP Howard Phillips and his cronies betrayed us. Howard’s “compromise” resulted in the entire party imploding. What a shock and what an incredible disappointment.

    Howard Phillips was one of my personal heroes, a man who I thought would never compromise on the things that really matter, like protecting the pre-born. Howard Phillips has shown himself to be one of the biggest traitors and hypocrites I’ve ever known. Howard Phillips will now forever be known as a Judas and a Benedict Arnold.

    By his own hypocrisy Howard Phillips managed to wreck an honorable work that he’d poured years of his life into, and a lot of other people devoted countless hours to it as well. Like father like son? It’s not hard to see that Douglas Winston Phillips is probably even more of a self-serving hypocrite than his father. He too will wreck the very thing that he’s devoted his life too. It’s inevitable. Arrogant men just can’t help themselves.

    Jen, many of us have asked Howard to repent. Many, MANY of us. It’s been almost a year now. If Howard were going to repent he would’ve done it before now. You’re saying you’re praying for Doug’s repentance. If he were going to repent he would’ve done it by now. I’m not telling you to stop praying for him, but the fact is there’s no reason to believe he’ll ever repent. He’s just following in the footsteps of his lying traitorous father.

    Your “excommunication” by Doug Phillips sounds like it was a horrible thing to have to go through. I don’t mean to trivialize it, but just stop and think about how many thousands and thousands of people that Howard Phillips has betrayed. A lot of us really looked up to Howard. He was a father figure to many of us. It really hurts to be stabbed in the back by one of your heroes. What I learned from it all is to never again place my hope and confidence in any man again. My only hope is in Christ Jesus my Lord.

    By comparison the devastation that Doug Phillips has perpetrated is still relatively limited. He’s hurt some people, but not a large number. Someone should have exposed Howard years ago as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s not as though some of us weren’t suspicious about Howard. We just didn’t do anything about it. Hindsight is 20/20. We should have done something.

    Jen, you must be a very bright and courageous lady to do what you’re doing. By doing it now you can probably prevent Doug Phillips from bringing the degree of ruination that his father has perpetrated. You’re catching it early enough. Keep up the good work!

    Pro-Life Activist Paul DeParrie Calls Howard Phillips and CP Leadership To Repentance
    Constitution Party Demolition – An Inside Job
    Constitution Party is NOT Pro-Life

  26. Concerned Says:

    Thank you Jen, I look forward to your views on these issues.

    We did try and ask Doug Phillips a question via e-mail a year and a half ago and he (actually it was his assistant) would never gave us a straight answer. He kept asking us questions and it was such a circular discussion we gave up on asking VF for clarification of their beliefs.

    I think the issue with his Father/Mother is consistent with his teaching of the role of the Father or Patriarch. Upon reading the Botkin Sisters book (which DP highly praises) and listening to the “What’s a Girl to Do” CD it seems it borders on idolatry of Fathers.

    It is interesting that he (and others) hold the Patriarchs so high in regard as the Bible clearly shows the Patriarchs and their families were a mess. That is why I hold the Bible so dear, it is honest and true even when it isn’t pretty. It doesn’t do us any good to whitewash the faults of anyone. It does a disservice. Children need to see their parents humble and as sinners saved by grace and that is what will point them to Jesus.

  27. Brandon Giromini Says:


    May I ask if his assistant directed all further correspondence to their attorney, Don Hart?

  28. Pro-Lifer Says:

    True Story:

    My youngest daughter was raped at 13. Her words were: I have been raped, I am pregnant and I want to keep my baby.

    Through all the tears all we did was love her and take care of her. The son that was born is now 16. He’s tall and handsome and a loving son and credit to this mother. A mother that defied the odds to go the long way to bring him into the world and raise him properly. A child that bore a child but committed to life.

    How can any baby be called a trespasser in the womb? That is more of a horror to me than someone out advocating abortion as just a choice.

  29. Jen Says:

    Concerned said:
    “He kept asking us questions and it was such a circular discussion we gave up on asking VF for clarification of their beliefs.”

    You fell into Doug’s trap. I have seen this happen over and over and over again. I am very glad you said this. People need to understand that Doug’s MO is to wear people down instead of dealing with the issue. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that they finally just got tired of trying to deal with Doug.

    That is EXACTLY what he wants to happen. Christians must learn not to be bullied by Doug. If he can wear you down with circular reasoning and the occasional threat, he will win.

    Doug has a saying, “He who defines, wins.” Anyone who is going to deal with Doug needs to understand this principle well. Doug is going to define the terms of every discussion, every argument, every conflict. And Doug’s terms are ALWAYS to wear down his, what he considers to be his, opponent. And if he can’t wear them down fast enough, he threatens them. I’ve seen it over and over and over again.

  30. Concerned Says:

    Jen said, “Doug has a saying, “He who defines, wins.” Anyone who is going to deal with Doug needs to understand this principle well. Doug is going to define the terms of every discussion, every argument, every conflict. And Doug’s terms are ALWAYS to wear down his, what he considers to be his, opponent. And if he can’t wear them down fast enough, he threatens them. I’ve seen it over and over and over again.”

    Oh, that is too much. Our burning question was whether he believed in Calvinism. His reply Define Calvinism? It should have been a simple answer, but it went on and on until we gave up. We had listened to several of his CD’s and were wondering about his theology. It left us with such an uneasy feeling. Why can’t you just state what you believe?

    Eventually we came across the Vision Forum Ministry site. We wondered at why he keeps it separate from his merchandise site. We believe it is because many hsers would be put off buying from them if they read the beliefs espoused on Vision Forum Ministry.

    No Brandon, we weren’t referred to their attny. This was in 2005.

  31. The Happy Feminist Says:

    I have been following Doug Phillips and Vision Forum Ministries with great interest over the last year-and-a-half or so, and have read most everything on the Vision Forum website.

    I agree with the commenter who questioned whether Doug Phillips’s less frequent public praise of his mother is especially hypocritical (and I say this as someone who is adamantly opposed to the vast majority of Mr. Phillips’ views). I think his behavior is absolutely consistent with his patriarchal view that women should remain in the background — and that women should be valued primarily for our childbearing ability. It is striking that in the six links provided by Joe Geek above, the primary observation Mr. Phillips continually repeats about his mother is that she attended her 25th college reunion while pregnant at the (relatively advanced) age of 48! It is hard to believe that there is nothing else about Peggy Phillips’ life equally worthy of mention.

    Below is the URL for a post in Howard Phillips’ blog in which he profiles his wife. Significantly, he starts writing at length about the beliefs and accomplishments of Mrs. Phillips’ father — with not a single, solitary word about her mother.

    Howard Phillips’ blog post also contains profiles of each of his children. One wonders what his actress daughter and his singer daughter make of their brother Doug’s extreme patriarchy?

  32. Jen Says:

    Happy Feminist, I read that link you provided. I can hardly believe it! Doug pales in comparison to his father in how he treats women. THAT is supposed to be a bio of the “Homemaker of the Year?”!!! Howard talks more about himself than anything else. He rarely mentions Peggy at all, except for her “accomplishments” of giving birth to each of their six children. All of the births are connected to Howard’s accomplishments. He talks about each child’s accomplishments, his daughter’s husband, and himself, but Howard has almost nothing at all to say about Peggy.

    I want to know why she received the “Homemaker of the Year” award. Was it because she always “helped” Howard with all his many political projects? Or was it because she gave birth to six children, and they turned out all right? This BIO tells us nothing but how proud Howard is of HIMSELF.

    This post reveals a tremendous amount about both Howard and Doug. You are right, “Like Father, Like Son.” The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  33. Jen Says:

    This is a catch-up comment.

    Cynthia, I believe that Howard converted from Judaism when Doug was a teenager, if I remember correctly. When my husband first became a Christian, he went to a Catholic church because it reminded him so much of Judaism.

    You also asked why Doug would be opposed to Opera? For the same reason he is opposed to his sister acting, but not his brother. In Doug’s world, all women of ALL ages stay home forever and SERVE MEN. There is no other option. Men take dominion. Women serve them.

