Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
October 28th, 2015 by Joel Watts

a word of caution on Biblical Gender Roles

Across facebook and social media there is a furor — a hatred — a chagrin.

But people are angry over nothing.

Nothing but a troll account.

It began a few years ago with the publication of a new website, biblicalgenderroles.com. This site is littered with promotion of spousal rape, spiritual and physical abuse, and the caricatures of Christian masculinity.

But, it is fake. It is run by a non-Christian who is a biblical studies scholar.

A few weeks ago, a long-standing presence on Facebook (Matt Perkins), was outed as this scholar.

If you cannot see this link, I am sorry. It just means you aren’t an admin of the SBLAAR group (unofficial) on Facebook. Here is a screenshot.

matt perkins larry solomon

A comment was almost immediately left:

I’ve just been informed back-channel of “Matt Perkins”‘s actual identity. I’m disappointed in the person, who is apparently an actual scholar trolling for data and trying to make a fool of people who bite. I’m not an admin of this page, but if this junk continues I will not hesitate to start letting people know that this page is unworthy of SBL. Not that it ever has been, but *this*…

In the conversation, it was noted that suddenly “Matt” had not only left the group, but Facebook as well.

From another comment:

The short version is that “Matt Perkins,” who founded the previous SBL page, and then became an admin for the current group, was outed as a fictional character and has disappeared.

He was pretending to be an evangelical from Greenville, SC. Instead,
he appears to have been a religion scholar trolling around evangelical issues, perhaps for information for his own research. SBL members from SC could find no evidence of his existence. This morning, he posted a ridiculous Web article about “disciplining your wife.” I called him out for his pattern of trolling, and this afternoon he deleted the post and the Facebook account.

Different commentator:

I mean, think about it. When we called him out for not being a member, he handed the admin over to the two least qualified people, choosing fundies.

“Matt” had been banned by several groups for behaving in a fundamentalist and derogatory manner. The behavior and positions are too similar for separation.

The supposed author of the above website is named Larry Solomon, a pseudonym.

If you are taking issue with this site, that’s good and all — and there are Christians who believe this garbage — but the site is a way to collect data. This is unethical. Don’t get mad. Just ignore it.

Admittedly, some feel this way. Some Christians believe in slavery. These things aren’t inherent in the religion, btw. The purpose of this post – for those fundamentalists in SCCL – is to call attention to the trolling behavior of this scholar. My name is out there – I have some evidence. Yet, some would rather believe an over the top blog secretly held and written by an anonymous person is representative of anything. Good luck.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

37 Responses to “a word of caution on Biblical Gender Roles”
  1. Thanks for the insights on BGR. I thought it was too over the top and too tone deaf to be serious.

  2. I’m unable to verify any of this debunking either. I don’t really care if it’s trolling or not, or whether it’s collecting data or not — some people believe this, some husbands want to believe this, and it damages people and ruins lives. That effect isn’t imaginary, it’s happening in the real world, whether the writer intends it or not. So it does need some dealing with. The more people you can save from that thinking, the better.

  3. Sakura A says

    Thank you for the information. It’s good to know that my thoughts of them being a troll are valid. Have a blessed day!

  4. Laura_Red says

    If this is part of a scholarly project, I am curious to know what “research” the BGR account is gathering.
    Any abstracts out there about this particular “study”, or “research” that can be provided?
    Any legitimate scholarly journal that this would be published in? Or academic conferences that the material would be presented at? No, FB, blogs, and websites do not count as legitimate.
    Can the definition of “data” in this case be explained by anyone over at Unsettled Christianity, or BGR author himself?

    Highly doubt that any of this can be answered. What still remains is the fact that it’s highly unlikely that the commenters on BGR who respond favorably to BGR are the BGR author trolling. Which raises the question as to why the BGR author–even if this is a giant troll-is OK with writing said material to feed those beasts in addition to the “fundamentalists at SCCL”.

    • Laura_red… The “data” excuse is what is given to us. To suggest it is an effort to make one religion look bad would sound conspiratorial.

      The ethics of this has already been discussed on the SBLAAR unofficial FB group.

  5. I’ve been following BGR, and the post, “7 Ways to Dicipline Your Wife,” is still up. It wasn’t taken down.

  6. I’m hoping that “Dalrock” and other similar sites are also trolls/parodies. When people are completely anonymous, anything is possible.

