JD Hall and His Continual Slanderous Attack on Karen Swallow Prior

Once again, Karen Swallow Prior has had a volley of slanderous accusations made against her by JD Hall – Is Holiness A Thing: Slumming Culture With Karen Swallow Prior.  Unfortunately JD Hall continues to recycle old statements even when they have been publicly proven wrong (Pulpit & Pen’s Accusations Against Karen Prior see also www.clbolt.com).  As with all of the other JD Hall articles on Karen Prior, he has taken snippets from Karen Prior out of context to advance an agenda that focuses on developing a negative narrative of the SBC, while sacrificing basic rules of journalistic integrity. 

As Christians we are called to be shining examples of truth sayers.  That means not only stating the Gospel correctly or Scripture correctly but it means representing other people correctly too.  If you represent someone either knowingly or through gross negligence, in a way that is not truthful to what they believe or said, that is displeasing to the LORD.  As I stated in my last article, authorial intent is the capstone and starting point from which all other hermeneutical and literary interpretation rules flow.  It is wrong, for instance, to co-opt St. Paul’s words by taking them out of context or by twisting them to support one’s own agenda.  In the same way, as Christians who believe in objective truth, we are called to accurately represent anyone that we reference or quote.  If we fail to truthfully represent a given author or speaker’s stated viewpoint, by willful ignorance or other motives then we are not engaged in truth telling.  Not only this but by our actions we have, at least temporarily, acted within the worldview that we oppose, namely the worldview that believes truth is relative.  As Christians and as responsible journalists, we must always portray any author or speaker’s viewpoint in such a way that they would whole-heartily agree with how their viewpoint was portrayed.

I have responded to several of JD’s latest accusations against Karen below:

”But in a day when evangelical professors speak at LGBT fundraisers and galavant on the gay red carpet, holiness might be an endangered spiritual species.”

JD Hall failed to mention that Karen Swallow Prior was at a film festival to discuss a video encouraging people with Same-Sex Attraction to be celibate.  JD Hall didn’t mention these things because they didn’t fit with his agenda to take Karen Prior down. As I stated in my first blog article, Karen Prior participated as a panelist to discuss “Desire of the Everlasting Hills”, a movie that was shown at the film festival. Was this a gay-sex affirming movie? On the contrary it was produced by Courage International, which has as its goal to help, encourage and assist men and women to honor their bodies and God by not engaging in homosexual sexual activity. Desire of the Everlasting Hills “tells the stories of three people with same-sex attraction who chose a life of chastity”.  Again Pulpit and Pen lead us in a completely different direction of what was actually and factually true.  In addition, Karen Prior stated, “I was invited to the event specifically to represent the ‘non-affirming’ view, which I did.  [In response to a question posed to her] ‘Did you get a chance to use the divinely inspired biblical terminology and the hope of the gospel?’ [Karen response], ‘That’s the goal I went with and I pray God used my witness. The event also included folks who have renounced their past homosexual behavior and it was a blessing to support and encourage them.’”

JD Hall referred to Karen Prior as an “evangelical feminist”. 

This is completely untrue.  Karen Prior completely affirms the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, “I’m not an egalitarian, I hold to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000  The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message states, “A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.

“Prior was promoting a former student (who seems to be her stylish gay bestie, who mutually speak glowingly of one another – repetitively, like over and over and over again to the point it’s beginning to get weird) and his recent article in Time Magazine. Prior’s former student and homosexual sidekick, Brandon Ambrosino”

I don’t even know where to begin here.  This reads like a grocery store tabloid in comparison to the dignity that the Apostle Paul called an elder to have.  First, while Karen Prior retains a friendship with Brandon, to state that she speaks “glowingly…repetitively…to the point its beginning to get weird” is mocking, inaccurate and wildly accusatory in a tabloid fashion and to be honest very offensive.

“After seeing Prior tweet to Ambrosino in what I can best describe as an obviously platonic version of cyber-footsie today, I noticed the reference to his article and checked it out for myself.Ambrosino, the homosexual author, used his ink in Time Magazine to address the supposed “fragile sensibilities” of a Duke University freshman for not reading a graphic novel, Fun Home (authored by the same gal who wrote the ground breaking Lesbian comic, Dykes to Watch Out For), that takes the reader through the slum of American culture including topics related to a pro-gay portrayal sexual orientation, fluid gender roles and so forth. The freshman rejected the book on grounds that it violated the Bible and Jesus’ commands that we not ‘expose ourselves to anything pornographic’ and that we should ‘flee from sexual immorality’. 