    Actually, I think that Doug would be opposed to Opera in general as well, on the grounds that the words, lifestyle, music, and dress do not glorify God. For the most part, I have to agree.

    Lynn, I’ve been thinking about what you’ve said earlier today. Maybe I’m a little slow today. I think what you and some others are saying is that Doug’s treatment of his mother is no different from his treatment of ALL women, and that is directly related to his views on Patriarchy. If that is what you are saying, then I would definitely agree. I hadn’t put it all together like that before. Sometimes when you are too close to the situation, it’s easy to miss the obvious!

    So, even though Doug has an intense hatred for Roman Catholicism, his skewed views on women allow him to “honor” his father with adulation and near-idolatry, while he simultaneously “honors” his mother by barely acknowledging her presence. Because of his misogynist views, Doug feels that this is actually the right way to treat women, who are obviously way beneath him and can’t have an original thought or opinion, unless you advance his cause.

    So, in Doug’s view of Patriarchy, “honoring” your mother is relegated to all that is related to being a baby-making machine. I’m glad I didn’t see this while I was at BCA. This makes me sick. Thanks for pointing me in this direction, Morgan.

    Concerned, this goes right along with the idolatry issue you brought up as well. Doug is teaching us to make idols of men, to make idols of our fathers first, our husbands, and any men who have Doug’s vision. Oh, this is all coming together for me now. Now I see why all these people have been hurt by Doug. So many of them were in Doug’s camp to begin with, but when they took issue with Doug’s “vision,” when they no longer idolized Doug Phillips, he pounded them into silence. This is all about idolatry – idolatry of men!

    Even the Happy Feminist could see this! My eyes have been opened today!

    Like Father, Like Son – It sounds as if you were terribly hurt by Howard. Maybe you can understand why I am here then. Although Doug has hurt many people, it is hard to believe that a Christian man would teach his son to behave that way. It must be that political front they both put on so well. Be nice to your public, put on a smile, and do whatever it takes to get whatever you want. Disgusting. So, Like Father, Like Son, what are you going to do about the Constitution Party now? If I have an obligation to expose Doug Phillips, don’t you have an obligation to the Constitution Party?

    Concerned, let me show you what Doug was doing when you asked if he was a Calvinist. If he answered with a simple yes or no, in his mind, he was thinking that you could possibly use that against him either way. That’s fair enough. I can see that. By having you define Calvinism, he was trying to find out what side you were on and then he was going to find something in common and agree on that, until you crossed him, of course.

    He doesn’t want people to know how extreme his beliefs truly are. I didn’t understand this until I left BCA, but I would put Doug in the almost-hyper Calvinist camp. I always thought Reformed was Reformed. Not so. When I compared Doug’s beliefs to RC Sproul’s, I realized they are in two very different camps. I find RC’s to be much more biblically grounded.

    Actually, Concerned, the reason for the two Vision Forum websites is that one is a for-profit business and one is a 501(c)3 “ministry,” even though Doug used to ardently preach against 501(c)3s. Just another little hypocrisy.

  34. Light M. Says:

    Jen, this male idolatry is, unfortunately, all too common. You see it in Doug Wilson and the Bayly Bros. My children went to a classical Christian school for a number of years, and the staff and board idolized – in the sinful sense – Doug Wilson. The school board – all male – also started their own church. Then they began pressuring staff to join the church, and then began telling women to have more babies. There was quite a baby boomlet going on. Discussions were always going on about “Doug Wilson says this, and Doug Wilson says that.” Geez, what about the Bible? What does that say?

    I saw women that had been joyful, healthy, Christian women turn into grey, depressed robots. Even though Doug Wilson was almost 3000 miles away, the grip he had on the climate of that school was frightening. We switched our children to another classical Christian school, and it was like night and day, from legalism to grace.

    All this to say, Wilson’s MO is similar, as are the Bayly Bros. If you dare disagree with them, especially if you’re a woman, you are mocked, scorned, and ridiculed.

    I am wondering … have hyper-patriarchs like these always been around? Are we just more aware of it because of the internet today? Or is something in our culture shaping these guys?

  35. Rebecca Says:

    I read the link to Howard Phillip’s blog and didn’t know whether to laugh or grimace, so I did both. It’s ridiculous. I’m left wondering why on earth Mrs. Phillips was honored as Homemaker of the Year, since no mention was made of anything she did in regards to homemaking, other than:

    “During 41 years of marriage, Peggy has been a faithful wife, mother, and grandmother, providing encouragement and support to every member of her family.”

    That’s wonderful, but that could be said of many, many women.

    What came across from this article is that while Howard was out doing all sorts of important political things, his wife was home giving birth. The children have gone on to do important things. All his wife did was stay home and encourage them.

    It’s almost hilarious how this article, supposedly a “summary bio” is far more about Howard and about Peggy’s other male relatives than about the recipient of the Homemaker of the Year Award.

  36. Light M. Says:

    As I was thinking more about this, one word kept coming to mind. “Props.” In Phillips’ world, women are merely props for men. It’s all about the men, their honor, their adventure, their glory. All honor and glory must come back to the men.Women have babies only as props to the men’s fatherhood. They have daughters only as props for other warm bodies to serve their father. Women are the servants, men the adventurers. In Phillips’ world (and to some extent Wilsons and the Baylys) men are created for adventure, for diverse callings, for dominion and rule. Women are created only to serve and prop up what the men do; they get no callings, no adventures that aren’t attached to their fathers’ or husbands’ callings/adventures.

    Contrast this to what the Bible says. Genesis 2 tells us that both men and women were made in God’s image, and God gave both man and woman the cultural mandate to rule over and subdue the earth. Hyper-patriarchalists remove this mandate from womankind and claim it only applies to men.

    Contrast Phillips to Jesus. Everything Jesus did was entirely to serve others. Phillips expects everyone to serve him. Jesus was humble. Phillips is not. Jesus sacrificed all for others. What does Phillips sacrifice? Well, he’ll sacrifice his own sheep for his own glory.

    Yup. Props. That’s what women are in the patriarchalists universe.

  37. Rebecca Says:

    Light, what you wrote makes sense of Howard Philip’s blog entry about his wife’s award. In his mind, apparently it wasn’t really an award for his wife, but for him and his family — thus his comment about how she represented the family well while accepting the award. Her accomplishments were nothing more than encouraging the real accomplishments of more important people.

    What a sad view…

    What also struck me is the complete lack of affection voiced in any of this. I think of the men that I know who genuinely love and respect their wives, and how their articles about their wives would be so very different in the same sort of situation. The men I know would go on about just what it was that made their wives such wonderful homemakers, how this award only acknowledged what the family had known for years, about how much this cherished woman was appreciated by so many, what their beloved wives had all accomplished, how capable they were, how they had sacrificed gladly for their families all the while insisting that there had been no sacrifice, etc., etc.

    I can imagine my own father telling stories of how my mother exemplified all that is wonderful about being a homemaker, and how she had the wonderful ability to make the substandard housing of their early marriage years into cozy homes, even on a limited student budget. He would talk about how she filled every home they had made together with life and beauty and music and art and celebration and feasting. He would talk about the many little things she did that were so special and appreciated. He would talk about how she loved us all so much.

    There is no way that my father would write a “summary bio” that was more about him than about my mother. But then, he is by his own admission — after over half a century of a good marriage — even more smitten with her than ever.

    It’s a shame that more people don’t have that sort of marriage. It’s even more of a shame that more men don’t even WANT that sort of marriage.

  38. The Happy Feminist Says:

    Hey, Jen, whaddya mean “even” the Happy Feminist?

    (Just kidding. I am, in fact, a non-Christian (although there are certainly many Christian feminists) and I appreciate that most of what is being discussed here is an internal matter among believers.)

    Although it is a little off thread, I did want to take an opportunity to say how much your story has touched me, even beyond my general interest in extreme patriarchy. Please accept my very best wishes to you and your husband and your children.