    • I wish (re: Dalrock and his red pill ilk).

      They are so messed up that sometimes I also think it must be a sly parody, and soon enough we’ll learn it was all a hoax. Alas.

  7. I’d be estatic if this guy (gal?) was Poe.

    If he is a troll, this is a hella long scam. If he is a Christian researcher, then imo not only is he being irresponsible in spreading such harmful ideology in the name of ‘research’, but he’s also not using good research methodology – there are plenty of these types of blogs and teachings that are 100% authentic from which he can gather his data.

    Either way, the guy’s (gal’s) a POG.

    • Sorry, that should read, “non-Christian researcher” (only on first cuppa coffe this morning)

      Also, what’s SBL, for the uninitiated?

      Lastly, honestly, this reads like a post about things that happened within a secret (or closed) group, that caused some waves within that group. Which I totally get, because I’ve been in secret groups where shit hit the fan, and have felt the need to write about it. It’s a bad feeling when a place you formerly thought was safe, is revealed as unsafe, and a person you formerly thought was safe, is revealed as unsafe (or a fake account).

      • SBL is Society of Biblical Literature. The group is for SBL and AAR members. It is not secret or closed. This post was removed by “matt” quickly, but since I am an admin, I can still see it for some reason. I do have screenshots.

  8. BGR guy is denying he is Matt Perkins and continuing with his site. https://www.facebook.com/biblicalgenderroles/posts/1639376086335647

    • That’s odd, Beth… and thanks for the update. I say this is odd because “matt perkins” is a pseudonym. Of course he isn’t matt perkins, because matt doesn’t exist.

      • Could he be Matt Perkins, and just have presented his site in a way that he thought the community at SBL would ‘bite’, looking for pageviews? Honestly his post reads to me like someone fishing for pageviews. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went into other communities and presented it in different ways, depending on the community. In an IFB group, for example,, he could have presented it as something beneficial, the same in an MRA group (although probably with a little more male chest pounding). Then turn around and share the link in a progressive / liberal Christianity group with a caption that talked about how bad it was. Honestly, this is the theory I’ve landed on – the guy behind the page is probably a real person who really thinks these things, and is doing what he can to spread his ‘message’ (notice the gloating post about how he was interviewed by the Daily Mail and HuffPo).

      • This guy is going to a lot of trouble to keep his real identity a secret while doubling down on his message. He’s clearly seeking attention and wants to get a reaction out of people. The whole thing is so strange.

        • Truly, Beth. Equally disheartening are those who need this site to be real in order to feed their rage machine.

          • I think the whole thing reads like a fundie porn site – they are all getting off on the titillating discussion, under the guise of biblical study. . it’s gag-worthy. I think we’ll find out that the guy is an MRA. What better audience for an MRA than fundamentalists??

          • Joel, I don’t see why it is ‘disheartening’ to be horrified by self-described Christian men and women who advocate abuse. If Larry isn’t real, his supporters are. His views are not as rare an aberration as some may believe. Dalrock and his followers are real. Quiverfools are real.

            I don’t believe it helps to keep our heads in the sand because the reality of abuse done in the name of religion offends us.

          • who said i was hiding my head in the sand…

  9. It does not matter if this psycho is a troll or not. He sounds genuine enough to inspire agreement and even adoration of other psychologically unhealthy Christian and ‘red pill’ types, making them believe that the abuse he advocates in the name of religion is perfectly justified. This makes him responsible not just for the abuse he subjects his family to, but also that which his followers inflict on their families. Sick freak, no matter what, as are those on his site who cheer him on. Mind-bogglingly, some of them are women…

  10. Oh, thank goodness. I think….? I’m relieved he’s a troll, but aghast that people take his advice seriously.

  11. If you listened to Larry Solomon’s radio interview with Alan Colmes last night, you know that this rapist and his site are not a hoax.

    His FB page is up again. What can be done to remove it?

    • I didn’t hear a word after my report to WordPress, either – no reply to my complaint. The take-down on FB didn’t last very long – perhaps hours – and it was back. Apparently, free speech is the be-all and end-all. He (‘Larry Solomon’) is frenetically brazen.

  12. I don’t know if Larry Solomon is a troll account or not, but his views are misogynistic and dangerous. I confronted him about his hatred of women and he deleted my comments and then blocked me.
    He’s a sick, twisted gutless coward who can’t handle being exposed

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