Paige Patterson has never retracted his words on wife beating
THIS POST IS A REPRINT OF The Wartburg Watch’s Article: A Call for Paige Patterson’s Resignation From the Ministry Tue Jun 16, 2009 By Dee from Wartburg Watch. Where the article refers to the authors as ‘we’, that means Dee and Deb, the two people who run The Wartburg Watch.
Wife Beating: A New Tool for Evangelism
Some of you may be wondering what yesterday’s post on the Darryl Gilyard story has to do with domestic violence and the church. We contend that the church handles both sexual abuse and wife abuse in the same fashion: despicably! Today we will show you how “the architect” of the so-called “conservative resurgence” in the Southern Baptist Convention has become the poster boy for “pastors gone wrong.” We introduce to you one of our favorite whipping boys: Paige Patterson. We have one word to say to him, “Shame!”
The reasons why churches cover up sexual abuse and domestic violence are beyond us. The Bible is replete with admonitions to care for the lost and downtrodden. Who is more let down than victims of these crimes? We can only think of one possibility — murder victims. Perhaps it’s fear of lawsuits or disbelief that a minister could do such things. Frankly, there are no excuses.
Let’s start with Patterson’s view on domestic violence. Guess what? We have his own words on this subject, and he’s very proud of himself. This transcript is also available in audio via the internet. It requires a bit of a search because someone, who realized Patterson’s words are damning, attempted to expunge the record. They were uttered before the internet became an important factor in everyday life, so we’re certain Patterson never realized his address at a conference sponsored by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) would become available to the general public. In fact, when we came across his view on domestic violence, we didn’t know anything about CBMW. That’s what alerted us to this organization.
The Southern Baptist Outpost has an article with an excerpt from audio recordings and transcripts from a conference in 2000, in which Paige Patterson explains the counsel he gave one battered woman. Here’s the quote the Outpost posted:
I had a woman who was in a church that I served, and she was being subject to some abuse, and I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening I want you to get down by your bed just as he goes to sleep, get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene, not out loud, quietly,” but I said, “You just pray there.” And I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.” And sure enough, he did. She came to church one morning with both eyes black. And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter. And she said, “I hope you’re happy.” And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.” And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”
And what she didn’t know when we sat down in church that morning was that her husband had come in and was standing at the back, first time he ever came. And when I gave the invitation that morning, he was the first one down to the front. And his heart was broken, he said, “My wife’s praying for me, and I can’t believe what I did to her.” And he said, “Do you think God can forgive somebody like me?” And he’s a great husband today. And it all came about because she sought God on a regular basis. And remember, when nobody else can help, God can.
And in the meantime, you have to do what you can at home to be submissive in every way that you can and to elevate him. Obviously, if he’s doing that kind of thing he’s got some very deep spiritual problems in his life and you have to pray that God brings into the intersection of his life those people and those events that need to come into his life to arrest him and bring him to his knees.
Note from Barb Roberts. Thanks to Hannah Thomas (see her comment below) you can listen to this speech by Patterson here:
And refer to this link for further information: Paige Patterson’s View on Domestic Violence (Danni Moss)
Besides far reaching self-congratulations and egotistical pontification, what else is apparent in Patterson’s victory speech? The first thing to note is that he refers to the woman’s abuse abstractly. “ She was subject to some abuse.” [Note from Barb at A Cry For Justice:— using the passive voice is a classic tactic in the language of abusers and their allies. The passive construction avoids any mention of the perpetrator. In the sentence “She was subject to some abuse,” there is no agent, no cause of the abuse, the perpetrator is invisible. This language is often used in courtrooms and media reports when talking about abuse.] It is far easier to blow off a theoretical situation. The use of ultrasounds in pregnancies has contributed to a decline in abortions because the theoretical fetus is now seen as a tiny baby with a face and arms and legs. That “byproduct of pregnancy” becomes a baby. Patterson should have found out and defined exactly what sort of abuse was going on. This woman was being physically beaten and she was asking for help. He tells her to toodle on home to hubby. She returns to him with two black eyes. The woman is obviously in a dangerous situation. Yet Patterson claims he is “very happy.” Why? Because her hubby showed up in church and supposedly had a broken heart and wanted to be forgiven.
Such naïveté is astonishing in the leader of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. (He was president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary when he uttered these words.) Go to any web site or, better yet, speak to any victim of domestic abuse. There is almost always a feeling of remorse on the part of the abuser in the immediate aftermath. Such an abuser often brings flowers, jewelry, etc. to his wife in an attempt to “make nice.” Unfortunately, the wife, and now it appears Christian leaders, buy the crocodile tears and the woman stays. The abuse continues and begins to escalate. Yet, Patterson claims this man is a “great husband” today. Frankly, we do not believe him. Yes, miracles happen. However, even with regular intervention and counseling the recidivism rate for abusers is astronomical! We believe that Paige has no idea what kind of husband this guy is today. Our guess is that he couldn’t care less. Why? We believe the underlying agenda is the subordination and/or the “submission” of the wife to her husband.