  39. Jen Says:

    Sorry, Happy Feminist, I didn’t mean it the way it sounds. I cut and pasted all the comments into a Word document and was replying to them in order by subject. When I came to yours, I had already responded to what you said, so I was just mentioning that EVERYONE except me saw Doug’s idolatry.

    I am very sorry, however, that you have to see this happening amongst Christians. I hope you can see that our desire is not to attack Doug Phillips, but to help him because we love him.

    Thank you for stopping by.

  40. The Happy Feminist Says:

    No need to apologize. I really was just teasing.

    Your decision to speak out about events that hurt you within a particular church has not injured my image of Christianity or Christians at all. If anything, quite the opposite. In my experience, people become disillusioned with Christianity primarily when Christians pretend that they are immune from problems. And no, your criticisms of Doug Phillips have not struck me as at all mean-spirited. You have continually given him his due in those areas where you agree with or admire him.

  41. Corrie Says:

    I noticed that all of the Phillips women have college educations. I also noticed that Howard describes 2 out of his 3 daughters by their successful careers. I wonder if that chaps some hides? 🙂

    Beall and Doug met while Beall was working.

    I do wonder why an education for the Phillips women is so important and mentioned so many times but when it comes to other women, it is forbidden and not something that we need to concern ourselves with?

    I agree with Light’s and Rebecca’s take on Howard’s blog entry. Where is the emotion and love? I have given birth many times and while those times are important, I hope I am remembered for something other than giving birth.

    I mean, there are addicts who give birth time after time.

    I do see women as “props” in their worldview. These men would have no kingdom and they would not be able to assume the role and title of “patriarch” if it weren’t for women who give birth.

  42. WGPu Says:

    This may be a bit off topic, but perhaps the folks reading this blog could enlighten me. Does anyone know whether, or not, Doug is associated with the League of the South? I understand that CP pres. candidate Michael Peroutka is. Thanks.

  43. marcia Says:

    So, Jen, here is something funny….

    I was giving my husband the run-down on last week’s events here and when I read the phrase “does Doug Phillips have a mother?” he immediately started laughing. He thought it was being used in the same way as “who are your elders?” as we keep reading around the internet, in feeble attempts to intimidate Bereans! When I explained what the content of the blog entry was, he continued to laugh. He said “I would put a mother up against a session any day!” I think he is right. 🙂

    Thought we all could use a laugh!

  44. marcia Says:

    Phillips association with the League of the South (he has spoken at their conventions as Cythia pointed out) is one indicator of his agenda. He believes in a hierarchy or feudalistic view of society. It explains everything from his views of the Old Dominion to his views of women, including his distaste for women being educated. Might have us a woman’s uprisin’ you know. Sigh….

  45. WGPu Says:

    marcia, Thanks for the response, but I don’t see Cynthia’s post re. Doug speaking at LOS conventions. Can you direct me to it?

  46. Cynthia Gee Says:

    It’s not just the League of the South:

    Doug’s father, Howard Phillips is the founder of the Constitution Party, whose 2004 presidential nominee was LoS member Michael Peroutka. While the Constitution Party courted the votes of the League of the South (identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) and other neoConfederate groups in 2004, Doug was hard at work encouraging his congregation to vote for Peroutka and warning them that they were not “at liberty” to vote for candidates because of their stances on key issues:

    “Judicial Nominees Factor Into Election”
    The first question that voters must ask is this: Does my candidate meet the biblical and constitutional qualifications for holding the executive office. If the answer is no, then do not pass go, do not collect $200, you are not at liberty to vote for him. See our article on biblical qualifications for civil magistrates. Christians should not seek to vote for perfect candidates, only the best biblically and constitutionally qualified candidate available. Once your candidate has passed the first threshold (biblical and Constitutional qualifications), you may next evaluate host of factors which are informative and helpful, but not deal-breakers in and of themselves. Given the centrality of issues like homosexuality, abortion, and the public acknowledgments of the God of our charter to the role of a civil magistrate in 2005, it is crucial to evaluate a candidates stated position, as well as their proven track record. Also of special importance is the question of judicial appointments. I think you will find my father’s analysis of these issues most helpful. Click here to read more, as well as an opposing views posted by Patrick Buchanon.”
    …from Doug’s blog.

  47. Marie Says:

    I am not sure if I really want to stick my neck out here, since so many commenters here are so critical of VF and DP as well as now his father HP, but after reading the comments in regards to the bio on Peggy Phillips I just had to put my two cents in. I read the link to the bio and I came away with a completely different take than the rest of you, apparantly. I am a stay at home wife, and homeschooling mother of six children. I can only imagine how proud Peggy must be of such accomplishments as what were written. I only hope that the same types of things can be one day said of me when my children are grown. My children, not just their birth (although that is a glorious thing), the way they are raised, their achievements, their success and happiness in life ARE my accomplishments. Having a husband who is successful in his business IS my accomplishment. Having a husband who is able to “contend in the gates” because I am a successful “keeper” at home is MY accomplishment. He does not need to worry about whether the issues at home are taken care of. I am my husband’s primary support – his victories ARE my victories. I think the bio speaks volumes of Peggy’s life. What an incredible women it must take to support a husband who is so committed to his cause, and to raise successful happy children. Yes, anyone can give birth, true, but the end result, the lives of the grown children is a direct reflection of the training that they had as young people. A woman’s children should be her greatest earthly accomplishment. This bio speaks volumes of the priorities of this woman. She always put her family first. There were no “side ventures”- no situations where she wanted to say “look at me,” she totally and completely devoted her life to her husband and her children. When a woman marries, IMO, she becomes a helper to the man she marries in whatever endeavers he may seek out. His accomplishments are just as much her own. Just as with her children. I don’t want to go on – I am sure, from the above comments that there are none here who see this from that perspective. But we do not all feel as you do. I would be greatly blessed to have a similar bio written for me one day, and my husband would be blessed because of it.

  48. Marie Says:

    Also, a quick question – Did any of you stop to consider that it is quite possible that Doug Phillips IS honoring his mother by not commenting on her very often? Did you consider the very plausible possibility that SHE did not want to be spoken of on his blog? That perhaps she requested that he not speak of her often? Perhaps it is something that she does not feel comfortable with. Unlike her husband who is accustomed to being in the spotlight, she may not want that type of exposure. I would understand because I am the same way and would feel very uncomfortable with it. Just something to think about.

  49. Jen Says:

    Marie, I appreciate your perspective. I know many women who believe we were created only to help our husbands. While that certainly is ONE of my duties and responsibilities as a wife, it is by no means WHO I am. Read the bio of the Proverbs 31 woman. Does it read like the bio Howard wrote of Peggy? I think what most people here are saying is not that wives shouldn’t be a helpmeet to their husbands. We should. But the Patriarchy movement has taken this to such an extreme that women are not given the value that even Scripture places upon us. We are talking about appropriate balance. I am not my husband’s Siamese twin, that I can only do what he does. And yet I am glad to help him when I can be of assistance as well. Balance.

    As far as Peggy not wanting the attention, what mother actually wants her son to ignore her when they are on a trip together? It was the personal interaction, or rather the lack thereof, that so caught my attention in the first place. Peggy is NOT the quiet, shy type.

  50. Jen Says:

    Kate asked me a bunch of questions and then said this: “An honest Christian, following God’s honest Truth, can answer pointed questions honestly. On any blog anywhere.” So I told Kate I would answer her questions on MY blog. Here are her questions and my answers:

    Kate (quoting from the BCA statement) “The motion for excommunication came from another member of the church body, and the BCA congregation voted unanimously in approving it.”

    Kate: “… are just some of the reasons why I do not believe all of what is claimed on Jen’s blogs or the MW blog.”

    Jen: I wasn’t there, Kate. I can GUESS who they are talking about, as a certain family has a reputation for doing this, but I will not conjecture. And it is not entirely truthful that the BCA congregation voted unanimously. I know of one family that did NOT vote. However, since most of the church either works for Doug directly or has other very close ties to him, I am not in the least bit surprised at this. Gurus have this effect on people.

