At the very least, Dinesh began a relationship which led to engagement with Denise Joseph while separated from his wife, Dixie. His filing for divorce was registered with the court on October 4, but he had started the process, which takes time, two weeks before that. His wife initiated their two-years separation, while Dinesh initiated the divorce process they are currently undergoing, and he claims to have biblical grounds for it. The stronger accusation, which may be false, is that he and Denise Joseph shared a Comfort Suites room together after attending the Truth for a New Generation 2012 conference September 28 in South Carolina.
I am a member of the Christian Apologetics Alliance and the Apologetics Bloggers Alliance, where this story was brought to my attention. I was recommended, as the author posting most frequently in the “Pro-Family” category, to be the one to write on this. This is not an official CAA statement (see disclaimer below every post here), and I claim full responsibility for all the words and any errors in this post.
I am a fan of Dinesh D’Souza. I have enjoyed a number of his debates, such as his against John Loftus. I did go and see the 2016 movie. I have a copy of “What’s So Great About Christianity?” and had my picture taken with D’Souza at Southern Evangelical Seminary. Readers also know that, personally, I am a strong conservative, so great bonus points to someone who worked in the Reagan administration.
Yet now, his reputation is being called into question.
There are some things that are agreed upon. It is agreed that D’Souza has been separated from his wife for two years. D’Souza says that Dixie demanded it before he went to Kings College. Unfortunately, what is not given is the reason for the separation.
It is also agreed that he had a fiancé. D’Souza presented her at a recent Christian apologetics conference as his fiancé. D’Souza says he would not have done this if he had thought he was doing anything wrong. They have decided to suspend their engagement. I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.
There is debate on whether he shared a room with his fiancé. Some people are saying, “Yes, he did.” Dinesh is saying, “No, I didn’t.” I recommend, at this point, until we have absolute certainty, that we not argue that he did or didn’t do anything. This has become a case of “He said, she said.” Reputations can be too easily destroyed, and let’s be sure of this: No one wants to do that. I have seen people attacked in the Christian community for offenses that are imagined but not real. Note that I am not saying anyone is deliberately presenting false information. We don’t know what has happened exactly, but let’s be a community of grace for the time being.
In our community, when sin comes out, before seeking to condemn, we should seek to reach the person first (Matthew 18:15-17). When we go immediately to the public, as did Marvin Olasky, we automatically begin a kind of polarization. It would be better if these kinds of matters could be discussed behind closed doors first, but that does not seem to be what happened. It’s too easy to turn others against someone, when others are not likely to read the other side.
So let’s talk about what is most concerning here in all of this to me.
Why is Dinesh filing for divorce?
There are biblical reasons for divorce, but does D’Souza have them? Has he done everything he can to make matters right? Now, if his wife, who initiated the separation, will not seek reconciliation, then there is really nothing Dinesh can do. However, even if that is the case, it would be most proper for him to wait until his divorce is finalized before getting engaged to another woman. As it is, it appears he began the relationship with her before he began filing for divorce, unless he decided he would like to begin a lifelong relationship with her the moment he decided to file. Either alternative does not seem to take marriage seriously.
Let’s suppose biblical reasons are not there. If that is the case, then what we need to do is to seek restoration for Dinesh and his wife Dixie. In our day and age, marriage is being deteriorated and if the reasons are not biblical, then we are adding to the deterioration and making matters worse for society as a whole. We should all be seeking to do what we can to uphold marriage and treat it seriously to a world that does not.
Those of us who are married know that marriage is hard work. It is also very revelatory. I find that when I have one accusation concerning my Mrs., there can be a large number coming back at me. It has been a point of mine to look at myself and ask, “How am I doing?” For we men especially who believe we are the leaders of the household (I do hold to that, although not every Christian does), we need to realize that we are to be constant examples to a watching world and especially our spouses.
Marriage is hard work, but it is worth it. We should be seeking to build one another up and constantly asking ourselves how we can do better. Men, instead of asking, “How can my wife be a better wife?” should ask, “How can I be a better husband?” Women should not be asking how their husbands can be better husbands, but how they themselves can be better wives. In your marriage, you can influence one spouse and directly change another one. Guess which one is which.
What is concerning, for those who don’t know the facts, which includes pretty much all of us, is what kind of idea of marriage D’Souza is presenting. For instance, in his 2016 movie, I am sure that D’Souza mentions he got married the same year Obama did. If someone sees that and then hears him at a conference saying “Here’s my fiancé,” then what are they to think? What if someone in the audience is not sure if he should continue being married to his wife? Could he not look at this and say, “Well, here’s a great Christian leader who doesn’t seem to have a problem. I guess I wouldn’t, either.”
Keep in mind that applies even if the reasons for the split between D’Souza and his wife are biblical. A person listening in the audience could be persuaded to think that divorce is no big deal. Hopefully, this is not the message that D’Souza would intend to share, but we must be aware that people watch for how we act.
At this point, until there is proof that a room was shared at a conference, or that it wasn’t, it needs to be discussed behind closed doors. What the Christian community needs is men who will surround D’Souza right now and ask how they can pray for him and help him out and if possible, seek what restoration could take place. If there are no biblical grounds for divorce, then D’Souza does need to be called out on it, though not publicly. The possible dirty laundry does not at this point need to be publicly aired.
Definitely until matters are cleared up, it is good that D’Souza has suspended his engagement. Again, even if the reasons for divorce are biblical, he is not divorced yet and needs to consider how people considering backing out of their marriage could consider the situation. As far as it looks right now, he had both a wife and a fiancé.
While D’Souza has said he has sought to see if it is legal for that situation, we must remember that legal does not equal moral. There are a number of practices today that are legal but would not be advisable for Christians to do. What should have been done is to make sure that D’Souza has good pastoral, not only legal, counsel. If D’Souza did not think that he could approach the Christian community with his concerns, then that is an even greater indictment on us to do better.
For the time being, be praying for D’Souza and please avoid sharing information about him that is not proven to be accurate. Words can destroy a reputation immediately even if they might be untrue. Let us remember that we seek to build up the body and not tear it down.
Addendum: As D’Souza has stepped down from his position as president of King’s College, we do hope that this time will be used to answer the issues about which we expressed concern.
This post originally published on Deeper Waters.