We’ll explore the seeming explosion of articles, doctrines, committees, etc. on the role of women in the church in the future. It’s important for our readers (thanks by the way for your loyalty) to understand the depths of stridency on the submission issue. It runs so deep that it appears that Patterson would rather see a wife die of beatings than stand up to her abusive husband and say, “Enough is enough!” Patterson would probably call that proactive woman “gender confused” and smugly go off on another safari on grandma’s dime. Has there been an outcry by the more compassionate seminary leaders on Patterson’s verbal abuse? Well, guess what? Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary recently rewarded this man who has covered up sexual predators and sent women back to wife beaters with a building dedicated in his honor!!!!!!! “In an effort to accommodate the school’s increasing enrollment and to house the Center, trustees approved construction of a new academic building at their October 2005 meeting. Since its completion late last year Paige and Dorothy Patterson Hall is now the flagship academic building on the campus and the anchor structure of the west end of campus.” Paige and Dorothy Patterson Hall
We have only one thing to say to Paige Patterson and all of those involved in dedicating a building to this confused, misogynistic man: “Shame on all of you!” No wonder people are fleeing the SBC in droves. Both of us have recently left, and this is one of the major reasons why we can no longer support the Southern Baptist Convention.
This travesty is all the more evident as we look at Patterson’s alleged cover up of Darryl Gilyard’s sin. He knew for years that there were regular complaints about this man. While Patterson was President of Criswell College, the complaints came in fast and furious! Let’s hear what this revered “man of the cloth” had to say. On the excellent stopbaptistpredators.org web site, there is an article from the Dallas Morning News from 1991 on the resignation of this predator from his Texas church due to sexual misconduct. Ironically, this man would continue to garner excellent recommendations from the likes of Patterson until his eventual arrest in Florida for continued sexual misconduct. As we detailed yesterday, Gilyard was finally sentenced just last Thursday! “The morning after the resignation (in 1991), Dr. Patterson described Mr. Gilyard as one of the “most brilliant men in the pulpit.” Wow! No, sorry for my cover up? How about an apology to the women and teenage girl raped and sucked in by Paige’s boy? Of course not. Just think, Patterson mentored this rapist for years! Exactly what was he teaching him? Good going, Paige! We sentence you to 10 years in a cell with Gilyard listening to endless repetitions of “Good-bye Earle” by the Dixie Chicks. Click on the link for a 30 second clip: Good-bye Earle [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.]
Let’s see exactly what happened in the years prior to 1991 when Patterson was Gilyard’s mentor. “First Baptist officials said they knew of the allegations of sexual misconduct, which began as long as four years ago when Mr. Gilyard was removed as assistant pastor of Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Oak Cliff. But they said they did not believe those allegations, and continued to recommend him. “We were dealing with a man of special gifts and talents,’ Dr. Patterson said. “I was unwilling to call anyone guilty until I had demonstratable evidence that these allegations were true.’ Dr. Patterson said that according to Scriptures, action cannot be taken against a minister accused of adultery unless there are two or more witnesses. He also asked for any other proof, such as photographs, videotapes or laboratory tests!” Christa Brown on Darrell Gilyard (Christa Brown has been doing a yeoman’s job exposing sexual abuse and cover up in the SBC. Please visit her website for more information.)
“Hey, Paige, can you help us get this straight? The Bible says that you can’t fire a minister for adultery unless you have witnesses? Where’s that verse, Mr. Seminary President?” When was the last time you heard of a rapist bringing in two witnesses and videotape equipment and giving the woman a copy of the tape afterwards as a fond remembrance of the occasion? What would any of readers do if they received over 40 individual complaints of sexual misconduct of a minister in training? Apparently, this is not a rhetorical question since ol’ Paige didn’t seem to know or, more realistically, care. It’s vitally important to understand that most women do not lie when asking for help for abuse. By that point, women are embarrassed and broken. It’s not easy to muster up the courage to tell another man that her husband is smacking her around, especially one’s pastor. By the time this has happened, the abuse has escalated to the point that the woman fears for her life or the lives of her children. Can you imagine how this already broken woman feels when her pastor doesn’t believe her? Tomorrow we’ll post the story of a woman who contacted us through this blog. She was abused as a child, as a wife, and as a mother. The church’s response, “We don’t know who to believe.” So, based on quotes from the man himself, we call for the resignation of Paige Patterson from the ministry. He’s neither a role model nor a mentor. He also needs to issue an apology for his lack of care and compassion to the abused women and girls he was called to lead, protect, and serve.