    Kate: “The lack of evidence that there is anyone who was attending Boerne with them that has EVER stood up to say that the Epsteins are telling the truth, and the only people defending them are people on the internet, who, I HAVE SEEN NO EVIDENCE OF THEM EVER HAVING BEEN IN THE ACTUAL SITUATION OF THE BOERNE EXCOMMUNICATION OF THE EPSTEINS, leads me to believe that their claims are not true, and the uninvolved parties comments and support of the Epsteins are based on speculation.”

    Jen: And are you aware that the BCA members are FORBIDDEN from reading anything about our story online? Why do you think Doug is afraid of them hearing the truth? I understand why no one would speak up for us. They are being forced to choose between Doug and the Epsteins. What do we have to offer? Nothing. We are just a broken-down family in need of help. If they stood up for us, they would be excommunicated and shunned as well. What good would that do their own family? Is it worth it for them to take the risk? Look at how our family was treated online when we told our side of the story. Who else would willingly put their family through that? Doug Phillips was sending a strong message to anyone else who dared stand up to him, which is EXACTLY why I will continue to expose him. Maybe some of our internet supporters have relied on primary documents and the logic and reasoning clearly presented on my side vs. the “attack the messenger” and “refuse to deal with the message” illogic used by Doug’s minions.

    Kate: “Let me ask you, Jen: Aren’t you ‘obsessed’ with bringing down Doug Phillips in your refusal to move on?”

    Jen: No, Kate, it is not my intention to “bring down” Doug Phillips. I am here to call him to repentance and to warn others if he doesn’t repent. I have moved on with my life. I am enjoying it immensely right now, thank you.

    Kate: “Why can’t you just “shake the dust off your feet” with your family in your convictions and sit under some godly teaching elsewhere?”

    Jen: If you know of a good church we could attend, we would be ever so grateful to you for pointing us in that direction.

    Kate: “Why couldn’t you just enjoy Faith PCA church, without trying to “expose” Doug Phillips?”

    Jen: Are these two mutually exclusive? What does one have to do with the other? We did enjoy our time at Faith PCA, but I also have a responsibility before God to warn my brothers and sisters of an ecclesiastical tyrant in their midst.

    Kate: “Why did you even need to have a membership there, so soon after such controversy?”

    Jen: In order to take communion again, in the Presbyterian world, you have to be a member in good standing. Therefore, we asked to join.

    Kate: “Aren’t you just satisfied with just basking in the Love of God for you while attending a fellowship of believers at Faith PCA?”

    Jen: It didn’t quite work out that way, but we would be happy to have a church to attend where we could “bask in His love.”

    Kate: “Why don’t the people that attend Doug’s congregation have volumes of lists of abuse he continues in, and sharing that on the web, (in anonymity of course)?”

    Jen: This is going to be tricky, Kate. As much as I hate to say this, Doug is two-faced. If you are on his good side, you think he is the best thing since sliced bread. But if you ever cross him, well… The people who are left at BCA idolize Doug SO much that they would never DREAM of crossing Doug. They have probably never SEEN his bad side. That only comes out with those who refuse to be his “yes” men. And may I remind you that all BCA members are FORBIDDEN from reading anything at all about our story.

    Kate: “Certainly they could leave and join you in your cause, right?”

    Jen: And what motivation would they have for doing that? We ought to obey God rather than man? I do not have a “cause,” Kate. I have a mission. I am not asking them to join me; I am warning the BCA members of what may happen to them. In fact, as I understand it, there are currently two other couples who are being counseled by Doug Phillips for marital problems at BCA. He has “counseled” them in EXACTLY the way I was first counseled. He hasn’t learned much, and neither have the BCA members.

    Kate: “Where are the downtrodden that have been so abused by him besides you?”

    Jen: I will give you a hint. They are not at BCA. Some used to attend BCA. Most are all over this country, even around the world. Look at what happened when I told my story. How many people are willing to risk that? I’m finding out very quickly that Doug’s threats are enough to silence even most men. Maybe someday soon, others will stand up with me. I know who they are. Doug knows who they are. And God knows who they are.

    Kate: “Do you believe that they are so horribly oppressed over there at BCA that they are caught in the very grips of a very powerful, tyrannical man ..( ..Pinky: “What are we gonna do tonight?” … The Brain: “Same thing we do every night: Plan to take over the world.” …)?”

    Jen: Not as long as they stay on his good side. But I do believe that most of them no longer think for themselves much.

    Kate: “Do you, Jen Epstein who once served in the U.S. Army, or members of your family, have or had in your possession, or ever owned or borrowed or ever held, have you .. in the act of being photographed, a pair of binoculars?”

    Jen: Thanks for asking! No.

    Kate: “If so, have you or someone you know from MinistryWatchman ever posted a photo of yourself to the Picasa photo website?”

    Jen: No.

    Kate: “You are right, Jen, it is YOUR *STORY*, according to the people who used to be in church with you (BCA). The whole premise of your wordpress blog is one of exposing Doug Phillips. This will be done by you until when?”

    Jen: Until Doug repents.

    Kate: “You have him groveling at your feet?”

    Jen: That would NEVER be my intention. Repentance would include a hug, probably.

    Kate: “You get accepted back into their fellowship?”

    Jen: Why would I want to go back to an abusive fellowship with an abusive pastor? That was suggested to us a couple weeks ago and we turned it down. No, thanks.

    Kate: “That every church you ever attend respects and admires you for your great stand (in cyberspace) against any leader that dares to question you?”

    Jen: I pray that I never have to expose anyone again for something personal against me. I will continue to expose PUBLIC ministries for PUBLIC sins. But if I am ever offended again, by anyone, I will go to extreme lengths to make everything right before I tell a soul about it. This is definitely a LAST resort.

    Kate: “Will you be satisfied to bring down a man and his ministry, all because they didn’t want you around them anymore stirring up strife?”

    Jen: I have no desire to bring down Doug Phillips and Vision Forum. I think Doug has a lot to offer the Christian homeschooling community and I wish him nothing but the best in his ministry – after he repents. I pray that God would bless Doug Phillips and all that he does – after he repents.

    Thanks for the questions, Kate!

  51. Marie Says:

    “Let her works praise her in the city gate.” I beg to differ with you, Jen, but I do think the bio reads like the Proverbs 31 woman. But first let me say this, a woman is first and foremost a child of God, but her role while on this earth, if married, is that of wife and helpmeet. That is WHO I am, a child of God and the wife of my husband. That being said, there are many things that dwell within that sphere. I love to read, I write, I sew, I garden – all of these things are a part of my life, but still fall into my role as helpmeet to my husband. I think sometimes people confuse this issue. Being a helpmeet and being in service to my husband and children, does not take away my personhood. All of these things make me unique, but my role is the same. As far as Peggy’s bio goes, I still stand on my above comments. I am sure that in the realm of “keeper” of her home, helpmeet to her husband, and mother to her children, she was varied in the acivities that she was involved in. She could very well have sewn clothing for her family, seen to the affairs of her household, been charitable to others, “traded” profitably, and worked vigourously. All of those things would have been part of the “bigger” scheme of things, which was supporting her husband and raising her children while attending to the affairs of her household. Yes, I sew and write and a variety of other things, but my major accomplishments will be the support and encouragement of my husband and the raising of successfull, happy children. This is not being a siamese twin to my husband, but his helpmeet. I am my own person, but understand that my God-given role is as wife and mother. I disagree with you that the patriarchy movement has gone to the extreme of placing women at a lower level than that which the bible bestows upon us. In fact, quite the opposite, I have found that this particular “movement”, as you call it, allows and encourages my to embrace the biblical roles that the bible bestows. Where is the basis for this assumption? I have read extensively on the patriarchy movement and do not see a diminishment of the value of women, instead I see an increased value on the role the bible gives to us.

