For our next installment in the Vision Forum saga, Peter Bradrick breaks his silence

For those of you who aren’t entirely up to speed, Peter Bradrick is a Vision Forum intern turned executive assistant to Doug Phillips who was so close to Doug that Doug posted the picture below on his blog. You know, the picture that I said looked like a wedding photo. He doesn’t work for Vision Forum any longer, but even after he left as an employee he was involved in their “Hazardous Journeys” trips, and was pretty much BFFs with Doug. He’s married to the daughter of Scott Brown (not the politician, the one who’s head of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, an organization that Doug was on the board of until his scandal broke).

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Knew it, Doug Phillips was lawyering his original Vision Forum resignation statement

Posted today: Clarification on Resignation by Douglas Phillips, Esq., November 14, 2013 I would like to express my gratitude for the great kindness so many have shown to my family in the wake of my stepping down as president of Vision Forum Ministries. My family has been greatly encouraged by many loving notes we have received. With that in mind, I want to be so very clear about the rightness of this transition, and I want to clear up some matters which have been brought to my attention. My sin has resulted in great pain within the Body of Christ, some confusion, and has given the enemies of God reason to rejoice. This is heartbreaking to me. Some have suggested that my sin was not sufficiently serious to step down. Let me be clear: it absolutely does merit my resignation. My resignation is sincere and necessary given the weightiness of my sin. Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years. The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance, but I just want to be clear for the sake of peace within the Body of Christ, that the tragic events we are experiencing, including the closing of Vision Forum Ministries are my fault, and that I am sincere that I should not be in leadership, but must spend this season of my life quietly walking a path of proven repentance. Please pray for the Phillips family, the Board, and the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries. Doug Phillips Also, Spiritual Sounding Board has more information on what we know about what happened. Apparently[…]

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In which Kathryn contemplates the possibility of becoming a professional member of the religious right

Why did I have to be such an ethical person? I’d make a pretty darn good professional member of the religious right. I’ve got such a perfect story to sell a ton of books and make it for years on the fundy speaking circuit too.  I mean, grew up in conservative homeschool family, did the Operation Rescue thing in my teens (even performed and spoke at several national events), even did the conservative Christian college thing. Then I “backslid” into sin and depravity by coming out about my “same-sex attractions,” became a rainbow flag waving/parade marching gay rights activist, took up liberal political causes, identify as a feminist, all I need to do is pretend that I was an atheist for a while and I’ve got the perfect matched set of depravity and apostasy that any good religious right audience would eat up.  I just need to invent the perfect Damascus Road moment that shows me being convicted of my sinfulness (is “seeing a Bible verse on twitter while in a gay bar” a sufficiently cliche story?), go find a Christian counselor for a few months of praying away the gay so I can add tearful talk about my “struggles” to the story, and then go find a closeted fundy guy to marry me (the closeted fundy part is important, that way we can put on the impression of a model family without actually having to sleep with him) so we can adopt the box set of foreign orphans that we will homeschool, and I’ll be rich! That is the formula, right? Exaggerate your past so that you can sell the redemption story and be welcomed into the fold with open arms and wallets. The darker a picture you can paint of your depravity, the more people will eat up[…]

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Ding dong, Vision Forum Ministries is dead (But Vision Forum, Inc. is still raking in the cash)

Vision Forum Ministries announced today that they are closing up shop entirely. Whatever Doug Phillips did, it had to have been something so bad that the board decided the best course was to shut down the whole thing, turn off the lights and go home. Closing a ministry entirely when it’s not named after the person who sinned is unprecedented in Christian circles, I can’t remember a time that something quite like this happened. Here’s the statement. The Closing of Vision Forum Ministries In light of the serious sins which have resulted in Doug Phillips’s resignation from Vision Forum Ministries, the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interests of all involved to discontinue operations. We have stopped receiving donations, and are working through the logistical matters associated with the closing of the ministry. While we believe as strongly as ever in the message of the ministry to the Christian family, we are grieved to find it necessary to make this decision. We believe this to be the best option for the healing of all involved and the only course of action under the circumstances. In some ways, this is the end of an era. Doug Phillips and Vision Forum did much damage to countless people who bought into the oppressive and spiritually abusive system he and his followers taught. He sold an image of a perfect family that not even he could match up to. I say that “in some ways” it’s the end of an era, but the for-profit Vision Forum, Inc. is still operating, still selling that rotten and oppressive bill of goods to families. Doug Phillips is still making money off of this abusive system.  Until Vision Forum, Inc. closes up shop too and no more families and children are hurt by[…]

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In case anyone was wondering why people acted surprised that Doug Phillips’ affair was with a woman, it’s because he posts photos on his blog like the one above. I was poking around on his blog yesterday because, to be quite honest, I’d never much paid attention to Vision Forum other than to be creeped out by their catalog. When I came across the photo above, I had to do a double take because it looks so much like the sort of candid (but not really) wedding photos that everybody has, where the one spouse is gazing thoughtfully while the other spouse looks on, beaming. So nope, that’s not a tastefully understated portrait from a same-sex wedding, it’s just Doug Phillips with his “bosom friend” Peter Bradrick (and yes, he used that term to refer to Bradrick in another post, dude reads too many Victorian novels or something).  And I thought everybody was just going for the easy joke when I saw all of the “WITH A WOMAN?!” tweets. Oh well, I guess it’s kind of sweet in a way that Mr. Patriarchal Masculinity himself, Doug Phillips, has that kind of close, platonic male friends. It’s not the kind of thing you’re used to seeing though. 

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