Paige Patterson Out; Paternalism And Male Supremacy Still In

Paige Patterson Out; Paternalism And Male Supremacy Still In May 31, 2018

Paternalism, disguised as “godly male leadership” is another term for “male supremacy” and is no different from white supremacy. Both are distasteful in the eyes of God.


 

Paternalism, AKA male supremacy, reigns in the Baptist world


On May 30, 2018, the Board of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary decided to rescind the rewards they had heaped upon Paige Patterson for his treatment of women. In the press release, they announced that they have taken away his cushy retirement, his ever-so-elegant title as President Emeritus, and his forever home on campus.

Guess he’s not going to get to sit there to continue his career of ogling women and demeaning them by both word and deed.

Good for them.

Of course, at this time, Patterson is still the featured speaker at the upcoming Southern Baptist Convention. Perhaps they, too, will see the light.

Now, according to the press release, “SWBTS denounces all abusive behavior, any behavior that enables abuse, any failure to protect the abused and any failure to safeguard those who are vulnerable to abuse.”

Fine. A step in the right direction. But until Baptists address the fact that their very theology sets up the vulnerable, in this case, women, for abuse, nothing changes.

Remember: Patterson led the charge on this one. In the mid-1990’s, he and alleged pedophile Paul Pressler managed to take over the Southern Baptist Convention in the name of “conservative theology.” In 1998, the requirement for women to submit to male leadership in church and home was inserted into bedrock Baptist theological beliefs.

The male officially became God then for Baptists.

That core value of paternalism stays unchallenged and protected. Baptist leaders are still in window dressing mode, trying to stop their women from jumping ship and losing all their free or underpaid labor that keeps their institutions alive.

Consider the implications of male leadership only in church and home. Any man, no matter how poorly qualified or undeveloped in character and wisdom, is better than any woman, no matter how well qualified or spiritually wise and mature, in any given leadership position in church and home.

And there you have it. Women, simply submit quietly, keep your heads down, your noses clean, their laundry done, meals cooked, submit to sex whenever, wherever, and however they demand it, and all will be well. They’ll “protect you” this way.

You see, if you do all these things, they don’t have to hit you to enforce submission! It’s all so easy.

And they call that “Christian.”

Again, SWBTS has rightly been called out on its original decision to reward Patterson by kicking him upstairs after the #MeToo movement finally surfaced his despicable remarks. Good for them for reversing that decision. I don’t want to downplay the fact that they did the right thing here. Finally.

But they have not solved anything. Because every male going through Southern Baptist theological training will have it pounded into his testosterone-laden brain (uh, no gays allowed, by the way) that he is in charge. Her job is to follow and swallow.

The despicable theology that informed Patterson’s despicable remarks remains unchallenged. Every theologian whose work students at SWBTS will study comes from that exact viewpoint. No dissent allowed, although much of educated Christianity has left that stance behind.

Why has it been left behind by so many others? Because saying, “We honor our wives and daughters by protecting them and taking care of them as God tells us so–they are happy that way and so are we” is no different from saying, “We take good care of our dark-skinned slaves as God tells us so–they are happy that way and so are we.”

Paternalism, disguised as “godly male leadership” is another term for “male supremacy” and is no different from white supremacy. Yes, you can always find a Bible verse or two that supports both slavery and the subjection of women. You can thusly justify the racism and sexism that even now permeate much of US society. But if you think God is smiling upon you, I strongly suggest you think again.

Again, I say to any woman in the male-supremacy church world: vote with your feet–or stay forever silent. Nothing substantive has changed.


Photo Credit: ID 15074718 © Dennis Cox Dreamstime.com, modified by Christy Thomas

Photo on Visualhunt.com


"Numerous people came forward who contradicted Justice Kavanaugh's claim never to have drunk to the ..."

Why I Write Now After Choosing ..."
"It isn't the government's job to protect your property. It's the government's job to leave ..."

Why I Write Now After Choosing ..."
"I was not implying women are property. I was simply suggesting that if someone took ..."

Why I Write Now After Choosing ..."
"No. Believing that the government can fulfill the role that only God can fill is ..."

Why I Write Now After Choosing ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Loren Haas

    I am with you 100%, but I would ask you to please not lump all baptists together. I am a member of a progressive American Baptist church that does not teach what you are appropriately railing against. We have a woman Executive Pastor, a woman as head of our board and a female majority.
    Thanks for all you do!

    • loves period dramas

      American Baptist is a liberal mainline church, completely separate from the Southern Baptist Convention. I agree the distinction should be drawn for people less familiar with how these are two completely different organizations, with diametrically different ideologies.

  • I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and left for progressive Christianity when I went to college. The straw that broke the camel’s back was complementarian teaching. I was an 18 year old girl and knew that I could never follow that teaching. I swore to remain single if this was what God truly wanted. That was 1988. I can only imagine how damaging that message became over the past 30 years.