    As far as DP attention to his mother goes, most of your verbage in your post was dedicated to how often he posted about his father as opposed to how little he posted about his mother. Based on your reaction to how DP interacted with his mother on the trip, I guess you would assume the same thing about my husband with me. When we attend public events, he is very absorbed in his work, but I also do not like to be referenced. I like to stand by and watch. It is not being dishonorable to me, it is what we are comfortable with. Be careful not to judge a person’s motives based on what you see. There may be completely understandable reasons that you are unaware of. At most, based on what you have seen, you can merely state the fact that he does not recognize her as often as he does his father. Anything else is speculation and assumption, two things that are not good habits to form. Were you privy to what went on “behind closed doors”, or what was available for public view on the trip? Also you said, “Whenever we had the opportunity to observe Doug’s interaction with his parents it was always apparent that Doug’s treatment of his father was vastly different from that toward his mother.” You know that is true in my family as well. The boys have a different type of relationship with their father than they do with me, and the girls have a different relationship with me than they do their father. It is normal, even for adults. I have a vastly different relationship with my father than I do my mother. It is not a negative, it is just the way we relate to each other. You say that he does not honor his mother, but I ask, does it have to be in a public situation to be honor? Perhaps his mother prefers to be honored in other ways than his father. I know that a huge neck hug from one of my children is the best as favorite way my children honor me, well, that and being obedient. With my husband it is different. Just because it is not done publicly, like his father, does not mean it doesn’t happen.

    I do have a question for you. You mention a lot about balance. If you are being a helpmeet to your husband, keeper at home and mother to your children, what “balance” is necessary? Do you mean to imply that in the midst of serving a family, keeping a home, raising and schooling children and helping her husband that she should do something else? Like what? Pursue life in another direction? I don’t know, why do you need to “balance” a life that is already grounded in serving your family and the Lord? What do you mean by balance?

  52. Mark Epstein Says:


    Why did you even bother answering some of Kate’s questions? Her assumptions in some of them are just that — assumptions that are devoid of any factual basis.

  53. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Jen, you wrote,
    “I know of one family that did NOT vote. However, since most of the church either works for Doug directly or has other very close ties to him, I am not in the least bit surprised at this. Gurus have this effect on people.”

    This struck a chord with me. I was going to go offline and do something else, but I had to come back and respond to this first.
    I’m in a hurry, so I may not be saying this as well as I should, but something is gravely wrong with a church where the line between people’s income security and their spiritual life becomes blurred. We cannot worship both God and Mammon, and when people’s jobs are on the line, they are apt to compromise themselves in all kinds of ways — it affects their “vision”, so to speak, and tempts them to do things they aren’t quite comfortable with, morally. The love of money, or even the legitimate concern with feeding themselves and their families, has corrupted a lot of people, because sometimes serving God and taking care of our temporal welllbeing stand directly at odds with one another.
    The fact that all of these people WORK for Phillips, comprises a conflict of interest, both in the immediate case of the excommunication, and in their spiritual life in general. Phillips is a lawyer, so he should know this.
    There are things which should not mix — as institutions, churches should not involve themselves in business ventures or in politics — the things of God are commanded to be separated from the things of Caesar for a reason.

  54. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Marie wrote, “Do you mean to imply that in the midst of serving a family, keeping a home, raising and schooling children and helping her husband that she should do something else? Like what? ”

    Remember Martha’s sister Mary? “Patriarchalists” would condemn her, but Jesus did not. He said she chose the better part.

    A wife should worship God, and learn about Him; she should improve her mind with reading and higher education, and use it frequently ; she should participate in her community and serve her fellow human beings ; and in some cases she should work outside the home earning income if her husband’s earning capacity becomes critically diminished for some reason, such as serving his country, serving God (as in the case of seminary students), or because of illness or disability.

  55. The Happy Feminist Says:

    Marie, it is likely true that Howard Phillips and the Phillips children owe their successes in life to their homemaker mother. But it’s not clear from his profile how, nor is it clear what she did exactly to warrant a homemaker of the year award from Ms. Schlafley — although presumably she must have done somthing. Plenty of women who aren’t homemakers have successful husbands and successful children. So what did Peggy Phillips do to make the Phillips home a special and productive place? And why isn’t that mentioned? Howard Phillips talks about the fact that the youngest child was homeschooled but he says it in an odd, passive kind of way — barely even crediting Peggy Phillips even though she presumably did the bulk of the work educating her son. There does seem to be a lack of value placed on what Peggy Phillips DID with her life, even when she is getting an award for it.

    I credit my homemaker mother with much of my success and happiness in life. And I can tell you exactly why. She taught me to read. She spent time with me. She encouraged me. She made me laugh every day. She passed her ideas onto me. She sewed all my clothes and cooked fabulous meals for my father and me every night. She landscaped our home and tended an enormous vegetable garden. She knitted sweaters and embroidered dresses. Her creativity and artistry were made manifest in all her contributions to our family’s quality of life. She unfailingly made home into a beautiful and harmonious place and she was (and still is!) someone on whom I can unfailingly rely. She did this all without pay and at considerable sacrifice to her own ambitions and the use of her talents in the public sphere.

    There. See? It’s not that hard.

  56. Lucy Says:

    “Jen: And are you aware that the BCA members are FORBIDDEN from reading anything about our story online? Why do you think Doug is afraid of them hearing the truth?”

    According to you, Jen, the members of BCA already heard the truth when you sent out your “defense” to the church leaders and to the congregation. These people aren’t in the dark about the facts. Perhaps they just don’t agree with your interpretation of them. (2 Cor. 10:5) In fact, for you to make some of the claims you do (particularly about the women), when you know they are not permitted to respond or even to defend themselves, reveals what a sucker-punch you’ve delivered with this blog.

    “I understand why no one would speak up for us. They are being forced to choose between Doug and the Epsteins.”

    Maybe they don’t see it that way, Jen. Maybe, for them, it’s a choice between doing what they believe God has instructed, or being pulled into a useless argument (2 Tim. 2:23).

    “What do we have to offer? Nothing. We are just a broken-down family in need of help. If they stood up for us, they would be excommunicated and shunned as well. What good would that do their own family? Is it worth it for them to take the risk? Look at how our family was treated online when we told our side of the story. Who else would willingly put their family through that?”

    Jen, this is a very irresponsible statment. No one forced you to put up this blog. No one forced you to announce your story to the public the way you did. You’ve labeled your actions as “taking it to the visible church” in accordance with Matthew 18, but this isn’t the visible church, Jen. This is the internet. Not everyone reading/posting here is a Christian – just like everyone challenging you is not necessarily a “Doug Phillips minion” – like me, for example. I’ve never met him. I would probably never join his church. But despite his weaknesses (and based on the essentials of his stated beliefs), I have enough faith in his intentions and respect for the God he serves to allow the non-essentials to be just that, and to find unity with him over the issues that truly matter. You should do this as well. Stop victimizing yourself, Jen. It’s not good for you or for the furthering of the Kingdom.

    “Kate: Certainly they could leave and join you in your cause, right?”
    Jen: And what motivation would they have for doing that? We ought to obey God rather than man?”

    Maybe that’s exactly the point. You’ve said the entire purpose here is to expose Doug Phillips because God wants you to…. That you would be acting outside His will (in way you would be held eternally accountable for) if you did not see this task through to completion. Why do you not allow the same freedom for the BCA members? What if they are actually convicted of what they claim to believe? What if they truly believe that your excommunication was biblically correct?
    In one of your responses to me, you said that accepting blame for offenses you did not believe you committed would be lying. Jen, don’t you understand that for the members and leaders of BCA to back down from their own beliefs, simply because of your pressure, would be equally wrong? Maybe you don’t agree with all of their extrapolations from scripture, but Jen, that doesn’t make them heresies! (Rom. 14:5) It only makes them different from YOU, which appears to be their greatest offense here.

    “Jen: [This will be done] Until Doug repents.
    Kate: You have him groveling at your feet?
    Jen: That would NEVER be my intention. Repentance would include a hug, probably.”

    You stated earlier, that Doug AND the members must repent. You said in your letter to the leaders that an apology must be submitted and “approved” by you, before you would consider reconciliation or accept any apology. Jen, where does such arrogance come from? What scriptures are you reading where “demanding apologies” is a fruit of the Spirit?