“Prior is so eager to read [Fun Home] and encourage Christians [to] take part in [it], This woman delights in filth, and enjoys making Christians feel uncomfortable in her embrace of it.”

The facts as you will see below were twisted wildly to fit JD’s agenda:

1.  Karen Prior tweeted a link to the Duke University freshman’s article here 11:04 AM – 27 Aug 2015  @LoveLifeLitGod Words vs Images: I’m a Duke freshman. Here’s why I refused to read ‘Fun Home.’ http://wpo.st/w8-X0: (Twitter link: https://twitter.com/LoveLifeLitGod/status/636932338295918592)

2.  She expressed positive sentiment regarding the Duke freshman’s article twice:

@LoveLifeLitGod Aug 27 I will be using your excellent essay in my grad course in Christian Poetics as we consider words vs images, @Bgras3 https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/08/25/im-a-duke-freshman-heres-why-i-refused-to-read-fun-home/?postshare=831440691345257 …

I read the book. And I ultimately agree with the Duke student: Fun Home contains one page of drawings that are sexually explicit, and for that reason, I can’t endorse it.”  – http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2015/september/christians-cant-ignore-fun-home.html

3.  She tweated links to articles saying positive things about the Duke University freshman’s article on Fun Home twice:

@LoveLifeLitGod Sep 4  Duke students, trigger warnings and cultural engagement | Think Christian / Keen analysis by @BransonParler http://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/duke-students-trigger-warnings-and-cultural-engagement?utm_campaign=TC_RSS_Campaign&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=21826959&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–lWR0cSLrhBo4FTCRYgt7Pyj5-dpd8pfRyEpMP7ArZxaEC5PRw0fb-oggq2nDjtjGSX3ZtCiC2Z5g-BEgWXVyPf2DU2g&_hsmi=21826959 …

4.  In the midst of the whole “Fun Home” discussion Karen Prior tweets a link to a Gospel Coalition article that speaks to the discussion.  The Gospel Coalition is hardly a bastion of liberalism.

@LoveLifeLitGod Aug 29  Yes, this: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/amy-winehouse-and-how-to-watch-movies-as-a-christian …

5.  Karen Prior sees the book, Fun Home, as being more of a message about the damaging impact of sexual deviancy versus promoting sexual deviancy: @LoveLifeLitGod Sep 2  So I’m reading Fun Home. Quite poignant. Notable that the news coverage I’ve seen mentions the dad was gay but not that he was a pedophile.”  She also stated in her CT article about the Fun Home, book “Indeed, not only her father but all the adults around are awash in sexual sin.”  Karen talks about how the book discusses “broken sexuality and gender roles is astonishingly honest, reeking of truth to the human experience [damaging effects of sinful behavior] and the order of reality as God has designed it. “

6.  Based on what I have shown already, Karen Prior’s tweet of Brandon Ambrosino’s article was obviously not a 100% endorsement.  Instead Karen Prior was trying to create dialogue and conversation around some important questions.  Brandon Ambrosino asked some good questions and brought up some good points.  We need to be mature adults and realize that we can have a polite discussion with people that we might disagree with seriously on certain topics but on others we might have agreement on. 

7.  Karen Prior wants to honor Christ in her reading of literature, “We must not allow our exposure to sexual sin (whether through art or in real life) to turn into participation in it. As Christians, where do we draw the lines? And how do we honor Christ and one another—rather than shaming one another—as our conscience prompts us to either engage with or refrain from such challenging material?”

I’m growing weary of hearing JD Hall say that Karen Swallow Prior is gay-affirming.  To the contrary, she took part in a video production calling those who practice the same-sex lifestyle to repentance (including chastity) and faith in Jesus Christ – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JibT0w3Hy3c

Finally, I would like to challenge anyone that reads Pulpit & Pen to meditate on the Scriptures below and then consider if these attitudes that God admonishes us to have, are consistently manifested at Pulpit & Pen.

Philippians 4:5 – “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand”

I Peter 3:15 – “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

Titus 1:7-8 – “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.”

Colossians 3:12 – “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

II Timothy 2:23-25 – “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.”

Ephesians 4:1-3 – “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”


One thought on “JD Hall and His Continual Slanderous Attack on Karen Swallow Prior

  1. Some were quick to call out Mark Driscoll. Not so quick to call out their friends. Paul would have words with them for this as might even Peter.


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