    “Kate: Will you be satisfied to bring down a man and his ministry, all because they didn’t want you around them anymore stirring up strife?
    Jen: I have no desire to bring down Doug Phillips and Vision Forum. I think Doug has a lot to offer the Christian homeschooling community and I wish him nothing but the best in his ministry – after he repents. I pray that God would bless Doug Phillips and all that he does – after he repents.”

    Jen, please read Isaiah 59, and Titus 3. Learn about humility and patience. You are obviously a vibrant, energetic person who probably could do a great deal of good for so many people, if you focused those energies in a useful way. Please find a better way, Jen.

  57. Kate Says:


    Forgive me for my earlier tone in my comments; no excuses – I was just weary of the provoking comments by *anonymous*.

    I was thinking about the some of my questions you addressed on your blog and it occurred to me, “IF what Jen if saying about all the members of BCA is true, that they are unduly influenced by Mr. Phillips because of membership/job situations, and IF they are “forbidden” to read on the blogs your story (where is that stated, that they are forbidden? please provide the link to that proof, also, it would be credible if it was from BCA or Doug Phillips, etc., own statement), then how could they be influenced by anything you claim? How could it be helpful to warn them? If your blog entries are to just encourage and support those who are abroad who have in the past been “abused” (I’m quoting, because I don’t know of anyone, so I’m conjecturing here) by BCA, it still does not foster love for the brethren if you don’t just leave it at what you’ve said already. You could even go one step further and start a private group, or private blog – unaccessible except by invitation only from affected parties who have read your previous blog posts – so that the unbelieving world on the web, or other Christians aren’t offended either. That might be more of a sense of true love for a brother in sin. Then, in that context you could “cyberspace” corporately pray for the brother in sin, if that even makes sense.

    There is a point when a person has warned and warned someone about the dangers they are in (as in the case of some evangelism, when you consistently warn a Jehovah’s Witness, or any person without salvation that they are heading for destruction, for example) that you have done all that you can do and have to leave the results in the Father’s Hands. If people seem ignorant of spiritually discerned things (such as the alledged current congregants of BCA) that pertain to life and godliness, the Bible tells us they are “willfully ignorant”. The people in question would have what their own hearts desire: position and money here on earth instead of the eternal riches of salvation. Christians throughout the ages have endured far, far worse to pursue the Truth of God’s Word. What prevents them from running to the refuge of God? Nothing but their own sin-nature.

    1Cr 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

    1Cr 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

    1Cr 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

    Here is what Matthew Henry’s commentary on 2 Peter 3:3-7
    had to say (at

    // To quicken and excite us to a serious minding and firm adhering to what God has revealed to us by the prophets and apostles, we are told that there will be scoffers, men who will make a mock of sin, and of salvation from it. God’s way of saving sinners by Jesus Christ is what men will scoff at, and that in the last days, under the gospel. This indeed may seem very strange, that the New-Testament dispensation of the covenant of grace, which is spiritual and therefore more agreeable to the nature of God than the Old, should be ridiculed and reproached; but the spirituality and simplicity of New-Testament worship are directly contrary to the carnal mind of man, and this accounts for what the apostle seems here to hint at, namely, that scoffers shall be more numerous and more bold in the last days than ever before. Though in all ages those who were born and walked after the flesh persecuted, reviled, and reproached those who were born and did walk after the Spirit, yet in the last days there will be a great improvement in the art and impudence of bantering serious godliness, and those who firmly adhere to the circumspection and self-denial which the gospel prescribes. This is what is mentioned as a thing well known to all Christians, and therefore they ought to reckon upon it, that they may not be surprised and shaken, as if some strange thing happened unto them. Now to prevent the true Christian’s being overcome, when attacked by these scoffers, we are told,
    I. What sort of persons they are: they walk after their own lusts, they follow the devices and desires of their own hearts, and carnal affections, not the dictates and directions of right reason and an enlightened well-informed judgment. This they do in the course of their conversation, they live as they list, and they speak as they list; it is not only their inward minds that are evil and opposite to God, as the mind of every unrenewed sinner is (Rom. 8:7), alienated from God, ignorant of him, and averse to him; but they have grown to such a height of wickedness that they proclaim openly what is in the hearts of others who are yet carnal; they say, “Our tongues are our own, and our strength, and time, and who is lord over us? Who shall contradict or control us, or ever call us to an account for what we say or do?’’ And, as they scorn to be confined by any laws of God in their conversation, so neither will they bear that the revelation of God should dictate and prescribe to them what they are to believe; as they will walk in their own way, and talk their own language, so will they also think their own thoughts, and form principles which are altogether their own: here also their own lusts alone shall be consulted by them. None but such accomplished libertines as are here described can take a seat, at least they cannot sit in the seat of the scornful. “By this you shall know them, that you may the better be upon your guard against them.’’ //


    This is the state of the unconverted heart, and unless the God’s Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin and need for a savior and regenerates their heart, they will continue in their ignorance. I am very evangelical, but I also have come to understand God sovereignty and the doctrine of predestination, which also has taught me that no matter what a person can do to persuade some people of their need for the Savior, some will continue in their “blissful lives” in willful ignorance. – kate
    (this comment is in my comment section, too)

  58. Lynn Says:

    Jen, I just don’t get the false dilemma some are trying to foist on you.

    Paul the Apostle “blogged” (please permit me to use that term) on Alexander. Paul made it public, and so did the Holy Spirit, that Alexander had caused him harm. It was Paul who had been harmed, and Paul, not somebody else, was the one declaring he had been harmed by Alexander.

    Why did Paul do this? Was it because he was causing divisions and was bitter and unforgiving? It can’t be because he was unforgiving, because Paul said that the Lord would repay Alexander. That meant Paul was not out to get him, but he was intent on warning other people about Alexander.

    So we see that forgiveness and giving public warning about a person are not always mutually exclusive.

    Therefore, for people to claim that just because this blog exists automatically means you are being unforgiving, is to create a false dilemma, or a false dichotomy.

    And we need to keep in mind that the Scripture teaches bad divisiveness, and good divisiveness. Jesus said he didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword. Paul was quite divisive with the Pharisees and Judaisers, and with those who promoted false doctrine.

    So just claiming Jen is being “divisive” isn’t the answer, either, even if you haven’t claimed she’s blogging because she is unforgiving. If Jen is being divisive, you have to ask whether what she is doing is causing divisiveness for the sake of the truth, or to lead people to error.

  59. Kate Says:

    The Happy Feminist,
    I was so truly encouraged by what you wrote about your mother. She sounds like a wonderful example of womanhood, and I pray my life would glorify God in that way, too. Thank you for sharing that comment.

  60. Kate Says:

    Lucy, I think you have been very gracious in your comments, and I appreciate your demeanor. This has been helpful in the discussion.

  61. Marie Says:


    How can you say that “Patriarchalists” would condemn Mary? I don’t see that at all. Christ was pointing out in that passage that waiting on Christ is the most “needful” thing. Mary’s heart was intent on learning at the feet of Jesus, while Martha was fretting and thinking that it wasn’t fair that her sister wasn’t helping her. I believe it would have been a totally different situation if Martha’s heart had been right. She did not perceive what she was doing as “waiting on the Lord”. The problem was all in Martha’s attitude, IMO. I may be busy all the day with schooling, housework, etc., but all the while I am serving my Lord, talking with Him and praising Him. It is when we begin to grumble instead of focusing our thoughts on the Lord that we run into the Mary vs Martha situation. I don’t know why there are those that believe “Patriarchalists” don’t think a woman should spend time in communion with God. They do not value “housework” over a relationship with the Lord.

    “A wife should worship God, and learn about Him; she should improve her mind with reading and higher education, and use it frequently ; she should participate in her community and serve her fellow human beings”

    You know, I don’t really see how any of this is opposite or contradictory to being a keeper at home or a helpmeet. In fact, these things fall into the realm of what I was talking about in my above comments. I would question what you mean by higher education. I have a great deal of education, most of it through reading outside of the sphere of an educational institution. It has been attained in my pursuit to better educate myself for the raising of my family, instruction of my children, and to be a help to my husband. It was not in pursuit of a degree to establish a career. I think there is a big difference in the two types of education. So the type of “higher education” that you refer to is important.

    As far as the issue of work outside the home is concerned, I disagree with in many cases. We have lived on a tiny income in the past, and although it was very difficult (and required some help from our church) we made it through without me going to work. We just had to really scrutinize our priorities. It can be done. My father was in the military when they were paid next to nothing and we survived on BASICS so that my mother would not have to work. It can be done. As far as disabilities and injuries are concerned – in a better world, our churches and extended family would help out during this period, and in many places they are starting to do this again. However, I do understand the need for some women to enter the work force because of these dire needs. That, however, should not be the norm. However, most of the women I have encountered in life that work outside of their home do not do it because they are in “dire straights.” It is because of their desire to have additional things, or to “have a life.”

    One of the things I want to make mention of, though, in this idea of the pursuit of “balance” is that all these things that fall into the realm of the Proverbs 31 woman do not have to happen in the same “season” of a woman’s life. When a woman is home caring for children and supporting her husband, time is devoted to those things. As the children grow and begin to leave home, a woman now has more time for extending her hand to help others. Not that she wouldn’t be doing this in small amounts already, but the time opens up to do more of this as well as to use this time to present yourself as a Titus 2 mentor to young women who may be in need of support or help. This she now can do at the same time she is still being a helpmeet to her husband. Unfortunately, in this day and age, we have very few Titus 2 women available for mentoring and encouragement because the moment their children are out of the house (sometimes before) they are off to pursue their own “life” in a career.

    Happy Feminist,

    I am sure that there are plenty of career women who have successfull children and husbands. That was not my point. A woman who devotes her life to home – husband, hearth and children, looks to those things as her accomplishments. A career woman, when you read her bio, is full of what accomplishments she has given to the world in the form of business, academia, etc. These things are listed as her accomplishments. All about her. A woman who serves her family and devotes her life to them, will see as her accompishments their success, their happiness. That is what she has given to the world. How can you say that there was a lack of value placed on what Peggy did with her life? The value of what she did with her life was written on the page. No, they did not go into the specific details in that bio. But women that devote their lives completely to family KNOW what that entails.

    It is endearing to hear how you speak of your mother. I understand that as being the sentiments of a child for their mother. My children would and do refer to me differently than my husband does. If one of Peggy’s children would have written something I would expect it to have more of the types of details you are referring to. A child’s relationship to his/her mother is vastly different than a husband/wife relationship. All of the specifics you mention about your mother are why my husband would consider me a good mother/wife, but when asked to tell about me, he would not go into those types of sentimental details. He would say that he is proud that I care for our home, school the children and raise the children. He would say “Just look at the children she raised” because to him, this is the culmination of all of my efforts, all the details, and so therefore the results should speak for themselves. It is not because he does not appreciate me, or thinks more highly of himself, or does not value the work that I do. This is understand. I wish more people did. In reading Peggy’s bio, I heard a man who was very proud of a wife that was an incredible support to him (by caring for the home and all the things that entails and being a helpmeet to him), that was an incredible mother (homeschooling included) raising her children to become happy and successfull. I saw a woman of selfless devotion, that exhibited a beautiful picture of servanthood (as Christ exhorts us to do), and as Proverbs 31 states “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her” (28) and “Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

    These things seem so clear to me, they jump right out at me from the page, and yet you do not see it. Sometimes, I am just completely convinced so many of us look through a different set of lenses at the world.

  62. Kate Says:

    Lynn, you stated:
    “So just claiming Jen is being “divisive” isn’t the answer, either, even if you haven’t claimed she’s blogging because she is unforgiving. If Jen is being divisive, you have to ask *whether what she is doing is causing divisiveness for the sake of the truth, or to lead people to error.”

    Are you saying here that if Jen is being “divisive”, then we have to *determine what her motives are* in the process, whether they are for the sake of truth, or error? If that is what you are saying here – forgive me for not knowing for sure – then that is what some people have been trying to figure out, and some have put forth their determination of what the “sake” would be.

  63. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Kate, they should have figured that one out LONG ago. Jen isn’t the first person that Phillips has abused, and Phillips works with his father, who is allied with some very wicked people — the League of the South, Steve Wilkins, et al.

  64. Kate Says:

    Jen, I would like to address this statement here:

    Jen said –
    “I know of one family that did NOT vote. However, since most of the church either works for Doug directly or has other very close ties to him, I am not in the least bit surprised at this. Gurus have this effect on people.”

    … in regards to the statement ” (quoting from the BCA statement) “The motion for excommunication came from another member of the church body, and the BCA congregation voted unanimously in approving it.”

    My question is, Who is that one family that did not vote? I am not asking for names at all, I just want to know if that statement is referring to Your Family. If it was not your own personal family that did not vote, why was that family prevented from voting? Could it have been for other reasons, than for the implications of fear or tyranny that prevented them? Were they on vacation or attending to other matters, etc.? I am asking sincere questions. Your statement that there was one family that did not vote along with the rest of the BCA congregation for excommunication of your family does not prove the allegations of abuse of authority there at BCA.

  65. Lucy Says:

    Lynn, I hear what you’re saying, but please understand that the point doesn’t change with Jen’s supposed intentions. The point is governed by the commanded overall goal as compared to the current results.

    People can have the purest of motives (which may or may not be the case here), and still get results that are displeasing to God. And He is very clear about what our response to that scenario should be. Proverbs discusses that the “way that seems right to a man” can be a diversion that leads to death. Meaning, just because it’s what you want or it seems like a good idea at the time, it doesn’t always represent God’s will.

    Similarly, I Corinthians 10 talks about how certain things that are permissible for some believers, may not be so for others, but to use your freedom in a manner that is a stumbling block to someone else, is to cause unnecessary confusion. For example, I feel free to wear pants and discuss theology with men…. but you won’t find me doing it in the main sanctuary of Bourne Christian Assembly. Why? Because they are convicted differently than I am, and it would be disrespectful of me to offend them in that way. The act in and of itself is not sin for me, but the moment that I cause strife with other believers with my freedom is the moment I am in the wrong.

    I simply want to be sure that Jen is open to the possibility that a more thorough search of scripture might lead her in a different direction. Because, if reconciliation and peace are her true motivations, I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have manifested itself this way.

  66. Lynn Says:

    Lynn, you stated:
    “So just claiming Jen is being “divisive” isn’t the answer, either, even if you haven’t claimed she’s blogging because she is unforgiving. If Jen is being divisive, you have to ask *whether what she is doing is causing divisiveness for the sake of the truth, or to lead people to error.”

    Kate asked:
    “Are you saying here that if Jen is being “divisive”, then we have to *determine what her motives are* in the process, whether they are for the sake of truth, or error?”

    No, Kate. Over the internet especially, to determine whether Jen’s motive is to get even with Phillips, or just to warn others about him, is just something we can’t determine. That is between Mark and Jen and God.

    I said was, it isn’t *automatic*, biblically speaking, that just because Jen has this blog that she is
    a) being bitter and unforgiving (think Paul with Alexander) or
    b) being divisive in a bad way.

    This *is* causing some division amongst believers. Kate, for me, what helped me was to read through all the primary documents Jen put up on her site, and I came to a probable conclusion that Jen is doing something that is within the bounds of Scripture.

    In the first place, I know Doug doesn’t have qualms about lawsuits, and if those documents Jen put up were false, you can bet this blog would have been shut down a long time ago. So it is very reasonable to conclude that those documents are for real.

    What I read in those documents, basically, is that ultra-submission (beyond what I would consider biblically wise) was what was required of Jen, in what sounded like a potentially volatile situation. Jen was not allowed to speak of Mark negatively. She was told if she saw injurious things happening to appeal to Mark in private.

    That, and in a *public* statement, disclosure of sins that had been under the blood for a long time, and making them known to the congregation, including to the children, which includes Mark and Jen’s now adult daughter.

    On my blog, it has been noticed that Phillips never addresses these actions of his, especially the breach of confidentiality. These are church documents that have been seen by the church.

    The fact that this whole church didn’t have a problem with a gross breach of confidentiality like this, nor did they have a problem with employees, with their livelihoods being a conflict of interest, voting in the excommunication process, is alarming to most of us reading.

    In addition, when Matt came out with mrsbinoculars, the set-up upon which everything else was built was that the nose in Jen’s pic was the same in the MW masthead, even though upon close inspection the noses aren’t the same. This also was . . . I’m stuck for words . . . “ungood.” The only thing Matt could have done is to then say the picture must have been altered. But there is just no way to prove that. So we have Matt asking us to believe something that couldn’t possibly be proven. That also says volumes to me, which I have already spoken of elsewhere, the chief one being is if you have to resort to tactics like that, that probably means you don’t have an answer that makes you look good.

    So my conclusion is one I consider to be highly probable, and that is that Mark and Jen, after so much effort, are well within Scriptural bounds to warn people about what happened to them.

  67. Quick Point Says:

    Ok I’m posting a quick point that I thought was interesting. I read through Peggy’s “bio” and noticed that the Phillips men are all “happily married” with house fulls of children and stay at home wives.

    The Phillips daughters, however, are a different story. Single. Self-supportive. Ambitious. Not at all “Biblical Examples” of women per Doug’s orthodoxy.

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to visit with one of them regarding their family life!

    What a revelation!!

    I’m going to be laughing all day about this!!

  68. Quick Point Says:

    Sorry…meant to post that… there’s Doug’s sister’s website. I found some information on Jennifer Phillips – but not much. She’s in television, more production/directing stuff vs. acting. But she’s helped out on some pretty UNBiblical movies, that’s for sure!

    You can search her name on and she’ll come up. She’s the Jennifer Phillips who helped on Flags of our Fathers or Faith of our Fathers…whatever that movie was called that VIsion FOrum produced.

  69. Kate Says:

    Lynn, are you referring to all her blog posts put up on her blogs as the “primary documents?” Or is there some official document you are referring to?

    Is it unreasonable to assume that Doug Phillips did not think it appropriate to sue, according to the dictates of Scripture as his motivation? In all fairness to extend to someone who claims Christ (Phillips), shouldn’t we presume that out of obedience to God’s word that he NOT pursue a lawsuit in the world’s courts? It would be going one step too far, IMO, to presume his motives were evil, etc., and that because Jen’s blog still stands with all its “documentation”, does not prove the validity of her claims.

    It would be helpful to know if the documentation had verifiable witnesses to them. Because the BCA document is one document, her claims on her blogs are another, and then the PDF, which has been disputed to be misrepresented in it’s modification. Another blogger already pointed out the discrepencies in that PDF document, so the people involved in that document are also represented in that debate, and it is not just Doug Phillips.
    Quoted here by someone representing the BCA:

    “Again, every document that Jennifer has produced by BCA shows there were more than one witness to what Doug Phillips did. In fact, she had to docture one of the PDF documents in order to make it look like Doug acted as a one man show. Further, every document she has presented testifies to the fact that their were multiple witnesses. So Jennifer, where’s your proof that Doug acted alone? It certainly can’t be from you because you are not an impartial witness–you are the accused. In case you have forgotten the names she listed in her latest diatribe they are:

    Bob Welch
    Bob Sarratt
    Mo Gill
    Richard and Reba Short

    I’m no math expert, but I can count, and that’s more than 1 man or woman witness. Doesn’t sound like proceedural injustice to me!”

    *no relation

  70. Elizabeth Giromini Says:

    On the left side of this web page look under Official Documentation, not My Story.
    From Doug’s Blog:
    Stay tuned to Cross-Examination as Vision Forum examines biblical ethics and the blogosphere. Future articles address the potential legal liability associated with blogs; the tragedy and impropriety of Christians suing Christians under 1 Corinthians 6; the violation of the heart of 1 Corinthians 6 by “Christian” bloggers who seek to prosecute fellow Christians before the world on the Internet; the non-applicability of 1 Corinthians 6 to excommunicants; and the proper and improper place of secular courts to prosecute unlawful behavior where professing Christians lack formal ecclesiastical accountability, and will not submit themselves to such. For additional discussion on when, if ever, is it appropriate for Christians to sue men who profess to be Christians, consider the CDs from the Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy.

    Bolding is mine.

  71. Lynn Says:

    “Lynn, I hear what you’re saying, but please understand that the point doesn’t change with Jen’s supposed intentions. The point is governed by the commanded overall goal as compared to the current results.

    People can have the purest of motives (which may or may not be the case here), and still get results that are displeasing to God.”

    I don’t understand this. I never claimed to know Jen’s intentions. I wanted to convey the point that when you are on the side of truth, if you cause divisiveness, then tough toenails to people who say, “You are divisive!”

    The overall goal is purity of the Church. The immediate means is warning people of how a couple was treated at Boerne Christian Assembly. If what they are saying is true, then let them say it.

    Just because people are outraged that Jen is talking about this doesn’t make it wrong, as long as Matthew 18 has been followed. I have tried to show a Scriptural example as to why — Alexander. If Jen is issuing a legitimate warning, then what she is doing is biblical, and it isn’t incompatible with forgiveness and letting go — think Paul with Alexander.

    And then, there is Jeremiah. Judah never repented. Look at the (then) overall goal and compare it to the (then) results. That doesn’t make Jeremiah’s preaching evil, not at all. It simply means the people never repented. And Jeremiah was treated pretty shabbily in the process.

    Just because some people are unhappy that Mark and Jen have taken this to the internet doesn’t make what is going on here unbiblical.

    “Because, if reconciliation and peace are her true motivations, I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have manifested itself this way.”

    You are confused as to Jen’s motivations right now. She and Mark have just said they tried every avenue for reconciliation, and are now shaking the dust off their feet.

    Reconciliation with Phillips is over, for the foreseeable future. They aren’t motivated by it. They have BTDT, and bought lots of tee shirts in the process.

    The Epsteins are past caring about that aspect of it, because they think they have done every thing they know how to do, and now they are warning others about what happened to them.

    So why are you suggesting this is outside of God’s will?

  72. Lynn Says:

    Kate, read Elizabeth’s post. I was not referring to her posts, but to the signed documentation on the left.
    “Official Documentation” was what I was referring to.

  73. marcia Says:


    Actually, I have read patriarchs who have an interesting spin on Mary and Martha. They have stated on the Bayly blog that the “true” Marys are the Marthas, meaning, of course, that being in the kitchen where the women belong is what makes a Mary.

    For the record, I agree with much of what you have written regarding a wife and mother and it is certainly how I have lived my life with a husband, children, and grandchildren. However, the balance you call for is not part of the patriachial way. Women who function in any way outside the Phillips etc. agenda are labeled as “feminists” though they never define what they mean other than non-doormat.

  74. Jonathan Says:

    “the non-applicability of 1 Corinthians 6 to excommunicants”

    Wow, sounds as if Doug is building a biblical case to sue the Epsteins. Of course we saw this coming with the advent of Mrs. B and the stillfedup gang……..

    I just can’t see how this wont backfire on Doug though. Either way, sounds like it’s time to consult a lawyer.

    “and the proper and improper place of secular courts to prosecute unlawful behavior where professing Christians lack formal ecclesiastical accountability, and will not submit themselves to such”

    This begs the question again, who are you accountable to Mr. Phillips? Who’s authority do you submit to Mr. Phillips?

  75. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “Wow, sounds as if Doug is building a biblical case to sue the Epsteins. Of course we saw this coming with the advent of Mrs. B and the stillfedup gang…”
    Gotta love the timing though– 2008 is going to be an election year. Lawsuits bring about the airing of all sorts of dirty laundry, and these Reconstructionists are nothing if they’re not political.

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